From today’s email

This morning’s email included no fewer than eight copies of the following missive. Under the circumstances, I am posting it without my usual scrupulous inquiry into the sender’s willingness to have it published.

Permit me to solicit your assistance on this transaction with you. My name is Hans Berger citizen of Germany, I am a staff of Deutsche bank in germany.

As one of the auditors of the bank, I happen to find out that there is an unclaimed fund of 19.4M. in one of our customer account for more than ten years and our banking law stipulates that any unclaimed fund for more than 12 years will go into the bank revenue as an unclaimed fund.

I and my colleagues have made our own personal inquiries about the depositor and the next of kin but sadly,the depositor and his entire family died in a plane crash in the year 1999.

We solicit that you stand as the next of kin so that the money will be transfered to your account or any other account you may provide for us.

We propose that the money be shared as follows 30% for you, 60% for my colleagues and I while 10% will be for any expences we may incure.

I awaits your urgent reply while believing you do understan

the confidential nature of this transaction.

Best Regards,


Note:pls for the confidentiality of this transaction foward your reply to the below email address.

I made another exception by answering the solicitation. My reply follows:

Dear Mr. Berger:

Thank you for your note. The proposition seems a generous one.

However, you should be aware that as a German citizen you are ineligible to execute this particular scam, which is part of the national patrimony of the Nigerian people. Consequently, I must decline to be your victim in this instance.

Best of luck with finding an alterantive way to extract money from the terminally greedy and stupid.

Very truly yours,

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: