Scott Hollifield: $20 million richer, with a few strings attached

I’ve been financially courted by alleged officials of foreign lands and supposed members of royal families who are out, with my most gracious participation, to split a big cash reward, but it’s the first time I’ve gotten an offer I can’t refuse from someone pretending to be the former First Lady of the United States of By-Gosh America.

I get on average of two or three scam emails each day offering, in poorly worded English, riches beyond my wildest dreams. By now, nearly everyone knows the standard pitch: Turn over your bank account information for the transfer of funds or pony up a few dollars – or thousands – to expedite the process in some faraway land then book a room on Easy Street, baby, ’cause the money’s rolling in.

I’ve written about it, poked fun at and, eventually, grew bored with it. Same old offers, same old scams -- until this week, when I received an email and business proposal from “Mrs. Michelle Obama, The White House (Official Residence of the President of the US).”

Apparently, Michelle hasn’t gotten around to filling out that change of address form at the post office and she’s dropping by once a week to chat with Melania and pick up her mail.

Here’s how my latest scam letter begins:

“How are you today? This is the last you will ever hear from me and you fail to comply.”

Good manners but the writer has a much shakier grasp of the English language than the real Ivy League-educated former First Lady.

“I am Mrs. Michelle Obama and I am written to inform you about your Bank Cheque Draft brought by the United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic in the white house Washington DC which contains the sum of $20,000,000 millions us dollars credited from the bank of America, the delivery of your funds has been mandated to be deliver to your address as soon as you get back to me with your address and your cell phone number.”

I’m not even sure I would want the real Michelle Obama to have my cell number now that Barack is hanging around the house more often getting on her nerves and she needs to call someone to vent about how he watches Dr. Phil and won’t pick up his dirty socks, etc.

I don’t want to be in the middle of that drama.

“Bear in mind that I have taking my time to be in charge of your funds as instructed by my husband to ensure that you received your funds successfully from the white house to reduce the economy and I’m the only one that has your funds in regard to my husband Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II and you will have to pay the sum $68.00…”

And why do I need to pay a $68 fee?

“…the reason why the fee is required is to have your funds clearance paper from the origin of the funds to avoid any harassment from the authority…”

Putting it that way, it makes perfect sense. But what if I am a little short on cash?

“…even if you don’t have the $68 try to borrow it and send it immediately today because this is your life opportunity and I don’t want you to lose the chance any more.”

That would likely to lead to a conversation like this:

“Hey, Bill, can I borrow $68?”

“ Why do you need $68, Scott?”

“For my funds clearance paper. Michelle Obama wants to send me $20 million and she’s afraid I will be harassed by the authority without it.”

“Wow, that sounds like your life opportunity.”

“It probably isn’t but I think I can get a column out of it. Can I still borrow $68?


Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at

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