Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some Things Never Change (At Least Not In Their Essential Nature)

I've been searching through the archives of the New York Times lately, looking for references I can use in building-out my family tree. I came, by chance, across the following item in "City and Suburban News" for September 11 of 1879:
Yesterday a spurious Custom-house agent swindled Mrs. James Brooks, of 44 East Twenty-fifth-street, of $9 98 by the old ruse of pretending that that amount was due for duties on a package that had arrived from Europe and was lying in the Custom-house. Such swindles are common.
Replace "Custom-house agent" with "exiled government official;" replace "duties on a package" with "bank fees for a transfer of funds;" and replace "Europe" with "Nigeria" and the whole thing looks like something we (hopefully) now routinely mark as spam and delete from our in-boxes.

1 comment:

The Chief said...

Such an interesting parallel. As times change, the scams do not - they merely evolve or morph to fit the times!

Nice site - I clicked on from NPR Junky's website.

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