Give Me Your Money For No Particular Reason

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Getting spam with requests for monetary investment in ridiculous schemes is a long-cherished tradition on the Internet. Who can forget receiving their first e-mail from Ethiopia with its tall tales of millions of dollars seeking a home in somebody's U.S. bank account? Ah, the memories. I do hope someone has been cataloging these creative efforts so they are not lost to history. (Here's one spam blog that has a collection going back to 2007, at least.)

We get voluminous amounts of spam here, but I thought this request for money from last August was particularly brazen in its directness. Max Stephenson wants cash for his pricey NYU tuition. So cough it up:

"I really thought the only well-to-do member of my family would come through.  She talks about two things: how proud she is of me and the worth of her stocks and bonds.  Last week she came to the table: $500 towards my $50,000 a year college education.  What can I say?  A victim of the depression."

Read the rest of his sad tale after the jump. 

I guess I could tap into my mom's stash. Last year a doctor (well, the doctor's insurance company) finally bellied up with a pittance for slicing her sciatic nerve in half (yes, in two separate pieces ) during rather ordinary surgery.  Her "holdings" are just about enough to take care of her meds, braces, mobility devices and stuff. Plus, she was the one who taught me not to take advantage of the handicapped. As one might imagine, she can't work, drive, cook, clean or anything else most of us humans skip happily through life taking for granted.  Dad takes care of her and even though he juggles three jobs, his income doesn't bring any spare greenbacks to the family treasury.  
Well it's the 8th of August today and tuition is due really soon.  Even with some pretty good grants and loans, I have to come up with big-time cash.
So, I've developed a plan.  Actually I sort of stole the idea from someone, but I tweaked it to fit my circumstances so I think you could say it's my plan now.   
I need $25,000. Yes, as they say, higher education is expensive. So I did the math. I scored pretty darn high on that part of the SATs and figured my old teachers wouldn't mind if I use all those equations and algorithms for a bit of self interest. I deducted (deduced? Not sure, but I have no doubt they'll teach me the correct word if I ever get to college.) that if 10,000 of my friends and family gave me $2.50 I would be COLLEGE-BOUND!  I implemented my plan this past week and the strategy has been 100% successful: every one of my family and friends gave me $2.50. The part that is not working is I don't have 10,000 friends and family. Strange. It seems like there's always been a lot people hanging around my life.
Are you still with me?  Hold on.  I'm almost finished.
So here's my proposal: if you will send me $2.50 in the next week or so, I will send you a piece of my graduation gown. (I have a very sharp razor and steady hands.)  For $3.50, you get a piece of my cap, as in cap and gown.  You're going to have to wait four years, but I don't know how to help you out on that front.  Maybe I'll go to summer school and graduate early, but don't count on it as I plan to work my backside off the next three summers (and during the school year) to get a handle on this tuition conundrum. (I threw that big word in to let you know I am worthy of a good college education.) 
What do you say?  If you're worried I am one of those internet rip-off artists, call NYU's admissions office at and ask for someone in international admissions - they handled my admissions as I was recruited to play ice hockey for Russia and spent last year there.  Another story and that one is completely free and includes a splinter of a broken hockey stick if you want to hear it. 
Here's my address: P.O. Box 149, Pottersville, NJ 07979. (My dad won't let me give out my street address.) You can send a check or pay via PayPal by simply using my email address,  Don't forget - to receive your "gown" include your return address. Have questions? Need references?  Want photos of the formerly happy me? Email or call me at  
In case you're interested, I have plans to use my college education to improve our environment.  During high school I set up an organization,, to help college and vocational students buy hybrid cars. I  found the work incrediably satisfying. (As an aside, I don't need a car as I plan to be in New York during college and after college.)
I really think you are great just for reading this. If you decide to part with $2.50 I'll promote you to knighthood and be eternally grateful. Just think, in four years you'll be wearing (a piece of) a NYU graduation gown and I'll wear a huge smile.   
Max Stephenson

Yes, it's apparently a legit plea for money that no one in their right mind would ever respond to, according to MarketWatch. I wonder how he made out?

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I'd be one of the first people to give you money, if I had any money to give you.
I'm a disabled 50 year old woman who survives on the little bit that social security sends each month (and trust me, it's not that much!).
I wish you luck and ask you to remember to do what you can to help your fellow man.
I'm that person you see in the car handing out money to the homeless holding signs. (really, I do!)
If I were to ever win the Lottery, sure I'd keep a good portion of it for myself, but after helping my family and (true) friends, I'd be out there on the street taking the man or woman holding that sign to rent an apartment, buy a used car, get them something to eat.
I've been there and I sure as heck won't judge them.
Good luck to you. I truly hope all your wishes come true!

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This page contains a single entry by Coury Turczyn published on October 22, 2008 9:34 AM.

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