In the course of an average week, I probably receive four to six emails from persons wanting my help getting money out of Africa. Using an average of five (to make the math easier), I receive around 250 such emails in a year. It is all bogus, of course, and thankfully my spam filters catch two-thirds or so of these.
Only recently have I discovered that many think these scams are urban legend. They have never seen one themselves, let alone knowingly received one. (I am curious whether their spam filtering is just more successful keeping the stray email at bay, whereas mine ultimately succumbs to the blitz).
I have long thought that I received so much spam of this sort because my email address is publicly available online. But lately I’m beginning to wonder.
Could it be that this is a deliberate strike, that pastors are targeted. Are pastors are fertile soil for these shady hope-mongers? Do these con artists find such blind desire for money and escape among clergy? Are we, as a profession, so starved and scarred that we will follow any promise if it purports to lead us to wealth & security? What does this say about the level of self-care performed by clergy? What does this say about the level of clergy-care performed by congregations?
Or is it because we help people? Yeah, I’m sure that’s it…