In these disturbing times it’s comforting to know that one has friends who can be relied on to come through when the chips are down. 

 In my case, I know I can depend on a stable of folks who have my best interests high on their minds. My special gratitude goes to the likes of Cephas Agbeh, Ms. Jane Oparah, Mrs. Wright Anderson, and Mrs. Jenan Al-Attiyah.

Poor Mrs. Al-Attiyah has serious problems of her own, so you wonder why she would take time to care about me.

She and the others hang out in the same place – the “spam” file of my cell phone, which I accidentally clicked on the other day and looked at for the first time.

This is how I learned of Mrs. Al-Attiyah’s pathetic situation.

She informs me that her husband, a ranking official in Kuwait, died last year, but not before depositing their life’s savings, $865,000. Now she has cancer and wants to transfer the money to me.

She says this is because of her love for the American people and their good Christian ways – especially, apparently, good Christians named Goldstein. 

There is a catch, though. I get to keep only a little bit. Eighty percent must go to orphans, the disabled, the sick, and the homeless. Bummer. But there’s also good news – the rest is mine, and if I write, she’ll send details.

I am a tad annoyed at Mrs. Al-Attiyah for offering such a pittance: Cephas Agbeh, attorney at law, has sent me a “Notification of Importance” with information that a deceased client of his “has the same surname with you” and has earmarked for me a fund valued at $19.9 million. A return contact is all that’s necessary.  

Mrs. Wright Anderson offers a tempting but confusing deal, and she is quite impressive: She’s “with the department of audit and accounting manager here in the bank of Africa.” Mrs. Anderson writes that “There is this fund that was keep in my custody years ago and I need your assistance for the transferring of this fund to your bank account for both of us.” She tells me the amount is “US $18,500 Million Dollars.” 

 Not a bad deal, if I can just figure out her math – but Ms. Jane Oparah’s offer is also substantial and requires less wrangling with a calculator.

She is “chief accountant at a reputable securities company” in the United Kingdom and is at a loss for what to do with some $330 million left unclaimed by a client who died in a plane crash. Ms. Oparah wants me to be part of this money’s future.

She writes, “I notice from all the documents that she did not include any next of kin in her funds deposit.” I am seriously mulling this one over –   I need only send her my name and phone number – because she promises: “Be rest assured that this Business is 100% risk free.” 

Considering her fascinating use of English and her guarantee that this is a no-risk proposition, what could possibly go wrong?

Gerry Goldstein ( is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist.

Gerry Goldstein

Gerry Goldstein, an occasional contributor to What's Up, is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist who has been writing for Rhode Island newspapers and magazines for 60 years