Hooray! I’ve won $2.5 million … not

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

That whole sporting thingamajig going on over in South Africa, where they are playing that game I like to call soccer, seems to be causing all sorts of excitement.

Last week was a stunner with the score-levelling goal that made 4 million Kiwi hearts swell with pride, but this week our boys in white did what many thought wasn’t possible: they kept a lid on the reigning champs, Italy.

At the conclusion of the game, during the wee small hours of Monday morning, there were lots of excited people making lots of excited comments on Facebook, Twitter and the Trade Me message board. In fact, I’m sure I could hear the hubby of our very own Uptown Girl Sarah McCarthy squealing like a 6-year-old girl in a Barbie doll factory.

But beware my little web-surfing soccer fans, there’s a nasty scam doing the rounds on the back of the World Cup.

Symantec’s researchers say the scam claims to have been sent by the promotions manager of the South Africa World Cup Lottery 2010. Because he or she just happened to have your email address, right?

Recipients are told by attachment that their email address has been randomly selected by a specially designed computer program and that they have won US$2.5 million.

Then there’s all the guff about the lottery being sponsored by the South African Football Association, just to make it look more legitimate.

The fact that this news of a prize claim from the South Africa World Cup Lottery actually features the logo of the United Kingdom National Lottery should ring some alarm bells, so don’t fall for it.

There’s about as much chance of you getting any cash as there is of a politician paying for his own porn.

And on the subject of that, don’t forget that you can have a shot at checking out who’s been spending what and flagging anything you think looks a bit dodgy.

Yes gentle reader, you can go over some of the thousands of pages of expenses info released by the Internal Affairs Department and flag any you think warrant a closer look and an explanation.

Check it out online: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3811479/Help-keep-the-politicians-honest

You know, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to come up with exciting things to buy with my company credit card but have come to the conclusion that I’ll never be as good at it as our politicians, so I won’t even try.

The closest I’ve come to exciting and extravagant purchases was the two rolls of brown paper and packing tape I bought a few months ago: exciting because it involved packages in plain brown wrappers and extravagant because I upgraded and bought the wider packing tape.

However, it’s probably a little less exciting if I own up to the packages in question being books that are posted out to our book reviewers.

The biggest question I have after all these revelations about the dodgy spending habits of our elected representatives is why any of them would want to charge porn movies to their ministerial credit cards when there’s so much of it on the internet. And it’s free.


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