The Letter of Dread in China

If you think it is all fun and joy being a corrupt Chinese official with all the money to spend on women, food and wine, think again!  One of these days, you may just receive a letter like this one right out of the blue:

[in translation]

Elder Brother:

How are you?  This unexpected letter will probably surprise you.  I thought about calling you, but that might be inconvenient.  I used to work at a hotel in your town and my real name is XX.  You must remember me.  Since we parted the last time, I have worked in several other places.  During this time, I worked at a certain hotel in Hebei.  But they were cracking down on the 3P girls, so I got laid off and I had no recourse.  Several days ago, there were some family problems, so I need money urgently.  I thought it over for several nights, and I decided to contact you.  You said that you would help me if I ever encountered any hardship.

This time, I would like you to lend me 2,000 yuan.  I will definitely repay the money to you.  I will thank you forever.  If I ever have the opportunity, I will repay you.  I promise to pay you back in the middle of August.  I hope that you can send me the money seven days after you receive this letter.  If it were not for what we shared together before, I would not dare to ask you.  If you cannot even do something as trivial as this for me, then this 3P girl will be quite disappointed and be capable of doing anything.  I will come to your work unit and ask you for the loan.  Frankly, if I call your office or your home, or send in a letter of complaint to the disciplinary office in your locale, our affair would be all over the town within one day.  You won't be able to lift up your head at your office or home.  I don't think that you want something like this to ruin your personal life, your career as well as the happiness of your family.

Due to time constraints, I will stop here.  I await the good news from you.  I hope that your work goes well.

Please send the money to Hebei Province Yingtai City People's Development Bank Account Number 436742023088051546 for recipient XX.

And this is obviously the first of many more letters to come ... you reap what you sow ... and by the tenth letter, you may be ready either to get down on your knees to beg for mercy or to hire a professional assassin ...