Even thought it was clear this message was the lead-in to a swindle of some kind, I had to pause and admire the craft that went into its composition. Like everyone else, I get scam text come-ons pretty frequently, and they’re always poorly pitched and low-energy. In contrast, this text opened up a rich world, animated by detail and alive with mystery. I didn’t care about packages missing their intended destinations, or Bitcoin investing advice, or whatever scammers usually texted me about, but I was interested in Tony: How many charity galas did he go to, anyway? And why hadn’t he seen his/my unknown interlocutor in such a long time? Before I reported the number to WhatsApp, I took a screenshot of the message to better remember it.[…]
There’s something to be written about here, Mark texted. What is the deal with these texts? Why do they sound like that? Who is sending them?
I rarely get spam messages, and I’ve never seen messages like these before. There is some real craft going on here, even if the goal is malicious. I have to admire the thought that goes into these.