Thursday, February 26, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
It Don't Always Work
*From the 2006 overplayed scambait archives*
There have been many, many times that I was convinced there should be no way -- no possible way -- that as stupid as these Nigerian email scammers are with the replies I send them, they should be able to scam candy corn from a 5 year old.
But once in a while, they ain't quite as dumb as I reckon 'em to be.
In the past month, I've fired back replies to about a dozen. One of them managed to wind up as an eight part episode on this blog.
A few others showed they have a better grasp of the English language than I gave 'em credit for.
For instance, there was Ms. Maureen Serewa (firstname.lastname@example.org), claiming to be a long suffering deaf girl of dead parents who left her an inheritance in Nigeria, and she needed the help of a "compassionate foreigner" to liberate those funds for her. Replying to her initial email titled "Please Can You Help Me???", perhaps I went a bit overboard in my approach:
Why, of course I can, Ms Muh-reen! They don't call me DR. U. R. Phulovit, pHd, for nuthin'. Now just follow these simple instructions, and this will render you instant relief, I am confidently positive:
1. Print this reply
2. Fold it in half
3. Turn around in front of a mirror
4. Drop your drawers...pantaloons...whatever
5. Place this in your backside, sideways
6. Insert with emphasis
7. and email me in the morning
No need to thank me; I'll send you a bill.
AFLAC (see what I just did there?)!
I was almost *shocked* that she didn't bother to reply; then I got to thinking that perhaps she didn't have a mirror to see what I just did there.
Then there was one -- "Baba Davena" -- who claimed to be the "personal treasurer/financier to Mikhail Kohdorkovsky, the Richest man in Russia". Now the Russians are in this gig, too? Of course it would follow (somehow) that a "Russian" following in the Nigerian footsteps would be named "Baba Davena" (email@example.com).
My reply there was calculated to make him ralph his borscht, anyway:
"BABA DAVENA"? MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
*SNORT CHORTLE GUFFAW TITTER ROAR*
That's about as Russian as Zigfeldt Al-Qiri El Diablo Kumquat. Why don't you try this name instead: Mr. Yukin Shovitupyouasski? You funny, funny mans, Baba. Piss poor scammer, but funny mans.
I didn't even get a KGB "thank you for letting us investigate you" note for that piece of brilliant advice. Maybe they weren't as in agreement with my brilliance as I tongue-in-cheek thunk me to be.
Next there was Mrs. Mariam Kone (firstname.lastname@example.org) , who claimed that her late husband of Sierre Leone descent fell to rebels of the Empire of the Pun or some such, and she -- a since-widowed waif -- needed the help of a "sincere, God-fearing person of sterling personal integrity" to obtain her inheritance for her.
Having just concluded a minor tiff over a tongue-in-cheek geography lesson, I felt it only fair to find out how a totally independent, "no dawg in the fight" third party felt about it, too:
Before I consent to your giving me this business so close to your scheming heart, I must ask you one very key question: will you be offended if I make fun of New Mexico? Or for that matter, Iowa? Kansas? Toledo? Newark? Upper Volta?
Your answer to this is most important, Ma'am.
Alas, no reply: guess more than one person took offense.
Finally, there was this most recent offering from -- of all personages -- a princess. Yep, that's right: I was being appealed to by royalty. Princess Sarah Johnson (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) *barely restrained guffaw*, daughter of the late Chief Adam Johnson *snort*, "who lost his life in the course of crisis here in Cote D'ivoire on his way to there company (Nestle Food Plc)"..*died over a crunch bar? Mwhahahahahaha*. And because she was under the age of 22, she needed the help of a "reliable foreign person", and had learned through "internet research" that I was "such a person she could turn to".
Please put on a version of that violin solo from Young Frankenstein! to go along with this.
At any rate, I wanted to impress her with how impressed a country bumpkin like me is, to be contacted by royalty with the genuine effort to give me the royal business. I don't think I succeeded:
Your most Roiledness:
I don't know what ta say hyar; ain't nevr been writ to by a princess afore. It is...so humblin a thang to have happin. My ma always sez ah'd nevr mount to much more than a hoot in a holler, and ah nevr quite knowd what that wuz supposed ta amount to, but ah didn't figger it fer much.
Now, like one a them short fellers from the movie Charcoalrella, ah dun been touched by a real princess. Right proud moment fer me, Ma'am, shore 'nuff. My classmates at Hawggutts High will be eatin' their harts out when they gits a load a dis.
But nuff a that thar...what, malady, can this modest, humble and awsteer subject do on behalf of your Roiledness? Command me hyar, Princess; ah await yer biddin'. Hope it starts at aleast $5. Iffen y'all needs wun, ah knows a auctioneer h'yarbouts what kin flap the lips offa suck-egg mule, shore 'nuff.
An' jest so's ya know: you may be a princess, but ah ain't no frawg. My friens call me "warthawg", but that's better than a frawg.
Guess maybe she was good enough with her cypherin' and wordifying to figger out what it wuz ah dun said hyar. No reply.
Guess my classmates at Hawggutts High won' give a hoot in a holler either, eh?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Someone's Space Dot C'Mawn
You might recognize the photo on the right. Until recently I didn't, though I figured out who she was when watching the movie Charlie Wilson's War. More on that here in a mo'.
Being the kind of character I am -- those of you who think you might know me, no more need be said on that -- I occasionally get interesting requests for 'help' from acquaintances. In the latter stages of '08, one work-place acquaintance asked me to set up a page on one of those networking, immensely-popular web pages for people to post about themselves and meet others.
But not as or about myself: she wanted me to set up a page and impersonate a woman. Why? To see if I could help her draw out a lowlife from her past, and arrange to lead his lowlife self into the hands of authorities that were kind of looking for him back in her hometown in another state (none of which will be named, for obvious reasons). She wanted me to do it, in case he was capable of tracking an IP address, and didn't want him to track back to her.
Don't that beat all.
I was candid with her about the chances of success here: they were less than a progressive demanding a tax cut (the hypocrites just don't pay their taxes, as we've recently seen). But eh...she's a friend, and if I could help lead a lowlife, goat-smelling, egg-sucking moonbat of dubious antecedence to some justice, why not? So I set up the page on the particular site. Made up a name (based on her suggestion of what interested him), used a few of those Russian scamstress photos I have in overabundance, and made up a history for "her", including using some locations from my own past, like my own high school, but of a more recent vintage than when I attended.
I set it up in the late fall, and using the tools of the networking site, sent the cad (who had his own page on the site) an 'invite'. As I warned my friend, it was a long shot. And so it proved: no response from Mr. Lowlife since the page was set up.
But I must say, the emails and other 'hits' the faux page has drawn, have been amusing. Especially the most recent one.
In January, I got an email solicitation from someone on the West Coast, offering my 'character' money to either (a) send him 'her' high school yearbook for keeps or (b) a lesser amount to allow him to copy and return the yearbooks within a week or so. A strange request, to be sure, until I read further into the email. Seems that a currently somewhat-famous Hollywood actress attended the high school that my 'character' had, and graduated about the same time my 'character' did, and he was after all of the yearbooks that she -- the somewhat-famous Hollywood actress -- was in.
Don't that beat all.
It was kind of amusing to learn that I attended the same high school as a currently somewhat-famous Hollywood actress. Granted, I graduated when this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress was...1 year old. But eh...had I managed to milk my basic education a few extra years, I could have graduated with this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress, and had an actual yearbook with someone somewhat-famous in it, that someone else wanted to pay me money for. But I digress delusionally.
Anyway, he wanted to buy my character's yearbook(s), to get all he could on this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress. It was time to hit *delete* and move on. But for those of you who think you know me, you saw this coming.....*TOING*
I had my 'character' reply to this entremanure (or whatever he really was) thus:
I don't know you. I don't know what your intentions are. But (somewhat-famous Hollywood actress) is my friend, and I will NOT exploit her for whatever your purposes are. I will not sell, rent, or anything else our memories, our friendship, and her trust.
It took a couple days, but the solicitor wasn't much impressed with my character's answer to his offer:
Your reply is ridiculous. Your friend has publicists who sell her image for money all the time. Exploit her? You're an idiot.
Don't that beat all.
Well, my character couldn't resist an "Oh, YEAH?" return salvo:
What my friend chooses to do with HER image -- let's be clear on that point, it's HER image, not yours, not mine, but HERS -- is up to HER. Not to some unknown, dubious moron like you. You want her yearbook images so bad, grow some cajones, write to her and ASK HER YOURSELF. And there's nothing idiotic about protecting a friend, except perhaps to you, which doesn't say much for you. But since you're not MY or HER friend, no biggie.
That drew a very short, two word retort, the kind that is indicative of a progressive losing an argument, and having nothing further to offer but the parting insult.
Game, set and match to my character.
Not that this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress will ever know of this exchange, let alone the step taken by a high school alum separated by 17 years to, er, "defend her honor", so to speak. Heck, she might have even chosen to gleefully send this clown her high school yearbooks herself. But that's between her and him, if he ever figures out how to contact and ask her.
At any rate...amongst the chaff and nonsense that clutters the pagewaves of a certain networking space dot com, there rests a profile. A profile of a woman. One with something of a Russian/Irish mix to her name, and a kind of sassy profile with suggestive, if not entirely provocative, pictures.
Don't bother writing to it ;-)