Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pound This


Yeah, I know. Tacky photo. Even tackier, my using it thus.
But we already know that about me.
Scammers are still learning.
On August 11, I was advised that my beyond fabulous luck with online promotions and lotteries was continuing apace, as I received this gem from the Camelot Group Lottery:
Subj: Ref NO: UKL/74-A0802742010
Your EMAIL-ID has won you 891,934 pounds from the Camelot Group Lottery. Fill the below BIODATA'S.
So what the heck...I did, as my tacky ol' character, Jack N. Ewehoff.
And then I waited. A day. A week. Two days short of two full weeks. And finally:
Camelot Customer Services
ATTN: Jack N. Ewehoff,
This is to inform you that you cheque has been approved for claims, you are to Contact the dispatch officer of the Universal-Air-Couriers. for the delivery of your cheque.By sending your correct Biodata's for Verficiation of delivery. Phone now 44-701-004-0542 Mr. John White Email: universalaircourierslmtd@gmail.com
You are to keep us fully inform of all development.
Best wishes,
Mr. Mark Cole
44-701-004-1179
My response was succinct:
Bloody took you long enough! Freakin' cheque probably has mold on it.
No note was apparently taken of this, by either Camelot, Maid Marian, or the Universal Air Couriers:
Universal Air Courier
Walkers Snack Foods Bursom Road
Beaumont Leys Leicester LE4 1BS UK
Telephone 44-703-595-8761
ATTN: Jack N. Ewehoff
CHOOSE FROM DELIVERY OPTION.
Welcome to Universal Air Courier. We have the honors; most humbly and respectuflly congratulates you on your whinings (they ain't heard my whinings, as yet). This is to formerly and officiolly inform you that we are possessed of your winning draft of Eight Hundred Ninety One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty four Great British Pounds, winning certificate and the fund release order from Camelot Group Lottery 2010.
Furthermove you can now pick up from option open to you: The option together with their associate condition are present bellow:
They go on to give me three delivery options, costing between.....*drum roll*.....430 and 570 GBP. They go onto 'splain why I must choose thus:
Your whining prize is protect by hardcover insurance poly which make it impossible to deduct any amount from the money before it is remit to you. This mean that the above charges is not taken from your price and hence must be provide by you before you price is send. You must agree to Universal Air Courier sipulation and company policy for you funds to be scent. This mean you pay the flight charge to us before we ship of your price to you. Threefore you make choice of option you best fit and notify us accorance.
Mr. John White
Dispatch Officer
Universal Air Courier
Dumbed-down education must be affecting Her Majesty's public school system, too; otherwise, I'd demeaningly think that I was not communicating with a Brit, but a Third World scammer, from the text above.
But we've already established I'm tacky, so who cares what y'all think of my denigration of scammers, wheresofromever they be? In any event, simple minds require simple answers:
Universal Airhead Couriers: in accorance with Cameltwat Grope Lottery and your computer's dysfunctional grammar-check, I am choosing -- because I am now rich, and can afford to be frivolous -- Option 1. Lay some bad wiring instructions on me, Maestro.
And again -- without paying any mind to my irreverent Colonial slaughtering of the language -- Universal doth sendeth me thine wiring instructions...with some interesting changes in things like their address, my chosen option, etc:
Jack N. Ewehoff, you are to wire the 570 GBP from your chose Option 3 *TOING* via the MoneyGram service as I now instruct:
Mrs Carol Gibs
Account Officer
Universal Air Couriers Limited
Emlyn Street
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 1QS UK
When you have done this you then are send us the scanned copy of receipt and the money transfer control number in email. We then send you cheque when we have all verfieid.
Mr. John White
Dispatch Officer
Universal Air Courier
Unit 4 Delta Way Thorpe Industrial Estate
EghamSurrey TW20 8RX UK
Alrighty then.
Now we arrive at Monday, August 30. An email is enroute to both Cameltwat Group Lottery AND Universal Air Couriers (very) Limited. An email asserting that (a) the wire transfer is done and (b) a scanned copy of the receipt is to follow.
And now you know the meaning of the photo at the beginning.
Yes, I know: tacky. But we already knowd that about me.
The scammers are still learning. Especially the one purportedly at Universal Air Courier:
jack what is meaning of this emal? do you think to play jest here?
Uh...why no:
Uh...why no. That is, indisputably, 570 pounds, in that picture. Without question. Absolutely no doubt. And my sources tell me this couple is from the UK, so there is absolutely no doubt, beyond question, that this is 570 Great British Pounds.
My end of the deal is fulfilled. Now it's your turn.
The silence was deafening.
Yes, I know: I'm tacky. But you already knowd that.
A couple more scammers are getting it now, too.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

How Not To Playensee Vell Mid Others


If you're wondering why I chose THIS picture for this entry, just look closely at the length of Eye-gor's finger, and remember it as you read on.
It's been a busy schedule at work and on the scamming front, so I thought I'd grab this one-shot scammer from the fresh archives and show how I can be accused of...well...just not playing well with others.
Read carefully this poignant, moving missive from Aziz Abbas, a needy Saudi Arabian who inadvertently wound up with probably the one person in the whole wide cyberworld, he least wanted:
DEAR FRIEND, MY NAME IS MR. AZIZ ABBAS. I AM 59 YEARS OLD MAN (the importance of this point will not be forthcoming herein). I AM FROM SAUDI ARABIA BUT RESIDENT IN DUBAI-UNITED ARAB EMIRATE FOR THE PAST 25 YEAR. I AM MARRIED WITH TWO CHILDREN (I've heard that about that particular faith, but I digress and he goes on) MY FAMILY DIE IN CAR ACCIDENT TWO YEAR AGO WHILE ON HOLIDAY IN THE EGYPT (note: avoid The Egypt on holiday). SINCE I HAVE NO CHILDREN OF MY OWN AND IMMEDIATE RELATIVE, I DECIDED TO ASK FOR YOUR HELP IN THIS PROJECT. I HAVE BEEN HELPING ORHANPS AND CHILDRAN IN ORHANPS HOMES BY DONATING MONEY (you can help them best by donating some spellcheck programs). BUT NOW I AM RECEIVE INTENSIVE TREATMENT IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IN SPAIN (gets around, don' he?).
MY DOCTORS TELL ME I HAVE CANCER OF THE RECTAL AND THAT I HAVE TWO MONTHS TO LIVE (that's a really gnarly place to get cancer, dude) SO BEFORE I CAME TO ILL I SAVED SOME MONEY (US $5MILLION) FROM THE SALES OF MY REAL ESTATES, GULF COURSE (a gulf course? I wonder if all the birdies he shoots are gulls...*ducking boos and throwd gulf gloves*) AND FROM INHERENCE I RECEIVE FROM MY PARENTS DIED. THE FUNDS SINCE HAVE BEEN DEPOSED IN CASH CONSIGNMENT VOLTS (shocking...*ducking some more*) WITH A TRUST FINANCE COMPANY IN SPAIN (don't tell me, let me guess...they can't save you, but they can save your money...?).
PLEASE, I BEG YOU IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH *toing* TO HELP ME COLLECT THESE CASH BY NOMINATING YOU AS MY PARTNER AND THE NEW BENEFICIARY. AFTER THE COLLECTION OF THIS CASH YOU WILL NOW HELP ME TO DONATE THESE FUNDS TO CHARITY/ORHANPSAGE (seriously, dude, WTF?) HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES, EURPOE, ASIA AND AFRICAN. THIS WILL MAKE MY LIFE A DREAM WHEN I REST WITH THE ALLAH SOON (Allah is gay?). THE WORD OF ALLAH SAYS WHAT IT SHALL PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL (about as much as it profits him by strapping on explosives and blowing hisself up, I reckon). THIS IS THE SWEAT OF MY LABOUR AND THE STRUGGLE OF MY LIFE (uh huh....*yawn*).
I BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED AFTER SERIES OF PRAYERS (seriously laughing my ass off) AND FOR HUMANITY SAKE I AUTHORISE YOU TO TAKE 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOU IF YOU HELP ME TOUCH MANY LIFES AROUND THE WORLD (all together now......awwwwwwwwwwwww). I NEED YOUR HELP AS I HAVE NO IMMEDIATE RELATIVE I CAN ENTRUST THIS PROJECT WITH (they're all blowing themselves up along with fly-infested markets in assorted Mideast countries). I KNOW YOU WILL BE SUPRISE TO THIS PROPOSAL AS I DO NOT KNOW YOU BUT DESPIRATE PROBLEM DESERVES DESIPRATE SOLUTION THUS I GET YOUR CONTACT FROM INTERNET (and in his prayers, apparently Allah didn't warn him about infidels like moi...).
I NKOW THERE ARE LOTS OF ILLEGAL THINGS GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD AND IN THE INTERNET *TOING* BUT THIS IS FAR FROM ON AS THIS IS JUST A LEGITIMATE AND REAL PLEAD FOR HELP MAY THE GOOD ALMIGHTY ALLAH BLESS YOU.
With a satchel charge, I'm sure.
Of course, my very infidelish asides above, I am touched that Mr. Abbas sought me out. Though, he didn't really seek ME out; he sought out one of my friends, who doubled Mr. Abbas' mistake by forwarding his quest for help (to someone's wallet) to me. And readers herein all know how well I play with others.
So, I had Dr. Jack N. Ewehoff, pHd, resident proctologist from the University of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, probe into a suitable response:
Bitte, Mein Herr Abbas,
Permitten me to introduze mein selfen: I am Doktor Jack N. Ewehoff, pHd, proctologist undt lookenspeepers midde University of Vaduz, in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Ist vunderbar here abouten, but I digrezzen.
A friend forwart das email you zent him, undt after readingk it, he mediately zhought of me az das perzon besten ablen to vorken das medical spitzen schparken on das problem you ist havingk. Undt midde further examination undt lookenzee, I am of das opinion zat I have, iffen not das curen fer das affliction, I have das antwort fer das futuren outbreaken undt infestations midde itchen undt scratchen undt schtuff.
Das problem az I seez it from das available evidence: your canzeresque tendenzies come abooten becausen of your preoccupashun undt unhealthy practicez mid poking goats undt camels mid your inzerten-dorken. Das ist das problem, ja! Butten-boinken das domeztic animalz ist both unclean undt a very zick practice, ja. Not to menshun, it overpopulatens das Goat undt Camel Rape Criziz Zenter in your neck of das voods, ja. Du ist zick perverten, du ist.
Az fer askingk fer das helpen from das Allan person, forgetten das schiesse: vhat gudt vill a diety zhat anzwerz prayerz midde strappingk das satchel chargen on du, undt zending du out to blowenzee uppen das fly-invested market placen undt schtuff, midde *POOFEN* undt spitzen-schrapnelen every vhich vay?
I vould zuggest dat you zimply cut offen your inzerten-dorken, undt join das convent. Midde robez undt habit, dey vill never knowenzee.
Mine first email diagnoziz ist free. Das next vun vill cost muchen Euros. I prefer cashen, ja.
Awpeterstain,
Dr. Jack N. Ewehoff
Qvestions aboot mine playingk vell midde udders, ja? Herr Abbas apparently had none more...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

419 Scams: The Frop Side

*A hectic week hereabouts, so here's another from the blog archives in early 2006; 'twas a busy time, indeed*

In the words of a former coworker, sometimes I'm just too cheeky. Not all scammers are as boneheaded as the average ones I engage.

Here's a scam letter I received in the midst of my run with Mary Walker et al:

FROM THE DESK OF MR. JAMES O. OBI:
(BRANCH MANAGER)
CITIBANK GROUP OF LAGOS
2 MARINA STREET LAGOS, NIGERIA

STRICTLY CONFIDENCIAL

DEAR: BEFORE I START, I MUST FIRST APOLOGIZE FOR THIS UNSOLICITED MAIL TO YOU.I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS CERTANLY AN UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH TO STARTING A RELATIONSHIP, BUT AS TIME GOES ON YOU WILL REALIZE THE NEED FOR MY ACTION (trust me, bucko, I realize the need for your action right off...but I digress).

MY NAME IS MR. JAME O. OBI, ONE OF THE BRANCH MANAGER OF NILL BANK NIGERIA PLC. TO MRS. JOAN MELISSA, A CITIZEN OF YOUR COUNTRY, WHO WORKED WITH AN OIL COMPANY IN NIGERIA, HEREINAFTER REFERRED AS TO MY CLIENT. ON THE 21ST OF APRIL 2001, MY CLIENT AND HER FOUR CHILDREN WERE INVOLVED IN GHASTLY MOTOR ACCIDENT ALONG SAGAMU EXPRESS ROAD (they collided with a motor?).

MY CLIENT AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY WERE MOST UNFORTUNATE IN LOST OF THEIR LIVES. SINCE THEN I HAVE MADE SERVERAL ENQUIRIES TO YOUR EMBASSY TO LOCATE ANY OF MY CLIENTS EXTENDED RELATIVES (sounds like they might have been extended all over the highway...yuck). MY EFFORTS PROVED ABORTIVE AFTER UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS (I believe you said that, Dr.).

MY MAIN REASON FOR CONTACTING YOU IS TO ASK YOU ASSIST ME IN REPATRIATING THE MONEY AND PROPERTY LEFT BEHIND BY MY CLIENT BEFORE THEY ARE CONFISCATED BY MY BANK WHERE THEY ARE DEPOSITED, WHERE THE DESEASED HAS A FIXED SUM OF USD$18M. THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT OF MY BANK HAS ISSUED ME A FINAL NOTICE TO PROVIDE THE NEXT OF KIN OF MY CLIENT OR THEY WILL BE LEFT WITH NO OTHER CHOICE THAN CONFISCATE HER FUNDS.

I AM UNSUCCESSFUL THE PAST TWO YEARS, NOW I SEEK YOUR CONSENT TO PRESENT YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN OF MY CLIENT SO THAT THE SAID FUNDS AS STATED ABOVE CAN BE PAID TO YOU INSTEAD OF THE BANK SEIZURE.

NOW THIS IS BEETWING (it's what?) YOU ME AND OUT OF MY GOOD MIND I AM GIVING YOU 30% OF THE TOTAL SUM, AND I KEEP 55%. THE OTHER 15% IS FOR EXPENSES THAT ARISE DURING TRANSACTION.

ALL THE NECESSARY LEGAL DOCUMENTS NEED FOR THIS CLAIM ARE UNDER MY CARE (that's comforting), ALL I REQUIRE IS YOUR HONEST COOPERATION TO ENABLE US SEE THIS ARRANGEMENT THROUGH I GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL BE EXECUTED UNDER LEGITIMATE ARRANGEMENT THAT WILL PROTECT YOU AND ME FROM ANY BREACH OF THE LAW.DO REPLY ME VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS WHIT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
JAMESWEST@TAKEMAIL.COM

1. YOUR FULL NAME AND CONTACT ADDRESS
2. YOUR PERSONAL PHONE AND FAX NUMBER

ONCE YOU INDICATE YOUR INTREST IN THIS BUSINESS I WILL SEND YOU A COPY OF MY INTERNAL PASSPORT (just what I need, a copy of the papers that allow his bowels to pass stuff through...) AND A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF MY HUMBLE SELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW WHOM YOU ARE DEALINGN WHIT, WIATING TO HERE FROM YOU.

Not having used the guise I 'borrowed' from another 419 scammer for a spell -- Masato Chan, Esq., complete with photo ID and passport -- I decided it was time to don my worst Peter-Sellers-as-Inspector-Sidney-Wang imitation, and give it a go:

Dear Obi-san Ken not him:

I have honor to be Mr. Masato Chan, Esquire, a Chinese citizen currentry working in Itary on exchange program. I find your emair in my work inbox. After I read, I remove it from box since you say strict confidentiarity most necessary. I find most interesting your offer to give me business. But, I must return to China in a few months; untir then, I rearn from capitarists some of usefur art of prumbing business here in Itary, that I can take home for use in my home town of Fukyoon-duk.

I have no home phone; I stay in boarding house arranged by my emproyer. But if you need get reach of me, you phone me at work: 39 0364 880 447. There is fax number there arso, but it work fax, and I no can promise confidentiarity if you send fax.

Prease to ret me know what you need from me, Obi-san, and I assist you best I can so make it possibre to accomprish your business effort to me. When you send me your passport as proof of dubious antecedence, I send you mine in token of good faith, as I know you give me good business, yes?

I am most preased you seek to most wirringry to take of me most honorabre advantage, Obi-san.

I await your forrow-up.

Masato Chan, Esq.

(then came the business header I borrowed from a plumbing supply place listed in a town in Italy):

Rega Zeti Plumbing Suppliers
Pisogne, Italy
"Rigitoni Amour Abondanza Fungula!"

I think a loose English translation of that last is "pasta loves to be abundantly f...er..screwed".

I think.

Sadry, no repry...reply came back. Too bad, too: on this one, I might have been tempted to have actual speaks with Obi-san on a phone; I actually do a fair Inspector Wang imitation, comprete with my old high schoor Engrish teacher in background, doing her best to imitate character Lionel Twain (Truman Capote in the movie) screaming "SAY YOUR GODDAMN PRONOUNS!".

I drove my Spanish teacher nuts, too. Boneless nachos.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Credit ABOUNDS!!!

A "credit crisis"? Who says?

Well, maybe some naysayers and doomsday fatalists are suggesting there's one, but phfffft on them. I got credit.

And I didn't even have to look for it. It came to me.

In an email. How easy can it get?

With the title Apply NOW! here is my email proof that the credit market is alive and vibrant:

Arrangments to Borrow up to $50,000,000* Flexible loan terms and conditions* Interest rates as low as 3%* Choose between 1 to 35 years repayment period requirement*

There then followed a loan application that required as little as name, amount needed, loan duration, monthly income, purpose of loan, residential address, country of resident, age, marital status, nationality, home phone, cell phone, and whether or not into sex with bovines.

Okay, so it didn't really ask that last question, but I did neglect to read the fine print for confirmation on that point.

At any rate, there it is. So simple. So direct. So much money to lend, so little interest to require. And the company of this credit largess? Global Springer Link Finance Investments. My benefactor: Mr. Mike Spencer.

I am soooooo blessed to have so many wonderful persons of the (Third) world wish to give me the business (a little 'Net research on the company revealed a treasure trove of duped and near-duped persons).

So I responded, in typical Jack N. Ewehoff fashion, with all the required information that is as real as this offer. You'll imagine my genuine surprise and enthusiasm, when I saw how easily I was accepted for a loan:

Applicant: YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED! Here is your acceptance information:

Loan Balance: $250,000
Adjusted Loan Balance: $250,000
Loan Interest Rate: 3.00%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 20 years
Minimum Payment: $0.00
Monthly Loan Payment: $1,386.49
Number of Payments: 241
Cumulative Payments: $332,758.91
Total Interest Paid: $82,758.91
Note: the monthly loan payment was calculated at 240 payments of 1,386.49 plus a final payment of $1.31

NOTE: If the above information is not understandable or satisfactory to you, do write back for more detailed information as your satisfaction is our delight (LMAO). Finally, if the terms of service cannot be met by you, you can send us a letter of Disclaimer stating that you do not wish to continue the transaction. Will which to notify you that your mail containing the filled information was received by this department. In order to seal up the transaction our terms of service which are widely stated below must be agreed upon before any further step can be taken in this loan contract.

Terms And Conditions
(1) For security reasons, This Company has an Insurance Registration Cover (*TOING*) incase of future loss/death occurence by both parties. So the loan will be insured/registered under the stipulated law Before Transfer.
(2) The stated sum of money due for loaning must be paid back within a minimum period of (20 yrs).
(3) In the course of the loan term duration, a constant monthly payment will be paid for a period of (20 yrs) two months after the loan have been confirmed available to the beneficiary designated account.
(4) Late payment of monthys installments has a pentaly of 2% increase.
(5) The above Terms and condition should be accepted by your before we move on with the loan transfer.

Well, cricket crap...what's a feller to do with such terms and conditions? Why, email acceptance, of course:

I have read all conditions and requirements herein and herethroughout as applicant, and I am favorably disposed to the business you propose to subject me to as stated herein, herethroughout, and thus stipulated.

I have the honor to be, Jack N. Ewehoff
Loanee-designate

No application fees. No loan fees. No muss, no fuss. Freddie Mae and Fanny Mac, are you crooked, corrupt, bankrupt organizations, readin' this h'yar?

And within 12 hours of my sending the above affirmation to the fine folks at Global Springer Link Finance Investments, I received this eagerly anticipated *TOING* that addresses how there is a $600 insurance fee for the loan, and how the fee is equally split between (a) the lender and (b) the receiver. So, for a mere $300, I am getting a $250k loan at 3%, right?

Uh...well, not according to what Mr. Spencer writ: owing to this, you are expected to only pay the sum of $300 USD which is half of the insurance cover, while we shall cover the other half. Your loan request entitlement ($30,000USD) *lock up the brakes, screech the tires, skid off to the side, and WHOAAAA, MOHAMMAD!*

Mr. Spencer must be so busy, loaning out 1k to 50 Mil at interest rates of 3%, that he's confusing us loanees. But ol' Jack'll fix that:

Okay, I understand the insurance fee ploy and such. This I understand only too well. HOWSOMUCHEVER...you seem to have had a sudden catastrophic drop in the value of the dollars you is gonna loan me, 'cuz in the terms you sent me, I was receiving a 250k USD loan; and here, you shrunk the kids to only a 30k loan.

Was that there a typo, or did I just miss something really BIG and IMPO'TENT h'yar? I so crave indulgence.

My prompt inquiry was equally prompt to draw a corrective reply, without so much of a *WTF* at the tone of my inquiry:

Mr. Jack Ewehoff,
Thanks very much for your mail and thanks very much for looking very closely to the mail and found out that error and Iam sorry to inform you that it was a typogaphical error from our Typist in the office.

He goes on with four rather droll paragraphs of legal and fiscal-sounding gobbledygook, and then gets down to where I am to send the $300 USD and how:

You are to pay for the insurance cover (fees) through Western Union Money Tranfer in the coordinates of the below stated Receiving Insurance Officer:

Elizabeth Crowford
25 Knapmill Road
London SE6 3TA UK

He concludes with his own 'address', listed as Canary Wharf, London E14 4DY.

Canary Wharf? Bloody hell 'n haggis!

Chuckling at the addresses, Jack made it sound like all was on cue:

I am pleased to have clarified the precipitious drop in the dollar, and have things back in sync. Don't cane the clerk in your office; I am sure she is just overworked from all the loan applications an operation like yours MUST be inundated with.

I will attend to the fee payment requirements and coordinates on Monday, August 16. By your reckoning, that will have the $250k cheque delivered unto me by weeks' end, God willing and the Atlantic don't rise. I look forward to getting the business from you, and I am sure you'll likewise.

We are soooo hitting it off here, I think the seeds of something that smells like kimshi is flourishing here:

Thanks very much for your mail and understanding, we advise you to get back to us with an exalt date from next week to make the payment. Once you make the payment of your own part of the payment to the insurance company your loan request entitlement will be ready for transfer into your nominated account with 48 hours of the conclusion of the insurance process.

Nominated bank account? I don't recollect nominating a bank account:

Mr. Suspenser, what "nominated bank account"? I haven't done that. I was thinking that you'd send me a certified cheque (I spelled it the Eurocentric way, so's there'd be no confusion). Clarify please.

Mr. Ewehoff, due to size of amounts of entitlements we dispense it is customary and required of law that we do not deal in certified cheques. If you have not nominated a designated account to receive this entitlement upon transfer, it is now that you will need to do this at once, to forestop any delay.

"Forestop any delay"???

Heaven and the Queen will have nothing to do with forestoppage. Let me send you the account I am now hereby nominating as the next bank account of Jack N. Ewehoff, to receive entitlements from your esteemed organization (and I resorted to an old one from an '07 scambait, the bank being the First Astral Savings And Loan, located in the Third Astral Plane, with interdimensional ATMs wherever angels fear and not to tread, and since they're winged, they don't have to in either case).

Then came Monday, August 16, 2010. Time for Western Union, Jack N. Ewehoff's style, with newly-made up receipt. But first, the 'bait':

Mr. Spencer for Hire, the insurance fee has been dispatched, just as you instructed. I shall eagerly anticipate the next 48 hours to receive my entitlement.

Kindly send to us a scanned copy of the payment slip given to you at the Western Union office for verifiable. Your prompt response is highly needed.

*snort*

And my prompt response you shall highly have. Attached is the wu receipt as you so highly needed. I note they've changed the appearance of the receipt. I rather like it. What say you?

It took a few hours, but I will take this reply as a strong *thumbs down* on the newly-designed receipt:

this is no reel wu receet. u are not to contact us no more.

Dang, and I was so looking forward to renovating the pteryducktal coop.

Well, credit *used to* abound.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So Nyerere Yet So Far -- Epilogue

*The thrilling concrusion to a '07 scambait that took three times before the scammer finally gave up on emailing me*

After a couple days to stew about Masato's non-appearance in Johannesburg -- and Masato's belated and rather unique expranation for the whyfer -- George is understandably irritated. For convenience, I have separated his irritated reply, paragraph by paragraph, and replied to it accordingly, just as I sent it to him:

Message Header: Not Happy With You

Masato I am very disappointed in you for making me a stupid before my lawyer and the security company. How do you expected me to feel after all arrangement and preparation of concluding the transaction with you? Long awaiting hours at the airport for over 8 hours without your arrival?
-----------------------------
I wourd agree, Mr. George: if I were you, I wourd feer stupid too. You wait 8 hour? That was stupid, Mr. George. If my fright show up and I not, I wourd have reft immediatery.

If you miss your flight, while didn't you make alternative arrangement to get another flight to Johannesburg? Or call me from the airport to inform me of your missed flight?
-----------------------------
If you read my message crosery, you note I didn't make it to airport for fright. So why I carr you from airport I not at? Prease exprain.

At list from airport you company is no longer monitoring your way about or even write to me from the airport because I know you can find internet in the airport. How do you think I will buy this story of missing your flight and so fort?
-----------------------------
Herro? Is this interrigent rife I am having speaks with? Didn't I just say I no at airport? Didn't my expranation say I no at airport? Herroooo? As for rest, I no ask you buy a story or a fort; where does fort come into this, prease? I simpry terr you what happened the way it happen. If you want to buy story, I can charge you reasonabre fee for it. That's business you in, right?

Anyway I discus your mail with my lawyer and he want discus with you in person. He is a busy man and don't have time to write to you so he request you send us any alternative phone number so he can have a serious discussion with you today. Call him with this number urgently +27 73 445 3553 Barrister Fred Williams, if you are serious and willing to be part of this transaction.
-----------------------------
Ah, finarry, you name bannister. Fred Wirriams? Okay, I know of him from rast time.

Tell him when soon you will be here; also he complained that your passport has expired according to the date on it so how do you intend to travel with expired passport? Explain this?
-----------------------------
Oh, that easy to exprain; I send you copy of wrong passport by mistake. I have varid passport. Rearry.

I wait your immediate response and bear it in mind that your flight disappointment nearly jeopardized my lifetime fortune.
-----------------------------
(now it's time to lower the boom)
Oh hawgwarsh, George. You so furr of sh** on that point.

But it is time to tell it like it is, George-o: I am not Masato Chan. Masato Chan -- if he exists at all -- is an email scammer from Hong Kong, who tried to scam me back in 2002. He sent me a copy of his alleged passport, so I have occasion to use it when I'm contacted by someone like you and your cheeseball bannister Fred.

You see, George...I am really U. R. Phulovit. That's right...you know that name. You contacted me in June with this scam, and I made you, your bank, and your bannister look stupid then. A week after that wrapped up, you stupidly contacted me again on the same email address, and let me make you and that idiot Fred wait at the airport for five hours, holding a sign that said "U. R. Phulovit", never realizing what you were telling other passengers and employees at the airport. After that, you told me never to write to you again. So I wrote to you as Masato Chan the same day...and you took the bait like a sucker takes a doughball. Once, twice...three times a mugu, George.

George, you ARE stupid, so it shouldn't upset you that you were made to look as you appear to those around you on a regular basis. In fact, I bet that if I write to you again in a different guise, you'll try the same stupid scam on me yet again. And again, you'll wind up the public mugu. You really ARE that stupid.

Finally, George, it's not merely your bannister, your made-up security company, and those who already know the obvious that you look stupid in front of; anyone who reads my scambaiting blog has the opportunity to read about ALL THREE OF THESE SCAM ATTEMPTS OF YOURS, so anyone world-wide now knows you're a pathetic, second-rate scammer, and a really STUPID ONE at that. Congratulations on helping me to prove that not just once...not just twice...but thrice.

I rearry have fun at your expense, George. Maybe in next exercise I write as German? Bitte, Herr Nyerere, awpeterstain das dumpkopf!

Usually, that kind of retort draws either a short obscenity-laced response, or more usually, dead silence. But this time, George salutes his mocker:

Message Header: You are good
Thanks for making me a stupid. it makes the world goes round funny isn't it?

Yeah, George...what he said.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

So Nyerere Yet So Far -- III

The reason for this particular accompanying photo will be explained in due course, I assure you.

Resuming where we left off, I...er...Masato has let George and his unnamed lawyer off the hook on the racial issue. Now George responds to my questions about the airport and cash or cheque:

There is only one international airport in Johannesburg. To pick you up at the airport my laywer will make proper arrangements for that, since we have your passport, we will write your name on a billboard and display it on the arrival entrance were you can see your name written boldly on it (oh, how I wish Masato Chan had had a more imaginative name...).

Before you leave your country please write me what you will wear and the colours so we can more easily know you. Just look around for any billboard with your name when you leave the plane and we will be there waiting.

Please come with cash, it is easier and saves time.

So it does. And so I'll agree:

Okay, I bring onry cash, since this easier for you. I pran to wear suit that I wear in my passport photo, so I rook just rike photo in rear rife. I pretty prain rooking, actuariry. And I have fright information for you by this Thursday at the ratest.

I rook forward to meet you and your rawyer. You must know the good prans I have for my part of the fund you offer me. I have two rocar charities I pran to give generousry to, incruding my rocar house of geisha. They thank you in advance.

A couple days pass, and now it's Thursday, August 9, and time for Masato to make with an itinerary:

Frying to South Africa is most expensive! But for what I get for making trip I guess it worht the expense. Here is my itinerary:

Sunday August 12
Depart San Francisco on Derta Fright 414 to NYC JFK airport at 10:45pm
Monday August 13
Depart NYC JFK airport on South African Airways Fright 204 to Johannesburg at 5:30pm; after one stop, arrive Johannesburg on Tuesday, August 14, at 4:45pm

Itinerary say totar fright rast about 33 hours, and cost $9415 USD, round trip.

My return fright is on Thursday, August 16, aboard South African Airways Fright 207, reaving earry afternoon.

Because of amount of money I am to carry on prane, I am deciding to put money in my checked ruggage, so I not worry about rots of money having to exprain going through security in USA. So after I find your birrboard with my name, we go to ruggage pick up to correct my bag.

I rook forward to meeting you, Mr. George.

George decides that things are going so well -- aka, I'm such a gullible sot -- that he's going to spread the largess around amongst some of his 'friends':

Thanks for your update, I will be waiting to see you soon and will make a reservation today and have it ready for you.

I have a pastor friend who has been praying for me to have successful transaction (probably an atheist) with you and if you don't mind I will like you to buy him a gift like watch or a good hand set that I will give him to show appreciation. It is not a must, if you can't afford it, but would make nice appearance if you can.

Let's push my ruck a rittle here:

Your pasture needs a good hand set? What happened to his, prease? Oh, this is dreadfur. I have no idea how to buy him set of hands; if you do, I give you some money when I arrive and you buy him set. Make sure they fit. Is $500 enough?

George doesn't seem to notice what I wrote, only the amount of money I offered. And with that, he goes one more:

You are most generous, my pastor will appreciate it. If it is okay, my lawyer work very hard on this deal, so maybe you could buy a gift for him too? Or if it is easier, you could just give me the money and I will take care of it. But it is to be surprise, so please don't say to lawyer anything when you arrive.

I have having problems with hotel reservation at the airport; I may have to reserve you at hotel a couple miles away. I hope you will find this acceptable.

Yeah, right. Well, let's keep up the gullible a tad more:

As rong as it is crose to airport, I am okay with what you arrange.

Mr. George, I need gift for rawyer too? This get most expensive. However, I guess you right that he work hard on giving me business too. Since you know these peopre better, perhaps I just give you money and you buy gifts, especirry for pastor needing set of hands.

I have much to do now before I reave on prane Sunday. Any rast instructions?

George assures me all is now (in his mind) in order:

Thanks for your update. Nothing more to arrange for us until you arrive. Have a nice trip.

Now we fast forward to the evening (in my time zone, Mountain DST) of Tuesday, August 14. Masato was to have arrived in Johannesburg 12 hours ago by this time. I have no email awaiting me. So I decide to gently shove a stick in the hornets' nest with this:

Mr. George,

What manner of prace is Johannesburg, prease?

It was most unpreasant situation. I board airprane and fry for hours and hours to NYC; I change prane, and fry for hours and hours to San Pauro, where I get off and get on prane, and fry to Johannesburg. Then I get off prane in Johannesburg. Or what I berieve was Johannesburg. But I no see your birrboard.

Ret me terr you what I see. Uh-huh (who recognizes a line from Sweet's Ballroom Blitz here?).

It was rike I had frown to Munchkinrand, and all the rittre munchkins were dressed in grass skirts, reather and race, with bones through their noses, carrying big shierds and doing voodoo and other rearry weird hip-hop dances, rike I see in San Francisco when kid try to take hubcap off moving car. It was rike omitted scene from Foot Roose or Happy Feet movie.

Then it get most unusuar.

In a corner near where sign say "Terminar", I see Rorrypop Guird munchkins doing unspeakabre things to wombats and pratypuses with their rorrypops. Dorothy and Toto too.

I turn to run away, and there was you -- or who I think was you -- bent over bench, being unspeakabried by duo of butch munchkinettes with their rorrypops. Ghastry.

Just then I start running for the door. I have to get back to the prane I reft before. Rerax said the nightman, we are programmed to receive...you can check out anytime you rike, but, you can never reave....gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Then I wake up. Wake up and rearize I miss my fright to NYC. I so sirry.

Maybe we courd reschedure again, prease? I even buy you gift this time, yes?

The reply I got wasn't necessarily priceless; but it's worthy of a Part IV...

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Nyerere Yet So Far -- II

Don't let the seemingly unrelated debasing of classic art fool you; like this artfully-altered photo (courtesy of Larry Graves, one crazy Canadian), this whole saga really does get more stupid as it goes.

"Mr. George" as he seems to like to refer to himself now as, expresses his appreciation for my understanding and cooperation, as well as establishes a timetable in his reply:

Thanks for your response; it gives me great plreasure to know that you are willing to assit me to the best of your ability. However, I will want you to amke the trip by first week of August to enable me inform the security company on time for the delivery of the consignment on your arrival.

Secondly, I owe the security fee for some months to the company and as it stands I don't have enough money to cover this bill, so I need your help with some money to clear the debt on your arrival. I will refund you as soon as the security company delivers the money to us. Actually I have to go security company on Monday to check how much the bill is now and will let you know.

Please endeavor to send me your passport copy and telephone number your next reply. I look forward to your response soonest and make sure you send me your flight schedule on time.

So I decide to see just how strictry..strictly he wants me to adhere to his timetable:

The first week of August? I cannot possibry be ready to make trip so South Africa so quickry. I must make prans and get time from job first. Perhaps I can pran for by August 8, but I not know this yet.

How much money you need me bring prease? Is it arot? Prease inform me soonest how much I am needed to bring.

His need (aka, greed) for money is not as much as his bannister in the first go-around wanted, but it's more than on the second go-around, by a few thou:

I am sorry for my late reply, I am in Johannesburg South Africa and that is where you will come, I will pick you up at the OR Tambo International Airport formally Johannesburg airport. I have also informed my lawyer about your coming arrangement and request of how much you will be required to come with. From the claim the security company prints out for us the amount we owe is USD $12,600 for initial five months and the present month of August.

My lawyer requests for your phone number and a copy of your passport to be able to recognize you at the airport. He also wants your flight schedule ASAP. Please note that any amount you spend on this transaction will be refunded to you asoon as we pay this USD $12,600 debts to the security company and the consignment been released to us including your 25% offer.

Send me your phone number passport and flight schedule soonest, please.

I'll continue to ignore the telephone number request for now, and give him dribbles of what he wants:

Johannesburg? Okay, I ret you know what I find out about traver arrangement. $12,600 is a rot of money. I need time to raise amount your rawyer request. I do what I can. I attach my passport here; I ret you know traver and money situation soonest I can.

Now that George has my fauxpassport and (thinks he) knows what I rook rike, he's somewhat forgotten (for the moment) the insistence on my terephone number. But now based on my faux passport, he decides he'll be sending my percentage to China:

Thanks fo ryour good response; I will pray that God help you make a good arrangement as soon as possible. Sir plrese bear in mind that as soon you come here and the security company released the to you on your arrival I will refund you all the money you spend before we transfer the remaining money to your bank account in China.

I aim to "set him straight" on my geography:

Thank you for the most positive repry. However, my bank is not in China; I rive in San Francisco, Carifornia. Just so no mistake made with money, prease. I be in touch with traver itinerary when comprete.

George apparently has some kind of a brain lock at this point, and sends me the exact same message as heretofore; so I choose to further emphasize my fiscar geography:

Prease, I say to you my bank account NOT IN CHINA!!! I rive in USA, Carifornia now! Prease no send my money to CHINA! They confiscate it and I never see again!

Prease acknowredge!

This gets a correction from George:

Thanks, Sir, your instruction has been noted. However on arrival you will instruct where the money will go on your arrival.

Now that we have that straight, I decide to make sure I have clear what George wants:

I wish be crear on what to be done: I must fry to Johannesburg by no rater than Wednesday, August 8; I must bring USD $12,600 for various expenses rerated to fund transfer and documents; I must provide you or your attorney with my nominated bank account into which funds are to be arrocated. If this is correct, then I have much to do. I notify you rater today of what I arrange.

George affirms my understanding of the business he wishes to give me, and returns to his insistence on getting my phone number (which I was almost tempted to give him, so I could talk on the phone the way I'm writing this drivel):

You are right with the arrangement as you stated, I will be waiting for your update and please!! PLEASE!! send me your phone number my lawyer has been asking for it all this why to tolk to you and your flight schedule since you will be coming on Wednesday August 8.

So, let's drag it out some more, starting with a comprication or two:

I have comprications with arranging traver to Johannesburg; I no rearize how expensive it is untir I try to book trip (the flight I researched in business class was $9415!). I need a few days. I probabry can't make it there now before Monday, August 13. This I hope okay with you and your rawyer?

George, while still really REALLY wanting my phone number, is rather genial about my comprications and proposed change of traver dates:

How are you today? Thanks for the update and I have informed my lawyer and the security company of your postponed date. We have book another appointment with security company for August 13-14.

Please, it is really important you send me your phone number as my lawyer want to advise you and have a private discussion with you while we wait your flight schedule. He also curious about how you write your emails (somebody actually NOTICED?), but I am okay with this.

When you do this I will make a hotel reservation and send it to you prior to your feeback of new arrival date. I wait your response.

Liberals play the race card all the time; so let's see how a scammer feels about it:

I appreciate your frexibirity on changing schedure for my trip. This most herpfur and I have itinerary for you in a few days.

Prease exprain just what about my emairs your rawyer find curious? He not racist against persons of Asian descent, is he? This make me most angry if he is so. I no rike that. Prease exprain this.

Now, you keep asking for my phone number for your rawyer. George, at beginning you say to me need for confidentiarity. I rive in townhouse which I share with another coupre who emigrate from my country. They speak good enough Engrish that if I have speaks with you over phone, they most rikery hear. So I not think this good, based on your confidentiarity requirement. At same time, my computer emair is password protected, so they no can rook into my emair and know what I am doing.

So say to your racist rawyer that phone carr with me not good at this time.

I rish you go ahead and book me hoter near airport where we can meet when I arrive. It is rong fright from San Francisco, I think. I ret you know when I have it arranged, after you exprain your rawyer's comments.

And it works like a charm:

Thanks for your reply, and I wish to stress for my lawyer that he is not rasist against you, and is not making jest of how you write emails. He did wish to discuss certain matters with you by phone in advance you travel here, but he understands your situation now and will wait to speak with you in person. He and I offer apology for your offense.

Soon as I have your travel itinerary I will book you a hotel as close to the airport as I can get.

Political correctness even among scammers...who'd a thunk it? So I let them off the hook:

I am so grad to hear this about you and your rawyer. I am okay with this. Now answer me one thing prease, since I never visit before South Africa: is there onry one airport for Johannesburg? I rish not make wrong reservation. And I ask you assure me you meet me at airport, prease. And prease send me photo of you so I know what you rook rike when I arrive.

Arso, I need know if it better I bring money in cash or in cheques, prease? This is rot of cash to carry on prane, but what you prefer, prease?

Their preference and Part III of So Nyerere Yet So Far in the next installment ;-)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

So Nyerere Yet So Far


*As your blogger takes a short respite, enjoy one of my many enjoyable scambaits from 2007...this was my third go-around with someone representing himself as the same scammer I'd already played twice, a short time before*
In The Sting -- An Abbreviated Version, I introduced you to George Nyerere, South African unextraordinaire, who with the help of his various and sundry cohorks, made their less-than-stellar effort to give U. R. Phulovit of Houston, Texas, the business back through the month of June. After a total of 115 email exchanges, it ended on a very sour note for Nyerere and his scam-baited friends.
A week later, Nyerere wrote to the same email address, with the same scam offer. So I just reversed my initials on my email (to PRU from URP), while still using the same name, and took him on another journey of the discovery of being scam-baited through the month of July, which included him and his odious colleague standing for five hours at the terminal of the Johannesburg International Airport, holding a sign "U. R. Phulovit", awaiting the arrival of hisself, who never showed up.
Nyerere's pleasure was very much absent at the conclusion of this 'un, too. Now, you'd figger that I'd abused the poor sot twice, and that'd be enough, right?
That was before he -- or one of his six-fingered assistants -- sent to the same email address the same stupid scam yet again. As Lionel Richie once opined in verse, "once, twice...three times a mugu". Well, not quite with those lyrics, but I digress.

Now, I could have tried a third time from the same email address, under the same guise as U. R. Phulovit. But...in the off-chance that this was the same George Nyerere from the first two go-arounds, and even this intellect-of-a-tree-stump might just catch on this time...I forwarded his third offer to give me the business to my alternate email addy. And this time, George and Friends would have the pleasure of dealing with hisself, the character of "Live Lap Aid" fame, the purloined identity from another scammer who went mugu at my hands four years ago...Masato Chan.

I even went so far as to give Masato an intellectual bent to his linguistics, as the opening reply will demonstrate:

Sir:
I receive from your emair an offer regarding $8 mirrion dorrars in South African fund. I no understand why you contact me. Prease exprain this contact to me.
Masato Chan
George was all too happy to do so:

Dear Chan,
Thanks for your response, my proposal was for you to assist me claim my inherited fund in South Africa. I was unable to claim the money on my own due to political status as a refugee. By government law of this country, I am prohibited of such rights and hence this unfavorable condition, my only means is to move the money out of this country with the help of any reliable and capable firm or person. On this reason I contact you for help to represent me for the claim and move the money overseas were I will be allowed to invest the mony freely. If my proposal meets your interest do let me know so you will be given more information and advise on how the transaction will be run. I do look forward to your prompt response and please give me your phone number for easy communication.
Thanks,
Mr. George
Mwhahahahaha. Game on:

Mr. George,
You don't have to rive rike a refugee, don't have to rive rike a refugee. I agree to herp you. Prease send me more information how I do this.

Mr. George is only a day in response (and apparently isn't familiar with the music of Tom Petty):

Dear Masato,
I am very ahppy to hear from you as well as your interst to assist me and my family to conclude this transaction. With regards to this transaction I will like to inform you of the roles you will be playing for us to conclude this transaction successfully (which he goes on to inform me, in order that (1) I must travel to South Africa, (2) I must open a non-resident bank account as beneficiary in a commercial bank there, (3) assist him and his "family" in recovering their "consignment" of money, to the tune of $8.5 USD million, (4) assist the lawyer with the documentation necessary to convince the bank to make the fund transfer and (5) fly back to the US with Mr. George and assist him with re-settlement, investment, etc., of his portion of the funds).

He concludes with I will advice you to keep everything related to this transaction confidential as you know that we are leaving on a very low profile here because we do not want to raise eye brow.
My reply reflects my obvious honor to be so entrusted:

Mr. George,
I am most honored by trust you prace in me for this honorabre endeavor. I can keep confidentiarity. Trip to South Africa is no probrem; my passport is up to date (thanks to a cheap cut-and-paste job) so prease advise how soon it necessary I come there, and where there I come to. Arso prease advise me the things you need know from me and I provide them.
Next up: SNYSF -- II

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Not Just A Job...


*a scambait reprise from early '08, while I take a bit of a break from the action*
It's a piece of cake...that explodes. Or at least it did in the example at the right.
Yours truly got another job offer. One from a so-called "legitimate" business: Kraft Foods Limited. Seems their Australian operation is in serious need of hep, and whadda ya do when youse needs hep? You goes where you kin gits it. To the good ol' USofA. Lotsa gullible onliners here, lookin' to make an easy buck.
Oh whoops....they contacted me, instead:
Kraft Foods Australia is one of the leaders in the packaged foods industry and we have been around since 1926. Kraft is a household name in Australia, synonymous with foods of the highest quality, produced for both local and overseas consumption. These include cheeses, mayonnaise, spreads, salad dressings, packaged meals, snack foods, coffee and confectionary (yeah, who don't remember Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, which I ate in copious quantities, along with frozen pizzas, ramen noodles, beanie-weenies and that Chef Boyardee crap, back in college).
Our headquarters is located in Melbourne with manufacturing plants located in Victoria and South Australia. We have reached big sales volume in the America/Canada/Europe market as a reult of this, we are looking for dynamic sales force (aka, gullible online suckers) on the role as online processing/payment officer whose duties will be processing orders as well as recieving payment on behalf of the company.
You earn commission on your job. If this proposal sounds interesting to you, then take the first big step (in getting scammed) and contact us at: (oh whoops, they didn't list where to contact at...*amateurs*) As soon as we hear from you, we shall give you the necessary information needed for the contract.
Thanks for your anticipated (aka, high level of gullibility) co-operation.
Roger .k. Deromedi,
Kraft Foods Limited
I dunno if Curly ever had the artery-hardening pleasure of Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, but I decided to dig him up to reply as follows:
Dear Limited Krapfters,
Yo, Adrian, count me in heah. But instead of money, just pay me in cases of Kraft Mac 'n Cheese. I'll take six cases for openers. Send them to: J. C. Howard, c/o 4334 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90023.
J. C. Howard
Sometimes, being a smart arse in reply doesn't pay. But not this time:

Mr. J. C. Howard
We are delighted with your reply and we thank you for your prompt repsonse to the mail and look forward to doing business you (typo or Freudian slip?).
We need the following informations for you so our customers can have ability to contact with you with their payments (oh, how I am soooooo encouraged here with their command of English). They went on to ask for all the info I already gave them, along with my marital status, my occupation, and a direct telephone contact number. I told them my marital status was long-term separated; my occupation was as a deceased comedian; and my contact number was one that I had from years ago, as the main switchboard (back then, anyway) to Universal Studios.
Baaaaaaaaaad Skunk.
They closed with Thank you again for your reply we expect your reply and look forward to a sincere (LMAO...stop it, stop it, yer killin' me hyar....*snort*) and positive relationship with you.
With my prompt reply sent, I found myself wondering if the folks at the Home of Peace Memorial Park and Cemetery would be kind enough to sign for Curly's six cases of mac 'n cheese. I kinda doubt it, but all would be for naught, if Rog 'n Co. bothered to fact-check any iota of my provided information.
Four days later, it became obvious that they hadn't bothered:
Dear Jerome C. Howard
Our customer will send you a cheque soonest, i will keep you posted once they sended it. Hope to hear soonerst from you.
Roger
Yawp...once they leave the basic script, it just goes downhill, spelling-and-otherwise. At any rate, with 'game on', Curly's ready to play:
Rog,
I thank you for this advisement. Once you notify me the cheque is enroute, I shall dig into my new responsibilities with dead earnestness and rigor. The mortis the merrier, I always say. Your trust in me is a grave responsibility that I won't bury in apathy, you may rest assured.
I waited five days, hearing nothing. So, Curly decides to see just how disconnected these yardboids are:
Rog,
Hey, you wuz supposed to tell me when a customer was sending a cheque! I got one in the mail yesterday! Now what do I do widdit?
A day later, a reply:
Dear Jerome,
You should have received a cheque from our customer for $6500. did you get this amunt please? if so, you are to cash it as soonest you can, keep your 10%, and send the rest of the $5850 with Western Union to Desmond Ahanon, London, England (the company is in Australia, and I'm to send the money to some yahoo in London? Bloody laughin' me arse off at the cheek this bloomin' wanker is showing). Use test question 'money for' and test answer 'customer payment'. Send soonest and let me know mtcn number in email.

Then comes another carrot: Another customer will send you payment of $35,000 dollars this week please keep posted once you received the Cheque. Thank for your co-operates.
Curly throws ol' Rog a bone:
You can depend on me, Rog. I'll take care of it. And another payment for $35,000 is coming or at least breathing hard? You soitently got a nice racket going here, Rog! I like this business you're giving me!
A weekend intercedes -- I note that Rog doesn't apparently do or have access to email on weekends -- and then I let Monday go by, too. This gets Rog a touch anxious:
Howard,
I no here from you about the $5850. Is you cashed yet? Please advise the mtcn number soonest. Another cheque coming. Please hurry, is important.
So I wait another day, and then give widda little *tweak*:
Rog,
In the interests of economy and expediency, I decided to wait on the larger $35,000 cheque to arrive, then I'll take care of both at once. I have the $6500 cheque sitting right where I can stare at it and drool. BTW, did you send my six cases of mac 'n cheese yet?
Apparently, the first part of that reply wasn't at all to Rog's satisfaction:

Howard,
No no no this is one payment at time. you must send first payment as instruct and then do next when it arrive. Please do this now. send to London soonest and keep me notified of mtcn.
MTCN, mtschn...
Rog,
Now, don't go gettin' all excited, you'll mix your Preparation H with the Poly-Grip, and then where will you be? It is simply expedience that dictates I wait for this second cheque, so I can send your lad in London a passel of weakening dollars against the pound. You do remember I am a deceased retired comedian, right? It does take me a bit longer to get around, yes? Remember an old addage I just thought up, patience is a virtue, and hospitals are most virtuously replete widdem. When I get the second cheque, I'll let you know.

Rog's total focus is on the first cheque, and obviously so:

Howard
YOU MUST LISTEN NOW DON'T WASTE FOR NEXT CHEQUE, SEND $5850 AS INSTRUCTED NOW AND KEEP ME POSTED. THIS IS CONTRACT JOB, YOU MUST FULLFILL CONTRACT. ACT SOONEST.
Now Rog is tweaked. So let's tweak him some more, by waiting for the weekend to reply:

Rog,
Now, don't you go raising your font with me, fella. I know my job and my contractual obligations under the Municipal Code 1.1.1. In any event, you can quit yer frettin': I got the second cheque. After I deduct my 25%, I'll send along to Desmond Ahooha in London, the balance. There's a good boss, now.
I wonder if Rog and his handlers will notice I'm starting the old 'up the ante' game widdem? Comes Tuesday, and I get this from Rog:
Howard,
You say you got cheques. where is mtcn? I speak with Desmond and he tell me nothing come to Western Union from you. What is gone on please? Reply soonest.
I figured "soonest" would be a couple of days:

Rog,
Well, Rog, y'know...speaking of contractual agreements and such...I did ASK for six cases of Kraft Mac 'n Cheese to be delivered. You tacitly agreed by hiring me. It is therefore part of our contractual agreement. It ain't been done. So, I ain't yet sent the money to Desmond Tutu, or whatever he calls himself. And, for every day that you fail to fulfill your part of the bargain, my holding fee goes up 2.5%. I am now going to hold 30%. Time's money, Rog. Get that mac 'n cheese crackin' me lad, or crikey, Desmond's share is gonna continue to atrophy before your email eyes!
Curly
I had to wait until the following Monday for this gem of a reply:
HOWARD,
STOP THIS WE HAVE CONTRACT SEND MONEY KEEPING ONLY WHAT WAS AGREED FIRST OR LEGAL ACTION WILL BE STARTED. WE HAVE YOUR PERSONALS LOCATION AND WILL HAVE POLICE TO YOU. SEND MONEY NOW. THIS IS UNFAIR OF YOU! THIS WILL NOT GO WELL FOR YOU UNLESS YOU DO YOUR PROMISE AND SEND MONEY NOW.

I'm really not sure how to break this to ol' Rog, but I'm sure Curly is:

Rog,
*Eye-poke*! Nyuk nyuk nyuk! Police? Legal action? Nyuk nyuk nyuk! I just checked my calculator thingee, and I see that I now get to keep....uh...2 carry the five...why soitenly...I get to keep the whole $41500! Nyah nyah!
Yeah, so you have all my poisonal informations...call the police! Send 'em over! Of corpse, have them dig me up and serve me with papers! We'll make a party of it! We'll serve cadaviar, and me and the boys will put on an old Vaudeville show the likes of which they never seen before!
All because you didn't send my promised mac 'n cheese, you sex toy to a crazed roo!
By the way, Rog...next time you want to scam someone, try reading carefully their reply, you intellect-of-a-tree-stump. I'm dead! D-A-I-D! You've been trying to scam a DEAD GUY! MWHAHAHAHAHAHA! How stupid are you gonna look all over the world wide web, when I post this for everyone to read? YOU GOT BENT OVER BY A CORPSE! MWHAHAHAHAHA!
You kill me, Rog...no wait, that's already happened. See what I just did there? Nyuk nyuk nyuk!
Bite me,
Jerome "Curly" Howard
1903-1952
The Three Stooges
I guess ol' Rog lost his lust for legal action, or any further contact, after that reply. If only he'd a come through with the mac 'n cheese. Not that it woulda done me any good at a cemetery in Los Angeles, but eh...details, details.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mystery Shopping Miasma -- II

Soooooo...my 'mystery shop' employer -- calling hisself Terry Mcguire, perhaps aka, Boris Badinov -- thinks he's found, in my character, Jack N. Ewehoff, the pot at the end of the rainbow.

To quote a reader h'yar, *snerx*. As noted in the photo, that pot ain't all it's cracked up to be.

After some preliminary skirmishing, wherein my character plays the "how does this work? I don't understand" game, and Terry tries to hep my character understand, Terry gets down to exactly what is needed for Jack to do as a 'mystery shopper':

You will have to use your own money for the first shop, but you will be reimbursed double your initial payment *TOING* and after about 3 Mystery shopping you will be promoted as our permanent (dumb ass) staff and you may be a recuiting officer and get to recuit new members to mysery shop.

I am laughing my ass off here. And he continues:

you should proceeb with your Mystery Shopping asap and send $500 through Western Union to the following details below and access the services and take notes when require. Here are the details you need to mysery shop to at the nearest western union outlet closest to you.

Name: Amy Santiago

Address: 101 Westbourne Terrace Paddington, London W2 6JR

Get back to me with both the western union details that would be needed to have the money picked up *TOING* by another mystery shoper in the UK. and the notes taken down when being rendered serviced at the western union and the ttoal amount spent to send the money while mystery shopping and you would be conpensated asap.

My simple reply:

$500? Wow. But you did say you'd reimburse me at double my investment? Dang. That's...that's almost twice what I have to spend! I wish you'd contacted me several jobs ago.

Do you have any peculiar Western Unions you want me to mysery shop?

He does indeed, and I note he selects those somewhat geographically akin to my given (bogus) address in Central City:

The shop we would want you to deal with today is (and he names a grocery store in Idaho Springs, CO; a Loaf n Jug mini mart in Bergen Park/Evergreen; and a liquor & grocery store in Empire, CO). You is to proceeb there asap and do a mysery shop and send the amount of $500 from each and yes you would get double the price back and reimbursement in less than 1 week.

$500 x 3??? Oh, I'm glad he thinks I'm so easy. And he goes on:

Get it done asap as efficency as highly appreciate (if done as he asks, I am damned sure it will be highly appreciate). Hope to read from you soon with the Western Union detail for your Mystery shop and necessary note and recommendation.

After taking a day to mull over the approach, I decide to have my character choose to "visit" the furtherest of the three locations: a little liquor/grocery store in Empire, called Tomato Liquor & Grocery. My character, of course, is careful to take what he reckons are helpful and informative mystery shopper notes of his visit to the aforementioned, and he reports it to 'Terry/Boris' thus:

As you instructed, I selected from the list of Western Union shops you sent me. Deciding it was a nice day for a drive, I went to the Tomato Liquor & Grocery, located in Empire, CO. It's a rustic location, with a large inflatable Shrek doll out front. Why, I don't know. At least Donkey wasn't there, procreating with the dragon. That would have been a bit much.

As I entered, I nearly tripped over a 30 lb chihuahua -- it is apparently named "Booger" -- that lay in the floor near the doorway. I don't think the dog could have moved if it wanted to. One attempt by the dog to wag its tail caused it a rump cramp, and the tail curled into a knot. I was gonna buy it a bag of Slim Fast Dog Biscuits, but there weren't any.

Toward the right, inside the door, was a cashier station, and a kindly-looking curmudgeon ensconced behind the antique cash register. With a rumbling "Hidy, wha' kin ah dew fer yew?", and a small stream of drool down his chin, the cashier -- giving his name as Heinz Katzsup -- ponderously directed me to a counter in the back corner of the store, where I saw a Western Union sign, and a gregarious, rotund woman who flashed a toothless grin and a "Hidy, how kin ah hep yew?". Her name was Huntz, Heinz's wife of 47 years and a missed annulment.

So, to answer your first two shopper questions, (1) service was immediate and (2) the politeness of the attendants was exemplary, if not their respective appearances. I would also add that their customer service professionalism (3) was better than their outward appearances belied.

But that's when the visit went south: when I inquired about sending a Western Union, Huntz laboriously shook her head, inadvertently losing her lower plate of false teeth into a nearby decorative spittoon (I sure hope it was decorative), and mumbled "tain't workin' righ' now, sonny". When I asked why, Huntz said that Heinz tried to send a Western Union that morning, and had drooled on it, "fixin' 'er gud". Huntz said "Ah reckon it'll be a coon's age afore we git the Western Union feller up h'yar ta repare the danged thang".

With that, a heartfelt apology -- and a thoughtful towel to wipe off the spittle Huntz showered me with -- I bought a bottle of Mogen David ("bettr than Ripple", Heinz assured me), and left.

So I will have to try the place in Bergen Park/Evergreen -- the Loafing Jugs -- after work tomorrow.

You're going to love that not only was there a reply from Terry, but the "hope springs eternal in my gullibility" sense to it:

We have recieved your email. Did you make a transfer of funds at any of the western union outlets. if you did you would need to send the details of the transfer or preferably a scanned copy of the western union Receipt. I must commend you for your promptness and detailed analysis.

Get back to me soonest with the western Union receipt and not forgeting my shot of Mogen david..lol.

A scammer widda sense of humor. That might prove useful.

So a suitable amount of time after my real work, I sat down and decomposed Terry another mystery shop on the Loafing Jugs in Bergen Park/Evergreen:

Sir, I am beginning to think I understand why you selected the locations you did to be mystery shopped. I reckon the owners of those respective businesses were in desperate need of something.

The Loafing Jugs I visited was a busy place, between their self-serve gas pumps, lotto sales, and prodigious amounts of slurpees and Twinkies that were leaving the place. Too busy, as it turned out, for me to get my Western Union sent.

The one clerk -- a rather frumpy, tobacco-stained and red-eyed woman who might have been a looker when Nixon was president -- gave me not the time of day for nearly 30 minutes, while I stood at the Western Union machine window, and she processed a stream of the gas, lotto and slurpee throng. When finally I was able to get her attention, she brusquely informed me through tobacco-stained teeth, that the clerk that ran the Western Union -- she referred to her coworker as "that snarky slut" -- called in sick, and she didn't have time to mess with it.

So, in promptness of service, politeness and professionalism, the dinosaurette drew a FAIL, FAIL, and FAIL. But the Coke Slurpee was good.

Sorry. Guess I'll try the other place you mentioned, in Idaho Springs, on Monday.

Terry/Boris is being patient with me so far:

It is desappointing that you have not yet send the western Union but I complement you for the detail and quality of your shops. it is well that we hire you we can see. You must succeed now to send the $500 from the western union we tell you ASAP. your pay will be double you will see. I like slurpees too.

But a bit of impatience starts to seep into his next email on the Sunday before I go *annoyance*:

We look forward to read from you today once you succesful complete your mystery shop and wire the funds. Make sure you remain discreet and also take not of the details and let us know specific the amount it cost you to amke the wire transfer to my other mystery shopper in the UK. Please try today to be successful and it will go well for you.

So I'll start by throwing him a bone...followed by a wrench:

Sorry for the delay, but good news! The transfer has been completed. You can tell Ms Santiago that the money is there, and I'll be happily looking for my doubled return by weeks' end.

The Safeway store in Idaho Springs is an older facility, but staffed with really nice people, even if half of them don't have teeth. The very young lady at the Customer Service counter (where the WU is) was new and in training, so I acted as if this was my first Western Union transfer ever (which, come to think of it, it was). She -- with her trainer's help -- took me through each step of the process. She was most polite and very attendant, but her tongue piercing -- about the size of a marble -- was a bit of a distraction, and caused her to slur any words with vowels. Which was pretty much all of them. But she worked hard to serve, and I didn't let her tongue piercing distract from her customer service.

I did have to laugh at the end, when she said "is there anything else I can do for you?", and I asked her if it would be a bother if I paid her for the wire transfer. She almost choked on her tongue piercing, and was very appreciative that I didn't skip out on it. The total of the wire transfer was $529.95 (transfer and cost).

So, sir, I have a successful mystery shop under my belt. I look forward to a promotion.

Of course, I omitted the only thing that the scammer was really interested in. Which he points out later that day:

What is the MTCN of your transfer, please? You forgot to tell me that part. The rest is vital, yes, but I need the number to verify your success.

*Game on*:

What? The MTCN? What is that? Where WAS that? You say I needed it?

You need to get the western union slip or better still if you have the 10 digit western union control number that would sufficent. Get that now please.

Well, cricket crap. I didn't take the receipt. I didn't think I needed it. What do I do now?

I am disappoint in you but you can fix this. Call the store and ask for the information.

I called the Safeway store in Steamboat Springs, and the clerk I spoke with didn't know what I was talking about. He -- in a rather rude manner, I must say -- said I had to come in and show ID. So I guess I have to drive there.

If you must do this, then do this. Did you say Steamboat springs? I thought it was Idaho springs, which is a different place, yes?

Oh, silly me. Of course I meant that. I will go immediately after work tomorrow. I'll get this fixed, you can count on it.

The next day comes, and my scammer is growing more impatient:

Jack, did you go to Idaho Springs and get the MTCN? I need this. All depends on you doing this.

I am sorry, but I don't have time to run to Hot Sulphur Springs today. I don't even know if they have a Safeway? What were we talking about?

What is this you say? You need to stop delayment and go to Idahop Spring Safeway and get the MTCN for Western Union.

Now let's twist things a tad more:

Okay, sir, I went to the Safeway in Idaho Springs (it's so much closer than those other places), and I am happy to tell you that the clerk checked the status of my Western Union transfer, and Ms. Santiago apparently received it. The clerk said it had been signed for. Mission accomplished!

You still need to provide me with the MTCN number. Mrs Santiago has not yet pick up and funds. Please get me the MTCN number now, with no more delay.

I will have to go back and get it, but I don't understand why. When the clerk said that the money had been signed for, I didn't figure I needed it. I still do?

JACK, LISTEN TO ME CAREFUL NOW. I NEED THE MTCN NUMBER. SANTIAGO HAS NOT PICK UP ANY FUND. THIS IS REALLY BEGIN TO ANNOY ME WITH YOU. NO MORE DELAY, GET ME THAT MTCN NUMBER AND SCAN COPY OF RECEIPT TO ME TODAY.

I object to the tone and font of your email, sir. I will go back and explain it to the clerk in Colorado Springs. But don't you write uppity to me like that.

I am sorry but you must get this done and done my way. If you want further employ with us, you must complete this task with speed now.

Sir, something ain't right here. The clerk insisted to me that the money had been picked up, and that a copy of the receipt was useless now that it was so. I almost made her cry, and I wound up buying her some roses in their Floral Department, so she would smile and not cry. I hate when I make a woman cry. I'll bet you do, too. Anyway, she insists that I don't need the receipt since the money has been picked up. If so, and your Ms Santiago didn't get it, then WHO DID? If this makes Ms Santiago cry, I recommend you send her the pink roses. Women swoon over pink roses.

WHAT THE HELL IS WHAT YOU SAYING??? LISTEN I NEED THE MTCN NOT F***ING ADVISE ON ROSE!

You know, you're being mean again. Now, I'm not gonna cry if you're mean to me, like that clerk or Ms. Santiago. But if you keep typing like a prick, I am going to zip the fly up on you. Do you KNOW what you call a fly that's zipped up on a prick? An instigator! Now, we have established that I sent the money as you instructed. My clerk at the Western Union in Big Springs has affirmed that it has been received. If not by Ms Santiago, by someone with vowels in their name. So...why don't you just chalk this one up to my learning curve, and give me another job. Oh and don't forget...you owe me $1,000. Send it to me via Money Gram, since Western Union sucks.

ARE YOU A CHILD? DO YOU LIKE NOTHING BUT PLAY GAMES? DO YOU RELIZE HOW STUPID YOU HAVE SOUND AND ACT? WHO THE F**k WOULD HIRE YOU FOR A JOB TO DO ANY? DONT WRITE TO ME AGAIN YOU CHILD WASTING TIME!

Uh...does that mean I'm not getting promoted?

Apparently it did.

Dang. And I was just getting the hang of cities that ended in "Springs".

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Mystery Shopper Miasma - I


Customers are the lifeblood of business. So it reasons that customer service is a measure of the health of a business. Many a business out there likes a report card on how their customer service is doing, beyond basing it solely on comments sent, faxed, emailed, texted, or left on voice mail at 3am by someone who's drunk and thinks they called their ex, judging from the message content.
And entrepreneurs are all over this one, creating companies that provide businesses with secret/mystery shoppers, who rate the company's customer service without the employees knowing it.
Entrepreneurial scammers haven't missed out on the opportunities, either.
When I posted about an online offer I'd received to become a 'mystery shopper', a friend on Facebook took me to task for making fun of 'mystery shoppers', because she was one and had been for four years. And that's fine for her.
But I reckon it isn't for the company that contacted me.
This is my third 'secret/mystery shopper' offer in my 10 years of scambaiting. The first two I had never heard of, but quickly confirmed as I played 'em, that they were 100% bona fide
scammers. My newest one, however, has a track record.
Of customer complaints and BBB *holding nose* ratings.
So, before I get to the 'fun', here's the online gambit by an outfit that flies under the name of an alleged mystery shopper operation out of Seattle:
Email title: WELCOME TO MYSTERY SHOPPER!!!
We have randomly selected you a mystery shopper. Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals. We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace. We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.
Mystery shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth. This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behaviour because the boss is around -- it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.
This is where YOU come in as the Mystery Shopper. You pose an an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations and your own opinions. Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper. If anyone notices you are a Mystery Shopper, you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the best customer service in town, and not what regular customers might experience.
No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that's why leading corporations look to us, the nation's premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.
In order for businesses to compete effectively today, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:
* retaining existing customers
* acquiring new customers
* creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* improving customer loyalty
Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given funds you need to do the job (purchase merchandise or obtain services), after which you would write down a detailed report of your experience. You would include
* how long it takes to get served
* politeness of the attendant
* customer service professionalism
* sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.
Then we turn the information over to the company and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.
After a bit more fluff and puff, the email gets to the rat killing:
You will be paid a commission of $100 for every duty you carry out, and bonuse on your transportation allowance. Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores, casinos, shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.
The email concludes with a typical list of 'mystery shopper requirements', and an email to respond to, if interested. And I was interested (to see the MO on how the scammer planned to take me to the cleaners). So I responded, as the character Jack N. Ewehoff. More on that in a mo'.
While awaiting a response, I did some online research on the outfit that it was representing itself to be. I found a treasure trove...of customer complaints and BBB *holding nose* ratings on this company, dating back to early 2009. Besides complaints of once a 'mystery shopper' had done a job, they never got paid and couldn't get an adequate response from the company, or got a run-around. Fancy that: the mystery shopper company providing shoddy service to their employees.
I also liked that their given corporate HQ address was in Seattle, WA. No problem there, except that the street address that they listed as THEIR HQ, is in fact a hotel. A hotel that, when I called it, explained that said company was not there, and if it ever had been there, it would have had to have been back in the late 1960s.
The clerk that did so was very polite and professional, so I made note of it, in case I needed that for a 'mystery shop' ;-)
I also liked that one of the company's several HQ contact numbers they listed was a 615 area code. Which is fine, if you want to talk to Nashville, TN. The other numbers had the requisite area code of 206, which is the Seattle area. I dunno...maybe Reba McIntyre is a Mystery Shopper. Perhaps I'll look into that later.
Finally, BBB investigations listed complaints that included such loverly things every one who puts money up WANTS to be a part of, I am sure: like 'ponzi scheme' and 'issuing bad checks'. The complaints were largely from persons 'employed' by this particular outfit, against this particular outfit.
One researcher dug deeper into IP addresses and domain names, and determined that the scammer was originating out of the Russian Republic. Dasvadanya, suckerski.
At any rate, my character sent an "I'm interested" email response, and filled out their little 'application' that was attached to the email.
And my *TOING* meter went off the scale, because I got an email response -- and hired -- in 8 minutes.
And that's where the 'fun' began, in Part II (and the conclusion), when I learned who and how I was to 'mystery shop'.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vhat Das Fokk -- III


As we will see from the conclusion of Part II, the bank is all too happy to accept my recent request regardingk travel:

This is to acknowledged the receipt of your mail and to notify you that after the governing board of directors meeting this morning, we have decided to honour your request. This was reached at because of the government policy which directed us to discharge all foreing payment matters with expidency. This will require you to provide to your legal representative the sum of USD $3,500 so that this identifies your laywer as having legal standing to stand instead of you for the signing of all required documents.

And within the same day, I get this from Herr Dankwanker (not that he and the "bank" can be working in concert? Nahhh):

My good friend thank you for your promptess in this transaction which is very good sign that we are on course. I will want us to hav eth efund transfer before the ending of this week so here I present you the attorney's information on which you send him required funds on Western Union money transfer.

Name: John Eze Location: Lagos Nigera Text Question: Charges

Answer: Signing

I am very happy that the attorny I engaged is capble of handling this project without delay because of his competency to carry out such assignment without complicity. Please you soonest to send Western Union MTCN number to attorney after wiring, so not to delay as our project. I know that we will both celebrate within a couple days.

Well, one of us will, anyway ;-)

After waiting a couple of days, I send the long-anticipated email:

Herr Hassan Chop undt Dankwanker,

Mitte das haste urged upon me, I left vork early undt dispatched das payment as directed, to Bannister John Eze, fer das fee of $3,500 USD. I had das money convertedt to USD from das Euros, fer convenience of das transaction undt schtuff. Das MTCN number ist 4377017734.

It takes another full day, but on Thursday, August 16, the 'fun' begins:

I have received the message which contains your sending information and i have to ask you to furnish those details for clearity at the western union office because the operation of the agent here some times goes through certain routine. The lawyer come back with details you forward and says the details didn't match western union. They asked the lawyer to produce the receipt for the money payment from your side that maybe there is a mistake somewhere. Please scan your recept and send it immediate you read this. we must clear of this quick to assure no time is lost in transaction future.

Yeah, what he said. So I waited until the early morning of the 17th to reply:

Mischtake mitte Vestern Union payment? Neinen, sir. Das ist not pozzible. I vill send you copy of das receipt at vunce. I am sure zat witte dis, you vill be able to collect das funds I vired fer das business undt schtuff.

Later that day, I get this anxious reply:

Please to help us now. It is quite unfortunate we are having delay at this point in time because the western union office in your country have not posted the money that you send trhough them. Barrister John Eze have gone with the receipt that you send and the officer in the western union told him that they could not access the payment and advice him to get back with you to determine from why on your end the payment not posted. This put everything at signing with bank in jepardy, please. I will appreciate if you would procced to the western union where you carried out the transaction two days ago so that this will immediately be resolved. We are in jepardy on this transaction beacuse of delay. Please hurry and advice us.

On the morning of the 18th, I hurry undt advice them:

I go back das Vestern Union undt discuzz das problem mitte dem. They show me on das system dat das funds vere viredt, undt picked up. Vhen I toldt them vhat you vired me -- dat at your end, Vestern Union say "no transaction exist" -- das agent gave me zynical look undt zaid "someone there is tryingk to scam you, sir". Zo I must ask: just vhat ist goingk on mitte das bank? Vho ist das agent there entrustedt mitte collectingk das funds? Hast da person's veracity been verifiedt undt confirmed?

Das bottom line, Herr Dankwanker: my Vestern Union here confirms das funds vired UNDT PICKED UP BY SOMEVONE ON YOUR ENDE. I am most annoyedt undt perturbed mitte das findingk, undt I vish now to know vhat you vill do about it.

I think the triad of Hassan, Dankwanker and Eze are starting to suspect someone spiked the punch, but they aren't willing to come right out and accuse me just yet:

It is a suprise for us to receive you recent mail because your representative who is well known acrredited attorney have called us yesterday to inform us that he will be in the bank today to sighn the final fund release order on your behalf. We have our receiving agents here in the bacnk but since you couldn't said tha tyou be able to appear in the person you notified us that your attorney will stand for you, it iwll not be wise for us to go ahead an introduce our officer here until it is that we have found who picked up your money here for the attornye that is now not found (I think I understand this drivel). We have not have this kind of problem before but the only thing that is we will see if information of who pick up money. We usually have case of money not get into Nigeria and we want to believe the issue agent in your country is sincere. That is another factor that we should determine because we are not used to this kind of thing before this now.

Ooooookay. So here's my reply to...that:

Vhatever dat you say ist dat, ze fact remainz undt ist not in dispute dat mine Vestern Union clearly establishedt undt demonstrated dat das money vas zent undt receivedt by zomevun on dat end of das transaction. Vhile I do not dispute your explanation, let alone fathom das gibberish, I am most disturbted undt gronifiedt mitte distress by das turn of events undt schtuff. I vill vait to learn vhat ist to be done next, Herr Hassan.

A couple days pass, and I get this from Herr Dankwanker:

I am still trying to figure out what is going on concerning the money that you sent. I have told the lawyer to find out what really happened and still insist that the error is from agents over there. However, he said that to resolve this matter that you should tell those western union officials from where you sent the US$3500 the information of the center where the fund was picked up. With this information the attorney will go after the fund. You should not bother yourself once both ofus are working based on sincerity of purpose. I have developed interest on you and will will realise this transaction together no matter difficulties now. Please to maintain your confidentiality in this project and we will not stop now.

So while he keeps insinuating the problem is here, I'll keep suggestingk it ist uddervise:

Ast I have just emailedt your friend Herr Hassan Chop, I am zatisfied mitte explanation undt investigative results obtained by das officials at das Vestern Union here in Vaduz. Undt they are clear and definitive dat das money vas receivedt undt picked up by zomevon at das Lagos, Nigeria location. Some obvious dumkopf undt hundsfott verboten mitte full of das schiessen undt schtuff, meinen Herr. I stand ready undt able, Herr Dankwanker, to proceed mitte your gibts me das business ast heretofore; ve zimply needt to take a new tact mitte care undt promptitude.

As yet, the scales have not yet fallen from the eyes of Herr Dankwanker, strangely enough:

My friend Phulovit, it is still a puzzle to me, this explanation of yours. I have discussed with my associates what is next, and some of them have to me doubted your sincerity. One says that your emails suggest you jest us, and that things in your backdrop dont make sense when read with care. I of course still believe good business can be done with you, but sincerity is necessary to proceed with this project. I ask of you to proceed with us sincerely as we put back together our efforts to achieve mutual success. Please assure me of your intentions.

I think someone's onto me there; but let's take one last shot at extending this out a tad:

You express in me distrust undt apprehension, Herr Dankwanker? Vho amongst your noted associates ist mitte doubt about mine var recordt or mine zincerity? I vill zlap das taste from das mouth of zuch a sprechen dumkopf! Undt you let das calumnies undt mischtatements to color undt underminen das confidence mitte me now? I find das mozt chillingk undt disappointingk to our vorking relaztionship, Herr Dankwanker.

I vill expect an apologize mitte next email, sir.

Danged if that isn't just what I get, along with a prod to make a new payment via Moneygram:

Let us not have fall out now we are brothers in this endeavour to achieve our mutual good ends. I mean no things unkind to you. Please so that we can still make good our business, endeavour you send the funds now through Moneygram, since this puzzled experience with Western Union. If you will do this I will make up on you, this you have my word my brother. But please hurry as time is not on our side with the bank.

A paragraph more full of schiesse is not to be founden undt schmelledt. But what the heckenseepoo: the difference between a faked Vestern Union undt a faked Moneygram is two digits in the reference number. Zo:

I azzept your apology undt brudderhoodt of das hundsfott, and thus I tell you dat I have dispatched das whole amount mitte Moneygram. Das reference number ist 43770169. Az before, ist zent to das bannister John Eze. I vill avait your confirmation undt verification.

And he is duly appreciative...for now:

I have recieved your mail and to be frank i surprised you were so accepting to do this considering the last time. It tell me you are there to work with me as brothers and we don't need division of any kind (gag me). I will get this to attorney so we can be celebrating tomorrow for our hard work and mutual trust. I thank you sincerely my brother.

I didn't expect that to last very long. It didn't, as this reply from Hassan exemplifies:

PHULOVIT, WE TAKE YOUR INFORMATION SERIOUS AND IT MAKE US LOOK STUPID AT MONEYGRAM! DON'T EVER SEND ANYTHING TO US BECAUSE WE HAVE MONITORED THE EVEN CONCERNING YOU AND DISCOVER THAT YOU ARE A CROOK. YOU CAN GO TO HELL WASTE OUR TIME.

And his point was...? At any rate, time to put "paid" to this bill of dysrighteous indignation:

Herrs Hassan-chop and Dankwanker,

Me? A crook? Nahh. I ain't heavy...I'm your brother. You said so. So are you now saying it AIN'T so? Am I now heavy? Have you undone that which was done in your own words some emails back? If your aunt had a moustache, would she be your uncle?. Oh, dangensee, my Deutchen accent up undt schlippened. As glockenspiel undt flieger schiesse*, I vould be duckingk iffen I vas du, fer vhen das flieger schiesse hits das fan midde plop undt spray, it ist all overen das placen, ja.

I vill avait your latest apology undt schtuff, 'cuzen I know dis is vhat you do best. I might even azzept it.

U. R.

I regret to inform you that after this email, the triad discontinued communications with Herr Phulovit. Awpeterstain!

* means "flying sh**" in German, or zo I'm toldt...

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