Sometimes, They Get Mad
With my current tactic of responding to email scams -- rewriting the scam letter and dispatching it back to the originating scammer, and a number of their colleagues and peers -- I have surpassed 150 rewritten letters. Most of them go unresponded to, though perhaps a response of sorts is when the email address they were using, quits working.
But I have to say that I really enjoy the ones that like to critique my work.
Take Alikali Yusuff (firstname.lastname@example.org), for example. His scam was to involve me in contractor overbillings of building supplies in Iraq, of which I, at his invitation, would have been entitled to 35% of the overbillings. Which, of course, is all bad cous cous: I was going to get had by some scammer posing as an attorney, with faux attorney fees amounting to in the ball park of $1,500 or so.
As has been my very uncool and uncooperative wont in this game, I didn't play by his rules; I played by mine. Here is how I rewrote his email, and sent it back to him and about 20 of his peers:
Iraqi ReCON Efforts
My name is Alikali Yusuf. I am an Al Qaeda terrorist of dubious antecedence and worse body odor. I am busy trying to blow up as much sh** as possible in Iraq, so I can get money in here to rebuild stuff, so I can blow it up again. I like blowing things; just ask any goat or camel that knows me. I am a piece of human feces, and just like blowing animals or blowing sh** up, because my father f***ed camels and my mother whored herself out to Somali pirates, and I was the result.
So send me more money to rebuild Iraq, because I love to blow things. I don't care what. Porta potties are almost as fun as blowing goats and camels. When I finally tire of blowing stuff, I will blow myself up, so I can get in on those 72 virgin camels I hear about.
Cous cous! Dirka dirka!
Respond to me soonest at email@example.com
PS: I also like to fart in water and bite the bubbles. Hee.
Eh..not one of my better email rewrites, but Steinway and Hemingbeck had their off days, too.
Well, it took ol' Alikali four whole days to stew over what I done to his email. Or perhaps it took him that long to figure out what all the words meant. Whatever. In any event, his critique of my rewrite suggests that he was less than pleased with my creative license:
Title: YOU ARE WARNED...UNLESS U ARE TIRED OF LIFE (ooooooooh...liking it already)
HEY, TAKE A LOOK FROM YOUR FAVORATE WINDOW. LOOK UP, TO THE RIGHT...I AM LOOKING AT U 24 / 7 WITH A CCTV. I KNOW WHERE U SHOP, EAT AND WORK. I KNOW YOUR OFFSPRING (there's a lot about me that's off, and for all four seasons, but I digress) U BETTER SHUT THE HELL UP BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF. YOU ARE WARNED...UNLESS U ARE TIRED OF LIFE.
For the 11 years I have been scambaiting, a few folks have warned me about emails like this one. And for 11 years, I have lived for (and through) each and every one I got.
To this one, I used a combination of careful diplomacy, and tactful reflection:
HAHAHAHA. If you are watching me at this moment, you'll know what I just did at your f***ing CCTV camera, Islamof***head. You want a piece of me, Pork Lips? Come git some.
After dispatching that, my next four scammer email rewrites were all dedicated to Alikali Yusuf, as demeaningly as I am wont to do, especially when I engage my inner four year old for some creative demeanment. All of which was rained into his email box, from my current address of choice for such activity, under the unassuming name of "Junkyard Hamster".
It took him four days to respond to one rewrite. With that number of emails for him to sort through and process, I might be waiting a month to hear more.
Of course, his threat is wasted on me: the poor misguided email scammer doesn't know that I haven't had a life outside of work and email scambaiting for the past 11 years. Someone might oughta tell him...