Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Lil' Bit of...Nuthin' and Sumpin'

Perhaps I can call this one "notes from wherever the stuff scattered after hitting the fan", or some such:
1. Between November 15 and December 15, I took every scam offer received on two of my email addys, and sent them a quid pro quo offer: if they'd answer my one-question poll, I'd help them with the business they were sending me. The question was: are you a moron by (a) birth (b) choice (c) manual insertion of your cranial structure into your anal orifice?
Over the period of 30 days, I received and responded thus to 51 scam offers. Of those, 45 chose not to reply in any form. Spoil sports.
Of the 6 that did reply, 3 chose to ignore my poll question, and treat my response as affirmation of their scam. When I wrote back and reprompted them to answer up to get my help, they didn't follow up. Spoil sports.
Of the 3 that did at least acknowledge my poll question, 1 sort of answered it (initiating a two month-long scambait); one was "mostly confused to the propose of this question", whereupon I tried to clear their "mostly confused" in a brief series of emails, ending in being told to "f*** off" (spoil sport); and the last one immediately engaged in an insultfest, which I gleefully responded to. A good analogy of it for any parents out there would be to listen to two of your young ones engaging in "You stink!" ... "No, you do!" ... "You did first!" ... "Did not!" ... "Did too!" ... "I'm gonna tell!" ... "Crybaby!" ... "Am not!" ... "Are too!" ... etc.
Yeah, I know...but the 'kid' in me craves indulgence now and then. So I do, now and then.
2. A Nigerian princess contacted me to be her 'savor' by posting to the Nigerian government -- via her bannister -- as her guardian (she claimed to be 19). And once I'd won charge of her inheritance -- $10.5 million dollars -- she would come over here and be my adopted daughter, and go to school to become a doctor, or lawyer, or a set-up wench at a presidential townhall meeting that makes a name by faking dire circumstances, to win sympathy/adulation for the prez widda masses (altogether now, "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww").
She allowed my character -- Eyegor Frankoonsteen, represented in a photo by a middle-aged version of Fred Gywnn, aka "Herman Munster" -- to, among other things, get away with asking her the question "who's yer daddy?", as well as convince her that Eyegor was exploring top US schools for her to attend, including Sharon Fallatio School of Groinacology and Whattsamatta U.
And just as her and her bannister -- Ugame Wetta -- thought they were at the point of receiving $4600 USD for legal documents et al., Eyegor advised them that he'd been contacted by a Mariam Abacha, who claimed to be legal guardian of Victoria Nboma, and was taking legal action against Eyegor Frankoonsteen to stop his adoption of same, which confused the snarf out of Nboma, and sent Wetta into a fit of "don't listen to this false as I tell you!" emails, only to have the two of them give up after about six attempts to steer Eyegor back on the meerkat trail.
Ain't I(gor) a stinker?
3. Another scammer wrote to tell me I'd won the Microsoft Netherlands Online Lotto, for 1.25 million pound sterling (UK), and I was to contact the claims agent at the email addy provided. Which my character -- Ben Dover -- did, with gratitude and glee. After being told to Western Union a processing fee of $750 pound sterling to someone in London with an Islamofascist-sounding name (Alji Bahba Bin Horkin Ali Hasheed, or some such), I waited a week, prompting a "send processing fee soonest or will be disqualified for prize" email from a Ben Van der Voorten Poorten; to which I replied, "Why send the fee? I just received the cheque! Thank you!". Which got a totally confused response ("this is not possibe without you pay process pay them now, okay?"), to which I politely said no ("I got my money, so why should I pay YOU a fee? What did YOU do to earn a fee?"). Another confused response from the scammer who's losing his communication skills quickly ("i not to know how this is pay fee soonest to make correct this now"), another refusal ("You haven't explained what it is you did to deserve a fee being paid, and since I have my money, phffft"), and finally a threat of legal action ("if you no pay fees i know where to send police to you and make for the fees be payd now you want of me take this action or you pay what is right? this is not the fair of you!"), to which I happily replied no ("Life ain't fair, laddie. Send in the gendarmes, Ben Van der Putz Schmucken, and I'll have coffee and donuts to distract 'em with!").
That ended that, though not without a cost: I wasted the price of a box of Hostess Donuts, just in case ;-)
4. I also get after-the-fact emails from people who find my scambaits, both in time and too late: I got an email from a person I've never heard of, but we apparently have a mutual 'friend': one of the Russian bride scamstresses I baited (and posted on, back in '08). Seems that he'd heard from her, as well. And fell for her. And sent her $1,000 to get her travel papers in order. And then never heard from her again. So he did some belated research, and found my blog series on her. And said in the email "I wish I had read your entry before I was so stupid stupid stupid STUPID!!!".
On a better note, another email came from someone in Australia, who'd been contacted about an online job for a foreign fabrics manufacturer. So she applied. Then, after being accepted, something went *TOING* and made her do some online research. And she found my multi-part blog entry on scambaiting the exact same company. For that, I got a nice "thank you for saving me a lot of humiliation and money! I love what you do here!"
Still wonder why I scambait, beyond just the laughs? And finally from the Sometimes They Call Back Files:
5. After using my home phone number on a tag-team scambait with a noted political blogger, I continue to get calls from someone (or ones) overseas (I can tell when backchecking the call afterward; I almost never answer my phone until I see if the caller left a message or not). But it's not like I don't entertain them: I change my voice mail messages frequently, alternating between mp3 files of The Three Stooges, South Park, various movie clips, bites from Laugh-In, the Carol Burnett Show, Black Adder, Looney Tunes, etc. My recent favorite -- which the caller may have heard or not -- was a voice from a 90s commercial saying, "Behold the power of cheese", followed by a loud fart, and then the Three Stooges saying in unison, "I didn't do it, he did it!". and friends just chalk it all up to three concussions, though my mother did leave a message that "you're an idiot..albeit, a loveable one". Thanks, Ma ;-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

It Don't Always Work

*From the 2006 overplayed scambait archives*

There have been many, many times that I was convinced there should be no way -- no possible way -- that as stupid as these Nigerian email scammers are with the replies I send them, they should be able to scam candy corn from a 5 year old.

But once in a while, they ain't quite as dumb as I reckon 'em to be.

In the past month, I've fired back replies to about a dozen. One of them managed to wind up as an eight part episode on this blog.

A few others showed they have a better grasp of the English language than I gave 'em credit for.
For instance, there was Ms. Maureen Serewa (, claiming to be a long suffering deaf girl of dead parents who left her an inheritance in Nigeria, and she needed the help of a "compassionate foreigner" to liberate those funds for her. Replying to her initial email titled "Please Can You Help Me???", perhaps I went a bit overboard in my approach:

Why, of course I can, Ms Muh-reen! They don't call me DR. U. R. Phulovit, pHd, for nuthin'. Now just follow these simple instructions, and this will render you instant relief, I am confidently positive:

1. Print this reply
2. Fold it in half
3. Turn around in front of a mirror
4. Drop your drawers...pantaloons...whatever
5. Place this in your backside, sideways
6. Insert with emphasis
7. and email me in the morning

No need to thank me; I'll send you a bill.
AFLAC (see what I just did there?)!

I was almost *shocked* that she didn't bother to reply; then I got to thinking that perhaps she didn't have a mirror to see what I just did there.

Then there was one -- "Baba Davena" -- who claimed to be the "personal treasurer/financier to Mikhail Kohdorkovsky, the Richest man in Russia". Now the Russians are in this gig, too? Of course it would follow (somehow) that a "Russian" following in the Nigerian footsteps would be named "Baba Davena" (

My reply there was calculated to make him ralph his borscht, anyway:


That's about as Russian as Zigfeldt Al-Qiri El Diablo Kumquat. Why don't you try this name instead: Mr. Yukin Shovitupyouasski? You funny, funny mans, Baba. Piss poor scammer, but funny mans.

I didn't even get a KGB "thank you for letting us investigate you" note for that piece of brilliant advice. Maybe they weren't as in agreement with my brilliance as I tongue-in-cheek thunk me to be.

Next there was Mrs. Mariam Kone ( , who claimed that her late husband of Sierre Leone descent fell to rebels of the Empire of the Pun or some such, and she -- a since-widowed waif -- needed the help of a "sincere, God-fearing person of sterling personal integrity" to obtain her inheritance for her.

Having just concluded a minor tiff over a tongue-in-cheek geography lesson, I felt it only fair to find out how a totally independent, "no dawg in the fight" third party felt about it, too:


Before I consent to your giving me this business so close to your scheming heart, I must ask you one very key question: will you be offended if I make fun of New Mexico? Or for that matter, Iowa? Kansas? Toledo? Newark? Upper Volta?

Your answer to this is most important, Ma'am.

Alas, no reply: guess more than one person took offense.

Finally, there was this most recent offering from -- of all personages -- a princess. Yep, that's right: I was being appealed to by royalty. Princess Sarah Johnson ( or *barely restrained guffaw*, daughter of the late Chief Adam Johnson *snort*, "who lost his life in the course of crisis here in Cote D'ivoire on his way to there company (Nestle Food Plc)"..*died over a crunch bar? Mwhahahahahaha*. And because she was under the age of 22, she needed the help of a "reliable foreign person", and had learned through "internet research" that I was "such a person she could turn to".

Please put on a version of that violin solo from Young Frankenstein! to go along with this.

At any rate, I wanted to impress her with how impressed a country bumpkin like me is, to be contacted by royalty with the genuine effort to give me the royal business. I don't think I succeeded:

Your most Roiledness:

I don't know what ta say hyar; ain't nevr been writ to by a princess afore. It humblin a thang to have happin. My ma always sez ah'd nevr mount to much more than a hoot in a holler, and ah nevr quite knowd what that wuz supposed ta amount to, but ah didn't figger it fer much.

Now, like one a them short fellers from the movie Charcoalrella, ah dun been touched by a real princess. Right proud moment fer me, Ma'am, shore 'nuff. My classmates at Hawggutts High will be eatin' their harts out when they gits a load a dis.

But nuff a that thar...what, malady, can this modest, humble and awsteer subject do on behalf of your Roiledness? Command me hyar, Princess; ah await yer biddin'. Hope it starts at aleast $5. Iffen y'all needs wun, ah knows a auctioneer h'yarbouts what kin flap the lips offa suck-egg mule, shore 'nuff.

An' jest so's ya know: you may be a princess, but ah ain't no frawg. My friens call me "warthawg", but that's better than a frawg.

Guess maybe she was good enough with her cypherin' and wordifying to figger out what it wuz ah dun said hyar. No reply.

Guess my classmates at Hawggutts High won' give a hoot in a holler either, eh?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Someone's Space Dot C'Mawn

The internet's a funny place, shore 'nuff.

You might recognize the photo on the right. Until recently I didn't, though I figured out who she was when watching the movie Charlie Wilson's War. More on that here in a mo'.

Being the kind of character I am -- those of you who think you might know me, no more need be said on that -- I occasionally get interesting requests for 'help' from acquaintances. In the latter stages of '08, one work-place acquaintance asked me to set up a page on one of those networking, immensely-popular web pages for people to post about themselves and meet others.

But not as or about myself: she wanted me to set up a page and impersonate a woman. Why? To see if I could help her draw out a lowlife from her past, and arrange to lead his lowlife self into the hands of authorities that were kind of looking for him back in her hometown in another state (none of which will be named, for obvious reasons). She wanted me to do it, in case he was capable of tracking an IP address, and didn't want him to track back to her.

Don't that beat all.

I was candid with her about the chances of success here: they were less than a progressive demanding a tax cut (the hypocrites just don't pay their taxes, as we've recently seen). But eh...she's a friend, and if I could help lead a lowlife, goat-smelling, egg-sucking moonbat of dubious antecedence to some justice, why not? So I set up the page on the particular site. Made up a name (based on her suggestion of what interested him), used a few of those Russian scamstress photos I have in overabundance, and made up a history for "her", including using some locations from my own past, like my own high school, but of a more recent vintage than when I attended.

I set it up in the late fall, and using the tools of the networking site, sent the cad (who had his own page on the site) an 'invite'. As I warned my friend, it was a long shot. And so it proved: no response from Mr. Lowlife since the page was set up.

But I must say, the emails and other 'hits' the faux page has drawn, have been amusing. Especially the most recent one.

In January, I got an email solicitation from someone on the West Coast, offering my 'character' money to either (a) send him 'her' high school yearbook for keeps or (b) a lesser amount to allow him to copy and return the yearbooks within a week or so. A strange request, to be sure, until I read further into the email. Seems that a currently somewhat-famous Hollywood actress attended the high school that my 'character' had, and graduated about the same time my 'character' did, and he was after all of the yearbooks that she -- the somewhat-famous Hollywood actress -- was in.

Don't that beat all.

It was kind of amusing to learn that I attended the same high school as a currently somewhat-famous Hollywood actress. Granted, I graduated when this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress was...1 year old. But eh...had I managed to milk my basic education a few extra years, I could have graduated with this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress, and had an actual yearbook with someone somewhat-famous in it, that someone else wanted to pay me money for. But I digress delusionally.

Anyway, he wanted to buy my character's yearbook(s), to get all he could on this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress. It was time to hit *delete* and move on. But for those of you who think you know me, you saw this coming.....*TOING*

I had my 'character' reply to this entremanure (or whatever he really was) thus:

I don't know you. I don't know what your intentions are. But (somewhat-famous Hollywood actress) is my friend, and I will NOT exploit her for whatever your purposes are. I will not sell, rent, or anything else our memories, our friendship, and her trust.

It took a couple days, but the solicitor wasn't much impressed with my character's answer to his offer:

Your reply is ridiculous. Your friend has publicists who sell her image for money all the time. Exploit her? You're an idiot.

Don't that beat all.

Well, my character couldn't resist an "Oh, YEAH?" return salvo:

Hey Schmuck,

What my friend chooses to do with HER image -- let's be clear on that point, it's HER image, not yours, not mine, but HERS -- is up to HER. Not to some unknown, dubious moron like you. You want her yearbook images so bad, grow some cajones, write to her and ASK HER YOURSELF. And there's nothing idiotic about protecting a friend, except perhaps to you, which doesn't say much for you. But since you're not MY or HER friend, no biggie.

That drew a very short, two word retort, the kind that is indicative of a progressive losing an argument, and having nothing further to offer but the parting insult.

Game, set and match to my character.

Not that this somewhat-famous Hollywood actress will ever know of this exchange, let alone the step taken by a high school alum separated by 17 years to, er, "defend her honor", so to speak. Heck, she might have even chosen to gleefully send this clown her high school yearbooks herself. But that's between her and him, if he ever figures out how to contact and ask her.

At any rate...amongst the chaff and nonsense that clutters the pagewaves of a certain networking space dot com, there rests a profile. A profile of a woman. One with something of a Russian/Irish mix to her name, and a kind of sassy profile with suggestive, if not entirely provocative, pictures.

Don't bother writing to it ;-)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Taming of the Screw II: Where There's A Will...

Elena thinks she's in it.
At any rate, with Jack Ewehoff now out of the picture, it's easier for Elena to keep her emails straight with Myra Manes. By mid-January -- and ending all of her correspondence with "your wife Elena" -- she finally gets around to asking for the anticipated money necessary for her to travel to be with her soon-to-be husband, snowplow-driving Myra Manes.
And on January 22, 2009, Myra sends his affirmation that the money is being collected and prepared for Western Union-ing, as Myra excitedly anticipates his wedding night with "Sweet Cheeks" *LMAO*
But -- pun probably intended -- I decide to throw another wrinkle into the bait. On January 24, from Myra's email address, Elena receives this:
Dear Ms Elena,
My name is Ben Dover. I am a life-long friend of Myra Manes. I am using his email account to write this to you, because he would have wanted it that way.
This is a difficult email to write to you, Elena, but I know Myra would want me to do it: Myra is dead. He didn't show up for work on Friday, January 23, and we couldn't contact him, so I went by his house. I found him in his easychair, holding a picture of you, dead as a can of corned beef. It's going to be a few days before the coroner can tell us what happened.
Elena, I send you my most profound condolences. I have known Myra from childhood, and when he met you, his lifespark was burning white hot with hope, enthusiasm and anticipation. Where he was a steady, but not happy soul before, he was full of life and happiness now. You were his dreams of the future. I and my wife send our most sincere condolences for your loss.
If there is anything I can do for you, don't hesitate to contact me via this email address.
Ben Dover
I'm glad to see that Elena could keep her eye on 'the screw', while feigning mourning. And so there was, indeed, something that Ben could do for Elena, as Elena would herself make plain:
You are friend of Myra? How you to come contact me to this means? You tell me Myra has dead? How this to happen please I am most to sadden to this news you send me. Yes to you please send to me how what happened Can to me you send the money I come to see Myra's tomb. I am to grief now for my Myra. Please to answer questions my put to you Ben.
After reading Elena's reply, oh how it'll be Ben's pleasure:
Ms. Elena,
I do not know as yet how Myra died. A friend of mine with the local police department informs me that there will be an autopsy within the next few days, to determine cause of death, and when the results are in, he'll let me know. When I know, I'll let you know.
Elena, I wrote to you because Myra and I are life-long friends, and Myra had told me all about you, and your plans to get married. Myra had also shared with me his email information, so that I could maintain his account when he was on vacation, or should anything happen to him. I very much regret it was the latter that I communicate with you now over. You had made him happier than me and my wife have seen him in years, and we looked as forward to meeting you, as he looked to marrying you and building a life with you. He had such many great things in store for you. This is all so sad.
Elena, as to bringing you over here to view his tomb, I should let you know that he isn't going to have a tomb, per se: Myra's oft-stated wish was that he be cremated, and his ashes be spread in the splendour of the Colorado Rockies. The last time we talked, he was firm in this desire, and as his good friend, I won't disappoint him on this.
But there are other things to be talked about here, Elena, concerning Myra and his last will and testament. First, we find out what happened. Then, to the estate issues.
Elena takes a day, and then responds thus:
Ben, i am to have received from you this letter and it also very much afflicted me. Very much it was not plesant to me to hear it. I do not have words. Tell me that with it happens? What the death at it was? I wish to know all that it was. Tell to me it. Now at me tear on eyes. I wish to arrive to it, but you say my Myra no be tombed. This to me saddens me much as his wife.
I wish hear more of this from you, Ben. Please to explain what you mean this thing estate issues of what you write. What is estate issues of to me involve? Soon to tell me this?
I wait from you to hear.
With the seed planted, ol' Ben pours some fertilizer on it:
I still don't have results of Myra's autopsy, but let me explain what I meant with the comment on "estate issues". Prior to Myra's death, he mentioned to me that he was looking at putting you into his last will and testament as a beneficiary, and asked me what I thought. Truth be told, I told him that I thought he should wait until you arrived here and the two of you were married. But Myra seemed adamant about moving ahead beforehand. I do not know if he did amend his will, but I am scheduled -- as his designated executor -- to meet with the attorney at the end of the week to review his will and see what's to be done. If he did include you in it and have it notarized, I will be legally bound to inform you of his intent and the content therefrom, in so far as legal modalities are ipso post facto ad hominum flatus interruptus (that's legalese I'll need the lawyer to explain).
I'll write to you very soon, I promise.
This got the kind of response I would reckon to get from Elena's ilk:
Hello Ben. It was pleasant to me to receive from you yours the letter. It was pleasant to me to read your letter. It was pleasant to me to hear about its dreams. But me very sadly that he has dead and me it to make very sad. I think to you and your wife my thanks to you for consoles to me it very pleasantly. I wish more to understand this will and testament to that you speak to. Is this a thing like money to me for my dead Myra he say? I wish to learn precisely what you mean to me say here on this point please.
Uh huh. Ben waits a couple days, and then wiggles the bait:
I have news. The coroner pronounced that Myra died of a heart attack in the midst of self-induced coitus interruptus. The cause of which is still under investigation -- there are toxicology reports and other, more in-depth things to be done to determine the exactitude of the thing here -- but that is the initial report. Obviously, he was thinking of you being well in hand at the moment of his passing (*ducking boos and throwd whatevers*), died with a smile on his face. I hope this comforts you.
I have further news. Myra did make an addendum to his will in reference to you, and listed you as the beneficiary to two accounts he opened with you in mind. One a savings account, and the other a checking account, both of which he intended to present to you upon your arrival. I will have more details after my meeting with the attorney later today.
Take care,
This draws an interesting response from Elena:
Ben, I am pleasantly to read your letter to explain to me the thing. I am not to understand this what you say about how Myra die of heart attack from this thing you write of to me? This to me curious I find that please to you I ask explain to me.
Myra leave me accounts in bank? I am saddened it is to learn this for my Myra but he to me love and I am pleasantly to learn he do for me to this as his wife. Please, Ben, to me you tell me everything about this accounts so that I am to understand what this is to amount of for me. I am need for you to tell of me all this is for me.
Yawp...I rather thought she would be "am need for you to tell of me all this is for me".
So Ben waits until Saturday, January 31, to tell Elena the rest of the story:
Dear Elena,
Yes, apparently Myra did open two accounts at his bank, with the intention of placing funds therein for you, as a wedding gift. In the first account was his intention, to place $12,500 USD for your immediate use upon arrival. In the second account was his intention to place $67,500 USD, as a savings account for you.
Please, Elena, be very precise in the reading of that paragraph, and note that I used the word "intention". Twice. Because Myra never completed the transaction. The accounts were opened, but only had minimums of $5 USD each in them, to open them. So, instead of there being $80,000 USD in these two accounts for you, Elena, there is only $10 USD. And even though Myra expressed an "intention" to carry forward these transactions, he failed to have the amendment to his will notarized, and approved by his designated estate executor. Me.
So, after discussing it with my wife, we are in agreement that Myra's stated and notarized wishes should be adhered to. But, in view of how much you meant to him, Elena, and your obvious intentions regarding him, I am going to live up to Myra's intentions toward you, in so far as he completed them. So, where/how can I send you $10 USD?
I think I understood the reply. If I didn't, perhaps one of you readers can 'splain it:
Ben what is you say this to me makes to me unpleasant read to me I think it is a disappoint of me that you say about intention of completed them but this not what you do with me? I think to me you make the jest of fun and to me hurt a feelings! From to you hear I am not to more wish of this. Stop to write me more ever!
Like me, Ben isn't quite sure what just got said there, but decides to ask for "precise" clarification:
WTF? Please, missy, get a better English translator! I understand every individual word in your reply, but not the manner, diction and/or order in which you strung them together in a most babbling, haphazard way. Precise clarification, please, which I will find most pleasant to receive from you.
Alas, nothing since. Thus, I reckon I did a poor job of imitating Richard Burton, who had more success -- in the short run -- with taming Elizabeth Taylor's 'shrew'.
I just pissed mine off ;-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Taming of the Screw -- I (of II)

*Blogger's Note: Entry #400! Woohoo!*
Nope, this is not a follow-up on the PETA sea kittens/pussies controversy (though I might get this person in dutch with PETA...nyuk nyuk, and I digress-ski).
As the title attempts to imply, this might be more of my playing the role played by Richard Burton, in taming the 'shrew', played by Elizabeth Taylor, in the movie/Broadway show of a similar title.
I'll let you readers decide how I dun at the end.
Blog readers, meet Elena. Elena Bassanova (not sure if she or her handlers intended the pun or not). She first contacted me via an email address that is a vacuum for scam/spam mail. From thence, I forwarded her pitch -- the "seeking American man for relationship" one -- to one of my regular baiting email accounts for pending foller-up.
I did the usual with this one. First, I checked her name with some websites that feature Russian scammers of the "marriage" variety. She didn't show up there. Then, I checked her first-submitted photos on a couple of other sites. Likewise, she/they didn't show up there.
Hmmmm. A new one, perhaps? Or maybe...just maybe...a legit Russian female? PUH-LEASE.
So, for good measure, I forwarded her opening email to a second account I use for baiting as well, and responded to her under yet another of my baiting guises, just as a 'test', if you will. Within two days, she appeared to flunk the 'test' with flying colors: she responded with identical letters and photos to both.
Now, that in itself proves nothing underhanded. Women 'shop around' for the best deal all the time. So why not when seeking an internet relationship? Then again, would a legit woman seek internet companionship blindly, via an email address I have no idea how she got?
Well, the 'benefit of the doubt' sort of held up until email exchange #3, when Elena told the very simple Myra Manes that "I am for you and only you, I am not the write to all others". The next day, the more urbane Jack N. Ewehoff got the exact same email.
*TOING* Game on.
From mid-November to late December, Myra/Jack continued to receive the exact same letters and photos, with Myra getting them first, and Jack a day later. Elena's grasp of English is good, but not so much in written form, as this example of one paragraph will show:
Hi my love Myra! Was very glad to see your letter. It was very pleasant to receive again the letter from you. I hope, that you do not object to my questions which I now shall set. Because that we continued between us the correspondence very important as far as the person can listen to you and turn to you attention. And so my first question, what I would like to know than you are in engaged in general? Why I ask on such with a kind simple questions attention to please very much be patience with me then I can understand your vital representation as you behave and in the life.
You get the idea, I think. I know I did, I think.
Elena also sent -- besides the largest collection of photos I've ever received from one scammer -- a voice recording in mp3 format, that she said was her reading something "of love" to Myra. And a day later, to Jack. The same file -- and the very same voice -- that I have received now from about a dozen Russian scamstresses.
The character Myra was a more simple soul -- a snow plow driver from Central City, Colorado -- who fell head over heels for Elena ("Sweet Elena, each and every letter you send to me, and each photo that reveals your prettiness to me, makes to me a connection of love that I cannot deny or wish to deny; you have won my heart as no other ever can do!"....yeah, I know...mush-ack, but with Elena, she reckons I be hooked).
Jack Ewehoff was a manufacturing sort from Waterloo, Iowa, a bit more sophisticated and eloquent ("Darling Miss Elena, your letters are a salve to the emptiness of my soul, and an electric dipstick to the oil of my heart on a subzero day in the life. You clothe me with warmth and love, and I am not ashamed to say to you that I am beyond honored to be your one and only love, and to reciprocate that affection expotentially").
Yeah, what he said.
Unfortunately for Elena and/or her handlers, juggling an unknown number of internet "lovers" can get a bit confusing. Especially when two of them are the same scambaiter ;-) So in mid-December, Elena inadvertently sends Jack Ewehoff an email that was sent the day before to Myra....without removing Myra's name.
Don't scammers HATE when that happens?
So "Jack" takes the opportunity thus offered, to begin to bow out of the correspondence (he's got another one working by now), by writing and demanding of Elena, "just who is this Myra character? You told me I was your one and only love, and here you send me a letter that professes all of your love and affection for this Myra person! I demand to know what is going on?"
Elena's next response to Jack -- again, a carbon copy of what she sent to Myra, save for two sentences -- doesn't 'satisfy' Jack: about what you Myra speak to me? Repeat to me your question like for to me understand this more? Then, she goes on to repeat, one for word, her usual professions of love and affection. Which, of course, Jack doesn't buy: I am disappointed in your answer. You didn't answer my question about who Myra is, and why are you writing to him the same things you are writing to me. I feel deceived. Explain this to my satisfaction or we're done.
Elena's next letter -- just short of Christmas -- completely ignores the Myra issue, and Jack pulls the plug: Elena, you have lied to me. We are done. Goodbye.
And that's the last Jack hears from Elena, while the thoroughly-smitten Myra continues on.
By Christmas, Myra has proposed to Elena; and she has accepted, pending travelling here. All of her correspondence thereafter concludes with "your wife Elena".
But this isn't the end of the "taming of the screw". Jack Ewehoff has bowed out, 'tis true; but Myra has hep on the horizon. In Part II, Elena finally gets around asking for money, Myra's "unexpected departure", and a third character finds Elena perfectly content to perpetuate the scam, even in the wake of 'heartache'.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Comparative Approach to RoMANce

*Part II of my Valentine's Day trilogy and from the archives*
While a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (yeah, I actually wuz, once), I was contacted by a Michael Webb, a syndicated columnist with whom I had two things in common: membership in the above, and first name. After closely reading his email, I determined that if you add in our respective gender, that was about the extent of our commonality.
In his email, Mr. Webb asked me if I would be willing to help spread the word about his syndicated newsletter (now a website), The RoMANtic, "which gives hundreds of fun and creative tips on having loving relationships".
Being the sort I am -- for you regular readers, nothing further need be said -- I rather casually sent him a "awww, happy to" response. Not that I was concerned that his area of expertise was vastly beyond my own; I just figured that maybe I could learn a thing or two hundred thousand here.
I shortly received a copy of his newsletter and a fact sheet, pertinent among which were:
- The RoMANtic, in publication since 1996, has "nearly 10,000 subscribers in over 20 countries" (2009 note: with the website, I reckon it's probably more), and with an estimated readership of over six million.
- "his whimsical ideas have landed in the pages of the top publications including Family Circle, Bridal Guide, Woman's Day, and even The National Enquirer".
As I read this, I pondered what I -- the antonym of romance, if you ask my ex-gal pals -- could do to help this guy get the word out, when he's already getting it out with thousands of subscriptions and to millions of readers around the world?
*TOING*...(I almost hate when *that* happens)
I decided that I could help his cause by providing readers with a comparison of sorts: using three of Webb's "fun & creative tips to enrich your relationship", and comparing them to how I might approach the same scenarios, in my "boring, over-analytical" approach to romance (or so I've been told). Or, if you will -- compare his roMANce, with my roMORONce.
Even my ex-gal pals would have to grudgingly acknowledge the practicality of this 'un.
For example, here's one of the RoMANtic tips: while your girlfriend is at work, go to her home and hang stars from her bedroom ceiling. Using star-shaped gift tags, write special little things about her on each star (qualities you admire, using coded "love language" that the two of you share). Then, using gift wrap ribbon, tie one end to each star, and attach the other end with tape to her ceiling. Hang them at various heights (4-6 feet). If she has a pet, make a special star with a message for her pet, and hang it low enough for her pet to appreciate.
Now, contrast that with my roMORONce approach: killing two stones with one bird, hand the stars using No-Pest strips. That way, you get the dual benefit of an expression of affection AND flying pest control, all in one.
Results: his example (according to reader testimonial) a very affectionate call from his sweety when she discovered the stars. My example (I surmise) would probably result in bodily injury (to me) after (or if) she could extract herself and her ensnared pet from the clutches of the rather tenacious pet strips. Though, as I might point out with that practicality of mine, it would have saved her time for the next few months of having to pluck her eyebrows, but I digress.
Another RoMANce tip: slip a note into your sweetheart's lunch box, briefcase, purse, before she leaves for work; in it, tell her just one of the many things about her you love, cherish, and adore. If she's a homebody, leave similar little notes, gifts, and endearments in places around the house that she'll find.
My roMORONce tip: slip in a note telling her how special she is, and remind her to pick up the dry cleaning, pizza and beer on the way home, so as to make the most economical use of the car. Always flatter before imposing.
Not that it works, but it sounded good at some point before execution (mine).
Final RoMANce tip: most women appreciate receiving flowers. So why not give her a whole garden of them? Whether it be window boxes, side or yard gardens, plant and nuture flowers that she enjoys. Better yet, share the pleasures of gardening with her, bringing both the flowers and your relationship to full bloom, together.
My roMORONce short-cut: women are, generally speaking, fiscally-oriented. So buy her an artificial (synthetic) flower arrangement. It's a one-time expense, they look almost real, and they're more durable than real flowers and the resulting divorce. You'll save time watering, weeding and pruning. Just pick 'em up and knock the dust off 'em every so often. You can even sell them at the eventual garage sale to pay your alimony (if you got that far).
I am sure that there are many more examples to definitively contrast Mr. Webb's roMANce with my roMORONce, but I think I got it across h'yar.
So, for those of you convinced that The RoMANtic is something you and your mate can benefit from, go to The RoMANtic web(b) site ( for more information.
And for those of you convinced that my way is worthy of further analysis, you can call your local telephone information number to receive a listing for the nearest divorce attorneys to you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In Defense of the Home -- II

* a quick interruption in the three part series for Valentines Day, which will return 2-7*
For those of you who don't know it, Colorado has had a law on the books since the latter 1970s, known as the "Make My Day" law. It defends the right of a homeowner to use deadly physical force against an intruder to the home, if the homeowner has reason to fear for the lives of him/herself and family. Proponents were jubilant about passage of the law back then; critics decried that it would spark a wave of gun vigilantism, and a host of senseless shootings.
As usual with the progressive critics, it has done neither in the 30 or so years it's been on the books. If my memory serves me, two persons have been prosecuted for misusing the law. That's two in over 30 years.
At any rate, the law comes up for scrutiny again, in the wake of an incident in Colorado Springs in the late fall of 2008: a 22 year old male, coming from a party and thinking he's home, tries to enter a house. First he bangs on the door, yelling. Then he goes around back, breaks out a window, and tries to reach in to open the door. Inside, a couple has no idea who this person is, or what his intentions are. They only know that someone is trying to break in to their house. One is on the phone to 911; the other is yelling at the stranger to leave, and is armed with a .38 revolver. When the stranger breaks the window and reaches inside to open the door, the homeowner fires thrice, killing the stranger.
As is later learned, the 22 year old man has a blood alcohol content of .26, three times the legal limit of intoxication in Colorado. He drove, stumbling drunk, to the wrong street and the wrong house, and tried to force his way in, despite warnings from the homeowner inside, some of which is captured on the recorded 911 audio tape.
The local DA, after examining all facts of the case, elects to file no charges on the homeowner, and judges his actions as justified under the "Make My Day" law. The family of the dead man is understandably upset, believing that there was no reason for him to die.
And from this, some criminal advocate in Chicago, begins a screechpaign about the unjustness of laws like Colorado's "Make My Day" Law, and wants all such laws overturned. This advocate -- he goes by the last name of Vogel, and probably the first name of something stupid -- doesn't care about the facts of the case. He only cares that a homeowner used deadly physical force to defend his property, and that isn't fair.
Knowing what I know of the case, here's my take:
1) The homeowner had no idea who was trying to break in to his home. He only knew that someone was trying to.
2) That someone was oblivious to the homeowner's warnings to leave.
3) The homeowner was in fear for his life, and that of his girlfriend (who was on the phone to 911).
4) When the intruder -- ignoring the homeowner's shouts to leave -- broke through the window to open the door, the homeowner fired, believing he was defending himself against a criminal with unknown intentions, and he -- the homeowner -- wasn't of a mind to play Maury and try to find out what the intentions of the intruder were, once the intruder had gained full entry.
Tragic? Sure. Justified reaction by the homeowner to the circumstances presented? Without having actually been there at the time, I can only say that based on what I've seen, yes. Is someone at fault for the death of a 22 year old man?
Sure. The 22 year old is, if you believe in self-responsibility and self-accountability. He's the one that chose to get stumbling drunk; chose to drive that way -- luckily killing no one else while he was behind the wheel -- wound up at the wrong house, and tried to force his way in, either ignoring warnings shouted from within, or drunkenly oblivious to them.
If fault must be assessed for his death, the fault rests with him. Or at least it should, in a society where self-responsibility, self-accountability, and the rule of law matters, or is supposed to.
Unless you're like this idiot from Chicago, who thinks that homeowners shouldn't have the right to defend themselves in their homes from intruders.
I've already covered how I feel about home defense and the law in Colorado with an earlier blog entry; I'm all for it. It matters not to me that I have only me here, any more than it would matter to me if I had a wife and house full of kids. I have a home-defense weapon, and would use it if facing a similar circumstance. Granted, my training because of my background is different from that of this particular homeowner (so far as I know about the homeowner); I might not have fired before the intruder made it all the way in. Again, not having been there, I can't be critical of the homeowner, based on what I know.
I only know that if faced with a similar circumstance, the intruder has three choices: run, obey, or get shot. I'm not Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry", but I hit where I aim at (discounting the turkey episode of 39 years ago).
I know that doesn't sit well with the panty-laced progressives like this Vogel idiot from Chicago. Then again, I'm not depending on pie-in-the-sky criminal advocates to defend my rights. I'll take responsibility for that, within the guidelines of established and written law. And at least in Colorado -- for now -- I have the legal right to defend myself in my home. Rest assured, I will.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Illiterat Iz Gud

I (almost) hate to admit this, but I enjoy being scammed by folks with the intellect of hamster poo.
Think that's a bit harsh, eh?
Read the following instructions I received from yet another scammer who apparently got at least a part of his basic education in the inner-city skool systum of Chicago...or Denver...or DC...or a few other places akin. I was being instructed on how to apply to yet another bank, for another account transfer on yet another dead foreigner for yet another "scam the mugu" effort:
dear Mayra (he can't even spell my fake name right...moron)
beloo is the rite informaton i have in the deceesed file wich you are too send to the bank soonest:
1. state full name of deceesed: Mr. Smith B. Andreas
2. state his nationalty: Germany
3. what is your relation with decease customr: cousin
4. how old when he dead: 56
5. when exact did he die and what from of: he die November 1999 in Kenya airline that crash Abidjan
6. what is the deceese customer's profess: a busines man and well a miner at Kruger Gold Company
7. does decessed customer onw a firm in country before die: yes
8. if yes, what is name of firm and register number: HAVOLIC AGRICULTURE LIMITED REG.BF815E-KLP211
9. what kind of accounting was he with bank: current account
10. what account number was it: 0036101101
11. state clear his resident address here in Burkina Faso: SECTOR 16 KADIOGO AVENUE OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO
That seems simple enough, especially for a scammer who can't even copy the questions from the original application (which I emailed him, after receiving it) with the spelling right in front of him. It seems just as simple for me to, in my usual manure, screw it up royally, which I did when I filled out the Bank of Africa application form:
1) State full the name of deceased: Smith B. GoodnDead
2) State his nationality: Kraut, with a dash of other bits and pieces
3) What is your relationship with deceased: none, you sick bastard. I'm a heterosexual, not into necrophilia! Whazzamatta with you? Too much late night TV sex with gazelles over there?
4) How old was he when he died: as old as he was gonna get, I reckon
5) When exactly did he died and what led to his death: he died exactly the moment the plane hit the ground in Abidjan, scattering him from sh** to breakfast, with leftover snacks for scavengers
6) What was deceased customer's profession: lion artificial inseminator
7) Does the deceased customer own a firm in this country before his death: yeah, sort of
8) If yes what was the name of firm and its registered N: Poking Pride Havoc Propigators, Inc., Registration N BF815E-KYJ221
9) What kind of account was he operating with the bank: the kind wid money in it, I reckon
10) What was his account number: 00330014357-oh-dang
11) State clearly his residence address here in Burkina Faso: six feet under ground, if all his body parts were found after impact...otherwise, he's all over the general postal delivery area, with parts being carried off by dung beetles and vultures.
After sending this in, I got a day-later reply from the scammer -- Oko Mamadou -- who sez:
i read well you reply to bank questons is well understod. pleese to send soonest to bank for prcoess.
It's always a pleasure to be "well understod". And I'm glad he "read well" my answers. Being "read well" is very important in such business endeavors, don't you agree? It's obvious my scammer is every erudite at the sub-pond scum level. Which lasted until whoever is playing his 'bank', took the time to more carefully read and comprehend my response. After going over it with Oko, and finding some discrepancies -- perhaps even getting his butt reamed by his handlers -- Oko responds with a most poignant "WTF?" to ol' Mayra:
Mayran, you to me disapont why? for long time i have woked this oppotuniy but now it looks to you is to spol my effort! why am i say this? is that in the bank today the diretor complaned to me your answers is not same to deceased costomer file. i now i make no mistak on copy of answers from file that i send you. this upsat me most of you! i make to you ofer of good busenes faith of intend, and to me you do jest of me with bank? explan this to me how you fix now with bank to me?
I was most happy to "explan" it to Oko, when at the same time I "explan" it to his bank, by re-writing Oko's email to me with the answers, to match my reply, and throwing in this preamble:
Dear Bank,
It is apparent to me that Oko Mamadou is clearly out of his element here, and I don't mean the ones with big floppy ears and trunks. As you can see in the text of this email, Oko directed me to fill out this application exactly as I did, with not a single syllable differing from that I submitted.
If this isn't bad enough customer service on your bank's part, then Oko writes to me and pleads ignorance, especially after writing to me to tell me he'd read and "well understod" my application to you and urge me to send it to you soonest! Just what am I to infer about your bank's business practices and ethics, based on the sub-par performance of your employees? Answer me that, Bank of Africa. How do we proceed with good faith and confidence in your product, when your representatives make such horrendous gaffes? And I don't mean the long-necked kind that eats tree limbs, leaves and sh**.
You tell me, Bank of Africa. Just where DO we go from here?
Myra Manes
Wherever this scam MIGHT go from here, it's apparently going forward without any further input from Oko Mamadou:
Dear Manes,
On behalf of the Bank of Africa, Foreign Remittance Department, I am extended to you apologies for the conduct of our former employ, Oko Mamadou, which is no longer to be a member of the staff here. We should like to request of you that further communication not to be address or copy to Mamadou, and we shall assign a trusted member of staff to assist in this transaction for you, upon your responding with the proper informations needed to validate your access to the deceased customers accounts.
Alhaji Mahmoud Rafaji
Foreign Remittance Director (BOA)
And shortly after that, I got one last (maybe) email from Oko Mamadou:
Mayra you f*k me on this you to be sory for you do this me!
Y'don' suppose I orta enter the Federal 'Made A Scammer Mad' Baiter Protection Program now, do ya?
Nah. Especially since I'm waiting to see how "BOA" and Rafaji react when I sent them the exact same answers on the application... ;-)