Sunday, June 27, 2010

Storm Chasing in Scamland -- Preramble

So far, stormchasing in Colorado has NOT been my friend, regarding my schedule this season.
However, stormchasing online has come to me in a veritable deluge.
At present, I am:
- working on getting a scammer to make a third trip to Western Union in whatever Third World country this buffoon is working from; he's already pissed after the second visit, and I may not be able to con him into the third, though I -- or rather Jack -- is trying.
- dealing with an alleged 23 year old "refugee" bride-wannabe from Senegal, who has $5.5 million USD to offer as her "fortune" (see faux document at right), and has three accomplices working me as well.
- in the process of being qualified for a "loan" from a UK-based "bank" that offers 2% loans "anywhere in the world" up to $10,000,000 USD, and with "rasonable terms", too. I -- er -- Jack Ewehoff asked for $10 to cover lunch; but the way I wrote it ("I want $10Ok?) led them to "offer" me $100k. The processing fee is the trap, and I'm working on that one now ;-)
- I was notified by TEH Google that I'd won $500k in their world-wide promotional contest. Right now, the impasse isn't the information I submitted *snort*, but the fact that they offered me two options to receive the money: go get it, or have it delivered by courier. They want me to accept the latter (so they can pull the Western Union shipping fee gambit), and I am insisting on going and gittin' it (not really, but if I could sucker them to go meet me at London's Heathrow, holding a big sign saying "Jack N. Ewehoff", I'd contact a scambaiter over there for the photo-op).
- and lastly, I am being ordered by the US Secret Service NOT to deal with certain scammers they claim have been identified by them and arrested; instead I am to deal with the US Secret Service's verified source to collect my $3.6 million USD from a location overseas. Since James West and Artemus Gordon are in permanent TVLand retirement, guess I gotta handle this 'un.
It's the time of year I'm hoping for mesocyclonic thunderstorms in my area -- and on my available schedule -- and all I'm getting is cyberdumbass predictive email storms. Oh well....we take what we can git ;-)
Future episodes pending.
PS: five years ago this month, Skunkfeathers began this blog. How many folks do YOU KNOW who have left a five year, 500+ entry evidence trail of undeniable time-wasting?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Thanks We Don't Git

We've all done it.
Said or wrote something in haste that, upon review, just didn't come out sounding quite like we meant it to.
We're all human. Unless we're trees. Or BP. But I digress.
Anyway, I received another effort to give me the business. One purportedly related to the 2004 Tsunami, which, as everyone knows, was Bush's fault.
Well, the sender -- identifying himself as Dr. FUNG Victor Kwok King, Director of the Bank of China -- apparently had one of those days, when (de)composing the email he sent to me and probably 500 others. It, I am sorry to say....wasn't convincingly written.
And I felt bad for him. Really. I haven't felt bad for anyone who was trying to screw me over in a while, and I was rather overdue in the exercising of my compassion department*.
So I swore to take a page from some kumbayaesque book, and help him out. Really.
Taking a thoughtful, helpful pen in hand -- taking care not to write anything akin to the picture above -- I fixed Dr. F.K. King's missive. Fixed it, and sent it right back to him. Allow me to share with you how I was so giving of my time and syllablic experience, and see if you don't agree about how compassionate and helpful I was:
Subject: DISASTER OF 2004 TSUNAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From: Dr. FUNG Yu Victor King Kwong Smith, Esq.
It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me. So just get the guppy f*** over it. I tell you that this particular letter/email is of exceptional and very primate nature, so don't monkey with it. I want you to keep this between you and me, and forget that I've sent out about 10,000 of these f***ing things, hoping to get two or three dumb sh**s to respond.
I need you to believe that my vantage position in Bank of Chia Pets will serve to make this deal legitimate in a liberal way, even though it is really so much egg roll sh**. But for me, it can be rewarding egg roll sh**, if you fall for it.
I have the lack of honor be lead you to believe that I am Dr. FUNG Yu Victor King Kwong Smith, that I am 63 years old, and happily masturbate with pandas. The importance of this will not soon become apparent, and I hope you forget you read that.
I will need you to believe that I am an executive in the Bank of China, even though I just artificially inseminate pandas, which of course you forgot as you as you read it, right? If you believe the former, I have access to $30.5 million USD. You don't need to know that this fund is total chow mein sh**; you just need to believe that these funds were deposited with our bank by a customer who is a national of your country, who died during the Tsunami of 2004, though it was only because he got dork-hung in a sex basket, and he actually masturbated to death trying to tread water. He kinda looked like Jim Carrey in the movie MASK when he was found, but I guess this is all so much TMI.
Anyway, you can read about it here (I substituted the links Doc FUNG had listed, and put in a link to another blogger's entry about flatulent ducks or something akin).
Be that as it may, I need you to believe that the fake account has been declared doorknob since 2006 and these funds will be declared unserviceable and turned over to Fast Eddie Wong's Fortune Cookie & Slut Shop, if the deceased doesn't have some kind of vertebrated mammals related to him through anything but Arkansas inbreeding Social Services, step or come forward. This is where you come in, especially if you are from Arkansas, but not necessary for my purposes, long as we don't have to shake hands. I also want you to believe that this transaction is 100% legally pandash**, and equally so is my claim that all the relevant documents necessary to make this work to my benefit, are in my possession, having just made them up with my computer that doubles as a panda vibrator.
If you respond to me, use this handy email address (which I kind of rendered hors de transmit), and I shall start you on your journey to being thoroughly screwed by me, so that me and my internet cafe chums -- panda inseminators all -- can laugh our slanted asses off at you while we spend your money on inflatable whores and alcohol-laced kimshi. Give me your information so that we may laugh at you properly:
Your Full Name:
Current Contact Address:
Your present Occupation:
Your Age:
Your Wife's virgin rebushing combination:
Any wok-able pets:
Your phone numbers:
Please if you are not interested because you are too smart to be duped, kindly f*** off and die, asswipe. Otherwise, your earliest response to this letter will be highly amusing.
Dr. FUNG Yu Victor King Kwong Smith, Esq.
This was, of course, promptly dispatched to Dr. FUNG's email address, and I eagerly awaited some note of thanks or appreciation for my compassionate efforts.
Two days later, I was very rudely disabused of the notion that compassion is worth spit in the river:
u no funnee f*** off uself.
I thought I was bein' helpful. Or at the least, kinda funny. Guess I wuz neither, huh?
* right after writing that, my conservative system rebelled, and I projectile vomited

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Law & Git Some

*A classic from the scambaiting '08 archives*
I love how people keep offering me work over the Internet. It's such a comfort to know that in this day, age, and uncertain economic time, that there's a plethora of opportunities online.

To get screwed.

Take the latest one I received on the first of May, from Lee Phillis (his first of five name variations, with one additional 'oh whoops' throwd in) of the company Star Textile Limited (, with a world-wide distribution, or so it was suggested in the opening gambit. According to the lead-in hooey, "Star Enterprise Fabrics and Textile is a Latvian textile company". At the end of the first email, it is listed as Star Textile Limited, Unit A-D, Centre 600, 82 King Lam Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Not that I'm against businesses with Latvian and Hong Kongian offices, mind you; I can see how the Latvians and Hong Kongians would have so much in common, business-wise. Still, it's interesting to note as further revelations come to the fore.

At any rate, Mr. Lee Phillis "is looking for a US based account representative" to handle the lucrative but difficult pool of US clients and their payments, for Star Textile. The candidate is expected to process customer payments, receiving a 10% process fee per transaction, and forwarding the balance as designated, via Western Union.

Yup. Seed this 'un afore.

So, what the heck: I applied. I decided to give ol' Curly a rest on this one, and decided to see how attentive ol' Lee was here, so a new character enters the ranks. Using their opening application form, I filled it out thus:

FULL NAME: Ewehoff, Jack N.
CONTACT ADDRESS: 4334 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90023
PHONE NUMBER: 1-213-235-2335
AGE: 48
MARITAL STATUS: Long-term separated
CURRENT JOB: Terminal repose
DATE: if you're cute and female
What comes as no surprise, three days later I get this from now Lee Philllips (variation #2):
Thanks for getting back to me promptly.Your application is being processed and after all necessary check has been done and we are satisfied, I would call you and you would then be informed as to when you would be getting the first set of payments. At this time I will also inform you on where the payments are to be sent via Western Union. Looking forward to you having a rewarding time working with us. Clothing the world...our goal!
Lee Phillip (variation #3)

Now that Lee has proven he proofreads about as well as the rest of Scamland, I'm in business, and I show my genuine enthusiasm for the work to come:

Mr. Lee,
Thank you for the opportunity! I won't let you down, on this you can be gravely assured! I won't rest while one transaction is in my withered hands, I assure you! I look forward to providing a level of satisfaction commiserate with your intentions here.
Yeah, I know I'm not Curly this time out; but my address is still a cemetery. And Universal Studios might be getting a couple of interesting phone calls before this is over. I hope they take messages for me.

About a week goes by, and I begin to think that something's gone the schmuck actually checked out the information on my application. But email comes after six days, bearing proof that the game's on:

Hello Ewehoff,
I am writing to inform you that a customer payment is being sent to you via UPS courier. It should arrive with you today or tomorrow. Here is the tracking number of the payment. Pls have them tracked so you can know when the courier driver will come to deliver them: 1z6x5a812110008271. The payments that will be delivered to you will be inform of a cashier's cheque which you are to take to your bank for immediate cashing and once you have the cash you are required to send my 90% back to me via western union with the informations below. Deduct the western union charges from my 90% and divide the remaining funds into 2half and get it to the 2 names below.

Robertson Shodade
Robertson Machaty

Note: the payment will be for $5830. Deduct your 10% and the western union charges from my own money. Soon as the funds are sent, send me the fullname and address of the sender's name and well as the MTCN control number of the western union and also the amount sent to each person pls. all this are very neccessary so the funds can be picked up easily.
Jeff Patterson (the odd name he throwd in there, that never again appears)

Never one to throw a multiple monkey wrench before it'll cause the most confusion, I wait to start to question:

Mr. Lee,
I will watch and wait for the UPS man to make with the delivery. I have all your information ready and will act upon it with dispatch, once the delivery arrives.

The weekend intercedes, so one can imagine Mr. Lee Phillis/Philllips/Phillip/Jeff Patterson's anxiety as Monday morning rolls around:

I will be expecting you to expedite actions about this, how fast you process the first payment will determine the volume of the next payment you will be receiving.I hope to hear back from you how far you've gone today.
Lee Philips (variation #4)

For something that's easily done online -- tracking a UPS package -- it continues to amaze me how these morons claim to use UPS, and apparently never do, as I tell 'em I got their delivery, when it's going thousands of miles in any direction from me. But I digress, and now it's time to let the fun times roll on Star Textile:

Mr. Lee,
I have received the package, and am leaving now to attend to it. First to the bank, and then to my local Western Union.

And that's all I send him.

Now it's Tuesday:

I didn't hear anything of you today. Did you get to Western Union? These funds are important to operations. Pls advise soonest.
Lee Philip (variation #5)

Okay, some more monkey wrenching:
Sir Lee,
I have completed the first step. I have deposited the money at the bank. Before I proceed to step two, I have two questions:

1. If Star Textile is a Latvian company with an office in Hong Kong, why am I sending the money to the Ukraine?
2. Instead of 10%, I would like 20% for my services. You good widdat?
Jack N. Ewehoff
Now it's Tuesday evening, and this has been sitting in my email for...probably hours:

Hello Jack,
Good tohear from you andhappy to hear you have deposited cheque. Now you must complete Western Union step to the two names I send you because time is not on our side anymore.

We are sending the money to Ukraine because we bougth our raw materials (fabric) from them.our goods came in yesterday and wee need to pay them off today so that the goods won't be returned ok? you need to act fast ok.

Please try to understand that 20% is too much for us right now. We are new and have start costs. But I will agree to you have 15%, but time is not working for us, pls get Western Union sent soonest.
Lee Philllips (earlier variation)

Now, time for more 'time not on our side' issues:

Sir Lee,
Well, it won't be until late Wednesday. My car broke down. Something's wrong with the blinker fluid and the gronificator. But I'll get to it assuredly, Wednesday afternoon. And I am okay with 25%. Thank you for the raise.

Lee of multiple name variations reads the emails better than he read my application:
Delay is problem. Pls make this imperative Wednesday. and I said 15% not 25%. Pls make haste with payment!

Another monkey wrench on Wednesday evening:
Sir Lee,
Sorry, it won't be today... I am sick tomorrow.

Lee is getting edgy, but has a degree of compassion for someone he's trying to rip off:

Good day to you. I got your email and i am really sorry about your health. I pray you have a soonest recovery. Pls and plse in respective of your health, you have to go out of your way and send the money today. I really need to pay a client of mine and he threatens legal action if I delay. Pls, I have more cheques for you to process, but you must complete this one. My wish for your recovery and pls send Western Union soonest.

Now it's time to pee in some Wheaties:

Sir Lee,
I'm a bit embarrassed here. My doctor's bill was much larger than I expected, and I have no insurance. So I used some of the funds. Not all of it, but some of it. After deducting my 30%, I have about half of the total left. You're okay widdat, right?

Now Lee is pissed...and varying his last name again:
you have no reason to use part of the money of the company with you.You have been given a 15% commission, not 30!You have no right to more than 15%! If in the next 12 hours you did not send the companys money,we shall be forced to invovle the authorithy! (now he capitalizes for emphasis) I HOPE YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS?i will urge you to go right ahead and send whatever you have with you before the situation gets worse.
Lee philip (later variation)

Now Jack "panics" in reply:
What do you mean, "involve the authorithy"? You don't mean to have me ARRESTED??? NO! But you can't DO that? Can you? This isn't FAIR! I was sick! You can't do this to me! I feel a real bad one coming on in the bowels! Why have you forsaken me?

I guess ol' Lee felt he put a sufficient 'scare' into ol' Jack, and his reply reflects a moment of backing off:

OK. Am being fair now. Just send the money you're supposed to send now and let me have the western union details in minutes.

Unfortunately....*snort* wasn't in "minutes". It was later that afternoon:

But sir!
When you threatened me with legal action, I got I used my 40% and contacted an attorney through a discount club I belong to, and he told me I had to send him a retainer for his services. So I sent him the balance of the cheque that's not mine. Don't scare me like that again! So now that you're not being a big meanie now, I'll try to get the remaining 40% or so back. If I can, I'll send it to you tomorrow, no fail.

Lee and his multiple last name variations has had about enough of me, and now decides to play the 'heavy':

you are in trouble now. am sick of your pranks and i need you to send out my money today. all of it, no commission for you now. you send it all. I really mean this and i have all your information. you understand what i tell you? YOU HAVE NO WHERE TO HIDE FROM ME. Send me my money or it get ugly for you.

Oooooooooo, da poor puddy tat's mad. Now that he's mad, let's poke a stick in the hornet's nest and up the mad quotient:
Now I know you have all of my information. I know you know who I am, and where I live. I know this already, since I'm the one that gave you the information. And you know it's accurate, because the UPS package did get to me. So that's established.

But now I have the cheque. And you're threatening me. And I think to myself, why do I need to worry about threats from YOU? After all, just what are you REALLY gonna do? Lee, you're gonna do NOTHING. That's right: NOTHING. Because you CAN'T. I have your cheque. And I'm not sending it to you or anyone in the Ukraine. I'm keeping it here. My commission just became 100%.

Unless, that is, you want it back bad enough. If you do, then here's how you get it: YOU COME GET IT. As you said, you know where I live. And since I work from home, I'm there almost all the time. So I'm easy to find. Come look me up. Drop by for a spell. Take your shoes off and get all homey. Come visit my crib in da hood.

But my guess is, you ain't coming. You ain't got the stones, Lee. You is what we used to call "yellow". A coward. A chickenpoop*. No guts. Nuthin'. You ain't nuthin' but capital letters and hot air. Oh, you might have a thug or two come by on your behalf. But I got an answer for that, too.

Come on, Lee. Come git some. You want your money? Come git it, candy-butt*.

Jack N. Ewehoff
4334 Whittier Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90023

You know where I am. Come git some.
* color-metaphorically diminished here, not in the original
You gotta love a scammer who's got the stones to come git some. Lee Whatever-His-Name-Is utters what turns out to be one final threat:
youll be sorry you see.
I wonder if he'll show up at a cemetery in Los Angeles, lookin' to git some. Whaddaya think? Hope he brings a shovel. To git some, he'll have to dig ;-)

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Friday, June 18, 2010

A Vitameatavegamin Moment In Email

Advertisers -- whatever it is they are advertising, promoting, etc -- should really look closely at their product before it goes out on the 'Net.
Some of you may remember the TV classic I Love Lucy. Among the many classic show themes, was the episode wherein Lucy (Lucille Ball) tried to become a TV pitchwoman for a liquid vitamin product. And after numerous takes, she was blitzed on it.
Well, I think I got an email equivalent the other day.
An email from someone whose name was probably selected for them from an alphabet soup can (Alqowey Seti), sent me what was possibly an email advertisement. Or a phishing scam. Or gawd only knows what.
Start by reading the email title, quoted here exactly as received:
Email Title: We are pround to prevert yow our wem rifk free and effected pain-killibgv dwug!
The recession must be hitting the Warner Brothers folks pretty hard, for Elmer Fudd to have to resort to online spamming to make sketchings meet.
The body of the email was not much longer, and had a link therein to click on. Of course, after an email title like above, you can't wait to read what the email has to say:
do yov enjow the tolthack that has beed keptiny yoy awak all knigh long? Cick here fore pain relift:
I think the email (de)composer h'yar has been sampling a bit too much of the "pain-killibgv dwug" before trying to cyberslut it via spam.
And no, I didn't click the link; not sure what kind of cyber viral crap might be awaiting on the other end.
But I did deign to reply to it; never let a good email reply opportunity get away.
Dear Alqowey Seti,
First, did your parents name you, or is that how your name came out AFTER sampling your company's wares? Just curious.
Laddie, I would suggest that use of your advertised product by your emailers, during the (de)composition of an product-endorsing email, is cause for some company-wide drug testing. In any event, I am advising you that I cannot, in good conscience, click on your link or buy your product. I need what few working brain cells I have, and your junk appears to have kilt those of your employees. Just sayin'.
Jack N. Ewehoff
As usual, if a reply is received -- and I doubt it -- I expect we'll find out if Alqowey or Elmer has come down off of whatever they were *baDOINKed* on or not.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soccering 'Round the Horn(s) of Africa

World Cup mania in South Africa.
Yeah, I know it only comes around once every four years.
Thank gawd. Especially THIS TIME.
Personally, I'd rather watch paint dry. It's quieter, too. One local sportscaster got in trouble with his bosses for referring to soccer as "mainly played in countries where livestock roamed the streets". Another recently opined that "oh yeah, this is the perfect politically correct sport: in the first three matches, nobody won! How's YOUR self-esteem today? Why doesn't soccer try to SETTLE SOMETHING!"
Of course, because it's the World Cup, you can't access some news source without hearing something about the World Cup. Including those horns. By the hundreds. Thousands. Gazillions. Whether it be one or ten thousand, just as annoying, like listening to Baghdad Bob Gibbs babble, in multiple stereo.
I heard one South African official respond to criticism about the horns by saying, in essence, "it's our way, and the horns will stay".
Granted, I'm about as musical as a door knob, but this horn -- I can't remember what it's called, but it begins with a 'v' and might as well end with a 'v', far as tonal quality goes -- would cause water buffalo to wear ear protection. Our local radio station, whenever doing a sports segment that includes World Cup so-called results, feels it culturally necessary to try to break up the sporting news giver, by playing sound bytes of the horns during the sportscast. Even some of the soccer players at the tournament are getting annoyed by the horns.
But it's their way, and the horns will stay.
Four years ago, my local sports source loved to play the call by a South American or Italian soccer play-by-play dude, everytime someone scored (which in this sport, is as rare as an honest politician): it took him longer to say "gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll", than the game itself took to play.
They still love to play his drug-out goal call. But now, it must compete with the horns.
World Cup Soccer. *Yawn* Perfect for napping.
With the sound down, of course.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Waits and Measures II - A Nobel Peas Prize?

You -- and I -- thought I had heard the last of Byrunt Martians, right?
Guess again.
As is customary for me, I send a few parting emails to a scammer that's figured out I'm not playing along. Most times, I'm ignored, or the email account goes phfffft. But not always.
Like now.
After sending Martians an email that said, in essence, I am most unable to understand your display of pique with me. Wouldst thou care to elaborateth?, to my astonished amusement, Martians did:
i must say you talk and behav like one that is not serous i must tell you that you the one delay this hole tracfer now your check is her but no u have to make payment and u make joke insead. i must tell to u my staff not think u serous to.
Pissed off his staff too, eh? Wow. Perhaps a chance to make amends? Let's see:
Martians, I am not the bad chap you and your staph have led you to believe. In fact, I am quite a generous sot. I was so impressed with your effort to give me the business, I submitted your name in nomination for the 2010 Nobel Peas Prize. Yes, I really did. You should be hearing from the nominating committee in a short time. How's THAT for serous, eh?
Martians, why the meaning should be oblivious: your tireless efforts to give me the business are worthy, in my opinion, of my returning the favor, and nominating you for a Nobel Peas Prize. Thus, I have submitted your name to the Norwegian Nobel Institute's Nomination Committee, for consideration for the 2010 Peas Prize. Makes you and your staph feel kinda foolish now, doesn't it?
jack is this some kind of jok?
Martians, I am serious. Totally, dude. And you will believe me, when you get the email from the Nomination Committee. Cross your heart, dude.
i dont no believe this mail you send.
You'll see, Martians. Probably by early next week.
jack regarding u mail well i am not undersanding this Nobel stuff u say?
So, let's see if, now that he's ever so cautiously nibbling at the bait, can I get him to take it? So naturally, I had to go in and create an email account that looked officially from the Nobel folks. A little Internet research, a little Yahoo Mail, and wha la, on the first of the next week -- as promised -- Martians received that which Jack N. Ewehoff had promised him:
Herr Bryan Martians,
It iz mine pleazure to contact you on behalf of das Norwegian Nobel Institute undt inform you zat you have been zelectedt undt nominated az a potential rezipient fer das 2010 Nobel Peas Prize.
I congratulate you undt hope you vill azzept tis honor.
Fer das nominatingk procezz, ve need your followingk informations:
Full Name, Address, Zity of Rezidenze, Country of Rezidenze, Telephone Number, Date of Birth, Occupation, Blood Type, Interests, Hobbies, Fetishes.
Ve also need to know if you have been nominated fer das Nobel before? If zo, vhen? Undt can you travel to Oslo to azzept your prize if zelectedt?
Pleaze complete das questionnaire undt return by Zunday, June 6. Undt again, ve congratulate you on your nomination.
Geyr Lunestadt, Director
Nobel Peas Prize Patrol Nomination Committee
Norwegian Nobel Institute
Henrik Ibsens gate 51
0255 OSLO
Tele: 47-22-12-93-00
After a couple days, it drew this reply:
i am not undersand this mail. who r u? what is this about?
I was happy to have "Geyr" write back and 'splain it:
Herr Martians,
Das Nobel Peas Prize iz das most preztigious avard in human endeavored hysterectomy. It iz coveted acrozz das zivilized vorld. Undt in das past few yearz, ve have made the nomination procezz even eazier. Yazzer Arafat undt AlGore von a Nobel. It iz zo eazy, zomeone who haz done almost nothingk but talk alot can vin, az happened in 2009! Mein Gott, a door knob can vin a Nobel theze dayz! Zo your chancez are vunderbar at vinning! Zo fill out das informations questions ve zent you undt return zem zoonest!
r u jok with me? u cant not be serous?
Herr Martians, I never joke aboot schtuff like diz. Fill out das questionnaire undt zee!
i want you call me on phone to talk (and he gave me the number he used early on).
Herr Martians, you may call me at ze number on mine zignature, undt ve may have sprechens to your heartz content undt schtuff. Call me now (and I re-provided him the actual number to the Norwegian Nobel time-wise, he probably got Norwegian).
Now....perhaps he did call...perhaps he didn't. Whatever the case, undt zadly..."Herr Martians" stopped communicating. No further email prods from either Jack N. Ewehoff or Director Geyr Lunestadt, drew so much as a "ashole" in reply.
Too bad, too: not EVERY door knob gets an email from the Nobel Peas Prize Patrol Nomination Committee ;-)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

And The Winner Isn't...

I came to find out how I fared with the latest scambait. It's still in the works.
And I know you came for a dose of humor, or at least what I poorly pass off as such.
Not today.
Today, you read about how I heartlessly key on a simple gaffe, and (maybe) hurt some feelings.
I think.
The apartment complex I choose to reside in (when I want to impress someone with my substandard of living, I refer to my place as a 'luxury efficiency'), has a pretty proactive management team. Among their proactivities, is a monthly "rent reduction" drawing. Granted, it ain't much, but "ain't much" is appreciated by the winner.
Which in almost 10 years, I have never been. I think it's rigged, but I digress.
Anyway, in keeping with the times, the management folks quit publishing their monthly news/activity letters on 20th Century paper, and started emailing them at the end of '09. Well today, I get an email from the property office, headed up "Free Rent Winner Announcement".
I didn't even know there was a contest of such. Not that it matters; I never win this sh** anyway. Still, curiosity led me to read on.
To nothing. The email was blank after the title.
*TOING* I do hate when I hear that. It always means I'm about to do/write something stupid in cyberland.
Of course, I was just tryin' to be hepful. I didn't want to be left in suspense, along with 16 buildings' worth of tenants, and the management folks themselves. So I...uh...filled out the empty email, and sent it back.
Here's what ah dun wrote in the blank email, under the heading:
...and the unannounced winner is....*drum roll*......
(a) everybody
(b) nobody
(c) somebody
(d) I....ain't got
(e) fill in the blank (use someone else's name, please)
(f) someone whose last name ends in "quackenwaffle"
(g) this has been a test of the (Apt Name) April Fools system...this was only a test. Had this been an actual announcement, there would have been a name..
(h) Google ate our winner...bad search engine...very bad...
(i) What, you thought we were Publisher's Clearing House? Bwhahahaha..
(j) Aliens from the planet Flatus Phffftteruptus have taken over our email system. Anyone know what they're saying?
You may return now to your regular email. If this IS akin to your regular email, put down the keyboard/iphone/blackberry, and back slowly away.
Judging from the ominous silence from the management office, I have a feeling I didn't win this time, either.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

"You're an Idiot!"

*Blogger's note: I'll get something new here soon! Meantime, here's one of my less auspicious efforts from '07...which is still largely the case today LOL*
Granted, it isn't always stated just that way, but the implication is clear.
Recently my manager at work, after hearing about my latest round of "offers to give me the business" from the Nigerian/et al email scammers, shook his head and said, "y'know, one of these days, if the Feds don't show up at your door, a bunch of machete-wielding scam enforcers will!". His diplomatic way of saying "you're an idiot!".
In a discussion with another workplace peer, I was asked to explain what my attraction is to chasing a storm to get a tornado photo. After explaining it in what I considered to be a pseudo-reasoned manner, I received a look that said what her words didn't quite achieve: you're an idiot.
In dealing with the avalanche of Russian bride-wannabe scam letters -- letters best handled by *click delete* -- I wound up with two whom said they wanted to exchange correspondence, be friends, and have me help them with their English. I re-read the letters. This is what they said. With some degree of caution -- aka, my "change of letter tone or intent" radar on full scan -- I agreed.
Sure enough, first the younger of the two suddenly began saying things like "I most eager want to visit you in America. You agree?" and "I know it expensive, but you have me stay with you...I make you happy, yes?". And right on the heels of that little *TOING*, came a sob story about her local internet cafe closing this week, and she needed money for a new computer...and would I consider....? And this, after telling me that snail mail service there is so bad, most of what is sent from abroad doesn't arrive "because mail workers find to steal find money from foreign mail".
Then the older of the two -- still 20 years my junior -- suddenly started talking like we weren't just friends exchanging emails...we were "more much in heart, yes?". And then came her broaching the "L" word, as in how she was coming to feel, y'know. And a week later (aka, earlier this week) came "that" letter many a dating male dreads: "time it is you for to say what you feel, and is what please your intentions serious with me, yes?"
Whatever amusement I momentarily felt suddenly disappeared in a self-uttered salvo of "sh** sh** sh** SH**!"s. I'd done it again! Also known as "I know better than to get into this sh**; I know this sh** will always evolve like this; and still I get into this sh**, knowing this sh** is going to wind up like this sh** always does", followed by a few heart-felt head bangs on the desk.
I'll earn credit for a fourth concussion yet.
Looking back at it, I've done a host of things that many a rational, reasoned person would call the act of an idiot, even if I didn't see it that way at the time. The "falling out of a tree getting firewood" episode. A couple of my actions during the Murphy Gulch fire in '78. The infamous back-packing Poseidumb Adventure. The two blizzard epics of 1982 and 2003. Countless other outdoor escapades. A few easily-avoidable work-related episodes that I foolishly chose not to easily avoid. A couple moments of utterly foolish "white knight" behavior that almost got me rendered into composting material. The way I handle personal finances. And, of course, the aforementioned examples.
As for the former Russian "friend", I wrote her a diplomatic but cautionary letter about her eagerness to visit me in the US, and why this wasn't something to be rushed or lightly considered, with a reminder that since we were separated by thousands of miles geographically, and 29 years chronologically, "making me happy, yes?" had an ominous ring to it. As for the request for money for a new computer, I just ignored that 'un.
And for the 'nuke of the week' -- the latter/older Russian "friend" -- I wrote her a very clear, but diplomatically gentle reply, letting her know I had the same intentions I'd had from the outset, and that I didn't feel the same way she did. I hoped we could maintain friendly correspondence, but would understand if she chose to end our communications, in view of her change of objectives.
A response from the former is still pending; what I got back from the latter was, predictably, "you're an idiot!" in her rudimentary English, along with something along the lines of "drop dead!".
I don't have much of an argument against the former, and at some point, the latter will biologically or otherwise take care of itself ;-)
So for you blog readers out there who dared to harbor any doubts about it...harbor them no more: I'm an idiot.
June's just around the corner: prime storm chasing on Colorado's Eastern Plains time. First opportunity I get (day off from work + storm weather = idiot in pursuit), I will be sooo there.
Long as I'm going to have the title, might as well help justify/solidify it ;-)
Though, in a weak but floated-anyway defense, ponder this: at least in the middle of a tornadic thunderstorm, I'm not likely to be set upon by a gang of machete-wielding scam enforcers, or aggrieved Russian bride wannabes.
Y'know...there might just be a plausible method to my idiocy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Waits and Measures

Pounds vs lbs. Wait vs weight. Understanding not required. Or desired.
This is what scammers hope for. And when playing widdem, me too.
Of my two most recent scambaits, one -- another investment with fringe benefits promised by the scammer -- is ongoing. But not this one.
For Chevron-TAXACO and their representative, Bryan Martins, understanding came sooner.
It started simply enough, with this unsolicited, untargeted email:
Subj: Contact
Dear Beneficary
To celebrate this year of our 2010 anniversary pogrom (an appropo typo nowadays, eh?), Chevron Oils Plc International has given you a competsaion of $980,000 USD as a competsaion for environmental hazards caused by our Products, we hope this donation will be used well (did he just pun me?) not only for you but for your communty. This competsaion would be issued you in form of an international casher's check can be withdraw only by yourself anyware in the world. Please fill out the names and informatons below.
It went on to ask for my name, age, address, occupation, sex, phone number....and was signed by a Nicholas Miller, on behalf of Chevron CEO David J. O'Reilly.
Since Jack N. Ewehoff was already off the shelf and in a dust-up with another online scammer, I thought it fitting to unleash his unrusted enthusiasm hereon:
NO SH**????????????????? KEWL!!!! My info-f***ing-mation is filled out. Show me da MONEY!
The response from Mr. Nicholas Miller was simple and as badly spelled as the first (note to Chevron CEO David O'Reilly: your hR recruiters are slacking, dude...or your MIS folks are buying a cheaper spellchecker), and it referred me to Chevron-Taxaco's financial wiz, Mr. Bryan Martins, in London, UK. Whom I immediate co-replied to thus:
This is fan-f***ing-tastic! I am responding to you AND Mr. Martians, so as to save time. I shall await his instwuction on receiving my just due as soon as bloody possible!
What I got back from Mr. Bryan Martins, allegedly of the FINANCE DEPARTMENT UK HM TREASURY BOARD (what happened to Chevron-Taxaco?), was a long, rambling reply, which told me how to "clam" my cheque -- AFTER I paid the shipping fee in UK British pounds.
I decided right then to have Jack have an 'understanding disconnect' on "pounds", and responded thus:
My favorite Martians: I am not familiar with the denomination of payment. What is this you mean?
While awaiting Byrunt Martians (as I began calling him) answer to that, I got a "have you contacted Mr. Martins?" email from Nikolas (not Nicholas anymore) Miller, to which I replied
Nikky, butt out. I'm talkin' to him already. Yer clutterin' up the email here. Go plug a leaking oil well somewhere. You know with what.
Nick got a little butt-hurt over that, but sucked it up to respond:
i not undersand your tone of reply. i just make sure things go ok.
Meantime, it took Byrunt Martians (my name fer 'em) a couple-three days to reply to me, but finally he did:
Dear Jack, sorry for late repy , its do to emergence metting i had to handle. regards your queston the currency is Great British Pound.
*Game on*:
Byrunt, "Great British Pound"? Dang...never heard of those. Does it have to do with wayward dogs? Or does it mean something in US dollars? Is it the same?
Jack, 650 pounds is same as 942 USD.
Wow. That much? Maybe I should send you the pounds, 'cuz they're cheaper?
My favorite Martians ignores the last, and sends me wiring instructions for the fee, telling me to send it thus:
Here come payment informaton bellow:
Recever: Bryan Martins
Amount: 650 pounds
Address: 1 Horse Guards Road
London, SW1A 2HQ, UK
Here we go:
Mr. Martians, please to clarify this: I make the payment in pounds, cuz it's cheaper than in US dollars (by almost 300). BUT...does Western Onion charge extra for transfer by weight? I mean, 650 pounds is a lot. How much will it cost me to send that much weight to your one whore guard place in London?
Jack, i dont now how much it cost you over in America, but i is not think it cost much, just go to any western union locaton near you and make sure you do this soonest, time is not on our side.
Time's not on our side? Dang. Whose side is it on?
Jack, you wast time here. Go to Western union soonest and wire the 650 pounds. i cant not sent you check until you do this.
Whatever. So Western Onion can send 650 pounds cheaper than UPS would? Kewl. I will look into that next week.
I do nothing thru the weekend, but on Sunday evening, I have this awaiting me:
Jack, has you send the money yet? i am wait for the tracking code to be done on this because you cant not get check until payment is made. soonest plese.
Martian: I am going to go over to my nearby Western Onion to see how much they'll charge me to wire 650 pounds. I hope their wires are stout.
jack, i must say to you this take to long. you must soonest complet wire transfer to present your check from being ladled unclaimed. have you send money?
I return from Western Onion most cornfused, Martians. They tell me that I cannot send 650 pounds of ANYTHING via wire transfer. In fact, they laughed at me and threw me out! What kind of crap is this? Is there a different unit of measure we can use to get past this problem?
jack, yor reply is well read and receive. if they cannot send in pounds all you need do is send eqivalent in dollars that is they will have to convert it. you try sort that out soonest ok?
Now I have to SORT pounds? Sh**, Martians, this is getting to be too much like real WORK! I told you I didn't want to use dollars, 'cuz it cost me more than your pound stuff by 300. Now, I talk to UPS, and they tell me it cost me $5,000 to ship 650 pounds internationally, and I need a really BIG box. Can you receive a really BIG box?
Mr. "Martians" is getting frustrated, to the point that he tried calling me on the phone...except the number I gave him for Jack is a known-to-be unused fax number. That draws this reply:
i tried call you now three time but no respond. regard you corresponding mail the content is well noted which i had to call for a meeting. i wonder why western union in America cannot send 650 pounds to the UK. I advice you go to another western union and pay the dollars but as a result of meeting you have an alternate by paying 650 pounds in dollars via MoneyGram with same payment informaton. Do so now.
Martians, I am not much enlightened after visiting a MoneyGram location. I am rather cornfused by the talk of pounds and metrics, and this person spoke to me as if I was cornfusing weights and measures versus denominations, when I never brought up a mention of religious affiliations at all. I will try to get this sorted out but the bottom line hasn't been written yet, and I digress. Meantime, it is extremely pricey to send 650 pounds of anything internationally; and both MoneyGram and Western Onion say they can't send stuff by the pound. Ideas?
jack, well i must say to you i am not happy with the way things go presently i must tell you that i am doing all my best here to make sure your fund is confirm by you. i speak with directors today and they telled me you go to MONEYGRAM so that our goal can be acheved soonest. Make the payment and send me the scam (a very revealing typo, eh?) copy, i must inform you that my directors want talk to you on phone but you number is unclear and we cant not reach you. you must move on this now.
Okay, I will try MoneyGram, tho' I am not sure they know how to send so many pounds any better than Western Onion did. Are you SURE that UPS wouldn't be better? It'll only cost $5,000 to ship 650 pounds internationally. I can send this collect. Otherwise, I will try MoneyGram and send you the scam copy, no problem.
Martians is getting both confused AND exasperated, it seems:
i am not undersand what u have sad in eamal. are u serous to deal? why are u said pounds is a weigh? are u make fun hear? plese make soonest the payment as instruct becaus time is run out for deal. u must act soonest and send 650 pounds of uk currency it is money not weigh! no more of this stuff u say now.
I just lurve how their spelling and diction -- never particularly great to start with -- goes to ovulated bat guano, when they get off script and twitterpated. But hey, even I can appreciate the gas spasms I might be causing this poor sot. So let's cut him and his a break...of sorts:
Well, dang it, Martians! Why in the platypus sh** didn't you 'splain it to me like that the first time? Here I've been frettin' about sending 650 pounds as in lbs, and you meant something 'tirely different. See what bein' clear and concise will get ya, ya dork?
Some peoples' ungrowd-up kids..., you want me to send you 650 pounds of British money! It's MONEY! Cricket crap, I kin do that! I'll git 'er done just soon as the weekend's over.
And when the weekend ended, I dun did just that: I emailed Byrunt Martians 650 pounds of British money, just like he the form of two pictures I picked up online of various forms of Brit currency and coin. Whether it amounted to 650 pounds, eh...I sent him pounds. And said it thus:
Okay, Martians, the "weight" is over (see what I just did there?). I have sent you 650 pounds of British money. AND...I have done it cheaper than UPS, Western Onion, or Money Gram would have done: I enclosed it here. Print it on a good quality color copier, and pay the fees so you can ship my nice big cheque via the information I already provided you. You're a good man, Martians.
Uh, I think I dun lost my Chevron-Taxaco cheque for 980,000 USD, based on Martian's apparent last reply:
u wast my time u ashole dont not write me mor.
Give someone what they deserve, and do you get an iota of thanks? Phffft. ;-)

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