Friday, November 19, 2010

Bridge For Sale!

A friend of mine was recently the target of an on-line fishing attempt. Most normal people just delete these emails without a further thought. But not him. This type of stuff is grist for the mill. Here is the verbatim correspondence between the two geniuses:

My Friend: [Someone has hijacked my cousin's email and is trying to scam money. I had the following email exchange with the person who hijacked my cousin's account:]

Scammer: Hello! How are you doing? Hope all is well with you and I pray this e-mail finds you in good health. I am so sorry i didn't let you know about me leaving for a conference in England. I really hate to do this but i need a favor from you because i lost my Bag on my way back to the hotel from the conference venue and i had my valuables in it and now am in a mess. Kindly raise me a loan of $2,700 so i can settle my bills here and get back home before things get out of hand. I'll really appreciate it if you could do whatever you can to help me, I'll refund whatever you can come up with as soon as i return. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so that i can send you the details to use when sending it through Western Union.

Waiting to read from you soon.

My Friend: That is a remarkable story indeed! I will be happy to loan you the money you need. What kind of conference were you attending? Did you get a new job or something? I didn't think anyone in your line of work would need to go to England for a conference. Which city are you in, anyway?

Scammer: Thank you for your help, I just thought i should try another line to earn more money. Never knew it was going to be a mess for me, Send the money to the details below through western union money transfer

[UK Address Provided]

Kindly help me to send it soon and once you have it sent, let me know the money transfer control number (mtcn) with full details of the transfer or attach receipt to me .

I wait to read from you as soon as you have it sent

My Friend: I just had an idea! I have a friend who works right by there at the Baron and Baroness bar! He can lend you the money and I can pay him back, then you pay me back. This way is better because we don't have to pay Western Union fees. If you go by there about 7:00pm tomorrow and ask for Michael, he'll be there with the money you need. I already called him and set it up, but he can't do it tonight so tomorrow is the earliest I can do.

If you just google "Baron and Baroness newcastle" you should be able to find it no problem.

‎[My Friend: The Baron and Baroness is a gay bar.]

Scammer: I am not allowed to leave the hotel premises,i am really in a mess here right now . Had i know.The more i stay here, the more bill i owe. Find a way and send the money to me in time through western union , so as to pay up and return home. I'll pay you send to me, just do it soon.

My Friend: What? No, they can't force you to stay at the hotel. That's illegal. Just go on down to the bar tomorrow night - the Baron and Baroness. Ask for Michael and he'll have the money. It's better this way - no paper trail. You know I don't like to have any receipts if I can avoid it - it'd be too easy for the CIA to find me.

Scammer: OhhMG , Can you just send someone please. I am chanced to be able to come online with the help of their manager, try and send someone to western union to wire the money . I mean soon Gregg, am really in a mess here .

My Friend: Me: Okay, calm down, relax, breathe. Is your therapy going okay? You aren't having urges again, are you? I really need you to tell me that you're over this whole p3dophile thing before we go further. I remember what happened the last time I sent you money no questions asked. So tell me that you acknowledge that you were once a p3dophile and that you haven't gone back to that. Then I'll think about it.

Scammer: Okay , i agreed i haven't gone back to it . Wire me the money and send me details given to you at the bank after the transation.

My Friend: I need you to write the words, "I am not a p3dophile anymore." I can't trust anything else.

Scammer: Okay, I am not a p3dophile anymore Gregggggggggggggg . Am waiting

My Friend: ALERT!! I called your cell phone to make sure you're okay but I think someone may have stolen it, because he didn't know anything about being in England or our conversation! He sounded like you, but I am too smart to fall for that. Just to be sure, I called the Newcastle police and asked them to check on you at the address you gave me to make sure you're okay.

Scammer: You making the wire ?

My Friend: Yes! As soon as I figure out what "making the wire" means.

Scammer: means sending the money

[My Friend: At this point, my phone started locking up when I went to reply, so I had to stop playing with him.]

Scammer: Am still waiting to read back from you

My Friend: Oh, yeah I forgot all about that. Instead I went to go see the new Harry Potter movie. Hey, you probably got to see it early because you're in England, right? If you were enrolling in Hogwarts, which house do you think you'd be sorted into - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin? I think I'd probably be Ravenclaw.

[My Friend: It's still going. He says he'd be in Ravenclaw. I'm going to argue with him (clearly, he should be in Gryffindor), but my phone still freezes when I try to write emails.]


  1. Him:
    I am still waiting to read from you (my name) on the western union transfer details

    Right, but which House would you be sorted into? Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin?

    I'm not going to discuss this anymore until you answer the question.

    Ravenclaw house

    What? Ravenclaw? You're nothing like a Ravenclaw. Look, if you aren't going to take this seriously, I don't know why we're even having this conversation. You're the one who brought up Harry Potter, anyway. Ravenclaw. Jeez. You're clearly a Gryffindor. Remember that time you lit a curled newspaper and tried to smoke it like a cigarette? Or that time you hacked a stranger's email account and tried to scam his contacts into giving you money? Clearly Gryffindor behavior. Maybe Slytherin. But definitely not Ravenclaw.

    Anyway, sorry about the delay but I will send the money tonight as soon as I get home. I can't do it any sooner, unfortunately.

    Are you still there? I have the money ready now, but I don't want to send it if you're okay. Let me know if you still need it

    I am not okay at the moment, the bills keep me restless

    Okay here is the money, $2,700 as requested

    (Attached to this email were two jpegs of a $1,000 bill and seven jpegs of a $100 bill.)

    why are you toiling with my health ?

    I don't understand. You said $2,700. Did you need more now? I don't know if I can scrounge up any more money... I am just trying to be helpful.

    if you sent the money, i need the below details from you :

    MTCN (10 digit number) with full details of the transfer or attach receipt to me.

    The money was attached to that email I sent earlier. I don't have any more to give you. I put all the bills into the slot in my computer and emailed them to you.

    you are joking

    I think we are finally done.

  2. James says to let him know that you don't know how the whole Western Union process works... and ask him to send YOU $50 first to illustrate the process.

    And you can reimburse him.

  3. Damn, I totally should have done that. My cousin recovered his email shortly after that last bit of the conversation, though.