By Rick Kaempfer
I recently joined Twitter (I know, I know...I'm a little behind), and when I joined, Twitter gave me a special present in return: A whole new batch of spammers/scammers.
I'm sure I accidentally followed someone I shouldn't have, and I will go through the list one by one later today, but it made me realize that spammers and e-mail scammers have really come a long way in the past few years.
My favorite one is the one that digs into your contact list and sends out e-mails to people you know, saying you are lost and stuck in (insert foreign town name here), and all you need is a cash transfer.
But even with all the advances in the spam/scam world, I still occasionally get an e-mail or two from a classic: The Nigerian businessman.
A few years ago my buddy Dave did something amazing. He actually corresponded with one of those Nigerian guys...and returned the favor.
To one scammer who claimed Dave would be receiving $18.5 million for foreign investment, Dave responded with a joke. Instead of ignoring Dave, the scammer responded back. Here are the e-mails that followed in order…(I redacted his last name, but I left all of the grammar and spelling mistakes)
I got your mail and before I say anything, I would like to correct the impression you already have. I am not joking with my proposal to you, I mean real and genuine transaction and that is why I contacted you for assistance. I appreciate your response.
I am entrusting you with confidence based on trust that you will not let me down. all machineries has been perfected, ok, to ensure a risk-free transaction. Arrangement has been ascertained to safely transfer the fund to your nominated account. I am counting upon you and having the interest of both families at heart for our upbringings. My late father's struggle before demised has been to commercialize investment abroad with a trusted capable foreigner. I hope this opportunity must not be jeopardized because of my career, future of my family lays in your hands.
Truth, honesty and sincerity must be our watch word. all related documents will be sent to you after our discussions and for further details of arrangements. I look forward to speaking with you today. Also, forward your contact phone/fax numbers the name and address of your bank where we can transfer the US$18.5Million to, the account, name/beneficiary, the account number etc.
As soon as I receive the above information, I would apply on your behalf to the bank where this fund is for the fund to be moved to your account using the above requested information and depending on the level of co-operation we are able to get from you, this transaction will take a maximum of 10 days to be concluded.
Dave, of course, answered him.
“I will be arriving on the 22nd November on flight 9002 from Frankfurt. I will be staying the 22, 23, 24 and 25 at the Protea Hotel, Victoria Island.
I will be free the evening of the 23rd, all of the 24th and morning of the 25th. Mr. Brusky and my lawyer are already in country and will be meeting with you as well.
Please let me know which day is best for you.
YOUR MAIL HAS BEEN RECEIVED, YOU SAID YOUR LAWYER WILL MEET WITH ME. WHERE AND IN WHICH COUNTRY?
GET BACK TO ME URGENT FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS
“Just give us the certified cashiers check when we see you this week. We will cut you a commission check the same day.”
When every documents is obtain and forward to bank, you will demand for cashier check, as a matter of fact, if you really want to do this business with me kindly let me, because this is not a childs play, let me know your position.
Looking forward to hear from you.
Thanks for your co-opration
“We will meet with you on Monday the 27th at 6:00 PM at our hotel, Protea Hotel, Victoria Island. Let me know what we need to bring.”
I have told you that, this is not a childs play, if you want to handle this business with me kindly send your telephone number to me for oral discussion, first before anything could be done.
“First off, the phrase is "child's play" not "a child's play". Little Red Riding Hood is "a child's play". Your insinuation of my apathy toward your business proposition is "child's play". Got it?
Second, I should be given the respect I deserve for extending my trip 4 extra days to accommodate a face to face business meeting with you. Sadly, the tone you are using is far from indicative of such respect.
Since I am in a giving mood due to our Thanksgiving holiday I can be reached at 234 1 461 0236 x 310.
David Brusky (United States Foreign Affairs Bureau),Johnny Cochrane (my lawyer) and myself will be dining at the Baywatch Restaurant 35, Ojo Olobun Close, Victoria Island, Lagos, This Friday and Saturday evening. Come on by and we'll talk about your proposal. I hear the veal is excellent.”
Sorry for the delay, I went for a meeting in london and will be back 2weeks time, i do not know if you will be around till i come back from the trip.
You can reach on my telephone 44-703-190-XXXX Or 44-707-190-XXXX
Thanks for your co-opration
We have arrived in London! We are staying at the
6 Waterloo Place
London SW1Y 4AN United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7629 7688
We are registered under the name URA DUMBASS. Let's meet this evening at our hotel bar. I will assume 8:00 PM will be OK. If I don't hear from you I'll assume you'll be there.”
And that’s the last Dave heard from Godwin.
No need to thank Dave. His thanks comes from knowing that while Godwin was running around trying to figure out what was going on, he was unable to scam other Americans out of their bank account information.
It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
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