Pete's random thoughts

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fun with scammers...update

This post is an update to the last one where I mentioned leading on a Nigeria scammer for my entertainment.

I get a number of scam emails in my inbox every day. I generally don't read them, but the other day it occurred to me that it might be entertaining to screw with one of the Nigerian scammers for a while. It comes complete with a cartoonish picture of an ATM machine and the logo for a presumably fictional "Zenith" bank.

Unfortunately, he doesn't just "reply" when answering me, so I can't just forward the whole conversation to you. What I have done below is assemble the conversation between us by copy and paste. Read it from the top down to stay chronological.

I have a hard time not laughing when I write this stuff:


Attention Beneficiary
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your

Contract/inheritance fund file and found out that you have not received your Fund $12.5M.

You will receive it through ATM CARD, reconfirm this following

{1} Your full name
{2} Your full address
{3} Your direct telephone number.

Mr. Frank Ibekwe
Director, Foreign Operation
ATM Card Dept Zennith Bank

That is great news!
Let me know what name, address and phone number you have on file for me and I will let you know if it is correct. Thanks,
Dear: Pete Thanks for your mail and the content noted by me. There is no way i can disclose your data until you reconfirm it back to me that is how it works. Regards.
Mr. John Maxwell Director, Foreign Operation ATM Card Dept Zenith Bank Telephone No +234-806 360 6851
If you have my email address, and know my name, then you obviously have more data on me.
Please let me know what you have on file and I will confirm.
Dear: Pete Sir i have all your data but if you can not reconfirm it back to me, i will not disclose it to you for security reason and not to make a mistake to another person that is not meant for, so send your detail now as i will not force you to do so rather it is for the safety of this ATM Card not to be sent to a wrong person that is why it is important you reconfirm it back to me. Regards.
Mr. John Maxwell Director, Foreign Operation ATM Card Dept Zenith Bank Telephone No +234-806 360 6851
Why should I trust you if you don't trust me?
Is this some kind of scam?
Dear: Pete Sir it is not a scam as you ask but it is because we have to make sure it will not be delivered to wrong person that is why you have to reconfirm your address and too i don't have more time on this issue to be sorted out so suit your self now and get the details send back to me. Regards.
Mr. John Maxwell Director, Foreign Operation ATM Card Dept Zenith Bank Telephone No +234-806 360 6851
Sorry for being paranoid, but I am afraid of identity theft. Last year someone tried to hack into my bank account and steal $47!
If you want me to trust you and work with you on settling this account, you need to meet me part way and show that you are for real. If this really is my inheritance, I certainly want to claim it.
All you list is a phone number, but I can't talk to you on the phone because I am nearly deaf.
Your phone number looks like it is from France or something. With a French sounding name like Maxwell, you must be located in Paris.
I have ancestors from France, so this money probably does belong to me.
Dear: Pete Sir nobody is going to thief your identity and nobody is going to hack your bank account, i gave you 100% assurance for that. It is really your inheritance that is why i want you also to claim it now before next year so that it will not enter the first quarter by next year. I give you my word and it is my bond, the only thing holding this issue is your full details if you can send them to me. Do not bother to call me but give me your number i will call you back, please time is running out, send your information now so that i can start the process today before i went for a holiday later to night. I am urgently awaiting for your response with your full information now. Regards.
Mr. John Maxwell Director, Foreign Operation ATM Card Dept Zenith Bank Telephone No +234-806 360 6851
As I said before, I am unable to talk on the phone because of my deafness.
It is cold here today, Minnesota winters can be harsh! Is it cold there in France? Will there be any special Christmas celebrations there? Tonight we select one of the men from our village who has the honor of dressing up as Saint Stanislous and lighting the menorah. This is an old French tradition.
I have done some research into my French ancestors and I believe that the person with whom my name is associated with in your files is probably Pierre-Gaston-LeClerc-Mugabee DuGall Plunkett. He was descended from french royalty. I can send you a photo of him that was taken in the early 1960's if you want to compare it to the one in your file. {Pete's note: if he wants the picture, I will send him one, it is a picture of Mr. Bean} He was a local hero during WW2 because he helped to protect the Vichy army from the Israelis who were attacking from the south. The Pope even named a brick in the patio of the Vatican after him.
I would be very proud to receive his inheritance! We can use the money to build a museum in his honor. For your part in all of this, we can name a shrine in it after you! I will start drawing up plans tonight! What should we name the shrine? You sign your letters with John Maxwell, but your email address shows up as Frank Ibekwe. Is Ibekwe a French name too, or is it Belgian?
Merry Christmas, may St. Stanislous light your way on this most auspicious occasion!
Pete (who is proudly descended from Pierre G.L.M. DuGall-Plunkett)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fun with scammers

For the past week I have been playing games with a Nigeria scammer. I get probably half a dozen Nigerian scams in my inbox every day, and sometimes the mood will strike me to mess with them for laughs.

This one is from Nigeria and claims to represent Zenith Bank where a distant relative of mine who died has $12.5 million dollars in an unclaimed account there.

The scammer wants my name, phone number and address so he can send me the ATM card to access the $12.5 million. I've been screwing with him, telling him that I am afraid of identity theft and that he should give me the info that they have on file about me so I can confirm it.

Then I asked him if the phone number he has listed on his email (no address) is in France, because it looks French. The guy's email address has an African name in it, but the "banker" claims to be "John Maxwell". I told him that with a French area code and a French sounding name like Maxwell (hahaha), he must be located in Paris! And here I am with the equally French name of Plunkett (LOL), so my ancestors were probably from France too, so that money MUST be mine, right?

I wonder how long I can string this guy along?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tech question bafflement

I don't get people. They baffle me. Wendy answers customer emails about sales, I answer tech questions. Some of these questions are from people who are just too damn stupid or lazy to read the information that is already presented to them on our website. Other questions are specific and legitimate. Some of them are just downright bizarre. This week alone I have had to address these two prize winners: "Can a double barrel flintlock shotgun be converted in such a way that modern 20ga shotshells can be used in it, but done in such a way that it can also be used as a flintlock?" and this one from a jackass in Utah: "Can I get a Brown Bess with stainless steel instead of carbon steel?" The kick in the balls is that when I explained to said jackass exactly why we would never do such a goofy, non-authentic thing, he replied with a long, arrogant reply about how stainless is superior to nonstainless and that they had the technology to make stainless in the 18th century. Where do these people come from?