Tag Archives: Scambaiting

Project Update: The Scambaiter’s Cookbook

Just so you know I haven’t been resting on my laurels on this one…

From my new friend:

“I am really happy that you are showing interest to know the food I like and other things that makes me happy. That is very good of you and I really appreciate that.

But my dear I would want you to understand that the only thing that will make me happy for now is helping me to transfer my inheritance into your account so that you can send me enough money to arrange my traveling documents to meet with you there in your country.Honestly life here in this camp is truly miserable and my earnest expectation is to leave this camp.

Notwithstanding my dear my best dish as you have asked is white rice and fried plantain with vegetable salad.Other one is our local food called acheke with our local sauce which i shall teach you how to prepare when we are finally together.”

Hopefully a recipe will be coming shortly.

My Life in Albums: Introduction

I was cleaning up my iTunes yesterday, getting rid of duplicates and rubbish that I downloaded back in the heady days of Napster. Monty Python sketches are better on YouTube anyway. Especially performed by 419 scammers who have been scambaited.

Like this one.

Anyway. I digress. I was feeling a little nostalgic as I deleted dross and re-listened to some tunes I hadn’t listened to for a long time. So I undertook a little exercise. I tried to match an album to every year of my life. It wasn’t necessarily limited to an album released that year. It was more about finding an album that defines my memory of a year. It wasn’t even necessarily an album I owned. In one many cases in the early years I picked albums belonging to my parents (some I have since either pinched from them or purchased) It was fun. Sometimes I couldn’t split a couple of options. Here’s my list. I’m going to turn these into a bit of a series of posts. Because I can. Feel free to join in – comment with your musical memories.

The early years

  • ABC for Kids, numbered albums
  • Peter Combe, Toffee Apple (I think, I might be guessing here)
  • Don Spencer, Feathers, Fur or Fins
  • Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
  • Paul Simon, Graceland
  • The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith
  • Arlo Guthrie, The Best Of
  • Tommy Emmanuel, The Journey Continues
  • Jennie Flack’s Mugwumps and Snookles (though the more I look at her discography the more I think we had some sort of bootleg hybrid of her tapes, and Bullfrogs and Butterflies

Year by year

  • 1997 – Backstreet’s Back – The Backstreet Boys, Hanson – Middle of Nowhere
  • 1998 – The Living End – Self Titled
  • 1999 – Powderfinger – Internationalist, The Whitlams – Eternal Nightcap
  • 2000 – The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream, Custard – The Best of
  • 2001 – Dandy Warhols – Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia
  • 2002 – Muse – Showbiz, Weezer – The Blue Album, Radiohead – OK Computer
  • 2003 – Muse – Absolution, Placebo – Sleeping with Ghosts
  • 2004 – Radiohead – Hail to the Thief, Eskimo Joe – a song is a city
  • 2005 – The Killers – Hot Fuss, Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
  • 2006 – Gomez – How we operate
  • 2007 – Gotye – Like Drawing Blood, The Panics – Cruel Guards, Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga
  • 2008 – Athlete – Beyond the Neighbourhood, Architecture in Helsinki – Places Like This
  • 2009 – Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
  • 2010 – Whitley – Go Forth, Find Mammon
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The story of Ikenna Ukaigwe and the Bible Verse Picture

A little while ago now I shared with you this picture from my Nigerian friend Ikenna. I promised to tell you the story behind the picture – and at that stage I was hoping he would provide me with the long awaited John 3:16 photo. But it was not to be. Our conversations have become cold and distant of late – he barely even replies to my emails and when he does they are monosyllabic requests for money. I don’t pay these guys in advance, or indeed upon production of the goods.

For the record:

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Ikenna first contacted me in April. His first email is included in full below – you might be interested to know that I don’t have an official church website, but I had, in previous correspondence with a couple of other scammer accounts suggested that I worked for a church that was looking for mission partners overseas. These scammers often try to pull theological heartstrings – and I figured they were more ripe for supplying me with a Bible verse themed photo. Here’s what my friend Kenny had to say:


“I am a regular visitor to your church official website and i must acknowledge that your church, from what i read from your website is worth joining and i also wish you can come down here to open a branch of your church because since i got to know your church i have been looking everywhere for a branch of your church but i could not see it, at least this will give me and some other people the opportunity to worship with you from here.

Since i read about your church in a foreign magazine my friend gave to me, i have always wished to become a member and that is why i am writing you. The zeal to become a member of your church is due to the fact that i am convinced that the establishment of your church is a true vision from God and as such, i wish to also be a part of that vision to enable me improve and grow in my spiritual life.

I will like you to let me know what i am supposed to do to become am member of your church and also i will like you to send me some of your church bulletin or order of your church service to enable me follow up in all your church activities from here. may the good lord bless and keep you safe in HIS hands, i will keep praying for the church and also pray that you will find me worthy to accept my request, Amen.”

Well. This seemed like a pretty good opening. So I replied – sowing the seeds of my little scheme to land the photo, I got straight to the point:

“I am thrilled to hear that you have discovered my church. Where do you live? We are currently looking for mission partners in foreign countries who we will generously support as part of our annual Global Bible Knowathon.

If you would like to be a part of this upcoming prayer and fundraising event please send me a photo of yourself holding a sign with your favourite verse of scripture. This photo will be featured in our mission slideshow and will help us to raise funds for gospel ministry in your country.”

He responded quickly. The thing about friend Kenny is that he was so eager to please:

“I was so happy to hear your reply to my mail to you, i must tell you that i really wish to a part of your church. I live in Nigeria and i’m also a Nigerian. As regards the prayer even, i will like to be part of it. I will send you the photograph as soon as possible so that necessary things procedure can be followed.

Thank you and may the lord bless you, Amen.”

I kept on reeling him in, sensing that I might finally have cracked the scambaiting code:

“I am very excited to hear that you will be a mission partner. Please send me the photo as soon as possible so that we can start supporting you in prayer and petition, and through our weekly mission offering.”

But then I didn’t hear from him for two weeks – so I sent him a reminder:

“Is it at all possible that we might get a photo of you holding a sign with a Bible Reference written on it in time for our church service next Sunday?”

His excuse was that he had been sick, and in hospital.

“Sorry i have not written you to send the picture as promised,i have been very sick and been in the hospital but i promise you this i must get this picture before the sunday you talked about.

Thank you for your concern for me, God will bless you.”
This was the first in a string of emails that he sent me without waiting for my reply. The next one included the photo:


“How are you and your entire members of the church doing? I hope the good lord is taking good care of you all. Here is the picture and the bible quotation ( Revelation Chapter 21 vs 1 to 5), it is my favorite and it makes my heart glad and it also make me remember that God knows about my situation at all time. I run a small shop where i sell used clothes and other household things and that is where i took this picture.

I hope the picture gets a positive considerations. May the good lord be with you all in your exhibition.”

And when I didn’t acknowledge receipt immediately I got this one:

“How are you doing? Hope good.

I sent you my pictures yesterday, i hope you got, if you did, please let me know ok?

May the lord be with you, Amen.”

And then, somewhat impatiently, this one:

“I have not heard from you since i sent you my pictures, what is happening?”

Here is my reply – I didn’t want this fish to get away, so I hit him up for a second photo – this time with John 3:16 involved:
“Sorry I haven’t written back yet. Things have been so very hectic here.

The pictures look great. They will be very useful in our mission services. Please can you send me the details for the transfer of moneys raised.

Also, with those details, could you send me another photo with John 3:16 as the Bible reference – “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

Could you underline the words “loved the world” – we believe this shows the importance of mission work.

Once again – thank you so much for your partnership in this matter. May you be blessed richly and abundantly through our friendship.

I apologise again for not replying to you.”

He responded, promising to deliver the goods:

“It’s so good to hear from you today, i must tell you that i was beginning to get worried over your silence since i sent the pictures. How did the service go? Did your church accept the pictures and the quotations? You asked me to give you details for you to send me money, how did the money come about? Please let me know in your mail but for the records, My full names are Ikenna Ukaigwe M. my address is [WITHHELD].

The pictures you asked me to send again, what will it be used for, please tell me, but i will send them ok? Please let me hear from you soon, i will be waiting, may the good lord bless and keep you and the members of your church, Amen.”

I had hopes. This was a bite, not a nibble. So I pulled out all the stops. I asked for personal details:

“I must apologise for the delay.

The money has not been collected yet – it will be collected in a service in two weeks time. Our mission service.

The pictures were acceptable – especially the one with you smiling. You look very happy in that photo, brother.

Brother, the pictures will be used in our mission book to be given to people for praying for other Christians around God’s wonderful creation. We will use your picture on the inside page, the John 3:16 picture will be on the cover of the book.

I will also need you to answer the following questions for a profile inside the book:

Your Name.
Your Age.
What church you are a part of in your home country.
How you became a Christian.
What you do for work.
What you do for fun.
Things that we, in Sydney, can pray for for you, in Nigeria

I look forward to learning more about you brother.”

Then disaster struck. Ikenna got “sick” again:
“I now understand what you mean by sending you the next picture with john 3.16. I want to believe that your church accepted my previous pictures as you said, i sent that picture because i want you and your church to know my best part of the bible but this one is just for the fact that you wish to use my photo for a purpose. I will still send it but i must also apologize for not sending it till now, i have been very sick, but i’m better now.

Expect the pictures and the information’s in my next mail may be tomorrow but brother Bruce i want to believe that my pictures will not be used in anything that will not be to the glory of God.

Thank you and may the good lord bless and keep you all, Amen”

I tried to reassure him:
“We will certainly be using the photos you sent me as indicated, the John 3:16 one is what we’re asking everybody involved from around the world to provide. We want their favourite verse and a John 3:16 one. Sorry I didn’t make this clearer from the beginning.”

And here’s where he pulled the bait-and-switch – asking me to give him money…

“I thank you so much for reassuring me of the use of my picture. But i am having some financial problems in sending you the pictures, my cameras got spoiled last week when my friend took it for a foto shoot, as a result i have prepared the placard with John 3:16 written on it but i have to go out and take this pictures and also scan it before i can send it to you, and this will cost me some money. Can you please help me out in any way.”

I would love to help. Truly. I would. But like any minister I am caught up in the whims of my elders and committees.

“I asked our elders, we can not help you until we have held the mission service, and we can not hold the mission service (to raise funds for you) without the John 3:16 photo.

It is my prayer that you will get this sorted out and that the Lord will provide you with all your labours deserve, and a working camera.”

Ikenna replied:

“I am really sorry for trying to bug the church, i really understand the way things works but i just felt like making a personal appeal on you to help but i didn’t know you will take it to the church, any way, i will see what i can do to make this work but i want you to be sure that i made you a personal appeal and i never intended the church to go against their normal procedures.”

I didn’t want to create any such expectations:

“Sorry Ikenna, I misunderstood. I look forward to receiving the photos. “

It turns out the clothes selling business isn’t great in Nigeria:

“i’m so sorry for not being able to send you the pictures, i am still battling with myself to see that i raise some money to do that, my camera is not yet fixed and things are very tough for me here but hopefully i will send it before this week runs off. i hope it’s not late yet.”

I decided this one had probably run its course – so I put forward a mega-request.

“No, it’s not too late. We run missions collections regularly. As soon as we receive the John 3:16 photo we will be ready to proceed. Oh, and we need your answers to the questions that I sent you for the profile we hand out on the day.

Here they are:

1. Full Name.
2. Date of Birth
3. Where do you live?
4. What is the name of your church?
5. Tell us a little bit about your family.
6. What is your job?
7. What do you enjoy doing with your time?
8. How do you serve your church?
9. What can we pray about for you?
10. What will you do with the money we send you?

And some for our children and youth (they like funny answers)
1. If you could have a special power, what would it be and why?
2. What is your favourite animal?
3. What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
4. How do you know that God loves you?
5. What do people eat for breakfast in your country?
6. What animal would win in a fight – a lion or a rhinoceros?
7. What is your favourite colour?
8. If you see somebody drop $100 on the street do you keep it or give it back?
9. Where is your favourite place to go?
10. If you were God for a day what would you do?

Thanks for your patience Ikenna. We look forward to receiving your photograph. Our last mission collection raised $2,700. People are really enjoying giving generously to our brothers and sisters around the world.”

Kenny stepped up his game too:

“I am still battling with the camera to take and scan the photograph, you may not understand how bad things are for me here but i pray that God will open your eyes to see.
May the name of the lord praise, i believe God can change things for me here.
ukaigwe”

And I sent what would prove to be my last piece of correspondence to Kenny:


“You managed to get the first photo very easily for me, I think you’ll be able to use your initiative to get me this second photo.

I look forward to receiving it so that we as your brothers can do our bit to bring about change in your world.”

If you google Ikenna’s name you’ll find him on Facebook and a couple of other social networks with just a profile picture and no developed legend. He doesn’t really seem like a very competent scammer. Anybody who has read anything about going undercover knows you need a good legend.

This wasn’t my funniest scambait to date – Dr Paul is going to take some beating. But it was my most fruitful.

I hooked one

Long time readers will be familiar with my scambaiting efforts from last year. I’ve been trying to get a photo of a Nigerian Scammer holding a bible verse. I got one. Finally. Not the John 3:16 reference I was after, but I’m working on that. Meet my friend Kenny. That’s what I call him.

Stay tuned for the story – I don’t want to blow it yet, I’m still hoping for that elusive John 3:16 poster. I’m pretty sure other scammers have googled themselves and ended my game because of what they found.

Here’s his favourite Bible passage:

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

How (not) to be scammed

An anti Nigerian scam website has recently conducted a series of interviews with a previously convicted – and now reformed – scammer who supplied this advice on how not to be caught up in conversation with Nigerian scammers – if you’re interested in a spot of scambaiting you should do the reverse.

The biggest thing I can say is to delete the emails and never to reply. Once you reply your email address will be put on a list and sold to other gangs, even if you never reply again. It just tells them that the address is real and that somebody reads email going to that address. If they can’t get you with 419 (advance fee fraud) they will try phishing or viruses to get your banking details and take your money that way.

I used lots of different stories to get people to send money. I used the dying widow story a lot, saying that I was an old lady dying of cancer and had fallen out with my children. I wanted to give my money to charity and didn’t trust them to carry out my wishes, so was looking for someone outside of the country to make sure it went to the right place. So whatever the story is, make sure you delete the email, because you can be sure it is a scam.

Another thing is not to put email addresses anywhere on the internet. If it is on a guestbook or message board, or on a website anywhere then the foot soldiers will find it and put it on their list.

The continuing tale of Pastor Akre and his inability to use a camera

When last we heard from Pastor Akre he had missed a deadline for the supply of his promised photographs.

Here we pick up the tale with an apology and another moving of the goal posts.

In the meantime, a couple of other scambaiters running scams with the same gentleman have emailed me their trophies – making me more determined than ever to get photographs for my calendar – despite the fact that it is now November.


Pastor Akre

22 October 2009 06:44

To: Bruce Johnson

Brother,

This letter to thank you say to you for the physical support that spiritual that you to grant us while carrying out this collaboration who I think by the grace of the Eternal, will lead us very far!

This evening, I will not be very long, because very tired by these various races, then I to simply will say you that we are here on the right track, we are spirit to find an area of agreement to finish the work which we must forward to you and right after reception of the funds that we will take delivery of, we will settle the debts here!

Thus, allow me to give you a new date of reception which I think until before the end of this week will be necessary so that you obtain us to them various photographs!

Then let us put all that in prayer and that God blesses our collaboration!

Pastor AKRE


22 October 2009 07:58

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
I look forward to receiving these photographs before the end of this week. Please do your best to do so so that we can bring this matter to a fitting conclusion and move on to greater things together.
I look forward to seeing your work so that we can move to bringing you and yours to our celebration service.
In Christ,
Bruce

2009/10/22 Pastor Akre


26 October 2009 08:51

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
Greetings in the Lord’s name.
Could you have the photos to us by tomorrow please?
We have been very patient. But in order to have the calendar printed in time for our launch (to which you are invited) we will need to have the photos by no later than tomorrow.
In Christ,
Bruce

 


Pastor Akre

27 October 2009 06:33

To: Bruce Johnson

Good evening Bruce,

I come by this note to greet you in the Saint Name of the Powerful Whole dear brother, because you became a whole brother with share with us currently!

Also, it would be necessary to add and to recognize that the time required for the design and the sending of the photographs which you asked was really a long test and there we recognize also your patience compared to all that!

Cause for which the latter message that we forward to you is the confirmation and a last request to say to you that the pulling of the photographs is entirely finished this evening vis-a-vis all these problems which we had so far, causes for which we ask you for a time still 72 Hours say until Thursday October 28, 2009 Minuit to transfer you the photographs because our technicians must work there above because it is for the establishment of calendar!

Then sincerely grant to us this last chance which is also for us to have the peace of the heart while having blessed your wishes but by allowing us the withdrawal of the three quarter of the financial body floors of our ministry which we used to arrive until this stage dear brother!

Receive dear brother the blessing of the Saint Spirit and that it fills you and keeps but at the same time takes along you to accept this final deadline!

Pastor AKRE


27 October 2009 15:04

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
I have received your message.
Please note that if you fail to meet this deadline we will be forced to cancel this transaction.
In Christ,
Bruce


Pastor Akre

27 October 2009 22:42

To: Bruce Johnson

Brother,

Still thank you for the interest and the attention that you to carry to our structure!

As be into sour as we will not miss this deadline which we have just given you and in the Saint Name of the Powerful Whole, you will receive, the photographs without problem at the date indicated!

Also, concerning the various invoices to be established for our financial equalization with which do they have to be addressed? God blesses you brother!

Pastor AKRE


28 October 2009 12:21

To: Pastor Akre

Please address the invoices to Bob Bennett (whose email address you have) with reference to the:
Hillsong United Missions Calendar Project.
These invoices will be paid promptly upon the receipt of the files.
Regards,
Bruce


Pastor Akre

29 October 2009 23:16

To: bruce.mark.johnson@gmail.com

Dear brothers as a Christ, come here the day of glory!

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Brother,

I am really happy to forward to you these photographs because it is the work of a whole life carried out and this ministry is all my family and God even being the supreme Master of the armies and the my eternal knows it, then take care (photographs) and realize together, the work of God!

But you will have to still receive other photographs in our following emails!

Pastor AKRE


30 October 2009 10:53

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
Where are the signs we asked for?
They are clearly not holding signs bearing the verses we asked for.
We can not make payment for photographs we can not use.
You have ignored all my instructions.
I am very disappointed.

2009/10/29 Pastor Akre


31 October 2009 13:38

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
Can you let me know when we will be receiving the photos we agreed on.
That is photos of individual people from your church holding signs containing the verses we agreed upon.
You can’t play dumb and tell me that you didn’t agree to do this – I sent you a word document with the verses we required.
Without this there will be no payment, and we will have to delay the launch of the calendar. You have put our project in peril.
I urge you to supply the photos we have agreed to as soon as possible if you want to recover the costs you have outlayed in preparation for our partnership.
In Christ,
Bruce

2009/10/30 Bruce Johnson


Pastor Akre

1 November 2009 21:34

To: Bruce Johnson

Bruce,

Thank you to give us a chance to be able to catch up with all funds which we invested in this project in the hope of us to leave with benefit allowing us to rehabilitate our structure and to join you in Australia!

Cause for which, we ask you to give us until Friday November 6, 2009 to put order in all that and to forward to you the photographs with the various biblical verses, but will know that the invoice that you received and it is by western union that will have to be made the transaction remains the same one!

God blesses you!

Richard AKRE


1 November 2009 21:55

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
Is there any chance you might get these to me sooner than the 6th?
As has always been our stated policy, we will only pay for the photographs when we receive them.
Please do not mess us around Pastor Akre, we must release this calendar by the end of the month.

2009/11/1 Pastor Akre


Pastor Akre

2 November 2009 23:13

To: Bruce Johnson

Brother,

We have just received in the fine shape your message!

Then we are with the current of the width that will be able to take if the partnership stops there or even if you do not receive the photographs at wanted times, causes for which even these photographs that we forwarded to you was on the whole about thirty, but we are obliged to stop and take again the old system!

Thus you will receive at the date indicated the photographs with the verses quite as built-in, then is pleasant and soft with us because it is still of other expenses engaged in record time so that all that is transmitted to you within a reasonable delay!

God protects you!

Pastor AKRE


6 November 2009 11:04

To: Pastor Akre

Akre,
I look forward to receiving the photos today.
In Christ,
Bruce

2009/11/2 Pastor Akre


7 November 2009 09:55

To: Pastor Akre

Dear Pastor Akre, 

Where are the photos?

We can not keep the calendar from the printers for much longer. Please send them today or we will have to cancel this transaction.

Bruce

2009/11/6 Bruce Johnson


8 November 2009 09:17

To: Pastor Akre

Dear Pastor Akre,
Unless I receive the photos in the next 48 hours this deal is off.
It would sadden me to cancel our transaction when you have incurred real costs. Please let me know where we’re up to in our transaction.
We are desperately close to having to launch the calendar and I have started conversations with some other contacts in Africa to replace you.
We have had to push the date of our launch back and will provide details for your flight bookings once we receive the photos.

2009/11/7 Bruce Johnson


10 November 2009 09:26

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
My dear brother. Where are the photos?
We are very worried now – we have not heard from you for some time.


11 November 2009 10:00

To: Pastor Akre

Brother Akre,
We are in desperate need of these photographs. Can you please give us a revised estimate for their delivery?

2009/11/10 Bruce Johnson


Pastor Akre

11 November 2009 22:59

To: Bruce Johnson

Bruce brother,

Me in the same way Pastor AKRE, I am in the embarrassment concerning the delivery of the photographs to the time given!

I explain you that, because it is concerning my parishioners who work with me which has for a cause of nonpayment of the third of their initial payment that some between them voluntarily took the load of blocked the process as long as they did not receive their not had.

However as you know it well all my personal investment and two thirds of my ministry entered this project which we have establish together!

Then by the grace of God and his work which we are spirit to establish, please help us or to financially help me for their pay (my employees) which will be deduce from the initial amount of the $ 8.300 Dollars that should pay you for the photographs.

I ask you that because this morning even, we held still together a meeting and it is the condition which they are spirit to ask me so that you can receive as of payment of $ 2.450 Dollars which represents the amount of their pay all the photographs established for you! Thus by the grace of God the powerful whole, prayer to take the load personally to spend this sum which will be withdrawn the rising initial one as of reception of this letter per western union at my following address:

AKRE RICHARD ALEX

10 BP 1085 Abidjan 10

City: Abidjan

Country: Ivory Coast,

Amount : $ 2.450 Dollars

Impatiently and very quickly, I await your positive response to forward to you all these photographs to honour our engagements to both with respect to God and the ceremony which will be held in Sydney (Australia).

God fills you his grace!

Pastor AKRE

00225 44604123

NB: Unite to me on the telephone as soon as you made the western union so that I can put them in confidence at the sight of the transaction and to send the photographs by their intermediary to you!


12 November 2009 09:51

To: Pastor Akre

Dear Pastor Akre,
I think I have been reasonably clear on this matter right from the beginning regarding both our deadlines and requirements.
You have failed to meet all criteria laid out for this transaction.
Our policy on this matter is clear – we will not make payment without receiving the completed work.
Please, I must insist, send me the photographs I have asked for without delay with the signs bearing the verses included in the Word Document forwarded to you some weeks ago.
This is not a complex request. All you need to do is find a few people, give them the signs, and take the photos. I don’t know why you need to hire apparatus. Any camera will do.
Our graphic design team will ensure the photographs are reproduced in a usable quality.
I must insist that we be sent the photos in the next 24 hours. Along with an up to date invoice bearing your costs.
If this does not occur we will not be able to bring you to Australia for the launch. We will still make payment for the photos when they are received, but if you miss our deadline we will not be able to use your photos until next year’s edition of the calendar. This may delay payment also until the new financial year.
Please send me these photographs promptly my brother.
Bruce

2009/11/11 Pastor Akre


13 November 2009 09:00

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
If I do not receive the photos by  tomorrow we will be forced to leave you out of this year’s calendar. We have extended our deadlines too far already and now urgently need to complete this work.
If you want our partnership to continue past this transaction – as a church we are considering supporting you as mission partners – then please meet our requests on this one.
Your response so far has been quite disappointing and makes us wonder if you are serious about developing a brotherly relationship with our fellowship.
In Christ,
Bruce

2009/11/12 Bruce Johnson


15 November 2009 00:27

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
I have managed to pull some strings and organised an extension for you until Monday.
I have had to pay our printing company a 10% surcharge – I expect you to reduce your invoice by this amount in order to compensate us for your inability to produce the photographs in time.
In Christ,
Bruce

2009/11/13 Bruce Johnson


Pastor Akre

16 November 2009 23:19

To: Bruce Johnson

Bruce,

I have just found a means of making come the photographs be-with-to say to be able to pay the fees of my workers so that they give me the photographs and to forward them to you.

This means it is the following, an economic operator has just given me the guarantee to pay the expenses, be-with-to say the fees of my workers Thursday, there I could in all impatiality forward to you the photographs as soon as that is done.

Then I can have this final deadline?

Pastor AKRE


17 November 2009 09:46

To: Pastor Akre

If you promise to get me the photos by Thursday you will have your payment in full, for all costs as invoiced, by Friday.
Please keep me up to date with delays.
If you can get just one photo to me today, with one of the Bible Verses, our designer can start working on the cover. If we have a cover organised we can go ahead with a launch in early December that we would be happy to invite you to attend.
We will be able to hold the launch and take orders for the calendar there. Even if we don’t have it fully printed until late December.
Please let me know if you are able to send through a single image ahead of the rest.
Bruce

2009/11/16 Pastor Akre


21 November 2009 08:51

To: Pastor Akre

Akre,
You promised me the photos by Thursday. You have missed another deadline. Please explain and provide the photographs immediately.

2009/11/17 Bruce Johnson


23 November 2009 11:07

To: Pastor Akre

Pastor Akre,
I am sorry to inform you that unless circumstances change in the next 24 hours and we receive the photographs we will be walking away from this transaction and canceling any plans for partnership with your church.
You have so far proved to be most unreliable – unable to meet conditions imposed by yourself, or instructions given by us.
It is our decision, as a parish council, to find alternative (more reliable) means of securing our photographs.
We apologise for the costs you have incurred while trying to fulfill our requirements – but feel that much of your expenditure has proved largely unnecessary.
This is an example of poor stewardship of the resources God has given you – and we hope you’ll learn from this when engaging in future transactions.
We wish you, and your church, all the best in your future ministries. We are saddened that we could not continue to pursue this arrangement to its conclusion.
If you have managed to source the photos – or even one photo – as requested – please send it to us. If you do we will grant you an extension by which to supply all 10 agreed photographs.
We will make full payment upon receipt of the ten photographs.
We are very disappointed that our trust in you has clearly been misplaced. The delay in releasing our calendar is costing us money – money that would have been used to offset your costs in production, and to bring you to Australia for our launch service.
In Christ,
Bruce 

2009/11/21 Bruce Johnson


New scambaiting post up

Apologies to feed readers who have already had to wade through a pile of text documenting my latest attempt to procure some photos from a scammer… it’s a long one. Appropriately called “the longest scambaiting post ever” and I’m actually about 25% confident that it will eventually bear fruit. It’s not over yet.

Search for a Nigerian Supermodel

While I haven’t posted a scambaiting post for a while I’ve been busily trying to secure my bible verse photo with quiet determination.

I’d like to introduce Hanan, and her able assistant, Nurse Mary.

Calavary Greeting’s
Dearest In The Lord

May the peace of almighty God be with you and your family,dear one I am Mrs Hanan Solomon from Isreal but now  undergoing medical treatment in the cocody hospital in capital city here in abidjan. am married to late Dr Jackson Solomon , who worked with Isreal Embassy for Eleven years before he died in the year 2004,after a brief illness that lasted for only one month and two week’s.
We were married for Eighteen years without any child. After the death of my husband i vowed to use our wealth for the poor and the less privileged in our society. Recently, My Doctor told me that I may not last for the next three week’s due to cancer problem that disturb me most, and Haven known my condition i decided to Serve God with our wealth.
When my late husband was alive we kept the sum of ($2.800.000.00 Million)Two million eight hundred thousand dorllars with one Bank, now Having known my condition I decided to Give out this fund to an pastor or better still a God fearing person who will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct herein. I want an individual that will use this  fund to provide help to the community’s need and christian poor and indigent persons, orphanages, widows like maround him and Schools etc.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact where the money was deposited also issue you the documents that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. Any delay in your reply will give me room in  sourcing for an individual for this same purpose, always be prayerful all through your life.   Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hope to receive your reply soon. Because i have come to find out that wealth Acquisition without Christ is Vanity upon vanity,Thank’s you and may the Almighty God bless you.
yurs sister in christ
Mrs Hanan Solomon.

Pretty standard fair really. But I’m particularly interested in wasting the time of scammers who use Christianity as a disguise.

So I replied…

Dear Hanan,
I hope you are feeling well today.
I will help you. Please tell me what I must do.

She wrote back… all formatting in these emails is hers/his…

Dearest Bruce Johnson,

May the peace be unto you in the name of our lord and Savior jesus christ. I am very happy to receive your mail this after noon concerning your interest over the work of God and orphanage. for this fund which i wan’t to entrusting in your hand for the propagation of the word of God too.

Really to meet you towards this divine entrustment was my often prayers for God to provide me someone who will not betray or disappoint me in this vow which i made to him also i haerd what you said i am asure you that you are not going to spend any money untill the money transfer to you.

I am muchly impressed over your informations and your commitments in advancing the kingdom of God and orphanange home. I have carefully read your mail and could understand it properly which i prayed and asked God to lead me to a person who will use this fund according to my late husband’s wish.but i wan’t to let you know that my condition will not pamite me to send the money the way you wan’t it now because i will like you to recomfirm your informations again.

The bible made us to know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and for those who are called according to his purpose. "His ways and thoughts are not the same as ours”, and he most assuredly works in mysterious ways.

I concluded by myself that my contact with you is God’s doing and is nothing short of His miraculous blessing. I want you to understand that this my contact with you is not by my power or might but of God after my fasten and praying to God for his direction.

Without visiting a prophet i am welconvinced that you will act accordingly.

My motivation of making this decision to donate this fund for the propagation of the word of God is because of the predicament which i found myself into and the hummiliations after many years of marriage without any issue which i decided to take all i have in this devilish world to honour God as i know that every soul shall give an account of his life at the last day in the pressence of God and after death judgment follows.

I only want you to give me every assurance that you will not disappoint me to fulfill this vow to the glory of God.

Base on your mail, i am well convinced that you were sent by God to fulfill this promise to his glory, so what i want you to do is to try your best to make sure that you assisted me which my health condition could not permit me to do anything by myself, regards to that i beg you to move out in faith to assist me so that you will use the fund to do the work of God as i concluded with my spirit.

Remember what is in the bible conjunction in the book of mathew chapt 18 vs 6,that shall be our physical convenant that will bind both of us in this transaction.

I want you to furnish me with your contact informations to enable me swear inn an affidavit on your name from the Federal Ministry of Justice to declare whole heartedly that i have made you the beneficiary to my inheritance.

So that even if i am no more you shall continue from there to request the transfer of the fund to you from the Bank without any confrontation from any body.

I will want you to re-comfirm your information to me so that it will enable me procure the documents that will back you up to this fund.

                  The informations are as follows,

1.Your full name……..  2.Your contact and country

address ……….

3.Your age………….   4.Your phone number………. 5.Occupation………………………..

Immediately i receive these informations the certificate of deposit issued to my late husband on the first day of deposit money with the affidavit shall be forwarded to you for you to contact the Bank to the existence of this fund and you as the new beneficiary appointed by me.

Bear in mind that you will not receive any communication from me incase if the  nurse sister who devoted her time to help me in typing this messages to you is in her off duty.

Please,remember to put me in your daily prayers for God’s healing.Thanks and God bless you.

my regards

Madam Hanan Solomon

I decided that Hillsong is the only Australian church with sufficient penetration globally and financially to be producing a calendar of the calibre I am producing…

I would be happy to help you. And thank you for the trust you have shown me.
I am in desperate need of some assistance myself.
I have been charged to put together a 2010 calendar for Hillsong United – http://youth.hillsong.com. My deadline is rapidly approaching and I badly need a few more photos.
The calendar is to feature photos of Christians from around the world holding signs with their favourite Bible verses. You can decorate the sign however you like. I currently need about 10 photos. So if you have friends who could help we would greatly appreciate that.
The photos need to be of printable quality – and Hanan, the best bit is that we will pay you for the ongoing commercial use of the photos. The calendar will be sold at our annual conference and through our church plants around the globe.
We will pay you $1000 per photo upon receiving suitable files, and cover any expenses you might have in securing them upon confirmation that the photos are of suitable quality for reproduction.
Can you help me? I’m not sure I will be able to devote my attention to assisting you until this matter is settled.
Here are the answers to your questions:
1. Bruce Mark Johnson
2. 4 Horseshoe Bay Road, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
3. 42.
4. +61 407 174 734
5. Freelance Designer and Producer for Christian Ministries in Australia

This is where Hanan’s nurse, Sister Mary, took over proceedings…

Dearest  Bruce Johnson,  
May peace of our lord be with you and your family and thanks for your reply and informations inculding your expression towards how the money will be use i want to let you know that i am the nursing sister who has been taking care of Madam Hanan Solomon in ward 34 An Oesophageal cancer patient our hospital ci cote d’ivoire. As a matter of fact she will be undergoing a cardiac surgery any time from now and she is not in position of your request that is why i am sending you her present condition in hospital at the moment which i attach here in.I am writing to inform you that because of her illness she is unable to write. Further to the transaction with her Madam Hanan Solomon directed me to help you make sure that every process regarding this transaction is legitimate.
now you should make sure that you try and help see into this transaction as she said,follow my instructions accordingly as soon as you receive this fund. The reason why i am asking you this for the second time is because you can not cheat God and go free, for that reason I want you to search your heart and be open to your self so that you will not fall as a victim in the sight of God.
Do contact the Bank immediately and call them and tell them that you was directed from Mrs Hanan Solomon that you want to know what they need to transfer the money that the sick woman want to donate to the poor people and charitys also church. so that this transaction shall be conclude within a short time as her present health condition is not good according to my doctor but in her heart she believed she will be alive to witness the end of this transaction that is my prayer to God.and you will see the deposit slip that her late husband use when depositing the money in the Bankis also attach with this mail
PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY MISTAKE ON THIS TRANSACTION THAT IS WHY I AM GIVEN IT TO YOU WITH TRUST AND SINCERITY.
CONTACT THE (BANK) NOW AND ASK THEM TO TRANSFER THE FUND TO YOU OVER THERE IN YOUR COUNTRY. AFTER ALL IS BEEN DONE I WILL ADVICE YOU ON WHAT TO DO. THIS IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE BANK HERE IN cote d’ivoire ARE BELLOW.

BIAO-CI-BANQUE INTERNATIONALE POUR
OCCIDENTALE – 8 -10 AV JOSPHINE KONNHA
01 BP 1479 PLATEAU
ABIDJAN – COTE D’IVIORE
Tele-+225-674 96 682 fax-+225- 744 22-37
biao_bank_international_ci@yahoo.fr

Dr Edward Konni. Gestionnaire
BIAO-CI-BANQUE INTERNATIONALE POUR
Mobil +225-674 96 682

PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE BANK IMMEDIATELY.
Thanks and God bless your effort towards the transition and secondly i will like to see your picture to know you more. and if there is anything that i will do for you don’t hesitate to let me know.secondly madam said that you should try and send her your picture
my regards 
Yours Sister Mary the Nurse on behalf of Madam Hanan Solomon.

Right. She wants a picture. I can’t really help out… but since we’re talking “pictures” I’m going to start pushing a little harder…

Dear Sister Mary,
I am sorry to hear about Madam Hanan’s condition.
Are you able to help me on her behalf? In my last email I mentioned the trouble I am having with my work. I need some photos for a calendar we are producing that will be sold in churches around the world.
We are paying people $1000 a photo. Perhaps you would be interested in passing this opportunity on to your friends, I can assure you, in Christ, that this is a genuine offer and a matter of some urgency.

With two emails, just so they can tell how much I need this…

Dear Sister Mary,
I am desperately seeking these photographs – if the price offered is a problem could you please let me know as there is some room to negotiate.
So that you know I am trustworthy please visit my Business Week profile from my previous career (before I felt called into ministry).
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=329973&ric=REG
Regards,
Bruce

Ahh, a bite…

Dearest  Bruce Johnson,

Thanks for your mail and also i heard what you said.as well i have meet some of my follow staff here in our hospital and told them about this at least many of them are intrested for that but question is how will you want it down you want them to send you there pictures and how do you want to pay them and accounding to them they said befor releasing of their pictures that you have to send them some part of the money.that you should try to understand what they saying.so i have try to get at least ten girls who agreed so is left for you to tell the us the way it will work out.thanks and waiting to hear from you

sister

Mary

No doubt they just want to take my deposit and do a runner. I know how these things work…

I decided at this point to switch denominations – just to see if they’d notice. Bruce is now Catholic…

Unfortunately I will need to run payment details through my accounts department. That shouldn’t be a big problem – but we’ll need to work pretty quickly.
How would you, and the ten girls, prefer to receive this deposit? Western Union is a fast money transfer system – do they have that in your country?
Please let me know.
Also, could you send me a sample photo for me to run by our printing department to make sure that the quality will be adequate. Just a generic photo with a Bible verse like "John 3:16" on it will be suitable.
Thank you so much for getting this group together. This is very exciting and will make my life at work so much easier.
In Christ,
Bruce Johnson
Catholic Church Diocese of Brisbane

She replied by sending me a bunch of random photos, sans signs. That will not do. Then she asked me for money…

Dear Bruce Johnson

Thanks for your mail hope all is well with you? infact i heard all you said but you have seen my picture any other picture’s is line that and also i told the girls as you request they said no that they will not release they photo untill they see the part payment that as soon as you send the money all of them will bring there picture and i will send it for you immediately secondly if you want to send the money just send it through wester union transfer through our department secertary

Ezzy Amaeshi

Rul 15  Bp Triechille

Abidjan Cote D’ Ivoire

and i want to know if you needed the picture on tradition way or english weare so just let me know but as soon as i hear from you with the deposit belive me all the pictures will send down to you immediately ok.also i will like you to show me the type you want just for to know in other to get you what you want thanks and waiting to hear from you

my regards

Mary

I replied.

Dear Mary,
Thanks. Was the picture you sent taken with the camera you are planning to use for the other photos? I’m afraid the quality was not good enough. You may need to find a slightly better camera or play with the settings.
Please do this and resend me an image in the highest available quality with a sign – I will then provide you feedback on your production. I need to make sure the photos are going to be suitable if we are going to move forward.
What I can do is provide an MTCN for a Western Union transfer in a different name and I will change it to the name indicated when I see the quality of your work.
I need to meet certain requirements for the sake of my church office and accounts department. I will send the MTCN through shortly.
I would prefer the signs to be written in both (your traditional language and then an english translation underneath).
Could you send me a sample so that we can be sure we’re on the same page.
In Christ,
Bruce.

Fortunately another scammed had sent me a valid MTCN, and I was to pay him to change the name. I used this to my advantage…

MTCN Number: 0507414918
Transfer (fake) Name: Lina Dee

I will change the name when I receive the first sample photo and your nurses can claim my deposit.
In Christ,
Bruce

She wasn’t happy.

Dear Bruce Johnson

Thanks for your mail but i dont understand how you see me is like you dont live what i was telling ok this is the of the girls picture but she did not know that i sent it to you and the you are talking the girls are geting to see you as you are not sincer with your self by sending mtc number with fake name.any way if make them to change their mind then is for you but now just have a look at this one and you can sent me the type that you need with the full information the money that your sending if not please forget about all also with your personal phone contact so here is the attach of the now.thanks and waiting to hear from you as well and God bless you

my regards

Mary

It’s clear I need to placate her…

Mary, Mary, Mary,
You’re quite the contrary one. I had to send the MTCN with the fake name to demonstrate that the money had been made available subject to you meeting my terms.
The photo you have sent me is still of a lower than acceptable quality. You need to make sure the camera is set to the best possible settings.
I will go to Western Union and change the details. The Western Union in Brisbane is a little bit slow when it comes to sending money to African nations because of all the scams that trick people.
I will email you a copy of the receipt. It will take three days for the transfer to take place. I need these photos in two. Can you trust me in the name of Jesus Christ who in Matthew 5 said let your yes be yes and your no be no?
Regards,
Bruce

I sent a follow up…

Dear Mary,
I spent many hours this afternoon trying to explain this arrangement to my superiors and talking to the clerk at Western Union’s Brisbane branch.
I have come up with this solution.
I have made a payment via a transfer from the Catholic Church marketing department’s bank account – this transfer will not clear for three days. The accounts department is very clear about this. They have asked the Western Union agency not to make the MTCN live for three days. It will not work online.
I have attached the receipt from Western Union. And a sample photo from my new friend Paul in Senegal. This is a sample only. English wasn’t his first language but he wrote his sign with charcoal and in English. The letters need to be legible.
I have also attached my drivers licence so that you can verify the details in the Western Union receipt.
Now, the reason for the three day delay is because my superior insists on receiving the photos before releasing these funds. When we have all ten photos we will pay the balance of $9,000. We need the photos within two days and this deposit will be released to you, followed by the next amount.
I’m sorry Mary, I know your nurses were keen to receive a down payment – but my bosses would not allow that and in this matter I must act honourably and obey them.
Please, call me on my phone for more details if needed – but I trust that you will be able to send me those photos and we can bring this matter to a conclusion.
I am not great with computers so please excuse me if the details on that photo or receipt are too difficult to read.

With these photos attached (including a photoshop rendition of an appropriate “sign”).

She sent me this email, along with another 5 random pictures of African women.

Dear Bruce Johnson

thanks for your mail that i just receive and i do understand you well but listing Johnson

am send all this pictures to you is just to let you know that i Mary can meet up to you need but let me tell you one thing all the owner of this pictures dont want to release it but they did it just because of me and secondly i can not ask them to took picture with board in their hand so this is the one that they brought to me so if want send they money to them as you promise that you will send they money as soon as they release their pictures to you.and you know am not the one that took them the pictures as your trying to prove your self as man of God and who work for God am now waiting to hear from you.but dont let me down in frount of this laddys please try and do as you said so here is the pictures attach herein thanks and God bless you am waiting for reply soosnest.

my regards

Mary

I told her these were not good enough, and got this reply.

Bruce Johnson

please stop disturbing me i am not mother ladys or girls and i dont have any contract regarding to this i am a nurse not photo finder  so keep off writing me or you send this girls money to took the type of photo that you needed please no money no pictures bye for now and with out this stop sending an email to me any more

Mary

Rejection. I had to reply.

Mary,
I’m sorry. There has been some sort of mistake here. I was offering
you the chance to earn some money for performing a valuable service
for the church. I’m sorry if I have caused offence. I can’t send you
money for the other photos. We can’t use them.

And I tried again, with a photoshop mock up of the calendar…

Dear Mary,
Is there an alternative group of people you might know – perhaps your family – who would consider providing the photos I require?
We really do need to secure some photos shortly.
I have been told that I can not give you an advance fee – but in order to secure your cooperation I can offer you $3,000 per photo.
We are holding some slots for you because we’d like  to reward you for your efforts.
I have attached a design sample so that you know we are most serious about this proposition.
In Christ,
Bruce

She didn’t like that at all…

plz go to hell with ur money and stop disturbing me i will send your contact to FBI in your country ok

Ouch. The FBI.

Mary,
I don’t understand. Why won’t you help me?
What will you say to the FBI? That I was trying to give you a job? That’s not a crime in my country. Women are allowed to work.
If you would reconsider I have two days to secure these photos.
Regards,
Bruce.

The final phone call (I think)

I got so sick of Dr Paul and Interpol that I decided to bring things to a head.

I haven’t heard back from the Dr Paul character since my last insulting email. But I moved things along with mr Kofi from Interpol. And then he called me. Here’s the (in my opinion) hilarious phone call. He trips up a number of times. It goes for seven minutes. But it’s the best seven minutes of phone call ever. The email he talks about in the phone call is included below. The best bit is that Mr Kofi – the chief of Interpol/Director of Ghana’s Criminal Investigators Department – asked me to send money to the guy who Dr Paul told me was his staff member who "wouldn’t eat my money"…

Dear.

Thank you very much for this money you send but the problem now that i did not give you the information you will use to send it, please i want to advice you now to go western union now change it now will this nams and address onbelow:

1. NAME: PAUL MOUGOR

2. ADDRESS: ACCRA GHANA

my friend go back now change it in western union and get back to me very fast so you fund will deliver to you very fast now. my friend you have to do this very fast because of problem.Am looking forward to hear from you today.

After the phone call – where I’m sure he didn’t get my message – I decided to let him know that the game was up. If he doesn’t get this message he truly is the dumbest scammer ever.

Mr Kofi/Dr Paul/Emmanuel Onyekwere
The game is over. You are too stupid for words.
I am sorry. You have just made too many mistakes. Let me list them.
1. If you’re scamming somebody and they ask for an easy piece of proof – just send it to them. Don’t make stupid excuses like "I haven’t done that before"
2. If you can forge ID and use a fake email address – anybody else can too.
3. Claiming to be a Christian while trying to steal somebody’s money is just wrong. Obviously you don’t actually believe in God. You’ve got hell to look forward to and all the money you’re stealing off innocent people is not going to get you  out of that.
4. If you’re going to bring another character into the picture get someone else to make the phone call – especially if the person hasn’t given your new character their phone number.
5. When you make a phone call actually listen to what the person is saying.
6. When someone tells you they know you’re a thief and then two weeks later writes back to you – you must wonder whether or not they’re just toying with you.
7. When you receive an email – actually read it. Sticking to a script won’t fool anybody.
8. If you’re going to try to steal somebody’s money at least get some real looking ID – photoshop jobs are easy to see through.
9. When someone sends you a Western Union receipt after not having contacted you for weeks – perhaps assume it’s not real. I hope you went into Western Union and looked like an absolute idiot.
And lastly, and this is the big one…
If you’re playing the role of Interpol – don’t send tell me to send money to somebody who "works as Dr Paul’s assistant and won’t eat my money" – which is what Dr Paul Acquah said about Paul Mougour – the guy Mr Kofi is now asking me to send money to.
In conclusion. You are the worst scammer ever. You’ve wasted so much time talking to me. I feel good that you’re not talking to some gullible fool and taking their money. But I suggest that because you are so bad at this you change your ways. Go to church this weekend and tell them that you’re a reformed criminal and ask them to give you some real jobs to do. Get a job washing dishes in a restaurant. You’d be better at every other job in the world than this one. You are THE WORST Nigerian scammer in history.
Regards,
N

The mechanics of the scammer’s mind

There’s a great article on the Washington Post website about the inner workings of the typical Nigerian Scammers mind – featuring quotes from actual scammers.

In good months, Banjo said, he has made $60,000.

But in these tough times, the scammers said, they are relying more on a crucial tool: voodoo. At times, Banjo said, he has traveled six hours to the forest, where a magician sells scam-boosters. A $300 powder supposedly helps scammers “speak with authority” when demanding payment. A powder, rubbed on the face, reportedly makes victims viewing the scammer through webcams powerless to say no.

“No matter what, they will pay,” said Olumide, a college student, adding that he is boosting his romance scams by wearing a magical, live tortoise hanging from a cord around his neck.

I have a couple of new scambaiting posts up – and a couple more to come… check them out

The Back Story

I should probably have googled the name I made up for my scambaiting account. It turns out there’s quite a high profile business man sharing the same name… and its the amalgam of two former “romance scammers” (actually two identities used by the same person) – somewhat fitting. And a moment of pure synchronicity or serendipity.

I wonder if I can use both to my advantage.

Ethical Dilemma

I have an ethical dilemma. It turns out scambaiters harvest their emails from message boards that are visited by a scout who writes “m u g u ”  “g u y m e n” without the spaces somewhere to mark them for picking.

I found one such message board, I left my email address – and I couldn’t help noticing that there were a whole lot of would be scammers out there leaving their email addresses…

So it occured to me I could have quite a bit of fun scamming the scambaiters…

Oh yeah, and if you’re looking to receive bucket loads of scam emails find a message board like that. It works. I’m currently qualifying about 15 potential scammers.

A Mani for all seasons

Right, so I (Bruce) now have ten new friends. And many new opportunities.

First, let me introduce you to Terry Donald – who I affectionately call Tezza.

He offered me 10% of $5 million.

The fund in question is a total of $5,000,000 (Five Million United States Dollars) in $100 bills and stashed in Two trunk boxes and was shipped out of Liberia through a diplomatic means by a security company and they are not aware of the real content of the boxes for security reasons.

That seemed very low. So I negotiated.

Thank you for your email. I am interested in pursuing this opportunity. I believe 10% is not generous enough – I propose 20%. But I am negotiable.

The reply came in all capitals. He obviously had a lot to shout about…

I THANK YOU FOR YOUR EMAIL AND YOUR WILLINGNESS TO ASSIST US IN THIS

TRANSACTION. I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR HEALTH BUT I WANT YOU TO BELIEVE ONE THING THAT GOD HAS A REASON FOR STILL KEEPING YOU ALIVE AND HAS AREASON FOR EVEYTHING THAT HAPPENS ARROUND US.

WE HAVE SET ASIDE 15% OF THE TOTAL SUM TO REWARD YOU IN THIS TRANSACTION AND YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID

15%? I said 20%…

Please don’t use all capitals when emailing me – it is very hard to read, and I want to be sure I know exactly what I am agreeing to.
A life changing transaction would be great. My life is pretty terrible. I do believe that God has his reasons for everything.
How did you know I have health problems?
I must again point out that 15% is not a fair share given that without my help you will not be able to conclude this transaction. I have reconsidered my offer – I will do this for no less than 30% of the deal.

So, I got a little greedy. But that’s the idea right?

Thanks for your email and after much discausions with the family member we have concluded in offering you the 30%.
These families I represent are seriously under financial mess like wise my self I have not been paid for almost 1 year now and my own direct family is also suffering. This is the main reason why the family has decided to go for this money that we have with the security company there in America and also the reason why they have set aside 15% of the total money for you because there must be expenses made by you but not too sure how much, which you have to find out your self from the security company.

I know you may find this transaction unbelievable but my dear, I want you to look around you what set of people will you find? You see the rich and the poor, do you sometimes ask your self how the rich people make there money? It’s just by taking bold steps. I have worked with my Client (Mr. Charles Taylor) the former Head of state of Liberia , I have been in power and know what and how money is made, so my dear please do not let this opportunity pass us by.

Success. But he tugged at my heart strings. That tale of woe was too much to bear. I can’t steal money from these people. I enjoyed his little lecture about embracing risk too…

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I appreciate your generosity in times of economic misfortune with your family.
Having heard about your circumstances I am willing to take just 20% of the final amount.
This offer does sound "unbelievable" – but I’m not one to let that prevent me exploring opportunities.
I will contact the security company. I often do look at the people around me – and I tend to see not rich and poor – but honest and dishonest. I am honest. I will keep my word to you in all things – and expect you to do so as well.
There’s a Latin phrase – Carpe Diem – which means "seize the day". I intend to do so with this transaction.
Terry, there comes a time in every relationship where both parties must demonstrate good faith. I believe I have started to do so by responding, and I will continue to do so by providing full cooperation with your requests.
I must ask that you also demonstrate good faith to me – in the first instance – I would like reassurance that you are a legitimate person, and not somebody out to take me into a confidence scam (also called a con job).
Could you please send me a copy of a photo of yourself and some identification. I will then, at a later date, ask for a further photograph to confirm your identity. I believe one must be careful when dealing with people over the Internet.

From this point Tezza has been passing me off to this security company. And a Mr Mani Kerry.

I contacted the security company, as requested. And Terry started getting a little impatient, and petulant.

He sent me a grumpy email. So I responded.

I’m not sure you understand the difference in time between two countries – I am highly unlikely to send you a response in the early hours of the morning.
I am a business man and need my sleep.
Chillax my foreign brother.
This is the soonest I could possibly reply to your missive.
Here are my details:
Name: Bruce Mark Johnson
Address: 6 Horseshoe Bay Road, Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
Do you require any further details or identification? I will send my documentation to the security company today.
I await your passport.
Best regards,
Bruce.

Tezza hadn’t come through with the documents I required.

He asked me to let the security company know there had been some delay. I’m pretty sure Tezza is the lawyers… so I got all passive aggressive.

Dear Mani, 

My lawyers are pretty slack and haven’t sent me the papers yet. I will have them to you by tomorrow at the latest.

I may have to fire the retards.

Thanks for your patience.

Yeah. That sure showed him.

Mani is from a very professional security company. They even have an awesome gif that they include in their emails.

trucking

I’d hate to keep him waiting.

Tezza finally sent me the papers…

My Dear Brother, in as much as God is on our side, we must definitely get there. Please, it is very important and urgent you contact them now and let me know. Bear in mind that the SECURITY COMPANY does not know what is in the consignment it was declared as personal effects and artifacts for security reasons.

I know that, our Good Almighty God will definitely see us through. Remember that with God, all things are possible as we wait upon his divine favor. I promised you that you would never be disappointed at the end of this transaction.

Ah, a fellow Christian brother. He needs to pass my Shibboleth test…

Thank you so much for your perseverance in securing these documents.

I must thank you, and reward you, for your efforts on this matter. I will pass the certificates on to the security company with due haste.

I am glad to hear that you trust in God – what church do you go to? What is your favourite Bible verse?

I look forward to hearing from you soon my brother from another mother.

So, now Mani wants me to pay to receive my consignment…

Please this is your invoice to commence the delivery of your consignment.  We accept 60% downpayment and upon the satisfactory delivery of your consignment we get our balance.This are the rules abiding with the security house

Demurrages———————————–$2330
DeliveryCharges——————————-$610
HandlingCharges——————————$1240
AdministrativeCharge————————–$170
Insurance——————————————-$350
Total————————————————–$4700

Note: funds should be sent through money transfer preferably MONEY GRAM to our payment receiver office in New York. For safety of your payments receiver’s names are changed periodically.

Receiver’s name-  DONALD ROGER
Address- 154th street New York NY,

Amount- $4700

Please get in touch with us by email with the payment information and for any confirmation or enquiries. Also remember to confirm to us your address and full names where the delivery will have to take place

But sending money over the internets is so dangerous. I must have some reassurance…

Many thanks for this. I appreciate your prompt reply. My full postal address is on the Drivers License attached to this email.
I have some criteria that must be met before I transfer this money to you, I have a policy that requires 100 points of ID before wiring money internationally:
1. Photographic ID – Drivers License, Passport – scanned copies are accepatble (40 points).
2. Valid Credit Card in your name – these details will be tested but no charges will be made on the card (20 points).
3. Any work or student Identification issued by an official institution – (20 points).
4. A recent photograph to corroborate the photographic ID supplied – this photograph must be produced on request as a kind of "proof of life" as evidence. The photo should contain a point of reference to this discussion to demonstrate that it is a genuine attempt to prove your identity. (60 points)
5. A phone call – to +61 407 174 734 – during Australian Business Hours – (10 points)
With regards to point 4 – I have spent the morning working with some clients on a new project they are building for their church. It’s called the Exodus 20:15 project – if you choose to provide a photograph then "Exodus 20:15" would be an appropriate reference (it just has to be written on a piece of paper, nothing fancy).
Thank you Mani. I look forward to receiving your information and identity verification before proceeding with this transfer. I have had the appropriate amount (the full fee) transferred to my operations account in order to proceed with payment. I will transfer the full amount at once to waive transaction fees – and because I trust you.

I await his reply.