January 30, 2007


Scam of the month club

Some people may say that I have an overdeveloped sense mischief. It's in that spirit that I pursued a correspondence with one of those silly spammers asking for cooperation to assist blahblahblah... This one caught my eye because the grifter, upon first contact, put forth the unorthodox story that I had already done all I could and, even in the face of failure, was due reward for my work. I was quite flattered, really. The exchange begins (I comment thusly):

Attn: My Dear (So sweet - you will soon see that we have known each other for a while)

I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from paraguay. Presently I'm in Paraguay (the upper case provinces, I see) for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.

Meanwhile,I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.Now contact my secretary, his name is Mr Steven Moeller his E-mail (stevenmoeller****@*****.fr) ask him to send you the total $850.000.00 which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter.

I appreciated your collective efforts at that time so feel free and get
in touch with my secretary Mr Steven Moeller (yes, Steven. We met in the last paragraph) and instruct him where to send the amount to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time (O, I got big planz, G).

In the moment, I am very busy here in Paraguay because of the investment projects which myself and the new partner are having at hand without confrontations, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mr Steven Moeller (who?) my secretary (Oh, that's right) he will send the amount to you without any delay.

With best regards,

Barrister DOM BEN Esq

And to that my earnest reply:

My Darling Mr Steven Moeller,

With great joy and confusion do I contact you per instructions from dear Barrister DOM BEN Esq. He has informed me of his success in absconding funds in Paraguay, presumably from some new mark. I understand that he has forwarded you instructions that I should receive a portion of these funds.

Well I certainly don’t want it to be said of me, “He let his ship pass him by,” so I am earnestly contacting you Mr Steven Moeller in order to be taken full advantage of in this matter. I’m very glad Barrister DOM BEN Esq (did he leave out a hyphen somewhere? Or perhaps just a clue) remembered my “collective efforts” in assisting him. As I was recently able to recall repressed memories of my own (alas, to no one in particular’s advantage or exploitation), I must say I am indeed fully prepared to share the joy after all the sufferness at that time. You can send the $850.000.00 (cash is fine but for safety I would recommend a certified check drawn on any U.S., Swiss, or Cayman bank) to my signatory at the address below.

Please forward my warmest regards to Barrister DOM BEN Esq with wishes for all his investment projects at hand to be confrontation-free.

Most Respectfully Yours,

Scarlet Feimster dba Mr. O' Tim's Splendid Rodent Traps, LLC, ASCAP
120 E. ****** Street
*******, GA 30***

Barrister DOM BEN Esq's secretary Mr Steven Moeller responds, with a flair that trancends his strange diction:
i received your mail and now understand that you are
instructed by my boss to contact me regarding the
draft he wrote on your name before he travel (Mr. Left Hand? Meet Mr. Right Hand).

However this money is in bank draft and my question to you is that i want to know whether you will come down here in Benin Rep to pick up the draft, i though it will be more better but if your not ready to come in person you can let me know, then i will mail it via DIPLOMATIC SERVICE now i will go to the courier company to confirm the cost of the mailing fee of the draft to your address.

Contact me either email or phone to discuss on
how to receive the mailing cost to enable me send the
draft to you as soon as possible.Tel +229-937-xxx-xx
waiting to hear from you.
Steven Moeller

Wow, a phone number! Do I dare? Unfortunately, in this last e-mail of his the copy of my reply made it apparent that Gmail betrayed my identity. No matter, I think we can still up the ante of suspense via e-mail:

My friend Steven Moeller,

I must confess that I, Scarlet Feimster, intercepted the initial contact e-mail from your boss. He had sent it to my boss, Mr. Tim, a very cross and disturbed man who is not kind to us his workers. I hope my charade will not disqualify me from eligibility for the bank draft you hold Steven Moeller. If not, do not concern yourself with any payment marked for Mr. Tim. I am his secretary (like you!) and have the knowledge to abscond with the money. I pray you will respect my honesty, for I am desperate Steven Moeller. Mr. Tim has made life a living hell for me and my family, keeping three generations of us in indentured servitude since the time of my grandparents' emmigration from Westphalia after the war. The $1,950,000 would grant us freedom you could never imagine, Steven Moeller. Your name is familiar – do you have roots in or near Westphalia?

I digress. As you can imagine, traveling to your Benina Republic would be impossible if we hope to keep up a successful ruse (I pray to St. Etheridge you are with me on this), so to mail it via DIPLOMATIC SERVICE will be necessary. Thank you and thank Barrister DOM BEN Esq for all kindnesseses. I am prepared to embezzle the funds necessary from Mr. Tim's finances to expedite this matter - just name your price. You must be discreet – you must not mention Mr. Tim's name to anyone. He is very wealthy and powerful and sick in the loins and has made me sick there too. Send all correspondence to this e-mail address ONLY. It is password-protected with knowledge only by me. This will be totally like Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins stuck it to the warden, dude. Steven Moeller please help me escape this prison.

Warmest Friendship,


The proverbial other shoe drops soon enough with our mugu (a Nigerian Pidgin term meaning fool. Here in the West mugu is mainly known in the context of these advance fee scams, and until recently applied to mean the mark/scamee. Nigeria has come to be known as the most common point of origin for the scams. West Africa in general is rife with scammers, as ours from Benin is testament). Our adventure continues with this reply from my beloved Steven Moeller:

Thank you my dear
Since your are the secretary to Mr Tim you can as well be involve in the transaction. And I can also understood that you will not come down here to pick up the draft, however I have confirmed from the Director of the Courier Company the cost of the shipping fee of the draft and I was told that the cost of the registration fee is $150 according to him he said that as soon as the money is confirmed that they will deliver the draft to your address within 24hrs So you can send the shipping fee of $150 with this information and the money could be send through via western union






Remember to send the information of the payment as soon, as you made the payment ok
Also your mailing address I mean where to send the draft ok
Call me immediately you send the money or you send me the MTCN NUMBER
Best Regards
Steven Moeller

I have done a quick bit of Googling on these scams, commonly known as 419s in reference to the Nigerian law that prohibits such fraud. Rather effective law, eh? The most interesting thing that I learned is that many people have taken to the fun and challenge of reversing the scams on this rather witless crowd. There is even a pretty good WEBSITE that offers advice and posts copies of some hilarious scam baits.

This particular scammer seems on the unassertive side – rather harmless and probably a lot of fun to string along. But further considering how he has obtained my real name, to preserve safety and sanity I have decided to fight again another day (it's not like I'll never get the chance). Here is how I leave it:

Most beloved brother Steven Moeller Ezebuilo Peter Onochie -

I have learned that my boss is wise to me, and I am now in great danger. There is but one chance for escape that will also preserve the safety of my family, and that is to fake my death (or it will be the real death for certain). I have made my last “withdrawal” from my boss's account – enough to get me out of the country and live cheaply for a few months. HE will “find” evidence of the missing funds with a note from me explaining that my despair has led me to commit suicide by jumping into a brush chipper in front of a large canvas, and the only artist willing to make my final statement part of his work is in Nepal (part of the “evidence” will be a video tape of my cousin Lars actually doing this last year in Alaska. We can only hope HE doesn't notice the geographical disconnect).

Unfortunately, Steven Moeller Ezebuilo Peter Onochie, the $1.50 you need for shipment is now essential to my survival efforts, as I cannot leave the U.S.A. without paying the federal export tax on my collection of Spanish Inquisition-era fingernail pullers (who'd have expected that?).

But do not despair my beloved. I have also absconded with documents that will allow me to present myself in Switzerland as my soon-to-be-ex boss's bastard cum laude, and so I will be able to expedite cash from the $2,250,000 draft you hold for HIM. But it is important to lay low for a time. YOU MUST NOT CONTACT THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FURTHER ! ! I cannot stress enough the importance of this – it will blow my cover and put my family and YOU, my beloved scamster, in great danger with you-know-who. Trust me when I say HE is not to be trifled with. Why, I once saw HIM bite off a taxi driver's thumb for clicking the fare meter while still standing in the white zone at JFK. HE offered it back to the man as a tip if he got him to his building fast enough. Poor bastard was dodging traffic trying to grab it from the curb across from the Beresford twenty-five minutes later. Brutal.

Anyway, YOU MUST NOT CONTACT THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FURTHER ! ! I have your phone number and e-mail tattooed inside my upper lip (such is my faith in you, praise be to St. Gibson) so I will contact you as soon as it is safe. If there is an ABSOLUTE emergency I might be sought in Needle Park (Prague, not Bangkok). Look for the girl with the set of orange piercings in her face (in summer you can check for the white gold ring with the bejewelled skull & crossbones in her clitoris) - she will find me. Oh, and if she tries to sell you on her bogus Mexican black tar, tell that bitch to fuck off you want the China White.

Remember to forget this e-mail address – it is not safe! YOU MUST NOT CONTACT THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FURTHER ! ! If you continue sending here HE will lure you in with the promise of riches for finding me. But it is a trap! HE is no mugu! Run in the opposite general direction, little buckaroo, bobbing and weaving so as not to be hit! Keep total fucking silence! Be a contender, a pitcher and not a belly itcher! YES! God's blessings on your head Steven Moeller Ezebuilo Peter Onochie! Go Dog, GO!

Loving you is easy cuz you're beautiful, bra. Wait for me!

Scarlet (my last day with this name, amen)
YOU MUST NOT CONTACT THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FURTHER (I mean, we're talkin' a lousy $150 dude, so move along) ! !

As I expected, Steve Swift is not ready to give up. What a maroon! What a gulli-bull! The possibility that anyone ever gave money to the likes of someone as this dork is mind ba-ga-LING !

i received your mail and what i want to do is to send me your contact number so that we can discuss it through phone
here is my phone number 0022xxxxxxxxx
call immediately ok
i waiting to hear from you as soon as

I was hoping against hope that he/she/it would catch the drift in Scarlet’s last line above. We wish we could give him more grief, but alas our minds are made up – so Scarlet’s off to Prague for a little dragon chasing.

Until next time, when we can share the joy after all the sufferness...


Sick in the loins???

Funny shit, Tim.

OMG I just spit tea all over Panera Bread. Sick in the loins. Hee.

I don't get why he can't deduct the postage from the 850k, though. Maybe suggest that next time.
Very funny, O'Tim! Even better than the stuff that inspired it. But then again, you can write.
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