Tuesday, May 25, 2010

bad trip

This morning I got this email, seemingly from a friend of mine (spelling, punctuation and capitalization as in original).

from [xxxxxx]
date Mon, May 24, 2010 at 11:17 PM
subject Dilema!

How you doing? We made a trip to London (United Kingdom) unannounced some days back, Unfortunately we got mugged at gun point last night! All cash, Credit cards and phone were stolen, we got messed up in another country, stranded in London, fortunately passport was back in my hotel room. It was a bitter experience and i was hurt on my right hand, but would be fine. I am sending you this message cos i don't want anyone to panic, we want you to keep it that way for now!

I have been to the police and embassy here, but they aren't helping issues,I have limited means of getting out of here, we canceled our cards already and made a police report, I won’t get a new card number till I get back home! So I really need your help. I Need you to loan me $2,500 You could wire whatever you can spare to my name and Location via Western Union, below is all you need:

Receiver's Name -[xxxxx]

Location - 272, Coriander Avenue, Docklands, E14 2AA , London United Kingdom I still have my passport so I can use it as identification,email me the transfer details and the confirmation # would def refund it to you once we arrive hopefully tomorrow.

I guess this is a very common Facebook/gmail scam, though one I've never been the recipient of before. But it strikes me as just about the weakest attempt ever.

Wire $2,500? Like, what's in it for me? Couldn't they at least offer a 20% share of the proceeds from the under-the-table sale of South African diamonds inherited from an "honored and deeply Christain" aunt or a fee for allowing "over-invoiced funds" embezzled by goverment officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria to be laundered through my bank account?

Who's been scamming you?


areyoukiddingme said...

Shoot, they don't even offer to pay you back! I know my friends would tell me right up front that they would pay me back. It's just the way things are done.

My husband is investing (or as I like to call it, shopping online) in gold and silver, using eBay. We've been through about 3-4 different sellers who are sending things not quite as described. I will say, Paypal and eBay have pretty good buyer's protection plans, though.

The husband also likes to sell things on craigslist, which often brings out the very entertaining scammers. "Hi. I would like to buy your furniture. But I only have a check for $5000. Can you cash the check and give me change?"

Anonymous said...

I've heard about these, but never actually gotten one. The spam I get is usually about enlarging body parts I don't even have.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious... cracked up reading. At the same time wondering how often it works and someone sends them the money...

I've never received this type of fb-scam. I get the occasional enlargement (of objects I don't have) thingies. Plus: my missing "uncle" (named Adolf, of all names) has repeatedly died (under different circumstances) and each time left me 5 million (that nobody else wants to have). All I need is to give my bank-account-nr - and I'll be rich as shit. Isn't that great?

Kathy McC said...

Do people really fall for that type of thing?? Yikes!

Magpie said...

I got two copies of that very same email yesterday. I do believe it was from the same person...

Calliope said...

My facebook got hacked a few months ago and the scammers actually initiated chats with friends of mine. One lived in London the other a small town in Ireland. The poor Irish lass fell for it a bit and called me in the middle of the night to check on me. My friend in London strung the scammer along for a while before telling him (her?) off. Then facebook shut down my account and I had to do a giant password dealio. So that, coupled with the latest facebook privacy stuff means that I just don't even log in anymore.

k@lakly said...

All I get are offers for Viagra and Vicodin, which while tempting, um, no thanks.
Hope your 'friend' makes out ok...:)

after iris said...

Our shop was scammed recently by a customer who did something wily with a change-for-£20-note scenario. He only got £20, but it's a curiously shameful feeling being scammed. You feel like such a fool, even though you know that they are the ones who did something wrong; they're a con artist, so of course they're able to trick you.

niobe said...

@after iris: Exactly. And I hate feeling like a fool.

Furrow said...

I don't associate closely with people who have such a loose grasp of writing conventions, and I doubt anyone who does write so poorly would be likely to a) take off at short notice on an overseas trip or b)even have a passport.

It makes me very angry that spammers and scammers don't use proofreaders, or at least spellcheck. If any of my real friends ever get in a scrape and send me such a shoddy message, to hell with them.

Elizabeth said...

When I listed my apartment for sublet on Craig's list, I got two scam attempts, both involving wiring money to the UK. Both of them sounded plausible at first but then quickly started sounding fishy. And the fact that there were two of them, albeit very different scenarios ("I want to send my niece on holiday to the US..." vs. "I will be working in a lab at the university, but meanwhile...") rang the alarm. Because I didn't know the first thing about wiring money, I was reading up on that and read some warnings about precisely this kind of scam and realized what was up. It really made me angry.

Hennifer said...

I was sent this same spam recently although the email was funny because it cut off right before it asked for the money so it came across as more of a "don't worry about us" email.

I did also get the offer on a car on CL if I'd be willing to buy it sight unseen before it was shipped from AR. I was disgusted that it uses the seller's supposed military situation as why it is an unconventional sale.

Alexicographer said...

I find it particularly charming that your "friends" needed to specify that they had traveled to London (UK) -- as opposed to, e.g., London (TX) or London (CT). Lest you be confused!

Also -- really? What are the odds of a street burglar in the UK having a firearm? Anyone?

And, yes, it would be nice if they could at least offer to "refund" (interesting verb choice) it to you with knee-capper interest rates included. Ah, scammers, they just aren't what they once were.

Special K said...

Re. Muggers in London having firearms - very unlikely. They seem to prefer knives over here.

I've just checked that postcode, and it seems to be a Travelodge. Haha!

luna said...

my hub was the victim of this exact scam. someone hacked his account and pretended to be him. he logged on just as the guy was starting to "chat" live with one of his friends. he shut down his account and filed a complaint. sounds like it happens a lot. lame. another reason I'm not on.

Melissa said...

Lots of "hacked" Facebook accounts come from people clicking on a link that says its a "video of you" or "look what we caught you doing on camera" type thing.

From there is spreads through your friends list, because people click links (and respond to emails) from their friends without really considering the context and content of the link or message.

I work for a free webmail provider and see this type of thing incessantly. It's sad and pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Eh...I must be daft. I received this last year and nearly sent the money.


Anonymous said...

I am daft. I can't even figure out how to post a comment.


Received this particular email last year and nearly sent the money.


Anonymous said...

@afteriris -

Funny. That's how I felt about my former marriage.

Still do I suppose.

And the dead babies.