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Dialog with a Scammer

More Lads from Lagos.


Invariably, whenever I put something on Craigslist, the very first response or two I get are from Nigerian gong-farmers trying to work their "shipping fee" scam. What's ironic is that every inquiry from a prospective buyer is addressed to the seller with this header:

** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html


So, in response to my ad to sell my car, I got this from "Ashley Castaneda":

Hello
I hope this item still available for sale


OK, that's a standard Mugu introduction. Instead of trashing it, I decide to have some fun. I responded,

The van is still for sale.

Now mind you, every "for sale" item I post to Craigslist has this disclaimer in it:

All potential buyers, please read this: Cash Only Sale: No Cashier's Checks, Money Orders, Western Union transfers, or PayPal. Spurious offers will be rejected. No "Shipping Agents" will be dealt with.

Next thing I get is this:

Hi,
So glad you got back to me so soon, I really need this Item as soon as possible, I hope it's in a good condition and am also ready to purchase and pay for the item immediately, I am so sorry i cannot come with cash neither come over to check the condition of the item myself, i am a very busy person and all i can do is send you a cashier check to please cash it and i hope i can trust you on this, when the check clears i will also arrange for a local pick up to come for the pick up as soon as you get the check am sorry about this that's just the only convenient process i can pay you i hope we handle this in good faith while waiting to hear from you with your....


Full Name:
Address: Not P.O.BOX
City:
State: Postal Code:
Phone Number:

The check will be mailed out as soon as you provide me with the above information the payment will be overnight to you also and i will let you know when it’s mailed out. I will add an additional $30 so that you can hold it for me till the check reaches you. I will be waiting to
read from you

Ashley Castaneda


Moron didn't even read the ad. Just scraping the net for new postings.

So here I come with my standard blow-off letter:

Dear "Ashley",

Apparently you didn't even bother to read the ad. It says: All potential buyers, please read this: Cash Only Sale: No Cashier's Checks, Money Orders, Western Union transfers, or PayPal. Spurious offers will be rejected. No "Shipping Agents" will be dealt with.

This is to avoid dealing with onioburus like yourself.

All best,

-Gaspar X. Kici


And, thinks I, I'll either never hear from the drone again or he'll come back with some insulting reply. Instead, to my surprise, I get almost a verbatim copy of the previous letter, with the following line added:

can hold it for me till the check reaches you. I will be waiting to read from you

So the guy isn't even reading his mail. Let's have a bit more fun with him:

Full Name: Greg Suhr
Address: 850 Bryant St. #525
City: San Francico
State: CA
Postal Code: 94103
Phone Number: 415-553-1551


Now this could technically get me in trouble - it's the name and address of the Chief of Police of San Francisco. Hopefully I won't have agents knocking on my door in the near future for "impersonating a police officer." But the opportunity to yank this drone's chain was too good to pass up.

"Ashley" now writes back as follows:

Hi,
Thanks for your information,i will get back to you with the tracking number of the check as soon as the check mailed out to your location,and i will also advice that you withdraw the item from craigslist in order to prevent from other buyers ok.. hope to read back from you today.Thanks for your understanding.


Oh, I understand alright, far better than Mr. Mugu has any idea. At any rate, this one needed no reply. As a result, another email comes along:

Good days to you,this is to notify you that the payment has been mailed out to your location already and it will get to your location very soon and also to inform you that the shipping funds was included on the payment, so kindly get back to me as soon as you have the payment so that i can advice you on how the shipping funds will be send back to the shipper then pick-up will be arrange. I await your mail soon.hope you will never disappoint me as soon as you receive the payment because i want this pick up asap.hope i can trust you on this.

Thanks for your understanding and i hope the item is still in good condition?


Naturally, I won't be seeing any check, even if he mailed one, so I keep mum and soon see this - he's cutting to the chase now.

Hello,

Good day to you,I am very sorry for the late receive of the payment,FEDEX contacted me this morning that the payment will deliver to you any moment from now via FEDEX service ,here is the tracking number(8768 3052 8203), so kindly go ahead and have the check deposit to your bank and make a partial withdraw immediatelly for the shipper in order for them to come for the pick up asap because my shipper is ready to come for the pick up today and i have already let you know
that the shipping cost was included as i told you and the shipper is ready to come for the pick-up anytime from now,I will want you to have shipping fund out today, deduct your money for the item with an extra amount of $50 for your kindness and run around expenses and get the rest back to my shipper via Western Union money transfer for the pick-up to come up.,i really appreciate your kindness and trustworthiness toward this transaction to be successful, below is the shipper details to wire funds.


Name...........XAVIER BOWSER
Address.........627 Well Branch
City.................MANOR
State...............TX
Zipcode...........78653


N-B :You can reach my shipper thru there email address (shippinggoodco@hotmail.com)

I will be waiting to read from you with the below Western Union details.

Sender's name and address..
Amount Sent:
10 Digit MTCN Number,
Map quest so that it can be easy for my shipper to get there as soon as you get this done and i want you to e-mail my shipper as soon as you get this done asap.


NOTE: Deduct any Western Union charges from the difference. Thanks and hope to read back from you now.


You notice he hasn't told me how much to wire him. Also, my "convenience fee" has gone up to $50.00. Such generosity.

Ashley, you have not told me how much the shipping charges are. I can't send any money without knowing the amount.
-Gaspar X. McGillicuddy


The fact that I change my "name" on each mail is lost on this sleazy yutz.

Thank for your mail shipping fund price is $1100....So kindly go ahead now and have the money send now through any western union location around you now and get back to me with the western union detail asap and also make sure you send the money in a minute in order for them to
get it intime ok......Hope i can trust you about this and get back to me now


Right. Like I'd send him any money without having received payment for my "item", even if he were a legitimate buyer. It makes my head hurt to think that there are people out there naïve enough to fall for this sort of scam.

It has been said, "If you trust too much, you may be deceived, but if you don't trust enough you will live your life in torment." I agree with this wholeheartedly, but trusting people and adhering to the basic principles of safe computing and safe internet use are two different things. The internet is a pond, and there is a lot of scum floating around on the surface. I can't encourage people enough to be careful out there.

So here is my next reply to "Ashley":

Ashley,

It would be unwise for me to send you money before your check has arrived, and cleared. Did you say the check would be arriving by FedEx? The tracking number shows it was delivered and signed for by a M. Oropeza, but I don't know anyone by that name and I haven't seen any check. Are you sure it was addressed right? Please let me know what address you sent the check to.

-Galantxi Z. Magronda


Oh dear. If he really sent a check, then I fear I have wasted some of M. Oropeza's time. What I wish is that someone in the law-enforcement business could haul this turkey off to the clink for a good long spell. If he's not in Nigeria, that is. The tracking number he provided for the FedEx shipment was valid, and it indicated that the shipment originated in Los Angeles, if there truly was one. Perhaps he has a shill in the states working for him?

Anyway, here's what I got back:

Thank for your mail the check is already delivered to your Receptionist/Front Desk.....So kindly go ahead now and have the money send to the shipper now....Hope to read back from you

Well, I'm not through playing yet:

Dear Ashley,

I'm not sure where the check was delivered. I still have seen no sign of it. Please tell me the exact address to which you had the check delivered by FedEx, I want to make sure it came to the right place. Obviously, there's no way I'm sending money anywhere without a cleared check in hand. That would be unwise. Is it not so, surely?

Sincerely yours,

Raging DeLameter


Besides the ever-changing names, there's no chance in Tophet that this moron would catch the E.E. "Doc" Smith reference. "Ashley" wrote me back:


Thank for your mail here is the adress that i mail the check to with the tracking information

Full Name: Greg Suhr
Address: 850 Bryant St. #525
City: San Francico
State: CA
Postal Code: 94103
Phone Number: 415-553-1551

Here is the tracking ibnformation
Your Tracking Information
Status: DELIVERED
Last Scan: 8/25/2011 9:11:00 AM Delivered US
Delivered To: US
Delivery Date: Thursday, August 25, 2011
Delivery Time: 9:11 AM
Delivery Location: Receptionist/Front Desk
Signed By: M.OROPEZA
Carrier: FedEx
Service: Priority Envelope
FedEx Tracking Number: 876830528203


Whoops. Looks like there may have been a real check sent out. I really regret any inconvenience to the SFPD... Well, anyway, I have had my fun. Time to put this little adventure to bed:

"Ashley,"

I'm selling a car, you blithering moron. You really think your scam is not totally transparent? I already mailed you once and told you that I could see right through your ignorant fraud.

The "payment" you mailed out was addressed to the Chief of Police of the city of San Francisco. As a result, I'll never see it, since I'm thousands of miles away. But they will shake their heads sadly at the ignorance and greed of some people, throw it in the trash, and go on with the business of catching thieves and criminals, among which, sadly, will not be you - since they don't work in Nigeria. As for me, I will smile knowing that I wasted your time, which might have been spent scamming someone else who is not wise to your antics. If you actually sent a phony "check" to that address, then I'll have the satisfaction of knowing you wasted some money as well. If not, I'll settle for the time. Don't bother writing back, Maye - your address will be filtered directly to the trash, and your account has been reported to Gmail.

Oh, and by the way? I sold the car to a real person, for real money. Jerkwad.

Black powder and sickness to you from Olumba Olumba Obu - U no fit comot face, just skip along.

Sincerely,

Gutzon X. Borglum


Game Over.

Most of the time, I don't even bother with these fools. I just send their emails to the "abuse" department of wherever they came from, and move on. This time I think I was just a little extra peeved because I was motivated to sell my van, and these dunghill rats come crawling out of the woodwork at every opportunity. I feel badly for the people they manage to take advantage of.

Please, people... be so very careful when dealing on the internet. Follow Craigslist's advice for any online selling service, which I repeat here again:

** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html


Keep yourselves, your friends and your loved ones safe.

With love,
-The Old Wolf


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Comments

torakiyoshi
Aug. 26th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Well, isn't that <I>Special</I>?
Bravo, sir! I applaud you most heartily. Sadly, for every one smart person who tells them off, there are still thousands who fall for their schemes, every day.

BTW, what does the Nigerian you used in the emails mean?
ccdesan
Aug. 26th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Re: Well, isn't that <I>Special</I>?
Thanks kindly.

Nigerian slang:

Mugu/Maye = "fool"
Onioburu = "gong farmer" or "nightsoil handler"
"Dem no born you reach" = "don't even think about it."
"U no fit comot face" = "you're not worthy to be seen in public."
"chop my dollar" = "get my money"
Read here for Olumba Olumba Obu. Many Nigerians consider him possessed of great juju.

These little tidbits usually enrage the drones, which is another checkmark for Thursday. Anything I can do to get their blood pressure up is a good thing.
torakiyoshi
Aug. 26th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
Haha! Thanks!
lowen_kind
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
Next time send them the first reply in Greek and when they ask for a clarification change to Latin. ;=3
ccdesan
Aug. 26th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Best idea yet!

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ccdesan
The Old Wolf
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