Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Scammers Be Scamming...

As you may or may not know one of the hobbies I used to have before Jim got all frightened that Nigerians would show up at our house and burn it down was that I loved to scam bait.

What's scam baiting I hear you ask..

Simply put it's tying up the time and energy of a Nigerian (or elsewhere) scammer who's seeking to get overtly trusting and super-greedy naive American's to give them moolah. Sometimes they pretend you've won a lottery, or you have some great uncle fifty times removed from your family that lives overseas that has expired. Sometimes it's a Nigerian prince or princess asking for help getting access to funds frozen in a foreign land. Or if you're trying to sell a high ticket item on Craigslist they have some convoluted story about them sending you a check for a certain amount with you cashing it for them to knock the price down or they want to send you a huge downpayment via Western Union up front.

Today I got one of the newer more common ones in my email box. Almost always it's some form of unsolicited email. I got the job come on by one Jean Baptiste Luckenson - who only exists online as a bellboy at a Dominican Republic resort, or a pile of blank Facebook/Linkedin pages or somewhere in Haiti.

Greetings *My Real Name Here,*

I am an HR representative. We have found your CV through employment agency.
At the present time our company needs a full-time Quality Assurance Manager.
The basic payment is $2793 per month +/plus bonuses. An attractive compensation package is provided.

-Must be aged over 21;
-Careful, upright and dependable person;
-Great IT skills;
-Previous office work experience is a plus;
-Relocation: NO.

If you are rightly qualified for this opening, please answer back. Don't forget to state a phone number to call you.

Requisition code: (LTD-76-429)
You see what he did here. He's dangling a lucrative salary amount not usually found in my crappy small town. He's claiming he found my CV (non-existent- I haven't have one for many years now) 'through employment agency' instead of 'through an employment agency'.

All of these things are suspicious alone. Combined they are absolutely a tip off that this is a scammer. High salary offer, claims of finding me in a way that is virtually impossible and the capper is the odd construction of the sentences, the pigeon English.

Notice also there is no mention of the name of the company, no mention of the company location and a sketchy list of requirements. When's the last time you went on a job interview or someone called for a reference and asked if you were an 'upright' person? Like never.

Some Googling of the email address leads to nothing and the email address name is completely different than the person they are claiming to be. Dead ends. I miss the days when scammers were completely idiotic and used email accounts with traceable headers. Sadly now they've gotten a wee bit smarter.

I miss my scam baiter days. The thrill of stringing one of these guys along and wasting their time. I had a million very dumb aliases, such as Sir I.P. Frehley and O' B. Lowme. Since a lot of these guys have not the firmest grasp of English you could let your imagination run wild, demand ludicrous things, such as proof of their candy bar or their cosmic galactic immigration equation number.

One of the best scam baiting tales I've ever seen was by a guy nicknamed 'Shiver Metimbers' at - Busted! Be sure to scroll all the way down to the photoshopped pictures of the artwork and the masterfully faked documentation. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Sadly none of my scam baiting tales even comes close to that. But I did score some pretty funny clearly fake checks. Here, print them off and cash them if you like (no, do not really, they are FAKE FAKE FAKE). The trick is your are going to have to have id proving you are Sir I.P. Frehley to cash them.

Sometimes I miss Sir Ivan P. Frehley. He was always on safari in Africa insisting that those generous people giving him money meet him in person to collect their share. It was always a case of them missing him by minutes or missed communications, or being bitten by a lion so he missed the drop off. Pip pip, tally ho and all that ridiculous British vernacular Sir Ivan blathered on about in his emails.

So the point of this whole thing is this. If someone is offering you some fabulous prize for doing very little it's 99.99% someone attempting to scam you. Amazingly enough millions of dollars is taken every year from people of all ages, races, socioeconomic levels and educational levels.

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