Nigerian scammer, meet James T. Kirk.
September 13, 2002 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Nigerian scammer, meet James T. Kirk. Or, how to turn the scam around.
posted by misterioso (31 comments total)

 
Also see Buddy Weiserman.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:04 AM on September 13, 2002


Great photos! But I want to know how it ends...
posted by tommyspoon at 9:04 AM on September 13, 2002


watch, now the rest of the world will be screwing with these people. life is good.
posted by trioperative at 9:08 AM on September 13, 2002


Man, some people must have a lot of time on their hands.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:10 AM on September 13, 2002


Two more examples here and here (in this one they even get $$ out of the scammer) (via /.)
posted by urban greeting at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2002


urban greeting - Thanks so much for that last one. I've never been more proud of my Filipino roots than today.
posted by brownpau at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2002


That first link is the only one I've read so far. It's fantastic. I can't wait to see what happens. God, that scammer is going to be so humiliated when he finds out who James Kirk is.
posted by bingo at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2002


More here.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:50 AM on September 13, 2002


I can just see it ...

MAKE MONEY FAST ... Dear Friend, for only a small investment of time each day you can receive $3 for every 419 scam email you receive.

Send me $3 for full details ...

:-)
posted by devbrain at 9:50 AM on September 13, 2002


That is a grand hoax reversal. Bravo, Captain Kirk!
posted by El_Gray at 9:55 AM on September 13, 2002


No wonder that passport didn't authenticate: it's J. Trusk!
posted by brownpau at 9:56 AM on September 13, 2002


If more of us did things like this, just screwing with the scammers and stretching things out, I think we could make a difference. They say that the worse thing you can do to a telemarker is tell them you really want to hear about their deal, but have to answer the door, and then set the phone down. Apparently, many are instructed to stick around if there's the slightest chance they can be heard, and making them wait messes up their call times. If we screwed around e-mail scammers the same way, we could probably have the same effect.
posted by PickleWeasel at 9:59 AM on September 13, 2002


The REAL Captain Kirk would have challenged him to a game of FizzBin.
posted by briank at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2002


I've been communicating with Kazim Abacha, just one of the many other 419 scammers out there. I'm trying to write back in their same "language", and somehow they seem to understand me. Here's one recent example:

"It is with multiple sadness I ask you for further. All phone are disconnect. Perhaps emails is plentiful? In this I am hope. Has all paperwork been to completion? Anxious is my soul. I have held your name in my breath, for fear of others. Are you talking with someone other also? Without phone, we must work to completion otherwise. I trust this is so. Where is the money? And what state is it in?
I have done all I can you asked. Is there to be more? I am trust. Are you in trust?
May no rain make water on our plans.

Yours in spirit,
Nigel Hawthorne, PM
Manchester, England"

I don't know why they bother to reply to my messages. I've listed my name as "Rachel Fromfriends", "Backyard Hibachi", and "Robert (Freddie) Englund, Elm Street, USA" (the scammer keeps calling me Mr. Hibachi, though). After he sent me his picture I send him Matthew Perry's picture. Perhaps I should have used GW Bush?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2002


And yet more here.

Nigerian 419 scammer-baiting: the new national sport?
posted by Acetylene at 10:05 AM on September 13, 2002


What's even more fun than getting the email is getting the old school letter scams they started in the early 1990s. You really get to experience the thrill of something illicit when you receive an envolope with five stamps on it and "by airmail" stamped all over it in multiple languages. Inside you find the acutally very nice official stationary of some West African government ministry repleated with all sorts of official looking stamps and seals. Alas, it is the same scam.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:06 AM on September 13, 2002


Thanks, urban greeting, for your first link. It should be the pinnacle to which all reverse-scammers aspire. Pig Latin? And then, the classic:

You say you are out of your base, Dr. Solomon. Let me tell you a story. In AD 2101, War was beginning. What happen? Somebody set up us the bomb.

I can't stand it...
posted by footballrabi at 10:39 AM on September 13, 2002


I am constantly amazed that people fall for this crap. It's really astounding. There are some pretty dumb folks out there in the world, I guess.
posted by aacheson at 11:06 AM on September 13, 2002


I have been looking for a new hobby. I have found it.
posted by Kneebiter at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2002


I recently recieved 3 of these in one day. I read them for laughs and then deleted them. I've recieved nothing since. I'm now beginning to wish I'd responded! LOL!
posted by TCMITS at 11:26 AM on September 13, 2002


I love the final email from the first link from Urban Greeting:

From: Abed Solomon
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 10:19:03 +0100 (BST)
To: Zachary Beane
Subject: Re: Hello from Asia!

dumb asshole .you better get lost in that hole of asia.


Subtlety at its' best. Amazing how his tone changed when he knew he'd been "had."

posted by aacheson at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2002


"It is with multiple sadness I ask you for further. All phone are disconnect. Perhaps emails is plentiful? In this I am hope. Has all paperwork been to completion? Anxious is my soul. I have held your name in my breath, for fear of others. Are you talking with someone other also? Without phone, we must work to completion otherwise. I trust this is so. Where is the money? And what state is it in?
I have done all I can you asked. Is there to be more? I am trust. Are you in trust?
May no rain make water on our plans.


This provided me with my first big laugh of the day. Thanks.
posted by McBain at 11:29 AM on September 13, 2002


These spammers write like thomcat and clav were the personalities inside an evil greedy Christian robot.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:07 PM on September 13, 2002


The pictures of the dead women in the bathtubs made me laugh outload. The thought that someone would just graze over that and still want to do "business" with an admitted murderer. My kind of humor.
posted by internook at 1:10 PM on September 13, 2002


It's sad that Nigeria, once the middle class hope of west africa, with one of the best education systems in Africa, had to suffer decades of corrupt government sucking the economy dry. thousand of well educated young folk have no where to turn, and then internet cafes start popping up offering access for one naira an hour... I saw a documentary on this on BBC. Some bad dudes involved, and they have been at it for a long time, but a lot of these guys are just hopeless young schmucks playing a scam for the one in a thousand chance of making something at all... Still it is fun to watch a con artist get snagged - I'm never never one to stop a scam roast!

I wrote a story on this for a local newspaper last spring, and called the Nigerian embassy for a comment, figuring I would get a balanced view - not all Nigerians are 914 scammers, after all. The Embassy official asked me to come in personally to the Embassy, was very unhelpful... almost expected him to ask for my bank account numbers... and heck, mo gbo ede yoruba... I speak Yoruba....

Pity. Nigeria - as well as all of Africa - deserved better from the future.
posted by zaelic at 1:47 PM on September 13, 2002


Here's another good one where a woman propositions him.
posted by sparky at 6:52 PM on September 13, 2002


why is it called a 419 scam?
posted by Vidiot at 9:22 PM on September 13, 2002


I, for one, welcome our new Nigerian reverse-scammer overlords.
posted by Wet Spot at 9:52 PM on September 13, 2002


vidiot: 419 is the section of the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud.

My personal favorite is the guy who poses as "Diamond" David Lee Roth.
posted by Ljubljana at 10:38 PM on September 13, 2002


is it really worthwile for these scammers to spend so much time in email correspondence? after all, what could the percentage of suckers actually be vs. those who automatically delete?
posted by adamms222 at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2002


I got what I think is a nigerian advenced fee scam email today. I did a reverse DNS lookup on the originators email address and traked it to a New York based firm called CreditRiskMonitor.com. The email server is hosted by a florida firm called dialtone.com. Any ideas what I should do (if anything) with this information
posted by cohiba at 4:24 PM on September 21, 2002


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