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Lost in the Forster
August 16, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe


 
* logs off internet, goes outside to interact with real live people (minus the cheap mind games) *
posted by spoobnooble at 2:08 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


But what really happened was not so simple. What really happened is Staci started to loose her mind.

FAIL
posted by nanojath at 2:12 PM on August 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think the writer tried to extrapolate more interesting developments from the email than were actually in the messages.

I think the reason that "Staci" continues to keep writing back is that it's cheap, and potentially worth the 5 minutes each time if the guy is actually as dumb as he's pretending to be.

I do appreciate scam-jammers (i.e. people who waste scammers time so they have less time left to scam), but it's just not that interesting to read. Ditto with the "found money" social experiment. Double meh.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:29 PM on August 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I get the vigilante impulse, but the cruelty makes me uncomfortable. So I decided I would be clever and a little witty and trick Staci -- a character created by a con artist somewhere in the world -- into writing me a poem."

Is forced poetry (even if only having to look up and steal terrible poetry online) really that much less cruel than, let's say, acting out the dead parrot sketch? Some might disagree.

and yeah, I think the claims of "she lost her mind" and "Staci decided that our relationship was real -- so real that it somehow superseded the con that she herself created" are a bit overstated. I am more inclined to agree that "In her final email she may have been trying to reignite that con."
posted by sloe at 2:39 PM on August 16, 2008


I feel scammed out of the 10 minutes I just spent reading that. I couldn't finish it. He's AT LEAST as much of a wacked-out loser as she is.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:40 PM on August 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think the writer tried to extrapolate more interesting developments from the email than were actually in the messages.

I was thinking the same thing as I got the end. I do have a strong fascination with the scam world, though, so I still managed to find it pretty interesting.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 2:41 PM on August 16, 2008


Meh. It's better than Bob, but that's not saying much.
posted by fixedgear at 3:02 PM on August 16, 2008


I do appreciate scam-jammers (i.e. people who waste scammers time so they have less time left to scam), but it's just not that interesting to read.

I agree, except for the "appreciating" part. If you want to stop scammers, report them to the authorities. If you want to promote yourself online, be upfront about it and don't try to turn it into something noble.

What really happened is Staci started to loose her mind.

I am usually the opposite of a spelling Nazi-- the "skill" of spelling is nothing but rote memorization and the perfect example of a task best left to computers so humans can spend their time on things that require thinking. But nothing makes me "loose" respect for people faster than that particular typo.

(well, maybe "masterbate")

posted by drjimmy11 at 3:10 PM on August 16, 2008


I was wondering what happened to Staci. She responded to a Craigslist ad about subletting a third floor walk up studio space. She sent a lot of boilerplate about shipping her car from London and parking it at my "house." She has a late model Mercedes, don't you know.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:14 PM on August 16, 2008


My 45-day quest to convince myself that I didn't just waste 45 days.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:16 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought the "loose" thing, at the very end of the introduction and the beginning of Staci's terrible email excerpts, was intentional.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:17 PM on August 16, 2008


What really happened is Staci started to loose her mind.

I am usually the opposite of a spelling Nazi-- the "skill" of spelling is nothing but rote memorization and the perfect example of a task best left to computers so humans can spend their time on things that require thinking. But nothing makes me "loose" respect for people faster than that particular typo.


Don't you get it? This isn't about Staci losing her mind, it's about how she unleashes the blazing power of her intellect.
posted by juv3nal at 3:20 PM on August 16, 2008


More like Room With a Trying to Look Like McSweeney's.
posted by katillathehun at 3:31 PM on August 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


More like too self-aggrandizing didn't read
posted by Damn That Television at 3:45 PM on August 16, 2008


If you chart out the 9,300-plus words in Staci and my emails, "know" and "want" show up as the two most commonly used. That we both wanted something was never in doubt; that we were hunting for understanding and insight doesn't surprise me either. As subjective as our truth may have been, in the end each of us had to settle on something.

OMG INTERNET POIGNANCY!!!
posted by mudpuppie at 3:47 PM on August 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah I was feeling that I was kinda not the sympathetic type, maybe something wrong with me, I ain't feeling it. The format "read 6 emails here" didn't help, I pretty much skipped over the emails.

At least the "carve me a wood Compaq keyboard" guy got an awesome wood keyboard! Plus the little sofa with the critters on it. I mean seriously, the wood keyboard is so freaking cool that if these Nigerians (or whoever it was) just made the damn keyboards or opened an African "cool custom sculptures" online shop they could make 5 times the money from the lame scams.

I guess in some ways the scammers are more pathetic than the marks. Sad but true. Thats why it's such an exquisite experience to point and laugh - you aren't just catching a jerk, you are catching a real life bona fide Loser.

My old boss used to give my son a hard time when he came into the office - playing scary boss and all. When he got leukemia and secondary infections, I went to see him in the hospital, and had my son along with me. I told my son that when we went inside we would see Curtis looking very sick and pale and ill. I told my son that it he should also "point and laugh" at this very sick man. What goes around comes around. Curtis died soon after, but my son never did point and laugh. I was proud of my son for his good judgment, but Curt didn't get what he deserved. He was a nasty son of a bitch, I loved him, but that's what he was.

It's a complicated thing, being a human being.
posted by Xoebe at 4:05 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


This scam-jammer sounds like a sad, pretentious twat. And while he's busy bragging of his "victory," he seems far more the loser of this sour pair. After all, "Staci" did successfully trick him. "She" (and perhaps more probably, he) got a self-righteous, internet hipster to create and write a masturbatory HAR HAR website that is even more useless and less valid than any shitty poem could ever be.
posted by applemeat at 4:14 PM on August 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Would someone explain how sending a fake check is not a crime and how such check can be cashed?

If this crime is going on and the guy does nothing to help catch the perpetrators, wouldn't he be judged an accomplice?
posted by Laotic at 4:27 PM on August 16, 2008


I agree, except for the "appreciating" part. If you want to stop scammers, report them to the authorities. If you want to promote yourself online, be upfront about it and don't try to turn it into something noble.

I don't know about that. Do you think the authorities give two shits about guys like airtnz (or whatever that laptop scammer was called)? I don't.

I think there are lots of people who intentionally waste scammers time and don't write about it or self-promote themselves as someone noble. They're just pitching in for the larger effort against those who would try to exploit people for profit. We can't expect the police/government to do *everything* for us. ;)

It's like engaging a telemarketer with fake interest in his/her product and then saying "oh wait a minute" and making a sandwich for 20 minutes, returning to the conversation and saying "oh, I can't talk right now. Call me back tomorrow." Every minute wasted is money wasted and (albeit minimal) disincentive to stop phone spamming. I dunno. I pitch in sometimes. I do feel a little bad for the telemarketers, since they're all paid on commission.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:28 PM on August 16, 2008


Would someone explain how sending a fake check is not a crime and how such check can be cashed?

Giving someone a fake check is indeed a crime (in the U.S.), I think, and sending it through the mail is probably wire fraud. And the whole point is that the check *can't* be cashed.

That's how the scam works: The check with extra money is deposited in the mark's account; the mark pays the scammer the extra money back; the check comes up as fraudulent at some point (a few days), and the mark is out the extra money he laundered back to the scammer.

If this crime is going on and the guy does nothing to help catch the perpetrators, wouldn't he be judged an accomplice?

... short answer, no. If someone tries to scam you, you have no obligation to go to the police (in most states of the U.S.), as far as I know.

I guess if the person tried to cash the check and send the extra money back to the scammer, he/she could be considered an accomplice in money laundering, but I'm no expert. However, if the mark is the only one who loses money in the whole affair, I'm not sure that he should/could be prosecuted since he caused injury only to himself.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:37 PM on August 16, 2008


I think there are lots of people who intentionally waste scammers time..

Yes, but the trick is to waste the scammer's time; not yours and ours.
posted by applemeat at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nthing the overriding sentiment of this thread: guy takes theme that's been beaten into the ground, ushers in a rather lame and uncreative twist, and waxes on for several pages in what could have been summarized with one bullet point to justify the wasted effort. On top of horrible prose and a disjointed narrative.

I'm looking forward to his next update on the witty reply he'll have to the girl in a bikini who messaged him on myspace and asked him to check out her website.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:42 PM on August 16, 2008


Thanks mrgrimm.
So if I understand it right, the bank, upon receiving the check, releases the money to the bearer but may then revert its decision later. That sounds like a good reason never to use checks.
But then, I never saw (much less used) a real check in my life.
posted by Laotic at 4:45 PM on August 16, 2008


That we both wanted something was never in doubt; that we were hunting for understanding and insight doesn't surprise me either. As subjective as our truth may have been, in the end each of us had to settle on something.

Tears of rage and contempt for this post are rolling down my cheeks.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:04 PM on August 16, 2008


The girl in the photo is, possibly, porn star Jesse Jane.
posted by illiad at 5:04 PM on August 16, 2008


He didn't even ask her to send a photo of her holding a sign that read "King of Retards".

Amateurs.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:23 PM on August 16, 2008


i did the research... ahem.

Jesse Jane (sfw... kinda)

could be... who knows?
posted by klanawa at 5:53 PM on August 16, 2008


My conspiracy theory is that this "scammer-jammer" isn't actually one but actually a scammer who is trying to discredit scammer-jammers and make them look like fools.
posted by Knigel at 5:56 PM on August 16, 2008


Breasts like varnished beachballs.
posted by fixedgear at 6:19 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Halfway through reading this I locked up into a full-body cringe. In theory I like the idea of wasting scammers' time, but the results are always too awkward for me to finish reading.
posted by Marit at 8:01 PM on August 16, 2008


This fellow actually escaped a dreadful fate. Staci could have sent him a poem - something touching, poignant and beautiful - that he would never find online, and he would spend the rest of his life looking for it and wondering if the scammer had actually written it... and it wouldn't even have been terribly difficult. All Staci had to do was find an English translation of a work by a noted poet from his/her own country - or perhaps even the right sort of song lyrics. For the most part only translations of the most famous international (non-English speaking) poets are represented online, but it should be relatively easy to find translations in their country of birth. (I can find English translations of famous modern Greek poets here in Greece, but unless they have a wild True Fan, they won't show up online in translation... and even then, only a tiny bit of the work will be represented.)

I wish Staci had been that resourceful.
posted by taz at 10:14 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


After reading the last email I'm not convinced she ever actually tried to be his friend. She was still trying to con him after all that crap and this dude thinks he made some kind of difference in her life or something.
posted by BrnP84 at 12:41 AM on August 17, 2008


I wish Staci had been that resourceful.
That sort of person doesn't become a scammer.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:56 AM on August 17, 2008


Dear Sir:

She was never trying to be your friend. She was always trying to con some money out of you. You are an idiot.

Yours,

ikkyu2
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:18 AM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


This guy is in the unfortunate position of being not quite clever enough to realise he's not quite clever enough.
posted by rhymer at 3:27 AM on August 17, 2008


So if I understand it right, the bank, upon receiving the check, releases the money to the bearer but may then revert its decision later.

No, cheques take a few working days to clear, so if the person being scammed sends out money right away, they lose out. (No one in their right mind believes a cheque counts as money until it's cleared.)

But then, I never saw (much less used) a real check in my life.

They're great if you're skint. Back when I used to get paid for freelance work by cheque, I'd have this constant cheque clearing ballet going in my head, so I knew when to write cheques for money I didn't yet have at just the right moment. Another age-old skill lost to the inexorable march of technology!
posted by jack_mo at 4:07 AM on August 17, 2008


I wish Staci had been that resourceful.
--That sort of person doesn't become a scammer.


Quite to the contrary. Con artists are among the most creative. Count Victor Lustig, anyone?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:28 AM on August 17, 2008


This guy is in the unfortunate position of being not quite clever enough to realise he's not quite clever enough.
posted by rhymer at 6:27 AM on August 17


Yep.
posted by ob at 10:20 AM on August 17, 2008


Quite to the contrary. Con artists are among the most creative. Count Victor Lustig, anyone?

I take your point, but there's a world of difference between that sort of thing, and unimaginative, repetitious Craigslist spam-scams.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:26 PM on August 17, 2008


This guy is in the unfortunate position of being not quite clever enough to realise he's not quite clever enough.
posted by rhymer at 5:27 AM on August 17


What a great phrase.

ikkyu2 nails this one. It was always a scam. The parts that didn't look like a scam? Those are the scammiest parts.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:48 PM on August 17, 2008


You MetaFilter guys are great.

You spend an entire thread on whining that a guy doesn't write well enough.

Well, he DID something. He spent some time on a project, and wrote about it. It was an interesting angle IMO. Wasn't a great piece, obviously.

He's better than us passive threadsurfers at least.
posted by krilli at 2:58 AM on August 18, 2008


He's better than us passive aggressive threadsurfers at least.
posted by fixedgear at 9:48 AM on August 18, 2008


The thing that interests me most about this whole mess is that, for all the so-called security features on cashier checks, they may as well be printed on plain white copy paper. I'm also wondering who he ended up renting the room to, and whether or not they might be running some sort of scam on him at the same time that he's having so much fun with his hapless, can-barely-write-English correspondent.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:37 AM on August 18, 2008


fixedgear: HEH, the passive agressive card!

FWIW, I sincerely think the Metafilter crew is great and funny.
posted by krilli at 5:11 AM on August 19, 2008


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