Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fun With Scammers - Part Five (already!)

Impatient scammer is impatient.
What is going on there? Have made the payment into your account and have not hear back concerning the transfer details .Kindly get back to me asap.


So here's my response (as per a suggestion by Mr. Foxen)

Hi Miriam,

Sorry it's taken a while to get back to you, but as you can understand I am a very busy man and cannot always deal with things immediately if they happen during the day.

I'm afraid I must ask you for a payment of an extra £20 to cover the shipping, as PayPal fees removed from the amount you have sent me will leave me out of pocket when I transfer the money to the shipping agent. Once I have received this amount I will go ahead with the money transfer to the shipping agent.

Love and kisses,
Howard Philips Lovecraft
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Scammer got back to me. Has 'sent' the £20. Foxen reckons policy is to blindly agree to stuff so as not to scare off the marks.
Have sent the additional £20  now,Kindly make the transfer asap and get back to me .

My response. Just generally seeing if I can freak them out a bit now.

 I will do. Just waiting for

dry skulls in a dusty valley

the money to clear into my account and as soon as it

with all the tops sawn off

has I'll do the transfer.

Urlock Gaur

Fun With Scammers - Part Four

So... a flurry of activity from my scammer.

First a screen cap of an email from 'PayPal'.
'PayPal' Email

Further down the page is the shipping address, which is in Surrey. I won't share the address as it is a real place and therefore is somebody's actual house.

Next up was an email from the courier:

International Shipping Company.
Overseas Shipping of your personal effects, furniture and household goods.
Weekly shipping to over 5000 destinations. Daily collection from anywhere in the World.

Quality International Overseas Moving Services from 1st Move International Removals Company. As full members of BIFA we pride ourselves in bringing safe, secure, cost saving services to our customers.

We specialize in looking after you belongings by securely
packing them with our unique export packing system, offering
full marine insurance which is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance.
We also use our buying power to get the best shipping rates
available for your move.

We have daily collections from most of the UK and weekly sailings toover 5000 different destinations worldwide.

Our experienced members of staff are here to make your international move as quick, smooth and hassle free as possible. They will be on hand to answer any questions or queries that you
may have about your move.

Dear Horatio Nelson,

We have successfully calculated the pick up cost according to the delivery address given to us by your purchaser and your own pick up address. The total pick up cost is £300.00 GBP However, we have been asked to expect the pick up cost from you through Western Union Money Transfer. You will send the pick up cost to our agent who will come for the pick up. Below is the details you will need to send the money:

Adeniji Olalekan
80 Bourke Street
Sunny Side
South √Āfrica.

You will need to send the money through Western Union Money Transfer, you can easily do that by going to any nearest Western Union office, You will need to send the following information as soon as you have sent the money:

Sender's name and full address

Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)

You will use the following security question and answer while you are sending the money:

Security Question: What is it for?

Answer: Pick Up

We will be looking forward to read from you so as to know when we should expect the money and to arrange for the pick up date and time.

Still not convinced, get back to us through our Customer Care Email Desk @ ( For customers feedback.....................

Get your Free personalised removals quote by completing the quote request form here

Check out the ShrinkFast Packing system here - it protects your cargo whilst in transit!

Free moving boxes and packing supplies for 1st Move international movers

See what our customers think of us

How to contact our team, email, phone fax and postal address are here

1st Move International Removals Home Page Online Forms Moving Tips

No screen cap because it really is text only. This copy 'n' paste cannot truly show how amateurish this is, the justification is all wonky and there are no logos or graphics anywhere, none of the links actually contain URLs, and a quick look on Google only mentions '1st Move International' in connection with scams. The most jarring thing though is why a guitar being shipped to Surrey would need a £300 shipping fee sent to South Africa.

And finally from 'Miriam':
I have made the payment now, im sure you must have received the payment notification message from PayPal regarding the payment. The pick up company wanted £300 for the pick up and delivery, so i have included it in the payment i made. I have also informed the pick up company, im sure they will contact you regarding the details you will used to send the money. Please make sure you send the money to them on time and arrange pick up time and date.

Thanks and hope to hear back from you asap.

I am currently considering my next move.

Fun With Scammers - Part Three-and-a-half

'Miriam' has apparently transferred funds to a PayPal account that doesn't exist. And the courier wants me to wire money to South Africa. More later.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Fun With Scammers - Part Three, plus Helping People Out

Heard back from the scammer, but was busy so it took a while to get back to them.
Thank you so much. I have forwarded the address to the shipping company so they can calculate the pick up and delivery cost for me to make the payment. I'm sure they will contact you soon. I would like you to know that the payment will be made via PayPal because is fast and secured to send and received money online, All you have to send me is your paypal email address so I can make the payment immediately.

Hope to hear back from you asap.
 And my reply:

Hi Miriam,

Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, being a Timelord is a very busy job and there were some Yeti in the Underground that needed dealing with urgently. Don't let this put you off though, I am still very willing to sell you this instrument.

My PayPal email address is ravenor@ordoxenos.inq

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Grigori Rasputin
Russia's Greatest Love Machine
 Generally going for a less consistent and more surreal thing now.

As for the 'helping people out'... A comment on Part Two of this little adventure came from someone else who is also being scammed by 'Miriam' and wanted to know how to deal with it, I offered the best advice I could which is to report the scammer to Gumtree. And I really suggest that people generally take that approach, I just happen to be in a particularly happy/mischeivous mood at the moment which is why I'm deliberately baiting the scammer instead of going through official channels.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Fun With Scammers - Part Two

Heard back from the scammer, who is operating under the rather dull nom de clavier Miriam Berma.
I wish to let you know that I'm satisfied with the conditions and i will like to inform you that am buying the item for my Family in Thornton Heath,so i will be the one responsible for the pick up and delivery stuff.kindly get back to me with your full name and address so that i can forward it to the pick up agent to calculate the pick up fees for me.


Joy to You and Me!!!

Here is my response. Tactics used here are changing names, obviously fake address and a random Invader Zim quote at the end of the message.

Hi Miriam,

It's great to know that you are completely satisfied with a guitar that is in a constant state of exploding, I do hope your family enjoys it.

My full name and address is:
Harry Paget Flashman
221b Baker Street

I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding the collection

Archibald McNulty

TAQUITOS! And a clown with no head!
Stay tuned!

Fun With Scammers - Part One

For quite a while now I've been trying to sell a 2002 Jackson KVX10. Thus far the only interest I've had has been from people who don't understand simple things like "no I won't take it all the way to Southampton unless you guarantee you'll buy it" or "dropping £100 off the price based on the cost of buying the current entry-level Jackson new is never going to happen."

But now I have what appears to be a scammer who has found my ad on Gumtree. The first communcation from them was a simple "is this item still available" message, to which I replied "for a legitimate buyer, yes."

This morning I got this message through (via Gumtree's own messaging service. No way was I going to deal direct until I had a fake email set up, of which more in a bit):
Ok, before we can proceed abt this sale i will like to know your

Contact number :..........
Email :..........
Condition of the item & Best price :..........

So pretty much a definite scam, as this kind of broken English and insistence on dealing direct is pretty common. Of course it may not be a scam, so this is the point where I start being a bit silly (an idea I got from Mr. Foxen), to see what happens. So I sent this reply:
Thanks for your interest in the item

My contact number is 0898 474747
My email address is
The condition of the item is exploding.
The best price is £1,000.

Kind Regards,
Horatio Nelson (Admiral)

So quadrupled the price for a guitar that is currently exploding. The email address is a real one I've set up for the sole purpose of this 'transaction'.

Just gotta see what happens next.