Note: Some of this article was previously posted in the comments thread of the previous installment. It is repeated here for your convenience.
Recently, we received this little gem in our email. As detailed here, it’s a scam of a type mostly originating in Ghana. Stu’s Shed got similarly hit by these morons – I suspect the same one that we’re conversing with, since his fuckmunch also left in the parenthesis, same as our friend “William Morrison”.
The scam is a simple one, but more complex than the “get someone to respond so you can put their address on your spam list” that I originally suspected it was. Not too much more complex, because these scammers are generally not real bright, as we say around here. For those (like the Maitre d’) who might be a little slow on the uptake or are too lazy to read through the links, here’s how “William Morrison”‘s little game works: you send an email to an e-commerce site asking about buying something. You settle for anything close to what you want, then you immediately order it, paying by credit card. The payment clears, and the products are shipped. Then the charges are mysteriously reversed by the credit card company, because – surprise, surprise! – the card they paid with is stolen. Then you, the e-tailer, are left with no product, no money, and no way of finding the fuckwad in Ghana who ripped you off.
Here’s our project: I’m going to see how frustrated I can make this guy. These scammers, being who they are, will jump through hoops if you flash some dollar signs in front of them. Since they’re con artists themselves, they tend to look at everyone else as marks and not as someone who’d be dishonest in dealing with them. Sometimes they do wise up, though, so we’ll be cautious. This is my first time scam-baiting, after all. (By the way, many thanks to 419 Eater for tips on how to get started in this sport. Your site tickled both my innate sadism and my sense of justice.)
I suppose I should go on record and say that we’ve checked this nutter’s IP address, and he is indeed in Ghana. He’s probably got an accomplice stateside to pick up the goods and fence them off, then send on the money. Most of these bozos have contacts in Florida or Toronto, from what I gathered. So we know this guy’s a scammer and not anyone legitimate. Anyone legitimate would have visited the damn site and realized that we don’t sell a damn thing. And only Pez is dispensed here, not mercy.
Now, keep in mind, I know that I probably shouldn’t post this online while the “game” is still ongoing. I shouldn’t because “William Morrison” might get wind of it should he actually, you know, visit the site in my signature. I’m putting it here to prove that this is indeed the fucking dumbest scammer on the face of the Earth. It’s going to be right out in the open that he’s being strung along, and yet I full well expect he’s not going to realize it. Good for him!
So anyway, I set up a Yahoo email account (because there’s no way in hell I’m giving him my real email address) under the name “Torgo Reynolds” (I figured this guy’s dumb enough for fucking Torgo to outwit him), and sent the following response:
Hello. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. Yes, we do have many chainsaws in stock, but I am unclear as to the exact model you require.
Here’s “William”‘s answer:
OK,let me know if you have the 35cc or the prices on them so that i can proceed from there.Thanks
Well, his English is slightly better than some scammers, but not that great. After browsing through some of 419 Eater’s links, I’ve got a few ideas to try.
Here’s my response:
I’m sorry, but we only carry 34cc and 45cc models. Those are the industry standards. Are you sure you didn’t mean one of those?
As you can tell, I know jack about chainsaws, but I’m betting that “William” doesn’t even know which end to hold. Basically, I’m going to see if he gets a little frustrated by having to go through a couple of emails to nail down what he wants to “order”. Whichever one of the two he picks, it’s going to be conveniently “out of stock”, necessitating another round of emails. I’ll also waste a bit of time asking him what brand he wants. After that, I’ve got a few ideas to see where this goes…
A few hours later, inspiration hit me, and with no reply from “William”, I decided to prod him just a little by offering to be helpful – and also by being just a little pushy, something that real salespeople do.
Re: ORDER REQUEST
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:57 PM
From: “Torgo Reynolds” email@example.com
I forgot to ask if I should send you a copy of our catalog. Our site’s online listings are hard to navigate sometimes. Of course, if you have a specific model in mind, we can get it for you. Thank you!
Chief of Sales
Husqvarna, South Dakota
Let’s see if “Morrison” responds to that one. If he asks for a catalog, I’ve got a little trick in mind that might throw him for a loop.
Update: It’s been a day or two since I threw out the initial bait, and still no response from our “good friend”. Perhaps he visited the site. Perhaps he realized he was being strung along. Or perhaps he’s just busy with other marks. I’m going to go ahead and post this now, just to chronicle how stupid he is. If I get a response, I’ll write another entry in this series.