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PERSPECTIVE

The Spam Victim Strikes Back!

By Mark Pothier
Globe Staff / September 12, 2008
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About 90 to 95 percent of all e-mail today is spam. I've been launching counterattacks on spammers for a long time. But earlier this year, I struck up a more extended exchange with an official of an unnamed company, which promised me a 20 percent cut of the profits if I provided personal banking and credit card information.

THE START

Dear Representative,

We will like to congratulate you for
you willing to be our representative in your region,but we want you to know
that you did not fill your details in the form we sent to you earlier.so we
want you to fill the form so we can know where you are loacted.

Full Names:
Full Address:
City:
Zip Code:
State:
Home Phone:
Cell Phone:
Age:
Gender:
Marital Status:
Occupation:
Name of Bank

Thanks for your Co-operation
Mr. Ben Winners

Dear Sir,

I am so sorry about that. In my excitement, I overlooked it. I shall send
the information required. My commission will be 20 percent, yes? And could
you perhaps provide a bit more detail on the type of work I will be doing
-- if it has to do with crafts, I excel at that! On gender, how relevant is
that? I mention only because I am in the process of having various surgical
procedures to correct a lifetime of gender confusion. It will not impact my
ability to deliver, however, please rest assured of that.

***

Good Day,
Thanks once again for response,we must let you know that
what you will doing for us is to work online for us.you working on line for
us is by checking your email so as to know maybe we sent you an email and
also to receive money from our client.so we want you to provide us the
details as soon as posible inclunding your phone number and the extact
country you locate.

Please do make a far response so you can start work immediately


Best Regards

John Clerk

Dear Mr. Clerk,

I am sorry for any misunderstanding, and I hope it does not diminish my
chances of securing an online position. My country is the US, although my
father was born in Albania and I have frequently visited there during the
barley harvest. Nostalgia, I guess, because truth be told I don't care much
for barley. Except in beer, naturally.
As to the pertinent details in this matter, I have a checking and savings
account, but I must say that due to the lowering interest rates, neither
one is making me much money these days. That is one of the reasons I find
your offer so interesting. My phone is temporarily on the fritz, I am
afraid -- someone ran up unauthorized charges on it and I am hoping to have
it sorted out by week's end.
What else do I need with regards to getting this underway? The weather here
today is awful. Hope you are enjoying sunshine.

***

Good Day,
Am glad to hear from you because have been wondering why you did
not give me your details so i could register your details in our data
base.anyway we are really happy to hear that you are from usa because we
have a lot of customers that are willing to pay us some money,but we dont
have any representative over there.now that have heard from you that you
from usa am really happy to tell you that you will be receving the payment
for us.

Moreso,we want you to know that we do let our customers pay us through
checks,moneyorder and even account.we do let them pay us through creditcard
because it is easier and more safer.

So we want you to provide us your credit card number and the limit of the
card so our customers in usa can transfer the money into it and as soon as
you receive the money you will deduct your percentage and we will let you
know how you will be sending the remaining money to us


Just get back to me with your credit card number and the limit so taht
our customer will not transfer more than the exact limit.

Hope to read from you.

Best Regards
John

Mr. Clerk,

Exciting news! I should mention, however, that I may be moving to Canada
for an extended period due to some tax difficulties here. I hope this does
not pose a problem, but I felt obliged to mention it to you, as I pride
myself on my business integrity.
I have an automobile club membership card -- would this be sufficient? As
far as I know it has unlimited capacity. I am eagerly awaiting your credit
card numbers so we can begin.
The weather here has taken another turn for the worse -- bad for me, since
I neglected to bring an umbrella today. Oh, well, into every life some rain
must fall.


***


Am glad you moving to canada,we can also do business there so far you can
provide your credit card number and the limit because we looking for a
representative there also.
Moreso i dont know why you dont go straight to the point in
what ever i asked you to provide me your details.
In my last email i as you to provide me your creditcard number and the
limit.you never mailed me back with the details instead you asking of my
own.what am asking you is to provide me your credit card number and the
limit to know tha exact amount to be transfer in to your credit card.


PLEASE MAIL ME THE DETAILS SO AS TO START BUSINESS OKAY.

Regards
John

Dear Mr. Clerk,

Again, I seem to have muddied the waters here, and I apologize profusely
for that. If I may digress for a moment, do you happen to know of a good
online program for learning French? I'm concerned that my business skills
may be affected in Canada given that the only word I know in French is oui.
As a business person, I know that saying no is sometimes part of the game.
As to my account limit, I believe it is in the $50,000 range. Regarding
numbers, I have two: I call my checking account number 2 because it is my
lucky number. Thus it follow that my savings accounts in number 3, because
it follows 2 and I opened it second. I hope this helps speed things along.

One other extremely important point before we cross the t's and dot the i's
on this: what would my title be? I do not consider myself egoistical,
however, a title imparts a certain prestige that I must admit to coveting.
Preferably, I would like a title that includes at least two words -- my
lucky number and all.

Weather update: A few snowflakes in the air, but they say spring is on the
way. Let's hope so!

Best


***

I DONT REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN.CAN YOU PLEASE EXPALAIN TO ME
BETTER.OR YOU SHOULD GIVE ME YOUR PERSONAL MOBILE NUMBER SO I COULD GIVE
YOU A CALL.

MORESO,YOU JUST TELLING ME THE LIMIT OF YOUR CARD IS 50,000DOLLARS.BUT I
DONT SEE THE CRDIT CARD NUMBER.IT SEEMS YOU TELLING YOU TELLING ME YOU HAVE
TWO CREDITCARD NUMBER OR WHAT.I DONT SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND YOU AT ALL.PLEASE
WILL YOU LIKE TO GIVE ME YOUR PERSONAL MOBILE NUMBER OK.

Dear Mr. Clerk,

My phone, unfortunately, was recently stolen, but as you can see I am still
able to communicate via email. I should also point out that there seems to
be something wrong with your computer -- all of your words are coming
across in capital letters.
I am still eagerly awaiting word on what title I might hold -- please
provide that as soon as possible as I would like to have some fancy
business cards designed to trumpet my new standing in life. I am thinking
about two or three colors -- although I know that can be costly -- as well
as embossing. What do you think of scratch-and-sniff? It's kind of retro, I
reckon. With my new income I figure it might be an investment well made.
Nothing like the smell of fresh apple pie to attract business prospects!
Also, regarding, the move to Canada, I'm afraid that is out. I did not
previously realize that the climate there is harsh, and ever since a tragic
frostbite incident in my childhood, my nose has been quite sensitive to
temperatures below 32 degree (that's 0 celsius in your parlance). So, my
friend, I must inform you that my destination now is Hawaii, which has a
rather high cost of living. Would it be possible to get an advance on my
commission to defray moving costs?
Finally, here are some of my account numbers: 6, 9, and 0. As I am sure you
understand, I am not comfortable with including them all in one email, for
security purposes. One can never be too careful these days!
Just shoveled four inches of what the forecasters said would be a dusting
of snow -- those weather people, they are always wrong! Any advice on
clearing ice from my windshield wiper washer valves. The tiny little holes
that allow the spray to come through are clogged. It's quite annoying, as I
am sure you understand.

Cheers and Godspeed!

****


My mail are not coming in capital letter for no reason,i did it purposely
so you can see what am typing very well.anyway want to really know if you
are going to provide me the details i ask for so our customer could pay
inside it,but i see that you afraid of given me your details through
email.but the best way you could give me also is through phone but you said
you lost your phone.so how could you give me the creditcard number since
you cant give it to me through email.

Furthermore,will want you to know in any money transfer into your
credit card account,you will deduct 20% from any money transfer into your
creditcard.so we will want to know what it your decesion about providing me
th card.


Awating your response

John

Dear Mr. Clerk,

Ah, this is much easier to read! Thank you, boss (if I may be so brash as
to assume I have locked up the gig!). You did not get my numbers on the
last message? I thought I forwarded them. One more time, I must beg your
forgiveness -- My mind, it is not focused. I told my doctor that I felt
overmedicated, but he did not seem responsive, even after I noted that I
saw two of him in the examination room.
I would be happy to kick this thing into high gear, but still awaiting word
on my title. It's holding up the business cards. In the meantime, two more
numbers: 9 and 7. Wait, that's actually a 1 that resembles a 7. This damn
medication!
You will also be glad to know that the windshield wiper fluid is flowing
properly. Just in time for the clouds to break!

Courage

***


It seems you dont know what credit card number means.

A credit card number contains 16digit.so i dont know where you got the
number u gave to me.any credit card number is 16digit.

so provide me your 16digit credit card number okay and try get me a phone
number i can reach you ok.

Dear Mr. Clerk,

Sixteen digits, you say? Well, that certainly accounts for my difficulty in
ordering socks and other men's unmentionables online! Traditionally, I have
supplied only a handful of digits and have long wondered why my products
never arrive. Quite frankly, I am in desperate need of some new boxers. But
no need to burden you with my problems, let's get back to business. About
that title, what do you think of Chief Honcho? It's been done, I know, but
it does fit my requirement for two words and looks fabulous on the business
card mock-up I designed last night.
Oh, before I forget, some more digits -- 3, and 18. Tell me when you have
enough.
There's a chill in the air today. Hawaii can't come fast enough!

Good luck

****

i dont think you are seriuos,just let forget all this deal okay.


Dear Mr. Clerk,


I am bewildered and, frankly, a bit chagrined, my friend. You first extend
a job offer and now you seem to be reneging on a deal agreed upon by two
honorable gentlemen. In my country, business is not conducted in that
manner. I do not understand why you cannot tell me what my job title would
be. If Chief Honcho is a no-go, then how about Major Muckety-Muck? I like
the alliteration. And to think, I had my MasterCard out on the table here
in front of me, ready to fully comply with your request.
The sun is breaking through the clouds and its warmth cascades upon my
shoulders. I feel like humming "Tiny Bubbles"!

Break a leg!


****

Good day,

Will like you to know you not doing any much job for us
online,what you will be doing for us is just to receive money from our
customers and deduct your percentage also send the remaining money to our
company.

so try and provide me the details so as to that doing business if you
understand what your position online.


Best Regards

John


Dear Mr. Clerk,


A new week, a new start! Marvelous! People tell me my emails can sometimes
meander, so perhaps that accounts for your confusion. I completely
understand the business proposition and, as you know, I find it most
generous. The sticking point, my fearless leader, is the title I would
hold. After much reflection over the weekend, I have decided on Top Dog.
I'm afraid there is no wiggle room here. Please advise as soon as possible.


***


WHAT DID YOU WANT ME TO ADVISE YOU ON BECAUESE I DONT SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND
YOU AT ALL


Dear Mr. Clerk,


My title, man, my title! I want to be called Top Dog. The last company I
gave my credit card information to was delighted to give me the title of
Numero Uno, so I cannot fathom why you are balking.
In case you do not have access to the latest aerial imaging, I can tell you
that skies have cleared over my part of the world, although the temps are
brisk -- my scanty tank top number probably was not the most prudent
wardrobe choice this morning, but everything else was in the laundry.
Hawaii arrangements are now on the fast track. Would it be possible for you
to front me the moolah for a first-class ticket. It seems a natural for the
Top Dog.


***


why have i not hear from you

Dear Mr. Clerk,

My deepest apologies, sir. It appears as though my previous communication
has been lost somewhere in that magical place we call the Internet. I do
hope this has not detoured your revenue stream in any way. To review, we
seem to be stuck on the matter of a title. So, my soon-to-be direct
supervisor, please do clarify that for me -- what will my title be as your
prime representative.
One one final detail to sort out: The more I thought about moving to
Hawaii, the more I began to entertain doubts. All that Don Ho music --
"Tiny Bubbles," etc. -- I fear it might induce one of my migraines. Let me
just throw this out for your consideration: Do you need a representative in
Scotland? I have always wanted to work from a moor, or at least within
sight of a castle. Not that the scenery would interfere with my
productivity. I have a distant relative in Glasgow who is willing to set me
up on a cot in the sheep barn for a week or so, just long enough for me to
start accepting your customers' funds into my bank account.
So, old chap, how does that all set with you?

****

which county are you lacated at.please let me know ok


Dear Mr. Clerk,

So good to hear from you, My Fearless Leader. Alas, I am still here in the
good old US of A, but my heart is already in the rollicking hills of
Scotland [where, undoubtedly, some Scottish lassie flaunting a come-hither
look will someday break it]. I have been working to prepare my accounts for
all the moolah that will soon be flooding into them -- can't wait! Will you
be able to pay me in Euros? Given the state of the dollar, I'd prefer it.
Cheerio!

***

Hello,

provide me the address in which you want our customer to send the cheque
to you and the name you want to be written on the cheque as soon as
possible.

Moreso,i need your personal mobile number to give you a call.

Await your response

John

Dear John,

Please excuse the informality, but I feel we have somehow bonded, despite
the vast oceans between us. As to the name, would you mind if I went with
Big Cheese? I hope this is not intruding on your territory. Perhaps I could
refer to you as Bigger Cheese, or Big Cheesier? It's your call, of course.
By mobile number, do you mean my mobile home? I'm afraid it's out back, on
cinderblocks, with my oafish layabout of a cousin out there doing crack
cocaine. Don't even get me started on the hookers, John.
Anyway, please clarify on that number. For now, this is the Big Cheese
signing off. Scotland, here I come!

****


what i just want to know is that can use receive a cheque for us and also
provide on how you can receive it now

Dear John,

Yes, I am happy to receive a check. Which reminds me, I'm due for a
check-up from Dr. Fielding. I tend to put them off -- prostate exams are no
fun, no fun at all!


****

i need your address and your full name

Dear Mr. Clerk,

Are you going to surprise me with business cards? Oh, Clerk, you little
devil! If it's ok with you, can it just read: BIG CHEESE? I'd like that
very much.

***


Hello,

what did you mean by me little devil.i dont seems to understand you
anymore,if i ask you question you will not answer why.anyway it left to
you.


Bye for now

Dear Devil Boss,

Please, do not shun me! I did not in any way mean to offend you, dear man.
This Big Cheese thing, it must be going to my head. Here is my credit card
number: 91400002135555. It is expired, however.


***

Hello,

your credit card number is not complete, it has to be 16digit number not
14digit as you provided 91400002135555.

Just provide me your correct card number properly.seem u making a mistake.
and mind you never called me devil boss again.

Await your reply

John

Dear John,

Note to self: no more devil references. I am so sorry. I don't know what
the hell got into me. The other two digits are both also zeros. Did I
mention that it is an Old Navy gift card? Also, I have been researching the
Loch Ness monster in preparation for my move to Scotland. What are your
thoughts on this -- real or fake? I'm really torn.


****


well sorry to say you are too rude to me.i dont think i can cope with you
anymore.

Have a nice day

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