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-   -   Prankinkg A Scammer (http://laserpointerforums.com/f57/prankinkg-scammer-35057.html)

nikokapo 05-27-2008 05:11 PM

Prankinkg A Scammer
 
This is what happens (or should happen) when somebody tries to scam you on eBay:

The Powerbook Prank (from ZUG)

http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/title01.gif
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/title02.jpg

It all started with an eBay auction for a new G4 Powerbook. My friend Cory wanted me to sell it for him just days after he bought it. Probably because he realized that, aside from looking cool, he had no real use for it. For the sake of an easy sale, I just pretended to sell it as my own, with a starting price of $1700, and the "Buy It Now" option for $2100.

You are bidding on my 19 day old G4 Powerbook. This was purchased for a project that fell through. When I tried to return it, I was informed of a 10 day limit for returns!

Your new laptop comes with its original box, all of its documentation, all of its original accessories, and the blue tooth mouse.

Days go by with no sign of interest, until I receive this email from an interested eBay member:

Hello I am very interested in your unit. I would like to know your best price to buy it now and if you ship international. I am in London UK right now. I would also want to know the condition of the unit. Please let me know I am very interested. Thank you in advance

OK, I went over all of this in the auction. Assuming he doesn[ch8217]t know how to read, I respond.

Well, I will ship it to you in London, but I will not do it for free. I[ch8217]m sorry, but that is too much out of my own pocket. Please give me you address and I will go get a price for the shipping to London. As for the condition, it is pristine. I[ch8217]ve only had it for 21 days now, only being used at my office. (although I[ch8217]ve stopped using it now) If you would like, I can take more close up, high resolution pictures. The buy it now price is $2,100 (US currency) + the shipping to London. Please let me know if you are interested!

Thank you! Jeff

Seems like a smooth sale so far, right? Then I get this:

Hello, I'm very very interested for this item and I'm ready to pay you the best price $2100+ overnight or 2 days shipping charges (UPS DHL FEDEX OR FEDEX OR PARCEL FORCE) if we will use an escrow service to handle this transaction.As for the escrow service , I am already registered with www.set-ltd.net and my uzername is the same with my email address.I will pay the express shipping and also , the escrow fee . The escrow service will release you the money as soon as I will let them know that the item passed the inspection and is 100% ok.

The escrow fee is on my charge , don't worry .Please let me know if my offer is good enough for you . If it does , I will initiate the transaction with the escrow service as soon as I will have your confirmation.If is ok please register in order to make the deal and start the payment procedures.Hope that everything will be ok and close the deal in the best conditions.

Kind regards !

OK. I[ch8217]ve seen this on CNN. Welcome to your textbook eBay scam. At first, I was just going to reply with a 72pt font FUCK OFF, or perhaps a disgusting picture, but I decided to see what the upstanding members of the Something Awful message board thought. And of course, right away, it is all picked apart. For instance, Grom wrote:

Hmmm that escrow service doesn't look very legit - check the verisign secureid link, it's just a javascript pop-up which pretends to be going to verisign's site. The actual page it displays is just http://www.set-ltd.net/VeriSign.php ... It looks hopelessly unprofessional and doesn't seem right anyway - ask him if he will use a different escrow service. That one is either fraudulent or just plain shit.
I draft an email to send to the scammer, when we get a better idea. Why don[ch8217]t we string him along? I register on the "escrow" site, and let him know.

From: MyNameIsJeff [mailto:mynameisjeff@bootsix.net]
Sent: Saturday, April 24
To: 'scont06@yahoo.com'
Subject: What is the next step?

Hello!

I have just finished creating my account on the escrow site that you suggested. My escrow username is MyNameIsJeffHarris. Before we continue, I wanted to ask; do you know if this site had a strong digital defense. I read that escrow services who do not utilize a strong digital defense can often be attacked, and the buyer and or seller can lose money or their item. I really don[ch8217]t want this to happen! I[ch8217]m sure you don[ch8217]t either!

I don[ch8217]t mean to ask so many questions; as you can see, I am new at ebay. By doing it this way, will I get to skip the extra ebay fees? That would be really great. I don[ch8217]t want to pay them extra money. What is the next step? I have never really used escrow.

Thank you! Jeff

Here is where our friend gets excited.

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 25
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: What is the next step?

HELLO First of all I want ot tell you that you will not pay anything because I pay the escrow, UPS and other fees. Ok? I started the transaction with the nr. 6813088950 . Now please enter www.set-ltd.net, acces your account with the uzername that you have and if the transaction isOk with you please accept it. Ok? Once you do that I will send the funds =2100$ plus shipping $180. Ok? Please send the unit express UPS or Fedex.I will send them money and they will let you know as soon as they get the amount. Then you can send the unit at my address. Ok? Do not worry I know a lot of people that used this service and it is OK. Please let me know. THANKS

I write back:

Hello sir! Please let me thank you again for being so patient with me! It is too bad we are settling outside of ebay, because I was going to leave you "EXCELENT EBAYER!!!!!11 A++++++++== WOULD SELL TO ANYTIME" I guess it is ok though becaue I would have to give them an extra $300 when the auction was over.

I logged onto your preferred escrow site and saw our transaction. I did not see any place to accept it though! Did I just not see it? Sorry I am new at this. Where do I go to say OK?

Where on the site does it say where to ship it to! I am very eager to get this thing shipped so I can hurry up and start the process to get my money! Once I ok our transaction does it tell me where to ship the laptop? I am very positive you will be satisfied with the laptop.

One other thing, You seemed to confident about this escrow service, that I think I am going to use it myself for my other transactions. Is that ok? I will be buying and selling other laptops and would like the security. I will be buying many things and will need a escrow service with a strong digital defense to send my money to so I don't get ripped off.

Thanks again! Jeff

While waiting for his response, I decide to report the incident to eBay. I go through all the hoops, letting them know what happened, and asking them to take some action. This is what I get:

Hello,

Thank you for writing to eBay's Customer Support with your concerns. My name is John and I appreciate the chance to answer your question. I'm happy to assist you further.

An Escrow service allows the buyer to send their money to the Escrow Company, and the Seller then ships the item to the Buyer. Once the Buyer approves the item the Escrow service then pays the Seller. eBay recommends escrow for transactions over $500.00.

The Escrow service affiliated with eBay is called Escrow.com. eBay encourages members to take advantage of the assurance that escrow services can provide. For more information on escrow, please see the following eBay page:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/escrow.html

I wish you the best with your future transactions.

Regards,

John W. S.
eBay Customer Support

WELL THANK YOU JOHN! MY CUP RUNNETH OVER! Let[ch8217]s see. Someone is reporting an obvious scam and fake escrow site. Obviously he has no idea what escrow is. BETTER SCHOOL HIM!

This pissed me off. Can this be eBay's response to other scams? Perhaps my follow-up e-mail was a little too angry:

Hi John,

Not to be rude, but I know quite well what escrow is. I also happen to know that this is an obvious scam attempt. Had you actually read the form I filled out on your site, and not replied with the canned response: Escrow 101, you would notice that I did not ask what escrow was. I was reporting someone wants to settle the sale outside of ebay, through an escrow site he referred me to. A site that claims to be a VeriSign secure site, but then you click the logo, he is hosting the VeriSign page -the page that should take you to the verisign site. This is a text book rip off. This can't be your answer to everyone who reports these types of things can it? I really think you should take some action against this person.

Jeff

It isn[ch8217]t long before I have our next email from the scammer.

Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, April 26
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: Ready to ship laptop

OK I talk with escrow services and now is ok he have a litle problem with website.The money is sent express to escrow. Please email me when you will receive the confirmation.

And when he says express, he means express! Hours later I get my "confirmation."

From : Set-Ltd Customer Service
Sent : Monday, April 26
To : chemically_balanced@hotmail.com
Subject : Payment received for transaction #6813088950

Dear customer,

Your partner "scont06" has completed the payment for transaction ID 6813088950

Item name: PowerBook G4
Item price:2100.00 USD
Shipping cost: 180.00 USD
Quantity: 1
Inspection period: 1 day
Escrow fee: 25.20 USD
Total cost to buyer:2305.20 USD

Your action is required now. The next step of the transaction is to ship the merchandise to the buyer. Please send the shipping details to your partner "scont06".

As soon as your partner receives the merchandise and the inspection period ends we will contact you to complete payment.

Billing Support Team
www.set-ltd.net

But wait? What is also sitting in my Inbox, right next to this?

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 3:44 PM
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: I'm waiting the track#

Hello I receive the confirmation from escrow services about the money is received.Please send it as we agreed: fedex ups or dhl tnt express and please put a small value on the package so I will pay less taxes .Here the duty taxes are 27,5% from the total amount wrote on the package so please do your best and send it as a family gift and with a low value. This is my address: GIANLUCA SESSAREGO 9B VARLEY PARADE COLINDALE,LONDON,UK zip code:NW9 6RR

Please email me when you will send the package and give me the tracking number. Regards

So now we had his address. Everyone had a lot of ideas on how to mess with this guy, like lushka16:

Holy shit!! The next course of action is WICKED obvious, he even said it himself: "Here the duty taxes are 27,5% from the total amount wrote on the package." Put like $8000 on the package and make the fucker pay $2200 for it.

This was perfect! Obviously, $8000 was high, but marking it $2200 and having him pay the 27% was genius! I wanted to send the scammer something that was worth the effort. But what? EricFate got my imagination going:

Send a three ring binder with a hand drawn keyboard taped to the inside of the bottom flap, and a hand drawn screen taped to the inside of the top flap.

Crayon preferred.

YES. This was perfect! Trick the scammer into paying a few hundred dollars for a fake laptop! Genius! And thus it was born...



http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp01.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp02.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp03.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp04.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp05.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp07.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp06.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp08.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/pp09.jpg



Sending It To The Scammer:

Unaware of our little scheme, our scammer emailed me again:

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 27
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: One question before I ship!

OK What configuration have the apple?
Please send me today the package becouse I need soon.
Please email me the track number.

It seems he was so excited his scam was going to work, he couldn't even type correctly!

Eventually I received an email from eBay regarding the account the scammer used to contact me:


Hello Jeff

Thank you for writing with your concern. The recent bids placed with this account were the result of an unauthorized account takeover. Unfortunately, we were not aware of this activity until some time after the bids were placed. Once we became aware of this activity, immediate action was taken. We are now in the process of restoring the account to its owner. I have reported the escrow site to the appropriate department to have it looked at. Since the account holder did not initiate this sale, you may consider the transaction null and void if you have not already shipped the item.

We are concerned about violations on the site and have taken the liberty of investigating this member's account. Please be assured that we have taken appropriate action in accordance with our site policies. As you may know, we are unable to provide specific information regarding the result of our investigation to third party members. Please understand that this is for the protection of all eBay users. However, we can tell you that our records indicate that the user you are reporting is currently not a registered eBay user.

I appreciate your interest in the well being of our site. It is assuring to know that we have members who are concerned about the safety of our other users. I encourage you to continue to report all questionable behavior to eBay. This will give us the chance to look into the situation and take action where warranted.

Thanks again for writing, and thank you for being part of the eBay community.

Regards,
Cyan Fraud Prevention Group

The next step was to send the fake Powerbook. As much as I wanted to send off my prank package, I couldn't afford it on my own. I posted a message to the Something Awful message board, asking for donations.

"MyNameIsJeff
Joined: Dec 05, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image021.gif
P-P-P-Powerbook.com!
Ok, I just got back from the "Pack Man." For those of you interested, It's going into a 18x18x5 inch flat panel box wrapped in brown paper. This trip to london will be accompanied by a broken cdrom drive and an informative excel 97 book. (And yes, I taped the fuck out of it.)

FedEx Priority $80.41 2-3 Days Global Express $63.44 Week or so Some other service $40-something 2 weeks *ugh*

Ok guys, I'd like to go priority if possible. If we get close enough I will eat the rest. So if at least 70 people give a dollar we are in business!"

The donations came flooding in. Shortly after this post, I came home from work to find just over $100 in donations! I couldn't believe it! Thanks to all of you who donated.

It wasn't long before I received another email from our scammer, who was growing more and more inpatient.

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: RE: One question before I ship!

Please email me with all infoo soon

Someone was getting a little pushy! I replied with this:


Hello! I am sorry for the delay! I was not able to send your new G4 Powerbook to you yesterday! But I am able to send it today! I am going to be taking it down the the united states post office to fedex it to you. I am told it will take 2-3 days. I apologize, but that is the fastest I can send!

I will send another email with your tracking number when I get back!!!

chao! Jeff

Off to the post office I went. I have to admit that this is where I started to get very nervous. Would he look me up through the return address? Would customs come bring the smackdown for the over-pricing? What if? What if? What if?

I managed to choke down my fear, though I'm sure I looked very nervous. As I filled out the form, I could feel my face turning red and my body temperature rising. When the lady at the counter asked me the value of the package, I replied, "Um, $2000 will do." (I was trying to hold it, but I was smiling from ear to ear.)

She looked at me, confused. "You know they will have to pay a lot for tax on customs."

My smile grew even wider. "I know."

Roadblock: It turns out, when you send something to London from the U.S. through FedEx, they want a phone number. No big deal. I said I would go email him, and call them to ship it off.

From: MyNameIsJeff [mailto:mynameisjeff@bootsix.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28
To: 'Gianluca'
Subject: Problem with shipping

Hello, I took the package to the post office, but FedEx requires a phone number for the recipient if the package is being sent internationally. As soon as you reply with that I will call them and tell them so they can send it.

Thanks! Jeff

I began to wonder. Obviously, this guy wasn't going to give me a legitimate number. I got my receipt and they told me it would be sent after I called with his phone number.

In the meantime, a member named Pipski makes history. Pipski becomes our first undercover agent in London, and makes the first recon mission into the address the scammer gave me, which turned out to be a combination barbershop/Internet cafe. (The James Bond picture and title were later given to him for his spectacular stealth photography and intel gathering.)

http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/receipt.jpg

"Pipski
Joined: Apr 18, 2004
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image024.gif
Lovely barbershop. Pity I wasn't invited.
OK, so, the shop itself. Two barber chairs, four or five very cramped terminals downstairs and, I think, some upstairs too. Big window, easy visibility inside from without. Under the window (on the outside) is a mailbox for '9B' but there is no way on Earth our man is going to get a laptop-sized package in it. Were I the delivery guy I would take one look at that and then go into the shop and ask. Oh, the shop also sells toy guns for some inadequately explored reason.

The owner, or at least the guy in charge while I was there, is a black guy in his mid-20s (estimate). Credit where it's due, the haircut he gave me was of a pretty good standard (not a bad barnet, for Barnet). Not the sharpest knife in the box and he has some odd ideas relating to the police.

I am a notoriously bad judge of character but I have my doubts that this is our man. He doesn't strike me as a scammer, for all his other faults. That isn't to say that I couldn't well imagine him taking a cut (no pun intended), but I don't think he's the real culprit.

No-one else turned up there for a haircut. When I arrived (and when I left) a big black guy (who looks just like the cook who has a heart attack in Crimson Tide) was listening to banging choons on one of the PCs and a pasty, ginger sort was on one of the others. While I was there a rather skanky looking Kappa-slapper came down from upstairs - she was clearly a regular btw, a bunch of schoolkids arrived and went straight upstairs - also well known to the owner. In fact, now I come to think about it, everyone there but me seemed to be a regular. Oh, and a dude in a red t-shirt (photo'd - badly) also came d'stairs and left the place.

The street itself is - well, it's the Edgeware Rd. Rub-a-tug shops, takeaways, pool halls, minicab firms and dodgy boozers. There is a Wetherspoons pub right next door to the shop. The scenario that presents itself as plausible - although it is arguably pointless to try and predict these things - is that UPS man (or whomever) will end up going into the barbernet cafe, with his delivery. If I was our scamboy, I would make a point of heading for the place - assuming I didn't own it - when tracking suggests delivery is imminent. That would be ideal for our purposes because a goon watching the front, one watching the back and one inside, all with mobile 'phones, could pretty much sow that location up."

http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/shop_outside.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/shop_inside1.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/shop_inside2.jpg
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/shop_inside3.jpg

This was getting better and better. To actually have people there! Pictures of the scammer's shop! Then I received my next email from scamboy:

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: Problem with shipping

OK no problem, this is my phone number 00447940667511.Please email me soon.Please send the package gift or small value and send EXPRESS SHIPPING.

Regards

I immediately called and had it sent. Then I sent him his tracking number.

Here is your tracking number. 846563452310. The package ID is 17913. The lady at the post office said that FedEx comes at 4:00pm to take shipments. So in about 2 hours it will be scanned in the fedex thing I guess and you can start tracking it. I shipped it express, so it should be there in 2 to 3 days.

Also, the post office lady asked what it was, and I didn't want to lie, so I said laptop computer. When she said how much it is worth, I said, it is a family gift, but she said I couldn't do that. She said I had to tell her how much I paid for it. I don't want to get in trouble for mail fraud, or evading taxes or anything so I told her $2000. I am sorry if that means you have to pay more. Since I screwed up, I will share the cost with you. Please let me know how much it was, and just have the escrow service refund you half of the amount. Can they do that? If not I will gladly send you how ever much you spent on it. You can even have the escrow hold my payment until I send you money for what you pay. I hope this doesn't make you want to cancel. As I'm sure you noticed, no one ever bid on it and it didn't sell. I really need the money, so I am willing to work with you how ever to complete the transaction.

Thank you my friend!

Jeff

The clock was ticking, and we were getting closer and closer to our delivery time. At this point, users Starbucks and Rhig joined the stealth recon with Pipski, traveling to the shop to witness the actual delivery. But as soon as they all posted to let us know their travel plans, we ran into a problem. This was posted by user Anaclisis, who had been diligently following the tracking number online:

"Anaclisis
Joined: Apr 17, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image026.jpg
ceci n'est pas une grenouille trouble

Apr 30, 2004 3:19 am

Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay"


Not knowing what this meant at the time, I began to PANIC.

"MyNameIsJeff
Joined: Dec 05, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image021.gif
P-P-P-Powerbook.com! Anaclisis came out of the closet to say:
trouble

SHIT
SHIT
SHIT
SHIT
SHIT"

All those things I was worrying about came back tenfold. Begin hyperventilate.


Getting Through Customs!:

It all started with an eBay auction for a new G4 Powerbook. When a scammer tried to "buy" my laptop using a fake escrow site and an assumed name, we orchestrated an international prank where we tried to "scam the scammer."

The thief wanted me to send the Powerbook to an address in London. Since taxes on international shipments run 27.5%, payable by the receiver, we decided to send him a very expensive fake package. I built the "notebook computer" pictured above, and shipped the prank package FedEx, claiming a value of $2,000. But then I ran into a snag when FedEx posted a "Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay" in getting the package through British customs.

I started to freak.

"MyNameIsJeff
Joined: Dec 05, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image021.gif
P-P-P-Powerbook.com!
Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay

WTF DOES THAT MEAN!!!??

I think I just instantly became diabetic.

EDIT: Anyone near north seattle. Please come fast. I am going to be needing CPR.
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image028.jpg "

That's me breathing into a bag, hoping I don't pass out. Or have my heart explode. With our undercover British operatives on the way to the address provided by the scammer, we could only hope that the package would be delivered while they were there.

Starbucks was our first man to post from the barbershop/Internet cafe where the package was to be delivered:

"Starbucks
Joined: Jul 06, 2002
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image029.gif
Strong Coffee Drinking!
THE PACKAGE IS IN THE DEN

I REPEAT

THE PACKAGE IS IN THE DEN

WE HAVE FEDEX DELIVERY"

"smitz
Joined: Nov 05, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image030.gif
Starbucks is upstairs with webcam, he recorded the delivery moment! Im downstairs with the camera, the guy who signed for it IS the barber, but he put it in the back with out opening, d'oh. Updates to follow.

This post is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE"

On the Something Awful message board, everyone went fucking ballistic. We all thought that FedEx had sent it out for delivery, and just didn't update the tracking site. Our men left the shop, but not before setting the screen savers on the computers upstairs to scroll: "P-P-P-POWERBOOK!"

But I wasn't quite convinced, so I sent the following email to the scammer:

Hello!

Today is the 3rd day so you should be getting your new laptop!

I saw on the FedEx site and it is delayed! Does that mean it is still waiting to be delivered? I don't know what time it is there, but I hope it gets there today. Or did you get it and FedEx just didn't update their web page?

Did you pay for the taxes? How much did you end up paying? I am sorry again for that. I didn't mean to cost you extra money. But like I said in my other email, we can work it out.

How long will the 'ok' process take? I am eager to receive payment!

Thank you!
Jeff

As it turns out, our package had not been delivered.

"MyNameIsJeff
Joined: Dec 05, 2003
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image021.gif
P-P-P-Powerbook.com!
I HAVE BAD NEWS.

The ringer was not delivered. I just called FedEx. It was never paid for. Probably because the jack ass gave me a bunk phone number.

I'm too afraid to talk to the FedEx people about it. What do I say? The guy gave me a bunk phone number?

Anyone brave enough to call?"

User Gizmo_Gun did an awesome thing. Pretending to be my wife, she called up FedEx to find out what was wrong.

"Gizmo_Gun
Joined: Mar 21, 2004
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image032.gif
Pow! Bang! Smack! Kablooey!
Okay, I just called FedEX and told them that my husband and I (sorry Jeff) were concerned about what was going to happen to the package at this point.

She said that they were currently waiting for him to call and give them further information. I did NOT, I repeat, I did NOT authorize the ability for him to pick up the package at FedEX. It has to be delievered.

She made a notation that we were going to contact him via email and get him to contact the office of FedEx.

So, now we wait until he contacts them. We can always call back and check up on the status."

Thanks for doing that ... my dear wife.

So FedEx could not deliver it, because he gave a fake phone number. Quite simply, they couldn't have him pay the taxes if they couldn't find him. For more than a week, the FedEx tracking page remained frozen on "Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay." And with no further emails from the scammer, we thought it was over. The P-P-P-Powerbook was to sit in the purgatory of FedEx customs for ever.

And then, something happened.

"Gizmo_Gun
Joined: Mar 21, 2004
http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/image032.gif
Pow! Bang! Smack! Kablooey! JEFF! We have a situation!

FedEX just called me (I gave them my number on the spot to contact, since yours was MIA) and asked if we had gotten a hold of the receiver. I obviously said no, and said that we were very concerned. Well, FedEX wants to know if we will pay the dues and have it delivered anyway, or we will be charged a storage fee.

I told the woman at FedEX that I would confer with you and have you contact them."

I still have the mark where my head hit the desk. The prank was backfiring: because the scammer wouldn't pick up the package, FedEx wanted to charge me.

With this information, a new email was in order.

From: MyNameIsJeff [mailto:mynameisjeff@bootsix.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 04
To: 'scont06@yahoo.com'
Subject: Package cannot be delivered!

Hello!
I received a call from FedEx saying that they are unable to get a hold of you to deliver the package. I really need payment for my laptop, so the sooner you get it and approve of it, the sooner the escrow can release my money to me. They said that they will have to charge me to hold it if they cannot deliver it. If that is the case, I will just pay to have it sent back.

Do you have another phone number? I was going to try to look you up by address maybe, but I don't think that will work, so I thought I'd ask you first! Please respond as soon as you can! I am very eager to complete the transaction!

Thank you!
Jeff

I hoped this would do it ... and it did. The next day he replied:

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 05
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: Package cannot be delivered!

Hello

I call to fedex and he tell me tomorow or of friday will send me the package to my address.The money is ready in my hand to pay the taxes.What insurance do you put for this?

I will email you when I will pick up the laptop. Thank you and sorry for this incovenience.

Gianluca

Everyone was very excited, and even more so after this follow-up email:

From: Gianluca [mailto:scont06@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 06
To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: Re: Package cannot be delivered!

Dear sir,

Today I have made the payment for the duty taxes.I went personal to Fedex and made the payment.Everything now is ok and they told me that they will deliver it to me tomorrow or latest at 10 o'clock in the morning on Monday.Sorry for this delay but Fedex told me that this is the best they can do.Anyway they will deliver it till Monday aftrenoon and will be fine. Next week we can finalize the deal.

Thank you for your patience and hope to be ok now.

It took several days of further patience, but the FedEx tracking site was finally updated with the fantastic news:

May 10
6:10 pm
Package status
STANSTED GB
Released for Delivery

6:10 pm
Package status
STANSTED GB
Package available for clearance

HE FELL FOR IT! HA HA HA HA HA HA! THE SCAMMER PAID $550 FOR A NOTEBOOK AND SOME OLD KEYS! The thread is once again flooded with posts of happiness and glee!

Eager to hear from our friend, I sent out the following email:

From: MyNameIsJeff [mailto:mynameisjeff@bootsix.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 9:56 AM
To: 'scont06@yahoo.com'
Subject: Ready to complete transaction

Hello friend!

It sure took a long time, but it got there! I was worried for a while! I thought I had lost my powerbook for good in some kind of scam. I wish I didn't pay for such fast shipping, now that I see how long FedEx takes. Please let me know when you are done checking everything and making sure it works. I packed it pretty well. I hope shipping didn't bang it up. You will see I included some extra books. I didn't really need them now that I got rid of the powerbook.

Anyways, I still cannot log onto the escrow site. Will payment still be sent even though they are having connection problems? I realized I never gave my address or any bank account information for payment. If I were to give that to you, would you be able to get it to them so they can send the payment? That would be great. I need this money to pay my rent.

I am curious ... What did you end up paying for the taxes? I wanted to know because I still want to refund some of the money to you.

Thanks!
Jeff
By the scammer's follow-up response, I think it's safe to say he got the package ... and it wasn't quite what he expected.


The Scammer Responds!:

The Scammer Responds
an epilogue by John Hargrave

Three things happened after that fateful day.

1) The scammer responded to Jeff's e-mail by sending him a virus:

Date: Mon, 17 May 11:28:43 -0800
To: mbbq@bootsix.net
Subject: Re: Thank you!
From: scont06@yahoo.com
Message-ID: bbq@bootsix.net

See attach.
For security purposes the attached file is password protected. Password 27735

The file "attach" was the W32.Beagle virus, which is easily caught by Norton AntiVirus. It would have been easily caught by a third-grader with brain damage. It was a pretty lame attack, but it did verify that the scammer had received the package.

2) Next, the scammer orchestrated a denial of service attack on www.p-p-p-powerbook.com, the Web site that Jeff had set up to advertise the prank. While the hacker succeeded in taking down the site, this story had already spread, AIDS-like, across the Web, so it didn't really make a difference. Am I the only one that finds it strange that this hacker could organize a DoS attack? It's hard to believe that a guy who writes sentences like "acces your account with the uzername that you have and if the transaction isOk with you please accept it" could do anything more complicated than operating a salad fork.

3) Finally, and most disturbingly, Jeff was not heard from again. I personally e-mailed him for permission to run his story on ZUG, but after an initial response, I never heard from him again. All of his Web sites have come down, and he is nowhere to be found.

Jeff, wherever you are, this P-P-P-Powerbook's for you.













Hope you enjoyed it, I know I did!

GooeyGus 05-27-2008 06:57 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Jeez... I wonder what happened to the guy :o :-?

nikokapo 05-27-2008 07:22 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
what?? did you read the whole story?

Switch 05-27-2008 09:00 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Honestly I wasn't expecting a novel of this magnitude when I clicked the thread, so I wasn't prepared timewise to read it all.How about adding a short version? :-/

charleytown55il 05-27-2008 09:19 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
WOW!!! now thats cool!!!!!! 8-) 8-) 8-)

mikeeey 05-27-2008 10:09 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
wow... that was awesome!
the "MacBook" should have had a picture of Chuck Norris giving you a roundhouse kick when you open it.

nvmextc 05-27-2008 10:17 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
I remember reading this years ago when it happened, that's an awesome one. I like how he had someone on the other side of the world spying for him, hehe.

nikokapo 05-27-2008 10:20 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Switch
Honestly I wasn't expecting a novel of this magnitude when I clicked the thread, so I wasn't prepared timewise to read it all.How about adding a short version? :-/


actually, THIS is the short version :P

the original one has 26 pages.


i still suggest you read it, it's REALLY FUNNY

chido 05-27-2008 10:51 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Holly crap I just finished reading the entire thing, this made my day. Oh my god I can't believe this. ;D ;D ;D

Murudai 05-27-2008 11:19 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
I just read the whole thing too.

Fricken' unbelievable. Some people get all the fun :(

amkdeath 05-28-2008 02:54 AM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
LOL OMG

too bad your "spies" werent there to see it all happen...

laserterd 05-28-2008 03:26 AM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
nominate for the longest post on the LPF?

Lol but anyway its really great. I was worried that at the end it would say something like "But turns out the guy was actually legit, and i pretty much scammed him 3k bucks and a really expensive laptop, and now im in jail for 34 years..."

GooeyGus 05-28-2008 09:11 AM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikokapo
what?? did you read the whole story?

Yes I read the whole thing, and it looks like the guy who set up the prank was never heard from again and all his sites are gone

"Finally, and most disturbingly, Jeff was not heard from again. I personally e-mailed him for permission to run his story on ZUG, but after an initial response, I never heard from him again. All of his Web sites have come down, and he is nowhere to be found."

:-? :-? :-?

rog8811 05-28-2008 05:16 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
That is about the best anti scam prank I have ever seen ;D thanks for posting it, what a read!

Regards rog8811

thejunkmonger 05-28-2008 05:17 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
I actually read it all also, wow great stuff, I hope the guy is alright considering they can't contact him anymore.


nikokapo 05-28-2008 05:22 PM

Re: Prankinkg A Scammer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GooeyGus
[quote author=nikokapo link=1211908283/0#2 date=1211916150]what?? did you read the whole story?

Yes I read the whole thing, and it looks like the guy who set up the prank was never heard from again and all his sites are gone

"Finally, and most disturbingly, Jeff was not heard from again. I personally e-mailed him for permission to run his story on ZUG, but after an initial response, I never heard from him again. All of his Web sites have come down, and he is nowhere to be found."

:-? :-? :-?[/quote]

it has too much media to be false....why would anyone write a 26 pages story of a FALSE prank?


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