|YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS WON THE LOTTERY.
||[Feb. 8th, 2011|09:54 pm]
(This is an old one, but I never got around to posting it here.) |
I've won the Internet lottery so many times that I can't figure out why the Internet isn't completely broke by now. Maybe it's because I haven't actually collected any of those impressive prizes, which is pretty stupid of me, now that I think about it. So one day I decided to reply to one of those "You Are A Winner!" emails, and then this happened:
As soon as I saw the subject line, I knew I was in for something special.
From : euro award <email@example.com>
Subject : Your Email Have Won A Lottery.
Paseo De La Castellana
15-89, 28008 Madrid.
Ref. Nº: ES/007/05MAD.
Batch. Nº: GHT/2907/05.
YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS WON THE LOTTERY.
We wish to congratulate you over your email success in our computer balloting sweepstake held on 29th July, 2005. This is a millennium scientific computer game in which email addresses were used. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging internet users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it.
Your email address attached to ticket star number (4-5) drew the EUROMILLION lucky numbers 3-19-26-49-50 which consequently won the draw in the Second category. You have been approve for the star prize of EUR € 667,248.26. (Six Hundred And Sixty Seven Thousand, Two Hundred And Fourty Eight Euros. Twenty Six Cents)
You are advised to keep this winning very confidential until you receive your lump prize in your account or optional cheque issuance to you. This is a protective measure to avoid double claiming by people you may tell as we have had cases like this before, please send your winning ticket, reference numbers and amount won information for processing of your winning fund to our registered claim agent in addrres below.
Mr. Natalia Veta..
Capital Trust Security Service.
Avd. De Los Americas 46.
C.P. 28006 Madrid
All prizes must be claimed within three weeks of your reply.
( Promotion Director )
When winning the Internet lottery one is always naturally suspicious, mainly because no one has ever bought a ticket for that. Thankfully, this guy explains how it works in the first paragraph: it's a "promotional program" organized by that massive sentient organism that is "The Internet".
I'm glad that the Internet does promotions to encourage its users, because otherwise I think people might have no reason to go there. Before I could think of a reply, I got this completely unrelated email from another guy asking me to help him retrieve some money from a deposit box or something:
From : greg parkars <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To : email@example.com
Subject : urgent reply
Serve Trust Inc.,
Plaza Castilla 29814,
I am Mr.Greg Parkars, of Serve Trust Securitas S.A,Madrid
Spain.Please I will like you to help me in clearing a box containing
treasures/US$16.5Million[Sixteen Million,Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars]which has been domant in our vault for the past four years
now.You at liberty to negotiate you share percentage as compensation
for your acceptance to partnershipship with me in this direction and
above all,I intend to invest my share into properties which shall be
under your direct supervision in your country for pending my attaining
service retirment age at serve trust Inc.
By statutory implications the box will be handed over to Espanan
government authorities if not serviced within the next two months. I
have every details on how you will go about it and will detail you as
soon as I hear from you.
Thanks for your anticipated acceptance.
Why do half the people trying to give money away over the Internet claim to be from Spain? Is it because Nigeria doesn't sound quite as trusty as it used to, for some reason? Or because, despite being assured that Spanish-speaking people do exist, no one has ever met one?
Unfortunately I do speak Spanish, so I replied to the Lottery email claiming to be from Spain and saying I could swing by their office anytime and pick up the prize myself:
No saben la felicidad que me causa saber que he ganado la lotería. Por años he estado esperando este golpe de suerte, y ahora finalmente ha llegado gracias a ustedes.
Mi dirección es Miguel Angel, 21 - 28010 Madrid, así que puedo pasar directamente a sus oficinas a retirar mi premio, y de paso agradecerles por haberme hecho ganador. Pues nada, espero que me digan a que hora y que día de la semana les es más conveniente que yo pase por sus oficinas. No les quepa duda que iré lo antes posible.
Pepe "Max" Sanchez Yezpitelok
Translation: OMG awesome, when can I go pick up my moneys? For some reason, the people in charge of the Internet Lottery never replied to that. However, the deposit box guy did:
Thank you for your email, I want tor tell you that is going to cost you
any thing,What i need is just your informations, For the documentation of this
transaction, what only i need is your informations, as follows.
1 Your full name;/ Adress. . . .. .
2 Your Phone;/Fax numers. . . . . .
3 Your Banking Details. . . . . . .
4 Your private Phone number. . . . .
5 Your Accupation. . . . . . . . . .
6 Your International passport. . . .
This all i required from you and i promise you the grace of God that
evergthing is going to well with us in this transaction.
Please i need all this information urgently to start the documentation of this
business as i said before, Thank and God bless you and your family.
I think he didn't even read my other email. I knew he had to read the next one, though, because he asked me to supply some personal information (including my Accupation, which is not something you should share online, kids). I was reassured by the fact that he mentioned being religous, though, because as an Occidental I must obviously be all over that shit.
Dear Mr. Parkas,
First of all, let me tell you how glad I am that you are a man of God. That automatically makes you much, MUCH more reliable in my eyes. I have no reservations giving any kind of sensitive personal info to a man of faith. So, without further ado, here is my information:
Full name: Maxwell Yezpitelok
Mr. Natalia Veta
Avd. De Los Americas 46.
C.P. 28006 Madrid, Spain.
Phone number: 0044 7879232818
Fax number: 202-456-2461
Accupation: Costumed vigilante
I'm not sure what you mean by "barking details" and "international assport"(?). Please be more specific. Perhaps you meant "banking details" and made a typo? I have no idea what the second one could mean, but I do hope you made a typo in that one as well, since the word you sent me starts with a bit of a naughty term (which I am not comfortable discussing).
The address is the one the Lottery Scammer gave me. The phone number is the one my dear friend J.B. Ralley had told me to contact in another classic scammer-scamming adventure. The fax number belongs to the White House, and the accupation is my real occupation, just to throw them off. Also, when I sent this I changed "barking" and "assport" in the original message quoted below my reply, so that he would think he really made a typo.
His reply was kinda lame: he basically just told me he wanted me to go to London and pick up my prize, even though he told me a while ago he was in Spain.
From : GREY PARKAS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject : URGENT
Attention: Maxwell Yezpitelok.
I am in receipt of your email, thanks for agreeing to assist in the project, for all our mutual benefit, Please bear mind that with our resolve to work as a one team and with total faith, trust and honesty the project will come through for our mutual benefit.
Your personal details are received and I am ok with it. I will want you to know that the consignment\fund is presently held in trust by serve trust, London, United Kingdom, where I am presently stationed for three month running now, for we to secure it release I will be presenting you as the representative of the original beneficiary as they could not be found and no records to trace them, Based on these arrangement you will be required to travel down to London, UK to secure the release by identifying the consignment and endorsing the necessary consignment transfers documents as the new bonafide beneficiary. Upon the conclusion we will initiate on how to invest the proceed for our personal use.
I will appreciate if you make available to me details information about yourself, upon which I will prepare a draft agreement which must be endorse by both us as partners for project to protect our stake holding after the transaction..
You can call me on my direct number in London, UK stated below.
All further communication should be through this email address for confidentiality.
I did not read all that. At this point I sorta lost interest and became distracted by other endeavors, so I stopped replying. He kept emailing me, though, and since I had said I trusted him because he was a man of God, he made sure to mention the guy every two paragraphs. And then he started getting pushy:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: UP DATE ME
HOW ARE YOU I HOPE EVERY THING IS FINE WITH YOU OVER THERE, IF SO THANKS BE TO ALMIGTH GOD,I WANT TO KNOW THE SITUATION OF THING NOW BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU.
PLEASE UP DATE ME ON EVERY THING.
I would have written back sooner, but I'm still waiting for you to tell me what "barking details" and "international assport" mean. I obviously can't give you that information until I understand what those things are. I've read your previous e-mail several times but I still can't figure it out. Maybe you meant my office address and ZIP code number?
Maybe you did send me an e-mail explaining what you meant and I accidentally deleted it thinking it was junk mail. I'm sorry if that happened, but my inbox sometimes frucks up and sends legitimate e-mails to the junk mail folder. Personally, I think the whole junk mail folder thing is stupid. I mean, if you can't tell which e-mails are real and which ones are false just by reading the subject line then you deserve to spend the extra time reading them, don't you think? It's like those little carts hot dog vendors carry around. What's up with those things?!
Well, to change the subject drastically, I'm pleased to inform you that Antonia is pregnant! I'm gonna be a daddy! For that reason, the money you're sending my way is gonna come in very handy right now, what with the wedding and all. I'm sure this is God's way of telling me to trust you. Either that, or he's telling me to marry Antonia already! OMG LOL!!!!
Thanks and God bless you,
Okay, I'm not sure what that last part is about. Why would I tell him that? Who the hell is Antonia?! Maybe I wanted to find out how much of a bastard he was by pretending I really needed the money he planned to scam away from me. He certainly proved to be a heartless scumbag by never even congratulating me on the birth of my fictional baby:
From: greg parkars <email@example.com>
Subject: update me
How are you today i hope that everything i ok with you,i just want to tell you that the security company is handling your file now.
Please Mr maxwell i will like you to contact the security company via on this number immediately: +447031965307, immediately you contact the security company please you shuld let me know,thank waiting to hear from you soonest.
Seriously, not even one mention of the fake baby? It's at this point that I realized the sort of monster I was dealing with. I also noticed he was having trouble deciding if his name is Greg Parkars, Greg Parkas, or Grey Parkas:
Thank you very much, I will call you right n... Hold on a second, wasn't your name Grey Parkas?! The e-mail I got from firstname.lastname@example.org said Grey Parkas, not Greg Parkars!!! Maybe that was someone else pretending to be you... OR MAYBE YOU'RE THE IMPOSTER!
I'm very confused, and I don't know what to do now. Should I call the FBI to tell them someone has been using your name?
Obviously this information was equally alarming to him:
From : greg parkars <email@example.com>
Subject : thank you very much for your information
Thank you very much for vital information you gave to me, I have been wondering what is going wrong, but i have discover the own thing that some of all this hackers have enter into my private email box, so i want to tell you my name is Greg not Gray and i dont know anybody answering that name , Even from he first we started this business with my formal email box katamail.com as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now i want you to stop answering any mail that come from that formal email@example.com, I am no longer using that email address again because some vital reason.
This is my new email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember to contact the security company after that, you let me know.
So his way of getting me to trust him with my money and personal information was telling me that his "private email box" had been compromised by hackers? That's reassuring. There was one particular bit of information I was afraid would fall in the wrong hands, and I let Greg know that in my reply:
I'm sorry, but this is all very suspicious. How can I trust you again knowing that hackers have entered your e-mail account in the past? What if they saw the information I sent you earlier? I can't have people know I'm a costumed vigilante, Greg, I told you that in confidence. As you know, my loved ones could be put in terrible danger if my secret identity should ever be revealed: this is exactly why I use a mask, Greg. Now I'm glad I didn't sent you my barking details and international assport: think about all the evil the hackers could have done with that info!
I would feel much better if you sent me a picture of yourself so I could know you better, or perhaps you could write a one paragraph essay (90 words app.) about the wonders of God. You know I feel much more confident doing business with a man of God, and it troubles me that you haven't mentioned His name in your recent e-mails. You haven't suddenly turned into a Satanist, have you, Greg?
Thankfully, he addressed my concerns in his next message:
From : greg parkars <email@example.com>
Subject : URGENT
Attachment : GREYPASSORT.jpg (0.10 MB)
Dear Maxwell Yezpitelok.
I am in receipt of your email, I apologized for my delayed in writing you before now, it was basically due to my trip out of my station in London., My previous problem of people getting into my email box will definitely not affect our transaction, since I am presently using a new email boxes with 100% confidentiality, any information share by us will not get to anybody not entitled to the project, please let your confidence in me and on the transaction not go deflected, since this project is 100% risk free and well guaranteed for success. Mr. Yezpitelok I has trusted you , that our coming together to work as a team is act of the Almighty God, it will not be wise to allow it go wasted , as all parties intend to gain from our combined effort to see it through.
Attached is a copy of my international passport.
I wait to hear from you.
Awesome! He sent me his picture like I asked! However, I noticed a few odd things about it and pointed them out:
Dear Mr. Parkars,
I would love to be able to trust you, because if you're telling the truth then I can use the money you would give me to buy gadgets to aid me in my war against crime. Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot, but sometimes a bat-shaped cowl and a pair of tights isn't enough to stop them.
However, two things I've seen in your passport make me doubt the veracity of your word:
Firstly, in your last e-mail you said to me, in fancy bold letters, "my name is Greg not Gray and i dont know anybody answering that name". The name in your assport is Greg, not Grey. Perhaps if that e-mail had been typed in a regular font I could understand that it was a typo (or two), but since it was engraved in bold letters I don't see how it could have possbly been a mistake.
Secondly, from the picture in your assport, it appears that your head is on backwards, and that disturbs me deeply.
I certainly hope that this is just a missunderstanding. If you could explain these details to me, then I'll be glad to resume normal business with you.
At this point he started losing his temper, and even shouted at me several times during his reply. He also blamed his freakish condition on the government:
From : greg parkars <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject : RE: URGENT
I am disturbed with the issue raised which are very embrassing and unfounding . The Passport is the property of England\Wales Government and not my personal property.
My name is GREY, IF YOU HAVE IT EARLIER IN MY EMAIL AS GRAY, TAKE IT AS TYPO, in addition the picture in the passport is in the ORGINAL FORM as was issued by the Government. Please if ready to commence the project indicate if not notify me also so that i will move on.
I was deeply sorry that I had offended my friend, so in an attempt to make amends, I finally sent him the thing he had been asking for all along: my real passport.
You've told to take every time that you've called yourself Gray as a typo. Does this mean that the several times you've called yourself GREG are typos too? Does this mean that in the ten or so e-mails you sent me that are signed as Greg, you misspelled your own name? I don't know if you're aware of this, but when I get a message from you it says "From: GREG parkas"... Does this mean you ALSO forgot how to spell your name when you registered your e-mail account at Yahoo!? (I'm not making an exclamation, by the way; I say "Yahoo!" because that's the company's name, not "Yahoo" as most people believe).
Do you have some sort of medical condition that prevents you from typing your name correctly, Graeyg? Maybe you suffered some sort of name-related trauma in your childhood? That's the only explanation I can think of for this whole thing. I mean, my name's YEZPITELOK and I've still managed to spell it right every time since the third grade.
But, you know what? What the heck. I'm gonna forget about the whole name thing and move on with our deal, because I want the money really bad. Some say that being greedy makes people stupid (like, when someone's trying to scam someone else and they forget what their name is supposed to be, except not as stupid because no one is THAT stupid), but I really don't see that. Attached is my international assport, so that you may take all the personal information you need from me and send me my money.
After reading this email Mr. Parkarse was so terrified by the realization of my true identity that he closed his account and fled the country. Further attempts to contact him have bounced from his server. I never heard from the Lottery guy again, either. Yeah, I'm not why I made such a big deal about the Internet lottery thing at the beginning. Perhaps it's because by getting to know Greg/Gray I feel like I earned an even bigger prize than money -- the prize of friendship.
If you enjoyed this, please visit my stupid webcomic at http://bizarrewebcomic.com/... which you probably won't enjoy, because it's really quite bad.
Gotta love these OMG completely genuine! companies that use Yahoo- or Netscape (seriously, Netscape?!) email addresses. Oh, and that Mr Parkarse isn't so much as making an effort. I mean, he's not even on Facebook! Maaan.
That's a shame, I was hoping social networks would allow me to reconnect with Grey. I did find a Robert Parkars (the name in his assport), who according to Google is an "influential wine critic".
I love you. You're awesome. Please send me all your personal information so I can give you moneys.
Your dear friend,
Thank you for the love, and the intent to give me moneys especially. A simple way to do it would be venturing into my website (http://bizarrewebcomic.com
) and clicking on the ad on top, but I wouldn't risk going there alone.
2011-05-12 05:03 am (UTC)
Dropping in to say WOW!
@Mrmxy I LOVE the misspelling of your name at the end- really nice touch! Maybe I should respond to Mrs. Faith Gaiza, a poor widow who wants to give me 2 million pounds...after all, the orphanage (which she'll 'donate the money to if I don't respond') doesn't really need the money, right?
@bluepickle Is your avatar from Hackers? (And is it Razor or Blade?) If it is, I'll feel like such a geek...which I'd be proud of, but still.
Remember that I'm pulling for ya! We're all in this together! *reels in imaginary fish*
2011-02-10 01:16 am (UTC)
Wow. I honestly thought this blog was long abandoned and you wouldn't post on it again. Feel blessed to have once again the pleasure of spitting my coffee onto my laptop laughing at this. I think it's even better than the one with the Chinese business...
I love you. I would also like to send you some money, and perhaps sweet pictures of my assport.
2011-02-13 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you, but making people spit coffee onto laptops is its own reward. I seek no other compensation, for I prefer to live a life devoid of materialism and temptations. (PS: Assport pictures may be sent at email@example.com)
2011-03-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
Eres mi nuevo héroe
Demasiado bueno. Estoy estupefaciente ( esto debe ser un error, pero bueh !! ) y no hago sino imaginar una lucha continuada contra el crimen cibernético. Por favor, mandame tus datos de la Legión de Superamigos para formar parte de tu equipo aunque sea como limpiabotas de Robin.
The Continuing Adventures of a Costumed Vigilante Battling Against Internet Scammers
That's great :)
MUSHROOM KINGDOM // ASSPORT AGENCY
I LOL'd a bit. I wonder if that was his REAL international assport?
So...this might be the funniest thing I've ever read. It's my first time reading the emails you send back to spammers like this, and I saw you'd compiled a list of other ones I simply must go back and read. I just wanted to leave a quick comment telling you how awesome you are and also to reprimand you. I mean, really? How could you even think about buying gadgets for your dangerous caped crusades when you have ANTONIA AND THE BABY BACK AT HOME WAITING FOR YOU. They come first, Max. They come first. Unless she had a miscarriage, in which it's totally cool for you to blow your money on silly string and stuff.
So yeah, *off to read other entries that might also make me laugh so hard I start to choke, die, and then get resurrected just so I can keep on reading them*.
And I'm not even going to begin talking about Grey/Greg's assport. I- just, it's...*flails*. The signature isn't even right, not to mention the fact that the guy's face looks photoshopped onto a cartoon body. And it's a UK passport when he clearly said he was from Spain. And I have to wonder what kind of skin treatment he's using, because he does not look like he was born in 1948!
Also, what kind of black guy named Gre(?) Parkars lives in Spain. And frequently visits the UK. And has connections with the bank when he is clearly stoned out of his mind in that picture. And/or possessed by a demon.
Just...I mean...*flails again trying to convey incoherency*.
Oh dear God that was awesome!
I alway want to write back to these guys but I chicken out on letting them know that this is a valid email with a live person on the other side of the screen.
They don't keep track of all the volleys of bait emails they send out. Just open a dummy account, hold onto a spam email for a week or two, then "reply" to it from your dummy account. Most won't notice that they're getting a reply from someone they never emailed.
That is a beautiful thing. I love the costumed vigilante assport you made! Sometimes I like to tell these people "I prayed last night on the subject, and Gog told me you were trying to steal from me. How can this be?" Unfortunately, very few of them answer after I say that. Granted, praying to Google and then misspelling it is probably some sort of sin, so maybe I offended them.
Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadnât given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.
For those of us bothered regularly by spammers, fraudsters, and all around liars, we, "The Internet" do salute thee.
2011-05-06 06:35 am (UTC)
Awesome man, have you submitted this to "Digg" and other sites yet? Prolly way late with this tho.
The closest I ever got to this was when an ex nigerian prince (or noble or something) sent me a sob story about his dad being killed by nigerian police, and my bank account was the only thing that would make it right, I wrote back, "W00t! Jor dad got pwnzorz by guvment! U R teh suq. LMAO!!!!!one11one!111!one" But you sir, you are a cut above. You can have all the internets I have in my pocket for this one.
Nay, you can have all my internets for the rest of the week.
I do have a doubt in my mind, generally how much time you wait for the spammer's answer after your first reply? I'm considering to amuse myself... Since my email is OLD and so I receive so much spam! Now I'm considering one of the 45 messages that hotmail has marked as spam.
2011-05-28 01:33 am (UTC)
They usually reply within the next day or so. Good luck!
Thanks pal keep writting your thing in cracked, good luck to you too! ;)
That was an awesome way to deal with scammers! Reverse-trolling... I'm gonna try that next time I get one of their shit emails!
2011-06-28 12:05 am (UTC)
dude you rock
2011-06-30 04:51 am (UTC)
Sweet, voluptuous beard of jupiter...
We (being shakira [no relation] and chavi) adore you & your escapades on an unholy level. There were awkward stares in our direction as we read this on mobile web in a public place. We done, sir. eMay the sweet, loving, violent gods of our beloved senatus et populesque romanus bless you and your imagined progeny from this day forth. Ps, we f%cking love you. Please have lunch with us. Someday. At the 5-10 dollar diner of your choice. (within a 500 mile radius if the kansas city metro area. Eagerly Awaiting your reply,
Midwestern superfans, spqr foot soldiers & crafty villainesses,
Chavi & shakira.
2011-07-01 05:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet, voluptuous beard of jupiter...
Unfortunately the closest to Texas I'll get to in the near future is Mexico City, so let's get a raincheck on that (unless you two want to send me some take out).
2011-10-26 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: Sweet, voluptuous beard of jupiter...
Well damn. Sadly, we will at no time in the near future be anywhere near la ciudad de mexico. However, if you'll just attach a .pdf with all of your personal information, we'd be happy to send you a gift card and felicidades on the awesomeness of your existence. What do they have down there, McDonalds? Surely... They're everywhere... They reproduce like rabbits, but with more sheetrock... But I digress. May the blessings of almighty Thor be upon you as you endeavor to continue with the awesomeness. (We switched it up. Screw the Romans. Thor was cool way before Jupiter. Plus, he looks much better in hipster glasses.) Enjoy the vengeance on these scammer scum. Salutations, good sir!
Shakira & Chavi
2011-12-21 06:00 pm (UTC)
how did u make that passport LOL i wanna make one to prank my friends.
2011-07-02 12:48 am (UTC)
Don't you ever get viruses from these emails? I lose my shit when I see a (1) next to the Junk folder, and avoided my computer for a week when I accidentally clicked one of them. How do you know it's safe to open?
As long as you don't download any files they send you or click on any links, it should be okay to open any e-mail. You should know that replying to them usually means you'll be getting more spam in the future, though, since you've just confirmed that you're a real person.
2011-07-08 03:25 am (UTC)
This just made me laugh like an idiot. I really like your style, Mr. Yezpitelok!!
2011-07-09 08:36 pm (UTC)
<3'S!! I enjoy reading about your adventures in scammy emails! Keep up the good work Masked Vigilante Max!
This is some mad stuff! Nice one! That was so good it had me in stitches!
2011-10-26 04:08 am (UTC)
Ahhh! I love these! Make more!!!!
Best thing I've read all day.
2012-02-18 07:18 pm (UTC)
The passport had me crying with laughter. The `PENIS´ at the bottom had me in spasms. Hi-fucking-larious
2011-12-20 08:43 pm (UTC)
Does anyone else notice that the Signature on the passport says Jaimey(sp?) Lamb?
2011-12-22 07:49 am (UTC)
Oh God, I can't stop laughing. I think you broke something...
2012-04-23 02:40 am (UTC)
Holy crap. That exchange totally made the milk come out my nose (well, actually, rum&coke on this particular occasion) (especially once you got to the assport images) and made me make wheezing noises. My family looked at me funny. I salute you, sir. I congratulate you on your noble perseverance.
Wow! The nicest way to tackle with the scammers.