|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
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
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 a Westerner 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
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:
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
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
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 email@example.com.
Now i want you to stop answering any mail that come from that formal firstname.lastname@example.org, I am no longer using that email address again because some vital reason.
This is my new email:email@example.com.
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 send 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
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 Grey, not Greg. 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
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.