Friday, June 17, 2011

How to scam a scammer

Some of you might remember that in February, someone tried to scam me on Facebook by hacking a former coworker's account and sending me an instant message, claiming that she'd been mugged in London and needed money, quick. The London scam is a common one, as I found out after doing research. Well yesterday, a British friend from Japan (now living with his family in New York) wrote a Facebook note about his own scamming episode. In his case, he took the opportunity to have a little fun! With his permission, I'm pasting the story here. Thanks, Dan, for our laugh this morning!

"Do you still love me?" Sara B Franklin....whoever you are. An email exchange.

Sara B Franklin: Apologies for having to reach out to you like this, I made a trip this past weekend to London, England and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and credit cards in it. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport, I just have to pay for a ticket and settle Hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can't have access to funds without my credit card, I've made contact with my bank but they need more time to come up with a new one. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I get in. I really need to be on the next available flight. I can forward you details on how you can get the funds to me. You can reach me via email or Park Lane hotels desk phone +447024078324

I await your response. Sara

DD: oh dear sara...that's terrible...what happened?

SBF: Thanks for your response. Please i really need your help, i don't know how much you can help me with but i need to borrow about $2250, will pay back as soon as i get home. Bank transfer will take days, send money via western union. See details for transfer below:
Receiver: Sara Franklin
Address: 32 regent street, London. England
You will need to email me the western union mtcn number as soon as you make transfer so I can receive money here. How soon can you send. Thanks

DD: I can't believe you didn't call me when you were there...why not?
Where were you staying?

SBF: Park lane hotel. How soon can you send?

DD: Are you sure $2250 is's a pretty expensive hotel.

SBF: Yes it is. That's all I need. How long would it take you to send?

Waiting for your mail with the MTCN number.

DD: It shouldn't take long Sara. But why are you contacting me now so soon after we broke up. Do I still mean something to you?

SBF: Thanks. When I return, I'll come see you

DD: Sara...a lot happened between us...can you still make any sense of why we split up?

SBF: Can we please leave that for now. I will come and see you when I return. So we can talk. For now, I do need to leave here.

DD: Ok...I've never done this transfer business before...what do I need to do....and when will you be free to meet me. Can we meet at our favourite place?

SBF: I was told that you would have to go there with the cash and extra for transfer charges. When done, you would be given an MTCN number that I would use to pickup the cash. Are you about going to the western union office? When I return, we would see and clear things out. Thanks.

DD: What's an MTCN number? And don't you have any kind words for me?

SBF: The MTCN number is the code number you would be given to give to me to pickup. Its just like the only key to a door. When will you be going to the western union. Sorry dear, its just that am tensed and tend to rush your reply. How have you been? I must confess, I do really miss you. Much Love.

DD: So why did you finish it so suddenly Sara?

SBF: Please, just do me this little favor dear, let talk about this when I return. Please. We have a lot of things to talk about when I return. Let's focus on me returning home safely today. Talk to you soon.

DD: But dear, dear Sara now I'm worried that you are only being nice to me because you want me to send you money. I don't want to pay for your friendship.

Do you still love me?

SBF: I know. I still love you. Love isn't something that just dies away. There are things we would have to sit down and talk about. Am not being nice because of the help you want to assist me with, am just nice and you know that. I have limited time. Can you please jus send it down so i can pick up and heard to the airport, please? Waiting for your mail. Much Love,

DD: I'm really not sure that you DO love me still.

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