Back in the day, one of my favourite hobbies used to be taunting Nigerian email scammers. You know the ones – those scumbags who pretent their great-grandfather, the late president of Ngmbuto, left them $27 million that they need your help (and money) in releasing. These assholes have done untold damage around the world as well as in Nigeria (would you do business online with a Nigerian?), and deserve everything they get. Ok, everything except the countless millions of dollars they scam out of greedy suckers.
Anyhoo, I used to love answering their emails with ‘how can I help?’ messages and see how far I could string them along before they gave up. I can’t say I ever reached the pinnacle of scam-baiting (where you manage to convince one to send you money), but I had some success.
I used to give them my work mobile number (not linked to me in any way) and ask them to call me when I knew to be 3am in Nigeria. When they called I’d do everything I could to keep them on the line – often putting them on ‘call waiting’ while ‘speaking with my banker’ (i.e. putting them on hold and watching TV for a bit). Hell hath no fury like a conman piling coins into a phone booth for an hour in the middle of the night – not that I’d know, ‘cos I was always able to keep them thinking they might get paid at some stage. Yeah right!
I had one chump arrange a hotel for me in Durban (believe me, I had no intention of going to South Africa!) and attempt to satisfy a rider I’d sent him, which included:
- An eighty year-old black manservant named Toby.
- A red tuxedo for the abovementioned manservant
- A seventeen year-old Filipino girl named Wilma, and a forty-five year-old Mexican named Barbara. The former must have a birthmark on her left ankle shaped like the North Island, the latter a birthmark on her right knee shaped like the South Island
- Two H&K MP5 submachine guns and 1000 rounds of ammunition
- (list went on like this for two pages)
You get the idea?
Anyway, as my interest in this wonderous passtime grew I often checked out some of the websites created by like-minded individuals. Which brings me to this little gem – without doubt the best I have ever heard of. What started out as a simple request for “a reputable gentleman who will be of great assistance to the family and somebody who can take over the sum of $27M (Twenty Seven Million United States Dollars Only)which is presently deposited in a Security Company, for investment” ended up with the conman copying Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets out by hand.
Don’t believe me?
I tip my hat to you Sir. You are a bloody legend!