Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun With Serbian Money Scammers

So, I got this email a little while back and decided to have a little fun with it rather than my usual delete-and-ignore method of spam management. And since I haven't done anything with this blarg in forever, I figured this was a nice way to put some text here. Here's the original email:

Oddly, the date says July 3, but it was December 10.
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Subject: [SPAM] (11) - Hello Dear Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 12:15:33 -0700
From: O L
To:
Hello Dear,

I am a Serbian woman and I am located in Europe . I have a business proposition for you which involve $15,000,000 US Dollars. I need your assistance with Banking and Investment of the said funds and I will be willing to offer you 20% of the $15,000,000 US Dollars.
I will understand how you are going to be feeling over my business proposition, I also find it very difficult to trust people but I have to use this means to contact you for security reason which I will disclose in due course of this transaction and you will know me more.
The funds are legally mine and this business is not illegal but I need someone I can trust, can I trust you to help me handle these funds?. I have an interest to invest in your country in any profitable business you may deem okay with these funds.
If you are interested, please send me an email.
When I hear from you, I will give you my full name and more information about this transaction. Please have in mind that this is a legitimate transaction.

O L
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As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to learn more about this fantastic offer, so I replied with:

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From: "Cholgosh"
To: l_o12@yahoo.com.my

Hello,
I'm interested. Tell me more.

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Naturally, "she" was pretty quick to reply with more details of this wonderful opportunity:

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Subject: Dear Cholgosh Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 11:47:41 +0000
From: O L
To: cholgosh@xxxxx
Dear Cholgosh

Thank you for your reply, what I require from you is that you help receive these funds in your personal account, and for you to help with investment.

My ex husband is Dragoljub Ojdanic; one of the former Yugoslavians indicted at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. The indictment was politically motivated in connection with the package provided for Yugoslavia by the Western World.

I am divorced and my ex has tried to get his loyalist to trace and steal my funds although he doesn’t know what I am worth and he has tried to make life miserable for me through his loyalist because I divorced him. I have since been keeping a very low profile and not spending my funds.

I have had to keep a very low profile all these while because; Rodovan Karadzic, who had a fall out with my husband in the past and has since been looking for a way to get me and steal my funds while he was at large. I am very lucky now that he has been arrested and this is a perfect time for me to access and move my funds so I can start a new life as I also had problems with my husband.

I have now decided to move my funds and relocate out of here and avoid my ex or his associate noticing me and my funds.

The funds are safe in a secure location and I need a beneficiary who has no previous relationship with me.

What I need of you is to provide banking facility and your help with investment.
No one knows about the funds and I intend to maintain this confidentiality. As soon as the funds get to you, I will relocate so I can live a new life.

I hope I can trust you with my funds, it might be a small amount to you but it means the world to me. Could you please tell me more about yourself ,
1, your full names,
2, age and marital status,
3, address and phone number
4, What you do for a living and your experience with investment

I hope I can trust you to take care of the funds and that you will not abscond after you receive the funds into your account? As soon as I get your reply, I will give you more information. Thank you

Ljubina Ojdanic
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Who wouldn't be excited as such a prospect, right?

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Dear Ljubina (can I call you Bina? I think that's a cute name.),

Thank you for your reply. I am saddened to hear your tale. Your ex-husband sounds like an evil, evil man and his henchmen are no better. I bet you'd like to just have them wiped off the face of the earth rather than having to hide from them, yes? Maybe once I know you better, we can discuss that further.

Now, to business. I'm honored that you would entrust me with your funds. Just how much are we talking about here? I hope it's a lot, because that would mean my portion might be at least half of that (you said 50% right?). Anyhow, here's the information you requested:

1, your full names,
Cholgosh P. Swindlehurst

2, age and marital status,
I am 42, married to a lovely Ukrainian girl (Svetlana).

3, address and phone number

I don't have either, I'm afraid. My wife and I are homeless at the moment, me having just lost my job in this terrible economy. We are, at the moment, living in my van but hoping to find work and a permanent home very soon. Perhaps if I help you, I will have enough money to find a small home for Lana and me.

4, What you do for a living and your experience with investment
I used to be a manager, but my company had some setbacks and had to lay me off. However, I have several interviews lined up and should be working again very soon.

Once again, I am honored that you would trust me in this. I would very much like to help you, Bina. Perhaps we might even be able to spend some time together once you relocate. My wife is open to trying new things, as I assume you are as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Cholgosh

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Naturally, I assumed this was a bit over the top and I wouldn't hear from her again, but she didn't seem the slightest bit fazed by it:

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Dear Cholgosh
Thanks for your email, I am sorry but I will need your phone number before I deal with you. I need a modest, reliable and capable person to help me receive and manage my funds. What I need if your trust and honesty. My main concern is if you can be trusted? I am taking a lot of risk and in as much as I desperately need the help of a stranger I have to be careful and sure that I can trust you before I decide to move my funds to you this is why I have asked you to tell me more about yourself.
I cannot trust people around me as they are more loyal to my ex husband because of his political affiliations and financial clout, also I have been betrayed in the past by people close to me, this is why I have decided to contact a stranger to help me.
I will like to tell you more about myself and this business.
I was born in Belarus and Serbian by marriage. Since this problem I have eventually given up my Serbian nationality and taken up my Original nationality. However I still have to maintain a secret life. I am presently in Hungary and living a low profile life, but I want to relocate so I can start a new life in your country this is why I contacted you for your help.
I am divorced as my ex husband was initially indicted for genocide and while he was incaserated we had a divorce. I have since been keeping a low profile and my funds were safely kept in a secret location. I need you to help me receive the funds and help me with investment. Ever since my divorce, I have had problems with my ex and people I know are more loyal to him because of his political affiliations and this is why I need to use a stranger to avoid him knowing about my funds.

There is no trace to the funds and my ex and incaserated husband and his colleagues think my funds were amongst those seized and they do not suspect that I have this money in anyway.

The funds are legally mine but I do not want to draw attention to myself because I do not want anyone to know that I have such amount that is why I had to keep the funds in a secret location. I have mapped out a means of sending the funds to you and I will give you the details in due course.

If my ex-husband or his connected associates find out that such amount, they will want to take most or all of the funds based on my divorce. This is among reasons why I have to maintain confidentiality.

I need the funds claimed and moved urgently so I can as well relocate to safe country and start a new life. This is why I contacted you.

I will be entrusting my millions in your care and I need to know as much as I possibly can know about you, this is why I have asked for you personal details.

Also what are you investment idea as I will also need you to help with investing my share. Please let me know your idea with investment and I will give you more update when I get your reply.
Thank you

Ljubina Ojdanic
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I waited a few days to respond so I could think on this a bit and then replied with this:

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My dear Bina,

Your situation just breaks my heart. How can your ex husband be such a cruel man, when you seem so caring and loving? If I could find a way for him to "have an accident" in prison, I would do it in a heartbeat. What prison did you say he is in? I know people who can make "accidents" happen, you know.

Of course, I completely understand your need to be able to trust me. After all, you'll be giving me millions of dollars (close to half of which will still technically be yours, of course) and you need to be sure I won't just run off with your money. I would be very cautious as well, if it were me. I can assure you that I am a very trustworthy person indeed. When I was younger, I received many awards and accolades for my work in the community helping to build shelters for homeless children and fighting for the rights of disabled pets. I once headed up a charitable foundation, worth close to half a million dollars, which provided scarves, hats and gloves to "street corner Santa Clauses". Do you have Christmas where you are, with Santa Claus? Here in the US, we have people dressed up as Santa Claus on street corners (not the real Santa, of course - he's far too busy), collecting donations so children and unwed mothers can have presents under their trees on Christmas morning. Naturally, these Santa Claus stand-ins get very cold out in the weather all day, so my organization provided them with items to fight off the elements.

You know, I have a few ideas for investing the money. You know how, at least here in the US, there are drive up espresso shops? It seems like they're everywhere, you know. Anyhow, I was thinking maybe what we really need is a drive up soup shop. Instead of getting coffee, people can get a nice hot cup of soup! It's healthier and so much more satisfying. Maybe we could also sell pretzels with the soup. Another idea I had was a bear farm. Some people like to hunt bears, and it seems like the thing to do would be to raise them on a farm so there would be a steady and consistent supply. If there was enough land set aside, we could even provide a place for the hunters to hunt the bears, right in the same place as the farm and we could even charge them for every little thing, like ammunition and bear butchering services. Those fees can add up. There are other things we could do with the money, too, but they're not all completely legal. Would that be a problem for you, say if we invested some of the money in a drug-smuggling operation, or human trafficking? I certainly wouldn't want to involve you in anything that you're not comfortable with, of course, but there are people I know who make a good living doing such things. We wouldn't have to do anything ourselves, but we could perhaps help finance such operations which would probably triple our investment almost overnight. Just a thought, and like I said, I wouldn't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with. Think about it, though.

I have to go now, Bina. The traffic control officer is asking me to move my van and I won't have access to the wi-fi here anymore, so I'm going to sign off.

Warmest regards,

Cholgosh

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At this point I thought surely she's got to see this as a joke, but a few days later came this reply:

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Dear Cholgosh
I am not very comfortable with the fact that you do not have an addressed home, because that is worrisome especially as my funds will be in your hands before I come over.
Since you do not have a specific address, I will need you to send me your picture and identification.
I also need you to send me your mobile phone number where I can call you on.
When I get your reply, then I will give you more information so we can proceed with this transaction. Regards

Ljubina
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Figuring that my time was about up and that I could say pretty much anything and get away with it, I fired off a reply:

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My dearest Bina,

I completely understand your concern. Please know that I am doing everything in my power to be able to have a suitable home, with an address, for my lovely Lana and myself. I would hope to be able to provide a place for you to stay while you get on your feet, too. As I said, Lana is very adventurous and willing to try new things, if you get my drift. To that end, since the job market here is still very difficult, perhaps you could send us a small amount of money so we could at least get a motel to stay in until we can transact our business. That way, I'd have both an address and a telephone number. If this is a workable solution, let me know and I'll see about getting a post office box so you'd have a place to send me some money. Today, I'm going to go and have a friend of mine take a picture of me so I can send it to you right away. Also, I mentioned before that Lana and I don't have a telephone, not even a cell phone. Could I give you the number of the payphone near where I have my van parked? I can be sure to be there whenever you want to call me.

Fondly,

Cholgosh

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As this was just around Christmas, I thought maybe she'd taken a break from trying to scam me in order to spend the holiday with family, so after no reply for a week I sent this on New Year's Eve:

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Darling Bina,

I hope all is well with you as we move into a new year. 2010! I can hardly believe it.

I have some pictures of myself that a friend took for me so I can send them to you now. Please give me an address to send them to and I will get them in the mail right away. A couple of them show me holding my drivers license, so you can see I have ID, too. If you are interested, I also had my friend take a few pictures of me partially nude. They aren't pornographic but they will give you a very good idea of what you're getting without revealing too much. If you'd prefer to be surprised, just let me know and I won't include those.

It's been a little while since I've heard from you. I hope nothing bad has happened. Please reply as soon as you can so we can proceed with our business. I'm very excited to move forward with this. Oh, and I don't mean to sound pushy, but have you considered the request I made for a little bit of money so Lana and I can get a motel? As soon as we get settled in, I would be able to give you a phone number. For now, though, the number of the phone booth near my van is 206-362-9740. I hope to hear from you soon!

Love,

Cholgosh

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Sadly, I think she's moved on to greener, less crazy pastures, as I haven't heard back from her. I'm certainly not an expert at this whole string along the scammer thing, but it was fun. I suppose asking her for money was the breaking point, huh?

And the phone number really is a phone booth, near a trailer park. I think it's either out of order or simply doesn't accept incoming calls.

3 comments:

.^^. said...

you r0ck

smedir said...

En estos momentos estoy tambien jugando.
Lo que cambia es que me envía vía diplomática los fondos, pero que le han robado las llaves y que yo rompalos cabdados para enviarla algo de dinero ya que ha sufrido un atraco en su casa.
No me ha pedido dinero, pero me imagino que el fraude estña en romper los candados y amenazarme que me he quedado el dinero.
Si alguien ha sido víctima ruego informe urgente a
jldiaz@immoalfa.es

Tsai Jie said...

Dear Cholgosh,

I think you are my new hero. That was bloody brilliant. And BTW if you still have those nude photos....