Scamming the Scammer

Here's an old post from way back in 2010. I had just recently joined Facebook and started getting instant messages from someone, whose profile looked like a friend of mine, but who was actually a scammer. This is my account and an actual transcript of our exchange.


So apparently there's a new scam on Facebook that I wanted to make my friends aware of. People are cloning the information from your friend's profiles and creating new FB users from them. (This is particularly problematic when people leave a lot of their profile info accessible to everyone. Makes them easy to impersonate.) Then these cloned users send you a friend request. This happened to me recently where one of my friends showed up with a new friend request. Sometimes people silently de-friend you and then add you back so I didn't think anything about it. But this particular friend is one of those people I knew in the past and whom I don't really ever talk to.  So I was surprised this morning when a chat window popped up and what looked like my old friend Mike showed up to tell me about a really awesome investment.

It was pretty quickly apparent that some scam was afoot, so I decided to play around with whoever this person was. Here is the chat session that ensued. Editorial comments are in brackets.


Mike: Hello

Me: Hi Mike

Mike: good morning to you

Me: To you as well

Mike: how was your night??

Mike: how was your night?

Me: Mike? [How was my night? Very very strange question to start out with someone I haven't spoken with in a few years. At this point I sort of figured something was up so I asked a question that the real Mike would know the answer to. The rest of the conversation follows.]

Mike: really great have you invested on the treasure hunt in standard bank SC?

Me: What's the frequency Kenneth? [Starting to mess with him - This is what the guy asked Dan Rather years ago right before Dan Rather was mugged - trying to figure out if I'm talking to a bot]

Mike: just like a fixed deposit but you will be receiving the 10% of you amount every week like me i invested on $30,000 and an interest of $3000 every week

[I sort of suspect he's not American and may not know the cultural nuances, so I ask him another random question that tests this thesis.]

Me: Wow. Sounds great, did Mario from Donkey Kong invest?

Mike: don't know if he invest and my wife invest on $20,000 and her intrest will be $2000 every week

[Bingo! This guy doesn't get cultural references. So I'll play the idiot and see if he can tell]

Me: Where do I invest to get this tremendous interest rate?

Mike: standard bankSC

Me: South Carolina?

Mike: you will E-mail their manager

[Might as well pretend to be an idiot about the internet too.]

Me: yes. Wow. That's awesome. But how do I send money over e-mail? My e-mail only let's me send attachments.

Mike: you will talk to him and he will send you the information to send the money

[My grandfather liked Gunsmoke, so I decide to add a little gratuitous Gunsmoke reference to the conversation]

Me: Do you know if Matt Dillon invested?

Mike: you don't have a yahoomail?

Me: I have email.

[While this chat session is going on, I set up a new, bogus e-mail on yahoo to mess with these guys]

Mike: i just invest last Monday and and they send me an e-mail that my account have been increase in $3000

Me: Do you know if Matt Dillon invested?

Mike: i don't know i just got on here to tell you people how much will you invest?

[Might as well go all in]

Me: I haven't decided yet. Should I sell all my stocks and invest everything in this bank?

Mike: ok do you see his E-mail i sent you?

[I intentionally get the e-mail address wrong]

Me: yes - patrickgbrandt@gmail.com

Mike: nope

Me: ?

Mike: patrickgbrandt@yahoo.com

[Now see if I can make him mad]

Me: Oh - ok. Does Patrick have an e-mail address?

Mike: yes

[Might as well introduce some random noise in the conversation]

Me: Can he receive attachments?

Mike: may be

Me: Oh good. I always like to send attachments with my e-mails.

Mike: he will ask you some questions so you will need to e-mail him

Me: I hope they don't have anything to do with complicated finances, because I'm not very good at math.

Mike: oh nope

Me: whew

Mike: or do you talk on yahoo messenger? he can talk to you through there

[Make him think I don't know anything about yahoo messenger]

Me: I don't use messengers when I send e-mail, I just let the internet deliver it.

Mike: ok

Me: Where can you find messengers?

Mike: make sure you E-mail him this morning so he can send you the form you will have to fill

[Wonder if he gets sarcasm?]

Me: That will be great - I love filling out forms.

Mike: will you E-mail him now?

[Want to see what he does if we get into something specific.]

Me: Yes. In just a minute. I have to get a cup of coffee first. Did you get the package I sent you last week?

Mike: cause it's only on monday people have the opportunity to invest

Me: Is it every Monday or just today?

Mike: oh yes thanks it's every monday but i don't know when it will stop

Me: How much money am I allowed to invest?

Mike: that is why i said you should make sure you invest today no amount is too much you will receive your interest as much as you invest

Me: So it would be okay to send a lot of money?

Mike: that is why i ask you how much do you want to invest so i will tell you your intrest oh sure

Me: What if I sent $200,000?

Mike: E-mail him and tell him right now are you writting him an E-mail?

Me: Working on it.

Mike: ?

[So I got my yahoo account set up and sent an e-mail. These guys are apparently handling multiple of these sessions at once and they have a hard time filtering the e-mails and responding.  So it takes a while. I decide to pretend like I'm personally offended at how long they're taking.]

Me: I sent him an e-mail.

Mike: ok

Me: I sent a message but he hasn't written me back. It kind of hurts my feelings.

Mike: have you sent him a message?

Me: yes

Mike: you said you have a yahoomail right?

Me: yes

Mike: and you sent him a message right now?

Me: A few minutes ago. He seems to be ignoring me. Maybe he's taken in as much money as he can handle.

Mike: oh nope he wasn't like that ok i can help you to talk to him and i will send you the form that i filled maybe he is bussy

[I'll mess with him about his typo]

Me: Do you mean he might be riding the bus?

Mike: oh nope he will be in the bank by now

Me: Well apparently, he's NOT checking his e-mail.

Mike: are you sure is going through?

Me: It shows in my sent items folder. So it says it's going through.

Mike: if he doesn't reply you can send it to his secretary

Me: Wow, he has a secretary? He must be really important.

Mike: sure dorinandrey65@yahoo.com that's his secretary E-mail you can talk to her too

Me: Ok - I just forwarded her the e-mail.

Mike: do you get her E-mail?

Me: Still no response. I think they may be rude bankers.

Mike: oh nope is the bank that is incharge  bank own the treasure hunt themself not them he is just the manager incharge

Me: Well - I keep sending messages and they never write back. It hurts my feelings.

Mike: you will have to be patient cause they will ask you some question

[At this point, I started getting messages from them on my bogus yahoo account]

Me: Ok. I seem to be getting messages from them now. She didn't seem too rude over e-mail. Perhaps she was just cranky before.

Mike: i told you  - are you there?

Me: yes I was brushing my teeth. Which kind of toothpaste do you use?

Mike: lol did the manager ask you some questions?

Me: What's so funny? The manager asked me what I wanted to invest, so I told him his secretary had that information.

[Now he's gone missing.]

Keith: Do you have a picture of the bank?

Mike: nope don't you know standard bank?

Me: That's a bummer. No

Mike: standard bank south carolina are you there?

Me: Mike - I have to tell you that you've wasted a lot of my time this morning. The bank people are not doing ANYTHING to help me invest and I'm not going to be your friend anymore. I was going to invest a lot of money, but not now.

Mike: why are you upset

Me: Yes, those people are rudely ignoring my requests and making me wait. I have to go to work now.

Mike: maybe the network is bad have you talk to the manager himself?

Me: Yes - but he is completely ignoring me and it hurts my feelings and I have to go to work so now I've lost the opportunity.

Mike: no he can never ignore you

Me: Well - I'm going to work now. Maybe I'll invest next Monday.

Mike: this is a lifetime opportunity you can afford to loose it

[Messing with him about his typos again.]

Me: I can?

Mike: make sure you check your mail cause he can be sending you messages but not going through but he is not that rude

Me: I'll check it later today but I have to go now.

Mike: he is very responsible


At this point I wound things down. I'll post further updates if I hear anything else from the manager of Standard Bank of South Carolina.  In the mean time, if you get new friend requests from people who are already your friends, beware.

Written by

Keith Lowery

Follower of Christ. Husband. Father. Grandfather. Maker. Consumer of Data. Reader of Books. Writer of Code.


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