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.
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 - email@example.com
[Now see if I can make him mad]
Me: Oh - ok. Does Patrick have an e-mail address?
[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
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.
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.
[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.
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?
Mike: you said you have a yahoomail right?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.