This story is in two episodes. Or maybe three. Or four. It is still unfolding; and I’m writing it as it happens. Its purpose is to show you, the reader, that scammers can be scammed – all it takes is a bit of time, patience, and ingenuity.
Whenever the fabric of society gets snagged, or even when the safety of just one lowly individual is threatened, a hero always steps to the fore. Men like Zorro, The Lone Ranger,
Julius Malema, Batman, and Eric de la Vega de Castro. As they say in Nayderlunch: “Komt het moment, komt de man.” (Cometh the hour, cometh the man.)
A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from the Fulton Finance Group. It was sent by someone who goes by the name of “Mr.” Harry Lynn. From his tone of voice, I immediately realised that Harry Lynn was trying to pull a woolen scam over my eyes.
Harry wrote that he was peed off because he was still waiting for my reply. (Even though I have never had any dealings with him.) He was in a hurry to process my guaranteed loan. All I had to do was to make a payment of $70 for him to finalise the loan arrangements.
Because I’ve retired, and don’t have free time on my hands to deal with scam artists, snake oil peddlers, confidence tricksters, lawyers, politicians, and suchlike criminals, I called in the help of that famous scambaiter, Eric de la Vega de Castro.
Since last I spoke to Eric, he has watched a rerun of the 1986 movie, The Three Amigos. Apparently the story had made such an impression on him; he decided to change his slogan status from:
“Row, brothers, row,
to the blue of the verge,
where the low sky mates with the sea.”
“Wherever there is injustice, you will find me.
Wherever there is suffering, I’ll be there.
Wherever liberty is threatened, you’ll find…
Eric de la Vega de Castro!”
(Yes, Sakkie, I know it sounds a bit over the top, but Eric has always been a bit of a drama queen.)
Eric decided to string Mr. Harry Lynn along – scamming a scammer, if you like. What follows is an abridged version of their subsequent exchange of e-mails. (Keep in mind that several days may have elapsed between some of the e-mails; and that the actual content of the mails are quite a bit longer):
Eric: Thank you for coming back to me. You’re right; I urgently require the money to pay my builders. I am quite desperate. The loan would be for $50, 000. How soon could this be arranged? How much are the monthly installments, and how long is the period of repayment?
Harry: As soon as you make a $70 payment for processing, your loan will be completed and deposited into your account. Please update us with your banking details so that we can verify it here and check our data base. Do also have it in your mind that there is no form of scam activities here. Okay?
Here is a review of your loan terms:
Loan Balance: $50, 000
Loan Interest Rate: 2%
Loan Term: 3 Years
Monthly Loan Payments: $1,432
The loan will be transferred to you exactly 5 hours after the transaction is completed.
Eric: Yes! Thank you! By all means! I definitely will be taking the loan on the terms that you have given me. Where are you based? I’ll go to your offices to sign the necessary paperwork and to pay the $70 for processing my loan.
Harry: We have our Head Office in Rome, Italy, and some branches in Asia and Africa. Your details have been forwarded to our attorney and he is currently working on your loan agreement document. As soon as it is completed, it will be sent to you via e-mail, and you will sign it and return it. Okay?
Eric: Are you holding on to your chair?
By a remarkable coincidence, my brother, Diego, who is a partner in my business and who has full signing powers, lives in a flat at 35 Via Cicerone, in Rome, up the stairs from the Wellcome Shop’s business premises!
I always prefer to do business with real people, instead of conducting transfers online. Call me old fashioned, if you will.
So here’s my proposition: E-mail the street address of your office in Rome to me, and Diego will be there tomorrow to complete the necessary paperwork, and to pay the $70 for processing the loan.
MY NOTE: I received not a peep out of Harry for several days – for obvious reasons. So Eric gave him a slight nudge.
Eric: In a previous e-mail, you mentioned that your company attorney was working on my loan agreement document, and that it would be sent to me for my signature. I haven’t received it yet. Is there a problem?
Please respond urgently, as I am desperate! I need the money before the weekend, or the builders are going on strike. I could be financially ruined!
END OF EPISODE 1
Will Harry send the loan agreement document to Eric? Will Eric sign the document? Will the builders go on strike if they are not paid on time? Will they trash the streets, damage private property, throw poo, rob the street vendors, burn tyres, and stone the corrupt cops? Will they wear their red EFF berets and T-shits? And what about Diego? Is this the last we shall hear of him?
Tune in next time for another gripping episode of Fulton Finance’s Fraudulent Fiddle!