As I'm laid up at the moment I've taken up a fun new hobby of pissing off people who send out "419" - also known as "advance fee fraud" - emails. You know the ones that you get where some twat pretending to be the wife of some dickcheese ex president of some shithole African swamp has umpty million dollars in dodgy blood diamonds she needs your help in smuggling out of the country.
Like you I've normally just junked these when the get through the spam filters but with nothing better to do and inspired by sites like TheScamBaiter and 419Eater I thought I would open an account on gmail and play the part of a slightly dippy old granny who is bemused that a former head of state's wife would choose an Ilkley church-going grandmother with a fondness for baking rock buns for her neighbours to be the recipient of several squillion dollars in bent oil revenues.
If I was stunned that anyone would even answer these emails before I am even more stunned now that after two or three responses from the perpetrators that anyone ever gets as far as the "money shot" where the perps ask for a large wedge of cash to be sent by money transfer. As an example at the moment I have a "lawyer" called Richard Crook who can barely string a sentence together in English despite having sent me a scan of a UK passport depicting a middle aged white guy and having chambers in what a Google search reveals is a TK Maxx outlet on Oxford St and as proof of the huge sums awaiting me says he is going to the high court in London to lodge an affidavit and then as proof sends me something from a magistrates court from Accrington, a small town in Lancashire noted for a joke football team and being the birthplace of a certain prog rocker who really, really wanted to be an elf called Jon Anderson.
To be honest my gut feeling is that anyone falling for this hogwash deserves everything they get. But I realise that there are genuinely frail, desperate and dippy grannies from West Yorkshire towns out there who are not savvy enough to see through the bullshit and who think that Miriam Abachas' millions might just save then from a life on NuLabour's hand to mouth breadline and keep them out of the state's piss stinking nursing home. So if me tapping away on my PC and sending 20Mb blank PDF documents to these bastards keeps them from a genuine granny then so much the better.
Incidentally, I have this bridge in London for sale if anyone is interested?
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