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Relationship? Friend: Or How to Visit Nigeria on Less than $145 USD/Day

May 12, 2010
[The following is the entertaining story of a three-day dialogue with yet another Nigerian scam artist. As was the case with the email exchange, I may find this more entertaining than anyone else, especially the earnest scammer on the receiving end.
So, without selling this short any further, here it is: the full conversation with "Richard Thompson" of "Fedex Nigeria." No names have been changed as I highly doubt there's any innocence in here at all.]

From: MARIAM ASHJAEI

You have a bank draff of some amount in USD,contact the fedexcourier
company for claims with your informations. Contact person, Mr.Richard
Thompson.Contact This Email:(
fexdexcomp@gmail.com)

Mr. Richard Thompson -

Thank you for the informations on my bank draff. I am curious to know how many USD are included in this draff, as the original email only narrowed it down to “some.” Thanks in advance for any informations you can give me. 

CLT

FEDEX COURIER SERVICE, WEST AFRICA
EDO STATE,NIGERIA.

Dear CLT,

In respect to your email, I have been awaiting for you to contact me for the delivery of your check of $780,000,00.You can as well come down to this branch to pick up your package or even send someone to pick it up on your behalf. More so, the phone number works perfectly and I will advise you cross the number again as it is below this mail.

There is this Mr.Wellington who came to our company last week to place your check on out going delivery, he has already paid for the insurance fee and the delivery charges. But he did not pay for the security keeping fee due to the fact that we did not know when you will be contacting us via mail or phone to inform us that we have your check, so we advised him not to pay for the security keeping fee of the courier company so far but we informed him to contact you on time so you will not have to pay more than $145 USD on demurrage and we do not operate COD{Cost On Delivery} on a charge like this.

All you need to do right now to get your check delivered to your door step is to go ahead and pay the security keeping fee of the courier company so far.The fee is $145.00 USD only, you are to come up with this fee as to process the delivery of your package for immediate dispatch.

Payment should be made via western union money transfer only for security purpose, payment details are listed below.

Name:Mr Kingsley Enogun
Address: Benin City, Edo State Nigeria.
Text Question to be used: Relationship?
Text Answer: Friend

You have to send down the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) and your complete postal address. Reconfirm your full name, address, country and most important your phone number.

Get back to me with your payment details, I will have to send Mr.Wellington a mail that you have contacted me regarding the check he left for you. Note that your tracking number would be provided to you as soon as the payment has been made and confirmed by us.

Have a wonderful time. Please call me anytime you need any assistance.

Regards
Mr.Richard Thompson
Dispatch Director.
Tel:(+234)8037361050

Richard -

Thank you for the informations. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the “some” amount of USD is a whopping $780,000. This was much more than what I would normally describe as “some,” which I had pegged at around $18.50.

However, it comes as no surprise to me that Mr. Wellington has, shall we say, “welshed” on the security keeping fee. I have been Mr. Wellington’s erstwhile guest at the pub on several occasions and he has always managed to make himself quite scarce when the check arrives. He often uses impeccable timing to be in the restroom, taking a personal car or pretending he doesn’t recognize me when the bartender presents the tab.

I would love to be able to pay this fee for him, but tell him that this is absolutely the last time I will be willing to do this. Only the promise of $780,000 USD is keeping me from sending him a sternly worded reprimand on his loutish behavior.

A few issues will be keeping me from paying this fee immediately.

1. I am currently in Greenland, avoiding extradition for some extraordinarily large library fines. As I am unfamiliar with the “lay of the land,” I would need directions to the nearest Western Union office or Greenlandish equivalent.

2. I am also unfamiliar with the exchange rate. Would you be able to convert $145 USD into the local currency? (I think it’s either elk hides or shiny rocks.)

3. You state in your email that both a “security keeping fee” and a “demurrage” fee will need to be paid. Is the $145 USD for both or are there separate costs? Am I liable for both or can I just pick one to pay? (If so, I would like to choose the one that actually makes sense.)

Once I have these answers, I will proceed posthaste to the nearest check cashing facility to send “some” amount of USD (approx. $145) to:

Name: Sir Ben Kingsley
City: Benin City “Home of the Waffle Cone”
Text Question to be Used: “Who’s the moustachioed private dick who’s a sex machine for all the available women of a certain social status?”
Answer: “Poirot!”

Thanks in advance for your prompt response.

Sincerely,
CLT

P.S. You’d be surprised how little “green” there is in Greenland. Makes me think I’ve been misinformed…

Attention: Mr CLT

We got your mail. You can visit western union site http://www.westernunion.com to see any of there office closed to you.

I do not actually know your local currency. But you can visit xe.com to be able make the conversion.

Yes the amount will cover them, as confirm from my information. All you need do is to proceed with the payment immediately to enable us carryout the delivery.Remember the information you need to make the transfer:

Name:Mr Kingsley Enogun
Address: Benin City, Edo State Nigeria.
Text Question to be used: Relationship?
Text Answer: Friend

And also remember to send us the transfer information like the sender name,amount sent,country and the money transfer control number(MTCN).

Expect your mail as soon as possible to enable us commence delivery.

Mr.Richard Thompson
Dispatch Director.
Tel:(+234)8037361050

Richard Thompson -

Thank you for your somewhat prompt response and I apologize for the delay in mine.

I took a look at the Western Union website (thanks for that), but a quick trip out to a couple of locations showed that they were, unfortunately, closed to me. I’m not sure whether this is due to my continued misunderstanding of the local time zone or if it’s due to me (as is repeatedly pointed out) “not being from around here.”

I also checked out the exchange rate (again, thanks for the link) and it looks very favorable. The dollar must be especially weak right now, as a single elk hide is fetching nearly $850 USD. Thank god for the recession, eh? Not only that, but I am flush with elk hides thanks to a recent forest explosion. (Officials are citing the forest for not being up to code.)

I have the elk hides on the way to the nearest currency exchange as we speak. I chose a native to deliver them (via dogsled) and it’s hoped that his rugged Greenlandish looks will bypass the locals’ xenophobia and allow him to wire you the $145 USD.

He hopes to reach the office by nightfall, which I believe is Sunday. (I’m never going to get used to this “midnight sun.”) He did express some confidence in arriving sooner as a rash of exploding forests has made his trip nearly obstacle-free. There’s a good chance you’ll have the $145 USD in your hands by tomorrow.

I just want to double-check the wiring info:

Name: Kingsley Amis
Location: Edo City – Next 4 Exits
Question: What has two thumbs and loves to lord this fact over a majority of the animal kingdom?
Answer: This guy!! (I’m pointing both thumbs inward, indicating myself.)

Your MTCN and transfer information will be sent by my courier, hopefully enabling commence and carryout as soon as possible.

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE PAYMENT WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS, PLEASE EMAIL ME IMMEDIATELY SO THAT I CAN MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS.

Sincerely,
CLT

(P.S. My apologies for my statements made earlier regarding Mr. Wellington. You were most likely referring to ARTHUR Wellington while I was referring to GENE Wellington, a known kleptomaniac and erstwhile degenerate.

Gene Wellington tore through my life a few years ago, leaving behind nothing but empty DVD cases and bulb-less table lamps. The DVDs will eventually be replaced and new lightbulbs purchased, but the damage to my soul may never be repaired.

Last I heard, he was headed to the States [with several of my personal possessions] to try his hand at “blogging” and writing books. The cad.

Arthur, on the other hand, is a saint. I would trust him with your life.)

[Unfortunately, this was the end of the line. I'm not sure what may have been the element that pushed "Richard" to toss this into his personal "junkmail" slot. Was it Mr. Wellington's backstory? The "midnight sun"? Dogsleds? I guess we'll never know.
Which brings me to Point B, which I completely failed to reference earlier.
Yet another side project, bearing the unlikely URL of http://thepenismadeoutofspam.wordpress.com/, and inspired by this unsettling spam comment, has been erected... so to speak. It is my intention (which is usually much, much greater than my follow-thru) to turn this new piece of half-assed blogging into a spam aggregator, collecting the worst, most disturbing and otherwise just-a-tad-off pieces of spam floating around the internet.
Take a look around and if you've got anything post-worthy, hit the Submission tab to find out where to send it in. Thanks in advance for your humouring of me.]

-CLT

16 comments

  1. Another shining example of why I shouldn’t read your posts at work. Or at least why I should take more advantage of my door. “What are you laughing hysterically at?” Nothing. I just remembered a joke, that’s all.


    • Thanks, Ulysses. Be careful with that. That kind of inappropriate laughter may be just fine at the Rehab Clinic or the adult bookstore, but it’s dreadfully out of place in a morturary.


  2. Oh shit! This may be the longest time I’ve ever spent with a single post. And that includes the ones that I actually write. It might be my OCD acting up but I just keep reading and rereading Mr. Thompson’s informations trying in vain to understand the logic which just can’t be found. Then I go back and reread it again either looking for his retarded logic or the retarded logic that he believes you would be retarded enough to believe. AND I JUST CAN’T FUCKING GRASP IT!

    As frustrating as this is to someone like me, it is twice as hilarious. If I’m still here when you go to bed, don’t worry I’ll turn out the lights and lock up.


    • It’s a conundrum alright. Who knows what goes thru the mind of a scam “artist” whose fractured-English boilerplate gets mass-mailed to 90% of the planet.

      It must be some sort of 5% return rate that keeps them motivated. Someone else must get these and say, “$145 for a shot at $780,000? I’d be a fool not to.”

      You can feel sorry for some scam victims, especially those who have been socially-engineered by someone with a little skill. But if you fall for this? I think you need to have your email privileges revoked and all your money given back to your parents for safekeeping, no matter what age you are. (Unless you’re Macauly Culkin. Then you’re doing at least as well with your money as they are.)

      Thanks for reading and re-reading, Scott. Great to see you.


  3. I am, at this particular moment, standing outside a Western Union with $145 in my hand and ready to send it to:
    Name:Mr Kingsley Enogun
    Address: Benin City, Edo State Nigeria.
    Text Question to be used: What’s your favorite custard?
    Text Answer: Cheese.
    . . . and am prepared to receive $780,000,00. Will that be in Euros, dollars, baht, chickens or dry goods?

    ps: CLT, could you send me one each elk hide? If you got one in paisley, that would be even better.


    • J5-

      The quickest and safest way to send $780,000 (especially with volatile chicken/baht exchange rates) is to not send it at all. Thanks for the $145, though. I’m putting myself thru VCR Repair school.

      Your elk hide is on the way. Unfortunately, it’s still attached to the elk. Do you have a good set of knives? If not, send $145 USD to Benin City, “Home of the Carbon Steel Blade.”


  4. CLT, this has to be your funniest and most ingenious post to date. If I were a decade or two younger, I would change careers, become a literary agent and hire you on the spot. I would not need any other clients to manage because we would both be filthy rich (from your publishing and my marketing). You would fire my ass in a year or two because you wouldn’t need my services anymore. I wouldn’t care because I would have derived great pleasure from launching your career, new clients would be beating down my door and I would be filthy rich from our one or two year association.

    With your gene pool, I hope you are procreating like crazy. The world could use a lot more little CLTs running around. (I’m restraining myself from blurting out something about ‘spreading your seed’…oops!)


    • I like the way you think, e3h. I’ve begun construction on a rudimentary time machine. It will probably need some sort of rare animal extract or dark matter to operate but I’m sure I’ve got both in the unfinished basement.

      Seriously though, thank you for the big hearted compliments. I just wish I could have strung “R. Thompson” along for a few more emails. Who knows where this might have ended up? (I had plans to tell him I was flying the money personally to Nigeria.)


  5. Question: What has two thumbs and has just posted one of the 10 funniest things I’ve ever read (or read in 2010, at least)?

    Answer: This guy!! (I’m pointing both thumbs outward, indicating you.)

    I apologize for my tardiness, CLT. I started to comment yesterday, but I was laughing so hard that the only words I could type were “moustachioed”, “elk hide” and “shiny rock”.

    Not that it matters, really. I mean, let’s face it; when you have someone like Mr. Thompson contributing to your blog, anything I write would just sound stupid anyway.

    All I can do is commend you, CLT. You accomplished more in three days than I could after a three month undercover sting operation.

    ps. I reserve the right to amend this lame-ass comment once my “Je ne sais quoi?” has returned…


    • *Correction- After reading this post yet again (what can I say, it’s a sickness), I realize the parenthesis in the above question should read: (Or read in 2010 as well as the second half of 2009, at least?)

      While I realize the grammar in the above phrase is comparable to something Mr. Thompson might write, I doubt he’ll bother suing me for plagiarism.

      From what I can tell, right now he’s too busy awaiting for you to contact him for the delivery of your check.


    • Thanks for the wonderful comment and its accompanying clarification. It’s well beyond what this post deserves, and truth be told, I’d have been thrilled with mustachioed elk hides and shiny rocks.

      I’m sure Mr. Thompson would have been pleased as well, as long as there was still some hope of prying that precious USD out of our mustachioed, shiny fingers.

      I’m not sure exactly what I accomplished other than proving that some scam artists are more obtuse than others. I don’t think he’s in any position to sue over any disregard of sentence structure or the English language in general. After all, he’s still short some cash.

      Thanks again, bschooled. It’s multiple comments like these that make it worth getting up in the morning and tangling with the contents of my spam box.


  6. Wonderful entertainment as always. I enjoyed being able to put a ‘face’ to the ‘name’ (so to speak) of Mr Richard Scam Ass Thompson.
    I cant keep pace with your hilarious post, and bschooled’s equally humorous comment, so I shall leave you with an understated Aussie “good on ya”!

    Btw, I got another song for you – “I’m getting high for Jesus cuz he got so low for me” by Holly Golightly….


    • Yes. Mr. Richard S.A. Thompson is now a “known quantity” in this neck of the woods, so to speak. Somehow I doubt I’ve heard the last of him, as new offers flood my spam filter daily, offering me a life I can’t imagine at low, low prices.

      I’ll take the Aussie praise and follow that up with some searching around the Net for the Holly Golightly track. Getting high on Jesus has always been one of my dreams, which I hope to pursue whenever I tire of getting high on life (aka, the ultimate gateway drug).

      Thanks for the visit and understated praise, Ruby. Always great to see you.


  7. [...] F. Lion Tamer: Relationship? Friend: Or How to Visit Nigeria on Less than $145 USD/Day and The History of Media – Visual Arts Edition Vol. [...]


  8. Now that was a good time! That was awesome!


    • Thanks, RR! It was nearly as much fun to write. Possibly more fun since I was in on the joke the whole time. I can only hope “Richard Thompson” has this exchange pinned on his cubicle wall down at Nigerian Scams, Inc. LLC.



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