July 25, 2005

Some version of a Cashiers Check scam?

This is a WTF e-mail I received today. It came addressed from Wood Powell through the mail-link from my website. Strange, eh? Copied and pasted here verbatim, and I'm including his name, e-mail and phone number as it was sent to me.
i am pastor wood, please i will like to engaged your services for mine family who will be coming to come and spend their two weeks vacation with me in ohio andi will need a PERSOANL CHEF to come and cook for them for two weeks Starting from 5th of september to 20th of september But right now i and mine son are not around now we are in norway for a vacation and we would be back to the country to the states before 5th of september . please if you are in ohio let me have your price for your services and add your transportation fares to it and alos if you are out of ohio pleaselet me know and let me have the state you will be coming from and also add the transportation fares to it concerning the hotel accomodation you will be staying with us so you don't have the problem of accomodation and also mine nanny will be coming all the way from west african because she went for an honeymoon with her new husband so on her way coming back to the states will be heading straight back to the house for the babysitting of mine son and also she will take care of mine member of mine family too cos i will be currently away for a business trip in norway and i will not be back until you finish your services . please let me have the price and the transportation fares to it to ohio and get back toi me with the full total you will be taking .
And mine means of payment is through a cashier check . .
please let me have your name and home addrress and cell number to send the check to you. And if you feel like you need to get some vital information from me please you can get me through mine THURAYA SATELITE CELL NUMBER which i am currently using in Norway and the number is 2348028549539. And i will be very glad to answer your call .
I know it's got to be a scam because its entirely too strange... and why the hell would I leave Los Angeles to cook for a family in Ohio? Isn't there anyone who would work as a "PERSOANL CHEF" in Ohio?

Last thing I ate or drank: those little Cri-Cri peanuts I mentioned in my chat with Wade

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12 comments:

  1. I think you're right it's a scam. Two other pieces of data: Thuraya is a satellite phone provider, which nobody would use in Norway which I'm sure has a wonderful cell phone network, and the 234 country code is Nigeria, which is famous for the 419 scam. It shows a bit of cleverness, though, to actually craft something approaching a personalized scam invitation.

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  2. Clue #1- Norwegians can actually spell.
    Clue #2- Cashiers check-yeah, the one that's made out for WAY TOO MUCH money, but as a favor to him, just send him the difference by Western Union. Total scam, you are far too busy, and way too smart to fall for that one!

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  3. Pretty interesting e-mail! Too weird!

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  4. Complete scam because yes, we have PERSOANL CHEFS in Ohio - not many but some.

    Just a note, that if it were real, you could totally stay with me. Because, you know, I am in Ohio.

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  5. Yes, I am a total stranger, so please send me your name and address and cell phone and let me fly you to Ohio so you can cook for me and stay with me and my family!

    Sheesh - points for creativity, I guess. Scam......

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  6. So glad I found this. I'm a guitar teacher living in LA and someone sent me an almost identical mail recently, requesting my services in Maryland, to "teaching mine little son".
    The whole thing was sooo tempting, because I was actually going to be on the East Caost where they said they wanted "mine services" (And yes, most Scandinavians have impeccable English, that was the first clue) Also I kept jacking up my fee to see how weird it would get, stopping somewhere in the region of $1000 a day plus expenses for 2 hours of work!! They still wanted to send the "check". Fortunately I never gave a name or address, but kept asking for a number. After 10 or so mails I got the same Thuraya number you have, googled it and eneded up on your site.
    The name used was Deborah Jones, by the way. We should find a way to warn other freelancers.

    Cheers and good luck with the cooking

    Axel S.

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  7. So glad I found this. I'm a guitar teacher living in LA and someone sent me an almost identical mail recently, requesting my services in Maryland, to "teaching mine little son".
    The whole thing was sooo tempting, because I was actually going to be on the East Caost where they said they wanted "mine services" (And yes, most Scandinavians have impeccable English, that was the first clue) Also I kept jacking up my fee to see how weird it would get, stopping somewhere in the region of $1000 a day plus expenses for 2 hours of work!! They still wanted to send the "check". Fortunately I never gave a name or address, but kept asking for a number. After 10 or so mails I got the same Thuraya number you have, googled it and eneded up on your site.
    The name used was Deborah Jones, by the way. We should find a way to warn other freelancers.

    Cheers and good luck with the cooking

    Axel S.

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  8. Well, everyone, I'm glad I posted this... I've gotten SO MANY people who've responded, both here and directly to my e-mail, telling me how they've googled the phone number (it shows up in my referrer stats a lot) and that it seemed pretty fishy. When they saw that they'd gotten an e-mail nearly exactly like mine, they were tipped off, too, that this was a scam.

    So this is my best way to warn other people that there is something screwy going on. How smart are you for finding this!? Post something on your blog, too!

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  9. I am a harpist in Austin and I received a phone message from a messaging company left by James Willy that left this same number. They wanted me to play at his 40th birthday party in Ohio, all expenses paid and no fee unreasonable. They also left a hotmail address. No information was requested. I thought people might want to know it is not only through email now.

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  10. Total scam. I received a similar email, only difference was that it was tailored for dog training (I'm a dog trainer).

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  11. Hello!
    I am so glad you posted this! I Googled the sat cell number and landed here.
    We train and sell police dogs and we received an identical email Nov 17, 2005, wanting our cell number etc., they did actually try to call, but we missed it and they didn't leave a message.Hmmm....
    Here is the email, it's a Yahoo address...

    Hello,
    This is Grunt April, please i will like to hire your services as a Dog trainer for mine son's Dog whom mine father have just given him as a birthday gift .We are located in Ohio(cincinnati).I want you to come for an OBEDIENCE AND BEHAVIOUR TRAINING for the dog
    Please the problem is that I and mine son are right now in Norway for a A month vacation .A 2 weeks training is required from you and the date for the training is from 15th of December to 30th of December. And we would like you to help us train the dog at your place.. Other trainers i saw are not suitable to mine own taste that is why i am contacting you for the services .Mine means of payment is through a a cashier check been sent to you for the payment for your services for the training . I will send the dog to you for the training for the 2weeks so that i can have mine driver sent it to you .Please let me know if this can be done .
    Please let me have the cost for the training of the dog with the cost of transportation added to it for 2 weeks and get back to me with your name and address and cell number so that i can have the payment sent to you as soon as possible .
    And you can reached me on mine THURAYA SATELITE CELL NUMBER which is +2348028549539 whihc i ia m currently using in Norway for now
    , for more information about the what you need to know

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  12. Here's the scam letter as it was personalized for my carpentry business. I'm continuing to correspond with this idiot to see how far I can string him along.

    "Hello.

    I am Mr Stephen Cole,Please i am very sorry for not getting
    back to
    you cos i want to let you know again that i cannot be ableto gain
    access
    to my email box again for the second time And i told you that i
    earlier
    on that i am a businessman and i lived in a 5 bedroom duplex with
    each
    rooms with a toilet and bathroom at (new york)and i am looking
    for an
    honest, responsible and dedicated Handyman to come and do general
    repairs
    at mine home.I and mine adorable 4 year old son (Richard Cole) with
    mine
    driver and a nanny lived together in the house. Because ever since his
    mother died i have been taking good care of him and also i am very
    busy
    person . In which i want to do general repairs and would require t
    you
    coming to mine house and i belived that you lived around .And if you
    are
    outside the state i would pay for your transportation fare to come
    for
    the job to mine house.

    The Handyman must be experience preferred. your state experience
    a
    plus. Must have excellent and checkable references.. Valid driver's
    license
    with an experienced record necessary.General Repairs include:
    upgrading of
    lights, ceiling fans,plumbing services, carpet clean, tiles
    cleaning,windon
    cleaning,services of airconditions,Water Heaters.

    And the date for the services commenced from 15th of august well
    i
    jsut wanna make you understand that i am not around for now cos i am
    still
    in norway for a business seminar. but mine driver and mine son would
    be
    returning back on the 15th of august back to the states cos they are
    on
    vacation in U K and they would be the one to attend to you when you
    come
    for the repairs. please i would be paying the sum of $500 for your
    work
    for just 5-7 hours on that day cos all the jobs must be completed
    on
    that same day and also i would be giving you $200 again for the
    materials
    to be used for the repairs and $50 for your pocket money total of
    $750
    would be send to you .please what you are just coming to do is just
    GENERAL SERVICES for me in mine home and not replacement of part
    cos i
    have already seen what is to be done just ordinary general
    services ok
    .Use of third car for personal use is allowed. Meanwhile i would be
    paying
    with a certified cashier check which would be send to you thru
    FEDEX
    COURIER or DHL COURIER SERVICES

    Get back to me with this information below :
    NAME :
    ADDRESS TO SEND THE PAYMENT TO YOU :
    CELL NUMBER .
    And also mine driver and mine son are on vacation in U K while mine
    nanny
    is on leave but by the time the repairs would be commenced they
    would be
    back to the state to meet you for the repairs to be done .
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    please send me an e-mail. I would have prefered you call me but i am
    not
    around now cos i am in norway for a business seminar in norway


    So get back to me soon (Note- I would like to talk to you on
    yahoo
    messenger so that we can chat and sort things out there please
    try and
    get in toruch with me now on the yahoo messenger which mine I D is
    (grunty077777777@hotmail.com or reach me on mine thuraya satelite cell
    number which is +2348028549539 for more information . so please try
    and
    let us chat there .talk to you soon )"

    ReplyDelete

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