I might not be materially better off today, but I've learned a lot in the last week and have the makings of a good thriller where the hunted chases the hunter. Shades of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in there I think.
Although I didn't realize it, I was participating in a new sport called 'Scam baiting'. As a player, your mission is to waste as much of the scammers time and resources as you can by stringing him along for as long as possible. The fun is is playing around with the minds of deserving thieves.The object of your mission - to aggravate and humiliate scammers worldwide and to keep them away from potential victims. In fact, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Oh dear, I've just split an infinitive!
Some bounty-hunters don't wait for the scam email to drop into their in-box but set themselves up for what is known as the 'advance fee fraud' or '419
Fraud' named after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code. Only advanced or experienced players should attempt this. In fact the game shouldn't be played at all by anyone who thinks they may be susceptible to the plausibly of these fraudsters. The death certificate above shows to what extent these people will go to, to convince you their fraud is real. Also, this particular scam,- where my so caller attorney Thomas Huberts presents me to the United Bank of Africa as a false claimant is quite clever. Had I sent the bogus fees, I wouldn't have been able to complain to the authorities when I lost my money, for I too would have intended to defraud. Nifty huh?
There are websites such as Mac's Bait Store and 419eaters, to help you with putting together bogus bank details etc to send when they are requested. One player actually banks with Plunder and Flee Incorporated. Sounds like quite a respectable bank in this day and age. I claimed to be with The Royal Bank of Scotland but my scammer wouldn't accept the money without a guarantee.
Thomas Huberts, respected Rupublic of Benin Attorney, also appears to be the Reverend Jimmy Huberts and seems to prefer women as his potential victims. He does have some morals though in that he detests the practices of his fellow scammers. In an email to one of the game's heroines Miss Young http:/419.bittenus.com he states:
'But God will surely judge all of them who live by cheating. My bible tells me that what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul..'
Maybe I will send my scammer something after all - a tin of Brasso to polish his neck.
Well, must get on with the bread and butter writing, this index for 'Scotland's Hidden Harlot's and Heroine's' due out with Pen and Sword 1st March, won't write itself. I'm up to the chapter where a wife is being sold by auction at the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, she's received bids from a drunken cobbler and a pensioner but eventually she is sold for… maybe shouldn't give to much away. So, the only way to get ahead is to get started.