scam

Playing with scammers, part II. I’d like my 5,125,000 euros in bitcoin please.

October 11, 2017 Incoherent ramblings No comments , , , ,

I posted some of my initial interactions with “Fred Gaston, Esq.”, a “lawyer” in need of some severe English literacy remediation.

Playing with internet scammers: 20.500.000.00 Euros

I still don’t have my 5,125,000 euros, but complicated the process by asking for my share in bitcoin, instead of just nicely giving him my banking information and the international swift codes for my bank so that he could “make a deposit” to my account.

Here’s some of the second round interactions.

Having not sent Mr. Gaston all the information he wanted, he’s nicely prompting me:

Hello Peeter Joot,
Your message was received and content well noted with .I therefore
look forward to hearing from you As soon as possible to enable us make
some progress.

Kindly please expedite action.My estimation of time for the completion
of this operation is 10 business days hence I need your total devotion
and trust for us to see this through quicky.

Thank you once again.

Your partner,
Fred Gaston, Esq.

so I feed him a bit of the info he’s asked for:

Since you asked, here is the address of one of my houses:
194 Roxborough Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1X8
Note that I don’t have multiple houses, and this house which listed a few years ago on the Toronto Real estate market for ~$20 million, is sadly not mine.  As I have had the good faith to send Mr. Gaston my address, he has now dispensed with his request for any identification, and has gone straight for the money shot, sending me his bank transfer form.  This was a bit disappointing since I wanted to send him an image of my 1st Dan WTF Black-Belt card, as “identification”.

Greetings Dear Peeter,
Having resolved to entrust this transaction into your hands,Please
copy the letter attached and fill in your bank account information
where the funds will be transferred to and then send the letter to the
bank by email to their email address as indicated to enable the bank
to begin to process the transfer of the funds to your bank
account.Please send this letter by email and then let me know.

Kind regards.
Your friend and partner,
Fred Gaston, Esq.

Here’s the attached letter for me to sign

 

Clearly, I’m not sending him the information that he needs to make an international withdrawal from my account.  Here’s a better option to “recieve my funds” :
Hi Fred,
I no longer use a bank for any of my financial matters, and have switched exclusively to bitcoin.  After I send you all my required documentation, please send my share of this large batch of Euros to my bitcoin address:
19Tht23MuaTc3YxzyX7DpogJd7BkzqVi4H
I know that there could be a currency loss on any given bitcoin transaction, but the amounts are so large that any approximation of my 40% share is acceptable to me.

His response is to gently prompt me to fill in the form anyways:

Dear friend and partner,
Please go ahead and send the application to the bank.Once the heritage
claim is approved by the bank we certainly can direct then on how to
recieve it.One step at a time.

Let me know as soon as you send the application to the bank and also
do send me the required documentation.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Your partner,
Fred Gaston,Esq.

So I have to explain what I mean:

I no longer use bank accounts, so cannot fill in your form.  The salary I take from the company I founded (GAEM), is entirely in bitcoin.
My company focuses on Geometric Algebra applications to electromagnetism.  Are you familiar with Geometric or Clifford algebras?  They are a very powerful mathematical tool.  Here’s a synopsis of the basic underlying concepts:
Geometric algebra is founded on the assumption that vectors can be multiplied, and that sums of scalars, vectors, and vector products, called multivectors, are well defined. Multivector addition and multiplication conforms to most of the rules that anybody would be expect of number like quantities, with a couple exceptions: order that multivectors are multiplied matters, and there is also no general multiplicative inverse. Multivector multiplication is also constrained by a rule that provides meaning for the square of a vector. The formal statement of the algebra is that of the multivector space.

Will Mr. Fred Gaston be a kindred mathematical cousin accross continents and be interested in my passion for electromagetism and geometric algebra?  Unfortunately not.  He ignores that part of my email and gives me a new form

Dear Peeter ,
It very much sound to me that you did not understand my previous
message to you.Go ahead and send the application to the bank.Once the
heritage
claim is approved by the bank we certainly can direct then on how to recieve it.

chech now i have simplify the application ,sent it in that format.

Let me know as soon as you send it.

Thank you.

Your partner,
Fred Gaston,Esq.

Here’s the new letter that he wants me to fill in

This new letter is somewhat mysterious to me, since I don’t see what he has to gain by having me fill this in?  Is this just to keep me hooked, and then he’ll ask for the bank info again, or is he switching to a different scam?  Google tells me that there is actually a Bank of Africa branch at this address, but I don’t see any financier.com domain, and ask him about that.

It looks like there’s a typo in the email address of your form, since financier.com does not appear to be valid.

In response he says:

Hello Peeter, Please check and make sure you actually copied the email address properly. (boa-bj@financier.com) Let me know when sent. Fred Gaston,Esq.

I’m able to send a test email to this email address, and it doesn’t bounce.  Later he prompts me, since I haven’t taken any action:

Good morning Peeter, Happy new week to you and hopefully you are in good health today?I have no further information from you and write to know if you where able to send the application. Expedient response please. Thank you. Fred Gaston, Esq.

This gives me a nice opening, since I have a cold:

Funny you should ask.  I’ve actually got a pretty unpleasant cold, a side effect of too much work while jet lagged.
How is your health?
But Mr. Gaston is strictly business, once again not willing to chit chat:
The “This message contains remote content”, with a virus-free link to click is an interesting twist.  In retrospect, I took a risk opening his “letter” or even the .jpgs that had his “identification”, since there was a chance that it could also have had a viral payload that my system could have been exploited with.
Having failed to get my bank info, I don’t actually know if Mr. Gaston is sophisticated enough to try to infect my computer, but I am left with the inclination to not play with him any further.

Playing with internet scammers: 20.500.000.00 Euros

October 5, 2017 Incoherent ramblings No comments ,

Since seeing a couple of James Veitch’s scam trolling videos:

I’ve been waiting for a chance to play too.  Well, I got my chance a few days ago, courtesy of FRED GASTON <barrfredgaston@yahoo.com>

Dear Peet
I am Barrister FRED GASTON, private attorney to Late Mr. Markus   Peet(My Late Client) a national of your country, who was a Gold Merchant Here in Republic Du Benin HattonAfrica.Herein after shall be Referred to as my client. On the 20th Of July 2011,My Client Lost His Life As A Result Of Brain Cancer,
As Confirmed By A Medical Specialist Who Was Taking Care Of His Illness For Over Six Months Before His Death.He did not marry and Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, but all efforts ¨proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet to locate any of his family’s members, Hence I have contacted you because you have the same family
last name with my client.
I want you to assist in Repatriating his fund valued  (20.500.000.00 Euro) Twenty million five hundred  thousand Europians Euro, left behind by my late client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable By The ” BANK” Here in Republic Du Benin where this huge amount were deposited. The Bank has issued me a notice to provide his relative or have the account confiscated, since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over four years now. For the fact that I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now.
I seek Your consent to present you as the rightful next of kin to my late client, since both of you have the same family last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you and then you and me can Share the money 60% for me and 40% to you. I have all important information and legal documents needed to back you up for the claim, all I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through, I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of  law.
Call me immediately you receive this mail on +229 68842298.  Also get back to me with the following  information’s for proper
Identification.
Your Full Name……………..
Your Address……………….
Your Age,………………….
Occupation and Position…..a……….,
Your Telephone Mobile………………
Your Fax…………
I await your Call and reply ASAP.
Best Regards,
Barrister FRED GASTON
MY PRIVATE EMAIL IS barrfredgaston@gmail.com
Well, I couldn’t resist:
Mr. Gaston,
As much as I’d like a big cut of those Euros, I’m not related to the late Mr Peet, as Peeter is my first name, not surname.
Peeter
I figured he’s just waiting for somebody to actually reply, and will interpret that as an opening to play his game, and I guessed right.  It didn’t take too long before I got his response, and as predicted he didn’t care that I’d disqualified myself in my reply:
Greetings Dear Peeter,
I am highly impressed with your immediate attention to my confidential business proposal to you.Very well,i want to assure you that by your cooperation that we can arrange the paper wsork of this claim without any flaws to have these heritage approved by the bank and the funds transfer in your name for our mutual benefit.I do not want the corrupt goverment Benin to take over these funds.
The requirements for us to succesfully claim out this fund is our presentation of all back up legal document here in your name as next of kin to these deposit so that the funds will be approved by the bank and transfererd to your bank account as the beneficiary.
Please note that this transaction is 100 percent risk free and failure proofed as all arrangement is going to be handle legally to protect you from any breach of law. To enable us proceed officially in this transaction please send to me your below personal information:
1,Your Full Names
2.Your Address
3.Copy Of Your Identification
4.Your Occupation
As soon as i recieved the above information from you i will draft an application of fund claim that you will tender to the bank here for their immediate approval of the claim.
Thank you and kind regards.
Fred Gaston, Esq.
Playing dumb, I queried the illogic of his response:
Hi Mr. Gaston,
I’m not sure I understand.  If I were to provide you with legal documentation, such as my passport for example, it would demonstrate that I’m not eligible for the inheritance.
Peeter
Here’s where it gets a bit fun.  To inspire confidence, he now supplies his “Identification” to me, along with the following response:
Hello Peeter
Do i understand from your mail that you do not have international passport or that you are afraid to provide it.
Listen dear friend,there is nothing to fear or worroied about,if there is any risk in this transaction i would not undertake it.I really need that you give me your personal informations so that i can know who i am dealing with not for any other reason.This is a transaction that involve a mangitutude amount ,i really have to knwow who i am dealing with.I quite hope you understand me.
Enclosed in is my proof of identification for your perusal.Please send to me the below so that we can proceed,
1,Your Full Names
2.Your Address
3.Copy Of Your Identification photo
4.Your Occupation
Thank you, Fred Gaston,Esq.
My response, which naturally didn’t include my passport (and I don’t have James’ photoshop skills) was just:

You already have my full names.  Unlike so many people, I have no middle name.  I don’t have a scanner with me to make a copy of my documentation.  That will have to wait until next week since I am currently travelling.

Peeter
I figure that this will be enough to keep him intrigued, but haven’t gotten a response yet.  The game is still on, stay tuned;)

Shipping with DHL. They will screw you, but not quite as bad as UPS.

August 27, 2016 Incoherent ramblings, Uncategorized No comments , , , , ,

I previously complained about UPS customs clearing charges that I was slammed with receiving back some of my own goods.

Basically, the Canadian government grants shipping companies the right to extort receivers at the point of customs clearing. Canada might add a few cents or a buck or two of tax, but the shipping company is then able to add fees that are orders of magnitude higher than the actual taxes.

I actually stopped buying anything from the United States because of this, and have been buying from Europe and India instead, where I had not yet gotten blasted with customs clearing fees for the items I’ve been buying (usually textbooks).

However, it appears that my luck has run out.  Here’s the newest example, with a $15 dollar clearing fee that DHL added onto about a dollar of tax:

IMG_20160827_095043195 (1)

Note that I did not pick the shipping company.  That was selected by the book seller (one of the abebooks.com resellers).

For $1.17 of taxes, DHL has charged me $14.75 of fees, all for the right to allow Canada revenue to steal from me.  To add insult to injury, DHL is allowed to charge GST for their extortion service, so I end up paying an additional $3.09 (close to 3x the initial tax amount).  The value of the book + shipping that I purchased was only $23.30!

Aside: Why is the GST on $14.75 that high?  I thought that’s a 13% tax, so shouldn’t it be $1.92?

I’ve found some instructions that explain some of the black magic required to do my own customs clearing:

One of the first steps is to find the CBSA office that I can submit such a clearing form to.  I can narrow that search down to province, but some of these offices are restricted to specific purposes, and it isn’t obvious which of these offices I should use.  For example the one at Buttonville airport appears to be restricted to handling just the cargo that arrives there.

I wonder if there are any local resellers that import used and cheap textbooks in higher quantities and then resell them locally (taking the customs clearing charge only once per shipment)?

Shipping with UPS from US to Canada. Prepare to be screwed.

May 3, 2015 Incoherent ramblings 4 comments , , ,

UPS has a nice little scam rigged up with COD fees for customs handling.  Check out this bill:

 

For reasons unknown, Canada customs decided that I should have to pay 11 cents on items I’d been sent after loaning them to a US resident.

Observe that because UPS paid that 11 cents fee at the border, they tacked on their own $30 brokerage fee (plus GST).

I can’t imagine that this is legal.  If it is legal, I’d recommend people boycott UPS as a shipping company when sending from the USA to Canada.  They basically have found a way to double charge for the package, once explicitly to the sender, and once to the receiver.  However, this isn’t the first time I’ve been charged handling fees of this sort.  I think the previous time it was FedEx, and they charged something like $15-$20 for paying a couple dollar customs fee.

If all the big shipping companies are playing this sort of dirty game, there are not many possibilities for boycotting them.  I’d not be surprised at all if somebody in Canada customs management is getting a kickback from UPS and friends to facilitate addition of trivial fees that these companies can use to justify their brokerage fees.