Archive for the ‘Scam’ Category

The Fabulous 00s: The Rise of the Internet Chess Scam

November 15, 2007

The popularity of the World Wide Web has really brought the dregs of society into mainstream commerce. The scamster usually tries a preliminary email to gauge interest in ‘teaching a son’ or other relative for a set of lessons and wants the teacher to calculate an approximate fee for all the lessons.

The feeler email goes like this (note it passed the SpamAssassin spam filter software to get through to me):

Jeff Kenneth #1

From Jeff Kenneth
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.7-deb (2006-10-05)  

Subject: Lesson Teacher Needed.....   

Glad to tell you that,my son will be coming to the for
United State for holiday.Will be more than glad if you
can have private lessons with him everyday from
2pm-3pm or your suitable time(1 hour per day from
Monday-Friday for two weeks making a total of ten
lessons.If you can make it,kindly get back to me with
the cost of your teaching for two weeks in the dates
of January 30th-15th.He will be coming to your house
for 1 hour each day for two weeks.I have someone that
will always drive him down to your house His name
Sam,he is 13 years old. I will want you to calculate 1
hour per day from Monday-Friday for the whole 2 weeks
and get back to me.Looking forward to read from you.  

Best Regards  

Jeff Kenneth

OK. Time for some cat and mouse. I am not going to worry that time is flowing backward from January 30th to January 15th, nor will I worry about the ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ scenario that somehow deposits little Sam on my porch.I email him back instantly with a random figure, for example in this case I responded with “$317.75” with no other words in the email.
My subject line I just left as “Re: Lesson Teacher Needed…”
He very quickly responded, thinking he was now reeling in a fish:

Jeff Kenneth #2

The scamster now shifts into third gear with some complicated babble about a buddy who owes him more than he will owe me for the lessons, and tries to set up the preconditions for the well known grift where I am meant to pay some smaller amount of money because I am confident I am about to receive a larger amount of money. It’s actually a variant of the ever-popular ‘over-invoiced contract’ scam.
Let’s take a look at his second missive.

From: jeff kenneth
Subject: Payment Details Needed.....
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:29:13 PM  


Thanks very much for the mail.That is okay with me.
So for ten lessons ,it will be $315.
i am from the United Kingdom.
I hope i will be able to trust you with my money,
since this requires honesty and transparency.
I have an associate of mine owing me the sum of $2,980,
i will instruct him to write out the check to you,
so when you receive it you will have to deduct $315
the cost for ten lessons and send the remaining funds
to person who will be taking care of my son during his
staying in the United States.  

The remaining funds sent to him,will be for his feeding
and other commissions.  

So if this is understandable i will want you to get back to me
with the following informations of where the check
will be sent to.  

name in full
address in full
city state
zip code country
contact phone number  

Looking forward to read for you.

Analysis of Jeff Kenneth #2

Jeff Kenneth? Kenneth Jeff? Warren Jeffs? Read for you? And the feeding and other commissions sounds like he’s talking about a combination of a dog and a traveling salesman.

Hmmm. At any rate, this is getting very humorous. Note the ‘honesty and transparency’ part. Yes, I’m getting a good feeling. This is going to get good. Let’s string him along with another reply. Watch this blog space for how the Jeff Kenneth scam-drama plays out – how long we can mess with the scamster’s head before he freaks out and we lose a penpal.

Reply to Jeff Kenneth #2

Sounds good.  Calculate the British Pounds equivalent
of the balance due and forward it to your associate,
with a duplicate entry to my comptroller.

Analysis of my reply: note the critical confounding mention of another currency type and the use of the word ‘comptroller’. But there is the mention of money so hopefully he’ll keep going.Now all we can do is sit and wait and hope for a reply to my reply.Life is good.Update on December 10, 2007. I never received a reply to the above. Nevertheless, Jeff Kenneth resurfaces with a new proposition!


 Am Jeff Kenneth,my mum is from woolwich(uk) while my dad is from dalton
city (united state of america) my dad specialised on extraction of crude oil
and he do travelled worldwide for crude oil extraction . He has a project to
handle in Africa (Nigeria), so he have to travelled down to Africa to handle
the project .So he decided to travelled to Africa with my mum so on there
way to nigeria ,they involved in a plane crash ,that is how i lost my
parent.A month after i lost my parent i recieve a call from my late dad
attorney general ,that i have to travel down to Africa to handle the project
because its a project worths of Thirtyonemillionusd($31,000000 ). So i thank
God that i have safety travelling trip to africa to handle the project .but
i am looking for some one who will be trustworthy and faithful , who will
assist me in the management and handling of the project.pls i will really be
glad if you can assist me.At the conclusion of this project, you will b e
given 35% of 
 the total amount, 60% will be for me,while 5% will be for expenses both
parties might have incurred during the process of th project.I look forward
to your earliest reply so that i can tell you how you will take part in this
project.And also you should be aware that this project is 100%risk free and
its also involve legal act and practitional. 
 yours truly,  
Jeff Kenneth

I replied and once again asked him to convert everything into British Pounds.