A pile of scam

Some time ago I got that email.

FROM: Francisco May
TO: Tasos
SUBJECT: Re: i await your urgent respond

Hi Tasos,

Compliment of the day, am happy to hear from you again, I am Ms. May Ann Francisco, a staff of the PNB — Philippine National Bank — Pasay City. here in the Philippines. I have a project for you, Is it confidential to discuss here? Well, my percentage is good for an offer but before I begin with you, are you comfortable being an international partner to a project?.

I will await for your response before I give you more vital details on this project. Your response to my email will be kept confidential.

Regards,
Ms. May Ann Francisco

May Ann knows my name and somehow it’ s not our first dance. Probably this is a legit offer but it would be wise to investigate. I am intrigued so I respond.

FROM: Tasos
TO: Francisco May
SUBJECT: Re: i await your urgent respond

Hi there May,

Being an international partner to a project is a lifelong dream of mine. As long as it is legal I am all for it!

Please tell me more and what I have to do. Note that I can’t visit Pasay City for now so all our communications must be done through here.

Best regards,
Tasos Sangiotis

Here I have to mention that May has quite the email ettique. You know the guy in the open-source project mailing list who manages to completely ignore the reply button? Despite my best efforts to make our communications resemble 21st century civilised human interaction, May insisted on branching out onto new email threads so I let her be.

She asked that her information will remain private so please if you know her don’t tell her about what I just did. In the next email which was of course on a new thread she told me her plan. Someone who recently died, had around $16 milion in her bank and if I said I was a relative of the deceased I would be able to inherit all that. Of course after I inherit it, I will give May 60% of the sum but still I would end up with a lot of money.

May sent me many of her official documents in the span of our correspondence. I think she should just post them on instagram and get done with it.

As you notice, this is a one time opportunity. How can this be a scam email? Why did this even crossed my mind? May is a hard working mother I am sure. Also I always wanted to have a remote relative so I replied.

FROM: Tasos

No need to worry May, never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.

I would very much like to help you with that feat and it is very kind of you to offer me this opportunity. I understand that everything here is according to the law.

For such money I am willing to go on and change my name. Should I go for that? It may be easier to convince your company. Just give me the diseased’ s name and I will come up with something to live the rest of my life by.

I am eagerly awaiting for you response.
Tasos

To be fair I drew some insparation from Jame’s Veitch spam email series. I am not THAT original but I recon I fared ok for a one time thing. In most emails I thought I got too far with my excitement (see the rick rolling in the previous email) but you either do something all in or don’t do it at all. 

May sure did it all in because these emails are huge. I probably have not read the big ones in full.

In any case the next requirement for May was that I can transfer large funds. If I had any experience with it the better. Also some paperwork was needed for a lawyer to make the Next of Kin for the deceased.

You see May still tries to gain my trust. She always tries to pro-actively calm me down by telling me that all is legal and that we will be rich. There is no reason for that May. I trust you completely. She said that I don’t need to travel to her side of the earth which got me a little sad but not so much that I couldn’t reply to May my golden nugget.

FROM: Tasos

Don’t worry, this is not my first rodeo Ann May Donna Francisco (i like your middle name, do you watch Suits?). I am fully committed and ready to make this to the end.

I would like to celebrate this collaboration by meeting you and the attorney in person after all is finished. I always wanted to visit Hong Kong, so let’s do it there in 16 days when the transaction will be over and the three of us will be richer.

Also can we get clear about the percentages?

is it 60% for me and 40% for you with the attorney getting nothing or is it the other way around?

P.S. what do you think about the name change idea?

Yours,
Tasos

At this point I knew that she can go with whatever I go. I think she punishes me with longform email and branching threads but this is so worth it.

So she said I don’t need to change my name. This may compromise the procedure. What I have to do is tell her about my occupation and send her a copy of my official ID.

Here comes the funniest email in this conversation where I spit out a ton of data to poor but soon to be rich May:

FROM: Tasos

I am a professional exotic animal hunter so money is not an issue but I could always use more.

As I am on an exhibition, I dont have my id on me but you can find attached a handwritten copy with all the data you need.

What are you going to do with your 60%?

Regards,
Tasos

Attachments:

I thought I did poorly on providing the information that May needed. It crossed my mind that she may have lost trust in me but for all the wrong reasons. Even though I was anxious, I waited.

Strangely enough here comes May.

FROM: Francisco May

Dear Tasos ,

I have gotten your information and you are still required to send me the scan copy of your ID once you are done from the exhibition.

[various transaction information]

however you will be required to handle the expenses on your side, such as the cost of opening your account and having it activated with an opening balance. Actually for a person of your age and status I expect you to handle this issue of processing your account. …

Sincerely,
Ms. Daiyu Huan

To which I replied:

FROM: Tasos

That’s understandable May but wait a minute… Who is Daiyu Huan? Is there another person involved here?
I thought it was the three of us. May, me and the lawer. That doesn’t look good.

May did not loose time and came back to comfort me.

FROM: Francisco May

Dear Tasos,
Sorry for the signature, she is not involve, am not very good in typing email fast so my daughter helped me in typing this email because I need to send it fast to you so we can complete the deal on time.

Kindly get back to me on my recent email to you and let me know your taught so we can proceed with this project.

Regards,
Ms. May Ann Francisco

All was ok but I was concerned about the economics of the transaction. The mistake that May did was understandable but with so many people knowing I was concerned. The thing that baffled me the most was the high risk I was taking posing as someone’s next of kin. May could throw me under the bus anytime despite the good will she had demonstrated till that point. Long story sort, I started negotiating so I can secure myself and maybe get some more.

FROM: Tasos

Oh, ok then. Please understand that with this kind of money one can’t be too careful. If I am confident she is trustworthy but maybe we should cut her in in our deal. I propose we each give her 5% of our cut.

So the final percentage rundown is:
May: 55%
Tasos: 35%
Daiyu: 10%
Lawer: ?%

Seeing that in written form I think I am getting too little for the risk. Hold on as I get my assistant to run the numbers to see if there is something we can do that is more fair.

Regards, 
Tasos

And a couple of hours later the analysis from my assistant was on it’s way.

FROM: Tasos

Hello again May,

Find attached the proposed percentages.

Regards,
Tasos

Attachments:

May completely ignored my hard work crunching down the numbers and urged me to contact some bank. At least now I have two relatives in other countries as May ended her last email with:

FROM: Francisco May

[contact bank details]

… from now I will call you my Brother so we understand that both our trust in each other is that of blood brother and sister.

Yours Sister,
Ms. May Ann Francisco

Ok, that was kind of extreme May but I’ll let it slide. Now what about my money?

FROM: Tasos

I will do as you say sister.

May we live long and prosper.

But please tell me, did you have a look at the percentages I sent you?

As you see, to win at this game one must be blunt.

FROM: Francisco May
Dear brother,

Thank you for your email response. Yes I did, but we are going to work with my previous proported percentage plan as we do not need to make any adjustment to it, We both are only involve in this deal and I will settle the attorney once this deal is completed and that should not be a problem to you at this time.

[contactbankcontactbankcontactbank rant]

Your sister
Ms. May Ann Francisco

Ok, maybe I was not blunt enough but I was getting kind of bored because May was not fun. She was too goal oriented in my opinion but I got to give it to her. She was persistent.

FROM: Francisco May

Dear brother, did you contact the bank yet? Please get back to me as soon as possible.

Your sister,
Ms. May Ann Francisco

Fine, I will give her a chance.

FROM: Tasos

Not yet sister. I was traveling and could not do that.

I caught a very large tiger.

Is everything OK with the bank? You sound concerned. Is it a “did I make it before you contact them because there is something wrong” or is it a “ have you contact them already because we are on a rush”?

Please tell me which one of this is it.

How is your daughter (my niece) by the way?

Tasos

But me being smug did not make May more interesting.

FROM: Francisco May

Dear Tasos,

Thanks for your email. I just wanted us to complete this transaction within a short because of the sources of this funds. My daughter is doing fine.

Kindly do your best to make sure the offshore online is completed as soon as possible.

Your sister,
Ms. May Ann Francisco

Dude, I caught a tiger! This is the part where you say well fuckin’ done!

It was clear that this conversation will go no further.

ok sister, i wll do that soon

Farewell May Ann Francisco!

Disclosure:

These emails were true and most of the time get caught up in spam filters. To most of the readers of this page, an email like this is a red flag but there are still people who fall for this and they can loose money.

If you get one of these there is nothing wrong with having some fun. If you are not that lucky, here is where you can do some spamming of your own:

Here is May’s email. She seems like a lovely woman:

[email protected]

And here is the contact information she gave me for the bank:

Santander Bank Plc,
Address: 61, The Queens way TW9 1BP, London, England, United Kingdom 
E-mail:  [email protected]
Phone: +44 745 224 6449
Fax:  +44 704 576 5582
Contact Person:  Mr.  Charles Frankfurt (General Director of Operations) Head of Private & Business Clients

If you feel like it start a conversation with them and be original. You may help someone or have a couple of laughs.

EDIT: After this post, someone pointed me to 419Eater. It is an effort where people commit to wasting the scammer’s time by pretending to fall for their scams. If you want some more action, go there