Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scam and Eggs


I got a scam email today, the kind that separates old ladies from their retirement money, and couldn't help but respond.  I love picking apart a sloppy narrative and am seriously amazed at how long I kept this fish on the line (he may be claiming the same about me).  
_________________________________________________

From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Awful Vacation!!...........Lana Winston-Cooks

Hi,

Just writing to let you know our trip to Manila,Philippine with my family has been a mess. We were having a great time until last night when we  got mugged and lost all my cash,credit card cellphone It has been a scary experience, I was hit at the back of my neck with a  club. Anyway...... I'm still alive and that's whats important. I'm financially strapped right now and need your help. I need  you to loan me some money, I'll refund it to you as soon as i arrive home.Write me back so i can tell you how to get it to me.

Thanks,
Lana

 
From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Awful Vacation!!...........Lana Winston-Cooks

Lana!

How awful!  I’m so sorry to hear about your experience in Manila.  How are you doing now?  Were you able to speak to the police? Did they catch the guy?  How many were there?  Did you have to go to the hospital?  

Please let me know how I can help.  I hope you have a safe place to stay in the meantime and are able to enjoy some of the local flair.

On the edge of my seat,

R


From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Awful Vacation!!...........Lana Winston-Cooks

I am delighted you replied back,this is all you need to get money to us,i was told western union is the fastest mean and easiest ways to transfer funds,so i will appreciate it if you can have it sent through western union to my information below.

Name: Lana Winston-Cooks
Location: 36D,Salcedo Street,Makati,Manila Philippines
Amount : ($2500)

Once the transfer is done please kindly get back to me with the payment information and also be prompt with your response course am writing from a local library 8 blocks away from the hotel where we lodged.

Thanks,
Lana

 
From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Maybe try Hawaii next time

Hi Lana,

Calm down, sweetie poo.  I will head to Western Union at lunch if I can but it may take me awhile as I have a spinning class and I really like the instructor.  Also was hoping to meditate, time permitting. 

I didn’t have any idea it would be so much money.  Does anyone else in your family have access to money or were you all clubbed on the back of the neck?  How many muggers were there?  Was your big father overcome by these Filipino muggers as well? I hope the rest of your family is doing okay and their necks are on the mend.  

I’m very concerned and will give you what I can.  Would $1000 do for today and maybe some more tomorrow?  I just want to make sure you are all safe.  

In the meantime, I will meditate on this (again, time permitting) and send positive thoughts your way.  Where exactly in Manila are you so that my happy energy may reach you and not a savage local? 

Also, didn’t you buy return tickets?  Can you all just go to the airport and come home?  I’m sure the airline has a record of your purchase.  I think you should just leave the Philippines behind and get home where it’s safe.  No muggings ever happen in this city.
 

Help is coming!  Are you able to call me to discuss?  Just call my work phone.

When will this nightmare end,

R

 
From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Let me know what is going on?

Let me know what is going on with the transfer course we have a limited time here, i'm freaked out here..

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Ain't nothin' goin' on but the rent


Lana,

Can you go back to your hotel and use internet there?  There must be some safe place in Manila or is the whole place in unrest?  Send me your phone number so I can call you.  They don’t track our phone records at work so I can call internationally as much as I please.  I just got off the phone with a friend in Madrid and think I wasted nearly $80 worth of talk time that will be billed to my work....and all we discussed was Dr. Who.  I'm such a stupid little thief.  Shhh.   

-R


From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Let me know what is going on?

I told you earlier that everything has been stolen off me including my cells so i can only access my email box.... i'm doing everything i can to work my way out of here peacefully.. i have checked with the consulate but there is nothing really working out, most important is i don't have enough money on please, please i need you to loan me some, i can pay you back in couple of days.

Thanks,
Lana

 
From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Holy Fucking Shitballs, Sucks for You!

Lana you silly tart,

The important thing is to stay calm.  Can you tell me if the cell phone, passports, money, etc. have all been stolen off your family as well?  Isn't your dad is a cop, I’m sure he knows what to do.  

Where are your parents now?  Please tell me the muggers did not rape anyone.  I hear rape is very common in Manila and when you leave your hotel, man or woman, you should just plan on being raped everywhere you go all the time.  Rape in the morning, rape in the evening, rape in the summertime.  So sorry to hear that muggings are just as bad.    

Were you able to go to any of the beaches?  I hear they are so beautiful and no one makes pork like the Filipinos do! How’s Susan doing?  Was she raped?

-R

 
From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Thanks for you willingness to help me out!!!

Thanks for you willingness to help me out of my predicament.. Am currently in a local library and it's about 5 mins walk to the Western Union outlet here in Manila.. As soon as the money is wire to my name and current location, please get back to me with the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and other information needed to enable me pickup the funds at the western union outlet.

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: No need to shout!!!


Hi Lana Turner,

I’m going to skip lunchtime meditation but I cannot miss my spin class.  Can you tell me, is $1000 enough to get you through the day, maybe buy yourself some noodles and a sarong until the money can come through?

Finally saw Star Trek.  There were lots of parts in the story that were gratuitous.  Is it playing in Manila yet?  I bet if you saw Chris Pine your spirits would be lifted.   Mine were.  [=0-)

-R


From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?

Sent out emails but no response yet...Let me know as soon as you heading out to western union..Will definitely refund it as soon as i get back.

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: please help me out of the bathroom

Lana is short for Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaana,

Have you emailed anyone else for help?  If so, who?  

Why aren’t you answering my questions?  I’m hanging by a thread here and am so scared for you and your safety. 

What do you need the money for exactly?  Your plane tickets are paid for and your hotel…oh NO!  You didn’t open the mini fridge I hope.  Those things are a total scam.  Please don’t get scammed, Sweetie Shart.  I’m doing the best that I can with the limited information I have.

-R


From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?

Thank you so much for response,I just got some money from a friend so all I need now is $1000 to addup and settle the rest of the hotel bills.... 

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Don't get raped

Lana,

That’s wonderful news and such a coincidence!!!  You have such generous friends, never suspicious of any malicious intentions on your part.  I will wire $1000 to you in a few hours.  Do you need any more money than that?  How much is a movie ticket to Star Trek?

I sold a doll from my collection on eBay and the earnings from that will be deposited into my bank account soon.  Perhaps I can send that money to you too (though it may be a few more days).  A little secret: the doll I sold was in terrible condition (eyes wouldn't blink open, hair matted, etc.), no value at all.  I feel like I scammed some lady who ended up paying $945 for one Madam Perfect doll!  Can you believe that?  Some people are so dumb and will put their money anywhere! 

Were you able to talk to the hotel?  They must have your credit card information on file.  Doesn't every hotel take down your credit card number when you check in?  Couldn’t they just charge your credit card the outstanding balance?

Madam Worried,



From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?

I really appreciate your concern, I will let you know if i will need more but just need to pay for the hotel manager. thanks for for concern. 

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: please help me out?

Lana,

I’m confused, are you buying a hotel manager, like, as a souvenir?  Hahaha!  Those Philippines have everything!  Could you pick me up a purse made of an iguana foot?  I need something for my snuff.  (Just trying to lift your spirits.)

What is the name of your hotel?  I would like to call and provide them my credit card information to settle your bill.  That way you don’t have to wait for my wire this afternoon.  It might save you some trouble in the end and I don’t want to cause you more stress, Pumpkin.  

When you get back you can just pay me when you can…or work it off.  I have some siding on my home that needs repair.  Lots of pigeon shit on it.  Maybe you can pull some weeds.  I could pay you hourly if you like.  We can agree on a fair price.  I wouldn't want to cheat you.

-R

 
From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?

Please, the best way is to get the nearest western union around you, the hotel don't accept credit card. Please just try to help me out as soon as possible, I'm using local library. when I come we will discuss better.

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: I had a breakfast burrito for, guess what?--BREAKFAST!!!

Hi Lana,

Don’t be silly, Muffintop.  Are you staying in a yurt?  What hotel doesn’t accept credit cards?  Perhaps you were clubbed on the back of the neck a little too hard.  (I’m sorry, I hope that sounded more funny than awful.) 

Does the hotel have a phone?  Two coconuts linked by a string at least?  Tell me the phone number and I’ll see if I can’t talk some sense into this heartless manager.  I just want you home and in my tiny arms!

-R


From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?

The western union is the best for me to get the money, calling the manager or not can't solve the issue. just stop asking questions, don't have much time here... Don't just want to be a mess. please make it snappy.

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: please help me out?

Hello Lana,

Am I asking too many questions?  If so, how many?  And why?  Where, too?  I just want to make sure I’m being as helpful as possible.  Can you at least tell me how much longer you’ll be at the library?  It seems like you’ve been there all morning.  Don’t the homeless people need to get online?...Or is it not like here?

Have you seen a recent picture of my cat? 

-R














From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: RE: please help me out?

I will leave the library any moment from now. As soon as the money  is done, email me the WU transfer details. Hope to read from you soon.

Thanks,
Lana


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Snappy

Lana, my snappy little dresser,

I will email you the WU transfer details as soon as I have them, just a few hours from now.  Sorry I can’t be more snappy.  Just have some sisig and sit tight.  Help is coming your way. 

I worry that you may not get my email if you leave the library.  Any chance you can come back to check your inbox later?  A computer may be occupied by another mugging or rape victim trying to extort get money from their family and friends.  Is it possible that I leave the transfer details with the hotel manager in case you don’t have access to a computer? 

Oh, the new David Sedaris book came out recently and you MUST read it.  Get it before you leave the library.  The kookaburra chapter is an absolute squeal!! 

Just send me the hotel phone number and I’ll take care of the rest.  I think that is the best solution for now. 

-R


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: I think you should know that I finally got rid of the clap

My darling chipmunk,

Are you there?  I just got back from spinning and have never sweat so much. The instructor 
was playing that bawdy Taylor Swift. Like that is supposed to motivate us.

I wanted to let you know that I'm showered and am in my car heading downtown to find the Western Union. I've never wired money before. Are you sure all I need is your name and location? How will you retrieve the money if your ID was stolen? 

Based on what you told me (clubbed in the neck...yee--owe!) the Philippines do not sound very honorable and thus the WU workers will probably not believe you if you were to walk up and say, "Hello, I'm Lana Winston-Cooks. I swear it. Now give me my money." If that were the case, any two-bit Filipino or Nigerian thief could make a killing off the generosity of old ladies and those with old lady-like naivete. 

Still, I'll wire the money and hope for the best. Anything to help out my little sugar plum. Please email when you can to let me know you got this.

-R

Sent from my iPhone


From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: please help me out?


Hello Lana,

I went to WU and they were closed!  I’m so heartbroken.  I had to come back to work.  Any chance you can get by until tomorrow with the money your friend sent you?  I will go back in the morning and try again, likely another branch.  Have a safe night.

When are you coming home?

-R

From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?


Thanks for your effort over helping my plight and i am very sorry for inconvinient i might have cause you with my request but i will be more delighted if you can help me transfer the fund first thing tomorrow morning.                                                                                                                            
From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Help you out of what exactly?


Sweet Lana,

Of course, I wouldn’t want to be in your predicament either.  Alone with your family in a strange country AND clubbed over the neck!  Not even money for a pig hoof and rice bowl (isn’t that what those barbarians eat over there?).  I would feel so scared if someone had taken advantage of me in the way you have been.  Americans can be so stupid in other countries.  We don’t give nearly enough credit to foreigners who just seem to one step ahead of us, preying on our good nature and pure hearts.

Are you back at the library?  It must stay open so late there!  Maybe you and your family can hide somewhere in the stacks and keep safe until morning.  See if they have the current issue of Food and Wine magazine.  There were some great tips on BBQing.   Summer’s just around the corner you know! 

I’m about to leave work and probably won’t be online until tomorrow.  I need to catch up on Pretty Little Liars. 

Are you able to stay in the hotel tonight?  How is your family doing?  Necks feeling better?  I imagine you barefoot and disheveled, stumbling through the streets of Manila with no where to go except for the hotel that you have been staying in this whole time and seems to be keeping you captive because of an outstanding balance.  Is it possible that you just slip out?  Go straight to the airport and come home?

If the hotel doesn’t have your credit card on file, how will they track you down?  Call it payback for Manila bending you over and Tagalog-ing you in the ass. 

I’ll go to WU first thing in the morning.  Sleep tight my sour tulip!

-R

From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?


Sorry for the late replied,please i just got your mail.......Hope you are good, i want you to know that am still waiting to hear from you if you have help me to wire the cash through WU? Kindly get back to me with the MTCN Number as soon as it has been done thanks.

Thanks,
Lana

From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: No worries, I know how hard it is to be mugged
 

Good morning my little rug burn,

It's so early here and I'm happy to have gotten your email. How was your evening?  Were you able to sleep? Did the hotel manager let you stay overnight or were you on the streets with the Filipino dingos? How's that neck doing? I bet it smarts something awful. I wish you could answer just one of my questions as I'm hanging on a string here, terrified for your well being, and you are only talking to me about getting money.  Talk about a one-track mind.

Listen mon cheri, I UNDERSTAND MY ASSIGNMENT: get you money and get you money now. I'm trying my best but WU doesn't open for a few hours and I have to go jogging this morning. I'll head over as soon as I can.  Cross my shart and hope to cry.

Something so funny happened last night...I was raped! Kidding!!! That hardly ever happens anymore.  Seriously though, I was clubbed in the back of the neck with a marinated pork loin!!  Kidding again!! Are you laughing yet? I hope I can bring you a little smile while you wait for my hard earned money to come your way. (Only a little while longer).

Are you back at the library? How early do they open?  Do those Filipino cavemen even know how to read? (Sorry, that was out of line.). Also, just curious, why was your hotel bill so expensive? Who all in your family is staying with you?

Remind me not to stay at that hotel next time I'm in Manila for the Neck-Clubbing Olympiad--no Internet, no phone, no record of your credit card, and crazy expensive to boot! You should give them a seething Yelp review when you get back. When do you get back BTW? Do you need a ride from the airport? Send me the flight information and I will be waiting (need to clean the Fish Fillet wrappers from my back seat first).

I'm thinking of you my little deep-throater.   Please take care of yourself until I can get to WU. I'm so happy to help out someone so very close to me and for whom I didn't even know had booked a trip to Manila! (Did you ever think to ask if I wanted to go?)

How much are T-shirts? I might wire a little extra if you could be so kind (hint hint). I'm a Manila child's medium.

You're the greatest!

-R

Sent from my iPhone


 
From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject: Calmate' Puta


Hello Lana,

Heading to WU right now to wire money. I'll email you with that number thing as soon as I can. Will you have access to an email or still wandering the streets of Manila, head dangling like a wilting peony that's been clubbed on the neck?

All my best,

R

Sent from my iPhone

From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: please help me out?


Keep me posted!

From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject:  Some people say Post-it Notes make them SNAPPY


Lana, you stank ass-salad,

Wonderful news!  I just ran 5 miles and did it under three hours!  I’m so proud of myself and just had a strawberry milkshake and nine bear claws as a reward.  The other wonderful news, I wired your money!  Go pick it up, quick!  Unfortunately, I put the receipt with the MTCN on it in my gym bag and because I had major swamp ass after my run (so so sorry, I know that’s TMI and probably hurts your neck reading it now), the numbers have blurred together. 

I am headed back to WU now to see if they can decipher the tracking code, though it is getting hard to keep leaving work.  I told my boss I had another OB-GYN appointment and I think he’s starting to get suspicious.  I mean, that’s three OB-GYN appointments in two days and I’m not even a woman!  (You do the math.)  At any rate, I will email you as soon as I can.  You may want to head over to the WU now and show them your ID.  See if that works. 

Oh, I should have asked, do you need more money?  I’ve only sent $1000 but can send more if you need.  I’m so deeply concerned about you and the thought of you and your family being overcome by club-wielding Filipinos haunts my dreams and makes me want to vurp bear claw.

Peace be with you!  (And also with you!)

R

From: Lana Winston-Cooks
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Ryan Jones
Subject: Let me know what is going on with the transfer????


Let me know what is going on with the transfer course we have a limited time here, i'm
freaked out here..

Thanks,
Lana

From: Ryan Jones
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To: Lana Winston-Cooks
Subject:  Stop repeating yourself!! Stop repeating yourself!!


Hello my cleft-lipped miracle,

This is the exact same email, same misspellings and poor English, that you sent me yesterday.  Did you also have a stroke or is this just residual damage from being clubbed on the neck by a herring (or whatever they used)?

I think I can make out the numbers.  Here goes.  Are you ready?  The numbers are…

 

a-choo, a-choo, a-choo!—

Sorry, I had to sneeze. Someone is microwaving peppers up in here.

The money transfer control number is: 9871282082…at least I think that’s what it is.  There’s a big Gatorade stain on the receipt.  Give it a try and let me know if you can get the money that I worked so very hard for.  No matter that you’ve given me no details of your attack.  Which reminds me, I may have to charge interest on this loan, 75% for each day it is not paid back.  Hopefully that will get you back to the states faster than a Filipino can kill your dog and caramelize its meat for lumpia. 

I’ll still head to WU to make sure all money has gone through according to your well-crafted plan. 

Be safe my darling picked douche bag,

-R


--no further exchanges--   

11 comments:

  1. I have to admit, I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed the Scam and Eggs exchange and look forward to your future emails/stories/experiences.

    Your newest fan,

    Robin (Elida's co-worker, I mean co-hort and friend)

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  2. Awe, Robin, that's so sweet. I'm glad you enjoyed.

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  3. Rye, i am robins husband and just read this... it is so frigging funny keep up the good work, looking forward to more articles

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  4. "Does the hotel have a phone? Two coconuts linked by a string at least?" Fantastic.

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  5. I needed this. I did not know how much. You are my hero.

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  6. HAHAHAHA. You used google's top hit for WD scam number.. that's great!!

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  7. Flailing around, hitting things...

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  8. LOL at...pretty much everything, actually. But caramelized dog lumpia especially

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  9. Just read it again and the kids say they have NEVER seen me laugh this hard before. It's true. I was wheezing.

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  10. That was hilarious. Was laughing out loud for most of it. Can't believe how long they kept coming back.

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  11. Ironically, I am headed to Manila Thursday. I shall email you once I am clubbed, or duped by a stripper at Big Poppa. This thread is fucking genius!

    Oh also, please fucking marry me.

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