Monday, November 2, 2009

Silly hackers

Just got a message from an old friend on Facebook chat. Well, I say old friend because the last time we actually talked was probably in high school... and "friend" might be a little strong. I mean, I wouldn't punch him in the face if I saw him on the street, but I probably wouldn't invite him to my son's bar mitzvah, either. Anyway... I got no problem with this guy, but also no reason to believe that it was actually him messaging me. I vaguely remembered reading online about these things called Nigerian 419 scams, which are happening on facebook now.

Well, it turns out that like the first half of the conversation is no longer showing up in the chat screen. That blows. But allow me to summarize, at least from Mr. Haxxor's point of view:

Dude, please come online and help! I'm stuck in London! I got robbed at gunpoint! They took my phone! I injured my leg! I have a plane ticket home but I need $900 for my hotel and cab fare! Can you please Western Union me the money?!

Me: mostly stalling and making ridiculous observations about how hard this situation sucks for him. Finally I give in... which leads to "searching for WU locations," and this:

well, sorta. i think all the locations are actual banks, which are closed right now

i'm still looking. hang on man

7:37pmsilly hacker



dude, the closest place is like 20 miles from here

7:39pmsilly hacker



but I gotta take a bus to get there

it might be... an hour? can you wait that long?

7:40pmsilly hacker


30 Leicester Square.
City, London
United Kingdom. WC2H 7LA

Name:Eric redacted

Allow me to interject here and draw your attention to how instantaneously he got this address in there. I mean, it followed about 3 seconds behind the "ok." Cut and pastey, time no wastey.


and what's your full name? i don't even remember your middle name man. sorry... that's kinda jacked up, but i wanna make sure you can get the money when it gets there

7:41pmsilly hacker

that's all the info you need

Gettin a bit snippy, aren't we? I mean, I am sending you almost a thousand dollars, here... jeez!


oh... if you're sure. will they give me a confirmation number or something to make sure it goes through? sorry, i've never used western union before

7:43pmsilly hacker

you will be given a confirmation number(MTCN#)

all i need is the senders name,and confirmation number to get the money.


ok, well you got my name. i'll let you know the confirmation number when i get it. will you still be online when i get there?

7:45pmsilly hacker



or hell... you got a phone number where i can call you?

7:46pmsilly hacker


Ah, come on! It was worth a shot, right?


that'll be faster than waiting for me to go and come back


no public phone, hotel phone, something?

7:47pmsilly hacker
u can send me a mail ( +447024074948

that's the hotel number.

got it?

This is, I'm almost certain, not his real email address. I actually have no idea... but when I looked at his facebook profile page, this address wasn't actually typed in, if that makes sense. Instead, someone had posted an image file with this email address written on it. Sneaky sneaky, little hacker. Also, the UK apparently doesn't do reverse directory, and I don't really feel like calling this number from my cell phone. If anybody wants to skype it and get back to me, I'd love to know who picks up the phone.


yeah, i got it. alright man.. give me like an hour. i'll call you when i get it all worked out, cool?

7:49pmsilly hacker




any time...i mean, this must have been terrible for you

7:53pmsilly hacker

are you gone?


not yet. just getting better directions on how to get to this place

7:55pmsilly hacker



what's up?

8:00pmsilly hacker

you can send me the western union details to my mail.(

I'll be waiting.

8:02pmsilly hacker

have you gotten a better description?

u still there?


yeah, i think so

where is the money being sent again?

i need to write that down

8:04pmsilly hacker


30 Leicester Square.
City, London
United Kingdom. WC2H 7LA

got it?


what's the name of the place?

is it a bank, or ...?

8:06pmsilly hacker

it's a western union outlet nearby.

please you need to get going.

Haha. So far as I can tell, there is no Western Union outlet nearby. Also, are we really trying to send $900 "nearby"?! Don't you want it sent to exactly the right place? I don't have the most sophisticated software on the planet, but google (who very well might have the most sophisticated software on the planet... who knows?) came up with nothing for this address and Western Union. Or banks.


ok, i'm leaving now man. just hang tight

8:07pmsilly hacker


I'll be waiting.


yep, you will. got no other choice, huh? haha

8:42pmEric is offline.

So I figured that was the end of it, but wait! While I'm gone to Western Union (which will take an hour, one way, on the bus, mind you) he comes back! I didn't answer, of course. Didn't want to ruin the illusion, but anyway, this happened:

Eric is online.
9:10pmsilly hacker

u there?

9:12pmsilly hacker

Sean are you there?

9:16pmEric is offline.

Any quick thinkers got any other ways for me to screw with this guy? I kinda figured if he thought he was getting paid and I wasted some of his time, I could keep him from targeting other people for a bit until hopefully Eric or his wife wake up and realize what's going on. Your advice is appreciated! I'll update if I have the pleasure of chatting further with this wanker.

Get it? Wanker? Cause he's in jolly old England... haha. Anyway, that was my entertainment for the evening.


emily said...

update? additional shenanigans? hate mail?

jacksonbaby said...

Oh man! That is hilarious! I can't think of a single person from high school that I would send money to. Especially not after a short convo on facebook. Crazy hackers!

:::lea::: said...

I just got an email with the same story and phone number from a girl that belonged in a Yahoo group with me. pffft yea like I'll be sending some money LOL not.
I googled the phone number and it brought me to your blog. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

does her name start with a "v"?

The Dude said...

I just got the same phone number/e-mail scam from a very good freind's email address. I did the same as lea and it brought me to your blog. Thanks Sean for posting on this. Not that I would've sent the money, at least I know my freind isn't in trouble.

Carol said...

I just got hacked today... every single person I ever sent an email to from my gmail account got this same scam. I am amazed at how many people naturally accepted they would be my number one choice to hit up for emergency cash. It closed my email for four hours, I couldn't even get onto facebook... And one person actually wired money! My message is, make sure your password is very strong. Not only add numbers, but some punctuation marks too. I haven't been this stressed since my car got stolen.

rich said...

just got me today too. i can't get my account back either. they changed my recovery email. SUUCKS!

Nicholas said...

Dude, my wife's account just got hacked and it is going through the same process. The shitty part, hotmail does not reset it soon enough to prevent people from being duped.