Barry-Jon Johnson (me)
Milton Keynes (me) (no, the scammer doesn't know what the 'real' town of Milton Keynes is)
Count Pieter von Benter (me)
Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos (scammer)
I recieved this email in late September:
Barry Jon is a very enterprising fellow, so he jumped at the opportunity:Dear Barry
My name is Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos the daughter of Angolan former Minister of Petroleum Mr José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos . I am soliciting for a lucrative and profitable investment projects as long as the investment is genuine and legitimate.
Let me know if you can handle the investment fund.
Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
The scammer replied, with some prewritten drivel (edited to remove loads of empty lines, this lad seemed to be in love with their enter key):Hello. I am very happy that you saw my profile. I'm looking forward to building a relationship that lasts. I'd love to hear more about your offer.
This was very good timing for our friend Barry-Jon, as he recently had a business idea floating around in his head:Sir
I refer to your email dated the Wednesday, September 29th, 2021. I wish to admit that I am excited at your email response. Thank you for the interest you have shown in this lucrative Joint Venture Partnership proposal. I can assure you that this transaction will be profitable to both parties.
As I told you, the funds belongs to my father Mr. José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, he was the former Angola Petroleum Minister for several years and later served as the Energy Minister of my country.
He used to be a very powerful politician but now his health condition has deteriorated and he wants this funds to be invested by a reliable foreign investor in lucrative investment projects.
This is the reason why I solicit for your assistance in the investment of the sum of US$5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars only.
The fund was acquired through Oil deals made by my father Mr. José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos during his time as the Petroleum Minister.
I can assure you that the fund is in a safe deposit in Europe and will be moved to you for investment partnership
I will require you to provide an investment outline of how you intend to invest the funds for our perusal and review. If your investment outlines are exciting, then we can proceed with the processing of the transaction.
I look forward to hearing from you soonest.
Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
Alas, the scammer wasn't completely convinced:Hello. I seek to invest the funds in the manufacture of paperweights. You may not be aware, but there is currently a shortage of paperweights in my country. If you accept my proposal, I will invest my money in starting a business and opening a factory for the manufacture and sale of paperweights. I hope that you'll consider my proposal, as the paperweight business is very lucrative right now.
Barry-Jon gladly obliged:Please give me more insight on the investment and manufacturing of paperweight.
What's the capital requirements you are looking for to proceed with the project.
I am willing to go into the project with you.
Give me more details.
The scammer then asked Barry-Jon for personal details:I will require the full five million dollars of investment to commence manufacturing. The money will be required to purchase land and build a factory, as well as to hire staff and acquire materials to begin the production of paperweights. I already have established contacts within a leading office supplies store, I'm just waiting for your investment to begin production. Profit awaits the both of us, as long as you accept my plan.
I accept your offer. Going forward I will want to you to provide me with your contact details so that I will officially inform My father and proceed to the project funding.
The scammer then told me that they would have to 'discuss with their father this evening'. The next day, the moment of truth arrived:My details are as follows:
Full name: Barry-Jon Johnson
Address: [REDACTED] (fake address that doesn't exist, I'm not posting it anyway, just as a precaution)
Direct email: [REDACTED]
Success! Paperweight factory here we come!Good morning Barry-Jon
How are you today. After my deliberation with my father he has agreed to invest with you. 5million is a lot of money and we will want to sign a MOU with you.
This is to facilitate the release of the funds to you for paperweight investment.
What's your arrangement in receiving the amount.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
The scammer replied with the following paragraph:Thank you to you and your father for giving me this opportunity. It has been my lifelong dream to start a business, and you've really helped with this. I hope you know how thankful I am for this, I don't know how I could ever repay you.
What method would you be willing to use to transfer the money?
Two days later, the scammer finally sends Barry-Jon their 'MOU agreement'.Dear Barry-Jon, I am highly honored for your acceptance to handle this project especially at this time of global crisis.
Our commitment and mutual trust will bring our life long dreams to reality.
Please do ensure that the project succeeds and the aim is achieved.
The amount involved is a lot and is deposited Dubai UAE. A direct bank transfer to your account will be best but I don't know the financial regulations of the UK and that of your bank for transfer of such amounts.
The most important is signing the MOU which will will clearly show the reason you are receiving such amount for investment in UK.
I will send you the MOU as soon as it is ready.
Do you have any suggestions on how to get the money to you safely without raising alarms.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon
Attached to the email was a long winded, almost certainly legally meaningless, PDF file outlining the terms of this 'investment plan'. (I would post it, but there's basically nothing funny in it, so there's little point in posting it).Dear Barry-Jon
How are you doing today and i believe you are safe and healthy.
Find attached MOU Agreement for your perusal. I have signed My part please read through it and sign your part for the funds processing and transfer.
Looking forward to hear from you soon
Barry-Jon sent a 'signed' version of the form back to the scammer (in fact it hadn't been signed at all, I simply renamed the file to make it seem like a scan, but the scammer didn't seem to notice or care).
The scammer was very eager to get things underway after signing the agreement:
The agreement was accepted to be an instrument for the release of the funds to you for the paperweight investment.
To enable the transfer of the amount to your account in UK,you are are required to provide your full banking details for international transfers.
The details required are:
1. Bank name
2. Bank address
3. Beneficiary name
4. Beneficiary address
5. Account number
6. Swift code
7. Routing number
As soon I receive the above details I will forward it to the financial institution for transfer processing.
Looking forward to hearing from you again
Of course, Barry-Jon wanted things done properly, and he wasn't about to give out his bank details straight away:
Will you not be coming to visit in person? I assumed that as the investor, you would want to meet with me personally before transferring any funds to me.
The bluff seemed to work, since the scammer stopped asking for Barry-Jon's bank details, instead deciding to tell him about some surprise fees:I would much rather meet you in person before we make the transfer. You may not br aware, but there have been several financial leaks recently [REDACTED link to a BBC article about the Pandora Papers leaks, unsure if it violates the link policy so I won't include it] that will bring increased scrutiny to offshore account transfers. I am well aware that this investment is not for any nefarious purposes, but the authorities may not see it that way and begin working agaunst us. For this reason, I would like to mee with you before we actually transfer the money.
There it is. Barry-Jon is confused by this, as he isn't from the UAE:Dear Barry-Jon
We have approached the bank for the transfer and they want the MOU agreement to be registered with the UAE authority before it will be admitted by the bank as instrument of exchange and transfer of ownership of funds to you as trust fund for investment.
All the documents for the release of the funds to you has been submitted but it was declined because the MOU is not a notarized financial agreement according to Notary public acts of the Dubai, UAE as it has to be completed as part of a discovery process.
The Memorandum of Understanding agreement capital value is up to 3,673,200.00 United Arab Emirates Dirham (1,000,000 United States Dollar) shall comply with regulations and rules of international financial transfer in the UAE, and the Federal Commercial Companies Law No. (2) Of 2015, civil transaction act 1985.
Finally the MOU agreement must have its corresponding Stamp duty tax which is a tax UAE government imposes on documents that are required to legally record certain types of transactions.
The total cost has been calculated for the release of the funds is 4,090 United States Dollars ( 15, 000 United Arab Emirates Dirham ). While I accept that this is my responsibility to pay this amount of $4,090, it will be difficult for me to send this amount to Dubai, UAE. The reason is because I do not have all this amount based the present health of my father and my financial constraints. If you really want to help me and have the investment kicked off, you will find a way to send this amount to Dubai. Even if you have to borrow money to finance the transfer, you will be able to pay back with any interest when you receive the 5million. It will only take 3-4 bank working days for the funds to be released to you.
These are the prerequisite information that you need to know for the funds to be released to you.. If you are serious to participate then get back to me so I can send you the beneficiary details in DUBAI, UAE to send the amount.
If you do have other helpful suggestions to make especially on receiving the funds, other than my explanation above, then I will be willing to discuss such suggestions with you.
Looking forward to hearing fro you soon.
The scammer quickly tried to assure Barry-Jon with some Legalese:Why do they want this signed under UAE law? I am a British citizen and in England.
I must try to visit these 'Financial Shores' in the UAE at some point. They sound most interesting.I was equally surprised knowing that they want the MOU notarized according to UAE laws. As explained the money will move from financial shores of UAE to England.
It was further explained that the MOU will be useful in England as it will show the reasons for the money transfer to you.
The most important thing now is getting the funds to you in England.
The scammer proceeds to send these two emails:Very well. How will I contact the UAE bank?
The bank is not charging us any fees for the release of the funds to you.
The UAE authority wants the MOU notarized before it will be accepted as an instrument for suxh transfer.
The notarization is handled by notary public office attached to the UAE authority.
This has nothing to do with the UAE bank and there's no need to contact them as you are not the owner of the funds for transfer.
Naively, Barry-Jon assumed that the scammer would be paying the fee:I'm in communication with the notary public officer. The only hitch is the payment of the fees as stipulated by the UAE authority.
The scammer replies with some excuses:I'm presuming that you'll be paying the fee?
Sure you are, Sarah. I thought your dad was a big important rich minister man?Yes it's my responsibility to pay the fees but I am unable to raise all the required amount at this time.
I have 50% of the required amount which am ready to send to the notary public officer to start processing MOU agreement with the UAE authority.
If you can and willing to help me to invest , I am soliciting for your assistance and immediately you receive the amount please take out the money spent and the balance will be used for the project.
It's important we meet to discuss further on the investment.
I'm making arrangements to travel for our meeting.
They once again ask for Barry-Jon's bank details, but Barry-Jon distrusts traditonal bank transfers:
(My original plan was to get them to call the moneygram chatbot, but decided to do a dollar chop instead, as detailed later on in the bait). Unsurprisingly, the scammer was resistant to this idea:I would prefer to use moneygram to receive the funds. Is this possible?
Barry-Jon tried to explain his position to the scammer, with FACTS and LOGIC:The amount involved is huge $5 million and it will be a hard nut to send through MoneyGram. MoneyGram charges will take up lots of the funds that you Will receive.
Why do you want to receive it through MoneyGram?
Bank transfer is Best for such amount.
As I told you i have yesterday sent $2000
to the notary public officer in charge to begin processing MOU agreement for transfer of the funds. Please assist me with the balance of the money so that the MOU will be ready for the release of the funds to you latest tomorrow.
The scammer still wasn't convinced:The reason that I want to use money gram is a security reason. Even though we have a business relationship, I have yet to meet with you in person, so giving you my bank details is a potential security risk.
Barry-Jon was going to need help persuading this scammer. He suggests that they give his uncle an email:Yes I agree with you 100% in our today's world we have to be at alert but without mutual trust we can't head nowhere.
That we have not met doesn't mean we are not going to meet. I have already told you that I am making arrangements to meet you and discuss further on the business plans.
The notary public officer can help us to send the as he told me this afternoon that it's possible to send to you but it must be after the notarization is completed.
I am worried with the charges that will be paid to MoneyGram.
The scammer replied:I can pay the moneygram charges if you need me to. I have an uncle who is also investing in my business, and he'll help with the money gram fees. His name is Pieter Benter, and his email is [EMAIL REDACTED] I would reccomend you send him an email as well
Barry-Jon had some questions first:Thank you for your response and reassuring words.
The most important at the moment is paying the notarization of the MOU agreement for the release of the funds to you.
I told you I have about half of the amount required which I have sent out already to start the processing at the government office. Without the due process completed the money can't be sent out through MoneyGram.
Make arrangement to send the balance amount to Dubai UAE through MoneyGram please. I want this completed before Wednesday.
The scammer replied with the following:I have numerous questions.
1) What is the exact amount that I am transferring?
2) What is the exact address of the moneygram branch I am transferring to?
3) You need to email Pieter Benter (I gave you his email earlier). I'm not allowed to send you any money until you email him.
Staying true to her word, the scammer emailed Barry-Jon's uncle, Pieter Benter ( a character whose email account is controlled by me).The exact amount to be sent to Dubai UAE is $2080
Here is the notary public officer i have sent the $2000
First name: [REDACTED]
Last name: [REDACTED]
Definitely I will email Peter benter immediately to discuss further on the investment.
Confused as to why Barry-Jon approached another person for investment, Benter replied warily:Hello Pieter Benter
I have been directed to contact you by Barry-Jon Johnson for our business discussion with him.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
Yes, the scammer does continue to take Benter seriously. Yes, the original email contained all these titles. And yes, I gave him a new title in his signature with every email. Yes, the scammer continued to take him seriously.Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos,
I understand that my ward, Mr Barry-Jon Johnson, has contacted you and engaged in an investment partnership. I wish to discuss this with you. I have already invested a significant amount of money in his business venture, and he has promised me a 33% stake in any business that we does. I wish to know if he has reached a similar agreement with you?
If so, I will need to know what percentage, if any, of the business Barry has offered you. I need to know this to ensure that our investment plans match. If not I will have to have a discussion with Barry regarding whether his loyalties lie with his House, or with an outsider.
Please reply as soon as possible with answers to my questions.
With Sincere and Kind Regards,
Count Pieter von Benter, also of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Seargeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, known to His People as Count Von Benter
The scammer replied, assuring Count Benter of their honourable intentions:
Satisfied with this, the Count replied:Hello Pieter
Thank you for your response.
Yes Mr Barry-Jon told me that you are his uncle and you are investing in his business but he didn't mention what stack you hold in his business.
Definitely there's no partnership without an agreement. We have signed MOU with regards to our proposed partnership.
The ROI will be shared equally at 50% for both of us and we have proposed a long term partnership with him which he agreed.
I believe in family and to protect each member i must say his loyalty is with the house. You are his Uncle and you trusted his capabilities that was the reason you put in a good amount.
Mr. Barry-Jon when he takes out 33% stack for you he still has 17% for his keeps.
It is a win win for all parties.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
The scammer returns to Barry-Jon, after assuring the Count Benter that the investment will go ahead:Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos,
Thank you for the clarification. I am glad that you agree with my assessment that family loyalty is paramount,and that Barry must remain loyal to House Benter. I am satisfied that you are of decent moral character, and that your deal with Barry is satisfactory. Please contact him and tell him to carry on with the deal.
I expect you to keep me updated at all stages of the deal, as I take a great personal interest in this deal.
Count Pieter von Benter, Patriarch of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Foreman of the Artificer's Guild, Seargeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, known to His People as Count Von Benter.
Switching back to Barry-Jon, the scammer forwarded her earlier emails with Count Benter to Barry-Jon, with the following message:Hello Pieter
Once again thank you and without mixing words you are a great uncle to Barry-Jon and the Benter house.
I appreciate your concerns for him and i assure you that the deal is profitable.
Yes I will keep you updated.. I will contact Barry-Jon and discuss further with him.
Barry-Jon assured the scammer that he would send the funds the next day. However, things never go as planned, do they?Hello Barry-Jon
Below message is your uncle's response and he satisfied and adviced that you should carry on with the deal.
The transfer of the funds now depends on your payment of the balance of $2080 ,
Please send the amount to the beneficiary details i have sent you in my last email.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
From the scammer:
Barry-Jon is very confused by this, as:Thanks for your response as I wait to hear from you with the details of the MoneyGram transfer.
That's right. It's dollar chop time.How do you mean? I sent the money to your lawyer Mr Milton Keynes, he contacted me this morning by phone. Has he not informed you?
From the scammer:
Trying to put an end to this confusion, Barry-Jon forwards an email he recieved from Mr Milton Keynes (controlled by me):I am surprised reading your email. I gave you the beneficiary details. Now you said someone contacted you. You didn't confirm from me. Very strange indeed.
I never asked anyone to contact you.
I am The Honourable Barrister Milton Keynes QC, personal lawyer to Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos. Sarah is currently very busy and will be unable to contact you for several days. As a result, she will be unable to contact you and help you with the investment funds. As a result, you will transfer the funds through me. Transfer the funds to the moneygram office in Manchester, UK. I await the funds so I can send the investment for paperweights.
The Honourable Milton Keynes QC
The scammer starts to get flustered:I must say I am very surprised by your email. I sent the funds to the barrister Milton Keynes, your personal lawyer. He sent me this email, is this not his address?
Barry-Jon replied:I never in our conversation told you that I have any one as my personal lawyer.
When you asked me to contact Pieter Benter, you gave me his details to contact him.
Why will you say Milton Keynes is my personal lawyer when I never know him.
If you really sent money to whatsoever his name is you did it on your own Accord.
I didn't tell you to do so, I gave you the receiver's name in Dubai
The scammer starts to break down, and deploys THE CAPS LOCK:Milton Keynes told me that he was your personal lawyer and that you couldn't contact me right now. He told me to send the money to him, so I did. What exactly has happened then? Do you not have the money?
After calming down again, the scammer once again sent me the moneygram details, asking me how Milton Keynes contacted him. Barry-Jon was also on the verge of breaking down, deciding to also deploy THE CAPS LOCK:Yesterday I forwarded my conversation with Pieter Benter
It's very laughable that someone will tell you that I said you should send money when I have already given you the details of the receiver in Dubai and you responded without asking me.
I forwarded my communication with Pieter Benter to you and why didn't you tell me.
I DON'T KNOW ANY MILTON KEYNES.
DO YOU KNOW HIM
I DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY SORRY
The scammer places the blame squarely on Barry-Jon:MILTON KEYNES HAS NO CONNECTION TO PIETER BENTER. PIETER IS MY UNCLE AND I HAD A MEETING WITH HIM LAST WEEK. MILTON KEYNES SENT ME THAT EMAIL THAT I FORWARDED TO YOU. I BELIEVED WHAT HE SAID. HAVE I BEEN SCAMMED?
Ouch. Barry-Jon asks what should be done:I copied you my conversation with Pieter and Milton Keynes sent you an email without my say so and you believed.
I think you email has been hacked by Milton Keynes and scammed by him too.
Am sorry this is the honest truth.
You should have asked me first before sending the money. You didn't that is the biggest mistake you made.
At the mention of the word 'police', the scammer persuades Barry-Jon not to persue that course of action:This is most embarrassing for the both of us. Should I contact the police about Milton Keynes or leave it be? Also, should I try sending you the money again? I am a bit shaken, I must say.
Barry-Jon however, is under strict instructions:I must say it is unbelievable and embrassing to me and if it's possible to get your money back from Milton Keynes then go ahead and report to the police but you shouldn't jeopardize our interest and partnership because I have assured Pieter Benter of our success.
It's important you send MoneyGram to
First name: [REDACTED]
Last name: [REDACTED]
Country: Dubai, UAE
This opportunity is open and the ROI will still cover the losses your incurred by sending money to Milton Keynes without knowing.
There's nothing to worry about because our success is guaranteed.
Send the money again to the above beneficiary.
Speaking of which, let's take a look at Count Benter's angry email to our scammer:Hold on now. Pieter Benter told me to stop contact with you until you answered his email. Have you done so?
The scammer replied as follows:Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos,
You've done it now, you rabid cur! I just got off the phone with Barry-Jon Johnson, and he told me that an interloper by the name of Milton Keynes hacked his email and scammed him. Barry is now severely out of pocket.
This all happened on your watch. You should have paid closer attention to him, then you could have stopped the scumbag Milton Keynes from committing this vile transgression against House Benter.
No one crosses a kinsman of mine without suffering the consequences. I demand that you explain yourself right now, otherwise the full force of House Benter will be mustered against you.
Awaiting your urgent and humble reply,
Count Pieter von Benter, Patriarch of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Foreman of the Artificer's Guild, Seargeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, Grand Inquisitor of the Templar Tribune, known to His People as Count Von Benter.
Benter was as angry as ever:Hello Pieter
Firstly it's unbelievable and embrassing to me hearing from Barry-Jon that someone contacted him and he had to send money to him.
Barry-Jon email has been hacked by this person and I have nothing to do with it. He didn't tell me that someone contacted him under the pretence to be from me.
I have never told Barry-Jon that someone by name Milton Keynes will send an email on my behalf. Never!!!
This is what these hackers do by preying on someone's ignorance and trust.
Assuming Barry-Jon told i would have cleared the air but he didn't.
I feel the pain of Barry-Jon and i will feel same way if I where in Barry-Jon shoes.
Thank you Pieter
The scammer replied to Pieter Benter:Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos,
Not only do you dare to allow my kinsman to come to harm, but you also blame him when something goes wrong? Your lack of honour and morality disgusts me. You have rocked me to my core!
To think that I trusted you, and viewed you as a valuable ally of House Benter. My stupidity in trusting you is all too apparent. If you speak to Barry-Jon again, have my word that House Benter is merciless towards those that cross it twice. You have one final chance to persuade me to allow this farcical to continue.
Be warned though, if you insult myself or my kinsman again, it will be your undoing.
Once again awaiting your humble plea,
Count Pieter von Benter, Patriarch of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Foreman of the Artificer's Guild, Seargeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, Archivist of the Chamber of Wisdom, Grand Inquisitor of the Templar Tribune, known to His People as Count Von Benter.
She also replied to Barry-Jon:Hello Pieter
I have explained to you that I don't know who Barry-Jon was dealing with and he never told me about this person. I will never allow harm to come to Barry-Jon. Why would I allow something like this? Your kinsman acted without telling me that is the first mistake he made.
You can cancel the deal if you don't trust me. I did nothing to wrong Barry-Jon or house Benter
All was the activity of unscrupulous individual by name Milton Keynes.
Barry-Jon then replied, not wanting to miss out on his money:You can cancel the deal with me. I never told you to send money to anyone.
The scammer replied, starting to lose it again:I don't want to cancel the deal. I can visit money gram tomorrow to complete the payment. Have you spoken to Pieter Benter?
Barry-Jon replied:Without mutual trust and understanding it will be waste of time. It's not about you sending money to the beneficiary in Dubai. Trust!!!
I never never told you to contact Milton Keynes or asked him to contact you for money. I don't know him and never heard his name. Very very embrassing for me.
I responded to Pieter s last message but no reply yet.
Meanwhile, Pieter Benter emailed the scammer:Please Sarah, I beg of you to let us continue the transaction. As long as Pieter Benter is fine with it, we can continue!
The scammer, happy that the deal was back on, replied:Sarah Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos,
I have considered your appeal. My decree is as follows:
The transaction may continue for now. You are to contact Barry-Jon and inform him of this. Both yourself and Barry-Jon are to remain vigilant to ensure that the scumbag Milton Keynes does not make another attempt at defrauding either of you.
I will remain in constant contact with both yourself and Barry-Jon, and I expect regular updates as the process moves along. For now, contact Barry-Jon and tell him that he can carry on with the investment.
Count Pieter von Benter, Patriarch of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Foreman of the Artificer's Guild, First Lord of the Most Learned Institute of Enlightenment, Seargeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, Archivist of the Chamber of Wisdom, Grand Inquisitor of the Templar Tribune, known to His People as Count Von Benter.
She also emailed Barry-Jon:Hello Pieter Benter
Thanks for your response and i am assuring you that we will keep vigilant as you have adviced.
I will keep you in the know with constant update.
I will contact Barry-Jon.
Barry-Jon wanted this done properly, so asked the scammer to fill out a MoneyGram security form:I received an email from your Uncle Pieter Benter, he wants us to continue and keep vigilant to avoid been defrauded by that Milton Keynes again.
I will keep him updated with every stage of the transaction.
Now you have the beneficiary details in Dubai UAE.
Send the money immediately. No mistakes to avoid your Uncle Pieter anger.
The scammer suspiciously replied:I've contacted my local money gram branch. Due to the large volume of money being transferred, and due to your country being deemed 'high risk' for scams by my moneygram branch, you will have to fill out a security form. I know this is less than ideal, but my local moneygram branch is insistent on security measures. I have attached the form to this email. Please SEND a scan of your completed form. Ensure that it is HANDWRITTEN.
Barry-Jon tried to explain, threatening the wrath of his uncle if the scammer didn't reply:Never heard of MoneyGram security form. You should split the money and send it in bits.
Why will UAE be a high risk for scam when Dubai is the investment capital of the world. Strange indeed.
Send it in bits not once
The scammer seemingly gave in:It is a new thing started by my local branch. Supposedly they've had a lot of scams attempted recently. I can't send it in bits, it'll look suspicious. If you won't do the form, I'll have to tell my uncle that you aren't being very co-operative.
Alsas, t'was not to be, no trophy for me:Waiting for update as I have forwarded the form to the beneficiary.
Barry-Jon tried one more time:I personally understand what your local branch to protecting MoneyGram customers from and I want to assure you that this is not anything related to such activity.
The beneficiary in Dubai UAE has declined to accept the conditions by your local branch. He said he never heard of it and thousands of dollars is being sent daily without these compliance.
Alternatively I want you to send the money locally to a beneficiary in UK.
Which means that the form will not be required when you send it locally.
Confirm this message.
The scammer replied:I'm afraid that will be impossible. I've already filled out the version of the form for myself, so the people working at my branch know who and why I am sending the money to. If I do what you tell me, I will look even more suspicious and they refuse to serve me. So you will have to do the form, sorry.
Barry-Jon informed the scammer:Yeah I understand but the beneficiary has declined to fill out the form you sent. Please tell Pieter about it. Am sorry
This time, however, Count Benter's rage was directed at his nephew, not at the scammer:I will phone him now. Expect an email from him within a couple of hours.
Time to tug at the scammer's heartstrings:Barry-Jon Johnson,
You ungrateful wretch! I can't believe that you would be so wasteful with the money I graciously provided you. You are a disappointment to House Benter, and to think I considered you a valued kinsman. Your collusion with this outsider, Sarah, and the traitorous cur Milton Keynes has proven to be a detriment to House Benter. Your actions have been in flagrant violation of my instructions, and as such I am cutting you off.
I have withdrawn my offer of investment, and you are no longer welcome in Fortress Benter. If you cross House Benter again, you will suffer for it, I assure you.
Count Pieter von Benter, Patriarch of House Benter, Lord Advocate of the Privy Council, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Grand Diet, Foreman of the Artificer's Guild, First Lord of the Most Learned Institute of Enlightenment, Sergeant-At-Arms of the Grand Honour Guard, Legate of the Obsidian Order, Archivist of the Chamber of Wisdom, High Professor of the Holy Academy of Saint Escalius, Grand Inquisitor of the Templar Tribune, known to His People as Count Von Benter.
The scammer replied:This deal has brought me nothing but heartbreak. My uncle, Pieter Benter, has disowned me and refused to invest in my business. I've forwarded his email to you. I don't know what to do. I have nowhere left to go. This deal has fallen thorugh and we are both damned for it. What should I do.
Time to probe the scammer's morality a bit. Barry-Jon tells the scammer:It's unfortunate that your uncle Pieter felt the way he is doing now.
The deal has not spoiled, the success of the transaction depends on your ability to send the money as adviced.
The amount you are receiving will cover your projects.
The choice is yours now.
You will not regret it.
It's only 2000 dallars that's required and the funds will be with you.
The scammer simply replied:I'm afraid that my uncle has frozen my account and cut off my allowance, so I don't have any way to get the money. There's only one way I can get the money: my uncle was divorced from a lady named Elaine Benter a long time ago, and I'm currently staying with her. She still has the wedding ring, which is worth about £2000. If I steal it and sell it on the black market, I will be able to do it. I don't know if I should do this or not, it doesn't seem right, what do you think?
Oh! Sweet Irony!Don't steal. It's not the right decision
The scammer suggested:What should I do instead?
Barry-Jon explained:I don't know exactly but if you have access to borrow the amount then it's best.
The amount will be returned within a few days because you should be receiving the funds in bits after the amount is paid.
The scammer insisted once again (oh sweet irony, sweet irony) on morality:As I've said, my uncle has cancelled all of my accounts, so I can't borrow anymore money from anyone. So, I ask again. Should I steal the ring and sell it? I can always buy it back and return it to her after I get the money from you.
But alas, it was too late:Don't steal the ring. Look for alternative to get the amount
The scammer had a slight change of heart:It's too late. I already have the ring and have run away. Should I sell it now or return it?
Barry-Jon replied:Return the ring. It's not a right decision. I have told you severally.
You can steal your uncle's wife ring.
The scammer didn't reply. I waited several days and emailed again, but there was no answer. I told you that the ending would be anticlimactic, didn't I?But my uncle's wife didn't do anything wrong either. Besides, I thought you didn't like stealing? What's done is done.