Monday, June 4, 2007

The Spanish Prisoner 2.0 or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nigeria

It's then end of an era people.

That's right, My roommate Alaina is moving out in 26 short days. Before she goes I promised I'd write a blog about her. Don't get too excited, this isn't it. If I'm going to do her blog justice it will have to be when she's 3000 miles away so I won't have to feel the wrath of the drunken Bihler voice. (sounds like a higher pitched, slightly hornier Scooby Doo)

No my friends this blog is a horse of a different color. This is about "The Spanish Prisoner".

Allow me to wiki-del this:

The Spanish Prisoner is a "confidence scam" when the scammer ropes in a naive fool with the promise of vast amounts of money and or goods by simply giving some info to handle fees (processing, clerical, maybe even bribes). Once the fees have been sent, or even worse, once the scameee hands over his bank account and routing number (for depositing purposes) they are too reap the vast exotic rewards...most likely exotic Nigerian rewards.

Of course what really happens is you get robbed. You LIT-TRA-LEE open the vault.

So you have to ask yourself a question:

Who the fuck falls for this?

Well people must fall for this because it happens all the time. Luckily my parents can not work their PC because I have a sneaking suspicion they've been waiting for their chance to help the relatives of a deposed African dictator. They've never mentioned it...but they mostly keep to themselves.

The wheels have officially come off the tracks.

Lets get back to the point. Alaina (ironically enough has a friend who fell prey to a scam of this nature....shocking i know) is leaving the drunk nest. Since she's moving soon I decided to post a Craig's List "room for rent listing". Along w/ that I also placed a listing on My Space. The Craiglist hits have been pretty decent....but oh myspace...what a show.

Tom and Co never let me down. Below is an email reply from the lovely Hallen from Nigeria.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 4:41 PM

I went through your profile and thought we would be good roommates. I am very easy going and love meeting new people. I get along with almost everyone i meet. I am sincerely interested in the room you advertised as i will be moving to the States as soon as i leave here (Nigeria). Please contact me if you are still looking for a roomie, preferably through my email address, with the full breakdown details of the house as well as the total move in cost of the room(s) so that i can make arrangement for deposit prior to my arrival to secure the room since i'll be coming down from Nigeria and will love to move into a comfortable place on my arrival.
I'll also like to know abit about yourself. I sincerely do await your urgent response.



Pretty silly right?
Well of course i couldn't help myself. I HAD to reply via myspace:

From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:14 PM Hallen,

What brings you to the states?

Even though Nigeria's national motto is "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress" I have to say my faith has been tested greatly in the past. I had once before given someone from Nigeria some info to help out some relatives of a very important man there . It did not work out well for me. Can't be sure how it worked out for i never heard back.

I hate to judge an entire country on one negative incident, and You do seem to have an honest face...

Curious, Why such a barren myspace page?


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:30 PM you doing...well i will want you to explain what you are really talking about...coz i don't understand you very well....just explain very well and let me know was going to happen...

Clearly hitting a language barrier here, even though English is her national language. Let's smooth things over w/ this Nigerian goddess.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 5:51 PM


Sorry I may have typed too fast and missed a word here or there.
The apt is great. Open for rent in July. Very nice. Near the beach.
Close to your school as well perhaps. How would you pay the fees and deposit from Nigeria?


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:06 PM

Well is like you are about playing games....and am not inrested in such game....i came here nigeria for an assignment,and am through with the assignment,so that is why i needed a room to rent,and as am looking the way you mail me,is leting me thinking as if you are here for game...Well just be curious..

Whoa, "She" is feisty...and very very accurate. Game on.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:20 PM

Again I must say I'm sorry for any confusion. I'm just looking for clarity from you. I take my lease and finances quite seriously and I certainly expect the same from all interested parties.

The room needs to be rented by July 1st and I'd like to weed out all non-serious applicants. I'm sure you can understand that.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:22 PM

Thanks so much for responding to my introductory mail. Please i'll like to know the total move in cost of the room as well as the picture of the house as i'll not be able to check out the place until my arrival, so that i can make arrangement for payment prior to my arrival since i'll be coming down from Nigeria as soon as i'm able to secure a comfortable room. I'll also like to know abit about yourself.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Time to pour on the Charm

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:37 PM

(pretty name by the way)

The security deposit is $1600 and then rent of course is $950. So that's a total of $2550. If I'm up to date on the exchange rate I think that comes to $346,800 dollars naira. Yikes, that's a spicy meatball. Let's just say $2550 U.S. Dollars. Looks like less that way.

The pics you see in the ad are the only ones I have of the apt at this time. I'll take some more when i get home. Speaking of should have more pics too :)

Deltron 3030

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 6:51 PM

Well ca i ask you some question...where are you reallyb from....and what are you after,on me...
as am seing you will go away with my money...
Am scard...

HA, well played Hallen. Well played.
Genius really, trying to flip the switch on the dynamic. I'm on to you!

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 7:02 PM

you can pay on july 1st face to face. That way you can feel safe and secure. No monkey business. Of course I have to make sure my other roommate is cool with who I pick. He likes golf I bet he would be happy.

I don't golf. I do think Caddyshack is a very funny movie though...and even Caddyshack II. Have you seen those movies?

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: hallen
Date: Jun 4, 2007 7:18 PM

Thanks so much for the mail. I'll be so glad if you can reserve the room for me and remove the advertisement as i'll love to rent the place.

However, i must confess i'm comfortable with the cost and its quite reasonable and affordable. I had like to make the payment for the first month ahead of my arrival, and then i will make subsequent payment thereafter as i plan to stay for more than 6months. So i'll call my financial advisor to see how you'll get the payment prior to my arriving date.

The things i will be moving in are as follow;
my HONDA vtec (2005 model) metalic green.
suite case containing my books
my 26' DELL PLASMA TV and DVD Home theatre
my clothes in three luggages
my desk top computer (COMPAQ) and pieces of furnitures.
Hope to hear from you soon

NOW I've gained HER confidence! PHEW. I was nervous.

Ed note: I removed her likes and dislikes from this she "likes" everything. What a masterstroke Hallen. How better to gain MY confidence! I'm hooked!

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Deltron 3030
Date: Jun 4, 2007 8:02 PM

Sounds good. When i get home I'll tell my roommate to check out your "likes and dislikes" and see what he thinks! He really likes playing "brickbreaker" on his cellphone (almost too much). Do you? Let me know what you need from me.


Good times.

"Hallen in Nigeria" I <3 You!

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