Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal. You will go crazy with him! Enjoy!spam email
00:27It went like this: it said, “Hello James Veitch, I have an interesting business proposal I want to share with you, Solomon.” Now, my hand was kind of hovering on the delete button, right? I was looking at my phone. I thought, I could just delete this. Or I could do what I think we’ve all always wanted to do.
00:49And I said, “Solomon, Your email intrigues me.”
00:59And the game was afoot.
01:04He said, “Dear James Veitch, We shall be shipping Gold to you.”
01:09“You will earn 10% of any gold you distributes.”
01:14So I knew I was dealing with a professional.
01:21I said, “How much is it worth?”
01:24He said, “We will start with smaller quantity,” — I was like, aww — and then he said, “of 25 kgs.
01:33The worth should be about $2.5 million.”
01:38I said, “Solomon, if we’re going to do it, let’s go big.
01:49I can handle it. How much gold do you have?”
01:56He said, “It is not a matter of how much gold I have, what matters is your capability of handling.We can start with 50 kgs as trial shipment.”
02:03I said, “50 kgs? There’s no point doing this at all unless you’re shipping at least a metric ton.”
02:14He said, “What do you do for a living?”
02:19I said, “I’m a hedge fund executive bank manager.”
02:26This isn’t the first time I’ve shipped bullion, my friend, no no no.
02:31Then I started to panic. I was like, “Where are you based?” I don’t know about you, but I think if we’re going via the postal service, it ought to be signed for. That’s a lot of gold.”
02:41He said, “It will not be easy to convince my company to do larger quantity shipment.”
02:45I said, “Solomon, I’m completely with you on this one. I’m putting together a visual for you to take into the board meeting. Hold tight.”
03:00This is what I sent Solomon.
03:10I don’t know if we have any statisticians in the house, but there’s definitely something going on.
03:18I said, “Solomon, attached to this email you’ll find a helpful chart. I’ve had one of my assistants run the numbers.
03:26We’re ready for shipping as much gold as possible.”
03:29There’s always a moment where they try to tug your heartstrings, and this was it for Solomon.He said, “I will be so much happy if the deal goes well, because I’m going to get a very good commission as well.” And I said, “That’s amazing, What are you going to spend your cut on?”And he said, “On RealEstate, what about you?”
03:45I thought about it for a long time. And I said, “One word; Hummus.”
03:59“It’s going places.
04:02I was in Sainsbury’s the other day and there were like 30 different varieties. Also you can cut up carrots, and you can dip them. Have you ever done that, Solomon?”
04:13He said, “I have to go bed now.”
04:20“Till morrow. Have sweet dream.”
04:24I didn’t know what to say! I said, “Bonsoir my golden nugget, bonsoir.”
04:32Guys, you have to understand, this had been going for, like, weeks, albeit hitherto the greatest weeks of my life, but I had to knock it on the head. It was getting a bit out of hand. Friends were saying, “James, do you want to come for a drink?” I was like, “I can’t, I’m expecting an email about some gold.”
04:46So I figured I had to knock it on the head. I had to take it to a ridiculous conclusion. So I concocted a plan. I said, “Solomon, I’m concerned about security. When we email each other,we need to use a code.” And he agreed.
05:02I said, “Solomon, I spent all night coming up with this code we need to use in all further correspondence:
05:07Lawyer: Gummy Bear.
05:12Bank: Cream Egg.
05:15Legal: Fizzy Cola Bottle. Claim: Peanut M&Ms.
05:17Documents: Jelly Beans.
05:19Western Union: A Giant Gummy Lizard.”
05:23I knew these were all words they use, right? I said, “Please call me Kitkat in all further correspondence.”
05:35I didn’t hear back. I thought, I’ve gone too far. I’ve gone too far. So I had to backpedal a little. I said, “Solomon, Is the deal still on? KitKat.”
05:45Because you have to be consistent. Then I did get an email back from him. He said, “The Business is on and I am trying to blah blah blah …”
05:55I said, “Dude, you have to use the code!” What followed is the greatest email I’ve ever received.
06:06I’m not joking, this is what turned up in my inbox. This was a good day. “The business is on. I am trying to raise the balance for the Gummy Bear —
06:22so he can submit all the needed Fizzy Cola Bottle Jelly Beans to the Creme Egg, for the Peanut M&Ms process to start.
06:32Send 1,500 pounds via a Giant Gummy Lizard.”
06:48And that was so much fun, right, that it got me thinking: like, what would happen if I just spent as much time as could replying to as many scam emails as I could? And that’s what I’ve been doing for three years on your behalf.
07:11Crazy stuff happens when you start replying to scam emails. It’s really difficult, and I highly recommend we do it. I don’t think what I’m doing is mean. There are a lot of people who do mean things to scammers. All I’m doing is wasting their time. And I think any time they’re spending with me is time they’re not spending scamming vulnerable adults out of their savings, right?
07:32And if you’re going to do this — and I highly recommend you do — get yourself a pseudonymous email address. Don’t use your own email address. That’s what I was doing at the start and it was a nightmare. I’d wake up in the morning and have a thousand emails about penis enlargements, only one of which was a legitimate response —
07:50to a medical question I had.
07:52But I’ll tell you what, though, guys, I’ll tell you what: any day is a good day, any day is a good day if you receive an email that begins like this:
08:03“I AM WINNIE MANDELA, THE SECOND WIFE OF NELSON MANDELA THE FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT.” I was like, oh! — that Winnie Mandela.
08:12I know so many.
08:14“I NEED TO TRANSFER 45 MILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF MY HUSBAND NELSON MANDELA’S HEALTH CONDITION.”
08:20Let that sink in. She sent me this, which is hysterical.
08:28And this. And this looks fairly legitimate, this is a letter of authorization. But to be honest, if there’s nothing written on it, it’s just a shape!
08:38I said, “Winnie, I’m really sorry to hear of this. Given that Nelson died three months ago, I’d describe his health condition as fairly serious.”
08:48That’s the worst health condition you can have, not being alive.
08:54She said, “KINDLY COMPLY WITH MY BANKERS INSTRUCTIONS. ONE LOVE.”
09:01I said, “Of course. NO WOMAN, NO CRY.”
09:11She said, “MY BANKER WILL NEED TRANSFER OF 3000 DOLLARS. ONE LOVE.”
09:19I said, “no problemo.
09:23I SHOT THE SHERIFF.”
09:28[ (BUT I DID NOT SHOOT THE DEPUTY) ]