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 I may have overheard a lad doing a scam on a cell phone...

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MCWhite83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Greetings fellow/lady scambaiters! Razz

So good to be here! Well, I have a new one! I was walking in downtown San Francisco last week, and I think I may have overheard a scammer's cell phone conversation. Evil or Very Mad

First of all, I'd like to point out that San Francisco is somewhat of a smaller city, relatively speaking. We are a city of "pedestrians" like many smaller cities. Most businessmen walk around the financial district, as it is so concentrated, and you can get from one end to the next within 15 to 20 minutes time by foot.

I was walking to a bank last week, and I walked near a tall, black man, on a cell phone, and he was speaking with an accent, which sounded African to me, perhaps West African. This is what I heard him say, in a loud clear tone:

"Yes Mr. XXX, I'm calling to check on the status of the documents. I have not received them yet." My Spidey sense immediately kicked in. The terminology, the look of the individual, the tone, the fact he was on a cell phone, it all "stunk" of a Scam Artist. The "verbiage" he used totally reminded me of the terms used in scam bait letters I have responded to (as a baiter) over the last three years.

Some other clues? He was not in a hurry, not in a rush to get to any "office." He seemed to be comfortable out on the street, just taking and making calls. I've seen videos here, and the look and relaxed nature of the man, reminded me of this person. He as also not dressed completely like a businessman, but more of somebody trying to look like a businessman. (Pants clothes not matching exactly to his jacket, etc.)

He was on the call most of the time I was close by. I had a newspaper, and attempted to get close to him to hear more. I was near a flower shop I buy from on a regular basis, so it would have been easy for me to fake a conversation with the flower sales girl, if necessary. I was never in any danger, of being 'discovered" I was eavesdropping.

However, he dropped his voice pretty low after that, I could not hear anything else of significance after that.

I know it has a bad ending, but it made me curious. Was what I saw really a scammer? Is the West African Scam Crime team sending reps to San Francisco? I've read on these boards about LA and other USA cities being touched by these scum bags, but never seen a post about San Francisco.

Could I have done anything else, to help a possible victim, without endangering the victim or myself? Of course this is assuming he was a scam artist, and I know I shouldn't jump to conclusions, thus leading me to do something that was stupid, etc, Thus the reason I'm asking here.

I have an excitement to want to pursue this, so I'll be watching for further actions by individuals fitting this description.

One last thought. I realize that he could have been conducting completely legitimate business, and his race and or ethnicity play no role in how I would treat him or any legitimate business person.

Thanks all!

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I saw a chap walking past my house the other week, he was wearing a black top and black trousers. I automatically thought 'burglar'. Well, dressed like that he must be mustn't he? He was in no hurry to get to work as he was walking fairly slowly and he was on his phone, I'll bet telling his mates which houses were empty. He seemed pretty comfortable on the street too so I just know he was a crook.

See the point I'm trying to make here mate. Those are pretty tenuous 'facts' that the guy you saw was a scammer. He was probably an innocent businessman and please remember that not all scammers are African and not all Africans are scammers.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I can see your point, and can agree how easily one can make the assumption that he is a scammer based on what you saw and heard, but I also agree with Rodus. At best, you can only speculate.

You asked if there is anything you can do, and based on what you said, I would say there really is nothing you can do based on speculation. While you may think he is a scammer, as Rodus said, he could be a business person, perhaps a diplomat, or someone entirely different. His attire, while it may not fit the norm you are thinking of, may actually be the norm for someone from his country.

Same with the verbage you equate to 'scammer' letters. Perhaps scammers, in their attempt to appear realistic, have mimiced the type of verbage used by true businesspeople in their country, in which case you could either be hearing a scammer, or a real businessperson.

As for making calls, he might be waiting for someone and decided to conduct some calls while waiting.

And on the other hand, if he truly is a scammer, lets hope he is on a safari with someone right here on 419eaters! Laughing

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FourFlusher
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You should have punched him in the throat. Rolling Eyes
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MCWhite83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Okay okay. Got it. I understand your point. But let me restate some details. I didn't "glum" on to a 3 paragraph explanation the first go around, because I didn't want to bore you. But I'll do it here.

SF has loads of foreign people, but they are at least 50% Asian (perhaps more) here in San Francisco. To see an Indian or even Eastern European, is more rare. But to see an African (from Africa, not African American or American black) is extremely rare, here in SF. That's why I mentioned that 'boring text" at the beginning of my post about the smallness of SF, and the lack of anything I had seen like this.

Now, add on the cell phone (yes we have tons of folks on cell phones) the fact that he's clearly from some African country, tall, dressed in the style I described, and using verbiage, just as I pass, that matches 90% of the stupid scam letters I've baited over the last three years, the "coincidences" stop, and the "logical conclusions" start.

Compare this to my time spent in Europe. I'm on the streets of Madrid, Spain, and I see literally hundreds of Africans selling wares on the streets, near Plaza del Sol. I see loads of foreign folks near the center. I see literally a neighborhood of Africans who are, I suppose, emigrants to that city.

90% of the videos I see on here are from videos taken in downtown London. Clearly, the Scam Artists are living and breathing over in London, so a sight that I describe is very common. In San Francisco, it is not. I can tell you that right now.

Another fact: I am an extremely "OBSERVANT" person. While I've never worked as a Police officer or security officer, I try to be very observant of everything around me. I don't have a photographic memory but I try to watch for strange things

For example: I walked into a bank one time around 3 months ago, and somebody brushed against me. Something about him seemed off again. He was dressed like a homeless person, wearing gray sweat pants, was carrying a bank bag (something that folks who work for businesses use to bring cash deposits into the bank, but I rarely see them used anymore as they stick out like sore thumbs.) and turned his legs in a weird way when he stepped out of the door, as if to run, but changing his mind, like didn't want to make a scene running away. He certainly was not dressed like some manager who had just left his workplace to make a cash deposit.

Ohh, and he was a tall black man, in case you're wondering. But that was not a big deal. Lots of tall black men and women in SF.

When I was standing in the bank branch, I noticed that a teller came around and locked the doors. Customers could not leave or enter the bank. We slowly learned the bank had just been robbed. We all had to wait there, while the police came and asked for witness descriptions, etc.

Now when I entered the bank, I remembered back to the description I described above. But it would have been something different if I had made some announcement when I first came into the bank. Yet I still observed and remembered everything I described. That's what I mean about being "observant" and remembering seemingly unimportant details.

Last thing I would like to add, is I definitely would not have posted this here, if I didn't feel what I experienced was significant, and not a run of the mill event, that happened all the time, here in SF. This was an unusual and not common event. That's why I took the time to post here.

Having said all that, I certainly appreciate your healthy dose of scepticism. Very Happy

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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You should have followed him. If he hit the Western Union or Moneygram you should have called in the Feds to catch him in fellatio del grande. Laughing

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MCWhite83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tommo Shanter wrote:
You should have followed him. If he hit the Western Union or Moneygram you should have called in the Feds to catch him in fellatio del grande. Laughing


LOL. I actually thought about following him, but I remember the safety tips you guys post here, and on top of that as others have mentioned, I had no abolute assurance he was a criminal, and I would have felt like an ass pursuing it, and embarrassing him or myself in the process. Embarassed

I believe he was probably not a criminal, but I have to say what I saw. No lies.

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MisterHobbs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You could be right, he could be a scammer.

But think about this: you heard him say
Quote:
"Yes Mr. XXX, I'm calling to check on the status of the documents. I have not received them yet."


Methinks that it is also possible he is getting baited. Why would a lad stand in the middle of busy San Francisco to do his scamming? My guess would be they are a bit more discreet than that.

So, if he is in the middle of San Francisco wondering why he has not gotten promised documents, could he be on the phone with a baiter? We baiters love NOT sending documents, dont we?

Yes, maybe he is a scammer, but wouldnt it be great if he was another Edward Smith, but this time on a San Fran Safari (see link)?

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=113482

But, of course that is speculation also. Too many possibilities.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

MCWhite83 wrote:
...90% of the videos I see on here are from videos taken in downtown London.


Where abouts is downtown London exactly? I've been there many times with my girlfriend, Petula Clarke, but we've never been downtown yet.


Quote:
Clearly, the Scam Artists are living and breathing over in London,


Laughing You can't have one without the other. Unless they are werewolves of course. Apparently, there are 'American Werewolves in London' Yah ooooooooo!! Laughing

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^Jeez Tommo, you been on the marijuana gin again?
Werewolves breathe, it's vampires that don't.

Anyway, I'm off to find some tall black guys with mobile phones - Vigilante Rodus on the loose!

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now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
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u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^I can't even spell marij..thingyme, never mind snort it. Laughing

You have a PM.

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"i see your not interested in the transaction but catching your fun, calling names and my muckery of me." - Usman Bello
"You need to visit a good psychiatrist very fast, because some nuts are missing from your brain." - PROF.SOLUDO
"...it is very important you forward the your cycling proficiency certificate which by right belongs to you." - Prof Charles Soludo.
"note i can still change my mind to blow you off and whenever" - T0ny 'The Killerman' Erik
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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I told you Tommo, stop PM'ing salicious suggestions. Wink
So Werewolves breathe, vampires don't. What about fluffy kitty cats?

Lotta, oh Lotta.

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I will kiss you romance u,suck and penetrate u - Williams Muyeke
now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

Pith Helmet Lou1s Mar1on - Lagos to Accra (satellite IP) - "so, what i need to do to get out of these place?"
Sand Timer - 18 mths: Louis

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MCWhite83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

eye ken doo:

EXACTLY! That's exactly what I was thinking. His tone was one of somebody being baited, and why would a scammer need documents, why not need "Money?" The only way a scammer might be asking for documents, if one of us was screwing with him. I think his safari trip may have been a possibility. All these thoughts were going through my mind as I observed him.

I also agree on the part of why stand on a busy street, etc? Why not sit down in a courtyard? That struck me too. I can't explain it, but to say, he probably was not a scammer.

I'll definitely give an update to this thread, if I get anything.

Okay, now you guys are playing with me. I'm a good sport. Yuk yuk. I'll suck it up.

I guess my Small American city terminology is catching up with me. No downtown in London, right, it's too big. I keep forgetting that. Sorry for my bad terms, but I do love this site, and major props to you guys for bringing down the bad guys and keeping the victims safe.

Peace!

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^But we don't know if he was a scammer.

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now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't take it to heart, MCWhite83........this lot is a cynical bunch and pictures would have helped. Laughing

Welcome to eater Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

MCWhite83 wrote:

I'll definitely give an update to this thread, if I get anything.


Please do. We are here to help if you need us. All my lads are tucked up in bed in Abuja, Benin and downtown London dreaming of trunk boxes and mtcns, so I have some spare time now.

Peace on you two.

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"i see your not interested in the transaction but catching your fun, calling names and my muckery of me." - Usman Bello
"You need to visit a good psychiatrist very fast, because some nuts are missing from your brain." - PROF.SOLUDO
"...it is very important you forward the your cycling proficiency certificate which by right belongs to you." - Prof Charles Soludo.
"note i can still change my mind to blow you off and whenever" - T0ny 'The Killerman' Erik
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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Whereas my lads are all tucked in in Uptown Abuja and Benin cos they're a better class of lad then Tommo's (and I like Billy Joel). Peace and may the force be with you.

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I will kiss you romance u,suck and penetrate u - Williams Muyeke
now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

Pith Helmet Lou1s Mar1on - Lagos to Accra (satellite IP) - "so, what i need to do to get out of these place?"
Sand Timer - 18 mths: Louis

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Mr. XXX, I'm calling to check on the status of the documents. I have not received them yet."

Great sctotch! I said exactly the same thing yesterday! Damn supplier is delaying to supply the calibration certificate for the flow meter. Somebody help me out and call off @Rodus, I'm too young to die....

Oh wait, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt while seated at my desk. Phew!

Laughing

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I knew spiking the coffee in the lounge was a mistake. Callum I'm coming to get you OOOOOOOOO!

Tommo, don't ask for updates. I, for one, cannot take the excitement that may entail. Imagine he sees a guy with a tattoo walking down the street....
anyway Tommo, you could be a lad for all we know.

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I will kiss you romance u,suck and penetrate u - Williams Muyeke
now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

Pith Helmet Lou1s Mar1on - Lagos to Accra (satellite IP) - "so, what i need to do to get out of these place?"
Sand Timer - 18 mths: Louis

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Rodus Longus wrote:
....anyway Tommo, you could be a lad for all we know.


Bugger! My cover's blown after 5,149 posts. Crying or Very sad

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£1,052,334.30 (=US$2,121,125.60) lads fake cheques out of circulation (at 11/6/2008)
Closed lad accounts x135 (at 26/9/2008) Easter Egg 2013 Cellphone x138
"i see your not interested in the transaction but catching your fun, calling names and my muckery of me." - Usman Bello
"You need to visit a good psychiatrist very fast, because some nuts are missing from your brain." - PROF.SOLUDO
"...it is very important you forward the your cycling proficiency certificate which by right belongs to you." - Prof Charles Soludo.
"note i can still change my mind to blow you off and whenever" - T0ny 'The Killerman' Erik
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't feel bad mate, you did well. Re-reading the OP in this thread has just caused me to have a breakdown and listen voluntarily to Rolf Harris' version of Stairway To Heaven. This is not good.

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I will kiss you romance u,suck and penetrate u - Williams Muyeke
now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

Pith Helmet Lou1s Mar1on - Lagos to Accra (satellite IP) - "so, what i need to do to get out of these place?"
Sand Timer - 18 mths: Louis

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tommo, 5150, actually...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The number of African immigrants (primarily from places like Somalia) on the West Coast has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. What is suspicious about talking on a cell phone while walking? People do it where I live all the time, much to my annoyance when they don't pay attention to where they're walking. And there are hundreds of legit reasons he might lower his voice...maybe he noticed you observing him?

Maybe your instincts kicked in for a reason. Maybe he's up to no good, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a 419 scammer. On the other hand, maybe you've just become hypersensitive to certain phrases because of baiting.
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MCWhite83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

callum wrote:
Quote:
Mr. XXX, I'm calling to check on the status of the documents. I have not received them yet."

Great sctotch! I said exactly the same thing yesterday! Damn supplier is delaying to supply the calibration certificate for the flow meter. Somebody help me out and call off @Rodus, I'm too young to die....

Oh wait, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt while seated at my desk. Phew!

Laughing


LOL. Wouldn't it be funny if the lad I saw was a "recovered scammer" who's parole was to become a "scambaiter?" LOL. Okay joking done, now I"m serious again.

No sweat, I can laugh at myself/at the scammers with the best of them.
Cheers.

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^Even bigger worry is the fact he may have hacked the firmware on his phone. And I bet he's got a PSP at home....

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