This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch

This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch


A few years ago, I got one of those spam emails. And it managed
to get through my spam filter. I’m not quite sure how,
but it turned up in my inbox, and it was from a guy
called Solomon Odonkoh. (Laughter) I know. (Laughter) It 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. (Laughter) And I said, “Solomon,
Your email intrigues me.” (Laughter) (Applause) And the game was afoot. He said, “Dear James Veitch,
We shall be shipping Gold to you.” (Laughter) “You will earn 10%
of any gold you distributes.” (Laughter) So I knew I was dealing
with a professional. (Laughter) I said, “How much is it worth?” He said, “We will start
with smaller quantity,” — I was like, aww — and then he said, “of 25 kgs. (Laughter) The worth should be about $2.5 million.” I said, “Solomon, if we’re
going to do it, let’s go big. (Applause) I can handle it.
How much gold do you have?” (Laughter) He 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.” I said, “50 kgs? There’s no point doing this at all unless you’re shipping
at least a metric ton.” (Laughter) (Applause) He said, “What do you do for a living?” (Laughter) I said, “I’m a hedge fund
executive bank manager.” (Laughter) This isn’t the first time
I’ve shipped bullion, my friend, no no no. Then 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.” He said, “It will not be easy
to convince my company to do larger quantity shipment.” I 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.” (Laughter) This is what I sent Solomon. (Laughter) (Applause) I don’t know if we have
any statisticians in the house, but there’s definitely something going on. (Laughter) I said, “Solomon, attached to this email
you’ll find a helpful chart. I’ve had one of my assistants
run the numbers. (Laughter) We’re ready for shipping
as much gold as possible.” There’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?” I thought about it for a long time. And I said, “One word; Hummus.” (Laughter) “It’s going places. (Laughter) I 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?” (Laughter) He said, “I have to go bed now.” (Laughter) (Applause) “Till morrow. Have sweet dream.” I didn’t know what to say! I said, “Bonsoir
my golden nugget, bonsoir.” (Laughter) Guys, 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.” So 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. (Laughter) I said, “Solomon, I spent all night
coming up with this code we need to use
in all further correspondence: Lawyer: Gummy Bear. Bank: Cream Egg. Legal: Fizzy Cola Bottle.
Claim: Peanut M&Ms. Documents: Jelly Beans. Western Union: A Giant Gummy Lizard.” (Laughter) I knew these were all words
they use, right? I said, “Please call me Kitkat
in all further correspondence.” (Laughter) I 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.” (Laughter) Because 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 …” I said, “Dude, you have to use the code!” What followed is the greatest email
I’ve ever received. (Laughter) I’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 — (Laughter) so he can submit all the needed
Fizzy Cola Bottle Jelly Beans to the Creme Egg, for the Peanut M&Ms process to start. (Laughter) Send 1,500 pounds via a Giant Gummy Lizard.” (Applause) And 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. (Laughter) (Applause) Crazy 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? And 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 — (Laughter) to a medical question I had. But 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: (Laughter) “I AM WINNIE MANDELA, THE SECOND WIFE OF NELSON MANDELA
THE FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT.” I was like, oh! — that Winnie Mandela. (Laughter) I know so many. “I NEED TO TRANSFER 45 MILLION DOLLARS
OUT OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF MY HUSBAND
NELSON MANDELA’S HEALTH CONDITION.” Let that sink in. She sent me this, which is hysterical. (Laughter) And 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! (Laughter) I 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.” (Laughter) That’s the worst health condition
you can have, not being alive. She said, “KINDLY COMPLY
WITH MY BANKERS INSTRUCTIONS. ONE LOVE.” (Laughter) I said, “Of course. NO WOMAN, NO CRY.” (Laughter) (Applause) She said, “MY BANKER WILL NEED
TRANSFER OF 3000 DOLLARS. ONE LOVE.” (Laughter) I said, “no problemo. I SHOT THE SHERIFF.” [ (BUT I DID NOT SHOOT THE DEPUTY) ] (Laughter) Thank you. (Applause)

100 Comments

  1. Its a bit like watching the adverts on youtube rather than shutting them down quickly. They are a virus which grows the more they are allowed to run. The internet is being highjacked by spam and advertisements. It was never designed for the inefficient activity that is slowing it down. But this is a really good idea to try.

  2. Imagine crawling out neckbeardom just once and realising that all those scammers had much more fulfilling lives than this whiny little fruitcake

  3. That's why I delete all the unnecessary emails that I receive. Just read the important ones. I had a good laugh watching this funny video…

  4. This is like watching someone trolling for the first time and then hes showing it to people who dont know what trolling is. I was hoping for your responses to be somewhat clever and serious, not tedious and predictable.

  5. Got a spam email from "The vatican" telling me that they were going to sponsor me. Decided to take up the deal….now living the life of a billionaire. Ask for the details as I can make u a billionaire too. Just send me ur bank details/ passport/ letter from your dad so I can get the money transferred from the Vatican bank.

  6. Spam is a relic of the past since proper email services filter it. The only people getting scammed from emails
    these days are complete morons.

  7. I'd like to order lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy, with a fried egg on top and spam.

  8. Is this the level for TED? Why are laughing at almost everything? Ha! Ha!. Interesting, BUT It should be on a comedy site.

  9. I've avoided watching this video for a long time but finally let curiosity win. Entertaining, for sure. Not something I'd do with an email scammer or robo phone call scammer. I generally tell the phone scammers that they don't want to talk to me and hang up without further comment or . . . leave the phone line open and go about my business and then hang up the phone when the phone makes the sound that signals an open line and no connection at the other end. Scammers don't amuse me.

  10. Told a scammer that his offer of 32 million US was quite generous. Said I was in prison for something I did not do so I will not run off with the money. Send me $500.00 and I can bribe a guard to set up a bank account, pay some bribes. He puts the 32 million US in, I get 1% not the 15% he offered and a good lawyer for a new trial and he gets the rest.
    Still waiting for an answer.

  11. Dude, you are a superhero nerd, and I'm glad you're out there. Good job, sir. Youdaman. Time-drain a scammer, depletion of resources, weakens the predatory effort. Good job, sir. And you even managed to get a laugh out of it. Cheers!

  12. This guy has way too much time on his hands, lol…. I have to admit I'm just a little bit envious, I've kind of always wanted to do something like this but I'm not of that temperament. I think they should turn this into a movie definitely!

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