Sex On Tape: Call To Police!

ruth crilly model recommends

Yesterday I did a bit of sifting through my junk mail folder. I rarely remember to do this but apparently – now and then – you should. I say this because last year I missed four incredibly important emails and each time it created quite an awkward work situation; in two of the cases the person involved thought I was ignoring them and in the others I completely missed out on some rather nice opportunities.

So now, every week or so, I skim through my junk email folder and check that there’s nothing interesting and/or urgent from legitimate senders who have somehow been blacklisted by my Mac Mail. It’s usually just a few dozen of messages from shoe companies, phone card top-up providers and cosmetics manufacturers in China who seem to think I’m a makeup brush retailer. Sometimes they are from scammers saying I’ve won money or I need to send money or I need to do something else that always – quite frankly – seems like a bit too much effort. Nevertheless, if I’m stuck for things to do (ie: I have loads of stuff to do but don’t want to do it) then I quite like to spend a few joyous minutes searching for threatening emails and then reading them out with comedy voices. These emails are never actually addressed to me – in the last week I’ve had emails sent to Tonya Recommends, Emily Farr and – amazingly –  Peaches McTaff – but still. They’re in my box which means I own them. (On a sidenote, I’d love, more than anything, to meet someone called Peaches McTaff.)

Anyway, I got sent the below and it really tickled me. Especially the “I’ll call to police!” part. It made me go right back to the start of the email and re-read it all in the voice of Aleksandr Orlov from Compare the Meerkats.

I have to say that scamming emails, though obviously pretty dark in intent and potentially destructive in the wrong hands, are often very amusing. The malapropisms, the typos, the hilarious phrases that have simply become lost in translation; I worry about cyber crime a lot, but there’s nothing like a ridiculous email to lighten the mood.

This one, as you’ll find out, relies on the recipient being something of a racy internet user – watching saucy vids and, I assume, doing various things to themselves whilst they watch them. I can genuinely say that I have never watched sexy films on the internet, mainly because I’d rather spend hours on Rightmove looking at houses I can’t buy (floorplans are my porn, baby!); but if I did, then I’m not sure I’d do stuff to myself in front of the computer. What if I was accidentally connected to my mother via Skype? What if, somehow, I was uploading myself onto Facebook Live?

If there’s one thing you can take away from this post, it’s this: don’t do any naughty business in front of your computer without taping over your spyhole first. (“Taping over your spyhole” might sound like a euphemism: it’s not. I mean the camera hole in the top of the computer and if you didn’t know that was there, I suggest you spend an evening acquainting yourself with your machine. Again, not a euphemism.)

So here’s Aleksandr and his scam – I’ve made some notes in brackets as we go along.

I’ll begin with the most important. [Please do.]

I hackled your device and then got access to all your accounts…
It is easy to check – I wrote you this email from your account. [He/she didn’t.] Also I have an old password for the hacking day: xxxxxx. 

[OK let’s pause already: what is the hacking day? Is this another one of those “national days of” celebrations, like #nationaldoughnutday or #worldunicornday? Should we be celebrating hackers?]

Moreover, I know your intim secret, and I have proof of this.
You do not know me personally, and no one paid me to check you. [To be honest I’m quite disappointed that nobody paid to have me checked. Am I worth so little? I feel like a television baddy when they find out that the price on their head is only $2000.]

It is just a coincidence that I discovered your mistake.
In fact, I posted a malicious code (exploit) to an adult site, and you visited this site… [Nope, not me. Now Aleksandr, had you written to me and said “I posted a malicious code to a Velux blinds discount site, and you visited this site…” I would have been properly worried.]

While watching a video Trojan virus has been installed on your device through an exploit.
This darknet software working as RDP (remote-controlled desktop), which has a keylogger,
which gave me access to your microphone and webcam.
Soon after, my software received all your contacts from your messenger, social network and email. [I have no idea what most of this means but the Trojan, Darknet and Keylogger now residing in my device make me feel slightly uneasy. They sound tough and mean, like they might all carry those hammers with spikes sticking out of them. Is my laptop screen the portal to another – Lord of the Rings style – universe?

“Darknet? Darknet, you imbecile! Come closer and bring me the Orb of Clustertron.”

“Y-y-yes, Trojan sire. Here it is, the Orb, oh mighty one.”

“Darknet! Where is the Orbal Octicular Augmentor?”

“The…the what sire?”

“The Orbal Octicular Augmentor, fool! You know, the looking glass that makes viewing the Orb possible!”

“The…magnifying glass you mean? Keylogger has it, sire…”]

At that moment I spent much more time than I should have. [To be fair, Alek, I spend much more time than I should have doing a lot of things. Don’t beat yourself up about it.] I studied your love life and created a good video series. [Oh thank the lord – can I buy it off you please? Creating original Youtube content that people actually watch is killing me off. If you have video and I’m the star, I’ll pay good money.] The first part shows the video that you watched, [Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper singing Shallow, live. I know it must be that because I watch it multiple times a day.] and the second part shows the video clip taken from your webcam (you are doing inappropriate things). [This is probably true, to be fair.]

Honestly, I want to forget all the information about you and allow you to continue your daily life.
And I will give you two suitable options. Both are easy to do.
First option: you ignore this email. 
The second option: you pay me $700(USD).

[Third option: you turn it into a blog post and make everyone read out my email in the voice of one of the meerkats from the Compare the Market.]

Let’s look at 2 options in detail. [OK.]

The first option is to ignore this email.
Let me tell you what happens if you choose this path.
I will send your video to your contacts, including family members, colleagues, etc.
This does not protect you from the humiliation that you and
your family need to know when friends and family members know about your unpleasant details. [Most confusing sentence structure I’ve ever seen – I can’t even unpick the meaning from this mess.]

The second option is to pay me. We will call this “privacy advice.” [Or extortion, but carry on.] Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. [Does it take me through Fall Forest, over Winter Mountain and out to Summer Lake like in Dora the Explorer?] Your secret is your secret. I immediately destroy the video. [Uh huh.] You continue your life as if none of this has happened.

Now you might think: “I’ll call to police!” [No, I don’t think anyone will actually think this because it’s not a sentence that exists. The grammar is completely incorrect. Still, this is my favourite line in the whole of your email. I like to imagine lots of people reading the same scam and then looking up from their screens and saying – “I know! I’ll call to police!”

“Pauline? Pauline! Come up here. I’ve got something shameful to tell you.”

“What is it Bob? Tell me you haven’t been vacuuming your penis up the hoover hose again?”

“Worse, Pauline. Much worse. And someone has filmed it, that’s the bad thing.”

“Oh Bob, when will you learn, love?”

“He’s threatening to take it public if I don’t pay seven hundred dollars.”

“What are you going to do, Bob?”

“I don’t know Pauline, I just don’t. If work see me using the office-issue hole punch to gently pincer my testicles whilst wearing a scuba diving mask I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“I wondered where the hole punch had gone Bob! I needed to file the electricity bill and I had to just rest it in the ring-binder, untethered!”

“Sorry Pauline, I really am. I just don’t know what to do. Any ideas?”

“Hmm. I know!”

“What?”

“I’ll call to police!”]

Undoubtedly, I have taken steps to ensure that this letter cannot be traced to me,
and it will not remain aloof from the evidence of the destruction of your daily life.
I don’t want to steal all your savings. [This sentence is proof that Google Translate is never your friend] I just want to get compensation for my efforts that I put in to investigate you. [Flipping Poirot, here!] Let us hope that you decide to create all this in full and pay me a fee for confidentiality.
You make a Bitcoin payment (if you don’t know how to do it, just enter “how to buy bitcoins” in Google search)

Shipping amount: $700(USD).
Getting Bitcoin Addresses: xx
(This is sensitive, so copy and paste it carefully) [Oops. I replaced it with an XX. This is like when you opt to use the Safari strong password and then the computer forgets it and it was something like Sf%!!hjkh6789cdDcDD34?4 and you are locked out of Gmail forever.]

This is a one-time offer that is non-negotiable, so do not waste my and your time.
Time is running out.

Bye!”

I think that the sign-off might be my second most favourite part. So cheery! So familiar! I sort of wish that he/she had signed off with a name, no matter how fake.

Bye!

Leslie xx.

 

 

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51 Comments

  1. February 14, 2019 / 9:47 pm

    I so enjoy the way you write. I know this is something you have studied so maybe this is a ridiculous question. How do you write the way you speak. I can hear your voice when I read your writing. I have a blog. But first i was an artist. Never studied writing at the University. I studied painting. So my question is, how do I learn to write the way I speak. Is there an answer to that?
    BTW, I too get those very same emails. Some people have way to much time and dreams on their hands.

    Thank you.

    • February 11, 2019 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you for sharing. You need to bill the scammer for your time in kind. How the hell long did it take you to break all that down for us?

  2. February 10, 2019 / 4:15 pm

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a loooong time – went from groggy morning “who am I and what planet am I on” mode to doubled over laughing and literal tears. I read above that you have written a book – have you thought of self-pubishing? I’d personally buy at least 10!

    I once amused myself with interacting with a hacker who was trying to find a legatee for a long lost relative to the tune of some now-forgotten huge sum of money. I kept writing to him saying I thought I remembered someone like that and could he remind me of exactly who it was and making various guesses “was it my Uncle Melville’s black sheep brother who fled to the Congo after getting caught doing one too many giggilo stints on cruise ships?”. The hacker gamely wrote back after each of my interrogations, basically ignoring them and continued to beg for my address and bank info so he could send me the money.

  3. Jo.C.
    February 9, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Are you telling me that these emails aren’t legit. Damn it! That means I haven’t really won $37,347,267, and that I can’t get several packs of Viagra for free. My life is not worth living anymore! Ha ha ha ha! These people who send these emails are such twats.

  4. Sevda
    February 9, 2019 / 2:16 am

    Can’t believe you can’t find a publisher.

    Another great post. I’m now going to check my spam folder regularly rather than deleting it

  5. February 8, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    This gave me a good giggle! You should be a comedy writer.

  6. Charlotta Bergqvist
    February 8, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Amazingly funny. I love it when you spinn of on a subject like that. I do the same and sometimes people think I’m nuts or something (they are wrong though, it’s called imagination, something many people apparently do not have) . Especially when I speak for the cat… Anyway, it was one of my favorite blogposts ever, I also liked that one with a painting in a hotellroom, the one you had to cover up. You made the best story about that painting and a tinfoil hat.

  7. Rachel
    February 8, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    Ruth! Every post you write showcases what a brilliant writer you are, but this one is a real masterpiece! I laughed so hard the neighbors must think I’m insane.

  8. Gillian Pidler
    February 8, 2019 / 10:33 am

    I love how you write. After a nightmare week being literally spambombed last week with random subscriptions to random sites, literally 250 of them at a mail pull in, I was getting really stressed. Especially when I discovered that this is usually a form of hiding something more suspicious like theft.
    Reading this made it all feel less awful and gave me a damn good laugh into the bargain.

  9. February 8, 2019 / 9:20 am

    I received a few of these mails myself lately, and had a good laugh at them. Your blog post though took the comedy factor to the next level!
    And to reassure you. The German translation doesn’t work any better either.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  10. Trudy
    February 8, 2019 / 9:14 am

    Hahaha I’m crying tears laughing…

    On a more serious note, these spammers are a pain at best (and evil at worst). I work for a company that does mostly online selling, but because it’s the type of product that requires a bit of customisation and consultation, you can’t just purchase it by credit card online, so we email out invoices. Because of spammers and scammers sending out so many malware emails disguised as invoices, a lot of email security will block anything with an attachment. It creates major problems for our billing system. Nine times out of ten, if the customer hasn’t received the invoice, I will ask them to check their junk box, and it will be there, but some servers just reject the email outright.

    Thanks for showing me the funny side of these emails again!

  11. Katy
    February 7, 2019 / 9:06 pm

    Hilarious! I get freaked out by my junk mail box(and, amusingly, your email was actually in my junk mail even though it never usually is)…. even when they are obviously and ridiculously fake emails I still manage to feel like someone is *actually watching me* and knows everything there is to know about me through my computer…argh!! Even as I was typing this I had to make sure I turned the little camera thing away from me, haha!! Yes, publishers out there please hurry up and publish Ruth’s book!

  12. Allison
    February 7, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    Cannot. Stop. Laughing!

  13. Sandie
    February 7, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    Brilliantly funny post! I think you have to laugh right back at these scammers or you’d drive yourself crazy with worry! Reminds me of my elderly mum who receives a lot of those “Computer” upgrade calls… to which she always replies .. “Windows? Updates? No, we had our windows washed last week, thank you very much!” then hangs up :)

  14. Trimperley
    February 7, 2019 / 8:20 pm

    Ruth you’ve missed a trick. Think what a leaked tape did for Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian and this guy’s offering to distribute for free…

  15. Chantel
    February 7, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    Thanks for your impeccable timing. Literally just read one of these with my actual password in it. So I was freaking out but you’ve just lowered my heart rate a few thousand beats so much appreciated. I’m still changing my passwords and hoping for the best though!

    • February 7, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      Well the password he printed WAS something that seemed vaguely familiar from something else, but IDK… apparently they spoof your account and send it from your own server or something. Scary! x

  16. Maria Nunes
    February 7, 2019 / 1:08 pm

    Hi Ruth!
    It was definitely a good time to read this post! I had a lot of fun!
    Some time ago I was almost to do an email post (which I received a dozen times, always signed with different names, but the same email, translated into Portuguese also through Google Translate). An African millionaire and also a political prisoner who asked me to give him my bank account number to deposit an untold sum so I could keep it until he fled the African country and could be free and then I would give him back the money …
    But I missed the way for creative writing, which you have plenty of! ;-)
    Thank you!
    Kisses
    PS: yes, I wrote this review with the help of Google Translate! :-D

  17. Caroline
    February 7, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    Actually crying Ruth (in a good way). I had one of these too and didn’t approach it with anything like your nonchalant charm. Aleksandr bless!

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      I like to think he’s only about twelve

  18. Therese
    February 7, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    I love this! And I love my spam folder. The subject lines alone are priceless, I like to read them out loud for anyone who wants to hear (ok, maybe not ANYone). My favourite so far is ”shaved hole looking for adventure”. It raises so many questions. How ever did they manage to shave a hole, or even grow hair on it in the first place?

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      HAHAHA!!!!!!!!! Oh my God that is the best subject line ever.

  19. Alex
    February 7, 2019 / 12:22 pm

    Hahaha! That’s brilliant!

    In my old job (don’t ask how we found the time!) my colleague and I used to occasionally reply to the silliest scams (not the ones with links where you accidentally download viruses).

    The best was a scammer claiming to be a Chinese door manufacturer, and we wrote back saying we wanted a solid gold triangular door. We even sent him a comedy hand-drawn sketch.

    Of course, they were completely up to the job and happy to progress with our order in exchange for a large sum upfront.

    In the end, after requesting multiple “quotes” and major revisions to our bespoke door (triangular, translucent and solid gold), we actually ended up feeling pretty sorry for the poor sod. He was very accommodating! xx

  20. February 7, 2019 / 12:01 pm

    I really enjoy your writing and this post made me laugh! Tears steaming down my face laugh! Too funny. Sad thing is some poor souls out there may end up paying Leslie!

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:12 pm

      I know, that’s the awful side of it. So many horrendous scams out there and some are really quite sophisticated. x

  21. Erika
    February 7, 2019 / 10:05 am

    This is brilliant. Love ‘hackled your device’. Sounds like when someone says ‘ickle’ instead of ‘little’ (bleurgh). ‘I did an ickle hackle on your device, don’t call to police!’

  22. Cath
    February 7, 2019 / 9:49 am

    I love this bit the best: (if you don’t know how to do it, just enter “how to buy bitcoins” in Google search)

    Bless.

  23. Sue
    February 7, 2019 / 9:20 am

    Maybe we should pay Leslie for being so entertaining? His comedy scam cheered me up no end this a.m. Thanks for this Ruth, made me cry with laughter xxx

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:12 pm

      Is he worth $700 though? That’s the question! : )

  24. Anita Jones
    February 7, 2019 / 9:12 am

    Ruth I had the same email and it’s definitely a scam. How horrid can people be. They have no shame. I changed all my passwords to be safe and nothing else has happened since. All the best x

  25. Cath
    February 7, 2019 / 8:52 am

    This is comedy gold! Up there with the Woman in the Wall. Thank you so much.

  26. Sophie
    February 7, 2019 / 8:48 am

    I never ever open those emails in the junk folder for fear of said Trojan-malware-virus-hacking palaver. Now, thanks to your endeavours I know I probably should open them and send $700us because if everyone finds out I watch videos of pet chameleons mooching around their homes, well won’t I be embarrassed?!

    • Maria Nunes
      February 7, 2019 / 1:12 pm

      Exactly!
      Or fat cats trying to get into tiny boxes
      Mea culpa! :-D

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:13 pm

      Depends what you do whilst watching! LOL! xx

  27. Mel
    February 7, 2019 / 8:18 am

    I never comment on any of the vast array of content I consume each day, but had to say you’ve made my morning. Absolutely hilarious Ruth! Bob and Pauline are ace… Thanks! x

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:13 pm

      Oh great, that’s so nice to hear! x

    • Maria Nunes
      February 7, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      I echo his words! :-D

  28. February 7, 2019 / 7:31 am

    That is hilarious! Thank you for sharing such a funny post to read over my morning tea!

  29. Lauren
    February 7, 2019 / 3:16 am

    I thought this post was hilarious and so cleverly written. I think you need to write a book!

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:13 pm

      I have, just need to find a publisher. It’s a problem! : )
      x

  30. Julia
    February 7, 2019 / 2:40 am

    Ruth – you are utterly hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It reminded me of a game I used to play with my roommate. We would watch TV with the volume off & make up our own dialogue. Screamingly funny with the right participants. I bet you’d be terrific at it. Thanks so much for such a great laugh.

    Bye!

    Julia

  31. Cate
    February 6, 2019 / 11:22 pm

    Funniest post ever. Can Bob and Pauline have their own weekly spot in your blog.

    • February 7, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      Maybe they could review products.

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