Interview With the SCAMpire, Part III – And Then It Gets Weird

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by Chris Durst       Aug. 31, 2017

If you missed the first installment, and second installment of my conversation with this work scammer, be sure to read them in order for the full back story.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger – BAM! – it gets stranger!!

When I left you, the scammer had sent me a bad check and I told him I had deposited it in my bank account (just one of the many lies I’ve told this dirtball). So, now he’s thinking the funds have been made available in my account and he’ll be anxious to get the money before my bank realizes the check was bad.

So, with that, let’s dig in…

(My thoughts about the chat appear in red text.)

THURSDAY MORNING 8:46 AM

[SCAMpire] Good morning Christine, how are you doing today ? (You KNOW there’s money in play now. To date, I am always the first one to reach out in the morning.)

[Me] Good morning, Ronald. I am not feeling very well this morning. (I am still trying everything to see if there is any part of this SOB that has any compassion.)

[Me] How are you?

[SCAMpire] I am doing very well Christine, thanks for asking

[SCAMpire] Christine we are sorry for invading your privacy but we’ll like to ask what is happening to you
Well, I am always very concerned for your health. (Wait! Do we have a little compassion coming through?)

[Me] What do you mean what’s happening to me?

[SCAMpire] Christine we’re concerned about you and how you’re doing due to you current notification that you’re not doing very well

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[Me] Oh, I see. Well, since you have asked, I have a life-threatening illness. Some days I don’t feel well, but I can work. As I mentioned, I have eight children. That’s why I need this job so much. I need the money to support my children and put some money in the bank before I die. Please don’t worry though. I can manage the work you have given me. I will not let you down! (Pulling out all the stops now! Let’s see if he calls off the con!! Hoping he sees me in his mind… frail and sickly… soldiering on for my  poor dear brood.)

[SCAMpire] We understand you perfectly well Christine. (What? That’s it? “We understand!” Are you freakin’ kidding me! I’m gonna get you you heartless bastard!)

[Me] I am ready to proceed, Ronald. What do I need to do next?!

[SCAMpire] You’re required to make the deduction of $100 from the funds as your signup bonus Okay ?

[Me] OK

[Me] That leaves $2,550 for software. Should I place the order today?

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we believe that you have a debit card to your bank account ? (Why on Earth would he believe anything about my bank account?)

[Me] I do not have a debit card for my bank account. (Of course I do, but I’m not going to give this presumptuous little turd the satisfaction of affirming his “beliefs” about my bank account! And you can hear the annoyance from half-way around the world.)

[Me] I do have credit cards though

[SCAMpire] Christine for how long have you been banking with your financial institution ?

[Me] I have been with them for about a year.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we’ll like to know how you make purchases from stores that require debit cards ? (Hysterical! He can not believe that a grown American does not have a debit card. I’ve shaken the core of his belief system!)

[Me] I use my Capital One credit card. The bank gave me a debit card when I opened the account, but I have it in a drawer because I never use it. I guess I could take it out if I must use a debit card to purchase my software. (Breathing a little life back into him. I’m not ready to go for the kill just yet.)

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we believe you can make the purchase of your working equipment using your Capital One Credit card (for the amount of $2,550) ?

[Me] Yes. I can do that. Then I can use the money I deposited in my account yesterday to pay the Capital One bill.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we kindly need you to proceed to your closest Walmart Super Center and notify us of your arrival for us to proceed with your startup process

[Me] OK. Will Walmart have all that software in inventory? Maybe Staples would be better around here. (Of course I know that he doesn’t actually want me to buy software there. He’s setting me up for a money transfer.)

[SCAMpire] Christine on your arrival at the Walmart you’ll be provided with your detailed instructions on how you’ll be making the purchase payment of your working equipment for you to have them delivered to you once proper confirmation has been acknowledged (Still trying to lead me to believe there will be a purchase made.)

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[Me] OK. I will let you know when I get there.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, notify us of your arrival at the Walmart Super Center

[Me] Acknowledged, Ronald. I will notify you of my arrival at Walmart.

11:13 AM – Poor scammer is getting impatient…

[SCAMpire] Christine we believe you’re almost at the Walmart Super Center

[Me] I’m still at home. I will be going very shortly. I will let you know when I get there. I should be there in about 30 minutes

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine…… kindly notify us on your arrival

[Me] Yeah yeah yeah I will

11:45 AM

[Me] Ok! I am at Walmart in the software and electronics department.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we need you to locate the Walmart to Walmart transfer stand (powered by RIA ) for us to proceed with the purchase payment process for your working equipment delivery Okay ?

[Me] OK. I’m going to put a few things in my shopping cart and then I’ll go to the front of the store. I need to buy diapers and medicine while I’m here. (Couldn’t resist reminding him of my health and family. Ha!)

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine (You KNOW he has to be pissed beyond words with all of my delays. Still, you don’t wanna mess with the person who is about to send you $2,500, do ya Ronny-Boy?!)

12:12 PM

[Me] Ok, I used the $100 to buy some things I really needed. By the way, I stopped at the bank and took out the cash, so I am ready to shop now. Just tell me what to buy! ☺

[Me] Ronald?

[Me] I am standing in the Walmart awaiting my instructions. (Ba-hahaha! I love making him wait and then acting annoyed when he doesn’t respond to me immediately.)

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we believe you’ve located a Walmart to Walmart transfer stand to make the purchase payment of your working equipment

[Me] Yes. I am there.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we need you to pick and Walmart to Walmart sending form and send us a clear screenshot of the form for us to proceed further

[Me] OK

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine

[Me] I am asking for a form. They are out of them on the counter. The lady went to the office to get more. (Since I am really sitting at my desk, I Google for a picture of the form to send to him.)

[Me] MoneyGram form. Correct? (He clearly said Walmart2Walmart, but I wouldn’t want to miss a chance to enhance the “stupid American” image he has dancing in his head.)

[SCAMpire] Christine you’re required to get a Walmart to Walmart sending form (walmart2walmart sending form powered by RIA ) and not moneyGram form Okay ?

[Me] Oh! Walmart to Walmart. Let me see.

[SCAMpire] Alright

[Me] I think this is the correct form. (Damn, I love Google Images!)

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we’ll like to confirm if its your turn to proceed with the funds sending process ?

[Me] OK.

5 minutes later…

[Me] How do I do that?

[SCAMpire] Christine proceeding further with funds, you’re required to make the purchase payment of your working equipment via the instructions provided (below) (Just so you know, there was absolutely NOTHING below, so I have no idea what he was talking about. Doesn’t matter though, because I’m still sitting at my desk and it’s NOT in Walmart.)

[Me] OK.

[SCAMpire] Christine we kindly require you to proceed further sending the funds ($2,500.00) using the Walmart to Walmart (powered by RIA) money in ten(10) minutes service/option to the information below

Name : (I have removed the recipient’s name as I believe she is a scam victim who thinks she’s working from home and picking up the money is part of her job.)
City : Picayune
State : MS
Zip Code : 39466

[SCAMpire] Once the transfer of the funds has been completed. We kindly need you to provide us with a clear screenshot of the transfer confirmation slip for recording and documentation Okay ?

[Me] OK

[Me] I will complete the form now.

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

[Me] Acknowledged.

(OK, now, while he thinks I am at Walmart filling in the form to send him $2,500, I’m online searching for the woman whose name he just gave me. I was able to find her, but I can’t find a working phone number for her. I did find and email that may or may not be working, but it’s worth a try.

I also made a call to the Walmart to which the funds would be sent – oh yes, I fully intend to send a payment.

I alert them that a payment will be coming through and I give them the recipients name. They aren’t paying attention and are telling me the can’t get involved.

I call the local police department in the town where the money is to be picked up. I explain it all to the woman who answers the phone and she says she put me through to an investigator. She knows, of course, that the investigator is not there and puts me in his voicemail. I’m annoyed, but I leave a detailed message and my call-back number.

My preparation for the ACTUAL MONEY TRANSFER IS DONE!

Now, back to Ronny-Boy!)

About 40 minutes later…

[Me]  So, I was talking to the lady at the Walmart counter and she said I should be very careful because this sounds like a scam.

[Me]  Now I am very worried.

[Me]  She was another customer. Not the lady who works at Walmart.

[Me]  Now I don’t know what to do

[Me]  I need your advice

[SCAMpire] We understand your concerns Christine, but making the purchase payment of your working equipment delivery is a straight forward process and we also understand the issues with online hoax around. We want you to be rest assured that you’re working with a reputable company that puts employees first in all our doings. We also want you to be know that working remotely for our organization will be worth it because of our good conducts and also detailed processes providing daily duties and task with human understanding of knowing when you’re on emergencies (when family issues persists) (I LOVE this response. See how, in an effort to get me to move forward, he turns it all into how wonderful this job is going to be for me? Wow!)

[Me] It all sounds very good but I’m going to take a couple of minutes to think about it before I send this transfer.

[Me] I’m standing here with cash in my hand $2,500 in cash. And I just want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing with it.

[Me] That’s a lot of money.

[Me] Who is Miss Walker? The woman that you’re asking me to send the money to? I need to know this too.

[Me] It’s very weird that you’re asking me to send the money to this person. But there’s no mention of the company name on it.

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[SCAMpire] MXXX Walker is the merchant representative that’s ready to receive the sent funds for the equipment processing delivery Christine

[Me] I see

[SCAMpire] Your working equipment will begin delivery processing once all the order confirmation has been completed ( once the transfer of the funds is completed )

[SCAMpire] Christine we believe working for our organization will be great due to your skills and experiences. (Are you finding this as funny as I am? I mean, seriously, he’s trying to remind me how wonderful I will be at this job given my “skills and experience” when he has NEVER seen or asked for a resume or even a hint about what my skills and experience are!)

[Me] Me too but not if this is a scam

[Me] Can I talk to Miss Walker to make sure it’s real?

[SCAMpire] Christine with our stage by stage recruitment process you’re oral interaction with our organization will be done once all your equipment has been delivered to you. This is due to the mobile device that will be included in your working equipment

[Me] I don’t mind calling her from my own cell phone

[SCAMpire] We understand your concern Christine but all vocal interaction will be completed from your provided mobile device as Mrs Walker is only available for texting (Vocal interaction – really? You mustn’t communicate with others, Christine. Not until we get your money and then… well, not then either!)

[Me] I see

[Me] I will send the money in a few minutes. I just need to calm down.

[Me] I messed up the paper while I was talking. I will rewrite it and then I will let you know when it’s done

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

[Me] The lady who works at this Walmart is making me feel stupid for doing this. I’m going to go to the other Walmart. It’s only 20 minutes away. I’m going there now.

(NOW, I actually get in my car and drive to Walmart.)

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[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

(Now… prepare to be dazzled, my friends!

I actually went to Walmart and wired $1 to the recipient. It cost me $4 to do that, so I’m into this for $5. Ouch!

While I was there, I spoke with the managers at my local Walmart and explained the situation to them. I had hoped that there would be a place on the form where I could include a message to the recipient. There used to be a “Secret Question” field but, alas, they no longer include that on the form. I asked if they might be able to reach out to their Mississippi-based brethren, but they could not.

They did, however, wait for me while I called the Mississippi Walmart back to tell them I was sending $1 to a person who was expecting $2,500. THAT got their attention. Now they were willing to listen to my reasons for doing this. STILL, after all of that, they were unwilling to give the recipient a note with my phone number when she arrived for the pick-up. They weren’t sure they would “remember” to do it because they are so busy.

I assured them, “I’m sure you’re very busy, but I’m also sure that when a woman who is expecting to receive $2,500 shows up and you give her $1, you’re going to hear about it.” I suggest when that happens, you call the police, I have left them a message so hopefully they’ll put two and two together and one of you will call me.)

[Me] I have just sent the money transfer.

(I sent him this photo of the transfer slip from my car, but made sure to cut off the part that indicated the $1. He has the Reference # and that’s all here really cares about but, as you will see below, I plan to put his mind at ease shortly with a new and improved receipt!)

[Me] Sorry. My camera does not work very well.

[Me] when can I expect my equipment

[Me] Sorry. My other phone is ringing. I will be right back.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine

[SCAMpire] Let us know once you’re back Christine

[Me] I will. I’m sorry I have to run and get my kids at school too! I’ll be back as soon as possible

[Me] I am very excited though now that this is done I can get my equipment and get to work! I’ll be back in touch shortly!

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine.

[SCAMpire] Notify us once you’re home for updates on how you’ll be getting your equipment Okay ?

[Me] I managed to get a better photo for your files

(TAH-DAH!! Back at my office I created this copy of the transfer receipt and added the dollar amounts this clown would be looking for. I crumpled it up and folded it into the tail of the actual receipt for a more authentic look.

By the way, I left the scammer a message at the very bottom. Do you see it? Yep. The part of the original slip I placed under my fabricated receipt states, “WARNING: Wiring money is just sending cash – once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. So don’t wire mone to a stranger…”

Anyway, this made-up receipt will lead him to think it’s an internal error at Walmart if he gets word from the recipient that she only received $1 at the pick up. This buys me time to plan next steps.)

[SCAMpire] This is image is better Christine

[SCAMpire] Chirstine we need you to create a small space in your apartment in awaits for your working equipment delivery Okay ?

[Me] I have a desk all set up. I’m working on it already!

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

[Me] Do you need me for anything else today?

[SCAMpire] Not at all Christine. You’re kindly required to join us online 8:00 am your time for more updates on how you’ll be receiving your equipment for proper work commencement

[Me] I’ll be shopping this weekend. Is there anything special I should pick up for my office? 😉

[SCAMpire] All the required equipment will be provided to you via your closest courier and you’ll be notified if any other requirement is needed Christine

[Me]Fantastic!

(Now, behind the scenes, I was carefully monitoring the TRACKING page so I could see exactly when the money transfer was picked up. The moment I saw it appear as “PAID,” I picked up the phone and called the customer service desk at the Walmart in Mississippi and I said, “I’ll bet you have a lady there who thought she was coming to pick up $2,500. I also bet she is pretty upset because you just handed her $1 instead. Would you mind putting her on the phone. Just tell her it’s Christine Durst – I’m the person she’s expecting the money from.”

Well, don’t you know, those very same people who wouldn’t give me the time of day earlier and refused to put a note on the transfer for the recipient, handed her the phone like it was on fire now.

I explained the situation to her and I heard… “Ok… yes… ok… yes… am I going to jail or what?”

I assured her that, as a victim who thought she was doing a task for her work from home job, she was not going to jail and I asked her to call me when she got out of the store so we could discuss it further.

She did not call me. Instead, this happened…)

[SCAMpire] Christine there’s been any issue with your purchase payment for the merchant receiver to acknowledged the funds sent for your equipment delivery

(This message was sent along with this photo.

That’s right. INSTEAD of calling me to discuss the scam, the recipient sent this photo of her receipt for $1 to the scammer!

Really?! Tryin’ to help the girl out.

Maybe she was shell shocked. Anyway, I handled it.)

[Me] What is this?

[SCAMpire] The slip that was sent is a restriction for the funds to be confirmed by Ms Walker

[Me] I don’t understand. Is it from someone else? I have sent you my copy of the order from Walmart.

[SCAMpire] That’s very correct Christine, you’re required to make a short call to the phone number provided ( the first attached form ) to notify Walmart that you completed the transfer/transaction earlier today for Ms Walker to be able to get the funds received

[Me] Oh. So they are holding the money until they hear from me?

[SCAMpire] Yes Christine, we kindly need you to acknowledged you’re the sender by making a short call for Ms Walker to be able to get the funds received for your equipment delivery to be scheduled

[Me] Ok. And what number do I call?

[Me] I see the number for Walmart. I will call them right now.

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[SCAMpire] You’re required to make a short call to the Walmart Manager Justin Matthews (601) 799 – xxxx and notify/acknowledged that you’re the sending of the funds for them to have it released to Ms Walker

[Me] OK. I am calling right now

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine, we’ll be on standby

[Me] Is she at Walmart right now waiting?

[SCAMpire] Yes Christine, she is currently at the Walmart location to acknowledged the sent funds

[Me] They have me on hold, but I am waiting.

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

[Me] OK. I talked to the manager and explained. It’s all set now! (I really DID call Walmart and I really DID speak to the manager.

“Hey, you remember the woman who was in earlier looking for $2,500 and got $1 instead?”

“Oh my God – Yes! You did her a huge favor!”

“Well, I thought so too. BUT, it seems that, instead of calling me as I had requested, she got in touch with the scammer. Go figure. Anyway, is she still there?”

“No. She left after she got her dollar.”

So, I explained to the manager that the scammer thinks the $1 was an error and that he asked me to call and fix it so the recipient could come back for the remaining $2,499. I also told him I would be contacting he scammer when we hung up to let him know it was “good to go.” And, of course, I gave him my phone number and asked him to please share it with the recipient as maybe this time she would see fit to use it.)

[Me] Please tell Miss Walker she can go back to the counter now.

[SCAMpire] Alright Christine

[Me] We kindly need you to be on standby connected to us for some minutes for us to notify you once the funds have been received for us to call it a day

[Me] OK, I will be here

[Me] If they have any problems, please have them call me at 860-933-XXXX

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine

After about 30 minutes…

[Me] I’m still here. Is it done yet?

[SCAMpire] You’ll be notified shortly Christine once the funds have been received

[Me] OK
Another 30 minutes later, at about 8:45 PM…
[Me] I am still waiting, but I really need to get the kids ready for bed.

[Me] What’s taking so long?

[SCAMpire] Christine we’ll like to confirm if you were given any reference number when you made the call ?

[Me] No. I spoke with the manager and he just said, OK and “We’ll make sure this is handled when Miss Walker returns.”

[Me] I guess it’s the same reference number that was on the picture I sent you earlier.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine

[SCAMpire] Take care of yourself Christine. Talk to you tomorrow 8:00 am your time. Sorry for any inconveniences caused. Have a blessed (Yeah, the blessing of a scammer. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!)

(Now I have begun to suspect that Miss Walker [the recipient] may have taken what I told her to heart finally and that she may not be communicating with the scammer any more. Otherwise, why the delay. So…)

[Me] Did the money go through?

[Me] I hate to leave if it is not done yet.

[Me] Did Miss Walker get the full amount I sent?

[SCAMpire] Christine the funds hasn’t been received yet and you’ll be needed to proceed to the Walmart Store to ask for a refund ( in the morning ) for the sending process to be completed once more

[Me] Ah, OK. I will do that. Should I send it again to Miss Walker?

[Me] I still have her information here.

[Me] Or will there be a different recipient?

[SCAMpire] You’ll be provided with detailed instructions in the morning on how you’ll be completing your purchase payment Christine Okay ?

[Me] OK. I will contact you in the morning.

[SCAMpire] Stay blessed Christine….. Bye

About 20 minutes later and, I suspect, after Miss Walker has told them to take a flying leap…

[SCAMpire] I believe we’re connected Christine ?

[Me] Yes. I am just logging off.

[Me] I am to contact you in the morning.

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine, we kindly need you to call the RIA customer service center and decline the sent transaction and have the funds transferred to your Capital one Debit card for you to be able to proceed further with the sending process by tomorrow 8:00 am your time Okay ?

[Me] Wow! That’s a lot. How come Miss Walker can’t pick it up?

[Me] After all of the work I did already on this!

[SCAMpire] Mrs Walker couldn’t pick the funds due to the new funds transfer policy as we apologize for inconveniences caused trying to purchase your working equipment

[Me] I see. OK. I will do this other work in the morning. I hope it is not always going to be this crazy working for you.
I could just take the money to Best Buy and purchase all the software from the list you provided.

[SCAMpire] We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences caused with the purchase payment process as we’ll like you to know that this is a one time error that won’t happen again

[Me] OK.

[Me] Can I just go buy the software at Best Buy? That would make this a LOT easier for all of us.

[SCAMpire] We understand your concerns on trying to make the purchase of your working equipment yourself but due to previous experiences with parsing errors and installations we decided not to loss funds by making order for the equipment via a reliable merchant with issued payment

[Me] Oh, yes. That’s right. OK, I will do this in the morning.

[SCAMpire] Yes Christine, that’s very correct. We need you to kindly decline the sending transaction for the funds to be provided to you inform of a reference for you to be able to proceed with the purchase payment tomorrow ( morning)

[Me] OK

[SCAMpire] We believe you’re making the call to RIA to decline the sending transaction Christine

[Me] No. I believe I will be doing that in the morning. (You pushy bastard!)

[SCAMpire] Acknowledged Christine

[SCAMpire] Have a blessed

[Me] yeah, you too

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