The Questionable Cat Tax

My first two encounters with con artists running scams online were purely coincidental. Calling them “artists” might be a bit of an overstatement. They were closer to ‘toddler drawing on the wall with their moms lipstick’ artists than they were ‘my paintings are displayed in The Louvre’ artists. This third encounter is different. This time I went hunting for it.  Not too long ago, during a moment of sheer boredom, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could find another scammer…” so I fired up my computer and headed to the site of my last two encounters.

After few minutes on the Craigslist housing section I found this “absolutely charming” fully furnished, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home going for $700 a month. A deal that good is unheard of, unless of course, it was the scene of a murder or some botched meth lab. After seeing the ad posters email address was lovelyhomes992@gmail.com I was almost positive I’d found my next victim, who just so happened to be waiting for their next victim.

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I quickly scrolled past Craigslist’s “DO NOT wire funds” warning at the bottom of the ad and sent lovelyhomes992 an email from my newly created alter-ego, Rosemary Foster. Here’s what followed…

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Quick and to the point. No sense putting time and effort into this email if it happens to be a legit offer.

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Three pitches. Three swings. Three scam home runs. It’s a shame Mr & Mrs Jeffery/Crystal Peters and family had to move to IOWA CITY to care for his mother who has a lungs cancer. Hopefully I could give them some peace of mind being the responsible tenant they were hoping for.

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42 cats? You’ve gotta be kitten me. There’s no way Jeffery Peters will allow that circus to move into his home while he’s away, right? It took a few days but Jeffery finally responded…

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Two minutes later Jeffery emailed me again…

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So far, so good. Except Jeffery didn’t answer if 42 feral cats roaming his hallways was ok…

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Lucifurr and Catt Damon were especially anxious to get out of that cramped janitorial closet and into a nice, new home.

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“YOU gonna pay for them cos i don’t want any damage and mess up in my house…” 

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I’ve always been a fan of Melissa McCarthy’s movies. I don’t know if she’s a cat person, but she is now. Hopefully Jeffery didn’t Google the address on my fake drivers license or he’d realize it was to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.

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Jeffery was a sly one, pulling the old “send the money to my wife-brother in Florida” trick.

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It wasn’t my best Photoshop work but it was definitely one of my favorite pictures I’d ever created for a scammer. I laughed more and more with each cat added to the overcrowded hallway.

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$15 per cat?! Jeffery was trying to break the bank here.

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You thought my 8′ x 8′ janitorial closet was cramped with me and 42 cats? Try adding a baby rhino into the mix and you’ll understand why I was anxiously waiting for my life to end.

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I’m not good with math but I think Rosemary just agreed to pay the same amount for 1 baby rhino as she was trying to avoid paying for her 42 cats. Jeffery seems to be on top of the numbers in this deal though and probably picked up on that. I was dealing with a smart one here.

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Can we just paws for a second and appreciate how adorable this kityy-cat check is? Jeffery’s gonna have a hard time deciding if he wants to cash it or frame it and hang it on his wall.

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I will hold onto my check, Jeffery. Catalie Portman’s little paw print stamp is adorable.

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Come on Jeffery, get with it.

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He should have just said that in the first place so I didn’t have to waste a perfectly good cat check.

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Melissa McCarthy’s real-life husband Ben Falcone seemed like the perfect candidate to be someone who would council Rosemary on her dumpster-fire life.

If you’ve read my second scam encounter “Lola Mae Felder Wants to Rob me Blind” you’ll remember the whole thing came crashing down when Lola refused to tell me what her favorite kinda of pie was. I was curious to see what Jeffery’s treat of choice was.

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Dude. It looks like the cat is out of the bag cos Jeffery made some research on me.

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Dude. I hope Jeffery gives me one last chance to redeem myself. About 10 minutes after I sent this email he responded with three quick emails…

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It was nice to finally put a face to Jeffery Peters name. Now I know what the man who said “my whole family will be dead by the end of January” looks like.

I plugged these images into Google’s reverse image search but didn’t come up with an results. I wonder who Jeffery stole them from.

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I gave Jeffery a few hours to cool off after thinking I asked him to kill his mother and emailed him again…

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To my surprise he responded…

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You can tell these were the words of a frustrated man on the brink of throwing in the towel.

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Jeffery and I were SO CLOSE to finishing this deal. All I needed was the answers to these questions and I could send him my money.

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Jeffery wasn’t having it.

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Hopefully Jeffery doesn’t notice the extra questions I added to his questionnaire and just replies with a YES.

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Well, he didn’t say no… Something tells me he doesn’t understand what previous means though. That or he’s trying to tell me he has a time machine? I dunno, I was pretty confused at this point.

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A day went by without a reply so I emailed Jeffery again…

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Another two days went by…

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Again, no response…

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At this point I knew Jeffery wasn’t going to reply. I just wanted to fill his head with as much misinformation about America/Americans as possible and make him think our legal system is the weirdest, most corrupt system in the world run by people who wouldn’t think twice about killing someone with a pillow.

As customary with my previous two scammers, I decided to give Jeffery one last final farewell email his dark soul deserved…

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(Here’s the GIF I left Jeffery with in action.)

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I have a working theory on why Jeffery gave up trying to steal my money so quickly. As I’ve done with my previous scammers, I clicked “view message source” on one of Jeffery’s emails to get his IP address, which I then plugged into an IP address tracking website. I found out his emails were coming from the same place my previous two scammers emails came from (or were at least being masked to come from).

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My guess is there’s a group of people working together somewhere overseas running these scams though a server in Kansas. Maybe Jeffery Peters knows Lola Mae Felder or Andrews Connie and was tipped off and told that I was just going to waste their time? All three scams have shared some blatant similarities, but I don’t necessarily think it’s all the same person.

(Side Note: I would love to know more about the scam that happened on 12/20/2015. How are you the victim when the scammer tries to get into an online relationship with your mother in law? That sounds like a juicy story I’d love to hear.)

After doing a little bit of research online I found this book called “Running Internet Scams in America for Dummies.” Apparently it’s all the rage amongst the international con-artist community. There’s only a few copies in circulation, which they all share, study and pull email ideas and responses from.

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I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of this book. I’ve started removing each page and photocopying them, so if you are interested in beginning your new career as an internet con-artist kindly send me $2,017 via MoneyGram and I will send you this document via courier service. Kindly be sure to make the payment out to me and not my wife-brother. Also kindly make sure it’s a money order. I don’t accept check.