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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 10:28 am:   

I've had the scam email Hubert reported. I've alerted S. T.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.219
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 10:36 am:   

Thanks, Ramsey. At least one of S.T.'s associates in the States got it, too. I think the trouble may be on S.T.'s end, for those files they attached as proof could only have been phished or harvested (or whatever they did) from his account.
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R.B. Russell (Tartarusrussell)
Username: Tartarusrussell

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 217.42.142.77
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 01:13 pm:   

Quite a few of us received the scam email yesterday and were genuinely concerned. There were a number of details that didn't ring true, but if a friend is in distress they wouldn't necessarily behave as you'd expect. Luckily word got around that it was a scam.
I tried posting a warning on here but my message didn't come out either. One friend was very close to sending money...
It must be very frustrating for S.T., but the one positive thing to come out of it is that he now knows that, if the need arises, he has friends who would go out of their way to help him... :-)
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.219
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 02:35 pm:   

a number of details that didn't ring true

I kept sending replies for at least 30 minutes before I smelled a rat or two:

1 S.T. would never write "i am" instead of "I am"

2 a subtle misuse of commas

3 an unwillingness to talk to me on the phone (crucial!)

4 a failure to rectify my statement that S.T. lives in New York (he doesn't)

5 they were a little too hasty: after my initial reply to the effect that I was going to see what I could do they insisted I send the money straightaway - upon receipt of their reply to my reply

What is slightly worrying is that they got hold of those files I sent S.T. last year, plus they knew all the details about my Ewers book.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 02:52 pm:   

Hm! Is it Smilemime?
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.178.3
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 03:40 pm:   

Hubert, this is bad and must be upsetting for S.T. Joshi, but I think it's great that your suspicions were triggered by the careless typography of the purported distress message. One does feel that any Joshi text, no matter how urgent, would be immaculate. And have footnoted references.

Let's hope he sets his feline security staff on the perpetrators, once the former return from their Ulthar shift.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.219
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 03:56 pm:   

It may well have been Smilemime. Consider the following reply to my query "How do I know you're really my friend from New York?":

"I don't want to believe you are doubting me now..but yet i understand you are trying to be on a safer side...
Do you remember the Ewers project back in 2009 which was release by released by Side Real Press?
The 349-page book is entitled Nachtmahr remember?
I guess the 2 electronic files attached could help much better.

Await your kind response."
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Barbara Roden (Nebuly)
Username: Nebuly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 142.179.12.225
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 05:33 pm:   

I got this message when I got home from work yesterday, by which time there was already a long series of messages on the All Hallows group, started by Ray, warning that it was a scam. I knew it was a scam as soon as I saw the subject line in my inbox, which contained the word 'are', only it was spelled 'r'; something ST would NEVER do, no matter how dire the circumstances. It also helped that at least one other friend fell victim to this scam a year or so ago - 'Help, I'm stranded in XXX with my bags stolen and no money, please send assistance.' The fact that the perpetrator of the scam hijacks the victim's e-mail and files is something I didn't know, and it's truly frightening.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 08:40 am:   

Indeed, I had a similar email supposedly from David Byron/Boyer/[pseudonyms ad infinitum] at the beginning of last year:

Hello,

How are you doing? I just believe you are doing great. This might just be a surprise to you but I want you to pardone me for not informing you about my traveling to Edinburg for a three days Seminar. It was something urgent and i didn't even inform anyone about this traveling. You know what, I just got myself in serious trouble here due to my carelessness. I got my wallet misplaced on my way to the hotel I lodge in after the Seminar yesterday which was actually the last day. My money,phone, cards,diary, my return ticket and other vital documents are all in the wallet. I'm so worrried now as I have lost all contacts. I can not even make calls, i just have to use the internet to send you this email so that you could help me out with $1700 to sort myself out here and to pay for my hotel bills. But I will appreciate any amount you could afford. I will pay you back as soon as I get back home.

You can send the fund with my name and the address below via any Western union money transfer outlet around you or inside any bank. This is the fastest way for me to receive the fund here immediately. I will really appreciate your effort in helping me out.

Name : david byron
Address: 80 High Street,The Royal Mile,EH1 1TH,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

Thanks alot, looking forward to hearing from you soon


It may be the only recorded instance of somebody pretending to be Mr B.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.219
Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 09:24 am:   

I wonder whether my address list hasn't become infected as a result of opening that first e-mail . . .
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Barbara Roden (Nebuly)
Username: Nebuly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 142.179.12.225
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2011 - 01:45 am:   

Just had an e-mail from ST saying that he has, with Google's help, been able to restore his e-mail address, although he's lost all his saved messages from the last few days. And yes, it was a legitimate message; I could tell because it was spelled and punctuated properly.
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.137.108.144
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2011 - 10:18 am:   

Strike another blow for the argument that grammar and spelling aren't important.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.118.79.219
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2011 - 11:29 am:   

Those hackers must have enough files by now to produce their own library of fantastic fiction

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