True Story©… SpamBack

 


     My laptop is next to my work-work computer for non-work “research” purposes and my desktop is out in my mancave next to the Playstation for music and fun purposes.  Both tend to have a tab open leading to my email inbox.

     Like most of us, I tend to go weeks – MONTHS – at a time and rarely ever look at one folder in my email box.  Yes, that is the ever infamous spam folder.
Of course, nothing of particular usefulness was there during the time of neglect.  Sure, a couple of messages that SHOULD have found one of my filtered inbox folders had eked to the junk mail folder, but the fact that I had not missed them basically served it that I could give a fuck less…

       but I was bored.
I clicked on a couple of emails and noticed that “Warren Edward Buffett” apparently uses a Gmail address that has nothing to do with his real name.  Not only that, he sends random people on the internet messages with opportunities to collect LIFE CHANGING amounts of money if only they respond with a trove of their personal information.

[Phlip note: insert long slow eyeroll here]

     Under no circumstances am I about to spoil all the headway I have made in the correction of my credit score over the last 18 months leading up to buying my current home, so I ain’t ABOUT to give them the damned farm…
… BUT…
I was, however as I said before, bored.  Even when bored I think quick on my feet.  I had a plan.

     I opened email after email and each one that had an email address on it, I would copy the email address and copy/paste it onto a notepad.

WAIT!!!

     Did you know that PayPal will allow you to randomly request money from any email address, phone number or PayPal account?  If that individual does not yet have PayPal, then they will be sent an email or message offering them the chance to sign up for it.  If they do then it will be placed into their activity queue as a request for funds.  I don’t necessarily expect that a group of 20 strangers will respond positively – if at all – to a random-assed request of $300 from an unsolicited stranger.
Frankly, however, I didn’t give a fuck.  I’d had my time and effort wasted with unsolicited contact and damn if I wasn’t about to share the annoyance.

     The math with this is on my side.  A 0.05% success rate for one request sent to 20 emails nets me 300 bucks to the good.  Not to let you in on more than you need to know about me, but that is assuredly more than I make in 20 minutes.
If none of them pay, then I have the fact that I do this shit with free hands while already on the clock and therefore haven’t LOST anything and – to repeat – have gained a little petty satisfaction that comes with wasting the time of the time-wasters.

     So I set up and sent the request, and I waited…

  and waited…

  and dammit WAITED!

     “Fuck this, I ain’t hurting for cash anyway” I thought as I walked off from it after a few days and stopped checking my PayPal activity log for new funds.  There is only so much attention and coddling I am willing to offer to a side quest that I never actually expected to make me any money and this was the line.

     Until the line was crossed…
Sitting on the couch with the wife person peering over my phone at whatever is on the television, my phone started throwing notification tones.

Wife person: “Who the hell textin’ you like that?”

Me: “I dunno, it isn’t even the normal text sound.”

Wife person: “Well what is it?”

Me: “Probably my assistant wife or somebody.”

Wife person: “You’re not funny.”

Me: “Am I not?”

     Meanwhile, the phone is still chiming like nobody’s business.

Wife person: “You wanna look and see what it is?”

Me: “There are no notifications on my homescreen, I don’t know!”

Wife person: “Something’s gotta give.”

     I checked the notifications bar and the only icon I saw aside from the VM icon I am still ignoring and the normal social media ones I ALWAYS see, the PayPal logo was there.

Me: “No fuckin’ way!”

Wife person: “What?”

Me: “I can’t explain it right now…  Hol’up.”

Wife person: “hmph…”

     I cracked open my PayPal app to see that SEVEN of the 20 requests had apparently been successfully duped into paying up.  One could expect that if someone is sending hundreds or thousands of fake contacts that--…  Shit, hold on.  I gotta explain this to my wife.

Me: “So I sent requests for money to the email addresses spamming me in Gmail.”

Wife person: “And they--…  WAIT WHAT?!!?”

Me: “Yeah, I just put the email addresses in PayPal and requested money.”

Wife person: “And they paid?”

Me: “Ridiculous, right?”

Wife person: “YOU are ridiculous.”

Me: “I also got 2100 bucks so far, I will be ridiculous.”

Wife person: “Wow…”

Me: “… and can’t even spend it.”

Wife person: “What, why?”

Me: “Not yet.  I gotta give these scammers or whomever they stole from a chance to dispute these transactions so I am not on the hook for them if I already withdrew or spent it.”

Wife person: “Well shit.”

Me: “BUT”

Wife person: “But what?”

Me: “Paypal pays interest on the funds you leave there.”

Wife person: “Nice”

Me: “So let’s wait and see before we go ball out.”

     So here we are…
I gathered that on the other end of each of those clearly false email addresses was an individual or something that would be so INCREDIBLY busy that they might not notice the bunk request for money and would just DO it as a part of their daily operations before noticing that they themselves were being taken.

Perhaps I may even diversify and use Venmo to request funds as well to spice up my chances.  Just know that I continue to use Cashapp in a similar manner, but I only do THAT one when I am accosted on Instagram by a woman attempting to sell me some ass and/or naked pics.  I will carry the conversation for long enough to get a Cashapp address, then request money and then block them.
I legit did not expect to be even a little bit successful in this particular endeavor, but damned if I ain’t about to apply this misbehavior to paying off this mortgage asappedly!


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