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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday February 12, 2002
09:20 AM


[ #2806 ]

My wife is at home this week, so she's been having the latest scams thrust down her throat. Her's the transcript (well, I may have some bits wrong) of a conversation she had on the phone yesterday:

"Hi, we're calling from [mumble]"


"You may have heard of us, we sponsor the weather on Central Television"

"What's central television?"

"Oh... erm..." [looks for that part of the script] "Well we're pleased to tell you that you've won our draw!"

"I never entered your draw"

"Yes, we entered you"

"Oh, well what have I won?"

"You've won a free consultation from our specialist to come and design you a new kitchen, completely free of charge!"

(we fitted a new kitchen last autumn, as I'm sure some readers remember)

"Great. How much is it worth?"

"I'm sorry?"

"How much is the prize worth?"

"I don't understand. You've won it!"

"Yes, but if I called your company and asked for a consultation for a new kitchen, how much would you charge me?"

(losing enthusiasm) "But you've won it!"

"But I don't know how much it's worth."

"Oh NEVER MIND." [click]

Following that was today someone came around from the council, with full ID, and a chainsaw and hedge cutters, saying that the neighbours behind had complained about the height of our hedge. Now we're aware they are unhappy about it, as it's about 25 foot high, but they could have just come to us. Anyway, he was saying that he'd cut it now for us for a one off charge of £100, or £70 if we paid now in cash. So Heather thankfully called me, and I told her to get him to leave and we'd do it ourselves. However I'm not as smart as her. So after he left Heather wrote down his name and called the council. Never heard of a Mr Umbarton (I forget the exact name now, but I guess it's irrelevant), and he certainly doesn't work for the council, quote: "probably just looking to scam you". Unfortunately the rest of our street are all about 90 years old, so we hope nobody else falls into his trap - we'll certainly be warning them. The police were not interested.

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