Winter of Discontent: Man Scammed over PS3 Lets Slip the Texts of War

Winter of Discontent: Man Scammed over PS3 Lets Slip the Texts of War

Bristol resident Edd Joseph has been texting a scammer the complete works of Shakespeare after they failed to deliver a promised PS3.

Revenge is a dish best served digitally.

At least that's probably what Edd Joseph would tell you. A resident of the Bristol, England, Joseph recently found himself on the victim end of an internet scam. Enticed by a cheap PS3 bundled with some games, he sent a supposed seller 80 pounds sterling (about $130). Said seller, unfortunately, turned out to be a fraudster who took the money and ran.

Understandably angry, Joseph went to police who informed him that the odds of catching the seller were slim. Still wanting to dole out some kind of comeuppance however, he concocted a plan to get the seller back: he began texting him the complete works of Shakespeare. "It just occurred to me you can copy and paste things from the internet and into a text message," explained Joseph. "It got me thinking, 'what can I send to him' which turned to 'what is a really long book', which ended with me sending him Macbeth."

Joseph has continued with his wordy vengeance for close to a week now, copying, pasting and sending the famed poets plays to the fraudulent seller who, in turn, receives hundreds of consecutive texts as the lengthy works are automatically broken up into smaller messages. "I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that," said Joseph. "His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours." Eventually the seller tried to call him. "I tried to ask him if he was enjoying the plays, but he was very confused." Confused or not, Joseph affirmed his intent to continue the texts, as well as his new affection for Shakespeare. "I've got a new appreciation you could say - especially for the long ones."

Source: The Telegraph

Permalink

Typical southerner, rather than going for abusive texts (like a Northerner would), he sups his earl gray, takes a bite out of a crumpet and while listening to Bach, copy and pastes Macbeth to his scammer!

Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

And after that little 5 minute responce, his number was blocked. The scammer goes on with his life, spending the fools money and the sad prick pathetically spends even more money to send pointless texts that don't go anywhere.

omega 616:
Typical southerner, rather than going for abusive texts (like a Northerner would), he sups his earl gray, takes a bite out of a crumpet and while listening to Bach, copy and pastes Macbeth to his scammer!

Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

Depending on the model, you can get them for that price on eBay. If I priced my PS3 up for a quick sale, I would probably go with about 100. If it was an older model that was advertised 80 is reasonable.

That being said, this is why I avoid buying from others off the internet, eBay not included. Paypal protection helped me the one time I had an issue with a seller. Otherwise I'd only do cash on pick up, not that I ever try to buy off Gumtree or Craigslist.

I wouldn't mind Shakespeare too much, now real vengeance would be using a computer based solution and a little scripting to automate sending the iTunes user agreements.., all of them, every revision. Preferably this computer based solution would use a rotating list of source numbers.

This sounds like a promising start.

What happened to the good old times when people just went and burned the scammers house down...

Even after high school Shakespeare is still torture, apparently.

So how much has he spent on his text message 'vengeance'? And it's a good job Shakespeare is in the public domain or someone might try and sue him given how weird copyright laws are. Although Merchant of Venice might have been cooler, so if the scammer is found he can kick in the guy's door and say 'I'm here for my pound of flesh motherfucker!' and shoot the place up. Which is definitely what happened in the story.

CriticalMiss:
So how much has he spent on his text message 'vengeance'? And it's a good job Shakespeare is in the public domain or someone might try and sue him given how weird copyright laws are. Although Merchant of Venice might have been cooler, so if the scammer is found he can kick in the guy's door and say 'I'm here for my pound of flesh motherfucker!' and shoot the place up. Which is definitely what happened in the story.

you win the Arnold Schwarzenegger award for best action line of the week!

Sooooo stupid.

He doesn't realise that nobody is using that number does he?

You see if you knew whose number that was you could literally get a warrant allowing you the ability to locate the person using the phone records. At best it's a throw away cell phone lying in a trash can below, at worst it's a fake number.

Why are people forgetting most modern day cell plans come with free texting, no limit? He probably doesn't pay a dime to send these super-texts.

If he has the guy's phone number, and the guy's CLEARLY responding, why can't the police to anything about it?

CriticalMiss:
So how much has he spent on his text message 'vengeance'?

Absolutely zero, in the actual Telegraph article it confirms he's on a package that includes unlimited texts. Cool idea, I just hope the scammer doesn't learn how to block numbers >.>

omega 616:
Typical southerner, rather than going for abusive texts (like a Northerner would), he sups his earl gray, takes a bite out of a crumpet and while listening to Bach, copy and pastes Macbeth to his scammer!

Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

Some people do wanna get rid of their old consoles that badly if they're a rich snot and already hopped on the next gen bandwagon. GAME doesn't exactly offer a fairer price than that either...so if they're pushing exuberant scamtastic prices for trade ins then that's where the market sits at for most people.

And true while I might text them pictures of feces if it were me, he's entitled to his methods.

omega 616:
Typical southerner, rather than going for abusive texts (like a Northerner would), he sups his earl gray, takes a bite out of a crumpet and while listening to Bach, copy and pastes Macbeth to his scammer!

Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

You may not have noticed, but there has recently been a new console generation put out for sale. I've seen PS3s go for cheaper than that(recently saw a PS3 + 2 controllers + games sell for $100 USD).

Shakespeare? Pah! I say, send him some choice fan fiction - starting with legendary (for all the wrong reasons) My Immortal! The... novel approach to grammar and spelling would make the resulting spam almost indistinguishable from an actual text message, forcing the scammer to examine each one a bit more closely!

I'm wondering why the scammer ever gave him his number in the first place. Most internet deals don't require it. Just give him a fake email address for him to complain to.

Infernal Lawyer:
If he has the guy's phone number, and the guy's CLEARLY responding, why can't the police to anything about it?

Yeah, My thoughts exactly... I know the telecoms company can track the device in minutes if they know the number

Why can't the police track the guy from his phone number?

Or is that Sci-Fi technology that only exists in Hollywood movies?

Neta:
Why can't the police track the guy from his phone number?

Or is that Sci-Fi technology that only exists in Hollywood movies?

Kinda depends. Since he is able to receive text messages then the phone is probably a mobile rather than land-line, which makes any sort of tracking extremely difficult.

GPS tracking usually requires some kind of application for it already installed on the cellphone, as well as requiring the gps to actually be enabled. There may be a way to remotely access the phone and force it to install the broadcasting application and turn on the gps, but I have no knowledge of any way to do this beyond locating and forcing access to a google account and installing "plan B" - or doing whatever lost phone retrieval option IOS has. I don't know about apple phones, but your google account is linked to your other google stuff and nothing else - your phone provider is not involved in this, at least in Canada, so they can't help the police gain access to it.

Cell tower tracking can be done completely remotely, but can range from unhelpful to useless depending on how many cellphone towers are in the area. Since your location is triangulated based on latency to one or more separate cell towers, your location can be anything from "inside this huge circle" to "somewhere on this block". If you've ever tried to use a smartphone map application without GPS enabled then you probably have a good idea of how effective it is at guessing your location.

omega 616:
Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

Actually, I purchased my PS3+Games from ebay for only a little more than that, and it has all been working marvelously since then. It is a good idea to default to skepticism when it seems like there's a bargain to be had, but that isn't a completely outrageous price.

Neta:
Why can't the police track the guy from his phone number?

Or is that Sci-Fi technology that only exists in Hollywood movies?

It's not. It's actually a fairly accurate technology too... I'm just as surprised as you are.

Because he likely left out that he has the guys number when contacting police, or they don't want to deal with the hassle of tracking him down, also there's probably a lack of evidence.

luvd1:
And after that little 5 minute responce, his number was blocked. The scammer goes on with his life, spending the fools money and the sad prick pathetically spends even more money to send pointless texts that don't go anywhere.

Well, obviously not the case. Moving on...

OT: I dunno. Shakespeare is entertaining. If you want to hit someone with a long and torturous epic, try Moby Dick. Nevertheless, I find it amusing and intriguing.

So much wrong with this actually.
First of all ints odd that the guy hasnt even blocked his number yet. he certainly did after the call i assume.
If he didnt, its worse.
he actually got a case of harrasing and can get that guy fined. so not only he woudl be left without PS3 but also with a fine.

Since it is probably a prepaid phone, I'm willing to bet that the scammer has a new number & the old number was passed on to someone else by now who is completely innocent of whatever happened. That someone else is going to probably complain to the police and this guy is going to get in serious trouble for harassment.

I can't help but notice how the guy mentions the person on the other line was confused.

When I got a prepaid phone a few years ago, I got constant calls, even in the middle of the night because whoever had the number previously posted it on their Facebook, invited any random person to call him anytime, and then never changed it when he got rid of the number.

PirateRose:
Since it is probably a prepaid phone, I'm willing to bet that the scammer has a new number & the old number was passed on to someone else by now who is completely innocent of whatever happened. That someone else is going to probably complain to the police and this guy is going to get in serious trouble for harassment.

This is a perfect example of why we need to get rid of the traditional phone-number paradigm already and focus on migrating to a standardized, open, and secure voice-chat protocol where everyone's ID is formatted like an email address. How much longer are landline phones going to be a thing, anyway? Granted, that can still have some problems, but I doubt they'd be nearly as common as wrong numbers.

If the scammer has to pay to receive text messages, this could get very expensive.

If you want to send something REALLY long, how about the full text of Wikipedia? Isn't it something like 14 gigabytes, or 6000 volumes if printed?

I'm waiting until the War and Peace text messages start. I read that thing in just under a week and lemme tell ya, 2000+ pages equals a SHITTONNE of texts.

This could possibly be the most English thing I have ever seen. Scratch that, this is the most English thing I have ever seen.

I approve, practicality be damned. The idea alone is brilliant, if the texts haven't been shut down with a number block or other admittedly pretty simple countermeasure it's even better. Give the guy painful flashbacks of secondary school English classes.

If he has the sellers phone number can't he pay someone like 20 bucks on the internet to look up the information get an address and then send some not nice people to his house?

omega 616:
Typical southerner, rather than going for abusive texts (like a Northerner would), he sups his earl gray, takes a bite out of a crumpet and while listening to Bach, copy and pastes Macbeth to his scammer!

Also, 80 for a ps3 and games? Haven't had a Nigerian prince email you lately? Long lost relative need 1000 to get out a few million? Idiot!

Its actually not an unreasonable price. I got my ps3 with two controllers and a half a dozen games for around $100 and my 360 only cost me $50 and those were both a few years ago. Used consoles much like games and everything else are worth considerably less then new ones.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here