It seems that slightly more effort went into this one than the usual scatter-gun spam emails or cold-calling remote access scams.
First up was an SMS to my phone, addressing me by name, so they’ve got some of my details – firstname and phone number.
Adrian I saw this story and thought about you: http://pigso.co/coXYZ123
A bit sus, perhaps it was someone I knew, so I messaged back. Of course there was no reply.
Today I received a real honest-to-goodness paper letter, a letter in an envelope, a letter posted from faraway France. “How odd,” I thought, who would write to me from France?
Aha, it would be “ESQ. Philip ROSSLARE” of “ROSSLARE CHAMBERS LLP,” or so I discovered as I opened the letter and saw the opening lines:
Firstly I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret.
For the last three days we’ve had mystery phone calls shortly after 6 pm, each day they hang up after I answer the phone — a sure sign of a call-centre, the auto-dialler has dialled, you’ve answered, but all of their operators are busy and nobody is free to piss you off. Until today…
All heavily accented, echo-ey and garbled, sounding typically like the Indian call-centres. Around 6.10 pm this evening:
Only a week or so since we were at Lorne where I’d read in one of the newspapers an article about the millions and millions of dollars that Australians lose each year to various scams, then today at mum & dad’s house we got to experience one first hand! Not just that, but it was almost word-for-word as laid out in the newspaper. Supposed tradesmen offering goods and services “on the cheap,” as two blokes turn up in a ute with a barrel of tar in the back and a couple of magnetic signs over the doors to hide the rental company name and say “we’ve been doing some work ‘up on the highway’ and the boss has asked us to get rid of the left over tar, we can resurface your driveway for a good price if you like…“
Its bad enough this ridiculous business of door-to-door sales-scammers, sorry, salesmen, coming around for whichever company wants to annoy you the most, insisting on seeing your bills for product X and trying to sign you up for some competitors' offer, presumably one that gives them a commission on every customer converted.
Is it my suspicious mind, or does the following Flickr Mail seem a little bit dodgy?
In a dutch magazine we would like to publish your photo of the ambulance in victoria. You have it verry small online, is it possible to send me a large size of the photo. We would like to publish it on 20cm wide. So we need it verry large. We can offer you a fee of 50,- euro for the photo.
I experiment. I play. I write and I take pictures. Some of the site is organised around topics, other parts are organized by date, then there’s always the cross-references between them.
Long ago it started as a learning experiment with a few static HTML pages, then I added a bit of server-side includes and some very ugly PHP. A hand-built journal/blog on top of that PHP, then a few experiments in moving to various static publishing systems. I’ve never wanted a database-based blogging engine, so over the years I’ve tried php, nanoblogger, emacs-muse, silkpage and docbook before settling on emacs org-mode for writing and jekyll for publishing. But the itch remained… I never really liked jekyll and the ruby underneath always seemed so much black magic. So now the latest incarnation is org-mode and hugo.