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MoonCat
11-21-2013, 04:01 AM
Just got this email at work the other day. All spelling/grammatical errors as it was sent to us.....Do you know how difficult it was not to reply with some bogus pricing & shipping info? :devil:

"Good Day,

My name is Mr. Walken and i send this inquiry to your company with regards and i will like to order some Thetford Porta Potties and so kindly get back with the types and sizes of the Thetford Porta Potties you have and as well as the prices on them.

Immediate responds is required and advise on payment method you do accept.

With Kind Regards
Robert Waken"

Tama
11-21-2013, 09:31 AM
What is the object of this scammer's desire? He's hoping to scam you with fake cards?

I'm curious.

ADeMartino
11-21-2013, 02:17 PM
Forgive me if I seem a bit thick, but I don't see what makes you think this is a scam. Poor English, certainly, but it looks like he is trying to politely request information on a product, pricing, and payment methods. From what I've been told, English is a bitch of a language to learn if it isn't your native tongue.

Aethian
11-21-2013, 03:04 PM
Reminds me of the posts on FB that the Swedish youtuber I follow makes. So this guy might actually not be a scammer unless of course you guys don't sell the product in question.

tedmchugh
11-21-2013, 04:40 PM
I've actually had something like this happen to me in my early years. A person wanted a price on numerous drills/tools. They wanted to pay over the phone. An "employee" came in to pick up the merchandise and 2-3 days later, the credit card wound up being stolen.

Ironclad Alibi
11-21-2013, 08:22 PM
Responding the to original inquiry to tell him he had the wrong email address verifies that it was indeed sent to a valid email address. This means it is an email address they can send a targeted scam to. This is especially true if the original email was a broadcast email, and not addressed directly to MoonCat.

Pixilated
11-22-2013, 03:33 AM
*snip* From what I've been told, English is a bitch of a language to learn if it isn't your native tongue.

I was told the same thing, by a trilingual teacher whose first language was, in fact, English. If you step back and take a look at English spelling in particular, it looks as if the language was put together by a bunch of people on a three-week bender.

MoonCat
11-22-2013, 04:12 AM
Well, first, I work for a newspaper, not a porta-potty company. The email was sent to our death notice inbox, which is pretty clearly identifiable as such.

Second, one of the most popular scams involves someone requesting pricing info on a product and then placing a large, very expensive order. The product ships, the check comes in, and it turns out to be bogus. Thus the scammer ends up with a lot of expensive product that he hasn't paid for.

Third, a company that sells its products online is going to have a website that gives pricing and shipping information. Porta-potties aren't an abstract concept, and they don't vary much.

Chromatix
11-22-2013, 11:04 AM
I was told the same thing, by a trilingual teacher whose first language was, in fact, English. If you step back and take a look at English spelling in particular, it looks as if the language was put together by a bunch of people on a three-week bender.

I'll just leave this here. (http://www.i18nguy.com/chaos.html)

In fact, it turns out that there are about a dozen rules which can be applied to spell English words in most cases. Exceptions to those rules are few enough that they can be learned by rote - or at least recognised as words of explicitly foreign origin, at which point you turn to that language's spelling rules.

As far as the *spoken* language is concerned, I'm reliably informed that Old English grammar was overlaid by Latin-origin words imported by the Normans (who were descendants of Vikings) and Germanic-origin words imported by the actual Vikings from what is now Norway, with only a few original Old English words surviving. The combined whole, known as Middle English, is what Chaucer (early) and Shakespeare (late) spoke - and it then developed organically into modern English.

In modern times we have also imported some Greek words (and re-imported some Latin ones) via the sciences and other academia. For example "television" is derived from Greek "tele" (far) and Latin "video" (to see). Queen Elizabeth I's motto was "Video et taceo" - I see and I say nothing - Latin still being used as an international language at that time.

Aethian
11-22-2013, 11:07 AM
Well, first, I work for a newspaper, not a porta-potty company. The email was sent to our death notice inbox, which is pretty clearly identifiable as such.

See I had forgotten this, so yea he still might be a scammer.

But I did look up the product, they are toilets for rv's and other insertable areas.

ADeMartino
11-22-2013, 11:34 AM
[URL="http://www.i18nguy.com/chaos.html"]
As far as the *spoken* language is concerned, I'm reliably informed that Old English grammar was overlaid by Latin-origin words imported by the Normans (who were descendants of Vikings) and Germanic-origin words imported by the actual Vikings from what is now Norway, with only a few original Old English words surviving. The combined whole, known as Middle English, is what Chaucer (early) and Shakespeare (late) spoke - and it then developed organically into modern English.


It doesn't help that English slang continues to change, with some words and expressions falling in and out of favor at a rapid pace. For example, there was an old expression, "This (that) is no way to run a railroad" which if used in some conversations could utterly baffle a person not familiar with English (or American) idioms - especially if the conversation had nothing to do with a railroad! Then there's that tendency to 'verb' nouns and English contractions (and our frequent misuse of there/their/they're, its/it's, and your/you're).

Further complicating the whole mess is the 'American' versus 'British' spelling and pronunciation of things. "Color/colour, defense/defence/al-oo-mi-num versus al-you-min-i-um", etc. And let's not forget that whole metric versus imperial mess. And, the less said about l33t and txtspk, the better. It's amazing, really, that English is taught and spoken in so many foreign countries. And little wonder that so many people for whom English is the 'home' tongue have difficulty with spelling and grammar.

Well, first, I work for a newspaper, not a porta-potty company. The email was sent to our death notice inbox, which is pretty clearly identifiable as such.

Second, one of the most popular scams involves someone requesting pricing info on a product and then placing a large, very expensive order. The product ships, the check comes in, and it turns out to be bogus. Thus the scammer ends up with a lot of expensive product that he hasn't paid for.

Third, a company that sells its products online is going to have a website that gives pricing and shipping information. Porta-potties aren't an abstract concept, and they don't vary much.

Ah, okay, the picture comes into sharper focus now.

I figured a scam would involve a bum check. If I'd bothered to look for other posts of yours, I probably could have divined that you don't work for a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the product in question.

It shouldn't
11-22-2013, 03:19 PM
Had an e-mail once with the same type of grammar.
He wanted to order $2500 worth of locks and said he would even pick them up at our location.
I smelled scam right of the bat, but boss wanted me to quote him anyway, so I did.
Scammer went ahead and placed the order, but his wife had a 'medical emergency' and he wanted it now shipped to Nigeria for his ministries. Please add the shipping charges, here is a credit card #.

I called the issuing bank of the credit card. Turns out it belonged to a female in Conneticut. They went ahead and put a fraud alert on the card.

I e-mailed him and told him card was declined. He sent me a different card #, this one from Missouri. Called bank again, activated fraud alert, told scammer it was declined.

All in all he burned through 7 card numbers before he caught on and I never heard from him again.

dalesys
11-22-2013, 05:23 PM
The song: Handy House (http://youtu.be/A7RhtWecNZo)

Kogarashi
11-23-2013, 02:13 AM
-snip- And little wonder that so many people for whom English is the 'home' tongue have difficulty with spelling and grammar.

I attribute my skill in spelling to being very well-read. It also makes for a large working vocabulary.

Grammar, though, I never really "got" until I studied German grammar as part of my German language classes in college. I suspect that's why foreign language classes were a requirement for English majors there. As for high school, when I should have learned it, the English classes either were focusing more on the literature and writing rather then an in-depth study of grammar, or the way it was presented was boring and complicated (despite the teacher in question being awesome). With German, certain things just clicked because it was more important with the way the language was structured and the way words changed depending on their role in a sentence.

All in all he burned through 7 card numbers before he caught on and I never heard from him again.

Very nicely done.

wolfie
11-23-2013, 04:22 AM
I called the issuing bank of the credit card.

Just curious, but how did you find the issuing bank? Do you use a lookup table/service based on the first few digits of the card number?

EricKei
11-23-2013, 05:29 AM
I attribute my skill in spelling to being very well-read. It also makes for a large working vocabulary.
The same is true in my case ...even if it doesn't always look that way in my posts. ;) Everywhere I've ever worked, I wound up as the "office dictionary" within a few weeks.

As for English being ridiculously hard to learn: I have had this backed up by pretty much every foreign-language teacher I've ever studied under. I'm a native speaker, I have a degree in English, and I took a number of linguistics courses, and I still don't claim to truly and fully "understand" our wonderful clusterf*** of a language. :angel:

I do find it amusing that modern Japanese tends to "borrow" words from other tongues -- English, Chinese, and Portuguese among them -- though, in their case, imported words are written in an entirely different script (katakana)...but not always.

MoonCat
11-24-2013, 01:37 AM
If I'd bothered to look for other posts of yours, I probably could have divined that you don't work for a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the product in question

No, that's okay, really, I probably should've mentioned it. I've worked here so long I tend to forget that the whole world doesn't know that.:o