The following is a correspondence between me and someone who responded to my 'Craigslist' ad for an old Pocket PC I was selling. The price I asked was $175. I realized from the get-go he was not what he seemed, and I decided to have some fun...

Mark Williams, scammer du jour
George Brewster, phrenologist and philanthropist
Hubert L. Dewey, his legal counsel, of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe

Mark Williams
July 30th:

My name is Mark,i resides in london and am very much interestd in buying your Ipaq Pocket PC. Get back to me with the firm price for this item if it is still available.
Thanks Mark +44-704-573-4056
George Brewster
Please make me a reasonable offer. I think the price is fair.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers
Mark Williams
Thanks for getting back to me.
The ipaq is for my wife's birthday present which is coming up in 11 days time.its her dream Notebook. She works in the US consulate office in West Africa, She is in a research now somewhere out of her office .Am a very busy man and i would please want you to do me a great favour by helping me to send this item to my wife for her her birthday.I love her so much and my tight schedule wont allow me to run around and do the shipping by myself.I will appreciate everything you do for me here.I will pay you US$420 to cover up for the cost of the note book and the shipments to africa. i hope this is alright with you my dear. I'll be paying you through Storm-pay Online Money Order, www.stormpay.com . it's secure and protects two parties in a transaction. I will like you to provide the below requirements in your reply for me to send it to storm-pay Office for payment before you ship it.
Full Name:
Full contact address:
All this information should be provided correctly to avoid wrong payment.
I will forward my Wifes residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment reaches you.
I will be very grateful to hear from you soonest.
Warm regards, Mark +44-704-573-4056
George Brewster
July 31st:

This is acceptable. Let me know where you would like the Ipaq sent, and we can arrange from there. I also will be out of my home area, doing missionary work on alopecious conditions, but I would be happy to help.
Mark Williams
To my wife in west africa but you have send your information to me so i can make the payments to stormpay before the shipments. mark
George Brewster
Hi, Mark.
Our church is sending a delegation for the alopecious to West Africa. They will travel from Mauritania to Namibia, stopping in many locations. If you let me know her address, we can drop it off and surprise her. I think this would be an exciting gift to get. As I say, simply pass on her location and one of our delegates can bring it with them. We can accept payment in cash from one of her co-workers, or you can send me a cheque.
Mark Williams
August 1st:

George Brewster
Terrific. We will be in Lagos this coming Monday, then on to Benin City, and Maiduguri. Give me her address and I'll make sure she gets it.
Warmest regards, George.
George Brewster

(Long pause with no response, so I prodded him)

August 2nd:

My dear Mark;
I am so sorry, I have led you up the garden path, it seems.
Our group left early, and I was unable to hand them my computer.
If you still want to purchase it, please send me the information you need and I will handle it.
I tried to call you from here, but I live in Kapuskasing, Ontario, and while retired life on Lake Wobegonia is a treat, the Kapuskasing Telephone and Telegraph Company does not allow me international calls.
I was stationed outside London with the RAF during the war, before I trained as a phrenologist, and still have fond memories of England. I must assume it has changed substantially since then.
My mailing address is:
George Thurman Brewster,
C150, Greenbank,
Kapuskasing, Ontario,

Best Regards, George.
Mark Williams
please my friend what are you up to,i told my wife that you are coming with the computer and now you have dissapointed me.Can i trust you here.
So can you now ship the computer to her,if you can,then tell me so i can make the payments to stormpay immediately but what stormpay does is that they will not hand over the payments to you untill they have verified that you have shipped the item out for fear of fraud.
What do you think about this.Get back to me asap because i dont have much time to waste here. Mark
George Brewster
My dear Mark:
Where would you like it shipped?
I also wish to conclude this. By the way, I was stationed in a part of England near Croydon. Where do you live?
All my best, George.
Mark Williams
i told you this ipaq is for my wife in africa.

August 3rd:
i told you earlier that she resides at
# 27 eze street uwani enugu.
Enugu State.
West Africa.
NAME....Izuchukwu Ozonweke.

You dissapointed me earlier on wheni already told my wife to make a payments availble for you that you are coming to drop the computer for her.
Let me know when you ship,Am already making the payments,they will contact you immediately they confirm the payments from my bank accountThanks for your help..
George Brewster

(Dutifully sends the shipping document)

Hubert L. Dewey

I suspect the fellow was getting fed up, so I upped the ante by removing a decimal point, and 'bumped off' the good doctor.
I created a new email address, HDandLLawfirm@xxx-xxxxxxx.com (do you need to ask??) and sent him the following.

Hubert Louis Dewey,
HD and L Law Partners, LLC
57 Heinz Lane,
Kapuskasing, Ont. RU2 S10W

Dear Mr. Williams:
I regret to inform you that Dr. George Brewster passed away recently.
Attached is a scan of the obituary from the Kapuskasing Picayune Intelligence.
As the attorney responsible for administering the estate of the late Dr. Brewster, it is my duty to resolve any outstanding claims on the estate before disposition of the remaining assets to the charities mentioned in the will.
I personally knew Doc Brewster for many years. He would often say to me: "Huey, you can't go far in life if you don't visit foreign countries."
This love of travel led him to grab his passport and explore regions of the globe from Ottawa to Gananoque (both are in Ontario, Canada).
In later years, he recaptured his love of painting, turning his skills to barns, car doors and windows. While he was not truly wealthy, his business acumen and keen sense of investment did serve to provide him with considerable monetary rewards.
Our clerk noted that the doctor left a notepad listing outstanding obligations; one of the names listed was yours.

Please note also the attached scanned portion of the notepad referring to your claim on the estate. Can you present to us an affidavit of claim for the $42,000 mentioned on the notepad?
A timely response would be greatly appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

H. Louis Dewey, B.B.A. M.Sc. L.L.B. cc. BS

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