I don’t shop at Walmart.
I’m dragging this on by trying to get them to explain how I won this sweepstakes I never entered.
My name is Steve Trevor, born 3 February 1973.
“There are, indeed.”
“Yeah, that sounds smart. I wouldn’t want anybody to get the wrong idea about me.”
“You’ll not tell no one, Mr. Steve?”
“My lips are sealed.”
Judging by his heavy Indian accent, I suspect his name isn’t Robert.
Eagerly anticipating if they’ll call tonight as promised.
They’re stuck in California. The California Police won’t let them cross the border with this much money. Which is a check. But if we have a business arrangement…
I’m to money order him $1500 as a 20% investment in a “golden eagle stamp.”
The manager, Mr. Foster, insisted my name was Victor. Which is not the Steve I said yesterday. We spent ten minutes going over the spelling — E T & V are hard over the phone.
“Okay,” says a positively devestated Mr. Foster. Okay, he doesn’t care. These guys aren’t very good, but then again neither are their usual targets.
He’ll call me at 9.
I mean, he can try. I’ll be in an airplane to CES then, but whatever.
“I, Steve Trevor, will do anything to collect my prize. In the event that I cannot, I designate my daughter Julie Trevor to receive all my winnings.”
I messed it up 3 times, he accused me if not taking this seriously.
Obviously going to ignore Roberandon and Mr. Foster’s calls until the evening. Gotta play it cool so my co-workers don’t know I’m almost a millionaire.
I’m thinking I might have broken my phone last night… or should I photoshop a fake wire transfer receipt?
Alas, my phone’s broken and I lost the photo I took of it.
He’s now texting me, so I feel like our relationship is moving to the next level.
I’ll definitely have to Photoshop that tonight. Hard part (mentally) will be making it look like I have a potato phone.
1) I need to go to the bank and verify that the transfer was completed — I already told him the money’s not in my account!
2) Send him a picture of Steve Trevor’s driver’s license. 😈
I am crushed.
I’m going to withdraw $500 in cash and deposit it into his account instead. Also, they won’t be able to deliver my prize until the 20th. Sad.
Well, it’s a picture of *a* receipt. None of the numbers will work, though.
It’s a lot easier when I can just rebuild and print a thing versus photoshopping a photo.
Intra-bank transfers should be instant. This poses an issue.
Also: distributed organization they’ve got — I’ve fake-sent money to Wyoming, Michigan, and now Wisconsin.
And he needs me to spell my name (even though it’s on the receipt). That did give me the joy of spelling with a bunch of E T and V over the phone in Steve Trevor’s hilljack accent
I’m not on my way back to the MoneyGram.
Just one problem… MoneyGram refunds are processed via mail and may take up to 20 days (!) to process.
Steve Trevor has $32.17 in his account. He’s going to miss his mortgage payment.
I suspect that after two weeks his superiors are extra pissed that they’ve yet to get a dime from me… even though I’ve supposedly sent them $2000.
I hear angry yelling in the background.
This is going well.
Couldn’t get a clear answer. Not sure where this is going. Any ideas, Twitter?
What will not-Brandon do?
Also, it’s across the parking lot from the local Walmart, not across town. Whoops.
I hope he doesn’t notice my glaring error. /s
He wants me to… take a picture of the iPhone once I purchase it. Oooookay?
He said that it’s okay, providing minimal comfort, I can just go tomorrow after work.
I’m sure he’ll call and text multiple times anyway.
All I can think is some sort of refund scam where they’ll try and return it and get the money, or maybe some sort of iCloud account scam.
Better register a fake iCloud account, just in case.
I don’t know where Steve Trevor ends and Derek Kessler begins.
Told him the store rep’s giving me “a reel hard sell on a galaxys8” — and not-Brandon’s fine with that instead.
So this isn’t an iCloud thing.
Side note: I’ve gotten in the habit of just pulling the phone from the box and ignoring the rest of the contents. I knew the GS8 had excellent AKG earbuds, but I didn’t realize Samsung also included USB-C-to-A and Micro-USB-to-C adapters.
Now faking a USPS flat rate shipping receipt.
Also, not-Brandon gave me a screenshot for the address that has numbers in the last name field. 🤔
Not-Brandon has taken to calling Steve Trevor “buddy”. I think we’re going to be best friends.
Will not-Brandon notice? Is the jig up? Stay tuned…
But he’s covering my processing fee (the $1500 that was for a golden eagle stamp co-investment) and late fees (the unexplained $500 & $200 money orders) and will be here in 3-4 days.
Thankfully, Steve’s never really ventured out of central Ohio, so his concept of how long it takes to travel from the California border to Ohio isn’t that firm.
It’s not like not-Brandon cares. He loves Steve Trevor for who he is on the inside.
Or is not-Brandon calling my bluff on the typo date on the faked USPS receipt I sent him? Seems unlikely.
I’m now an Eagles fan. And he wants a picture of the game on TV. Alright, buddy.
"i dont do facebook thats how the liberal media misinfornation complex gets you!"
Yeah, that should do.
He also has not yet received the Galaxy S8 I didn’t mail him. But he hopes it will arrive by tomorrow. It won’t.
Though he’s still not asked for my address. I know it was on Steve Trevor’s license, but he’s always asked for tracking and reference numbers separately from receipt photos.
Everything else I’ve fed him is false — even the sound of my voice (ask any of the Mobile Nations crew at CES).
I expect he’ll need me to make a last-minute funds transfer for some reason. Stuck at the Ohio border, perhaps?
Alas, my pay doesn’t deposit until the end of the day.
But I’ll gladly pay him out of the $2 million he’s bringing today
Michigan is 3 hours from Washington Court House.
But… he might not be here by 5. If not I’ll need to go to the bank and send $500 to his wife since he won’t be home for 5 days.
My money is instant. His money is slow.
This is a Galaxy S8 box.
Off goes not-Brandon’s Galaxy S8! He’ll be so excited.
My hope is that the shipping center it’s addressed to will just take the name+number and ship it to the next destination (reseller?) without opening.
I’m still amused by this, but it needs to end at some point. My excuse when this treachery is revealed will be simple: I’m not Steve.
Not-Brandon, I’m not sure you’re cut out for this line of work.
Also, my prize delivery has been pushed back to 7 or 8 pm. It takes a very, very long time to drive the 200 miles from Michigan to Washington Court House. :(
I am standing by with the appropriate form and receipt, however.
Besides, he’ll be here (where he thinks here is) in 90-120 minutes. I’ll just get my checkbook ready instead.
1) He’s just now at the Ohio border.
2) They’re preparing their paperwork for the border crossing. The Ohio-Michigan rivalry is fierce, but not border checkpoint fierce.
3) But he’ll be here in 2 hours!
4) I’m now not on my way Western Union.
Since I’m not going to the Western Union, I told him I’d call when I got there. It’s not safe to drive and talk on the phone.
*cues up crowd noise video for ambiance *
Today I learned that there are no postal codes in the West Indies.
I’ll make a bit of time, because I’m on my way home and will have to double back to Western Union for an explanation.
Of course, there’s no new regulation, the FDIC doesn’t regulate money orders, and there is no money order.
And not-Brandon’s totally not a scammer.
I don’t think he’s going to make it on time tonight. This is distressing.
How will Steve Trevor be asked to part with money tomorrow? Stay tuned, I guess.
It’s a road that doesn’t exist.
Sadly for not-Brandon, between a late mortgage payment, the $350 to his wife, and Julie’s basketball gloves I don’t have that kind of money.
Steve: “What? No, I’m going in as soon as I hang up. I already took off two days for this, my boss will kill me if I miss any more. I can’t afford to lose this job!”
Not-Brandon: “Okay, Mr. Trevor, you go to work now.”
Not-Brandon called: I’m to find the old $500 money order I that was supposed to be a money transfer.
Well, I just realized that Steve sent that in for a MoneyGram refund and it’ll probably be another two weeks before it’s done processing.
He’s gonna be so disappointed.
After covering all of Steve Trevor’s costs, there’s about $150 to work with until my prize arrives or the next paycheck in two more weeks.
I’m sending a $100 money order today after work. Ugh.
I’ll check with Western Union after work, but I suspect this might be the problem. IRS is getting up in my business, too!
I called him back and explained, stammering and on the verge of tears, that the IRS had placed a hold on my accounts due to suspicious transfers.
He called 5 minutes later and I, in my distress, explained that the only way for a Western Union refund was so submit this a request form via mail and wait for the up-to-30-day processing time.
(that part is true)
Not-Brandon attempted a pep talk “no more negative from you Mr. Steve” as I spiraled about withdrawing everything I have left for this.
There’ll be an IRS hold on withdrawals.
Not-Brandon tells me to man up, get in my car, and drive to the nearest bank. I told him it’s First Fayette National Bank (doesn’t exist).
I’m also to change my landscaping job’s direct deposit to this account, just so it’s all in one place.
It’s not my proudest fakery, but it’ll do.
Problem #1: Post office is closed
#2: Steve Trevor has $10 left and can’t get a tracking number with that and still feed his daughter.
He’s getting a different address for first class mail.
My good friend Diana Prince said so and she’s never not told me the truth.
PIN is 1701, naturally.
It is more than a little depressing to see how much of a plan they have to take advantage of people. Educate your more-susceptible friends and family about what they should look out for.
“You have to do it like this because the post office likes to go through your private mail. OK buddy?”
Oh, he’s got Steve’s paranoid number!
Apparently this is confusing for him. 🙄
Regardless, I have a worn-out old undershirt here with his name on it.
I told him Steve Trevor doesn’t do internet banking because it’s not safe with all the hackers out there. But I do have mobile alerts set up.
No, again, Steve sent for a refund last week. Won’t get it back for two more weeks.
Asked me if Mr. Foster (the manager from DAY TWO) had called. He has not. Apparently he was supposed to. Still hasn’t.
Last USPS tracking update has it “in-transit” to Miami as of 12:23 pm.
I am eagerly anticipating whatever happens next.
There are the obvious Qs:
Who are you, really?
Where are you?
Why do you do this?
Did you realize I was screwing with you?
How often does this actually work?
But what do *you* want to know?
But he finally called back (Mr. Foster never did). No address for my card, but he did make sure I’d switched my paycheck to the new account at First Fayette National Bank. Did it first thing this mornin’.
I’ve got $10 to make it until then. It’ll be tight for Steve Trevor and his daughter Julie, but we’ll get by. We always do.
“Is there a pawn shop nearby?”
Me, aghast: “A *what* shop?”
“A pawn shop. Is there one near you.”
“I don’t go to them porn stores. They’re the devil’s work.”
“No, a pawn shop.”
“Pawn. Pawn. PAWN.”
“No, Mr. Trevor, listen to me. A PAWN shop. Where you can take things and sell them for money.”
“Ohhhh, a pawn shop. Yeah, there’s one downtown.”
“Do you have anything you could sell there?”
“Can you take it to the pawn shop tomorrow morning first thing?”
“Well, it’s a family heirloom. Passed down from my grandmother.”
“How much do you think you could sell it for at the pawn shop?”
Oh, you’re cold, not-Brandon.
“I was gonna give it to Julie when she’s older. I shouldn’t pawn it. It’s been in my family for—”
“You know I’ll do anything in the world to get you your winnings, right?”
“I need you to do this so that can happen.”
You cold fucking bastard.
I started this whole escapade amused, transitioned to frustrated, and now I’m utterly disgusted. Have you no decency at all?
There are some awful people in this world and they will get you to bleed yourself dry for nonexistent fortune.
Keep tabs on your easily duped friends and family. These bastards will destroy them if they get the chance.
This is no longer fun.
I want to nail these bastards. I know there’s no way I can. But I’ll try.
Post-dated for Sunday. Man, I can’t cash this until next week, not-Brandon!
Not sure if he’s reverse trolling me or if people actually fall for this. I’ve seen what people fall for on Facebook, so I suspect (and fear) the latter.
This delay notice was posted today at 12:23 PM.
Somehow, USPS is posting from the f u t u r e . . .
He called, wanted me to send all of it, then generously offered to let me keep $50 for next week’s expenses. Gave me a recipient for the MoneyGram I was to send when I got off work.
The receipt I sent. 😏
Apparently he didn’t notice the line *just* above my thumb.
And then I went dark.
He’s texted three times and called seven times in the past two hours. I just need a break, man.
Theory: USPS knows that packages going to this address might be involved in fraud, so they give them a little extra scrutiny.
IRL reasons: I was not in a position to record because I was either A) out of the office, B) napping, or C) I just wanted to make him sweat.
Steve Trevor reason: picked up an extra shift to earn some extra cash.
We’re doing this on my terms now. I mean, we kind of have been the whole time, not-Brandon just didn’t know it.
Not-Brandon was understandably not pleased. I could’ve played off the USPS delay in Miami as “what, those post office jerks opening my mail”, but (1) that’d be a hard sell and (2) I just wanted to to be over.
Not-Brandon now knows I am not Steve Trevor.
Asked who he was, he swore his name was Brandon Loop from Ranchester, WY (no records of such a person; I doubt he lives in Wyoming). He claimed he was with Powerball — first time he’s said that.
I did not decline, repeated that I knew it was all fake and a scam, that this isn’t how Powerball works, that I knew it was a scam from the start.
He kept persisting.
He countered that he knew I was faking him. Asked when he began to suspect.
It was when I told him the IRS has froze my accounts. That was a full three weeks in.
Then what was the point? Couldn’t get a straight answer.
“I’m good with Photoshop. A lot better than you.”
He can’t find any work. He needs to take care of his family. So… he tries to make money by scamming people. “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Do you feel bad about this? not-Brandon: “I haven’t got any money from anybody yet.”
Derek: You need to find a different line of work.
“Photoshop. It might be a bit beyond your skill set.”
And no, not-Brandon, you can’t get it from the Google Play Store. You should just not try.
not-Brandon says he doesn’t know. He’s making this up he goes. I don’t believe him.
But how does he know I’m recording this? He sees it.
How? Don’t worry about it.
I ask him to tell him where I am.
He says my return address was on the shipping label.
I reminded him that everything I sent him was fake.
The line went silent.
30 seconds later he hung up on me.
I just got the most amazing call from Mr. Foster (the manager from the beginning).
He was confused — I had sent a bunch of receipts and documents that seemed legit.
I faked them all.
I have skills.
He asked if I had been scammed before.
He then said he was going to offer me a job.
I can’t even.
I thought this was over. That it couldn’t get any more absurd.
I was wrong.
Also, my cut would apparently be 25%, but I feel like he just made that up on the spot.
He gave me a name to use, but I’ll use a different one.
Not going to get in league with scammers, even probing by pretending to be interested, until I have legal backup.
- He’s made $2.7 billion (ha!)
- But he’ll quit at $3B (uh huh)
- I get 25%
- All money will pass through me (sure it will)
The FBI is open 24/7. The @FTC goes home on the weekends. They aren’t even set up to record messages when there’s nobody there to answer. Convenient.
Nobody works on the weekend.
I guess I’ll text not-Brandon that I’m not going to take him up on his offer.
Will try a few other agencies to see if they’re interested.
He wanted to know where my example check was.
I repeated that I didn’t want to do this.
He insisted that it wouldn’t be a burden.
I insisted I wasn’t going to. No hard feelings, man.
I said we’re not going into business. I’ve thought long and hard about it, but it’s not going to happen.
He said I should open the Xoom account.
Points for persistence!
He switched to threatening me. He knows who I am, he knows where I live.
“Tell me,” I said.
“You are Derek, you live in Ohio in Washington Court House.”
* head desk *
I laughed out loud. “I don’t live in Washington Court House, you moron.”
I rolled my eyes and laughed, “I told you, that’s not my address. I don’t live in Washington Court House. That return address doesn’t fucking exist.”
Brief swearing in Hindi.
not-Brandon hangs up.
He would’ve heard it several times on the Day 2 when I didn’t answer because Steve was at work. Never questioned it. 🙄
I’ll make sure the movie ends better.
He reminded me that they "have gangsters in all cities and all states" and that if anybody "ever troubled me he would have them killed".
To prove it he told me to give him a name and location of someone to kill.
How about getting beaten up?
I don't really have any enemies.
How about "anyone you wanted to do something to a long time ago."
"I try not to carry grudges."
"I'm just trying to protect you and your family, okay buddy?"
I laughed. Loud. And hard. "I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to give you any referrals."
He hung up.
But I'll give him points for persistence.