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I Think I Know A Scam When I See One

You Don't Say!

Super-Qualified Rural Fire Chief Writes Home

WHEN YOU PUBLISH A BLOG, such as this one, that is read in more than 130 countries around the world, you frequently get attempts by scum who try to embed or otherwise trick you into posting hidden links to their porn sites.  And at other times you receive emails from people you’ve never heard of that are asking firefighters to send them money for various goods or promises that never materialize.  (Remember the Wetter Water?)

Yesterday I received such an email that is so laughable that I just have to share it with you.  This is it in its entirety:

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Kiev, Ukraine for a program. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had. Now, our passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment.
I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of $2,450USD from you. this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much..
Best Regards,
Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department
12000 Hwy 64 So.
Muskogee, OK  74403
Phone: (918) 632-5833
Fax: (918) 637-6540
T. Speck Plunkett
Fire Chief

Where do I start?  To begin with, you have to wonder what sort of “program” do fire chiefs from remote, rural areas travel 9,000 miles or so to attend?  And then do some sightseeing in Kiev?  Personally, I find $2,400 a little steep for a Ukrainian hotel, don’t you?  And he needs it quickly!  Of course he does.

In case you are wondering, there really is a volunteer fire chief named Terry “Speck” Plunkett in Muskogee.  He is an upstanding citizen in the community who is a building contractor and serves on the school board.  He is currently running for the county board of commissioners, according to the Muskogee Phoenix.  I really doubt that such a successful and well-educated man in Oklahoma would write blind emails without using salutations  and compose them with a syntax that is certainly not normally found in American informal correspondence.

I’m guessing that the email address is held by the scammer and if you write to it, it will be read by somebody other than the real Chief Plunkett.

plunkett a copy

The real Terry Plunkett
(Muskogee Phoenix photo)

Out of curiosity, I entered the Keefeton VFD’s address in the Google Street View site and this is what’s on the property:

muskogee street view a

A firehouse with no doors.  Perhaps it’s across the street?

muskogee street view b

Don’t think so.

Later on today I’ll give the folks a phone call at that number listed and update you with what I learn.  Ah…. internet fun.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • DaGonz

    I got this same email on my FD email address. I answered with “nice try, Sergei!”