Well, we’re down to the last of this story…a true story, by the way. When I left you last, I had vowed to email the lying, thieving scum that was Mike Coach, and make him pay for what he almost did to me. Here’s what happened.
As I said, I couldn’t resist contacting Mike Coach, even though the postal inspector warned me not to.
At first I was just going to give him a piece of my mind; tell him I knew he was a thieving liar, and he should be ashamed of himself. But then I figured that wouldn’t make a bit of difference to a man like Mike. So I decided to do something else. I decided to send a READY TO SHIP email to him!
WHAT MY EMAIL SAID
Pretending not to have a clue about what was going on, I emailed Mike and said I had cashed the money orders. I alerted him that he had mistakenly sent three money orders instead of two, but I told him I’d gone ahead and cashed the third money order as a courtesy to him. Then I told him I had deducted my costs, and would be Western Union almost $2,500 to him that very night. I told him to tell his shipping agent to be at the Western Union at 6:00pm est that evening, and the money would be there.
Now, Mike had already instructed me in an earlier email to be sure and send the Western Union money transfer code the second I sent the money. But of course I never emailed the code, because I never went to Western Union, I just told him I did.
Only Mike didn’t know that.
So I hit the “send” button and waited for Mike to get my email and respond.
I’m telling you, this guy had you-know-whats the size of coconuts! He, who sent a flurry of emails with a flurry of instructions from the very beginning of this rendezvous, didn’t bother to respond to me once he thought I was on my way to Western Union. I suppose, theoretically, he was finished with me. He had done what he’d set out to do, which was lure me into trusting him so he could scam the hell out of me. In the scheme of things, once I told him I was Western Union-ing the money, he probably felt he’d done a good day’s work, and didn’t need to email me anymore.
He assumed I would email the money transfer code once I got to Western Union. Then he figured poor-little-me would rush back home and sit prayerfully in front of the computer, waiting for him to email back and say his shipper got the money, etc. etc….but of course he would never email! Ever.
Well…6:00 pm est came and went, and I didn’t go to Western Union. At exactly 7:30 pm est, my cell phone rang from a private number. I don’t know why, but I just knew it was Mike.
Still, I was a little creeped out, so I wouldn’t answer. Then my home phone began to ring off the hook. For the first time since I started breeding teacups, I regretted having put my phone numbers in the paper! The phones kept ringing until I finally answered.
BEHOLD, THE DEAF CAN HEAR!
The voice on the other end gave me the chills.
This was too spooky! There on the other end of the phone was a muffled voice that was trying to talk the way he/she thought a deaf person should talk. I say he/she because up until that point, “Mike Coach” had presented himself as a man. But the person on the other end of the phone sounded like a woman!!
I was freaked out! I’ve heard of scams, but I never heard of deaf scammers calling their victims when the money didn’t come.
“Rita’s not here!” I said.
“Where is she?” he/she said in that muffled drawl. “She’s supposed to send me some money. I was going to buy a puppy.”
I slammed the phone down, but it rang again almost immediately. Now I was really scared. Here was a man who had claimed to be deaf, but who was, in fact, talking to me over the phone. I could hear the sound of cars racing by on his end, so I figured he must be at a pay phone on some dark street near his friendly neighborhood Western Union. I can only imagine how many times he went into that Western Union and asked where MY hard-earned money was…only to be told it still hadn’t come.
I almost laughed at Mike for falling for my email…but not quite. The truth is, I was scared! Mike Coach was supposed to be deaf. He had used a relay operator to contact me. He had sent three fake money orders that DIDN’T come from Staten Island, where he said he lived, they came from Canada! And now he was on the phone…TALKING, and having no trouble hearing me even though cars and trucks were whizzing past.
Worse of all, he was demanding to know where MY money was! Boy, how I wished I had listened to the postal inspector.
WHO’S AFRAID OF THE FBI? NOT MIKE!
I answered the phone again, and Mike/It said, “Rita, you didn’t send the money!”
I said, “Mike, the FBI wants to speak to you!”
He said, “Where’s the money? I want the puppy!”
Well, after mentioning the FBI didn’t phase him, I took my phone off the hook. The next morning, I called the telephone company, the Relay Operator, Equifax (which works with the other reporting agencies), my bank, the social security administration office, the driver’s license bureau…in short, everyone I could think of, and told them what happened.
HOW THE TTY FITS IN
The Relay Operator told me that the deaf Relay system is the most widely missused system in the United States, and that it helps crooks perpetrate the perfect crime.
How? Because they contact you through the Relay Operator, so their number is untraceable. In fact, the Operator said they probably aren’t even using a TTY, they’re using their computer. They use the Relay Operator to voice all of their concerns or questions, then they use the email system to set you up. They send fake money orders from a fake address, when they may, in actuality, be emailing you from another country (in this case, Canada).
There is no guarantee your bank will spot the fake money orders…at least not right away. Remember, my banker said they weren’t 100% sure the money orders were fake, and to take them to the post office. So this means that by the time the bank figures out the money orders are fake, you’re out of thousands of dollars, but you’ve never seen the crook’s face, you’ve never heard his voice, you don’t know where he lives, you don’t know his telephone number, and you don’t even know if he’s a man or woman!
THE END OF THE CAPER
What happened after that? Well, the phone company helped me block Mike/It’s calls. Equifax put a fraud alert on my accounts (this may not have been necessary, because I never gave Mike/It any personal information, other than my address, but I did it just the same), and I took the ad out of the paper.
The moral of this story? Choose One:
a. People are not as helpless as they seem.
b. Don’t be a goodie-two-shoes all your life; it doesn’t pay.
c. Demand to be paid through PayPal.
d. Listen to your local postal inspector.
e. All of the above.
Answer- E: All of the above!
Best wishes and happy writing.