Friday, February 16, 2007

As of today, Tony Benn no longer exists

grandpa Mac aka Tony BennI’ve been masquerading as Tony Benn. Not the real Tony Benn, of course. That would be way beyond my capabilities! My Tony Benn looks exactly like the real thing but in every other way, including his name, there’s no similarity at all.

After getting Razaq’s letter offering to make me rich by helping him realise his dream of assuaging his conscience before he died of a horrible illness, I thought that I’d indulge in a bit of scam-baiting to get his picture. That’s when I became Mac Hooper.

Mac Hooper, 76 and retired, lives with his daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Nottingham. Mac Hooper is a novice with computers and emails, has a bit of money and feels that he’d like to put a bit of good back into a world where he’d been a bit of a bastard in his time. I thought he was just the sort of person who’d appeal to Razaq and I was right.

I got his pic. Two of them, in fact. Poor thing, he does look poorly, doesn’t he? Mission accomplished, I could have stopped then but once I’d hooked Razaq, I felt that pulling him in would be quite fun. To do that, I needed to send him a pic of myself.

I've removed the pics he sent me. One of my readers (see comments) told me that they are the pictures of a man who is since dead. His widow has been distressed by the use of her husbands's pictures in this way.

My first inclination was to find a picture of some despot or other. Someone who’d been in the public eye but who was less likely to be recognised these days. So no Saddam Hussein. Too young, anyway. Margaret Thatcher? Wrong sex. Augusto Pinochet? P W Botha? Good choices! I especially liked the idea of P W Botha. These guys had been bad in their time. Really bad! Their heyday was long gone. Whomever I chose had to pass as Mac Hooper, retired Nottingham businessmen, beloved grandfather. Military uniforms and admonishing fingers wouldn’t do. But every single picture I found of them was forbidding, threatening or angry. I should have known that avuncular and despot were unlikely bedfellows so I moved on to another unpopular species. I could have gone for estate agents or lawyers but chose politicians instead.

That’s how Tony Benn came to be Mac Hooper.

power of attorneyI’m now at the point where I must return a signed power of attorney to his attorney in Maida Vale. Since letters from Nottingham don’t usually have Dutch stamps on them, I’m visiting my sister in the Netherlands. The old dear had a stroke so I’ve come to visit her for a while. I was going to post it to him but Razaq’s boring me now. And, anyway, tweaking the appearance of this blog has been much more interesting.

So, as of today, my Tony Benn no longer exists.

Razaq and his cronies are the dark side of the really unpleasant face of capitalism. Actually, that’s not true. They’re just opportunists preying on naiveté, ignorance and greed. Not really the sort of territory Tony Benn would have much truck with.

Tony Benn was a politician in less cynical times. Corrupt politicians weren’t uncommon in his day, of course, but those were also more principled times. Tony Blair is no Tony Benn! Or am I the naive one here? So what would he have thought of all this? Not much, I’m sure, but I’d like to think that he’d see the humour in being Mac Hooper for a while.

After ignoring Razaq's last few emails, this is the one I received yesterday:

Dear Partner
What is the problem you getting back to me, dont forget you are assisting a deying man willing to touch the life of the poor all over the world which has been my dream, have you collect the money from the bank, please get back to me urgently so i know what to do next.
I am typing this mail with pains all over me awiating for the day I will be call tp Glory,.
I await your urgent mail to keep my nerves down


Anonymous kyknoord said...

You evil son of a bitch. Have you no compassion? The man is DEYING!

5:49 am  
Blogger mike said...

"Corrupt politicians weren’t uncommon in his day, of course, but those were also more principled times."

Ooh, now there I have to disagree. Local authorities in the 1960s and 1970s were absolute hotbeds of corruption, which is how we got all those hideous concrete blights on the urban landscape (and Maid Marian Way in Nottingham).

10:28 am  
Blogger Terri said...

Is this the part where you get Interpol involved..?
Hm... I'm in just the right sort of mood... let me at him! I'll show him 'pains all over him'!!!

12:44 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Strange how there is no phone number for these "solicitors"...

and what an odd name - do you know anyone with a first name of Edwards?

If you do a search on Barrister Donald all sorts of scams/ warnings come up...

Did you enjoy being a retired politician?

4:01 pm  
Blogger Ariel said...

Maid Marian Way Mike? I once lived on Guinevere Avenue, also in the Midlands. Ah Nomad, you do like re-inventing yourself. Why not pick someone more conducive to multiple re-creations such as, erm, Dr Who perhaps? Just a thought...

9:54 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

kyknoord: Funnily enough, I’ve been called that before.

mike: I said ‘weren’t uncommon’ no ‘weren’t common’. So, yes, of course there were lots of corrupt politicians then but it was also a time when there was a bigger divide between the right and left in Western politics and there seemed to be a lot of socialist types who were genuinely interested in changing things. Of course, a lot of them changed their feathers when in power and diluted their principles considerably.

Terri: If you do a search on his name, it seems he’s pretty well-known already so Interpol probably don’t need to be called in.

Caroline: No phone number, no post code, strange grammar, etc, etc. I’m loving being a retired politician, I just wish I were a retired millionaire.

Ariel: Dr Who? Now there’s a thought!

11:35 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

You might be interested in this from the 419eater site:

"This guy is a grade 'A' P.O.S. Along with this email - which scambaiters have seen many dozens of times in many variations - he sent quite disturbing photographs of a poor guy obviously at death's door in a hospital bed. The images are too depressing and private to publish here, and also, they are not of the scammer himself (obviously). Many scambaiters will be familiar with the photographs as they have been sent by many hundreds of scammers all over the Internet. We now know who the real patient is, and sadly he passed away in May of 2005. This hasn't of course stopped this particular lowlife from spreading his photographs over the net to try to shock people into helping him.

Unfortunately the real patient's wife has became aware that scammers have been passing her husband's phonographs all over the Internet, and in fact she contacted about it. One can only imagine the pain and suffering this is causing her. Not only does she have to cope with the loss of her husband, but also the fact that thousands of scammers out there are passing her husband's photos all over the Internet in an attempt to scam people."

SO I don't feel any pity for him. It's just a shame you didn't have the time and energy to get him to do something like tattooing "Midnight Cowboy" on his dick.

9:15 am  
Blogger ~Babsbitchin~ said...

Aaaaaah, I love it. I toy with these types too. I got one from London, just today.

2:01 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

rob: Thanks for pointing out where the photographs came from. Adds a entirely new dimension to the whole thing. I'll remove them.

babs: I used to not get them until quite recently. Now they seem to be arriving thick and fast.

12:59 am  

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