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#216724 by dmakerson9517 Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:02 pm
Hi, my handle is dmakerson9517 but feel free to call me dmaker or Steve. I'm 30 and have a degree in Web Development.

I'm new to the forum because my dad has been the victim of several different scams for the past several years and the consequences are getting worse and worse. He's lost so much, and I'd like to know what I can do about it. I don't know if I should create a new thread explaining the situation, but if so, let me know and I'll see about editing my post. Otherwise, here goes.

I'm the go-to computer guy for my family, friends, and neighbors, and recently my dad brought me one of his laptops to fix. He has many other laptops that he uses, so he's going to let me hold on to this one a while. When I started his browser, it went to MSN and I noticed it auto-logs in to his email. So now, I have access to his account where I can see every single email that he's ever sent and received from these scumbags. As long as he doesn't get spooked and change his password and there's no security concerns from Microsoft that asks me to re-enter the password, I'm golden. I have all the evidence I need to try and do something to help my dad (and my mom).

Let me back up a bit. My dad got started on these scams back in 2008. He's been involved with people from Jamaica, Nigeria, the Benin Republic, and others. One was the UK National Lottery, and I think all of the rest deal with benefactors and the like. He eventually abandoned some of them, but right now he's embroiled in another that involves barristers and such. These guys all seem to use free, web-based emails. Right now at least one guy does use a "lawyer.com" email. Their emails are full of spelling errors and otherwise bad English. The "official" documents are poorly done but seem to convince my dad.

My dad is a smart man and can fix pretty much anything. He's really friendly and would do almost anything for anybody. Everyone loves him. He's helped me more times than I can count and it's so tragic to see his life falling apart like it is. It's like he lives a double life. If you were to talk to him you'd never imagine that he would ever be involved in anything like this. He's good at hiding what he does and he's become a manipulator and way too good at lying. My dad doesn't deny what he does, but he's not one to announce it either.

He's been cleared of any dementia or anything medically-wrong with him. I think it's more of a kind of gambling addiction, but my mother's insistence that he attend Gambler's Anonymous, take pills, or attend counseling have never really amounted to much. He's done this in the past to make her happy, but he always stopped going after a few weeks. He still believes in and trusts these scammers and no amount of debt or other forms of punishment seem to get through to him. Nothing anyone says to him seems to make a difference either. He just gets angry and tunes us out.

Since 2008, my dad has lost his career, his business, his rental property, his prized truck, and just recently, his 44-year marriage to my mother. He's about to lose the house they lived in for almost 30 years. I feel helpless because I don't know what to do. The only real solution seems to have a judge declare him mentally incompetent to handle money, but medical tests don't seem to necessitate that.

Since I've had access to my dad's account, I've read through dozens of emails. Originally I was going to forward all these emails to an account of mine so that I would have evidence of everything, but his account uses Outlook.com, which unfortunately does not allow for mass-forwarding. Trying to forward one email at a time out of thousands and not getting caught doing it isn't something I have time for. I did take some pictures with my phone, which might be my only option.

I've also considered discovering how to code viruses and sending a particularly nasty virus to these bastards from his email, but I don't know if it would pass the security filters or if it would do any good. I honestly know very little about coding viruses, so if this idea sounds silly then it probably is.

I was thinking at the very least, I would scan through these emails for scammer info and post it on here later. Does anyone have any advice for me on anything else I should do? Feel free to ask me any questions.

Thank you very much.

#216730 by vonpaso xlura Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:52 pm
DO NOT send viruses. Many scammers hang out at LAN houses, so you'd damage a computer that belongs to the LAN house, not to the scammer.

Save emails to disk (don't forward them, they'll be in his sent box and he may find them), then move them (don't copy) to your own home directory, then PM them, including all headers, to a moderator. The moderator will pass them to a warner, who will contact him without telling who tipped her off.

You may find some huge messages containing base64 code which are too big to send in PM. The base64 code is an attachment. You can figure out how to extract the attachment from the text file of the message.

... ni los estafadores heredarán el reino de Dios. 1 Cor. 6:10

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