In these scambusts, I have taken on a variety of different personas (all called “Gilbert Murray”) to string along a number of advance fee fraudsters with increasingly ridiculous and unbelievable stories, attempting to lead them on and embarrass them as much as possible. This website presents the email dialogues that Gilbert has carried out with the fraudsters.
The General Practitioner
In which Dr Gilbert Murray is invited by a Ghanaian barrister to pass himself off as the next of kin to yet another wealthy dead man, in an attempt to steal the deceased man’s fortune from a Ghanaian security company. However, Gilbert immediately identifies a number of serious flaws in the barrister’s ill-conceived plan. Will the barrister be able to find a way around the problems?
The Aristocrat II
In which Lord Murray, 18th Earl of Gypping, responds to yet another lucrative business proposal from yet another crooked African banker. The past three years have not been kind to the fabric of Hemlock Hall, so the money will come in very handy indeed.
The Massage Parlour Proprietor
In which Gilbert Murray, proprietor of the finest massage parlour in Gypping in the Marsh, is contacted by an incredibly rich West African orphan who is looking for a complete stranger to entrust her fortune to. Will she be interested in a job in Gilbert’s massage parlour?
The Football Club Manager
In which Gilbert’s football club is at the very bottom of the league and desperately needs some new players to regain its past form. As luck would have it, Gilbert has just been offered a lucrative business proposal that would provide him with enough money to buy the players he needs. No doubt this latest scammer will be over the moon when Gilbert responds to him. What a shame he’s going to end up as sick as a parrot...
The Vicar V
In which Reverend Murray is asked to help the widow of Nigeria’s ex-dictator to hide away her family’s ill-gotten fortune, out of the reach of the Nigerian government. What will Mrs Abacha make of Gilbert’s recent conversion to the Church of Zeal or No Zeal? What will she make of Gilbert’s new verger? And will she be willing to give Gilbert’s unusually large organ the attention it deserves?
In which Gilbert Murray, the finest astrologer in Gypping in the Marsh, attempts to help a bank official from Hong Kong steal a fortune out of a dead Iraqi general’s bank account. What will the stars have in store for the hapless “Mr Minge”?
The Worm Sanctuary Owner
In which Gilbert Murray, owner of the Gypping in the Marsh Earthworm Sanctuary and a man with somewhat unusual religious beliefs, responds to yet another tempting offer put forward by a corrupt Nigerian banker. How long will Gilbert be able to keep this particular worm wriggling on the end of his hook?
In which Gilbert Murray, a forgetful and somewhat hapless signwriter, is offered yet another chance to stand as the next of kin to someone who has died in a car accident along with all of his family, etc etc. How will this particular scammer react to Gilbert’s curious mixture of carelessness and pedantry?
In which Gilbert Murray attempts to claim the funds of a sadly-deceased Iranian oil merchant as his own. Will the security company believe that Gilbert is the brother of an Iranian man with a completely different surname? In the world of 419 scammers, the answer to that is obviously yes.
The Member of Parliament II
In which Gilbert Murray MP responds to a plea for help from the nephew of the notorious war criminal, Charles Taylor, the ex-President of Liberia. All in all, not the nicest of people to go into business with; still, when you’re being blackmailed by a journalist, you can’t afford to be too picky about your business partners.
The Door Furniture Specialist
In which Gilbert is honoured to be able to help out a real princess who is seeking a complete stranger to act as her legal guardian and look after her $9 million fortune until she comes of age. Nobody knows more about doorknobs and knockers than Gilbert Murray, and unfortunately for the princess, Gilbert seems to be getting rather distracted by the thought of getting his hands on the princess’ own knockers...
The Inventor IV
In which Gilbert the inventor, aided and abetted by his newly-cloned assistant, attempts to help yet another crooked Nigerian banker syphon money out of a dead person’s bank account. How will Beaker cope when Gilbert sends him all the way to Nigeria with a briefcase full of money to meet the scammers? All does not go according to plan... according to the scammers’ plan, that is.
The Retired Wing Commander IV
In which Wing Commander Gilbert Murray, DSO, CBE, SOB (rtd.) is contacted by a dying widow who wants to donate her late husband’s fortune to a good cause. Will Gilbert be able to persuade her to forget about the charities she had in mind and agree to donate it to his ludicrous England for the English campaign instead?
In which Gilbert Murray, a baker whose wife has the finest baps in Lincolnshire, stands as next of kin to someone he’s never heard of in the hope of inheriting their lost millions.
In which Gilbert is contacted by the manager of a Nigerian bank who is looking for someone to help him to steal $20 million from the account of a deceased customer, Mr James Herbert (no, not that James Herbert). Gilbert’s farming business is on the rocks, so he is only too happy to help out.
In which Gilbert is contacted by a fantastically wealthy refugee who wants to invest in the hotel business. What luck: Gilbert has been thinking of expanding Murray Towers and moving upmarket for some time now, so this looks like an offer that might be worth pursuing.
The Veterinary Surgeon
In which Gilbert is contacted by a barrister who has difficulty spelling his own name, who puts forward a wholly unoriginal proposal regarding the funds of a deceased client. Will Gilbert be able to realise his dream of opening his own animal sanctuary? Will the barrister’s wife be able to realise her dream of opening her own hospital? Or will Gilbert’s morbid fear of wildebeest scupper the entire transaction?
The Vicar IV
In which Reverend Murray receives an email from yet another dying millionnaire who is seeking to donate her unfeasibly large fortune to a good cause. As luck would have it, Gilbert’s unusually large organ is still in need of urgent attention. The lord truly does move in mysterious ways...
The Psychosexual Therapist
In which Gilbert is contacted by the first son of the third wife of His Royal Highness Philip Kodjo, the late mayor of Lome province in Togo, who is asking for help in transferring his late father’s fortune out of the country. Unfortunately, Gilbert is more interested in getting to the bottom of Mr Kodjo’s psychosexual problems. And he seems to have rather a lot of them...
The Orphanage Director II
In which Gilbert is contacted by a dying millionnaire who wants to distribute his remaining fortune to charity... with 10% for Gilbert, of course. Seeing as Gilbert has lost all of his orphanage’s money on the horses again, this offer has come at exactly the right time for the poor little orphans of Saint Bunty’s.
The Cess Pit Cleaner
In which Gilbert is offered yet another chance to claim the funds left by yet another family of immensely rich people who died in yet another tragic plane crash (leaving behind no relatives, of course).
The Dating Agency Proprietor
In which an ex-employee of a Swiss bank offers to set Gilbert up as the next of kin to a deceased Yugoslavian oil trader, and to transfer the dead man’s money into his bank account... at a price, of course. Will the scammer accept Gilbert’s generous offer of free membership to his introduction agency? And if so, what sort of partner will Gilbert be able to find for the scammer?
The Adult Video Director
In which the daughter of the late ex-Vice President of Liberia contacts Gilbert for his assistance in investing $12 million in a “reliable genuine trade or company”. What better company could there be than Gilbert’s adult video business? The scammer’s tale of woe gives Gilbert inspiration for a new adult video production... but will the scammer be willing to accept the starring role that Gilbert offers to her?
The Retired Wing Commander III
In which yet another Nigerian inexplicably seeks yet another foreign partner to assist him in transferring yet another huge amount of money out of one bank account and into their own. Unfortunately, Wing Commander Gilbert Murray, DSO, CBE, SOB (rtd.) is more interested in the possibility of taking on the scammer’s rather attractive mother as his mistress...
The Inventor III
In which Gilbert responds to a plea for help from a poor young orphan girl who is searching for someone to adopt her as their own child in return for 10% of her dead father’s immense fortune. Of course, with millions of dollars in the bank, this particular orphan is not particularly poor... and at 20 years of age, she’s not particularly young either. Mind you, she’s got two arms and two legs, and that’s more than enough for Beaker to start taking an unhealthy interest in her...
The Poultry Magnate III
In which Gilbert responds to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission of Nigeria, who has offered to release a contract payment that has been outstanding for some time. Of course, the Chairman requires Gilbert to pay him a fee before he can release the payment...
The Poultry Magnate II
In which Gilbert attempts to help Saddam Hussein’s former steward steal $35.7 million from the state of Iraq in return for 20% of the profits. Gilbert is in the process of setting up a new poultry breeding business (“Gilbert’s Big Cocks Ltd”), so the money should come in very handy indeed.
The Vicar III
In which Gilbert is contacted by a preacher based in London, who would like to donate $25 million “for charity or for something universally profitable”. What better charitable cause could there be than the restoration of the Reverend Murray’s unusually large organ?
In which Gilbert (known to his friends as “Windy Miller”) becomes bored of milling grain for a living, and responds to an urgent business proposal with the idea of converting his windmill into a retail outlet. Fans of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley may just recognise some of the characters Gilbert comes across...
The Member of Parliament
In which Gilbert, Member of Parliament for Gypping in the Marsh and master of the double-entendre, responds to an urgent business proposal in order to pay off a journalist who is blackmailing him. If only Gilbert could keep his trousers buttoned up, he wouldn’t get into situations like this...
The Lottery Winner
In which Gilbert is fortunate enough to win $850,000 in a lottery he never even entered: what a lucky man! Let’s see how easy it is for Gilbert to claim his winnings...
The Inventor II
After months on the run, Gilbert the inventor and his trusty yet disturbed assistant Beaker burst back on the scambusting scene. Gilbert’s got some exciting new inventions up his sleeve, and as usual, Beaker’s getting up to some monkey business... quite literally, this time.
The Circus Ringmaster
In which the improbably-named Dr Shaky Musah asks for Gilbert’s assistance in removing a large amount of money from a dead bank customer’s account. Gilbert is only too happy to respond: after all, circuses are very expensive things to run, and Gilbert Murray’s Flying Circus is running out of money – and acts – fast.
In which Gilbert accepts an offer of money from Mrs Eve Alina, a widow who is apparently at death’s door and wishes to donate a large sum of money to a good Christian cause, while at the same time trying to deal with some rather disturbing assistants in the mortuary.
The Retired Wing Commander II
In which Wing Commander Gilbert Murray, DSO, CBE, SOB (rtd.) responds to the Manager of a Taiwanese bank who is attempting to liberate the funds of an extremely rich (and unfortunately dead) customer. Will Wing Commander Murray be able to drum up any support for his ludicrous England for the English campaign in Taiwan? Or should that be Thailand? He does get rather confused about that sort of thing, bless him.
In which Gilbert crosses meat cleavers with Barrister Thomas Adepoju following yet another fatal car crash on the Shagamu express road (during which all the occupants of the vehicle died, leaving behind millions of dollars in the bank and no relatives to leave it to, as usual). Given the number of multi-millionaires that have died on that road, it’s a wonder that the Nigerian Highways Authority hasn’t put in speedhumps by now...
The Vicar II
In which Gilbert accepts an offer of money from Mrs Elizabeth Gardner, a widow who is apparently at death’s door and wishes to donate a large sum of money to a good Christian cause. What better cause could there be than restoring Gilbert’s unusually large organ to its original splendour?
In which Gilbert, vicar of Saint Bodkin’s Church, responds to a business proposal from the Abacha family in an attempt to raise money to lavish upon his unusually large organ. Gilbert has the largest organ in Lincolnshire, you know...
The Doctor of Economics
In which Gilbert engages in an extremely dubious business transaction with Dr Egbunike, with the aim of obtaining enough money to treat his seriously-ill son, and in which Dr Egbunike proves extremely unwilling to debate the finer points of economic theory with a fellow economist.
The Rubber Duck Manufacturer
In which Gilbert outdoes himself in irritating the staff at a security company whilst offering helpful money-saving tips to a poor orphan.
The Orphanage Director
In which Gilbert proves willing to do just about anything to save Saint Bunty’s Home for Parentally-Challenged Children from closure, and in which a bogus lawyer proves spectacularly willing to embarrass himself time after time in a shameless attempt to get his hands on the orphanage’s money.
In which Lord Murray, 18th Earl of Gypping, attempts to help a bank official to appropriate funds from a dead German’s bank account in order to save the roof of Hemlock Hall, aided and abetted by a supporting cast of strangely familiar aristocratic characters.
In which Gilbert does his best to reunite a poor orphaned refugee with the fortune left to her by her father, while attempting to teach her how to write poetry... with somewhat mixed results.
The Poultry Magnate
In which Gilbert attempts to help the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to defraud his own bank, while asking for his advice on a range of extremely bizarre new chicken-based products.
The Retired Wing Commander
In which Wing Commander Gilbert Murray, DSO, CBE, SOB (rtd.) attempts to help an Iraqi get his fortune out of the country, and in which he discovers that his ludicrous campaign for English independence attracts very little support in the Ivory Coast.
The Professor of Economics
In which Gilbert’s attempts to assist the wife of the former President of Liberia go disastrously wrong, and in which he learns that finding your way around Holland using a roadmap that was published in 1974 is somewhat difficult.
Gilbert’s first ever scambust, in which he discovers that it is never a good idea to attach electrodes to the genitals of your assistant’s pet dog. Especially when your assistant is as disturbed as Beaker...
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