I Got The Strangest Spam Email Ever: North Korea, Dozens of Lawyers, and Sheep
Everybody gets spam emails. It's just part of the internet. There's always somebody who's trying to get money out of someone else. Scams have always been a part of life, and they've evolved with the times. But this one, wow. This one was a strange one.
Hello, My name is Hodge Jones of HODGE JONES & ALLEN ASSOCIATES, I am contacting you on the instruction of client Mr. Chuwon Seoyeon a citizen of North-Korea, and He would like you to guide him through the most viable investment opportunities in your Country. Alternatively, He can invest in your line of business perhaps fit’s viable. My client is one of the defectors from the North and currently residing (Refugee Camp) in South-Korea. Mr. Chuwon Seoyeon have been in been in South Korea for sometime after defecting from the North, He was into currency exchange business and I was always traveling to other parts of Asia, Caribbean and Europe, during that period, He was able to move out huge funds and deposit it in a financial institution in Bahamas. He want to invest this funds in your country with your help and advice because he being treated as foreigners in south and watched because the Korean government believe he is security threat since he was very close the Family of North Korea Leader (Kim Jong-un) A lot of defectors now go on to Canada or the United States and some parts of Europe to live. We want you to send a complete breakdown of the investment opportunities in your country and also let me know what exactly he needs to do to enable you invest the funds for him in your country. If interested, he will then come over to your country after you receive the funds and work out the investment plans with you. After we hear from you and find out the best investment business you can introduce, then I will tell you how much is involved and procedures to get the funds to your country. Reply as soon as possible indicating your interest, I am looking forward to your favorable response. Barr. Hodge Jones
First of all, this is clearly not a lawyer. Lawyers write a lot of emails, I'm sure, and there's no way they would ramble like this. It took me two seconds to Google the name "Hodge Jones and Allen Associates" . It is a real law firm in England with literally dozens of lawyers in their employ, but there is no "Hodge Jones" because the firm was founded in 1977 by Henry Hodge, Peter Jones & Patrick Allen. So no dude named Hodge Jones. Allen doesn't even factor in, I guess. So if I give this "lawyer" the benefit of the doubt, and think he is with the firm, English is clearly not their first language, which seems a little strange. Not impossible, I suppose, but not likely. But someone who went through all the schooling a lawyer has to go through would definitely be more proficient in their grammar than this - after all, there's so much detail in their work. Get a wrong spelling or wrong comma, and somebody might get sued. I suspect this is from possibly even South Korea (if I remember rightly, the North doesn't allow their citizens to use the internet), because of a small detail: they capitalized the phrase "Family of North Korean Leader". Nobody in the west would think to capitalize the word Family.
Second of all, I looked at the email handle. It was from SheepUsa.Org. What? To the Googles again! Yep, it's a real website, for the American Sheep Industry office in Colorado (they even do a podcast that they call a "Sheepcast"). So again, another strike for you there, because never in a thousand years would an English law firm use the freggin' domain for the sheep industry.
And, the last nail in the coffin: the name of the guy who supposedly wants to invest in me. Chuwon Seoyeon. There apparently is a person with a similar name, but the person is a girl who competed in a South Korean reality show similar to Making the Band called Idol School.
It just all adds up to WEIRD, but the strangest part to me is: someone wrote that out, thinking that someone else would BELIEVE IT. I mean, come on, buddy. Your scam falls apart after a Google search! You'd have to be the most gullible, non internet savvy person Ever to think that there was anything on the up and up about this.
But, it was entertaining, I'll give it that. I mean, if nothing else, I learned that Hodge Jones and Allen is a thing, and is still run by the guy they forgot in the email, Patrick Allen.
I learned that there is an American Sheep Industry (probably should have known that) and that they have a Sheepcast.
And, I learned about the somewhat creepy competition, Idol School - and the group it produced, Fromis 9.
They look so wholesome!
So, yeah. That was a strange spam email, alright. But hey, thanks for the Sheep thing, scammer, that was pretty fun. I guess.