Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ebola Monkey Man: Fact or Fiction?




I got a response to my Yeung Lap Ming blog the other day from a couple of youngsters that were downright freaked out about The Lapper for they had received an even more detailed note regarding how to execute A BIZ  and I realized that there must be a huge population of bloggers, pinners, tweeters, posters and folks that are just sending Sunday emails to Mom back in Cedar Rapids when they get some weird scary shit from a complete stranger. I've been getting advance-fee fraud notes for so long that it's not weird anymore. Instead, it's just more cannon-fodder for my already-twisted world view.

The first contact I received from a Nigerian 419 or advance-fee fraud scammer was a real letter, with the official Government of Nigeria seal. I was sitting in my San Francisco office at our just freshly started up computer-based (online didn't exist yet) marketing communications company, InterActive Media, 8 stories above Kearny St. in the classic 1907 Charleston Building, one of three buildings in The City with a manually operated elevator, and an attendant! But, I digress. (For more background on the Nigerian 419 Scam...)

The Ebola Virus
I read the letter from Nigeria to my colleagues - nobody had ever heard of the scams just starting to come out of Nigeria. It was 1991 or thereabouts and we were producing "interactive brochures" on floppy disks, which soon would become multimedia CD-ROMs which would ultimately be replaced by the Web I'll never forget my first experience of the internet. I was like, what? This is all text? Why would anyone prefer this over a true, 3-D multimedia CD ROM with video, VO, music and all interactive? Well we all know what happened. But that's another story for another lovely day in Limboland.

Back to the letter (again...I promise I'll stay on-topic now!). I saved it for quite awhile - after all it DID have the official seal of the government of Nigeria on it, which I believe was of a local with a red bandana bludgeoning a local with a yellow bandana with the motto "Get While The Gettin's Good, Motherfucker!" in Swahili, written in drops of blood across the image. There was another image on the letterhead, this of a gang in a jeep with machetes and machine guns with the president of Nigeria - "Big Balls" Boolaboola was his name - behind the wheel. The imagery inspired great trust in my would be new best friend who was offering me several million dollars if only I would give him my bank account number. Sound familiar? I sure as hell hope so because if you have not been bit by a Nigerian or other advance-fee fraud scammer you simply haven't lived, baby!

I got that first letter in 1991, year of the first gulf war, and I was equally bewildered and nonplussed by both. The desire of some Nigerian government official wanting to give me several million dollars made about as much sense as the United States defending the territorial rights of Kuwait against the evil Saddam, who just a year or two prior was our best friend in the Middle East. And then there was the dreaded Ebola virus, which primarily effected monkeys but killed humans as well, which folks feared would be transported out of Africa with the scam letters. Just when it was all coming to a head, in steps the EBOLA MONKEY MAN.

If scam mail upsets you, pisses you off, freaks you out or just plain scares you, you can take comfort that, at one time there was the Ebola Monkey Man, and his mission was to protect poor slobs like you and me from scammers. The Ebola Monkey Man was perhaps the first and by far the most well-known SCAM BAITER in history.

Ebola Monkey Man: Pissing Off Nigerian Scammers One At a Time!

The EMM with FRO wig
A scam baiter, as you will soon discover when you start your exploration into the fascinating world of The Ebola Monkey Man, is someone who baits the scammer - goes along with the scam up until the scammer gets so frustrated trying to get his victim's account information that he starts to push, at which time the baiter let's the scammer have it. Meanwhile the scammer has wasted tons of time and money, and has been exposed in the process. And all this before Facebook and Twitter were twinkles in their parent's eyes!

What sets the Ebola Monkey Man apart from other baiters is his completely sophomoric, peurile and lewd approach. Half the fun of following the Monkey Man's exploits when he was in business was seeing how crude he would get in his efforts to make the scammers befoul themselves. His one consistent and recognizable ploy would be to get the scammer to pose for a picture with his "code name", which of course the scammers with their crude English skills would never figure out. Photos of the proud scammers holding signs with names like "Father Wilutuchme" and "Ima Dildo" totally tickle the locker room funny bone, (Jerry Sandusky's infamous locker room "funny bone" is NOT what the Monkey Man had in mind) and if there's one thing our hero is not ashamed of, it's plain good old potty talk. (I should note that The Monkey's crudeness is 100% sexual - he doesn't pander to scatology which I find a little disappointing but hey, to each his own!) The Ebola Monkey Man's exploits are not for the faint of heart, the prudish or for anybody who champions high brow intelligence to the exclusion of low brow humor. Be forewarned!

Also, The Monkey Man, by nature of the measures he has taken to expose fraud, has generated more than his fair share of criticism. Those that reach like the Ebola Monkey Man has will doubtless knock over a few full glasses, make a racket, a mess, and in general upset a lot of people. IMHO, I'm glad and thankful that there are folks like the EMM who are willing to stick their necks out to fuck up the bad guys. And if a little behavior in poor taste is what it takes to get the job done, then God Bless Poor Taste!

I don't know what's become the Ebola Monkey Man. The last update to the site appears to be a diary entry in 2007. But the site lives on and in fact hasn't changed much since I first saw it. You can tell it was created before such authoring tools as wordpress, blogger, or the other template site builders. As you'll see in the pictures, he appears to be a pretty nutty character, what with the tatoos, the porn stars, the "show me your tits" pix and other vestiges of high culture. Here are a few words from The Monkey himself. I'm sure you can see for yourself, "he won't do you no harm, no..."

"When I first started the site, it was to entertain my friends. I never would have thought this site would touch as many people as it has. I get emails all the time from potential victims who say they would have fallen for the scam had they not found my site. I also get mail from victims who feel they get a little vindication when reading through the scams. So my site is not only a place to laugh, it's a place to learn.

Live life to the fullest. Laugh, smile, and do as many dumb things as possible. Be nice until the time comes to not be nice. MOST OF ALL, DON'T STEAL. Unless you want to end up on my site of course. I hope you enjoy."

http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_419_scam

For those of you that are being exposed to online scammers for the first time, I hope this information gives you a little context and in the process some comfort knowing that you are not being singled out by Yeung Lap Ming, Major Sandra Gomez, or some Nigerian whack job.

One of you asked "how did Yeung Lap Ming get my email address"? and I promise I will do a little research and bring you up to speed. Suffice to say that every time you use it as a password to log into a social network, an app, a game or anything else there are gazillions of email address-stealing crows waiting on a wire right outside just waiting to swoop down and snatch it up. More to come on that. That is if the Lap Doggy doesn't get to me first!


2 comments:

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    1. Hey Gary you saw this, right? http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/diary_of_a_monkeyman.htm

      Have you had any luck tracking him down? Let me know if you do, okay? He has been one of my top ten heroes for many years!

      De Limboman

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