Cult Film, TV, Geek Art
The website 419 Eater makes a hobby out of responding to email scammers and tricking them into performing ridiculous tasks. In this particular prank, posing as a church, they tell a man that they will send him a $352,330 donation, but he will have to verify his identity by sending them a photograph of himself in a very specific pose:
Here is the donation procedure in detail. Please read through it carefully, and if you agree to the terms of the church then we will forward you the agreement certificate.
1. First the Church of Fish, Bread and Wine will send you an agreement form to complete. This is a very simple form (attached), and only requires your name and signature.
2. Next you will have to send the church a photograph of yourself in the pose we describe below.
Once you have successfully completed the two requests above, the donation will be paid out to you IMMEDIATELY in the manner of your choosing.
Here is how we need the photograph to be posed. I will go through it step by step so that you fully understand.
1. You will need to gather a large FISH, a bottle of WINE and a FULL loaf of BREAD
2. You will need to sit in a chair.
3. You will need to place the FISH in your RIGHT hand.
4. You will need to place the bottle of WINE in your LEFT hand.
5. You will need to place the loaf of BREAD on your head.
Make sure you have both arms help out as far as you can.
6. Now get a colleague to take a photograph of yourself in this pose.
My good brother Rao, of course I fully understand that the picture request seems very strange, but as I have explained before, it is this very strangeness that will ensure to the Donation Committee that the image is not a forgery.
Here’s the result:
They then string the scammer along for a while, first telling him that the original priest who emailed him died in a car accident, then having a second character die in a church fire. The prank goes even further when they convince the scammer that since the original photo was lost in the fire, he’ll have to send another photo of himself, this time holding a fish with a sign that says “Sweet Baby Jesus and the Orphans” in the background.
You can read the entire email exchange, along with a multitude of other scambaiting pranks, over at 419 Eater.