Gift Cards Dialogue with a Scammer

The following email exchange took please end of March 2021 between me and someone who claimed to be be one of my bosses. (The name appearing below is a pseudonym in order to avoid any confusion with real persons.)

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 01:42:01 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject:

I need a help, email me back asap

Regards,
Prof. Dr. David Gammas
Dean

Sent from Iphone

The email looked a bit odd to me (no subject line, email coming from an unknown @gmail.com address, an unusual timezone for someone working in Germany). But since the email did pretend to come from a Dean, I thought I check things out…

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 12:48:34 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

David,

is this indeed you?

/js

My mail program did add the subject line. As you can see from my email, Germany is UTC+2; UTC-7 is the US or Canada or some small island somewhere in the ocean. I received this reply:

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 03:57:04 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

Yes, it is me. I need you to  get some Gift cards from any store around you
right now. There are some prospects I need to send Gift Cards but I can't
do that right now because I'm currently in the meeting. Let me know if
it's possible to get them for me right now, so I can tell you which product
I would need and what amount. I'll reimburse you.


Thanks

Ah, David is in a meeting. Well, I guess it is always a safe claim that someone is in a meeting. Lets see what will happen if I try to slow things down. And let me provide a clue that I do not take this conversation serious by picking April 1st.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 13:16:25 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

Good to know its you. I will be on a shopping tour on Thursday, you
know, 1st of April. So what do you need?

/js

The response I received stressed that getting gift cards is super urgent…

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 04:18:44 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

Juergen I need you to do this for me right now as its very urgent. Let me
know if you are available while I give your further details of the cards.

Thanks

But I am not much impressed by the urgency, let me point again to April 1st…

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 13:32:35 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

David, you can get them on April 1st.

/js

I got back another response stressing the urgency of this.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 04:42:50 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

I said i want you to purchase them for me right now because the prospect is
urgently waiting to receive the cards

A very definite writing style, to which I decided to respond using a definite writing style as well.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 13:55:19 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

And I wrote I can do it on Thursday.

/js

And voila, David accepts the April 1st purchase (so much about the urgency of getting the gift cards) and he now provides the details of his request.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 04:57:41 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

Ok no problem. I want you to purchase 5 pieces of Google Play gift cards
with 200 values on each (Total 1,000). When purchased, scratch off the
strip at the back of each card to reveal the code. Send me a clear and bold
picture of all the cards here showing the codes. You should keep the
physical cards and receipt for reference purpose.

Thanks

He wants me to invest 1,000 (in whatever currency). Not bad. I decided to wait and to give him another little challenge next morning.

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 08:59:49 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

David,

I came home early enough yesterday evening and I could check a stores
close by. It turns out that all Google Play gift cards are sold out,
they seem to be super popular right now. So I am wondering whether I
can get some Amazon gift cards instead tomorrow. Please let me know.

/js

Surprisingly, he buys my story and Amazon gift cards do fine as well.

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 01:27:30 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

Ok kindly purchase Amazon instead. I will be looking forward to hear from
you as soon as possible

April 1st has arrived, so let me inform David that I got the gift cards he wanted me to buy.

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 09:57:26 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

David,

I got the cards today. I have scratched everything off and I have
uploaded the photos to our team space. If it is not a big deal for
you, please pay me back in bitcoins.

Happy Easter!

/js

David is not happy about me using the team space…

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 00:59:12 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

Kindly send them to me here now

Unfortunately, David is not attempting to provide a reason why he can’t pick up the cards from the team space. So let me point him again there…

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 10:00:13 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

Pick them up on our team space.

He is getting a bit annoyed I guess…

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 01:01:23 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

send them here

Just three words? I can answer with just two words.

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 10:03:09 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

shortspoken today?

This did not help much, now I get four words, but the same message.

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 01:05:57 -0700
From: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
Subject: Re: your mail

send the cards here

I decided to air my frustration of having invested 1,000 and instead of receiving a kind ‘thank you’ message I receive instructions.

Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2021 10:33:36 +0200
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <j.schoenwaelder@jacobs-university.de>
To: David Gammas <onikutem.o@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: your mail

David,

you could have said "thank you" or something like that.

/js

And this was the end of our conversation. I guess David has given up on me. Anyone in need of Amazon gift cards?