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This is a question Conned

swiftyisNOTevil writes, "I have recently become obsessed with the BBC Three show 'The Real Hustle' - personally, I think of it as a 'How To' show for aspiring con artists."

Have you carried out a successful con? Perhaps you hustled a few quid off a stranger, or defrauded a multi-national company. Or have you been taken for the wide-eyed, naive rube that you are?

(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 13:02)
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Of texts and e-mails
Apologies in advance for length, but I have to tell the full story for it to make sense.

A few years back, I was to be doing a radio broadcast in Glasgow with one of the bands I play with, and we'd arranged as usual to go for a curry afterwards. There was a young bloke, Stu, who was mad keen on this particular band, and so I hatched a ploy. I set up a fake e-mail account and pretended to be Stu, asking Iain, the bandleader, if I could come along to the recording and go for a curry afterwards.

Iain, who couldn't be arsed with Stu, then fell for it, forwarded me the e-mail asking what to do, and was a bit flustered. How did Stu find out about the curry, etc etc. Iain's wife even phoned me - I confessed to her but told her to keep it quiet, which she did. Eventually he phoned me himself, and I couldn't contain myself. "You bastard", etc etc.

OK, a minor wind up. End of part 1. Now fast forward several months, to Boxing Day.

I was playing a gig with another band, when I got a text from an unknown number. This led to an exchange of texts. I'll put the incoming ones in italics, and my replies in bold:

Hi Carol, just got back from Australia. Wondered if you want to meet for a drink. Jenny.

So I replied.

Hi Jenny, think you've got the wrong number. I'm a bloke called K2k6, but I'll still go for a drink with you. :-)

Sorry about that. Sounds good, where do you live?

I'm in Fife. What about you?

Just outside Bedford. Where's Fife?

About 400 miles north of you. I was down near Bedford last week, in Milton Keynes

(I'd been there on a conference)

How old are you?

34. Too young? Too old?

34's fine. I'm 29. I'm coming up to Edinburgh for Hoggers [Hogmanay] with my pal Carol next week. Fancy meeting up?

I've got a gig that night, but I could see you afterwards. I'll call

OK, great. Look forward to hearing from you.

And so it was left. Meanwhile, our drummer, who had been party to all of this, was getting excited as he was wanting to meet her pal.

Anyway, we were having a drink a few minutes later, when another text came through, this time from Iain.

"I hear you've got a big date lined up for Hoggers".

I was now highly confused. How did Iain know? I asked my mate James, with whom I was gigging that night, if he'd been on the phone to Iain, and told him about the text exchange. He looked blank and said no.

Only then did the penny drop. I'd fallen hook, line and sinker for a clever revenge wind up. "Jenny" was in fact another mate who'd got a new phone and was on the way to another gig with Iain and his wife. They never expected me to fall so well for it, but once I did they were pissing themselves at my replies.

They even went to the lengths of looking up a map to find a place near where I'd been the previous week, as they knew I'd been down south. Bastards.

I've been far more suspicious since then!
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 13:48, Reply)

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