Last week I was on vacation, trying to avoid social media and visit with family, when a random stranger reached out with the only bait that could possibly get me to cave and check my Instagram DMs:
$60,000 IN COLD HARD CASH.
I don’t see a lot of scammers on my insta (@darrendmiller if you wanna see dog photos), and this guy’s story was not completely out of the realm of possibility: he just recently won the lottery and wants to give $60K to a bunch of random strangers.
I mean, that COULD happen, and if it did, WHY NOT reach out like this? I couldn’t COMPLETELY write this off immediately. So I decided to check this guy’s story out.
Turns out, a man with his name did recently win Mega Millions. But then I noticed that when you search this guy’s name on Instagram, there are like 10 million accounts claiming to be him. I was 99% sure this was a scam.
But that 1% could be worth $60,000 IN COLD HARD CASH. So I decided to play along and see if he’s the real Richard Wahl:
Okay so immediately I am now 100% sure this is a scam, and mostly just surprised by how bad this guy is. His version of convincing me he’s real is simply having photos of people with cash on his instagram profile:
Has anyone ever looked at this and been like “oh, I guess this guy is the real deal!”? I decided to find out what he’s after, by looking at this and being like “oh, I guess you’re the real deal.”
So he wants my personal information. And I want to keep messing with this guy for as long as I possibly can.
Maybe I can get the money without giving him personal data that would allow him to scam me? Reasonable question IMHO.
Oh, this is “real ams legit”! Phew. In that case, here’s everything you asked for.
At this point the only way to keep stringing him along is to somehow make him believe that I believe his answers to my questions. Which is hard because these are the flimsiest answers one could possibly imagine.
But all I have to do is write “Ok I guess that makes sense” and he immediately thinks he has me in the palm of his hand:
Wow, this guy’s getting cocky. For no reason.
I push the idea of working with USPS directly again, because, let’s face it Richard, your justification is horrible.
Turns out he hates this suggestion, and almost bounces. I quickly backpedal and suggest we work this out over the phone. He of course thinks this means I’m willing to give him my phone number:
Wow, looks like he’s got me in check. Well played!
At this point it’s completely out of the realm of possibility that any reasonable human being wouldn’t be overtly skeptical.
Oh man. ANOTHER photo to prove it:
Turns out this guy does NOT want to hang out with me. What follows is maybe our first legitimate fight since becoming friends:
I’ve been talking to this idiot for literally hours at this point, so I’m pretty satisfied with how long I’ve been able to keep his hopes up. But I would like to get him to do one of the following:
- Admit he’s trying to scam me
- Give me ANY, and I mean ANY decent substance to his lie to back up his claims. I mean I’m barely pressing this guy and his only defense is to just keep claiming he’s real.
I guess he thought I might just give him the info to defend the idea that I’m real?
But AM I real? If neither of us can prove we’re real, maybe neither of us ARE real.
And maybe, just maybe, this is a fun theory he’d be interested in, and we can become friends after all!
According to Instagram, he HAS seen my messages. So either he’s now falling down a Simulation Argument rabbit hole and will get back to me soon, or he’s just not interested.
Too bad, cause real friends have my personal info. Looks like you missed out, Richard.
Or maybe I missed out on $60,000 IN COLD HARD CASH.
We’ll truly never know.