Wednesday, 25 February 2009

More Sun and Snow

Waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to fly off to the French Alps once again. More snow and more ski! Friends have been going and they all come back with the same report “this is the best I've ever seen it!”

Unlike any other time I've been the weather this season seems, for want of a better word, ideal. I wont bore you with tales of me trekking across glaciers, avoiding avalanches, instead, I'll tell you about a Sunday, out in London in what I can only describe as Arctic conditions.

It was freezing! We decided to head out and take a long walk, taking pictures along the way, we never expected such cold winds but by the time we realised what we were in for, it was too late. So on we went taking pictures and finding cafes along our path.

Unfortunatly, at the same time, my Macbook's hard drive died on me but thanks to backups, not a lot was lost. I've only just got a new drive in and the Canon software installed so I could download the pictures from that weekend, the results:

Slightly uninspired but here for your judgement.....

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Amazingly I get a lot of spam, yes I know that I'm in the minority here and spam is just not a problem for the vast majority of internet users. I feel sorry for the legitimate pharmacist or hand bag seller or former ousted minister who desperately needs help in getting access to his multi million dollar fortune. These people just can not get a break as their emails are often mistaken for spam and are ignored.

I would like to bring to your attention one such guy, he almost slipped through the net but as I was clearing out my spam folder, I thought I'd take the time to read what one Kevin Qu had to say.

From: "kevin Qu"
Subject: RE: JOB OFFER

Hello Sir/Madam,


My name is Mr.Kevin Qu and I am a manager of Beijing Richman
International Trade Co.,Ltd China, there is an opportunity of home
base business, and I am contacting you because we are now in need of a
Payment Representative in the United kingdom. So I would like to offer
you a part time job as our payment Representative and you can earn
between 1,000 - 3,000UK pounds in a month depending on your Speed,
Accuracy and Devotion to your work.

My Company needs a financial representative in the United
kingdom who will serve as our Agent in processing any of our funds
made out to us by our UK Customers and Clients this is because We make
lots of supplies to some of our clients in the United kingdom for
which I do come to the UK to receive payment & have it cashed after I
supply them raw materials.And that is why we seek your time and
assistance because Its always too expensive & stressful for me to come
to the UK to receive such payments twice in a month.

1. Receive payment from Clients
2. Deduct 10 percent which will be your percentage/pay on
Payment processed.
3. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any
of the Offices you Will be contacted to send payment to (Payment is to
Forwarded either By Money Gram / Western Union Money Transfer).

10 percent from each operation! For instance: you receive
1000UK Pounds on our behalf. You will collect the money and
Keep 100UK pounds (10 percent from 1000UK pounds) for yourself!
At the beginning your commission will equal 10percent, though later it will
increase up to 12percent!

No you do not have to; all necessary transfer fees should be
deducted from the Balance after you must have cashed and
deduct your 10percent of total money Received While finish cashing.

You do not have to go out as you will work as an independent
contractor Right From your home / office. Your job is absolutely legal.
You can earn up To 3000-4000UK pounds monthly depending on time
you will spend for this job. You do not need any capital to start.
You can do the Work easily without leaving or affecting your present Job.
The employees who make efforts and work hard have A Strong Possibility to

become managers.
Anyway our employees never leave us.

18 years or older,
Legally capable,
Ready to work 3-4 hours per week. With PC knowledge
E-mail and internet experience (minimal)
If you are interested in our offer, and would like to work
for Beijing Richman International Trade Co.,Ltd

Kindly fill the application below.

First Name________________ Middle Name_______________ Last
City ____________________State ________ __________Zip
Telephone Number______________________Personal cell phone
Number______________________Gender ____________ Marital
____________________Age _____________ Nationality
you a U.K. citizen or otherwise authorized to work in the

Please note: only interested applicants should respond. And
check your email back for response within 24 hours...... and i will
like you to reply your EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION FORM to this email
address below


Mr.Kevin Qu

Beijing Richman International Trade Co.,Ltd
Registered Nos. 01424399 and 2355834

Now, at first glance I thought “I love my job, I'm not looking for another one” but then I realised that potentially I can make a lot of money with very little effort!

What sometimes happens is that a cheque is sent to you, you deposit it into your account and because of the way the banks work, it will show up in your account before the funds are actually cleared. Of course, you will get a bigger reward if you act quickly and transfer the funds via western union within a day or so. This is all well and good until you learn (in about 5 working days) that the cheque you deposited has bounced and you've just paid out from your own money.

The problem is that old scams like this make it incredibly difficult for people like the sender of this email to be taken seriously. Personally, I think the guy here put in a fair amount of effort. For example, the website is indeed for a textile company in Bejing, and is managed by Mr. Kevin Qu. The guy who sent me this email went to the trouble of creating a email address that looks like it could belong, alas it is different from the one on the website.

A few pointers to the guy who sent me this email:

  1. is the email the ligitamate company use for enquiries, why would they ask you to send applications to a email?

  2. Spelling and grammar, yes you are making this out to be a roughly translated email but even so, take a moment or two to scan though the email before you click 'send'.

  3. So, you would like me to make payments via western union, clearly you have the technology so why on earth are you making 2 trips to the UK a month? Get your clients to use western union, or better still, an international bank transfer! This is what I call a spam plot hole.

  4. Reading the headers of the email, I see you are using 3G broadband from the UK perhaps this is why your trips to the UK are so 'expensive' and 'stressful' perhaps wait until you are back in China before sending me a job offer, this way you won't have to use

Quality scams that require the scammer to put in an iota of effort, is that too much to ask?