Category Archives: The Life Quotient

Real Life outside the computer. Personal issues and events.

The Greenland Bank Transfer scam or Stranded Student scam still at large in Europe

Remember two years ago when I got scammed in the streets of Frankfurt? It seems that person is still at large in Western Europe and they’ve been incidents of people being scammed still in 2011. I just wanted to remind people to be aware and perhaps help other people find out what happened and concentrate photos, aliases and other evidence.

Here are some other people who’ve posted online about being scammed

Some more photos of the scammer:

Going by the name of Dennis Janson or Erik NelsonPossibly going by the name of Dennis Janson or Erik Nelson

The scammer has also been known to claim he is from Norway as well. Sometimes he is encountered along with a partner.

Aliases I’ve found he’s used until now: Erik Nelson,Β Peter Janson,Β Den Larson and Dennis Janson

Fake Papers sent as proof commonly: These are edited from scam to scam it seems. The name of the “father” sending the money changes. You can see below it being “Henrik Jensen”, “Olaf Nelson”, “Erik Janson”, “Olaf Jensen” and so on.

Erik Janson's Fake ID

The “father” is commonly using a @hotmail.com, @live.com or @windowslive.com email address, which makes it difficult to trace. I’ve already tried contacting Hotmail to get more info but was promptly ignored. Still looking at the headers of that email, I’ve managed to trace the father sending it from a Spanish ISP (which I’ve also contacted with no success).

Someone claims they used the +44 7854270100 phone number, but is not clear if this is the phone of the scammer or the “father”. This is a German number. It may be the case that the scammer has scamming partners all over Europe and calls whoever is convenient. This seems consistent with the other samples of emails I’ve seen, where the English was even worse than the one I received.

Beware

This person is a really, really good actor, with a very detailed, sad and believable story. He will talk about his family, he will show you pictures of his “house”, he will give you a fake skype address (same as his name) he will talk to you on end, without any stress or fear. He has done this dozens, if not hundreds of times. This person is absolutely shameless as well. He guiltlessly accepted an offer to buy him dinner and then bargained for 50 extra euros (with more sad sad stories).

If you see him, what you do is up to you, but by the time you realize you’ve been scammed (usually after 2-3 days when you realize the “money transfer” is not coming) your Police department is probably going to be useless. He’ll be long gone to another city or country by then.

Things I wished I did when I was being sold the story

  • Ask to go together to the police station to verify his story. He had claimed he has already been there and had filed a police report.
  • Look more closely at the Bank transfer receipt, which on close inspection was an obvious photoshop.
  • I also wished I was more cautious of the free email address and the egregious spelling errors in the email coming from an “International lawyer”

Anyway, spread the news and info around and hopefully the more people aware of this scam, the less likely it is that they’re caught unaware and lose their goodwill by being scammed when trying to help someone in need. Also if you’ve been scammed and managed to grab more info (email addressed, aliases, photos, phone numbers) contact me and I’ll add this to the list. If you’ve written about this, link it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

The more people who know about this, the more likely someone will recognise him during the act and take action to stop him or at least make the victim aware.

Take care and don’t lose your mutual aid feelings just because of this scumfuck.

Big university party. Riot police bring the fireworks

So the Greek university asylum has finally ended, in practice, as well. 4 Days ago, the un-elected government of Papademos, backed up by Juntaist and far-right politicians decided to storm the Thessalonikian universities shortly after the demonstrations of the 17th November for the Polytechnic had ended. This was this unelected government’s first “Polytechnic anniversary”, so the symbolism is fairly blatant.

Then with the tanks, now with the banks.

You now know to express heavy repression on the anniversary of Alexis. Be prepared.

I own you

Today I leave you with another another lovely post by my equally lovely wife.


This is a good example for how deep you can maneuver youself into knee-deep crap, by trying to show how much better you are than others. The story happened in our summer vacation. The victim is my beloved husband, db0.

Dried oregano for culinary use.

Db0 holds up a small electric hand-held coffee shaking device, the wrong way around. “How does this work? Gruuaaaah!” (tries to do the Barbarian)
Me: “Hold it into the glass. Now turn your hand around.”
Db0: “Aaaah! Sometimes I wonder how things are so obvious. I’m having a silly phase: For you it was totally clear, but for me it just didn’t ‘click‘…”
Me: “Oooch! Mabe you’re just a bit slow this morning… my poor darling!”
DbO: “What are you already expecting me to say? Mmm?”
Me: “What?”
DbO: “The oregano!” (To explain what this means: I was standing right in front of the oregano bottle a few weeks ago, which was basically poking into my eye and still couldn’t see it, insisting that we didn’t have any, until he pointed out to me)
Me: “You know, you always remember the oregano story and remind me of it when you did something silly, and want to point out that it happens to me as well. I think you must have used this one story, like three or four times by now!”
DbO: “Ach, I’ve used it at least ten times by now!” (puffing his chest)
Me: “So you, Mr. ‘I-am-with-silly’, don’t understand that this one story had to be told several times, as compensation for your own stupidity, now? And you didn’t even ‘get it’ when I pointed it out to you, but rather proudly made it ten times? I’ve just owned you!”

In Germany we have a saying: “If you don’t know shit, just shut the fuck up” (Wenn du keine Ahnung hast, einfach mal Fresse halten). I think that applies nicely here πŸ™‚


Db0 here. Story is true. I did self-pwn myself. To my defense however, I can never remember all the times she’s screwed up, so I always fell-back to the oregano story which was close to my memory. Oh well πŸ™‚

On badass Orthodox Priests…

Greek Orthodox priest

Plutonick just posted a story about the dual-class Priest/Manager he saw at a recent wedding1 he went to and reminded me of my sister’s wedding and the shenanigans that went on in there. I don’t think I ever posted about it and it was a good chance to outclass pluto so here goes.

At my sister’s marriage I had a fairly eccentric attire, wearing a bandanna, a sleeveless black shirt and a cape2 but as weird as it sounds, I wasn’t the most interesting thing to look at that day. You see, my brother-in-law has a fairly unique take on Greek Orthodoxy that I don’t quite understand. But anyway, that’s his own schtick so I don’t mind. However, their religious marriage also happened with people who shared the same unique style of belief.

The first sample was the best man. From what I understand, a quite “sinful” person in the past who had a total change of heart and became a hugely devout orthodox, even joining a monk coven for a bit (I think) and growing the archetypal epic beard. So during the Orthodox marriage ceremonies, one of the classic things happens, which is that a priest-helper sprinkles the family guests with holy water thrown from a special plant3. So as the priest-helper was going along the line of guests sprinkling, he eventually reached this devout best man.

He sprinkle him once and moved on the row, but as he was returning for a second pass, the best man leaned in and whispered something to him. I visibly saw a look of terror and shock dawn on the priest-helper’s face. I cannot guess what the best man told him, but apparently it was terrifying enough so that the helper visibly avoided any contact in the future. Even eye-contact.

But that wasn’t the only thing that happened. If you think the best man was aggressive, it’s because I haven’t told you about the priest actually doing the ceremony yet.

As is traditional in these marriages, there was a hired photographer going around taking artistic photos. Generally these photographers are given some leeway in movement so that they can take the good shots from the front of the couple and so on. So the photographer was doing his job, which inadvertently meant that he had to move to and fro and pass between the couple and the priest.

Well, let’s just say the priest did not take this very kindly.

After the third time the photographer passed between couple and priest, the priest abruptly stopped the ceremony, leaned down and whispered aggressively and loud enough to be heard to the third row something to the extent of “If you walk between me and the couple one more time, this will be the last time you walk.”

After that, the priest went back to his ceremony as if nothing had happened, while the photographer cowered in the corner for a while and then continued taking pictures in a very…conservative manner. I couldn’t see my sister’s face, so I don’t know if she was as surprised as I was at this outburst but later she told me that the guy deserved it because he was being kind of disruptive anyway.

Needless to say, this was the most awesome wedding I’ve ever been to.

  1. It’s in Greek btw []
  2. don’t judge me []
  3. i.e. they have a pot of holy water in which they dip these plant leaves and then sprinkle the guests by flinging it in their direction []

You might have ADD if…

Anno Domini High Definition
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve known I have ADHD since i was around 24. I found out by myself by searching online for solutions for my very short attention span, learning about ADD and then going to a specialist on these issues for an actual test. The discovery explained a lot of things about who I am and why I act as I do, and most importantly, knowing what I have allowed me to take the right steps to combat it.

Still, sometimes I keep surprising myself with just how much I need to trivially multitask in order to keep myself focused on my primary task. Trivially multitasking means doing small things with my hands, and feet and whatnot, in order to keep my splitting concentration from doing something even more disrupting. So I chew my fingernails, tap my feet, scratch and pick my nose, squeeze a rubber ball, chew the inside of my cheeks and lips, grind my teeth and so on. I usually do at least 3 of these things at the same time as my main task and I do them subconsciously, meaning that I only realize I’m doing them after I’ve done it for a bit.

However some times, I surprise even myself on the amount of things I need to be doing all the time, like today for example, where I was talking to my wife on the phone. Normally, I really don’t like talking on the phone. I find it boring and a few minutes is enough for me, at which point I just want to hang up and continue doing whatever I was doing before.Β  This time however, I seemed to be more tolerant of the act and while talking on the phone my mind started working on why this might be and then it struck me on how many things I was doing at the same time at that point. I was talking on the phone with one ear. On the other ear I was listening to music via a ear-set. On my left hand, I was playing with a coin. On my second monitor, I was watching my electric sheep screen-saver (which, if you’ve seen it, is quite enthralling by itself). And finally, I was tapping my feet.

When I mentioned this to my wife (who knows a lot about ADD from her profession), she explained that there’s no way she would be able to do all these at the same time.

I’ve now formed another half-arsed theory on why I especially hate talking on the phone. You see, most people, even without ADD, do something more than simply talk on the phone. Doodling on a notepad is a common occurrence for long talks, and I’d seen both my mother and various other people do that. It occurs to me then that a phone-call is by default a not very enthralling activity. It just doesn’t contain the concentration of most people enough, which makes them want to do something extra while on the phone. Something like doodling is enough for most. However when you combine this with ADD, being on the phone becomes almost intolerable since doodling is nowhere near enough to fill up your attention.

What do you think? Anyone else with ADHD who has similar experiences?

So, I got married…

Yep, as strange as it may be, I am now aΒ  husband. I wasn’t really planning to as I’m not a fan of the marriage tradition and the pratriarchical things it stands for, but I am only mildly opposed to to the idea so when my girlfriend insisted upon it, I didn’t care enough to oppose it so much.

We were planning for the marriage to happen in summer but due to various circumstances, this didn’t manifest. Thus we decided to just have a civil wedding this year and do the ceremony stuff next year, where we’d have more time for planning. The civil wedding was going to be kept very short and sweet, with only a few people invited.

And then came the subject of the clothes. My soon-to-be-wife categorically objected in me going to the civil service on anything casual and I stedfastly refused to use a suit & tie setup. As we were thinking of a compromise, an idea came to me and I was delighted that she found it exciting as well: A Steampunk theme. This way, I would both be wearing something that wasn’t casual or conforming.

So we set about trying to create an outfit for this day. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot for the actual steampunk stuff other than the victorian-era clothes and the goggles, but even so, I think the end result was good.

So without further ado, here’s some pics that I found very good. You can see the whole album here (If you get 500 errors, use the slideshow option from the drop-down menu on the top right. Should be more stable)

Here we are in front of the Romer city hall. This is the place where the German kings were crowned. As you can see, we’re a…diverse bunch πŸ™‚

Here’s the two of us close up. I think the attire was a success.

This is in the “ceremony” and the actual signing of papers and stuff. In the first pic, you can see me giving this decision some thought.

This is after the wedding, outside of the building. Given the amount of marriages that happen there daily (about one per 30 mins) throwing rice to the couple is forbidden, or else by the end of the day, the entrance would be covered in it. So as an alternative, our crazy Russian friend, throw intra-cook rice bags at us as we were coming out. In the last pic, you can see a bunch of children which were completely surprised by the way we looked. One asked us “Why do you look so bad?”.

We were quite the attraction that day in fact. The Japanese tourists probably thought we were part of the setting.

These are from the breakfast and lunch times. We went for both one after the other so there wasn’t enough time to digest. However we did leave out some space for the cake, which as you can see, we tried to build to the theme as well. There was so much left of it, that I brought practically half of it to work for the people there to eat πŸ™‚

So there you have it. Next year, we’ll have one more πŸ™‚

Falling Down

small accident
Image by chdot via Flickr

Last week I had a small accident on my way home. I was driving with my bike on the right side of the street, with parked cars on my right, when suddenly, just one meter in front of me a car door from the driver’s side sprung open and I had barely enough time to swerve to the left while making a small warning shout. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough and the door clipped me on the shoulder and after a brief struggle for control, I ended up on my back in the middle of the road.

Fortunately the road behind me was empty, otherwise this could have ended far worse, but as it was, I didn’t get as much as a scrapped knee (I’m very good at falling. Years of experience as a kid. Hey, flaunt them if your have them.) After a brief pause to pause to compose myself, I got up and looked at the careless driver and…saw him checking up the door for damages…

I angrily shouted “Seht gut gemacht” which translates to “well done” but in retrospect I should have said something wittier, like “Is your door ok?” or something. At that point I was too shaken to be witty though. The guy, who was around his 60s, started apologizing profusely and people started asking what happened but at that point, once I verified that nothing was hurting, all I wanted was to continue on my way home. The driver of course was being now very very friendly and asking me if all is OK,Β  if nothing hurts and so on.

Call me cynic but I know that his main concern was that he wouldn’t get sued. He was very fortunate that I had no damage on myself or my bike1 and he was especially fortunate I’m not a typical German. Almost every one I speak to says that if a typical German was in my position, they would have called the police immediately, just in case something started hurting down the line. From my perspective, calling the police, taking statements and so on would have been so much a waste of my time that it was just not worth it. The hassle I would go through would be far too much of a cost.

The whole incident however pointed out to me how material-oriented so many Germans are. The guy who hit me was primarily interested in the state of his car, not because a scratch is a big issue, but because the car wouldn’t be perfect and that would speak bad about him as a human person. It sounds ridiculous but far too many people around here think like that. It’s like a nation-wide Keep Up With the Joneses situation and it really ruins human relations.

It’s the reason people are so emotionally cold around here. The judge themselves, and consecutively others, by their material wealth and avoid mixing up to those lower than them. This in turn leads to more and more alienation from your fellow human beings. In the case of my accident above, another person would very likely have a more angry reaction to the door hit, not just because of the carelessness of the driver, but because of where the driver’s primary concern was. The fact that his first instinct was to make sure his status was social unaffected and not to worry about the person he could have harmed.

It’s like a prime example of how crass materialistc individualism can go wrong and poison our society as a whole.

  1. My bike actually stopped squeaking after this []

The most fitting piece of clothing

A while ago I noticed that this T-Shirt had become available and I just knew I had to have one (for reasons that I expect are immediately obvious). Unfortunately they wouldn’t ship outside of the USA so it was impossible to order one myself.

I thus decided to shout it out and see if anyone in the US is willing to order it for me and fortunately I managed to tickle the mutual aid of Joseph, a fellow anarchist who volunteered to get it for me and send it, via post. Little did I know that he is more forgetful than I am πŸ™‚

So, 6 months later, he remembered that he still hadn’t sent the package, or rather, according to him, his girlfriend reminded him which in turn led to him sending the package over. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to provide him with my IRL name which led to the hilarious event of giving them my alias (as they wouldn’t ship without a name) and telling them that I was some kind of radio personality.

This in turn meant that the package came here without a proper name (The package had no name on it, not even my “radio” alias), and the nice German delivery person, not knowing how to deal with this, dumped the package on top of the mailboxes. It was only by sheer luck that my eyes passed over the package and the name of the sender clicked in my head and made me realize this is for me.

But in the end, things turned out alright, and finally I have the most fitting T-Shirt evar. W00t!

Mad props to Joseph!

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