April 11th, 2012


American Spam in Nigeria

I think now that I'm in Nigeria I'm getting scam emails FROM AMERICA! See the following email I had in my inbox this afternoon:

Dear Kris,

My name Phil Kefauver – Senior Recruitment Associate at YourEncore, Inc. I am contacting you because1 one of our Clients2 is seeking a consultant who is experienced in the areas of honey manufacturing / production, marketing, health (safety & regulatory) and who has business insight and basic technical knowledge.

YourEncore is an expert technical services provider that recruits and manages an extensive network of scientists, engineers and product developers. Our network is open for anyone to join at no cost to them. YourEncore then matches our Experts3 with consultations and part-time project assignments from our Client3 Companies3 according to their skills and expertise. We have about 50 Client Companies most of whom are Fortune 500 companies. I would also suggest you visit the YourEncore website at www.yourencore.com to obtain more details of our Company. Included in the website are FAQs that provide specific details of how we operate.

I hope that this opportunity sounds appealing to you and that you would like to work through YourEncore to work on this assignment. If you do, please respond back to this email with a copy of your resume’, at Philip.kefauver@yourencore.com and let me know. I can then share more details about how to enroll with YourEncore and provide you with our Confidential Information Agreement so that we can share more information about this assignment.4

If you could recommend someone, that would also be most helpful.

Phil Kefauver
Senior Recruitment Associate
YourEncore, Inc.
10925 Reed Hartman Hwy, Suite 114
Cincinnati, OH 45242

   Though suspiciously NOT from Nigeria, it exhibits several classic signs of spam such as:

1 The classic "My name is X, I am Y, I am contacting you because Z" format all Nigerian spam emails start with
2 Suspiciously unnamed "Clients"
3 Overuse of Capitalization.
4 Fishing for me to respond back about an extremely vague offer.

   The email from header says "Herb Young" at "hit-reply@linkedin.com," the mismatching name of which is the biggest smoking gun it's not actually a Philip Kefauver. But I checked briefly earlier when my internet was up (internet is presently down) and Yourencore does appear to be a real site and the email he wants me to respond to is in that domain name. And again I can't double-check right now but I don't THINK I had listed "honey manufacturing / production, marketing, health (safety & regulatory)" as areas I was knowledgeable in on linkedin (after all, I what do I know about health?).

Poll #1832925 Yourencore.com

So what do you think?

(A) Americans are sending spam to Nigeria
(B) Nigerians have learned to sound a lot more like Americans
(C) It's a real email and Phil "Herb Young" Kefauver just really sucks at not sounding like he's a spammer?

Unrelated Picture of the Day

And here's some stuff that got confiscated by customs in Atlanta and is now proudly on display there! No new pictures today, I forgot my camera battery charger and second camera battery, and even though I bought a new charger (for $45!) for some reason apparently it wasn't charging my one battery last night or something. And there were so many thatched huts today!! ::weeps::

And in the News Here...

   Sitting in the little eatery where we just had dinner, there was a TV mounted on the wall where I could see it but I couldn't hear it. It was on a news channel. First they interviewed a dozen Iranians who were opposed to sanctions on Iran and in support of Iran's nuclear program. Then it showed Kofi Annan meeting with President Ahmadinejad, then they showed people getting tear gassed with the headline "REVOLUTION IN BAHRAIN," and then there was a lengthy bit titled "UNITED (POLICE) STATES," which appeared to be about the Dept of Homeland Security ordering hollow-point bullets, and alternated between pictures of watermelons exploding from being by such bullets and pictures of occupy protestors being tear gassed. This included intreviews with about four persons who were all either wearing tie-dye occupy movement t-shirts or listed as the editor of some anti-government sounding magazine. Then footage returned to Annan and Ahmadinejad.
   These stories seemed to be... a bit less than unbiased reporting. I think there may have been another story as well that seemed similarly themed. I thought the Bahrain story was particularly amusing since a story about a "revolution" usually shows people joyously waving flags, not being teargassed by government troups. Sure enough a google news search of Bahrain right now and the fifth result down is mob violence in Bahrain. Someone's a bit overeager to make it sound like there's been a revolution there.

   And also, sure enough, looking up "PressTV," the name of the program, I see it is run by the Iranian state media agency. And apparently people watch it over dinner here in some places. At least they didn't burn me in effigy. Though apparently homeland security DID put in a large order for hollow-point ammunition...

Nigeria II - Day 4

Wednesday - Today we drove out to the training site, which was about two hours away. There were many adorable thatched huts along the way AND MY CAMERA WASN'T WORKING!!
   I'm really kind of baffled -- last night it was NOT out of battery but I decided to charge it, since I don't have a spare I can't risk running out of battery. So I charged it. And I didn't look at the battery status when I pulled it out of the charger but when I tried to use my camera for the first time today it informed me the battery was completely dead. It hadn't even been dead when I put it in the charger!! O:
   So no pictures today ::weeps::

   Anyway the YMCA training site teaches all different kinds of agriculture. They have several beehives but only one bee suit, no smoker, and no gloves. It's hard to imagine how they get by working their hives with that, much less teach anyone when they only have a single bee suit!!
   It kind of reminded me of the apiary unit at the college I visited last time. In theory they are to teach beekeeping but they're just.. obviously not trying very hard. You don't need me to show up to teach you how to make a bee suit and smoker. I mean, I don't even know how to manufacture those myself but I know if I tell someone with garment making skills to use mosquito netting and whatever clothing materials are available to make a bee suit they can do it, and your tin-smith or blacksmith can make you a smoker.
   I think that might be a major goal of this project though, to teach the trainees how to either make the necessary equipment themselves or to get it made for them. Having the right equipment after all is as important as anything else I can teach them.

   Maybe I was spoiled by the other two hotels I've stayed in in Nigeria, but this one seems kind of crappy to me. My AC didn't work in the room I was in last night, and in the one I've been moved to it only works sporadically. I had to call reception twice because my door lock either wouldn't open or wouldn't lock. Shower doesn't have any hot water, not that I terribly miss it around here. Oh and the refridgerator kept making a banging noise every 45 minutes last night till I unplugged it. And they have a serious no outside food or drink policy?! Aaaand my internet just went out again. Guess they don't want me complaining ;)

   I think this project is going to be good though. Okay time for bed. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have pictures again!!

Unrelated Picture of the Other Day

They have ZIPLINES in public parks in Nigeria. FOR KIDS. WHY DON'T WE HAVE THESE???? Okay I know why but still. Stupid litigious society...