More Phiction (updated, July 17)

What is phiction? It is a collaborative and semi-anonymous storytelling game that begins with a fraud attempt via email. The rules are simple: 1.) extend the conversation with the email scammer as long as possible; and 2.) be as absurd as possible. It's easy to do one or the other, but hard to do both at the same time. This conversation began on June 6, and ended on July 2. Odd-numbered emails belong to the phisher, even-numbered emails belong to my old friend, Steve Jesterman and his lover, the famous Elsa Matamoros. For more in this genre, go here.


From: Dr. Tanimu Kurfi, The Newly re-appointed Chief economic adviser to Nigerian President.

To: Sir

Due to reports received by the presidency alleging Predominant cases of illegal extortion of money from foreign contractors by irresponsible Nigeria Officials. A meeting was held on 10th may, 2014 between federal executive council and the newly governor of Central bank of Nigeria, the Auditor general of the federation and Accountant general of the federation towards enforcement of Contract payment to foreign contractors without those problems that characterized the the meeting, it was agreed that henceforth, all form of payment between foreign contractors and federal government shall be handled by our office, so that due process and transparency shall be in place.

In view of the aforementioned, this office was directed by the office of the presidency to communicate with foreign contractors in these regard. Furthermore, if any person contacts you from Central bank of Nigeria in respect of your fund payment now we have to, treat that person as a common criminal is only this office will direct you to Central bank.

It was also brought to our notice that some certain individuals are fraudulently using names of Top government officials to defraud innocent contractors of their hard earned money. Please always forward such contacts to us and ignore such people and their elicit activities.As soon as you get back to us, I will update you on the things required of you to do urgently to enable us forward your payment file/contact details C B N  to Our paying bank in oversea.We sincerely apologize for the harm the delay in your fund payment might have caused you/business.Your urgent response is highly needed to avoid delay as the presidency has mandated my office to make sure that all outstanding long over due contractors payment is settled as soon as possible after investigated and satisfied okay by my office of such claim.

Yours Sincerely,

DR TANIMU KURFI, Newly appointed- Chief Economic Adviser to the president of Nigeria


2. June 6. Re: OUR NOTICE TO YOU

To the Esteemed Dr. Kurfi, 

I am very pleased to hear this news, as my lawyer had deemed that my previous communications with agents of the accountancy were possibly suspect in nature. I am very eager, as you can imagine, to move ahead with the transfer of funds to my business venture, as the influx of capital will make a profound difference in my ability to sustain operations and growth in the field of development. No problem, we might say. Indeedy, such are the vagaries of life, as so many of the wisest minds have opined throughout the ages.

Please do let me know what the next steps of the fund transfer will entail. 
I remain yours, faithfully, as ever, 
Steve Jesterman, Esq.



From: Dr. Tanimu Kurfi, The Newly re-appointed Chief economic adviser to Nigerian President
Attn. Steve Jesterman, Esq

We received your respective mails, which you categorically stated that our transmit correspondence mail gets to you

In respect to payment guidelines to all contractors, you are here by advised to forward cell phone /fax lines and your ID for records purpose and for accreditation by our legal department in your favor, please fill this ATTACHMENT DOCUMENT FOR ACCREDITION when we get all this from you  we update you on what next to do this was the reason why the former Governor of C.B.N, Mr. Lamido Sanusi was being suspended from the office because alleging Predominant cases of illegal extortion of money from foreign contractors by irresponsible Nigerians, we are going to forward your information to the Newly re-appointed C, B, N,Governor to contact you for as soon we get all this from you this payment proceed and it must be bank to bank wire transfer and you have to have be there in person in one of our oil resver bank account over seas

Have a nice day
Thanks and remain bless,
Dr. Tanimu Kurfi

3b. June 13. Am Still Waiting

Dear sir

How are you today

am still wating for you reply

have a nice day



4. June 14. Re: Am Still Waiting

To the Esteemed and ever-patient Dr. Kurfi,
My apologies for the delay in my response. You may have wondered where I have gone? You did, Sir, did you not? As it happens, I am currently rededicating my life to our Lord Savior, Redeemer of the Lost and Forgotten, Picker-Upper of the Stray, Adopter of the Orphaned. To this end, I have joined the ranks on the Santiago de Campostela pilgrims. As a sign of my devotion, I decided to walk the entire length on my knees. 

And so, Dear Dr. Kurfi, you have an image of the torment and ecstasy I have gone through since our last exchange. Today, my knees hurt too much to carry on, and so I have ensconsed myself in an internet cafe in St. Jean de la Luz. 

I would like to move forward with this rare opportunity you have offered me. I am not in a position today to print up and sign the form you sent me. But I am sending you a copy of my birth certificate — certified certified, you will see — and hope we can come to some other arrangemeent. You will likely need other information from me as well, such as my Social Security Number, my bank account numbers and so on. When the time is appropriate, I will gladly send these to you via secure email. 

My best wishes, Sir!
Steve Jesterman, Esq.

5. June 18. Sorry for Late Response


Dear Sir,

Sorry for late response to your mal. It is good to be dedicated in the worship of  the lord Jesus. Good to hear that you joined the ranks on the Santiago de Campostela pilgrims. I hope it was fulfilling?

I actually appreciated the torment and stress your long awaited payment must have caused you. How much have you spent towards this payment? Can you say the precise amount? If you cannot, you can guess how much.

No matter your tight schedule, I encourage you to print and complete the form which was sent to you so that we can go ahead with the final vetting of your payment file. In addition, I expect you to send your drivers license or international passport or any other valid id despite the birth certificate .At the appropriate time, other vital information will be needed but not now.

Yours Sincerely,
Newly appointed Chief Economic Adviser to the president of Nigeria

6. June 18. Re: Sorry for Late Response

Greetings to you, Sir.

Thank you for your letter, which arrived at the right time, like a message from heaven itself. Your kind words were a salve to my broken soul, and had a positively opiatic effect on my body, much like the extra dose of tramadol just administered to me by the young Galician nurse, Elsa, who has not left my bedside since I was admitted to urgent care.

You see, Dr. Kurfi, since our last communication, I have been admitted to Nuestra Señora de la Desaparacíon Hospital in a very bad state. It seems that my desire to undertake such a grueling holy journey on bare knees was ill-advised. The doctors have told me that the wounds in my right leg were more serious than the scratches I had thought them to be. The combination of torn-skin and the broken sewer line outside Pamplona were an unfortunate septic combination, and now my very blood is tainted. 

You will be cheered to know that my faith remains, as ever, undaunted and as firm as the iron nails once driven into our Lord’s flesh. My window looks out onto the famed waters of the Balsa de Ezkoriz and for the past 24 hours I have gazed at the blue lake while Elsa reads to me from the poetry of Bécquer. You can, I am sure, imagine how relaxing this would be to a man in good health. But for a man who is about to lose the use of his legs, and perhaps his life too, these are but little consolations. 

You ask about the funds I have spent in my quest, let us just say that, including the cost of the mule who patiently bore this sorry pilgrim's belongings down the paving stones of the sacred road, it amounts to no more than $5000.00, American. This is a humble sum, but it shows the extent of my devotion.

Your constancy in my plight gives me hope. In pursuance to your query, please find my driver’s license, issued last year. My financial information is available upon request.
Best wishes to you, 
Steve Jesterman





From: Dr.Tanimu Kurfi, The Newly re-appointed Chief economic adviser to Nigerian President.

Attn; Steven Isaac Jesterman

Greetings to you, Sir how was your health today? Thank you for your mail our GOD is going to hill your soul in JESUS name Amen I have  referred your payment file to newly appointed Governor of Central bank of nigeria to contact you any moment from now am expecting you contact details your mobil cell phone and fax lines try as much as possible to send it today you  are advised  to  write the amount in figure bcos of your health
Thanks for your understanding


Dr. Tanimu Kurf



Dearest Dr. Tanimu, 

Sir, your words have a positively liberating effect on me, as if the angels themselves have sent you to me to free me from the prison I was in. Surely you will wonder at the meaning of my words — but I am not exaggerating when I say that you have emancipated me, and with me, my new life partner, Elsa, whom I mentioned in my last email. I write to you from Madrid-Barajas airport, waiting to board a plane to Lagos. Allow me to explain.

In my last missive, I mentioned that I had been admitted to a small, lakeside hospital outside Pamplona. On admission, the doctors had told me that I was suffering from acute blood poisoning, exhaustion and dehydration. For two days, the doctor attempted to stabilize my condition before performing surgery to amputate my legs at the knee. Imagine the irony, Sir!, of this cutting of bone and flesh at precisely the joint where my body had met the paving stones of the Holy Road! Is there nothing more absurd than to test your faith by stone and thorn, then to find that God has decreed to chop off your legs forever more? Elsa, in her patient and loving way (I will come back to that soon), comforted me by reminding me that this would mean I would spend the rest of my life in knee-ful prayer. 

And so, two days went by as I drifted in and out of consciousness, aware only Elsa’s soft voice reciting the inimitable words of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, 

Cuando en la noche te envuelven

Cuando entre la sombra oscura,

Cuando me lo contaron sentí el frío

Cuando miro el azul horizonte

Cuando sobre el pecho inclinas

Cuando volvemos las fugaces horas

¡Cuántas veces, al pie de las musgosas

¿De dónde vengo?... El más horrible y áspero

De lo poco de vida que me resta

Dejé la luz a un lado, y en el borde

Del salón en el ángulo oscuro

Despierta, tiemblo al mirarte

Sir, you know these words, do you not? Might you indulge me as I explain how they affected me? They positively tore me apart, even as I began to fall in love with the voice that pronounced them. 

It is true, Sir, that I am an old romantic, attuned to the slightest tremors of sound and light, and fearfully aware that our mortality is never more than a step away from where we stand. 

And now, I think you can appreciate the state of mind I was in when your words arrived. I smiled, I laughed. I shouted to the sky, “I am rich! My Nigerian funds are finally being released! I am saved! All my hard work in the Bonga Field will be recompensed! Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha has kept his promise, and Dr. Kurfi has, once again, saved me from misery and despair!”

It was only at that point that I looked over and noticed Elsa. She was positively stunned to see my state so transformed. She touched the habit she was wearing, as if to make sure it was still on. I have, Sir, mentioned to you that my dear Elsa is an nun in the Order of the Fleeting Compensation? I have misspoke, for it is more accurate to say that she *was* a nun.

And at that moment, she was still a nun. She turned to me and asked me to divulge the news I had received. It was then, and only then, that I opened my heart to her and shared the truth of my condition — namely that I had a guardian angel named Dr. Tanimu Kurfi, who was finally releasing the funds I had earned over 15 years of work for the Shell Corporation the Niger Delta. Those were hard years spent, I am not ashamed to say, with gun in hand and blood on my lips. I am not afraid of God’s judgment.

Elsa shuddered and then told me a secret I was not prepared to hear. It floored me, in fact — and I suspect it will shock you. The secret, Elsa said, was that I was not sick at all, but that when I was admitted a new Doctor in the hospital had insisted on taking on my case. This same doctor insisted on overseeing all the testing and so on — and had been so adamant about this, that he had made some of the nurses suspicious. Collectively, they had decided to post Elsa to watch over me, which she did, in her own poetical way. 

Will it surprise you, Sir, to learn that this doctor is Nigerian? Will it surprise you to learn, as Elsa soon showed me, that he was none other than the former Major-General Godswill Tamuno of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta? In short, Sir, while on pilgrimage to Santiago, I had unwittingly placed myself in the reach of my old nemesis — and was now a prisoner in a jail of his own making. And, as Elsa reminded me, in the morning this same man — with whom I had battled countless times, was preparing to amputate my legs!

Elsa and I wasted no time. While I gathered my papers and books, she scoured the hospital for civilian clothes, and found an old Basque sheepherder’s outfit for me, complete with cane. Within one hour, Elsa and I had fled the hospital, intent on leave el País Vasco behind us. We boarded a train for Madrid, and that night, as Elsa and I shared a bunk, she removed her habit and with it, the corporeal promises she had once made to our Lord Jesus. May I admit to you that I was glad for the comforts that were soon to follow? I suspect our Lord will be angry with me, since I have stolen what was by all rights His — but it was worth it and He is, after all, a Forgiving God, is He not?

We arrived shortly after dawn, and took a taxi to the airport. And now we have another hour until we board our flight, Iberia 3336. We arrive in Lagos tonight at 8:35. Can I ask for you to have someone to pick us up at the airport, or shall we plan on meeting in person soon thereafter? It is fine if you are not able to come to the airport. I will purchase a sim card on arrival (is there any particular carrier you would recommend?) and call you in the morning if we do not see you.

And now, finally, to answer your question about the amount: it is no less than $5,000,000. Though I am owed interest, I will be happy to simply recover that amount. You are a godsend for setting right what has been wrong.

With my very best wishes to you, Sir!

Steve Jesterman, ESQ.



Dear Mr Steve Jesterman, ESQ.

good day sir, i dont understand your mail about your coming to my country i never told you about it can we have your banks informations and your cell phone i will now forward it to the C,B,N to contact you and tell you how to made your payment.

am very sorry you can not see me now am going  to checkup over sea today but you can get me on mails

thanks have a nice day

Dr.Tanimu Kurfi



My Dearest Dr. Tanimu, 

Of course, I understand completely. Sir, you are a Chief Economic Advisor, with many responsiblities and duties to perform and a life to live as well. I am, well, you know perfectly well who I am — an old punter, now on the run with an ex-nun who is half my daughter’s age. My only dream now, of which you are so tirelessly cognizant, is to reclaim the wages I earned while slinging guns for Shell Oil in the Niger Delta. It is not a big dream, Dr. Tanimu, but it is all I have. And since you are the only link to realizing my dream, I would be foolish to lose your patronage now that I am so close to my goal. 

I hope your travels are safe and easy. May I enquire, Sir, as to your health? Our prayers are with you in this time of checkups.

Elsa has reminded me that you have patiently asked for my bank information these past days, as well as a phone number. In my bewilderment and bloody confusion, I have overlooked the simplicity of your request — and I must beg your forgiveness, and I have them here for you. 
But first you may be interested in knowing that we arrived safely and found a very comfortable room at the Sofitel Hotel in Ikoyi. The pool is nice, and the staff has been very friendly. We tried cola nut for the first time after lunch yesterday and found the effect to be rather pleasant, although we have not slept in 24 hours. But as Elsa has been showing me, sleep is not the only thing one can do in a hotel room in a city where we have no engagements, no acquaintances, and no sights to see. Despite the easy rhythm we have gotten into since our arrival, we are not certain it is a good idea to remain long in Lagos, especially since Maj.-Gen. Tamuno will have guessed by now that I have come seeking you out. It is only a matter of time before we find him knocking on our door - and this time it won’t just be my legs he will amputate. 

With this in mind, we are anxious to decamp to a more secure location. Dakkar? Brazzaville? Abidjan? The very names bring back memories of a part of my life I had begun to forget, and surly men hailing from Boer townships with names like Ventersdorp, Wolmaranstad and Potchefstroom. Memories of late night arrivals on dark airstrips, far from the eyes of border stations and passport control. The best of times, Sir!, but also difficult and dark ones. 

Sir, you have patiently asked for my bank number as well as my phone. Here, hencewith and thus-to-now, I enclose them. Please keep them very close to you, since in sum these numbers compose my very being and essence — they deserve to be treated with utter confidence and discretion, as I am sure you know: 

San Diego National Bank7877 Ivanhoe Ave
La Jolla, CA, United States(858) 454-4786
Checking/Savings Account: 3383 - 458 - 2991

Routing Number: 44-399-2771 (La Jolla Branch) 

Name of Account Holder: Steve Isaac Jesterman

Social Security Number: 983 - 99 - 3425

I look forward to hearing from you soon,

With my very best wishes for you,

Steve Jesterman, ESQ.

PS Of course, this means our paths will not cross this time in Lagos — but so be it. As we have faith in our Lord, someday — Dear Sir! — He will surely bring us together. Again, Sir, my sincere apologies for assuming that you would have time for me were I to arrive in Lagos — that was an assumption on my part, and you know what the old punners say: never make an assumption, because it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “mption.” 



My Dear Sir, 
I write to you from Lagos International Airport from whence we will soon depart. I think it best that I not mention our destination at present, since I have begun to suspect that we are under surveillance and my emails may be monitored. As soon as we land, I will let you know. 

In the meantime, I have been in contact with the bank to begin arrangements for the transfer. The manager at the La Jolla Branch, Mrs. Julie McCoy, is an able transferer of funds. She is awaiting your phone call. If you call after business hours, simply dial the extension #855 and she will take your call immediately. I do hope your check-up has gone well. Need I worry about your good health, Sir?

Best wishes,
Steve Jesterman, Esq. 


11. June 23: we referred your payment file newly appointed Governor

From: Dr. Tanimu Kurfi The Newly re-appointed Chief economic adviser to Nigerian President.
Attn;  Steve Jesterman, Esq.

Greetings to you Sir, how was your health today?

Thank you for your mailI have  referred your payment file to newly appointed Governor of Central bank of nigeria to contact you any moment from now. Thanks for your understanding
Dr.Tanimu Kurf


11b. June 23: please get back to me

From: Dr.Tanimu Kurfi, The Newly re-appointed Chief economic adviser to Nigerian President.

Attn; Steven Isaac Jesterman

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your concern about my health condition. I am better and
will return to Nigeria soonest.

Did you say you are now in Dakkar? Brazzaville? Abidjan? How did you
go to Dakkar? Brazzaville? Abidjan? By flight or by road? Where you
now and what are is the number to call you there? Confirm quickly.

I am wondering how you just left hospital at lakeside hospital outside
Pamplona and was able to jump into plane to travel to Nigeria. Acute
blood poisoning, exhaustion and dehydration are not diseases one could
be discharged from hospital and would be able to make a trip
immediately. You wrote and I quote” For two days, the doctor attempted
to stabilize my condition before performing surgery to amputate my
legs at the knee." so how could you make such trip? Surprisingly you
said that you   boarded a train for Madrid.  It is incredible! From

It is pity that you have revealed the transaction to 3rd parties who
may be biased owing to misjudgment or half baked information. May
people are biased about Nigerian business transactions especially
those who are not directly involved because of the cases of corruption
in Nigeria which has been exaggerated by the foreign media as an
orchestrated campaign of calumny..

I would not know the attitude of Elsa when you revealed your
transaction to her. What is her opinion?  You said Elsa shuddered and
then told you a secret you were not prepared to hear. What was that?

No matter what, women are loquacious. You would have been manly enough
to keep your transaction confidential as I advised  no matter what to
avoid your transaction being publicized and jeopardized by 3rd arties.
Are you ready to follow strictly my instructions henceforth? I am ever
ready to cooperate with you and do my best to ensure you are paid
provided you will stick to my advce.

Yours Sincerely,
Newly appointed Chief Economic Adviser to the president of Nigeria


12. June 24: Re: please get back to me

Dear Dr Tanimu, 

I write to you from the tarmac of Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. I understand the import of your words, and the need to keep our conversation solely to ourselves. You will be glad to know that I have never revealed to Elsa, nor any other human soul, your true identity. I have only ever called you my guardian angel, for that, Dear Doctor, is what you are. No more women, and no more women talk, I can promise you that.

Our situation is urgent, Sir. We landed two hours ago in calm weather. It felt good to be back in Namibia, where I have many assets and friends to draw upon for help. We were taxiing to the gate (#21) when a military jeep blocked the plane’s progress. Shortly thereafter, three officers boarded the plane and walked down the aisles, looking into passengers’ faces and occasionally asking to see our passports. Sir, you should know that neither Elsa nor I were concerned about this development until we noticed that the jeep had been joined by a white van with the words “The Shell Corporation: Let’s Go to the Arctic!” Who, Sir, but I, would they be looking for? And surely, Sir, this has some connection to our recent conversations, does it not? 

Just then, a voice came over the intercom asking for us to remain calm and in our places. That voice, Dear Doctor, is one I know well. You see, while I have never met Umaru Yar’adua, I certainly know his wife, Hajia Tarai. And I mean “know” in the Biblical sense, if you can appreciate that. Ours was a love that, as she put it, only Elegbá and his concubines would have understood. 

For it was Hajia, and no one else, who now addressed us on board flight 288 from Lagos to Windhoek. It was none other but that smoky, silky, beguiling voice. I could picture the redness of her lips and the pinkness of her tongue rolling over ivory teeth. And if Hajia was here, my demise would not be far behind. Elsa noticed that I had become agitated and asked me why. Without my saying, that devilish womanly woman had correctly guessed that she was not the first love of my life, and that the woman on the loudspeaker had a greater purchase on my soul than she could ever hope to have. 

Elsa cursed me in the Castillian tongue, then in the Basque. Then words became fists as that nun continued her fall into utter carnality. She began to pummel my body with hers, even as I attempted to remain calm and in my place, Seat 32B.

Not more than two blows landed on my face before the entire party was seizing me by the hands and wrenching me from the airplane. They boarded me onto that white van and drove me away. I looked back and saw Elsa’s tearful face looking out the window, her fingertips touching the plastic, her lips mouthing words: “Lo siento, mi amor. Mea culpa!” I could almost hear her voice whispering in my ear.

The men took me to a hanger somewhere on the outskirts of the airport, Sir. I managed to see the name of the hanger and the number: #45, “Suitcase Administration.” There, past rooms full of unclaimed baggage, they put me in a chamber with nothing but a television set and a video game machine. I heard Hajia Tarai’s voice speaking outside the door soon after, as well as another man — Major-General Godswill Tamuno, if my memory serves me. Or could I be mistaken?

I have spent the last half hour tinkering with the mechanisms of the machine and, using the dish network and the game pad, seem to have accessed the interweb and am thus sending you this email. 

Please, Sir, I beseech you: I seem to have fallen into the clutches of men and women who are after the funds you are now releasing on my behalf. You have ample evidence of the nefarious dealings that have afflicted me, do you not? You know how far I have come on your behalf, how utterly sincere my quest has been, do you not? 

You have all the information you need to act on my behalf. I implore you, Sir, please contact the Namibian police to let them know what is happening to me right now! Please send someone to my rescue! 

Help Us, Dr. Kurfi, You’re Our Only Hope!

Steve Jesterman

Sent from my Playstation2®


12b. June 24: Re: please get back to me

Dr. Kurfi, My Dear Sir!

Where have you gone? It has been 36 hours since my incarceration in Windhoek began, and I am no closer to emancipation than I was when I last wrote you. True, I have spent so much time on Grand Auto Theft that I have mastered 6 levels, but even that accomplishment is not the same as freedom!

You have all the information you need to set in motion my release — please, do not delay! 
Please, Sir!, give me a sign that you have received my messages and that you will help! Otherwise, I will have to accept that Shell Oil has influenced you against me, and perhaps also Hajia or Godswill. What a sad day that would be — I cannot bear to think it, but in my despair, I begin to. Please prove my doubts wrong. Please intervene!

Your humble servant,

Steve Jesterman

Sent from my Playstation2®

12c. June 27: Power of Attorney

Dear. Dr. Tanimu Kurfi, 
This is Elsa, Steve Jesterman’s lover. He has been indefinitely detained on a tarmac in Windhoek, and I am pretty sure he has granted me power of attorney. I am very anxious to receive the funds meant for poor Steve. Maybe you and I can work together to finish this job? I have enclosed a picture of myself so you can see what I look like. I am not like other women, I can be trusted. 
With love,
Elsa Matamoros




Dear madam Elsa Matamoros

please for christ sake dont ever sand mail to me am not like that let mr SteveJesterman write me this funds is not for you if he granted you power of attorney he must make sure he update me and again tell me the reason why he was detained on a tarmac in Windhoek.

more over he is a gentel man that any one can trust i can not work with you i have noting to do with your picture i never trust any woman of your type am very sorry
Thanks have a nice weekend
GOD bless you
Dr tanimu



Attn: Elsa Matamoros

I am worried to hear that Steve Jesterman is indefinitely detained on
a tarmac in Windhoek. When was he detained? For what reason was he
detained? Was he peddling or trafficking drug or was he involved in
terrorism? What are the reasons for which he was detained? MAY YOU

You said he gave you a power of attorney to continue with me in the
transaction. Van you send to me the signed Power of attorney from
Steve Jesterman. May you also show me your id to confirm your
identity? Send to me by email your driving license or any other valid
ID e.g. international passport. Etc.

I wait for your urgent reply.