“…your business partner said you’re dead.”

I enjoy playing with scammers. At worst, they ignore me. At best, they give me something to post on social media.

From: “John C. Dugan” …@gmail.com
Reply-To: …@gmail.com
Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 5:59 PM
To: Craig Rairdin
Subject: Your response is highly appreciated

Good day

This is John C. Dugan. The Managing Director of CitiBank Of America USA. We welcomed one Mr. Michael Hilliker and his colleagues whom claimed to us they’re your business partner’s and said you’re Dead

After a brief illnesses and before Death, you gave him the power of
attorney to represent you and receive your inheritance Funds already Deposited in our BANK which contained the sum of US$40 Million Dollars. And he provided a bank account for the remittance of the money immediately to help in doing your burial arrangements. Now are you sure you’re the one corresponding to my email now?

I am waiting for your reply as soon as possible before we can take action over your transaction immediately….

Thank you
John C Dugan.

And we’re off. This is my favorite type of message to receive. The scammer is attempting to get me to contest the assertion that I’m dead and send all kinds of identifying information to prove it — all so that I can collect my $40 million.

But that’s no fun. I’d rather accept the scammers assertion and see how long it takes him to figure out he’s being played.

On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 at 01:19, Craig Rairdin wrote:

Dear Mr. Dugan:

Mr. Hilliker is in fact correct. I am dead. Have been for a while, actually.

You may make whatever arrangements Mr. Hilliker feels are most efficient to take action over my transaction immediately.

Now pardon me; I need to slowly open this squeaky door.

Yours Posthumously,

Craig Rairdin

I know the scammer doesn’t speak English. He’s just going to copy and paste a reply into his next email. I use references to euphemisms about the behavior of ghosts and throw in a $10 word in my signature block to get him to fire up Google Translate.

We’re in luck. He replies:

From: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 2:42 AM
To: Craig Rairdin
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

You have to looking forward and send me your information for the transfer contained the sum of US$40 Million Dollars. And provided a bank account how you want your funds to be deposit ??

Nice. He attached a copy of his Citibank ID. That signature doesn’t look like “John Dugan”, but it’s hard to argue that he’s not putting his best foot forward. We’ll come back to this ID in a minute. First, my reply:

On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 at 11:49, Craig Rairdin wrote:

Well now there’s the rub. Having shuffled off that mortal coil in which I had previously found myself entwined, I am in fact penniless — devoid of bank, so to speak.

I trust Mr. Hilliker implicitly. Whatever he feels is best. He obviously had a plan before you approached me. Let’s proceed along those lines, wherever they may lead.

In the meantime, it’s my turn to sweep the streets of gold so I must be off.

Gone But Not Forgotten,


Again, we throw out so Shakespearean euphemisms to tax his English skills, and throw in a little word play — “devoid of bank” can mean either “broke” or “lacking a bank account” but is nonsense when you don’t speak English. Wrap it up with a biblical reference and a signature block worthy of a polite corpse, and wait for a reply.

From: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 5:48 AM
To: Craig Rairdin
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

everything is genuine and legitimate, you have to reconfirm me your bank details on how you want your funds to be deposit??

Obviously, “devoid of bank” went right over his head. Let’s see if I can be more clear…

On Thu, 13 Jan 2022 at 13:37, Craig Rairdin wrote:

Mr. Dugan,

How wonderful to hear from you again. We don’t get much email here.

I have no doubt that you are genuine and legitimate. After all, you did send me a copy of your Citibank ID. You can’t get more legit than that.

As I said, I don’t have a bank account. We may have to arrange to transfer the funds in cash. Where are you located? I might be able to find a group of middle-school girls near you with a Ouija board we could use to communicate in real time.

Excuse me for now. These daisies aren’t going to push themselves up.

Yours Breathlessly,


A friendly response, to be sure, though shrouded in figures of speech to keep him guessing. He goes for the kill, specifying exactly what he wants:

From: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 6:46 AM
To: Craig Rairdin
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

Reconfirm Personal Information To Enable the agent Proceed With Your Fund
Translation Immediately
Full Name:……….
Contact Address:…..
Mobile Number:…..
Age / Sex:….
Where to drop your package

Now he has me anxious to get my $40 million, so I reply the best a dead person can:

From: Craig Rairdin
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 7:00 AM
To: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

Name: Craig Rairdin
Address: None
Country: That undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns
Occupation: Harpist
Mobile Number: None (this is a nice place, but cell coverage is lousy)
Age / Sex: The men of your world marry and the women are given in marriage, but here we neither marry nor are given in marriage. Age is irrelevant, as time is no more.

Does this match your records?

I would use these funds to invest in real estate, but I have bought my last farm.

Six Feet Under,


Some Shakespeare, some Bible, some dubious doctrine, and another (extremely clever) witty reference to my current state. Mr. Dugan responds with yet another copy of his ID:

From: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 6:46 AM
To: Craig Rairdin
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

Here’s my I’d

It occurred to me at this point that I should be able to find that photo on the Internet. After all, “John C. Dugan” found it somewhere. About 3 minutes of reverse image lookups turned up Stephen Krause of Deutsche Bank in Germany. So I replied back to “John” with my findings, including the image of the press release I found on the Web:

From: Craig Rairdin
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 7:16 AM
To: John C Dugan …@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Your response is highly appreciated

I did some research. We have no record of you here where I’m at, but I was able to find you in the records of the “other place” that departed souls often end up. As of March 2021 your name was Stephen Krause and you were Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Levere Holdings. You came there from Deutsche Bank, where you were CFO. But according to your ID card, you’ve been at Citibank under the name “John C. Dugan” since 2019.

Perhaps that’s why you’re hell-bound.

I’ll put in a good word for you up here.

Your Friend on the Other Side,


And that was the end of that. Just to be clear, the picture is not that of the scammer. It’s just a random photo of a businessman he found on the Web. He didn’t realize I could find it, too. 🙂

One thought on ““…your business partner said you’re dead.””

  1. Craig, you’re a master at this!! I got more than a single chuckle out of this today.
    Blessings friend
    P.S. I’m sorry to hear of your demise – I would have (at least) sent flowers had I known

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