NeoBytes :) Man sends 17,424 texts to seller who scammed him out of PlayStation 3

What's the best way to get revenge on someone who scams you out of money for a PlayStation 3 that's never sent? Sending 17,424 text messages of William Shakespeare's plays to the scammer seems like a good option.

According to the Bristol Post, that's exactly what graphic designer Edd Joseph did – and he's not finished yet. Joseph says he agreed to purchase a PlayStation 3 from an online seller for £80, though the console never arrived. For revenge, Joseph decided to send all 37 of Shakespeare's plays to the perpetrator. The 17,424 text messages only account for 22 of those plays, while the remaining 15 plays will result in another 11,881 texts for Joseph's victim.

Since Joseph has unlimited texting, it costs him nothing, and since he can copy and paste each entire play in a single text, it isn't much of a hassle for him. For his recipient, however, the texts are split up, meaning his phone will essentially be buzzing nonstop. Apparently, however, the historical and popular nature of the texts are lost on the recipient, who didn't know they were Shakespeare.

"I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that ... but recently he has taken to calling me and giving me abuse on the phone," Joseph told the Post. "I tried to ask him if he was enjoying the plays, but he was very confused."

Joseph said he's going to "keep doing it" in an effort to share "a little bit of culture with someone who probably doesn't have much experience of it."

A word to the wise: If you're an online scammer, give Joseph his money back. If he's sending a total of 29,305 texts to the scammer for an £80 PlayStation 3, imagine what he'd do to someone who scams him out of a PlayStation 4, which retails for about £350.

Source: Bristol Post via Gawker | Image via Bristol Post

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48 Comments

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he can definitely use text block apps to stop receiving texts. However, if I were Joseph, I would put the guy's number on my facebook and ask all of my friends to text him and show him who's the boss!

Good for him. Only one douche in this story and it's the scammer. For anyone else that makes fun of this guy for trusting an online purchase then I hope that you never come across people like the scammer in your lifetime because I will laugh at you for thinking you are smarter than the guy who got scammed.

He hasn't harassed the guy yet. He is sending him a play via text to better educate him. He hasn't made any threatening texts unlike the scammer.

Th guy could block him now that everyone has told him to do so. I would like for him to take it to the courts for harassment and see what they will react to how he says he knows this guy. What is the scammer going to say? "Oh I just took his money and didn't send him his PS3"....

I don't see how what he is doing is legal?? Surely this counts as harassment?? I am surprised he isn't breaking the TOS by sending thousands of messages :s

exotoxic said,
I don't see how what he is doing is legal?? Surely this counts as harassment?? I am surprised he isn't breaking the TOS by sending thousands of messages :s

Don't worry, the scammer probably stopped forwarding the burner number after realizing he was being spammed. This story makes many assumptions about what happened on the other end.

ObiWanToby said,
People who scam deserve anything coming to them. They do not contribute in positive ways to society.
I take that stand with you.

myxomatosis said,
I count two douchebags in this story.

It depends on your perspective but while there may be two douchebags, there is but one criminal.

Enron said,
Shakespeare needs to put some DRM on his writings so they can't be pirated so easily.
Thankfully copyrights don't last so long, not that Disney likes it one bit.

Scammer is a moron. Also this wouldn't be too hard to block, making the scammer an even bigger moron for not knowing how, but the fact a 'scammer' gave his actual proper mobile number anywY?? Moron hat trick.

l_p_4_7 said,
Regardless of the site he used, surely he'll get his £80 back anyway, which makes the whole thing petty and immature.

Very petty and immature!

wongle said,
Brilliant :)

And not to brilliant either!

cork1958 said,
And not to brilliant either!
Not "to" brilliant lmao.

I once sent 1000 text messages to someone, but I did it with a dumb phone and all the messages were the same. I did it because it was a machine trying to scam people with fake messages, and I hope it did something to them (but I don't really know).

You're giving the scammer more credit than he deserves.

I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that ... but recently he has taken to calling me and giving me abuse on the phone.

Romero said,
You're giving the scammer more credit than he deserves.


In practice, many scammers do use burner numbers because if they are traceable then the law finds them via the unhappy individuals they've left behind

In practice, but clearly not in this case. Also he didn't block the number sending the texts so his incompetence has made it an effective tactic so far. Guy just seems to be a moron who thought he could get away with it.

Romero said,
In practice, but clearly not in this case. Also he didn't block the number sending the texts so his incompetence has made it an effective tactic so far. Guy just seems to be a moron who thought he could get away with it.

I dunno about that, the article(s) just indicates that he got a confused text back, they don't indicate that the scammer wasn't using a burner number or that he continued to receive the texts. It's not like you can tell given the circumstances. Could be silently dropped or the currently disabled from forwarding to a phone.

If he didn't continue receiving the texts why would he bother to reply with multiple abusive messages and then abusive calls? Obviously he was getting irritated with them.

Romero said,
If he didn't continue receiving the texts why would he bother to reply with multiple abusive messages and then abusive calls? Obviously he was getting irritated with them.

I'd chalk that up to be hyperbole to make it more of a feel good story. Logically speaking, how would he have called the guy if his phone was constantly receiving texts every second? If you DDOS a phone via SMS it will freeze (even Android). I'd give you a link to someone who tested it, but it contained software that would aid in that sort of thing so I won't link it here.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,
Logically speaking, how would he have called the guy if his phone was constantly receiving texts every second?
Uhh, how about from another phone? Where does it say he called from the very same phone that was receiving the texts?

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

I guess in that case Edd Joseph had two phones to spam ;-)
Unless the second phone used to call back was a POTS device that couldn't receive texts.

Meh, I don't know why we're wasting time discussing this d-bag. :)

Romero said,
Unless the second phone used to call back was a POTS device that couldn't receive texts.

Meh, I don't know why we're wasting time discussing this d-bag. :)


I was thinking more along the lines of yesteryear type of spamming in this case. Get the guy with surveys and fun telemarketers. I'd have no doubt the guy would go there if the story is true

Regardless of the site he used, surely he'll get his £80 back anyway, which makes the whole thing petty and immature.

The idiot paid with bank transfer which cannot be charged back or reversed. His fault for not paying through Paypal or a recommended Gumtree payment method

I hope the senders texts don't get automatically sent as "MMS"....he'll pay a fortune if his carrier plan doesn't include them. Some phones default to MMS when sending a lot of texts in one go.

I know when I sent a lot of texts once (more that 10), in the past, the default setting on my phone was MMS, and I ended up paying 50 per text!

Needless to say, I changed the default setting rather quick after that.

I know, when I sent a lot of texts once (more that 10), in the past, the default setting on my phone was MMS,so I ended up sending them as MMS. I never even knew it was like that as default, out of the box!

Sending individual texts was SMS, but sending a bulk amount converted it into MMS.

artnada said,
I know, when I sent a lot of texts once (more that 10), in the past, the default setting on my phone was MMS,so I ended up sending them as MMS. I never even knew it was like that as default, out of the box!

Sending individual texts was SMS, but sending a bulk amount converted it into MMS.

Oh, weird! :)

artnada said,
I know, when I sent a lot of texts once (more that 10), in the past, the default setting on my phone was MMS,so I ended up sending them as MMS. I never even knew it was like that as default, out of the box!

Sending individual texts was SMS, but sending a bulk amount converted it into MMS.

Are you sure you don't mean group messaging to multiple people which generally get defaulted to mms.

artnada said,
I hope the senders texts don't get automatically sent as "MMS"....he'll pay a fortune if his carrier plan doesn't include them. Some phones default to MMS when sending a lot of texts in one go.

I know when I sent a lot of texts once (more that 10), in the past, the default setting on my phone was MMS, and I ended up paying 50 per text!

Needless to say, I changed the default setting rather quick after that.

Not sure how the scammer's plan works, but in the US unlimited texting includes unlimited SMS + MMS messages.

BeerBro said,
couldn't he just block the number so he can't receive texts from that number?

Exactly, it's not very hard to block a number nowadays.
What a douche though!

BeerBro said,
couldn't he just block the number so he can't receive texts from that number?

Pretty sure he can, but maybe he doesn't know how.

WAR-DOG said,
Probably not using a smart phone.

Should only take a call to the phone company irregardless of smart or dumb phone.

wernercd said,

Should only take a call to the phone company irregardless of smart or dumb phone.

I would like to think that the service provider would detect the spam and automatically start blocking it...

Shadrack said,
I would like to think that the service provider would detect the spam and automatically start blocking it...

I've used some "joke" apps to spam my brother before with "Are you here yet?" x100+ (His phone chokes at about 100... it's started talking to him in Japanese before. Fun times :)

The only thing to consider is spacing out the texts. I think the one I used did ever 10 seconds or so... or started spacing them out after 100.

This is a bit more extreme, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go "unnoticed" by the ISP if done right.


What's the best way to get revenge on someone who scams you out of money for a PlayStation 3 that's never sent?

A beating? (just kidding :p )