What’s the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts?

Even thought it was clear this message was the lead-in to a swindle of some kind, I had to pause and admire the craft that went into its composition. Like everyone else, I get scam text come-ons pretty frequently, and they’re always poorly pitched and low-energy. In contrast, this text opened up a rich world, animated by detail and alive with mystery. I didn’t care about packages missing their intended destinations, or Bitcoin investing advice, or whatever scammers usually texted me about, but I was interested in Tony: How many charity galas did he go to, anyway? And why hadn’t he seen his/my unknown interlocutor in such a long time? Before I reported the number to WhatsApp, I took a screenshot of the message to better remember it.


There’s something to be written about here, Mark texted. What is the deal with these texts? Why do they sound like that? Who is sending them?

I rarely get spam messages, and I’ve never seen messages like these before. There is some real craft going on here, even if the goal is malicious. I have to admire the thought that goes into these.


  1. 2022-07-01 10:13 pm
  2. 2022-07-02 9:24 am
  3. 2022-07-02 9:52 am
    • 2022-07-02 11:48 am
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