Friday, September 17, 2010

P = NP, "It's all about you, isn't it ?"

[Check the update at the end of this entry]

While the P=NP proof is taking some time to be digested by the community, I wondered if the time spent in understanding its implication would weed out the wrong people. Case in point: here is another person who doesn't care about Deolalikar's proof, the scammer who took over Hadi Zayyani's yahoo email account.

The first message came to me yesterday:
I Hope you get this on time,sorry I didn't inform you about my trip in Spain for a program, I'm presently in Madrid and am having some difficulties here because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept.I want you to assist me with a loan of 2500Euros to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home.I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively,I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with,I'll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me know if you can be of any help. I don't have a phone where i can be reached. Please let me know immediately.

With best regards

Hadi Zayyani
At that point, I know this is a scam since you just need to take the whole text and feed it to the Google and see the results. It is however perplexing because the e-mail header really shows it has been sent from Hadi's account. I then responded with the following with the intent on figuring out if this was a live scam or just one of those spam e-mails:
I need a phone number to let you know where I can wire the money.
The scammer is interested it seems, S:
Thanks for your response and also for your concern towards my present situation. Kindly send the money to me Using Western Union Money Transfer.I will be  able to get the money in minutes after you transfer fund with ease. Here is the information you need.

Receivers Names:Hadi Zayyani
Receivers Address: Calle Vereda Norte 3,La Moraleja, Madrid, 28109, Spain

Please scan and forward the receipt of the transfer to me or write out the details on the receipt and send to me,it will enable me to pick up the money from here.i will be waiting for your positive response.


hadi zayyani
Ok so now we are getting more personal and so I have to make up something because I really don't like people using other people's e-mail account for scamming:

You never responded to my query as to whether you think the recent P = NP proof will be important with regards to your reconstruction solver ?

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
PS: I have sent the money

Kindly forward me the transfer details for picking up the money at the Western union outlet.


You will get the details of the transfer only if you tell me if you think the recent P = NP proof will be important with regards to your reconstruction solver ? Thanks.
No there's no need for P =NP prof concerning my present situation down here.I will refund the money back to you as soon as i get back home.
It may be the case for your situation, but what about the recent P = NP proof as it pertains specifically to your reconstruction solver ? Thanks.
I want you to know that all this you were asking me is not so important for me right now.Please i want you to understand me and do this for me so that i can get out of trouble here in Spain.
It's all about you, isn't it ?

I haven't heard from that person since.

[Update: To give some background to our new readers: in Compressive Sensing, we solve what was thought  to be an NP-hard problem however a simple additional constraint (sparsity) has put our problem in the P territory. In the past few years, reconstruction solvers ( in the P class) and have steadily improved numerically (as opposed to just asymptotically.) Our main concern these days is figuring out the Donoho-Tanner border

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Anonymous said...

Great, congrats for the idea!

Bob L. Sturm said...

This is extremely funny! I received a similar email a while ago, but didn't pursue it.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha. I too got the an urgent email from Spain a few months ago.