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Web Video / Scamalot

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I'm James Veitch. I get a ton of scam e-mails. But instead of deleting them, I decided to hit reply.
James Veitch, opening of every episode.

Scamalot is a series of comedy videos from Mashable, chronicling some of the email conversations that comedian James Veitch has had with scammers. He pretends to fall for the scams in order to annoy them with his antics and waste their time.

The videos were originally on Mashable but now are on James's official YouTube page.

This show contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Bank Toaster: The episode Toaster is about James claiming that the bank account the scammer wants him to set up has a free toaster promotion going on, and insisting on getting his toaster.
  • Bold Inflation: One scammer describes a nonexistent book as being very sensitive and passionate.
  • Call-Back: In Mary Gary, James mentions that there wouldn't be enough room in his apartment for ancient graphic art, unless he got rid of the toaster he was obsessed with getting in the episode Toaster.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Implied in Hong Kong, when James mentions his plans to bring three small dogs with him while he stays at one scammers house.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: This crops up on occasion, due to the scammers’ poor grasp on the English language. Princess Mina states that "my body is healthy, with no diseases in my body", and that "my late father is now dead".
  • Evil Uncle: Princess Mina has one of these. He masterminded the deaths of her parents and brother.
  • 419 Scam: The show is about James's responses to such scams.
  • I Know You Know I Know: In Poison, James advises the scammer to switch plates with his wife in case she's trying to poison him, and then changes his mind because the wife would anticipate them switching the plates and poison hers instead. Later he concludes that she would've anticipated that too, so they should switch the plates after all.
  • It Amused Me: As given in his TED talks on the subject, this is half the reason why James keeps replying to obvious scams. (The other is that instead of scamming other gullible marks, they're wasting time responding to him).
  • Let's Just Be Friends: When James breaks up with Mina, he assures her that she'll always have a frinedsic in him.
  • No Longer with Us: The inverted form of this crops up in Toaster when James claims to not realize that 'leaving this world soon' meant 'is dying'.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: James gives one scammer the phone number of a bank when asked to provide his own. This leads to bank warning scammer that James may not be real. When the scammer demands that James proves that he is real, James decides to take this as an existential question.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The scammers make spelling and grammar mistakes all the time, so naturally this one crops up. One scammer is supposedly dying from 'cancer of the lever'. He later 'passes out'.
  • Running Gag: James regularly turns around "investment offers" to hummus.
  • Schmuck Bait: Note: This transaction is 100% risk-free, and dose not attracts any danger.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The line "We'll always have Paris", from Casablanca is referenced in the episode Poem.
    • James advises Mina, from the episode Princess to put on a play like the one from Hamlet.
    • The China Jewelry Corp episode involves James hiring secretaries named Thelma & Louise, who later storm off and go on a crazy road trip.
    • One of James' proposals in Snail Farm is to set up the farm like the park in Jurassic Park, to prevent a snail outbreak.
  • Spy Speak: In one episode James convinces the scammer to use a secret code that replaces words like lawyer and bank with candy related terms. The result?
    • "The business is on. I am trying to raise the balance for the gummy bear so he can submit all the needed fizzy cola bottle jelly beans to the cream egg for the peanut M&Ms process to start. Send $1,500 via a giant gummy lizard."
  • Too Many Halves: In the episode Mary Gary, James proposes the following split to a scammer named Mary Gary: Mary 40%, James 70%, Charity 20%, Charlie 1/5, James 20%, and Gary 35%. Mary Gary's only objection to this?
    Mary Gary: You put yourself twice.
  • Two First Names: Mary Gary. James acts as if Mary and Gary are two different people, much to her frustration.
  • Visual Pun: Common in James's use of graphics.
    • In "Gold", he claims it's "not the first time [he's] shipped bullion", accompanied by an image of himself standing on a pirate ship.