by Outside Insider
Duncan Oldham alias Del Johnson alias Del Boy alias Mr. Teflon alias NOSP4M alias UK911 alias Mark Lacey alias The Boss alias Clare
Photo: Thanks to fat_boy_fat
Oldham is thick, we know that. But he has developed some skills as conman. They would not work on the street because his face and manner would give him away. But they work on the net where he can hide behind false names and addresses and use his children and relatives as stooges.But where did he learn those skills? And why did he pick on LFC in the first place?
If you are interested in Oldham’s early criminal career and how he leveraged it into Koptalk.con – read on.
The blog has given a piecemeal account of Oldham’s “Del Johnson” con before. It involved him “selling” non-existent Sky 11 cards in Usenet web groups.
It demonstrates that Oldham came onto the net with the express intention of conning people out of their money.
What hasn’t been pointed out before, is that Oldham only began to show an interest in the LFC Usenet group immediately after the new aliases he had adopted were unmasked as belonging to the man responsible for the “Del” con.
This unmasking meant Oldham had no hope of of making money from the satellite groups again. It was at this precise moment that he suddenly started to focus on LFC.
Although he had always previously claimed to be a LFC fan, it should be kept in mind that during this period he also claimed to be a dedicated Samaritans counsellor, a Trading Standards officer and a girl in her mid-twenties.
Pirated Sky cards were fairly common at the time. There were several large-scale commercial groups in operation. The Sky 11 card, which the hackers hadn’t yet cracked, was about to be launched in early 1997. It was discussed on the newsgroups Oldham frequented. Oldham saw an opportunity – he didn’t have the brains to actually crack the cards himself, but he could simply pretend to have done so.
He began advertising Sky 11 cards for sale or activation in April 1997. Although he posted under the alias of “Del”, he stupidly did so on his usual Duncan Oldham account at first. He had been using the “Del” alias off and on since 1996.
Nobody received the cards, because they never existed.
People were immediately suspicious. They pointed out Sky had yet to even start broadcasting for the 11 card and that Oldham constantly contradicted himself, made empty promises and showed in his old posts that he lacked the necessary technical knowledge to hack the cards.
Warnings ranged from “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” to THIS GUY IS NOT FOR REAL – HE IS A CON ARTIST”. Not everybody heeded them.
It quickly became apparent that nobody except Oldham’s various aliases (which were instantly rumbled) had claimed to have received the cards. Nevertheless, the price of the non-existent cards spiralled to ₤100-180.
Oldham decided on a new tactic – he would post in his own name and pretend to be willing to help people track “Del” down.
His post was titled “I AM DUNCAN OLDHAM !”
Unfortunately for him, he made it under his “Del” alias. Just in case anybody had missed that cock-up, Oldham repeated the same mistake twice.
He disappeared a few days later.
Oldham returned under a new alias at the end of July 1997. He spent most of his time posting about his beloved radio scanners, but still found time to talk up TV2 football broadcasts. TV2 is a Scandinavian satellite channel which can be picked up (illegally) in the UK with the relevant card and codes. Although he was too cautious to openly advertise their sale, it seems likely he used these posts to fish for business.
Some of the victims of the “Del” con had reported Oldham to Trading Standards, the Royal Mail and the police, but many refused to do so because of the illegal nature of the initial transaction.
Oldham made some laughable attempts to hide his tracks. One claimed “Del” was in fact an undercover Sky employee planted in the group to expose the illegal trade in cards – and idea first mooted by some of his victims. The other said Oldham was living in Jersey.
Nobody was being fooled this time. One response was: “Yep – I can confirm that. I was talking to James Dean only the other day in a bar in Patagonia, and he confirmed everything about ‘Del’. He didn’t go into details because Elvis Presley was hovering nearby, ears flapping.”
In November, Oldham began posting messages goading a North Yorkshire Trading Standards officer named Mark Lacey. He even tried to post false messages in Lacey’s name, but his efforts were so inept they were immediately seen through.
Later in the month, one of the victims of the con posted an email from Mark Lacey appealing for anyone who had been duped to contact him.
In February 1998, Oldham began to post as “Mr Teflon”. This was of course the nickname given to the then US President, Bill Clinton.
Oldham would later say that “I don’t need telling how to cover my tracks, my nickname is Mr. Teflon as in ‘non-stick’ according to the local Prosecutors”. It seems that the case against Oldham had resulted in a minor conviction at most.
But too many people had been ripped off by Oldham’s “Del” con for it to be forgotten.
At the start of May, some of his victims finally identified Oldham’s new aliases as the man behind the “Del” cards scam. Despite his usual hysterical and contradictory defence of his name, any money Oldham continued to make from the sale of cards and other satellite equipment was at an end.
He needed a new source of income and attention. It was at this precise moment that Oldham made his first post in the LFC newsgroup.
Oldham had shown no interest whatsoever in the LFC newsgroup until this point.
He made his first post about LFC in August 1997.
But between then and May 1998, he made only a handful more, an average of about one a month. He made just as many posts about other clubs.
Although he always claimed to be a fan and season-ticket holder, it should be kept in mind that during this period he also claimed to be a dedicated Samaritans counsellor, a Trading Standards officer and a girl in her mid-twenties!
As with the Sky cards before, he saw an opportunity. He didn’t actually have any sources of “inside” information about LFC himself, but he could simply pretend he had.
PROOF OLDHAM IS “DEL”
Oldham inadvertently posting as “Del” after the con:
(“Duncan Oldham here”)
PROOF OF OLDHAM’S ALIASES
PROOF NOSP4M IS OLDHAM
PROOF UK911 IS OLDHAM
Del cards con
All Del’s posts here:
1 May 1997 – “THIS GUY IS NOT FOR REAL – HE IS A CON ARTIST”
May 1997 – people spot Del’s aliases are the only ones saying they’ve
received the cards
6 May 1998 – price goes up to UKP100/UKP180
14 May 1997- people want to pay Del a visit
20 May 1997 – Bullshit about Del being a Sky spy
22 May 1997 – police etc have been informed
30 July 1997 – Oldham returns as “UK911”
18 Nov 1997 – Oldham post goading Trading Standards officer Mark Lacey
18 Nov 1997 – Oldham making fake post as Mark Lacey but being rumbled
30 Nov 1997 – one of Del’s victims posts email from the real Mark Lacey
requesting info on “Del”
10 Dec 1997 – post from Oldham requesting info on “Del”, implying he is part
of the official investigation
13 Feb 1998 – Oldham becomes “Mr Teflon”
Oldham explaining why he calls himself “Mr Teflon”
7 May 1998 – Oldham’s new aliases are unmasked
10 May 1998 – Oldham makes his first post on the LFC newsgroup