Tag: 419 scam

Francis Deals with Scam Email

Francis received the following typical scam email (complete with grammatical and spelling mistakes)

From [email protected]

Dear Partner,

I have $15.7 million dollars laying in an escrow account in my head office here in Sierra Leone, the fund was over due payment for contractor 4year ago.

I am seeking your help to present you as the beneficiary to the fund,so that you can contact my Bank Head Office for up transfer of the fund into your account. You are to forward me your details, Your Full name, Your age, Your address, Id card and Telephone number.

Mr Hassan Malik.


Francis replied

Dear Mr. Malik,

Thanks very much. But I don’t need your money as I have 457,452,743 billion dollars in a large suitcase I found at the side of the road.

As you only have $15.7 million would you like some of mine?

Now get lost and stop wasting my time you devious and crooked half-wit


Well said Sir.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Bank Payment

This is an example of the advance fee scam, also known as the 419 scam.

The message claims to be from US Bank which does not exist.

The actual email sender uses a gmail address which is obviously unsittable for any genuine business, so its an obvious scam.

The title of the message is “REF:- INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$5Million)” and the message is all about a massive payment due to me because I have been cheated by Nigerian scammers and I must send my contact details so they can release the funds to me.

After due vetting and evaluation of your file that was sent to us by the Nigerian Government in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This bank has an instruction to see to the immediate release of the sum of (US$5Million) of your claim that has been holding since is transferred into your bank Account from their Domiciliary Account with this bank.”

All rubbish of course and this scammer has made very little effort to present a viable story.

Will people reply? It is likely that some will and they may just want to know about the supposed payment or may believe it will happen, but sadly the only result will be small charges to be paid and the large payment never happens.

The message asks for contact name, address, telephone numbers, email addresses, occupation etc – all useful information for the scammers to sell to other criminals to enable identity theft.

It’s sad that scammers still try this and even more sad that people still fall for these stupid scams.

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How Did 419 Scams Begin

Fifty Scams and Hoaxes is a new book by Martin Fone and is described as a light-hearted investigation into some of the worst examples of financial skulduggery, medical quackery and ingenious hoaxing from history. Along the way he came across a Pope advocating a drink based on cocaine, a pill to avoid hangovers, a woman who gave birth to rabbits, the man who broke the bank twice and the first examples of insurance fraud and scam emails.

It’s an easy book to read and is entertaining.

One story that surprised the Fightback Ninja is an early version of the 419 scam, also known as the advance fee scam where the scammer offers a fortune in return for carrying out a simple task.

The fortune might be a lock box of gold left by a diplomat that only you can access, or it may be the legacy of a dead relative and you’re the next of kin supposedly or any one of hundreds of such stories.

There is no fortune of course and the scammer progressively gets the victim to make a series of small payments for customs clearance or security checks or any other reason until the victim realises it’s a scam and stops paying.

Eugene Francois Vidocq in revolutionary France late 18th century specialised in using prison guards to send letters to carefully chosen very wealthy people.

The letters claimed he and his master were intending to escape revolutionary France and had a casket containing 1600 francs in gold and diamonds. They had been attacked en route and ditched the casket but now they were safe and had sent a servant to collect the casket but he had ended up in jail.

So, if you (the recipient) could send the money to have the servant released then the fortune can be shared with you.

The story is quite long and convoluted to add authenticity and is cleverly designed to lure the unsuspecting victim into believing about the fortune. This long ago scam shares many features with the modern day advance fee scams based upon it.

Vidocq reckoned that 20% of the letters he sent out ended up with money in his pocket so he became a wealthy man before retiring from the scamming game.  Modern day scammers need to send out millions of such messages to make any money from their fraudulent schemes.

Martin Fone’s blog is at https://martinfone.wordpress.com/

You can buy the book at www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/business/fifty-scams-and-hoaxes

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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