I was able to experience this firsthand. I recently put my profile up on Yahoo Personals and I had a few people who contacted me. One person sent me his email and I emailed him at firstname.lastname@example.org ( if any of you want to send nasty emails to this scammer, feel free.) I was very suspicious when the profile of this so called guy named “Randy Hall” was suddenly removed from Yahoo. He said he had a daughter and was widowed.
I got an email back later that seemed a bit weird, especially when the guy did not talk about anything in his profile and he/whomever, was calling me “dear”. That is weird, my hackles were up and I was highly suspicious.
Note to all women, that is so Nigerian scammer lingo. In all their scammy emails (you won the lotto, bank fake email in dire need, I am a solicitor…etc..) they talk like some British Baron from the 19th Century!
I sent him a curt and very short reply back asking for more details like where he lived and what did he do for a living and why did he take his profile down in only 2 days, and OMG, check out the phony idiotic email that came back.
I started laughing when I read it and immediately knew my instincts were correct-SCAMMER!- I will post his scam email here so hopefully when other 13 year olds or disgusting old crooks sitting in a room in Nigeria try to pull this crap on another person , they will know they are being set up by one of the oldest scams in the book.
Read the letter and I will then explain to you how the old Nigeria scam works. Also I posted it exactly how it looked all mushed together and total run on. A mess. This is a copy and paste job from people who barely or do not speak English as a first language.
Wow, what a letter! I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from you. I’m so glad I did. First, thank you for the compliments. I really appreciate all the nice things you said and the fact that you’re still willing to give me a try.It’s really hard to find a person that is interested in a possible long term relationship and not just a one night stand. I am looking for a best friend and partner. I don’t hang out in bars or date just anyone. I never thought I’d try online dating but here I am. ..Linda , I already let you know that you’re a truly genuine and open person…I am very open, honest and caring….My late Mom was from Kansas and My dad was from, West Africa cos he was brought up from Nigeria … they both meet in Rome , ITALY , where i grow up and they instilled many wonderful values in me.My Late mom raised me to be fighter and always come out on top and that is what i plan on doing.I would be 39 years by Jan 28th . My Dear Linda , am still having Difficult with my laptop for me to send more Pictures of me to you , hope this wont stop us from talking here and carrying the conversation to High level ..I am also a happy, outgoing person..I love to laugh and spend time with friends..Can you tell me how your day went?? what do you normally do at your Leisure time ??? .my favorite activities are basically anything to do with being outdoors..camping is one of my favorite things to do and also trying my hand at new things and I want you to know more about me ..first of all,I have now lost my mother and only have my father. my Late mother and father were married for 43 years and I think that is truly wonderful thing and I want to let you Know that i relocate from Elsmore ,Kansas to Powell St, San Francisco anytime from now which I let you know that i just got a 1story 10 home yesterday .I want this also very much..although my life is full of love , there is the most important element of life that is missing from mine..my life companion.this person must be sincere, honest, understanding and family oriented.I also want someone that is always serious all the time…that is able to just “have fun” and balance this with responsibility..someone that is adventurous,loves the outdoors and laughing…I want someone that can appreciate quality in life but also the most simplistic things in life., but I want to share my life with someone..I do not date a lot because I do not enjoy going out with so many different people….when I do go out on a date it is only because I am quite attracted to that person (in all aspects…not just physically), I think it is of extreme importance to be on the same levels with someone you are to share your life with.i.e intellect, sense of humor and also similar goals in life.these things all add up to admiration, loyalty and friendship..I would like to find this so that I may begin the second journey of my life in which i let you know i my profile so please ask me whatever you would like…I think you are someone that is seeking the same as I and so I would love to pursue this friendship with you to see what happens…only if, at the very least, we would both have gained a great love.of course, hopefully more…;-)..Linda , Let’s I forget , I wanna let you Know That I would be Living the state for Now cos i heard a Called from The Dr that’s in charge of My dad sickness from The Hospital there In Nigeria That My dad is not really good that he want to see me ..I was so shock when I heard That My dad is not good and Been The Only child of My dad i think i need to see Him cos he’s the one left for me now ..To cut this short ,I am On My way to Nigeria Probably In the next 8 – 12hrs cos I have book my plane . so don’t hesitate to mail me and I will reply you back …..But Most especially i will soon be back to state soon I look forward to hearing from you again soon..Please feel free to say anything and I would Like to know know thing about you like :
What are you doing for Living ??
What do you seek for in a relationship?
What sort of relationship you seek for?
What are the basic qualities you seek for in a man?
What interests you to me ?
What do you do for fun?
Do you like public intimacy?
How long have you been single?
What’s being single like?
How do you treat your man?
Why do you need a man?
Can you love this me even though you continue talking to me ???
What is love to you?Would you hit your man for any reasons?
Got to go now and Hope to read from you soon
YUCK!!! Here are the people who are talking to you.
There are tons of “tells” in this email.
Bad grammar and spelling are usually the first giveaway in all scammer emails.
For instance the scammers often misspell stupid words. A good example of this is the fake bank alerts email I recently got that had in the subject line this, ” your accuont will be locked.”
I delete about at least 10 fake Paypal, eBay and bank alerts a day. A popular one recently has been “buyer dispute” from eBay, since I have not used eBay in about 3 years that was an obvious one for me to catch.
Here is the Nigerian Scam in a nutshell. It is called 419 or Advanced Fee Fraud.
I have included some information about some other common online scams for your protection.
Please never send any money to strangers, never login to any place through an email, always find the real bank online or login to eBay or Paypal at their own websites.
Most companies now accept these fake emails by forwarding them to “spoof@—–” ebay, paypal, Citibank, whatever place you supposedly got the fake email from. This helps them keep track of them too.
Be careful out there. The internet is literally open to the entire world and there are many evil people waiting to prey on you and this latest personal scam is a new low of these disgusting crooks!
1. Nigerian Letter Scam
This is probably one of the best known online scams but it still manages to get people to part with their hard earned money. Invariably you receive an e-mail, usually written in capital letters and starts out like this:
“DEAR SIR/MADAM: I REPRESENT THE RECENTLY DEPOSED MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE FOR NIGERIA, WHO HAS EMBEZZLED 30 MILLION DOLLARS FROM HIS STARVING COUNTRYMEN AND NOW NEEDS TO GET IT OUT OF THE COUNTRY…”
The letter says the scammers are seeking an accomplice who will transfer the funds into their account for a cut of the total–usually around 30 percent. You will be asked to travel overseas to meet with the scammers and complete the necessary paperwork. But before the transaction can be finalized, you must pay thousands of dollars in “taxes,” “attorney costs,” “bribes,” or other advance fees.
However, there is no minister or money other than the money you paid in advance. Victims who travel overseas may find themselves physically threatened and not allowed to leave until they cough up the cash. This online scam is also referred as Nigerian 419 Letter, where the 419 stands for the section of Nigeria’s penal code that this online scam violates.
2. Lottery Scams
In this online scam you will receive an email informing you that you have won a lottery or that the XYZ lottery company went into a draw for the distribution of unclaimed money and your email address was selected. You will be asked to make a payment, often in cash, for the money to be released and sent to you. Unfortunately, there is no money and you never hear from the XYZ company again.
Remember, if you have not purchased a lottery ticket it is unlikely that you could have won anything specially if you need to pay to claim it. Lottery companies and agencies do not work that way.
3. Online Auctions
Unfortunately, as online auctions sites have increased in popularity so have the online scams associated with auction sites. Here the scammers place fictitious products for sale and once the auction is over, the highest bidder pays for the product which he/she never receives it. These online scammers are extremely difficult to trace. However, most auction sites have a strict rule and once a scammer is identified, they can no longer use the site.
Another form of this online scam is seek out potential buyers through auction sites. The scammers then send them an email informing them that they can offer them the product the buyer is trying to buy on the auction site for less money. If you fall prey to this online scam, you can say bye to your money and you will never see the product.
4. Online Investments
This is one of the most high risk, high return and popular scheme on the internet. Most of these are scam where you’ll have the operator running away with you investment before you knew it.
A lot of these schemes are also what is commonly known as “Ponzi scheme” where early investors are paid high returns to entice more funds to flow in. Basically, in this scheme investors are paid using the funds that it is attracting until such time it collapse under its out flow of funds. The victims are usually the later investors.
One can still make some good returns in online investments as long as the pay out is not unbelievably high. Usually, a return of between 5% – 7% is a good measurement that it may be a legitimate concern.
The GOLDEN RULE to follow when hunting for opportunity on the internet is to be vigilent and always do your research and due diligence checks to ensure that the opportunity is a sustainable entity. If you are one of those high risk takers — do it with your extra, never, NEVER borrow to take a risk!
UPDATE 2017- This scam is still going strong! Please leave your comments and post the fake names and emails of the crooks and creeps who are doing this to you!
Since I wrote this article, so many people have contacted me about this problem.
Many people have fallen prey to these tactics.
This is not just on Yahoo Personals or Match.com or Catholic and Christian Dating Websites, this is happening on all kinds of personal dating ad websites everywhere.
Just read the comments and you can see how large this is.
Please remember, NEVER send money to someone you meet online, never.
This is one of the worst things you can fall for.
These people do not have phone numbers, you can never speak with them, and if you do, make sure you get a call back number, because they may hire someone to call you. This scam takes in MILLIONS of dollars every year.
This scam runs in so many forms it is hard to believe.
Tell your friends and please let the sites you have been betrayed on know what is happening.
Someone needs to guard the gates a bit more carefully. This is a tragic scam that hurts millions of people each year.