Has someone offered you a huge sum of money or a valuable consignment? It's a 419 or advance fee fraud - find out how they work, and what to do to be safe.
#2367 by MerryWidow42 Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:59 pm
Hello, I am new to this site, so haven't yet read many postings. I am worried because the person in Nigeria claims he definitely isn't a scammer and is preparing to send me his passport document, his hotel account and Visa application at my request to verify his authenticity.

I insisted on viewing these documents because he is asking me to pay for his hotel and airline ticket to Australia and I am unwilling to do this.

These documents haven't arrived yet but even when they do arrive I will not know how to identify if they are fake. May I request help from somebody with experience please?

Happy New Year to you all !!!
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#2368 by Scam Patroller Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:53 pm
Hi MerryWidow, welcome to the site and Happy New Year to you.

Something you can be certain of, when you receive the documents you are waiting for, they will be 100% fake, they never send anything real that can be traced back to them.

The scammer saying he wants you to pay his hotel bill is common practice in romance scams, they use that one all the time, as well as the old, my mother/brother/sister/aunt etc is in hospital, and the doctors are demanding payment, please send $$$, or I need to pay my rent, send $$$, and as mentioned, the old favourite, I need to pay my hotel bill, send $$$, along with any number of other excuses why they need money.

Why don't you join our sister site at 419eater.com where we have numerous examples of fake passport and ID scans that have been sent by scammers, our forum is here:

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/index.php

Once you register, go to the pictures & video sub forum, then click the link near the top of the page titled as, Paste your passports, RSOT's and starter kit stuff here.

We also have some fake passports and ID's on this forum, see this section:

http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=28

One thing about fake passports, in nearly all cases, the tampering is very obvious, you might see where they have used something like Photoshop to erase an old name, and used a different font when they typed a new name in, or dates of birth no matching their age, passport number differing form the passport number at the bottom of the passport etc etc, whatever the case, it will be pretty obvious, the only time it is not so obvious, is when they use real passports that have been stolen, where they then assume the name on the passport and use it in their scam, but even then they might make a change like changing the photo.

You can of course post the passports scan here for us to view, or if you would rather keep it a bit more private, feel free to forward the email containing the passport scan to me, and I will let you know the outcome, click the PM buttom below my post to send me a private message, I will reply with my email address to forward the email to.

Remember, if it seems to good to be true, then it is.

http://www.419eater.com - http://www.aa419.org

#2371 by Scam Patroller Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:56 pm
MerryWidow forwarded me the passport scan that the scammer sent to her, it was very small, just 111 x 150 pixels, so although I was not able to see the text on the passport, there were a few dead giveaways that it was a fake US passport.

Firstly, you are not allowed to smile in passport photos, secondly the photo was taken in a garden, which is not allowed on passports, and as MerryWidow herself mentioned to me, he is wearing sunglasses in the photo, which made her suspicious, you can also see where it has been pasted on to the passport badly, the photo is also the same photo which he has on his dating profile, here:

http://www.trustcupid.com/dating/profil ... 13&next=40

If for any reason that link does not work, as it may not, I just tried it again and it's not loading the page now, you can view the same page using this link in the google cache:

Long Google Cache Link

Here is the small passport he sent to MerryWidow, shown at actual size:

Image

Just for the search engines to pick up, the romance scammer is using this email address:

[email protected]

He gives the same email address in his dating profile.

[edit]

The scammer was asking MerryWidow to pay his hotel bill, and this email was sent to her from a fake hotel Yahoo email address, note that they spelt Sheraton wrong, instead calling it the Sharaton, a quick Google shows that the Sharaton does not exist:

From: "Mr Alex Charlse" [email protected]

Subject: Payment Notification

Plot 1261, Adeola Hopewell
Street, P. O. Box 70381,
Victoria Island, Lagos

Our Ref.: PB/104_/*A*/05 Your Ref.: AC/CBN/532/NL

Attention: Mrs xxxxx xxxxx

Subject: Payment Notification

Dear Ma,
This is to inform you about the payment to the hotel for the above named Mr Lurence David, so we await your payment soon, confirmation will be sent to you by mail when payment has been made and comfirmed ok.
We hope you have been duly informed. Please see the attached form.
Regards,
Mr Alex cleark,
Operations Manager
Payment Department
.


Verification Form M4


Full Name: ..................................................................................

Address:...................................................................... .........

Private Tel. No.: ................................ Fax: ............................................

Email Address: .......................................................................................

Amount To Be Paid: ...............................................................................

Name of Bank: ........................................................................................

Account Name: .......................................................................................

Account No: ............................................................................................

Mode of Payment
 Cash Payment 
we only exept cash for now due to the curruption of the country.
Last edited by Scam Patroller on Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Remember, if it seems to good to be true, then it is.

http://www.419eater.com - http://www.aa419.org
#2372 by MerryWidow42 Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:07 pm
Thank you for your reply and your observations. I agree 100% with what you have defined and will now block all contact. He knew I was scammed before and was coming at me from a different angle and that's why I needed further clarification, but am in no doubt now that he is a scammer as well. Thank you for your immediate attention and support. I am very grateful indeed.

#2373 by Scam Patroller Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:16 pm
Hi MerryWidow,

No need to thank us, that's what we are here for, you should thank your self for spotting the scam before you sent him your money, well done to you :=)

Feel free to post at any time if you are unsure about someone on a dating site.

Remember, if it seems to good to be true, then it is.

http://www.419eater.com - http://www.aa419.org

#2377 by ColinWarrins Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:36 pm
Good catch SP. Yes, that picture would not fly at the passport office, although to be clear, one can smile for your passport pic, although smiling at the customs officer will be a sure way to gain yourself a special "interview". :wink:

Email: Colin.Warrins at Scamwarners dot com
#2379 by Julia Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:17 am
Hi Merrywidow and welcome.
To add a bit more to what the others have said. Romance scammers almost always will claim to be from a Western Country and will find themselves having to go to Africa on business Or they'll claim to be Western but currently working or visiting there. (more often than not, Nigeria). Inevitably, money woes always befall them on these trips. A sick relative in the hospital, they were robbed, can't pay the hotel bill, can't get home, etc etc etc.

You'll also notice the "hotel" address [email protected] is a yahoo address. Usually this should read as @sharatonhotelsandtowers.com

I'm really happy that you discovered the scam, prior to sending any money.

Happy New Year to you too. :D
Last edited by Julia on Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#2380 by MerryWidow42 Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:30 am
Thanks everyone for sharing your views - I didn't observe that about the email, Julia, so you are right of course, and it certainly does not look like a Sheraton Invoice would look as we know them!!!! Hahaha He's still there, hoping I'll relent and send him some money - I have blocked him from the computer but he caught me off guard this morning on my mobile when I didn't have my glasses on to see who it was! I hope he's enjoying the waiting!!!! No doubt he's at an internet cafe scamming others while he waits. It's a great eye opener and I keep reading articles to help me to spot them because some of the dating sites are riddled with scammers, I think. Cheers.

#2381 by ChrisSmith Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:20 am
Hi MerryWidow42.

"Some" is probably a bit of an understatement. Most dating sites are targetted. The risk depends on how vigilant the moderators are and wether they bother deleting the scamming accounts.
Reading up and educating yourself is the best way to defeat the scammers, so whilst you're at it, you could also let your friends and family know that these vermin are out there. :wink:
In the meantime, if you ever have any questions about anything that looks suspicious in your in-box, feel free to pop over here and ask. :)

#2387 by The Man Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:22 am
As the others have posted specific examples, the general rule is "Little details mean a lot".

The sunglasses, the misspelling, the invoice not being right... these are small details that if only one were present might be just that a small error... but with all three of them present, certainly a scam.

---
The Man

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