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 Hi everyone, first proper scambait, need a bit of help!!

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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Guys

I first read about scambaiting in Bizarre magazine a few years ago and having received (and binned) a couple of 419 e-mails I loved the whole concept. I browsed 419 eater and had a go at reeling in a few lads with very little success before work took over and I forgot about it for a couple of years.


I'm a piano teacher and have just moved into a new town (Cambridge UK). A few days after posting new adverts for my services on Gumtree and etc. I received an e-mail from one 'John Hill'. His 419 attempt is quite clever and for the first 2 e-mails I actually believed him. - I'm sure you've seen it before but once I cottoned on I thought screw this I'm gonna have some fun.

Basically his story is that he has a son for whom he wishes to purchase piano lessons. (fair enough - happens a lot) BUT he is of course detained in America and wants to pay for 6 months worth of lessons in one lump by cheque. (see where this is going?) Whilst his son is staying indefinitely with John's cousin somewhere "Close to my location".

Turns out due to a business deal in the US involving the sale of some farm machinery (WTF - Loved that part!!) the cheque is going to be sent by the cousin and will of course be made out to a value higher than that of 6 months piano tuition......

All I have to do inevitably is to transfer (by Western Union of course) the balance back to him. I even get a tasty £50 as a bonus for this 'trustworthy' act.

Usually I'd just tell him to stick it, or ignore any further correspondence, but this guy hooked himself, - and because he responded to MY advert, has no reason to believe I'm anything but genuine. So long story short I REALLY want to tag this bastard!

However there are a few fundamental issues.

1. He knows my real name
2. He knows my real phone number from the ad (although I've now told him it broke and I've had to replace it (and used a flextel number as the replacement)

3. He is now asking for address/full name/tel no. details so he can 'Send' the cheque.

What should I do next?

I really want this guy but I know I shouldn't be using my real details. Is there a way around it?

Could I introduce a fake accountant or another character as a hook? Is there some other way to protect myself. Or a convincing story as to why I need to give another address??

Any help at all would be most appreciated.

All the best and sorry for the MASSIVE first post.


Chris (Skathe)

P.S I can forward or copy/paste the e-mails if this would help???
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Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Posts: 3472
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Drop him!

If he knows anything that might lead him to your person, just drop him. Especially if you have some advertises about you with more info.

That would be the best, also I am not sure if baiting him from different account would be good here, since here responded on your advert, and it was a mail for you.

Maybe you could send us his first email? That might help.

EDIT: Just noticed the PS, yeah, you can send it here. Also don't forget to blank out the names Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome Smile !!

Personally, id just create a random g-mail account, and e-mail him saying im interested in help you with your transaction, and just see if he replies to the un-solicited e-mail.

If he does you can have some fun, and he wont know its you so long as you dont refer to piano lessons.
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Cheers for the quick responses!! Very Happy

I'm seriously considering dropping it because of the inherent risk involved but just in case anyone has any more ideas here is a transcript of our interaction so far.

Obviously I'm including his scammer e-mail so in the event that I drop him anyone else is more than welcome to have a go!!!

1. First E-mail from this guy..........

From: [email protected]
Subject: Piano Lessons
Date: 8 February 2011 20:33:57 GMT
To: [email protected]

Hi, How are you doing today?I want a private lessons for my son(Paul) at your location. Paul is 14 year old boy and is ready to learn. Please I want to know your policy with regard to the fees, cancellations, and make-up lessons.Also,get back to me with the total fees for six month lessons(one-hour lesson in a week) starting from February 25th.
In addition,I want to know the lessons location and your phone number.Looking forward to hearing from you.
My best regards,


2. My 1st reply - At this point I didn't suspect anything - just thought he had bad spelling and was one of those anal, jobs-worth types who have to know every detail.......

From: xxxxxxxxxxx <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Piano Lessons
To: "John Hill" <[email protected]>
Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 1:56 PM

Dear John

Thank you for your message. I'm glad to hear your son wishes to learn piano. Has Paul already started learning or is he a complete beginner? Either is perfectly fine.

My policy with regards to cancellations is that there is no charge as long as you give me at least 24 hours notice for a pre-arranged lesson, and make-up lessons can then be rearranged at the same rate with no extra cost subject to my availability of course.

My fees are £25 per hour so six months of lessons based on 26 weeks paid for individually would be £650

If however you wish to purchase a block of lessons then I would be willing to discuss a reduced rate on that basis.

I teach from my house which is located off xxxxxxxxx in Cambridge. (I gave the main street which my road branches off from - thankfully that gives him about 20,000 houses to choose from)

My phone number is: xxxxxxxxxxx (I Gave my real number)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards


3. His next reply - this is when I began to smell a huge 419-shaped. rat

From: [email protected]
Subject: Piano Lessons
Date: 9 February 2011 14:06:10 GMT
To: [email protected]

Hello,thanks for the message.I would have loved to bring Paul for the "meet and greet"interviews before the lessons commence which I think is a normal way to book for lessons but am in the United States right now for a new job appointment. So,it will not be possible for me to come for the meeting. Paul will be coming for the lessons from my cousin's location which is very close to you. Although,Paul and my cousin are currently in Europe and won't be back until February 23.I want to finalize the arrangement for the lessons before they come back to the UK because that was my promise to Paul before they left for Europe.Paul is a beginner but has a strong passion for piano and will really love to work hard with you.

As for the payment, I want to pay for the six months lessons upfront which is £650 and I'm paying through a cheque.Hope this is okay with you?I would be more than happy if you can accept Paul as one of your students and start with him by February 25th. Looking forward to hearing from you again.
My best regards.


4. I thought screw it, I'll try some questions to test his story and next response and then if he fobs it off I can consider reeling him in......

From: xxxxxxxxxxxx <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Piano Lessons
To: "John Hill" <[email protected]>
Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 3:14 PM

Dear John

Thanks for the reply. I'd be more than happy to take on Paul as a student.

It's fine for you to pay upfront by cheque however I think it would be sensible for Paul to come and have one trial lesson first. It's incredibly important for a student to be happy with their teacher and so I'd suggest we make plans to meet up perhaps just for an initial 30 minute session after he has returned from Europe so we can meet eachother and talk about what he wants to achieve.

What are your feelings on this?

Musically, if Paul is as you say passionate and committed then I'm certain we will have a great time and Paul will quickly find it very rewarding.

I hope the new job is going well.

Best Wishes


5. Sadly, his next message wasn't quite as subtle as the last. The farm equipment convincer coupled with the dead mother is a touch of brilliance.....

From: [email protected]
Subject: Piano Lessons
Date: 9 February 2011 21:21:44 GMT
To: [email protected]


Thanks for your message. My cousin will get in touch with you for final lessons schedule immediately they are back from Europe. I will want you to handle Paul very well for me because is all I have left ever since his mother's daeth four years ago.Payment for the lessons will be made upfront like I promised through a cheque and will get to you next week.

I have contacted my business associate that he should make my funds available in payment of some farm equipment I supplied to him.He assured me that he would make the payment (Cheque) available and send you the cheque.I also want to let you know that the payment is a bit more than the cost for the six month lessons.So please, as soon as you receive the cheque, I will like you to deduct the money that accrues to the cost of the lessons and you will assist me to send the rest balance to my cousin via Western Union Money Transfer.This remaining balance is meant for Paul and my cousin's flight expenses down to the UK,also to cover his living expenses in UK and to buy the necessary materials needed for the lessons.I think,I should be able to trust you with this money? Am also ready to compensate you with additional £50 for the extra services you are doing for me. I will give you the details of my cousin that you will send the balance of the money as soon as you receive the cheque.Here are some of the details I will need for final assurance of the payment to you.
(1)Full Name
(2)Mailing address,
(3)your mobile number

Once you get back to me with all the above,the payment will be issued out immediately.Hope to hear from you soonest.

6. As tempting as this offer was, I felt I should waste just a little more time....... (and try to sow the seed for switching my mobile number to my flextel one.)

Subject: Re: Piano Lessons
From: [email protected]
Date: 10 February 2011 16:18:15 GMT
To: [email protected]

Hi John

Sorry for the delay to my response, my iPhone broke yesterday and I had to replace it.

That all sounds fine, I'll wait to hear from your cousin when they return from Europe.

I have checked and there is a Western Union office quite close to where I live so that should make the transaction very easy.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Wishes


7. This is his last reply so far..... Not quite annoyed yet, but definitely not as flowery as the last ones.

From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Piano Lessons
Date: 10 February 2011 16:30:25 GMT
To: [email protected]

Hello xxxxxxxx,
Thanks for the message. I will like you to get back to me with the name to be written on the cheque and the contact address in order to issue out the cheque. Thanks and have a lovely day.


Ok Thanks guys,let me know what you think!!
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

First post Smile

Why not ask if he can pay you via western union? could be good for a laugh
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome Tuckerman!

Please read the stickies, particularly those about safe baiting...


As already suggested, you can ASEM him from a completely anonymous address.

The truth is just about anything will work if he thinks there is money in it for him. However, if you really want to bait him on the lessons format, this search shows that the script has been spammed quite a bit, so you can probably even make a reference to lessons if you want to, just send something like: "are you still looking for someone to give your son lessons?" Chances are he responded to so many ads he won't remember who he contacted, but if for some reason alarm bells ring, it's easy enough to cover yourself.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Drop the mugus, NEVER bait anyone that has your real information.

Pick a few from the surplus section or next time you get a 419 email answer it with a different account and a fake name. I personally have never had mugus call me on changing my email addy. I have changed them mid bait too.

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