Online Dating Scam – First Private Bank – Beware 419 Scams

Tue, Jun 1, 2010


An excellent example of an online dating scam has been brought to my attention .. please beware of online dating scams. This scam involves a website called First Private Bank of Holland (this is not a real, it’s a scam) and a poor chap who’s been mugged on a business trip in Africa.

Someone left a comment on this blog’s article what is an online dating scam giving details of this scam, which I investigated before approving the comment.

The comment reads “He got my information from we started sharing messages , all of them beautiful love letters for almost 2 weeks until he said he travel to africa for a very important bussines , once there he was supposed to travel to my country with his daughter to meet me, it was supposed to happen this week, however just last night contactd me telling me he lost his wallet and had to cancel all credit cards, then at 1 a.m.he called me telling me he needed to pay $4.500 as tax and he did not have any cash. he was asking me to check his bank acccount and wire transfer this amount to my account and then send him the money through western union which i realized was a scam . I did not want to do it , i contacted my bank and explained and then re-checked his bank account and noticed it was a simple website he built probably for people to wire transfer money.”

It was a brilliant call by Sony, who posted the information, and I’m so pleased she didn’t fall for this scam.

Let’s have a look at the scammers bank, First Private Bank of Holland. When I first opened the link to the internet banking login page provided in the comment I didn’t know whether to laugh … it uses the identical layout of my own bank in the UK (Lloydstsb) so was easy for me to recognise.

This is the login page from First Private Bank of Holland

Now look at the logon page from Lloydstsb Bank … look familiar?

Please note that the scammers haven’t even bothered changing the background image of the Tip button.

So what does this scammers website do? Well obviously it makes them money by scamming trusting people. If you click the link on the right of their login page which says “Not registered for Internet Banking?” you will see the following page:

As you can see the page design changes totally and the image capture above only shows a small portion of the page.

You can also see at the top of the page in red test the words “Insufficient filesystem permissions to upload the file specified in FileUpload1 into temporary folder” which is not something you would expect to see on a banks website.

However, were you to fall for this 419 scam and put your details into that web page you would be giving scammers the following information:

Date of Birth
Passport number and expiry date or driving licence number and expiry date
Phone numbers
Occupation and employers details (including your office address and phone number)
Your photo

and then you would have to send them a minimum of 3,000 Euro’s to open your scam bank account, which is a good little earner if you’re a scammer. With all these private details they could do untold damage to you, your finances and use your details to scam other people.

So what was this person hoping to get out of this scam because of course the money would not transfer from their account. Bank transfers generally take a minimum of 3 working days … you would transfer the money from the scam account and then the scammer would need the money today .. you would send the $4,500 of your own money with the confidence of knowing their money was already winging it’s way into your account. Of course by the time they had received and spent your money you would find out that the transfer from their scam account wasn’t coming through and there would be nothing you could do about it.

NEVER NEVER NEVER give out your personal details to anyone you met online and if they talk to you about money cease all communication with that person. Do not trust a website just because someone you met online gave you the details and do not think just because someone gives you secret information, like their passwords, that this makes them trustworthy.

I have reported this scam website to the relevant authorities and hope the website will be removed quickly .. but of course they can just open a new one in about an hour.

People fall for such 419 scams every day and many of the victims are from the online dating world, don’t become a victim and do some research and you can bet the First Private Bank of Holland is not the only scam bank on the internet.

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8 Responses to “Online Dating Scam – First Private Bank – Beware 419 Scams”

  1. Jay - Online Dating Site Says:

    Thanks for the warning. Online dating is a tough niche on its own let alone people creating scams.

  2. sony Says:

    Hi Sally
    I am so glad to see that you put this information here for other people to look at it and be adviced to be very carefull. I am also surprised about everhting you have discovered, I am glad i did not write any of my information there, I never had the plans to wire transfer the money, but just in case i had thought about it, i would have gone to my bank and did it from their office so they would have noticed that it was a false account. I think the bank does not exist as I looked for information online for banks in Holland and this one never came up, so I was wondering wheter this bank existed or not..
    I would like to send you a contract he was supposed to have with a very important cient in England and the reason if his trip to Africa. He said his business is to buy art and he was supposed to travel for a millionare contract in Africa, i have this contract in PDF and will send it to you separate so that you can share with it here. I am so happy to know your are working so hard to prevent other people from scammers. It is too bad that people like me and other people, looking for love find themselves in this kind of frauds. I was wondering, why dont you open a dating website? we all trust you and know you are working hard to help people looking for real persons out there, you could have a dating website linking to this one and in this way we would trust that people there would be the real ones….ÇI know I should look for people in my country, but I am not so interested, I feel more attracted by people outside my country which similar interests as mine. of course people that could travel .

  3. Sally Says:

    Hi Sony.
    I have sent you an email from my personal email address, you can send any information you have to there. Whether the bank in Holland exists is not what should concern you or anyone else searching online .. a good scammer will send information using genuine company names, letterhead etc but it doesn’t make them genuine. What you must concentrate on is the information they send you and whether it makes any sense. Is a stranger going to send you all their login details for their bank account? NO, this just does not make sense they would contact a family member, lawyer, friend or Embassy if they were genuinely in trouble overseas. Would a stranger need to do this? NO, any decent bank has 24 hour telephone access to customers travelling overseas and methods of getting money to their customers in such situations. People who travel the world doing million dollar deals have by the nature of their work contacts in the countries they travel to and back home, they do not need to cry for help on internet dating sites.

    I did start my own dating website for UK residents so people could date safely online, which is how this blog started, but I am not a woman and unfunately it is a notoriously difficult market to break into without a lot of money to advertise. If decency and honesty were enough to get a business off the ground I am sure the site would have done well …. although we have a number of successful couples from the site, so just for that it has been worth all the hard work.

    As for looking for someone outside your own country there is no safe way to do this, by it’s very nature you open yourself up to scammers. The secret is to learn everything you can about how scammers operate and then don’t fall for anyone until they have proved themselves to you. In your situation you will also meet plenty of decent people on the internet from poor countries like Egypt or India who simply want a way to escape the life they have and get to a better life .. they don’t want your money, just a chance at a better life but is that someone you would accept? Also, many people from these countries can’t travel but they use up their time playing on the internet, they may genuinely build feelings for you but there is no chance they can ever travel to meet you. Just be careful, know what you want and try to be realistic.

  4. Sally Says:

    Hi Jay

    I have removed the links to your dating site until I hear back from you (sorry but this blog isnb’t a link building exercise) but if you can tell us what your dating site does to stop these scammers getting through I will be happy to publish your links.

  5. sony Says:

    Thanks Sally for all your advices. I am glad to know that at least people from England have a safe dating site and it is good to know all you are doing. Thanks for all the information on this site which help us be more carefull when dating. I think after this experience, it helped me be more careful and to be aware of this kind of people. I am pretty sure that no other scammer will even take a minute o f my time, but you are right I shoud try to look for people around my country if I want to have a long term relationship. As per people from India or alike, not sure that is what i want. I want te able to meet hat man withouth having to pay him to come…so I will get your advice and look for dating websites around my area
    Thanks again for your help and hope everhthing I posted here help other people to avoid being scammed.

  6. Sally Says:

    You are welcome Sony and thanks for being brave and coming forward. I hope anyone finding this information will post it on facebook, twitter etc just to get the information out there and save more victims.

    Best of luck in your search for love and would love to hear from you in the future to know you have found your Mr Right.

  7. Susana Says:

    I was just about to fall for this scam, but after praying God to protect me, he lead me to this webpage I cannot believe I was SO naive, good thing I kept every conversation and photos of this scammer to send to the authorities.
    Thank you very much!
    God Bless You

  8. Sally Says:

    Am so pleased we could help you Susana … one up to the good guys and another scam victim avoided YAY

    Please don’t think of yourself as naive, you are simply a decent trusting person and these scum play on your genuine nature.