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 match.com 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
Occupation and employers details (including your office address and phone number)
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.