Dateline NBC’s To Catch an ID Thief: Identity Theft Episode 2

This is the second installment in what is a brilliant piece of journalism – To Catch an Identity Thief.
You can also see the first half of “To Catch an Identity Thief”.







In the end, there are a few things you should know.
#1 – even if you follow all of the tips offered to protect your identity, it’s still easy to steal. There are some incredibly gifted people in the world who are using their gifts to scam people.
#2 – There are many places in the world where your information is easily accessed.
#2 – Law enforcement and undercover operations often are the ones operating the chat boards that Dateline is talking about in these videos. Law enforcement operates these boards, frequently in an attempt to keep things under control in the online world of identity theft and the selling of your information. Unfortunately, this allows criminals to congregate and work together more easily, and often actually enables crime to occur. It’s the nature of the beast, and is arguably the best way for law enforcement to try and take some of these people down. In the process though, there is what is known as collateral damage – innocent people who are victims in order set up enough evidence to arrest these criminals. There are those who argue that these message boards operated by law enforcement should be forced offline by public pressure. What do you think?
#3 – There are many places in the world that might actually not be all that against the theft of American dollars from Americans, so long as those dollars end up being spent in their country, prosecuting the people who commit these crimes isn’t necessarily high on their priority lists.
Other notes added on:
8.6.2007
Here’s the fake obituary announcement that is relevant to Ericka’s comments below.

 

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25 Responses to “Dateline NBC’s To Catch an ID Thief: Identity Theft Episode 2”

  1. John Selon Says:

    I am receiving emails from a Ms. Rose Kenneth who has $7,000,000 U.S. for me from a Mr. Al Saud Bandar who was killed in an airline crash. You should read it…I would be glad to forward it to you if you would like.

  2. ann Says:

    i just wish i could help you guys out i swear,im nigerian and its so embarasing,i swear in my heart i just wish i could help you guys out,there is so much in this nonesnse you guys have no idea.may the lord continue to bless you all and may he even open more avenues for you guys to help stop this garbage,i honestly wish i could help you guys out.the funny thing is this madness is so normal in nigeria,when you decide to be straight you know like work hard and study hard to achieve anything,you look crazy to most people,its so bad,i could go on and on about this but its very sad cuzz some very innocent families are suffering everyday but who would help out when the whole country is such a huge mess?its very sad,you see stars going to other countries to help out with all these ngo thingis and all that,no one gives any attention to nigeria cuzz these beasts have given the world such a horrible impression of the very deep suferrings and hunger that goes on everyday in this same place.i dont know what else to writ but the lord will always be ur strenght.keep up thegood work.bye

  3. ann Says:

    if you guys ever need any help,like you need someone to talk in our accent or something or whatever seems to hard and you need a nigerian to translate pls let me know,this animals need to go down.whatever help you think i can render just mail me pls,i will be so happy to help you guys

  4. MamaDidntRaiseNoFool Says:

    I just received an interesting e-mail about a large sum of money too. I’d be happy to help you bust him.

  5. IdentityTheftSecrets Says:

    We could run an experiment and just see where it goes. See what happens if you drop a line back to the scammer and say “I’m interested. Tell me more.”
    And see what happens.
    Then come back and post your results here.
    Thanks!
    Jonathan
    http://www.IdentityTheftSecrets.com

  6. Ericka Poppe Says:

    Hello there. I am being repeatedly emailed by a person re:money in a trust(millions)that they want to help me recover…to help me…Yah,sure like I would believe that..I want to help Dateline in any way possible to bust these people who prey on others with promises of millions of dollars from a long lost relative! I am playing along to see what happens. I can be reached at Ericka72us@yaho o.com,I really hope you guys can help me,
    Sincerely Ericka

  7. IdentityTheftSecrets Says:

    Hi Ericka! Thanks for posting about this. These guys are making a lot of money at the expense of others… you are definitely correct about that.
    The type of scam you are talking about is generally known as a 419 Nigerian fraud scheme, and is prevalent (unfortunately) online today.
    A couple of sites you may wish to check out dealing with this issue are http://www.419baiter.com and http://www.419eater.com.
    Be careful, don’t give out personal information, and come and report to us on what you’ve experienced. We’d be interested to know more.
    Regards,
    Jonathan Kraft
    IdentityTheftSecrets

  8. Ericka Says:

    Johnathan,
    Thank you so much for responding.. I will NOT give him any personal info. I am recieving the email from a person whom says he is an attorney and calls himself Mr.Gabor Wari esq..From Lome-Togo. Which when I looked up where that is -in West Africa.I recieved an article that was a suppossed obituary of my “deceased kin” by email today-I will forward that to you. I sure would love to bring this creep or creeps DOWN! I have a chronic illness so I have nothing but TIME on my hands and I certainly would love to help you all get em:)
    I look forward to your thoughts or ideas in this matter…God Bless
    Ericka Poppe

  9. IdentityTheftSecrets Says:

    Hey Ericka! Glad to hear you’re being careful. Definitely let us see the article. I think it would be great for IdentityTheftSecrets readers to be able to see this scam/scheme in action.
    Jonathan

  10. Ericka Says:

    Thank you Mr. Gabor..
    I recieved the obit only..You still have not told me -what country this happened in nor where in this country nor your personal info regaurding your credentials as a lawyer. Nor have you given me any way to contact you besides email. I am sure you must understand that this requires you to prove whom you are and where you are and all before I am able in good faith, to go nay further with this-trust you? Yes when you prove whom you are and where you are. I do not see the prob with this since you say you are giving me an obituary trusting I will not betray you.How could I betray you if you are as legitamate as you claim? I really am very eager to get this moving so please lets work together.
    Till I hear again from you Dear Sir,
    Truely Yours,
    Ms.Poppe

    Wari Gabor wrote:
    Dear Ms Poppe,
    Please go through the attached documents and get back to me.I’m giving you this documents with trust and believing that i will not be betrayed.
    Thanks and have a nice day.
    Gabor Wari Esq.

  11. Ericka Says:

    Here’s the first email I received.

    GABORWARICHAMBERS
    Solicitors & Notary Public
    No.12 Rue Assigame,
    Lome-Togo
    ATTENTION Poppe,
    With warm heart I offer my friendship, and greetings, and I hope this mail meets you in good time. However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of its importance and immense benefit. I duly aplogise for infringing on your privacy,if this contact is not acceptable to you First and foremost I wish to introduce my self properly to you.
    I am Barrister Gabor Wari, a solicitor at law, personal attorney to Engr.S.J.Poppe,a nationality Of your country,who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lome Togo.Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of April 2001, my client,his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Lome Kara Road.
    All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relatives,this has also proved unsuccessful.
    After these several unsuccessful attempts,I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$15 million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm where this huge amount were deposited.
    The said Security Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days. Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for over 5years now,I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you.
    Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.
    All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me through the above email for more details and clerifications.
    Regards,
    Gabor Wari Esq.
    SENIOR ADVOCATE OF TOGO.

  12. Ericka Says:

    Dear Ms Poppe,
    Please i’m still waiting for your response to enable me know what to do.
    Thanks and have a nice day,
    Gabor Wari Esq
    011 228 932 39 83.
    Dear Ms Poppe,
    Please i’m still waiting for your response to enable me know what to do.
    Thanks and have a nice day,
    Gabor Wari Esq
    011 228 932 39 83.

  13. Ericka Says:


    Dear Ms.Poppe,
    I hope you recieved my previous mail which i explained the full details of this transaction.I also give you my direct line for us to have oral discussion about this transaction.Or if you can’t call me now,you can give me your direct phone number so that i can call you as you know that is very necessary.
    The procedures of the transaction consist on steps that should be taken by the rules and regulations of the Bank inrespect of inheritant claim.
    On the next step, please find enclosed the specimen draft of the letter of application to the Bank which is the first step to claiming the estate. Read it carefully and retype the contents in your personal letter head, sign it and send it directly to the Bank through the bank’s email address or fax. As soon as the Bank receives the application they will then start making contact and follow up our application in their administrative ways. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO WORK OUT VERY FINE.
    This business deserves confidential.
    Everything concerning correspondence in this transaction needs to be done within ourselves,to enable us gain more advantage for security reasons. Please make sure we work togetherness in one accord.
    Whatsoever you receive from the Bank must be forwarded to me for a word of advice to enable us avoid making mistakes.
    Once again thank you very much happy for your interest.I would want you to call me on receipt of this mail for instructions and for more clarifications regarding this letter of claim on my direct number 011228-932-39-83.
    Expecting to hearing from you soonest.
    Thanks and God bless you and your family.
    Gabor E.Wari Esq.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    THIS IS DRAFT COPY OF THE APPLICATION FOR YOUR COMPLETION
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Dr. Suleman Musa
    Treasury/Operations Director,
    Financial Security Bank Limited
    201 Rue Du Ecowas
    Lome Togo.
    Fax: +228 226 38 50
    Email:fsbinfotg@accountant.com
    SUBJECT. THE ESTATE OF ENGR.SAM.JOSEPH POPPE(DECEASED)
    Dear Sir,
    I wish to use this medium to formally inform yourgoodselves that the above named person who was one of your valuable client died on the 21st of April 2001 through a ghastly motor accident together with members of his immediate family. Since the unfortunate incident, the whole members of POPPE family was thrown into deep sorrow and mourning and has just reconciled with the fact that our dear brother is no more.
    Rightnow records available to the family as well as facts from his personal Attorney in Lome-Togo, in the person of Barrister Gabor E.Wari confirmed that Late ENGR.SAM.JOSEPH POPPE had an Investment FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS ONLY ($15,000,000.00) Account number FSB 001-472875200 Deposited with your esteem organization.
    Accordingly I am by this letter requesting your goodself to transfer the fund of my said late relative to my humbleself as the Bonafide Inheritor/Next of Kin.
    Finally, I wish to add that while my late uncle was alive he was involved with the local communities in Lome in providing them portable water and will appreciate your immediate response to my request to enable me continue with those ideals he lived for. My full contact address,email, telephone and fax numbers are inclosed for ease of communication.
    ADDRESS: ……………………………………………………………
    Nationality: ……………………………………………………………
    Telephone: ……………………………………………………………
    Fax: ………………………………………………………………………
    Email address: ………………………………………………………
    Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
    Yours Faithfully,
    MS ERICKA POPPE.
    Sign …………………….

  14. Ericka Says:

    Again,After speaking with you,by Monday i will send to you my credentials for your reference.
    Thanks
    Gabor.

  15. Ericka Says:

    I’m obviously just playing with him here, trying to waste his time on a dead end (*A.K.A. Me)

    Hello again sir. I will need verification of your credentials , a photo ID, what country and state/city you reside/work at as well as your law firm info before I am able to provide you more info. Also I will need proof of the auto accident of my kin whom you say you represent. Where did the accident take place,what were the names of all who parished in the accident? I look forward to your response with this info I must have to proceed any further, and after recieving this I will be able to move on with getting my inheritance money.
    Thank you so very much,
    Ms.Poppe

  16. Ericka Says:

    Here’s the fake obituary announcement they sent me.
    (Never mind… I think Jonathan’s going to add it above.)

  17. Ericka Says:

    Jonathan, Hi again! Any ideas what I should do next to keep him “on the hook,” so to speak,…Thank you sooooo much for your help!
    Ericka Poppe

  18. Jesse Says:

    I am a victim of the nigerian scam. Now i have to pay back $1000 in less than 90 days. I just wish that there was restitution. Its not fair that i am a victim and that i have to pay it back.

  19. Christopher Says:

    I just received the Gabor Wari email today. Is this guy still trying to scam people?

  20. shizi Says:

    Hi,
    I’m Nigerian, and here’s my take on the whole identity theft thing. I’ll be as vernacular as I can so that my message won’t be lost in rhetoric.
    Many of these people result to scamming innocent people as a last resort. It’s easy for us to sit in our two bedroom apartments with cable TV and a well stocked refrigerator, and judge these people. Remember many of these live in places where they dream of the kind of life we take for granted in well opportune countries. These people have it the worst.
    I’m sure that in a perfect world with the right resources, these people would be great minds with positive energy. They don’t scam you coz they want to put you in debt and mess up your credit score. They scam you coz they literally need you to survive.
    I’m not expressing that e-scam should be condoned. I personally do not agree with it… it doesn’t sit well with my spirit. On the same token, all I ask is that you understand first then criticize or take action if you may, but don’t judge.
    Understand that they did not choose to be scammers. It is the card that life dealt them. I know that I’m capable of these same things my brothers are doing, so I pray to the Lord–and I hope y’all pray with me–that we don’t find ourselves in situations that would make us succumb to scamming, coz believe me, life will pick you up, bend you over, and hit you where it hurts.
    One final note… Do not be quick to condemn. Let us look for an amicable solution. Let’s solve the real problems i.e. human rights violation, poverty in Africa, racial justice, radical extremism in the name of religion, AIDS epidemic, et cetera.

  21. David Says:

    Shizi,
    You mentioned that you had hoped your last message would not be lost in common rhetoric. Unfortunately, your message is the kind of rhetoric Americans hear everyday – moreover, it is actually cliche. Drug-Dealers, Money Launderers, Scam Artists daily use this rhetoric in court. “It is the card life dealt me.” There is a distinct line between stealing to survive and stealing to profit. Many of your so called poor and helpless Nigerian countrymen/women are stealing American privacy for profit. The amicable solution that you speak of is 1st to look behind the rhetoric of such an argument. There are much more immense and despicable situations people are forced into in places like Nigeria (sexual slavery – ivory coast) to replace those abuses and class them among the same as ID thieves is irresponsible. In doing so, you are belittling the true problems of your country and promoting an atmosphere conducive of Identity theft. Please be more aware of the arguments peoples make before you yourself are quick to judge. Thank you.

  22. Ask me ! Says:

    I got an email hit very much like the Dateline series aired. I’m more then willing to help.
    I was playing along waiting for $$ to be brought up… well here it is
    “i got a call from them that dad has kidney failure and he has to undergo kidney transplant they needed abt $20000 initial deposit for the surgery as mom is ready to donate one of her kidneys …I was able to raise $12500 and i have that sent to them yesterday…So at the moment am not happy at all but talking to you and getting emails from you keeps me going…”

  23. CHARLES Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:
    CHECK OUT THE STORY BEHIND THIS UNIQUE VIDEO
    I am contacting you regarding a video that was filmed in 1996 at The Sands casino in Atlantic City. I would like to speak to a producer or contact person.
    This video was filmed undercover and shows some illegal activities the casino was involved in. This film has been discussed with other producers but has yet to have been shown publicly.
    I hope to help others, through my life experience and this video. I would also like a chance to make amends to my parents. Living this sort of lifestyle lead to drugs, gambling, and crime. Ultimately this took me down a path of self-destruction.

  24. CHARLES Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:
    CHECK OUT THE STORY BEHIND THIS UNIQUE VIDEO
    I am contacting you regarding a video that was filmed in 1996 at The Sands casino in Atlantic City. I would like to speak to a producer or contact person.
    This video was filmed undercover and shows some illegal activities the casino was involved in. This film has been discussed with other producers but has yet to have been shown publicly.
    I hope to help others, through my life experience and this video. I would also like a chance to make amends to my parents. Living this sort of lifestyle lead to drugs, gambling, and crime. Ultimately this took me down a path of self-destruction.

  25. Coleen Heckel Says:

    Hey there! I have to say I rather enjoy Your blog, it makes for an awesome Read! I hope to see more posts from you soon! Thanks!