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To catch a Nigerian web design scammer

One of my hobbies in life, one of my passions is finding and locating scammers. I look for them on the street in real life, on the phone and of course on the internet.

This most recent scam was so targeted it almost got me. I gotta give them credit for this.

The scam: This scam involves messaging web developers, designers and agencies and asking them to design a website. Once the money goes through the “client” asks to send a portion of the money to a logo designer or some other outsourcer. The real kicker here is they say that they are hearing impaired, which eliminates the possibility of talking with them on the phone.

What they didn’t expect was the fact that we have someone on staff that does TTY telephone.

info from scammer

A few minor red flags here but nothing major. The grammar was a bit bad but that could be from the disability. A little too good to be true but I’ve had deals lay up like this before, for way more money.

The con

At this point I quoted them $7500 for the eCommerce website since it was 40 products and a fairly simple layout. At this point it could have been a legit deal, but not likely.

This is when the con popped off:

the con favor

This is when my red flags went up

warning red flag scam

warning red flag scam


From here I knew it was a scam based on the whole cash transfer ordeal. So I decided to grab their IP address to see where “Claire” was really from. So I sent them an application to complete. This would grab their IP address as well as their browsing information and ISP.


They clicked on the link within a few minutes I had their info:


no email in google

no facebook

I called my lawyer and she told me to document this (does blogging work) and cease all communicaiton. I tightened up my lifelock personal ID account and also called my banks letting them know I was worried about scammers.

Even though I didn’t give out any personal information, I still wanted to be sure I was protected.

More red flags started going up when they said they couldn’t complete the application, and wouldn’t give up any personal information.

The party is over, the gig is up

At this point, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that “claire” is a scammer. Overall red flags:

  • sending money to us, and asking us to send it to someone else
  • not being able to talk on the phone
  • not being able to confirm any info
  • being in the hospital

Update: another scammer caught

On February of 2016, I received another email of this nature. This time I knew what it was right away. The email came from:


Name: Sheriff Antonio

and the scam went along the same lines:

sheriff antonio

This time they didn’t even bother to Google their own email address. A woman by the name of Michelle Yalsh also blogged about this scam on LinkedIn and warned her followers about this.

Patrick Coombe

Patrick Coombe

Patrick Coombe is an internet entrepreneur, SEO consultant and web developer living in Delray Beach, FL. He is the founder of Elite Strategies.
Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe

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