my first 419 scam. ish.


[updated] [again]

speaking of moving out, i’ve been looking for places in pomo. i went onto gumtree found a few i was interested in and emailed for more details.

i got this back:

“— On Sun 5/7/09, Bergkamp Louise wrote:

Thanks for your email response, i am so excited you are interested in my apartment which i am giving out for rent.. Actually the apartment is still very much available for rent. I resided in the apartment with my Husband and our 2 years son,Before we relocated here in Nigeria due to my Husband new post as the leading Evangelist here with CHURCH OF GOD THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
The apartment is  available for 600 per monthly including the utilities, which i think is not too much, i just need someone with an open heart, love and clean to occupy the home  and put all my worries off concerning the maintainance of the apartment . Since i am not residing there again. As i told you  earlier in the apartment listing.

The accommodation comprises of  1 Bedrooms, Bathroom. Kitchen,Breakfast room,Bbedroom, Bathroom and a separate WC..Facilities Internet connection,Electronics like satellite TV and  which you have to pay for the subscription, a sony DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system ETC.

The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine.
Also the keys to the flat are right here with me, and the document. Which i can send to you after all necessary agreement has be accomplished.

Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue , but your absolute maintenance of the apartment , because that is the only valuable property. So i wouldn’t want an violation of my property if finally rented by you. I will like you to treat the apartment as your own okay.
1)Your Full Name
2)Your Full Address
3)How old are you?
4)Are you married?
5)How many people will be living in the home?
6)Do you have a pet?
7)Do you have a car?
9)Contact number
10)When are you willing to move in?
11)When are you willing to move out?
Pets are no problem.

I will be waiting for your mail so that we can to start to commence on how to the keys and document..
Best Regards…”

it seemed legit but wondered whether to bait or not. as it was first thing this morning, i thought i should double check:


Thanks for your reply. Can I arrange a visit first please? Do you have a contact telephone number I can call?


i got this back:

here is adress
addresss 8-10 St Helens Place Southsea, Portsmout”

rereading the email it all sounds legit. all i have to do is give my information and she’ll post me the keys.

and after all i do have an open heart, love and clean.


i got this back after i sent the same email again:

“Regarding the viewing of the house.You can’t view the inside as i told you earlier because the keys and documents are here with us.You can view the building and the location.So if you are comfortable with that, you can get back to me.I know how you feel, at this point in time.. As it wasn’t my fault, as i was suppose to lock up the apartment at the very time i was leaving for my missionary trip down here, and i never had an intension of renting it out. It was just my wife who said it will be wise to lease the apartment, since i am always worried about the maintenance of the inside. So the tenant can always keep it clean and send me update pics. Then as soon as the keys get to you, i will give you some time to settled down, so you can send the next month payment. And please let me know what you feel as soon as possible, so i wouldn’t disappoint you, as there are also responses coming in regarding the apartment. And please note that is not all about sending the rent deposit or monthly rent that matters in this relationship and agreement, but your absolute maintenance and promise to keep my apartment save and clean. And also i will need you to often send me some update pics of the apartment from time to time at your own convenient time. As i am counting on you. Let me know how soon you want this done, is so important as i told you earlier.”

things take a turn for the odd. the language is completely different. i love the idea that i can look at the building and the outside. that would be really useful. it’s a ballsy story if you think about it – it wasn’t his fault, they just up and left. the wife said instead of putting covers over the furniture, get a stranger you email on the internet to move in instead. i also understand that renting out an apartment isn’t about the rent. it’s about letting a stranger in and making sure they keep it safe.

honestly – i might carry this charade on. see what ‘keys’ i get, although i’d have to give a phoney address for that. i might give him his address and see if he notices. or she notices. i forget who i’m emailing.

anyway, i also got another one after sending an email, but this one was more believable:

“— On Tue, 7/7/09, Powell Jason wrote:

From: Powell Jason <jason.powell13>
Subject: Re: Your Gumtree Portsmouth
To: james
Date: Tuesday, 7 July, 2009, 12:30 PM

Thank you for having interest in my Flat.  I am out of the country for my new job, i will be away for six to seven years, i want a clean and responsible tenant to take care of the flat…Lots of time wasters are on here looking for free flat , hope you are serious ? below is

the description of the flat and if that suit you get back  to me.

Property  descriptions

THE RENT IS : ( £280 pcm) Deposit of   £150

1 bedroom Flat
Features: Flat, Floor #, Parking available,
No parking cost, 1 Bedrooms, 1 Bathrooms
Neighbourhood: N/A Home amenities: Alarm system, Cable ready,Washer/Dryer,Dishwasher,Microwave, Kitchen access,Storage.
House amenities: Furnished, Air conditioning, Private entrance, Private bath, Phone jack, TV, Cable jack, Closet..
Utilities include: electricity, gas, cable, phone, internet wiffi,air condition,wardrobe and so on.

I will also need you to get back to me with the below required details if it suits me :-

Maximum stay:……………..
Flatmate Description:……………..
Personal info:…………………….
Household info:……………..
Phone number…………………….

I will be expecting to read back from you if you really have interest.
Hope to read back from you soon.
God Bless you”

of course, the blessing from god made me suspicious. but i played along and replied with this:

“Hi Jason,

I am serious and need to move to Portsmouth asap. Here’s the details you’ve asked for:

Maximum stay: <5 years
Flatmate Description: Single, white, male.
Personal info: Teacher
Address:Nr Chichester
Household info:Cottage
Age: 29
Smoker: No
Pet: None

Can you let me know how I could arrange a visit please?


i withheld, another tactic. i got this back the next day:

“Carlisle Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire. PO5 1DH
Hello ,
Good to read back from you. I have the keys and documents for the contract with me here in Italy .if you really have interest, kindly get back to me and we will both arrange on time and date to view the flat  before signing for a contract. I will be needing a proof to show me you have the rent fee before i could go get my flight ticket because i traveled three time last week to show the flat to some couples but they don’t have the funds at hand to pay and turn out telling me stories that they will pay me when they got a good job.This is so stressful and frustrating.i don’t like jobless and time wasters and I don’t want to risk or waste my time coming down anymore if i don’t have a proof from who ever is interested in my flat before getting my ticket to fly down..I am sorry for any inconveniences but you just have to reason with me.
. Hope this is clear now?
Hope to read from you soon.

i have to admit, i like the phrase ‘good to read back from you’. i think he overplays his hand here by asking for proof of rent. i was thinking of sending back a picture of a pile of money but will probably ask what kind of proof instead (i’m assuming he wants a ‘cheque’ scanned or the front and reverse of my credit card). i also have to admit he has a great job (the one he moved away for, for 6-7 years, all the way in italy) he’s just started but they don’t mind him flying to london then getting the train back to portsmouth and the return leg, three times in a week.

the other thing i just realised about this, is that his flat has a/c. i won’t deny you need a/c in portsmouth, the climate is comparable to nigeria.

what i find interesting about both of these is that they feel that instead of leaving keys with family or friends, or using a letting agent, they take everything with them, including contracts for apartments they had no intention of renting out in the first place (applies to first one).

okay more, but i’m putting a stop to it i think. its lost the appeal. i sent emails asking for what proof of rent i should provide. i got these emails back within a couple of hours:

(from louise bergkamp) with the subject header: GO AND VIEW THE BUILDING AND GET BACK TO ME ASAP

Thanks for getting back to me you can go and view the the building and get back to me all just want is good tenant that will good care of my apartment ok,the proof i need from you is make the first payment so that i can know you wiling to get my apartment because i have record information in my file so get back to asap…
waiting to hear from soon

God Bless

i trust her.

the other one said this (from jason powell):

Hello ,
If you have a month rent fee and the deposit,right there with you , well, you can use that as a proof to me by making a deposit to any of your family or partner and show me a receipt as proof and confirmation before i can go get my flight ticket . I traveled three time last week to show the flat to some couples but they don’t have the funds at hand to pay and turn out telling me stories that they will pay me when they got a good job..I don’t want to risk or waste my time coming down anymore if i don’t have a proof from who ever is interested in my flat before getting my ticket to fly down..I am sorry for any inconveniences but you just have to reason with me.  I just don’t feel comfortable asking for payment upfront before viewing my flat because its is not normal and does sound illegal .So i prefer having a proof you have funds and will proceed from there.  Go to any Post Office close to you and ask for western union  Units and do as instructed below to any of your family or partner and get back to me with a confirmation.


Sender name:  YOUR NAME
Senders address: Your complete address
Receiver’s Name: Your family ,Fiancee name or partner
Receiver’s address:

I was also made to understand that Western Union takes some charges for the transfer and i am telling you that i will return back to you the full transfer charges whether you decide to rent the flat or not when we meet.
Hope to read back from you.

this guy is definately smarter than louise. i liked the ‘its is not normal and does sound illegal’ bit.

anyway, this was pre-flu and i haven’t heard back from them.

i think its the end of my 419 adventure.


4 responses to “my first 419 scam. ish.

  1. Hi,

    We were interested to find this upon searching for the name ‘Louise Bergkamp’ as we too are looking for a place to rent. The words that you have listed are exactly the same and had a strange feeling about it.
    As you can understand the caution needed to take before sending cash to someone you have never met. I think we have decided to avoid this as it all seems to weird.

    Kind Regards

  2. would recommend avoiding Griegs85. i’ve emailed her back with exactly the same thing (visit, contact number) so will update if i get anything back.

  3. “Sky Handerson” is also running this scam in Plymouth from Gumtree

  4. Same scam with edinburgh flat on Gumtree. Also mail. And the BS about having to travel 3 times etc. What a waste of life these people.

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