Nigerian Scammer Gets A Laptop From Me

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nigerian laptop scam

After switching to a Mac recently, I decided to put my old laptop up for sale to help recoup a little of the Mac cost. I received an email almost immediately from a girl named Rebecca and we had this email exchange…

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 9:25 PM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

i love this item is it available for sell?kindly get back to asap..

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 11:23 PM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Yep, it’s still available. If you’d like to come by, just let me know when.


From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM
Subject: Re: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Thanks for the mail….what is the present condition of this it $400
for the item i will also be paying for the shipping cost so get back
to me with your paypal email id or you can send me a money request to so i can proceed with the payment. i will be
waiting to hear from you asap.


From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

It’s 3 years old so it has normal wear and tear on it. It’s in fine
condition, just has a lot of stickers on it. There’s no damage to it.
If you’d like to PayPal, this email address is fine.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM
Subject: Re: Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop – 500 gig HD, 2 gig RAM – $350 (Albany, OR)

Thanks for the mail….what is the present condition of this it $400
for the item i will also be paying for the shipping cost so get back
to me with your paypal email id or you can send me a money request to so i can proceed with the payment. i will be
waiting to hear from you asap.


After letting Becca (I can call her that cause we’re tight) know my PayPal email address, she immediately sent me the payment. But, as I expected, this was a Nigerian scam. The payment emailed looked very real, although the color scheme was a little off. Just to be sure, I checked my PayPal account to make sure there really wasn’t an extra $500 in it. There wasn’t. My dreams of receiving a bonus $100 for my old laptop were crushed.

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: Notification of Instant Payment Received from Rebecca Nemanova (Transaction ID: 5Y758872CS5628811)

Thanks for your payment! I’m heading to the post office right now so I’ll get this shipped to you immediately. Thanks for the extra $100 too! It’s nice to see that you’re made of money and are willing to just throw extra $100 at people all willy nilly like. I will have this shipped to you in the fastest way possible.

God bless,

The next day, I found an email from the FBI waiting for me. Except that it was another very obviously fake email.

To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 7:22 AM
Subject: *** Collaboration Complaint From PayPal To FBI **Message From FBI Department***

nigerian laptop scam
Hello Brad Carter,
It is important we know the status of the item bought from you by Rebecca Nemanova otherwise, legal action may be taken against you since you have not provide the shipment information to the confirmation of the payment made to your account by our client via PayPal.We request for the Scanned Receipt and the Tracking Number to prove postage of the item in less than 24hours and we will fund the money into your account or face the consequences of LEGAL ACTION.

We believed you entered into buying agreement by requesting money through PayPal, and by non response to the payment confirmation made to your account you have violate PayPal agreement. However the buyer has already contacted us in other to make report about your non response. We are ensuring to make PayPal a safer place, therefore we need to set confidence on our users.

Therefore, your Money has been credit into your Account, that means the item must have been shipped to the Buyer. From IC3 we give you 24hours(1day) to ship the package to the Delivery Address given to you by your buyer, and also send the Shipment Tracking Number immediately to us to verify the shipment.Immediately we confirm the shipping.You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your account has been credited.

We use proprietary technology and constantly innovate to help ensure your transactions are safe. In addition, Pay Pal has over 20,000 staffs worldwide dedicated to keeping Pay Pal accounts safe, and stopping online criminals. And we work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to shut off fraudulent websites as soon as possible.

Pay Pal ‘s Fraud Investigation Team is highly experienced in fraud prevention. Several members of the team were former law enforcement officials with extensive experience in fighting online fraud. Pay Pal’s fraud investigation team focuses on: Identifying and preventing fraud before it occurs, Detecting fraud in process Mitigating loss, if fraud does occur, Delivering information to law enforcement around the world to help stop those committing online fraud.

Failure to Abide to this means your Name and Address will be forward to the law enforcement Agency to get you Arrested, because you are practicing Scam, And your Account with PayPal will be BLOCKED, In order to free yourself from this” Ship the package within 24hours and send the Shipment Tracking to PayPal for them to Verify. If you have any comment on this issue do not hesitate to contact us.If the information you wish to provide pertains to an emergency situation contact our customer service helpline (

New York Field Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Thanks for your co-operation.
Yours sincerely,
(there was a JPG of an illegible signature here)

Stuff like this puts me on the side of the Nigerian scammers. If people in the U.S. aren’t suspicious of free money, PayPal payments that look fake, the absence of a payment in their account, fake emails from PayPal’s FBI department or just Nigerians in general, then they deserve to have their money taken from them. If I hadn’t noticed this was a scam already, then this email would have let me know. I couldn’t believe they’d try to draw attention to themselves like this when a person otherwise might have gone ahead and mailed the laptop out.

I also got another email from Rebecca, accusing me of being a scammer.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

why silent?What,s Going on over there i have made the payment for the item and i haven’t hear anything back from you concerning the shipment of the package to my boss ,Please i will like to know what is going on because i am getting worried to know if this is not a scam please get back to me now to know what is going on waiting for your urgent Reply.

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 4:28 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

Hi Rebecca. I’m not being silent. I sent you two emails yesterday to
let you know that the laptop had been sent. It’s on its way and
you’ll have it in a week. I sent it fast shipping since you gave me
extra money. You can stop threatening me with the FBI now.


From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 6:52 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

so get back to me with the tracking number so i verify it

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:13 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

There is no tracking number. You should have told me you wanted one
before I mailed it. It’ll be there soon. Be patient.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:14 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

what about the scan receipt.

From: Rebecca Nemanova (
To: Brad Carter
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:53 PM
Subject: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

what is the meaning of all this are you trying you scammed me or what?

From: Brad Carter
To: Rebecca Nemanova
Date: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM
Subject: Re: WHY SILENT?????????????????????????

I’m sorry, but I ran out of toilet paper so I ended up using the
receipt to wipe my bottom. You’ll just have to trust me that I sent
it to you. That’s what Jesus would do. Be more like Jesus.

At some point during this exchange, someone gave me the idea to mail them a fake laptop for my fake payment. It seemed only fair. I think it was Angela that came up with this, but it’s been so long (over a month!) that I don’t remember. Instead of doing it myself, I told my kids all about Nigerian scammers and asked if they would make me a fake laptop to mail to this guy. Er, I mean girl, because I’m sure she wasn’t lying to me about that.

I cut out pieces of cardboard, using my real laptop to make them the right size. Then Emily and Payton began drawing a laptop on the pieces. Emily quickly got bored with it, but Payton finished it all up, even copying the vents and screw holes on the bottom.

nigerian laptop scam

nigerian laptop scam

nigerian laptop scam

The last picture shows the top of the closed cardboard laptop. For hinges we used black electrical tape. It was Payton’s idea to make the screen show the Google homepage, but I had him write “Nigerian scammers” into the search box.

I shipped it the next morning at the cost of around $9.00, which almost made me feel bad about all the extra money she sent me for shipping. On the customs form, I put the value at $500 and the description said “cardboard art.” I’m not completely sure of this, but I think Nigerians have to pay a small percentage of the value to customs, so putting a high price on the customs form hopefully cost them a little money. Although the post office promised me that it would arrive in about 10 days, I didn’t hear back from Becca until this morning. As I was eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, she begins messaging me.

9:25 AM: rebecca: you are stupid for what you did
9:26 AM: rebecca: you are crazy
9:27 AM: me: why do you think that?
9:27 AM: rebecca: what did you ship to my boss
9:28 AM: me: a Dell laptop, just like you ordered
9:28 AM: rebecca: is that a laptop
9:28 AM: me: of course
9:29 AM: rebecca: ypou are crazy
9:30 AM: me: what are you talking about? did the laptop not work?
9:32 AM: me: please tell me what’s wrong with it
9:35 AM: rebecca: suck my divck
9:35 AM: me: what’s a divck?
10:08 AM: me: please don’t be mad at me
10:18 AM: me: helllloooo?
10:18 AM: me: talk to me rebecca!

Soon after that chat, she tried to voice chat with me on Google, but I couldn’t do that since I was on the phone. I’ve tried talking to her a few more times, but she refuses to answer me now.

3:30 PM: me: sorry i can’t voice chat with you. i don’t have a microphone
3:32 PM: me: i really would like to work out any problems you might have with the laptop though
3:33 PM: me: maybe you could turn it on and i could help you troubleshoot from here
3:37 PM: me: let me know when you’re there and we’ll get started
3:48 PM: me: are you ready to troubleshoot yet, rebecca?

So that’s about it. Tee hee! Interesting that she said she has a boss. Guess she’s just a minion that does the scamming since she’s so good with her people skills and it gets sent to the boss. Kind of like a pimp/ho relationship. I’ll keep trying to chat with her and append anything else that happens to this post, but I doubt she’ll say anything more to me.

2 years later update: Jesus, people, I know this scammer was from Nigeria because I SENT THE PACKAGE TO NIGERIA. Quit accusing me of being racist and hating all Nigerians and teaching my kids to stereotype.

Click here to listen to me hack Bell Canada’s voice authentication system!

Click here to listen to us trick Domino’s Pizza employees out of customer phone numbers!

Click here to listen to a hotel clerk at a hacker convention hand out private information!



  • pure comic gold.

  • You are a god.

    Since the scammers aren’t sending me fake Cashiers Checks any more, I thought the fun was over. I’m putting some stuff on Craigslist. Maybe Rebecca would like to buy my old laptop, too. It will be just like Christmas. I’m giddy with anticipation.

  • You sent her a d-d-d-dell!

  • Brilliant! Thanks for sharing :)

    If you don’t know already you might like


  • Nice job and a funny post?

    Did you get an ip address of the scammer (care to share)?

    If you’re interested in how scammer networks work, I cover that in my Blackhat (Wednesday), BSides (thursday) and Defcon (Sunday) talks.. “social network special ops – data visualization for faster pwnage”.

    If you’re at any of those cons, i’d love to shake your hand for sending a cardboard laptop :-)

    nice job, Suggy

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  • Awesome.. Funniest thing I’ve read in ages.

  • Up in my ROFLCOPTER laffing @ scammerz

  • What’s the line from that Mel gibson movie Maverick… something like:

    “As my old pappy used to say: there is no more deeply satisfying religious experience than cheating on a cheater”

  • Your kids did a great job with the laptop design! I liked the google home page with Nigerian Scammer already typed in as well. :D

  • This is pure gold :)

    They only send me messages about debit cards with 12,5mil on them :(

  • Absolutely brilliant. The best Nigerian Scam story I’ve read. I especially enjoyed your offers of tech support. Good stuff.

  • I had fun too with Nigeria. They wanted to buy a bed from me for alot more then I was asking. I had themn send the check to the local FBI office, then forward all the emails too them. Funny I got a call a week altter from them asking me why they received a check from Nigeria made out to me…

  • You should open an etsy shop and sell your kids’ cardboard laptops. I bet people would buy them because they’re cute kids!

  • funny. I was a part of a site a while back called scambater not sure of the actual url, but one of the members actually set up a laptop sales web site called anus laptops, and sold alot to nigerian scammers. reading through the archives on the scambater site I remember they sent a care package to the scammers with busted laptops and a toilet and several other items…

  • I read a story a while back about a similar situation but it was sent to the UK and the scammer had to pay a ton of import duty because the ‘laptop’ was valued at like $3000

  • Too funny. Way to scam the scammer. The FBI message was hilarious. Can’t these scammers EVER learn to speak properly and spell correctly? I get SO many eBay/PayPal messages about my account being compromised, yet the spelling is wrong, the English sucks and it’s obvious they’re fishing for your information.

    Good job. I hope customs definitely made them pay the percentage. Way too funny!

  • “Interesting that she said she has a boss.”

    I find it rather noteworthy that the seems to have a dick.

  • Was the address Nigeria or somewhere near there? Just curious. I’d think that by now an address of “Nigeria”, or anything to do with them regarding money would throw up lots of red flags for most people. I guess they’re targeting those who are endlessly gullible.

  • P-P-P-Powerbook!

    P-P-P-Powerbook v2.0

  • fsck, I think you mean divck.

  • LOL – it was actually a Nigeria address.

  • I am a Nigerian and I feel what u did was top class. Many of the people who do this things give our country a bad image and its good that you dealt with him with patience and wit. I am so sure that Rebecca is a he. While Nigeria is a very big country (over 150 million people) the potion of people who do this scam are very lil compared to the general population. I hope you dont think every Nigerian is a scammer. Again Thanks for handling this in a very mature manner :)

  • You know, she might actually have a boss. Like, she might be a mistreated, underpaid scammer-underling who is honestly upset because she’s going to get in trouble for failing to scam you.

  • Payton is so big. Wow.

    Also hilarious as usual.

  • Pingback: Nigerian Scammer gets laptop he deserves - AOA

  • I am just glad you switched to a Mac. Now you will know how the other half lives.

    The idea about your children making fake laptops might make you some money. See if they will make a few more to sell on ebay if you split the profit with them. It can’t hurt!

    This entire situation makes you a hero in my book!

  • That is awesome! You rock!

  • Ranae, do you mean rovck?

  • This is great. You’ve made my week! Everything I post on CL gets hit by these, and I think you exacted the ultimate reversal of circumstances.


  • Being you I’d not put the pictures of the kid here. I also hope you sent it using a fake sender address. Would be also preferable if there was no way to google out your address using your e-mail or IM nick as starting point. I hope you were paranoid enough to never publish this info on the web at one place all together. Next time you could try using this to trace the ip address of the scammer: Check the possibility to create a custom link as described in Step 3. It looks better.

  • OK I’ll bite: what exactly is the danger of posting a picture of your kid online? Or is it just here? Do you think slashdotters are gonna sneak in through her phone line and steal the kids?

    Anyway, excellent scam although I’m still unclear: I thought the paypal exchange was fake? You said as much then spent nine bucks to send them a fake laptop? Maybe I’m stupid because I don’t understand the danger of sharing a picture of your kid in public (I mean, look how terrible it worked out for the Olsen family) so I’d really like a few more clues on this. I mean, if there really is profit in it for you then that’s cool, but oitherwise this seems like an awful lot of trouble and monetary expense just to play a joke on a “human paraquat.”

  • I wanna do a scam like that to!

    I have about 100 mails where they claim I have been special selected to receive several millions $$$

    I just diden’t find the time to collect all those money yet.

  • There is no problem with a picture of your kids online. What the hell is the first thing you get on facebook? Do your kids walk around in public with a paper bag on their heads?

    As for why spend the $9. Its funny, and well worth it. Perhaps they really did need to pay customs duty :)

    Thanks for the laugh, may do something similar next time.


  • The danger of posting your kid’s picture online is that if someone wants to fuck with you, they have a picture of your kid. Right in the post that makes them want to fuck with you. It is an increased risk for not enough (zero) gain.

  • I can’t believe how paranoid you people are. Nigerians aren’t going to fly to America and kidnap my kids just because I didn’t fall for their scam. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Even better than the British Macbook scam years ago. Bravo!

    We need to do more of these, just to cost the scammers for the Customs fees. Let them eat cake!

  • To which address did you send the laptop? Maybe we can find it on google maps.

  • Great, Brad.

    I have an old Toshiba that would be quite photogenic — the LEDs light up — but it does not ‘start’. This makes me wonder whether I could get a scammer to bite and send me some actual money for it.


  • Wake up call.

    Nigerians are already in America. These scammer don’t just work online. Many have local accomplices for (bogus) exchanges of money/goods. For your own good, do a little research on how these scammers work.

    They don’t need to kidnap your kids. Something as simple as a fake death threat by old fashioned mail or phone can already have a serious impact on your family. While rain hasn’t killed anyone, carrying around an umbrella when bad weather has been predicted is not paranoid, it’s just a precaution.

  • Man I wish I thought that fast!

  • Jeff, seek psychiatric help immediately!

  • Brad,

    I deal with these kind folk in Nigeri and Cote D’ivoires all the time. I’m in the entertainment business and often ask them if they have any talents that I can use before I ship them some modalities for their ailing folk and long lost relatives of mine which they have come in contact with and who have met an unfortunate end. If I co-operate I reckon I’ll get all kinds of moola !

    For some reason they all get mad at me when they do stunts for my talent agency and get real hurt and stuff which stops me from sending them money ’cause they can’t jump off roofs very good or punch each other in the face very good. Maybe they’ll all get really good at it some day.

    Stay in Touch..


  • I love this! Hats off to you on a truly clever scam on the scammers.

  • The part I find amazing is that “Rebecca” actually feels like the victim when “she” got exactly what was deserved. -More than was deserved, really, considering the time and effort it put into this project.

    Psychopathic types are broken that way.

    I would, however, err on the side of caution when needling such people. Psychopaths, even small ones, will go out of their way to attack those who call them on their B.S. Best to be safe when dealing with non-humans; they are like any force of nature, like fire and electricity. Their actions can be predicted and they need to be handled with care.

    But I’d say you’re safe on this one. It sounds like you were dealing with a low-on-the-totem-pole idiot with few resources.

    Cheers, and thank-you for sharing this stuff. It educates everybody.

  • Congratulations. You’ve commited mail fraud.

  • Arby: No mail fraud was committed. They never received payment, so they were under no obligation whatsoever to send the person anything.

    With that in mind, they mailed a non-dangerous package over, that was accurately declared as “cardboard art” (which it is). Value was declared at $500, which is a non-issue as art’s value is not fixed.

    All in all, they’re legally fine in this case.

  • Ok, first the exchange cracked me up….then some of these comments made me laugh as well. Thanks for turning a gray Saturday a bit brighter!

  • Like Andrew I also recommend visiting

    It’s dedicated to the fine art of scambaiting and I had a lot of fun there reading stories like Brad’s one. Try “The Road to the Skeleton Coast” ( or “The Tale of the Painted Breast” ( for example :)

  • THis may sound mean, but you could have posted ‘her’ address on here so that other people could ‘donate’ items to her. :P

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