back to article 'Microsoft' to compensate 419 victims

We're obliged to the reader who alerted us to the agreeable news that Microsoft will compensate deserving 419 victims to the tune of £100,000 a head. The email bringing these glad tidings is worth reproducing in full, and your attention is drawn in particular to the links kindly provided by the Lads from Lagos to back their …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. JP

    Glad to see El Reg being quoted

    Great to see El Reg being quoted as a reliable source of information, rather than those unreliable mainstream media sites.

    Do you get any royalties from the successful 419ers? Maybe you should look into that...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How on Earth

    How on Earth do they expect to be taken seriously with English like that?

    A very lame attempt. If anyone falls for that I'll eat my hat.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just microsoft

    This morning I got a very similar email from "Kofi Anan" saying that after several meetings with the UNITED NATIONS (their capitals), everyone who has ever been scammed is getting $100,000.

    To claim, just send all of your personal details to "zenith bank of Nigeria"

    I'm surprised that the address given wasn't:

    419 gullible way

    Now I just need to work out... how they're gonna fund this, how they knew that I had been scammed, and why-oh-why they were sending from a yahoo account... if they have millions of dollars to just hand out, can't they afford their own domain?


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't afford translation?

    Surely these guys make enough money from their scams that they could afford to pay someone to write proper English?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am still...

    ...amazed that these people do not at least try to employ somebody with at least a reasonable grasp of the english language. Its easier to read comments from amanfrommars than to try to work out the grammer in these things...

    And even scarier, people fall for these mails....

    We're all doomed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe help "defeat" their efforts?

    How about putting a warning header with a link to this article on the pages they mention in the email?

    That way, any potential hapless victims may possibly be educated rather than falling for another scam. I'm guessing the 419'ers are hoping previous scamees are suckers and most likely to fall for it again!

  7. Gabor Laszlo


    The pippel hu fall 4 dis pobabli cant tell the difrece.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shirley no-one would fool for it?

    If only they'd get the language right they might stand a chance of hooking a few fish but . . .

    "While many are still awaiting trail while we still fetch for others who feel they are wise and hope that you will be our friend by giving us more information as per clue in apprehending them."

    it looks like they are using the original 419 writer.


    I've still got my 419 t-shirt and still some folks don't understand and say it's racist. Ah well, I expect them to pay close attention to an e-mail from a 'distant relative' or 'UK Lottery' and go for the money.

  9. Andrew Shirley

    Re: I am still...

    This is the first instance of this scam (that I have seen) which would benefit from good english. I always assumed they used bad english to play on the "ahh, poor unfortunate foreigner" aspect. In this case, there is no excuse.

  10. 4.1.3_U1

    Hotmail addy

    As any fool knows, hotmail has been part of Microsoft for a good few years, so that's why it's such a great choice in this case.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come on... it's not the English...

    ... It's the addresses that kill me.


  12. Patrick Drago


    not grammer!!

    Disgruntled english-speaking 419er

  13. Roast Duck


    I knew you guys would make it big some day. My best wishes and congratulations for excellent journalism..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even done their homework...

    It's a shame when a scammer does not even do their homework... Espeically when it comes down to the difference of formats used in various countries...

    Since when had the UK used the American address format?

    And when did Monkeysoft open an office in London, when they have a huge place in Reading...

    And they didn't even use the complete ZIP-code...

    Tsk! I will have to huff about this all day.

  15. 4.1.3_U1

    @Glad to see El Reg being quoted

    Yeah, this means some 419ers read this site: any of you out there reading now, please submit your comments (or are they already, and these all moderated away?).

  16. Lyndon Hills


    I've been to Microsoft offices in Soho, maybe they've moved, according to this

    page they're now in Victoria Street.

  17. Ross

    To the point?

    Holy mother of God - wall of!

    Overlooking the quality of English, the hotmail address etc the bleeding size of the email would stop most ppl reading it. Marcel Proust wrote more concisely...

  18. jonathan keith


    ... do have an office in London - in Victoria, actually. It used to be in Soho, but they moved. The MSN and Xbox teams work there.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "As any fool knows, hotmail has been part of Microsoft for a good few years, so that's why it's such a great choice in this case."

    Yes... but do you really think Microsoft employees are going to use a hotmail address for their business emails? No.

    Given how easy it is to supply a different 'From:' header in an email and make it appear as though it is from an address that it isn't, I'm surprised they dont. It amazes me how stupid some of these people are.

  20. Mike Arthur

    love it...

    I shall feed you with further modalities...

    brilliant, these emails are quite simply hilarious...

  21. Kenny Millar

    Succers x 2

    So, if you were daft enough to get scammed in the first place, AND daft enough to fall for this scam you DESERVE to be scammed!

    Might as well just get your salary paid to some bloke in Nigeria and cut out the middlemen.

  22. 4.1.3_U1


    Well, I was thinking of upgrading from 4.1.3_U1 to help out as none of these people have come forward, but I can only find the 4.1.4 disks: anyone got a spare set of 4.1.9?

  23. Nick

    All I need Sir...

    ... is your bonk acoont number and sort code, and I will transfer the munies into your account. You will get back $100,000 ugandan dollars which the computa says is £18.73

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What I don't understand, is if this scam is pandering to those already victimized, what makes the fools perpetuating it think that there's any money left to be had? And of course the grammar is poor, the Hotmail addy is a giveaway. I only hope the idiot(s) that created this scam are reading these comments. I hope whatever village these imbeciles live in still has public floggings for 2-bit criminals like these.

  25. Chris Cheale

    Read it very carefully...



    I'm sorta liking the idea of an "untied nations" - a society for recovering gimps perhaps?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    I am being a Nigerian victim of moderation from by El Reg. This has caused much me distress and frustration over the period of time. Please help my in my cause by donating $3500 USD as quickly as possible. God bless.


    Darwin Winklesworth

  27. Magnus Egilsson

    Playing on the dum dum factor from Redmond

    "...homeless and others living by the grace of God." should also had knocked over some warning bells in peoples minds apart from about EVERYTHING else? Since when has M$ quoted other beeings than Bill Gates :P

    Ahhmen . . .

  28. 4.1.3_U1

    @Darwin Winklesworth

    Your funds are now in a safekeeping account as requested. There is, however, an administrative fee needed to ensure you will be able to access this. Details will be available shortly.

    ... and

    @Christopher Emerson

    Of course I expect M$ employees to use hotmail addresses when they are perpetrating 419 scams - why not?

    Obviously they don't fake the 'From:' header because they want to receive the reply - Doh!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So keep it secret until they have all been apprehended"

    Oh god LOL.

    There should be some sort of awards for these emails!!!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft compensates victims...

    And just what does it take to be acknowleged as a victim of Microsoft?

    Did you need to have shares in digital research?

    Do you need to have documentary evidence that you tried using Word?

    typical mail in rebate scheme!

  31. A. Merkin

    DEAR <>




  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "And just what does it take to be acknowleged as a victim of Microsoft?"

    A valid license and/or proof of purchase for Vista ought to do the job ...

  33. Morely Dotes

    @ Christopher Emerson

    "If anyone falls for that I'll eat my hat."

    I hope you've got a tasty hat; it is impossible to underestimate the intellectual prowess of greedy people.

  34. Sebastien Mongrain

    Fool me once, shame on you...

    Fool me twice, shame on me, or so it seems....

  35. Simon Greenwood

    Double whammy

    One of the more impressive things about Nigerian scammers is that many of them have moved from sending the emails to offering get rich quick schemes to their own countrymen, so there are people sitting in cybercafes in Lagos thinking that their poorly written capitalised missives are going to recoup the thousand dollars that they paid to the well dressed gentleman in the temporary office in... the... business centre... wait a minute...

    There is still some creativity there though - the one from the Nigerian Space Authority offering a share of the salary of the Nigerian astronaut stuck on the ISS is still my favourite.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I almost fell out of my chair with that? Especially when a quick glance read it as Slash-Snot.....

  37. Daniel

    Where do I collect?

    I was scammed back two years ago for $30k. Where do I collect? I never got this email? Can I just email that address to start the process?

  38. Merry

    oh dear Lord...

    "slashnot"? "FCC"? These are better than BOFH some days! And yes, someone, somewhere will fall for this.......sadly.

    Another refreshing friday read...

  39. Art

    How do they collect?

    Greed and gullibility. If not via advance fee "for administration", or "just confirm your bank details, sort code and pin, and we will transfer the funds directly", the 419ers will probably harvest a few more e-mail addresses to sell onto their mates from chancers who were never scammed but would like a stab at 100,000.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "untied nations"

    Dyslexics of the world UNTIE!!

  41. Michael Habel Silver badge


    What's scarier then there Grammer, is there grasp of Geography.

    I mean since when was 98052 (Redmond Washington The U.S.A), to be found in little old Blighty-land (much less so in Nodnol.... Um sorry London) LULz!!

  42. sam bo

    Giving the game away

    These guys read El Reg... you have just pointed out all of their mistakes.

    Now next time they will get it right. They will be UNTIED

  43. Martin Maloney

    I'm SO ashamed (yeah, right)

    The mangled spelling in that letter enraged the membership of MDA -- Mothers Against Dyslexia.


  44. Tawakalna

    chicken feed..

    who needs a measly US$100,000.00? I already own half of Central Africa, a diamond mine, a mountain of uranium, and £300 billion in cash and state bonds. Soon I will return to Umboto Gorge to liberate the oppressed Watutsi people!

    That is, when i can scrape up the plane fare because my bank account is now mysteriously empty. Must be the Mrs, because I can't imagine that the Secretary of the former President-for-Life of Rumbabwe, Sweetums Abongo, would have misused the bank details that I sent her over Hotmail.

  45. Peter Laws


    To ban Nigeria from internet access - yes, I know not all scammers are in Nigeria. but it'll give my spam software a break.

    Or let ISP's filter out the I.P's, like Sorbs does with mail-servers.

    Or let the governments get off their fat asses and start taking this shizzle seriously.......

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps el reg should edit that article

    Perhaps our friendly Reg should amend that article to direct that it has been quoted in a scam mail?

    Just doing their bit all-in-all I doubt that we'd want to see anyone scamed.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scammers can't recognise humour?

  48. Joey

    Don't attempt to educate 419ers!

    As sam bo pointed out above, it is not a good idea to correct 419ers mistakes or educate them in English. Their English is just fine. Typing with caps lock on commands attention. Getting the odd address in the wrong format is neither here nor there. When they offer huge sums of money from throwaway email addresses, it is just to protect their identity, most of us do the same thing. Give these lads a chance. Give them all the rope they need and they will use it wisely :-)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the scammers target the west...

    The main reason that Nigerian scammers target the western world, and not their neighbours, is simple because the only people left in Nigeria are the scammers. The rest of the population appear to have migrated to 'New Nigera' (known to the locals as South-East London).

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ordinary people are NOT getting scammed by 419ers

    No, not ordinary people.

    Just the stupid/greedy ones.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You think these guys, having access to hotmail accounts could actually google for the correct ADDRESSES

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glass houses and stones

    By Michael Habel:

    "What's scarier then there Grammer, is there grasp of Geography."

  53. jack

    'Microsoft' to compensate 419 victims

    Yes, the standard of English is always a giveaway but then I thought....."what were those figures on literacy in the United States, remind me, and if you are looking for a scam victim profile of a high gullibility index, low literacy score and insatiable greed where would you think the best market place lies."

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022