back to article 419ers take Canadian for $150,000

A Canadian man who fell for a 419 scam was taken for $150,000 by advance fee fraudsters who conducted a textbook operation to fleece their victim. John Rempel of Leamington, Ontario, got an email back in 2007 from "someone claiming to be a lawyer with a client named David Rempel who died in a 2005 bomb attack in London", the …


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  1. Hollerith


    As a Canadian, I disavow this person.

  2. muttley

    What a moron.

    Mine's the one with the deeds to London Bridge in the pocket...

  3. Ad Fundum

    So basically

    His whole family fell for it. There wasn't one person who was bright / cyncical enough to think, "fudge that, you never know what people are going to do with my money". They deserve to lose it, basically.

  4. Richard

    oh dear

    you got to feel sorry for the poor old sod, but its quite fitting to remember "a fool and his money are soon parted"

    If it wasn't for the supidity of the one, the many would never have anything to laugh at

    Mines the on with a Nigerian passport in it

  5. Ben Mathews

    No sympathy.

    Even if unfamiliar with the scam, you'd think you'd check some credentials before handing any money over...


  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    It always makes me laugh...

    I always snigger when I read about the different scams these guys pull.

    But it makes me almost burst with incredulity when I hear that some idiot has actually fallen for one of them.

    I have no sympathy for him.

  7. Edwin

    Thoroughly depressing

    particularly since parents & uncles happily stumped up cash as well

    what were *they* thinking?

  8. Steve Kay


    I hope El Reginald's vitriolic correspondents will show this guy a little compassion in their commenting. He doesn't need to be told he's a chipstick, he has enough people round him reminding him of that fact. He could well see these comments.

    Go easy. He is still the victim of a crime (as much as of his own naivete).

  9. Carl


    "I never get calls anymore from my friends."

    I'm pretty sure that once they actually get up off the floor and can breathe properly again, he will be at the top of their list of people to call...

    And this guy was Canadian you say?? I wonder how long ago he decided to make the move to north of the border...

  10. Anonymous John

    And a bit nearer to home.

    "A LONELY postal worker has landed himself in huge debt – after handing over £130,000 to a string of internet scammers."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Before everyone says how stupid he is...

    ...note it runs in the family. Not only did he fall for the scam, but so did his parents and uncle!

    Paris, because even she isn't that...oh hold on, yes she is....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hope he didn't expect any.

    Mwah ha ha ha ha.


  13. M

    It is hard to find sympathy

    It is hard to find sympathy for such a stupid and greedy individual. However I do feel sorry for his poor, erstwhile family who must be thinking of disowning him.


  14. Mark Edwards

    Just goes to show...

    That the stupidity of the human race knows no bounds.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Those 419s don't really deserve that money, but this plonker deserved to lose his. On the down side, he compounded his stupidity by cleaning out half of his friends and relatives. Dear god, is there a financial version of the Darwin Award?

  16. Michael

    I word springs to mind...

    ..... D'OH!

    Mines the one with common-sense in the pocket!

  17. Anonymous Coward


    You owe me a new computer screen!

    Someone fell for that, to the tune of $150,000? Anyone would think they're a uk taxpayer or Paris Hilton.

  18. Ozwadi Ogolugi

    what a complete


  19. chundermonkey

    tut tut

    Is this guy possibly the most stupid person on the face of this earth?!

  20. Dave


    Why do people keep falling for these things? The amount of times advance fee has been covered in the media you'd think most people would know better.

    I guess it just highlights how greedy people can be - especially when it looks like an easy way to get money. *sigh*

    Suppose we just have to wait for next months article about the next idiot who's lost $90K to 419's......

  21. Anonymous Coward

    What a 'tard.

    Who was it that is supposed to have said "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful"?


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be(e) afraid

    It's damn hard to say what you want to say when in the back of your head there's this niggling feeling that Ms. Bee may well reprimand us holier than thou wise men (and women) for being slightly less than sympathetic towards the bozo.

    55k from uncle + 60k from family leaves 35k of his own money. How does a 22 year old idiot manage to accumulate 35k to lose?

  23. Slik Fandango

    Some people...

    As soon as money is mentioned greed takes over!

    My brother in law was telling me about how he was going to make lots of money on e-bay... cos he found someone prepared to buy his cheapo digital camera for lots more than he put it on at.

    I gave him the obligatory withering look - when he told me that he had shipped it to Nigeria... "but I can make loads".

    Never saw camera, or money, again!

  24. Johnny G


    what a fuckwit!!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    22 and ...

    with 150grand to blow through family and himself?

    A fool and their money are easily parted. (just look at how much comrade gordon clown gave the banks !!)

  26. Flugal


    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha etc.

    BTW, anybody got this guy's email address...might be worth contacting him in a few years (after he's had a chance to earn some cash) to try it again - I reckon he's thick and greedy enough to fall for it a second time.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ms. Hilton

    Might get f***ed

    But won't get scammed.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Kay

    This idiot (and all the others caught out by 419 scams) are quite happy to break local and international laws to get their hands on money that isn't theirs. They are attempting to commit fraud but end up being the victims. They deserve no sympathy.

    If they were honest they'd do what the vast majority do with these emails, delete them.

  29. Bassey

    Sympathy? Are you Kidding?

    If it weren't for the fact that it was all a con, this guy would have quite happily taken part in a huge fraud to net himself money. It's only his and his families stupidity that is preventing this guy from being a criminal himself and facing jail time. He should be thankful!

  30. daily

    The Gene Pool

    Think of how stupid the average person is, then remember that half of them are stupider than that.

  31. dervheid

    @ Compassion

    He'd get compassion if it was just down to stupidity, but it wasn't.

    The prime motivator was, as ever, greed!


  32. Craig



  33. Edward Miles


    We can start a pool! "What's the biggest amount of money a 419 scammer is going to get out of someone by December 31st?" My choice? $334,126.87

    'Cos I like being precise!

  34. Luke Barton


    That people believe that someone tracked them down to pay them a large sum of money, to their email address, rather than postal address or telephone.

    I mean, seriously. I don't understand where people get the money to pay these things either. $6k CAS is 2 months wages for me.. This guy was splashing it out on flights so people could buy 'fluid' to 'clean' dirty money.

    Pro scammers, you can tell because they use so many scams, mixed into the bigger picture. E.g. some scammers sell 'dirty' notes and 'cleaning fluid' without the whole inheritence, fee-up-front, bit.

    I wonder if they offered him some quality speakers out the back of a van too.

  35. Steve

    @Edward Miles

    I'll hold the stakes for the pool. Just send me your estimate written on a $100 bill...

  36. Player_16

    And He's 22 !!

    What does (or did) he do for a living? Obvious he did not go to uni. He lived off air from his family and now he has no friends (they probably sponged off him and now word's out that he's truly a fuk-wit).

    Hey, where's my wallet? It had $419 exactly in it!

  37. Steve Kay

    @AC 14.48

    You blouse - post with your real name :)

  38. Anonymous Coward

    You mean that.....

    ...Dr Umga Banga from the Nigerian Rothschild Bank that I've been in communication with regarding my inheritance from a very very very distant friend of a cousin's wife's uncle "might" not be who he seems to be?

    Do you think I should stop making payments to claim this $18.3 million I was lead to believe I was entitled to?

    My God, I think I've been conned!

    Is there anyone here willing to lend me $100,000 while I claim the $500,000 I've recently just paid out, Of course I'll use your bank details to prove I'm genuine, just send me the details.

    Many good greetings and salutational thanks.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone got his email address?

    because I know Robert Mugabe's nephew's sister's aunt's brother's mother's half-brother's grandson's godfather has $78 million to get out of Zimbabwe before Easter.....

  40. Tony


    Albert Einstein is supposed to have said "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity - and I'm not entirely certain about the first one".

    Yes, the man is a plonker of the stature of a Rodney - it does make you wonder how he manages to navigate the streets of a major city without being run over and killed.

    However, there are very few of us that have never made a mistake, and sometimes they are absolute corkers. The next time that you screw up, just remember how you laughed at someone else for being a mug.

  41. PaulK

    Eugenics isn't all bad

    The problem is that our present day society nurtures defectives like this and prolongs the influence of their genetic preponderance to homerism. Prevention of natural selection defies the natural order of the universe. It must be stopped right now before we cause our own extinction.

  42. Trinity

    u wot?

    Is it that early victims of the 419ers didn't get reported, or is there a sudden upsurge in rich morons falling for this con?

    I just find it incredible, that with all the news reports, with full details of the kind of stories the scammers use, that anyone could still fall for these scams.

    Not sure that "stupid" really covers it. There must be a large component of "living under a rock" in there somewhere.

  43. Mike


    Stupid and greedy = lesson learnt (and it's a lesson to us all)


    Clever and greedy = he scammed his family (any proof the scammers existed?)

    If he genuinely thought the money was legit and was planning to spend it altruistically then I guess greed may not have been a motive, in which case he and his family get my sympathy (but Mr Occam is smiling with a very Sweeny Todd smile).

  44. Nick

    This is not a crime...

    It's a tax on stupidity!

  45. Matt W

    Pah ! Small potatoes

    *Real* marks get taken for GBP 130k

  46. Peter Kay

    Screwing up

    It's not that none of us screw up - everyone does. I will admit I have, once, almost clicked on a scam e-mail whilst tired and tipsy.

    However, there's a difference between a one off act of stupidity and repeated occurences over an extended period of time involving multiple people where not one of you questions what's going on. At some point these people must have been fully awake and sober. I mean, why?

    I'd have difficulty believing it regardless of the source. Then again, whilst I wouldn't mind several million quid, I doubt it's ever going to happen except through hard work and a lot of luck.

  47. Glenn

    Sad day to be a Canuck

    Is it certain this guy is Canadian ? Is he from the Bush family tree perhaps ? Hmmm can I get his email address I believe he owes me some "legal fess" for tarnishing the reputation of Canadians.

    oh yeah, he'll pay ...

  48. Anonymous Coward


    When I got the email from the daughter of a diamond miner from Zimbabwe, now living in Lagos, offering me 10% of her dead dad's fortune for helping her get it out of the country (she needed a bank account in a different name at a Western bank for some reason) I thought it prudent to go there in person and investigate. While waiting for her one night on a suburban football field I was kidnapped by a gang of ruffians. They allowed me access to my email account so that I could email friends and family to request funds but unfortunately everyone thought it was some sort of scam and that it wasn't actually me. What a misunderstanding!

  49. Matthew

    @ Gene Pool

    If he was the *median* person then 50% of people are more stupid that him.

  50. raving angry loony


    The real issue is that this person probably votes. Why do people this stupid get to vote?

  51. Norman


    should have gone to

  52. Anonymous John

    @ @Steve Kay

    "This idiot (and all the others caught out by 419 scams) are quite happy to break local and international laws to get their hands on money that isn't theirs. They are attempting to commit fraud but end up being the victims."

    Not all. Remember the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami? The scam charity appeals started within hours.

    There are also lottery scams, pet scams, auction scams, orphan scams, contract killer scams, etc. None of which require the victims to believe they are doing anything illegal.

    They may or may not be stupid, but so what? Nobody deserves to loose money to scammers.

    Mine's the one with 419eater on the back.

  53. Peter Stern

    He should lose his Canadian Citizenship

    I feel this guy should lose his Canadian Citizenship for being too stupid to be Canadian.

  54. Matt Martin

    I came here ...

    from Canada, and they think I'm slow, Eeh?

  55. Anonymous Coward

    I Have located the Scammers!

    Dear Mr J Rempel.

    My Name is Special Agent Ghotya Dosh, I work with a private firm which recovers stolen or scammed money from across the world.

    I have great news for you, During recent Investigations we have been able to track down a group of scammers, operating in Nigeria, we have recovered over $16 million dollars of scammed cash and according to thier finanace records, $150,000 of that money belongs to you.

    I must inform you that we are not a free service and our normal operating charge of 10% of total money recovered is now due and payable up front.

    This Fee covers the cost of recovery as well as the retun of your money using an armed escort service to a location of your choosing.

    A 10% finders fee off $15,000 is now due and can be sent to our agancy account via Paybuddy

    Financial Operations Overseas Logistics

    F.O.O.L House

    El Ray


    +52 555 419 419

    Yours Sincerely

    Ghotya Dosh

  56. Kenny Swan
    Thumb Down

    Can't be true

    I'm not going to go along with calling this guy an award winning moron, because I don't believe the story. There's no way in hell a whole family would be this stupid. One guy maybe, but not a whole family. People this stupid simply can't get access to this kind of money unless they're royalty. I doubt the story is true.

  57. Nano nano

    Before you Reg people get all sanctimonious ...

    What about the people who punted their money on Bernard Madoff ?

  58. Pierre

    He prolly desserved it anyway

    A totally, completely and irrevocably clueless 22-yo able to fork out $35 000, with some family willing to give him $115 000, no question axed? Rich, greedy sucker. It's natural selection at work, I say.

  59. Tom

    I bet he votes Liberal too

    What a twit.

  60. James O'Brien

    Here in the States

    We have Bush. I now wonder if this guy was trying to get the All Time IDIOT award for himself instead of Bush. Not an ounce of sympathy at all.

    How come they don't just put him and his family out of their misery up there to prevent this happening again?

    /mines the one with the bottle of "solvent" in the pocket

  61. Anonymous Coward

    EPIC fail

    Some people really don't deserve to have that much money.

    As the saying goes, 'a fool and his money are soon parted', I'm surprised this guy hadn't been parted from his before now if he is really that dense though.

    Mine's the one with $150k in notes in the pockets.

  62. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    Wait... Oh.

    I sometimes spend time with IT primitives as we no longer have asylums where we can point and laugh at lunatics. (Why can't we?) Many of them have no idea what horrors await them once they make the effort to join us.

    However, we Reg-ulars take for granted all the knowledge accumulated over the last 20 odd years online. What destroys all chance of mitigation for this imbecil is that at the "ripe old age" of 22, he managed to escape all contact with IT.

    If it turns out he is Amish and just wanted to be like the rest of us, he will not only have my sympathy but I will feel a little guilty for mocking him. We should have been there for him.

    Paris because the Amish remark just made me want to watch Kingpin again!

    (I always pick Paris, but sometimes it's hard to find relevance.)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's been said before, this scam works best on the greedy

    the greedier one is, the lazier one is, the more appealing this scam is. If someone even *has* 150K lying around to lose in the first place, and are of the sort who either keep their blinders on and are so insulated they've never heard of this scam, then they sure as h*ll didn't earn it by hard work. Work gets you "out and about" where you hear things. Too arrogant to pay attention to the real word around them, perhaps? Then they made their money by manipulating others. Or inherited it without any sweat of their own. And for those greedy SOBs who hoped to profit large by exploiting some unfortunate situation? No sympathies there either.

    It's been said it's hard to scam the honest, and I believe that holds to this day. With so much more dishonesty about, scammers get easy pickings.

  64. mark adrian bell

    Da Nile: Biggest river in da world.

    @ Peter Kay>

    "However, there's a difference between a one off act of stupidity and repeated occurences over an extended period of time involving multiple people where not one of you questions what's going on. At some point these people must have been fully awake and sober. I mean, why?"

    Never underestimate the power of denial. With every step, you dig yourself a deeper hole and the awful truth you have to face gets worse. By the end you'll do anything to keep your fantasy alive. C'mon. We've all fallen for that one, haven't we?

  65. David Haig

    No offense ...

    ... but the 419'ers still have something to learn from our 'legitimate' bankers - sell dodgy bonds from mate to mate, all taking a cut on the way, as if its pass the parcel or just plain fleece the rich and gullible (HSBC, the charities) like Mr 'Madeoff' and $50 BILLION - and then when it all goes tits up we get to refinance them with our taxes!

  66. LaeMi Qian

    God bless you

    Use of the phrase "God bless you" or equivalent always seems to be the main reason these dupes initially trust the scammers for some reason. It's as if the mentality is along the lines "They mentioned God, they must be Christians, Christians are all good people, I can trust them." Only the first clause of that statement can be shown to be indisputably true.

  67. Steen Hive


    "Prevention of natural selection defies the natural order of the universe. It must be stopped right now before we cause our own extinction."

    And you are in a position to decide that falling for 419 scams isn't a favourable heritable trait just how?

  68. Daniel B.

    Re: I Have located the Scammers!

    Hey! You're missing one number on that Mexico City phone number! (make it +52 55 5419 0419 ;)

    As for how this guy got $150k to spend ... well it seems that he himself ran into debt levels that no sane man would ever go into. It also seems he ran his own family into debt as well.

    This guy was really stupid to believe this story. Even if I had fallen at first, I would've backed off at the "$2500 fee" they asked at first ... maybe because that's over my monthly income, but also because I don't need to pay anything to get "inheritance" to begin with.

  69. Pierre

    @ the compassionate suckers

    Sorry mates, but he WAS actively trying to commit fraud. He WAS trying to bribe toll officers. He effing well *deserves* what happened to him. He is not a victim, he is an incredibly stupid wannabe crook.

    Still nothing compared to the naked short-selling scum, the subprime crooks and other pathologically greedy brainless taxmoney vampires. And at least this particular idiot won't be "bailed out" of responsibility with our money.

  70. Joe M

    There but for the grace....

    I used to get incredibly angry at the victims of these and other kind of scams where a tiny bit of due diligence or even common sense would have averted the expected outcome. What upset me was that while I took great care with my money and didn't even trust Government guaranteed banks, always splitting large sums I received amongst unrelated accounts, these simpletons enabled a thriving underworld of slimy con-men to flourish.

    But putting all that aside, imagine being in this man's place. Imagine feeling the incredible sense of betrayal and violation. Imagine being the butt of jokes and being laughed at around the world. Imagine facing your friends and relatives - or just trying to live normally day to day. We all deny things to ourselves and sooner or later we all get caught by something large or small, however smart we think we are.

    A bit of compassion is called for here.

  71. JT2008

    Really ...

    You would think that humans in general had this one figured out.

    This guy, apparently, is subhuman, at least in the brains department.

    F-ing sad.

  72. vincent himpe

    one word


  73. Jamie Hylton

    Jack Bauer?

    Now that Jack Bauer is getting involved in African nations, maybe Season 8 could be where someone really dumb, aka Kim Bauer, gets scammed by a 419er and Jack takes revenge and actually gets some credit for it this time...

    (You need a Jack Bauer icon by the way... I think the Paris Hilton one is way out of date...)

  74. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Compassion

    Chipstick? I had him down as a prize total and utter dyed-in-the-wool fucktard knob-end myself.

  75. Yorkshirepudding


    see this is why stupidity detectors should be attached to all computers

  76. Dale


    I think the banks should send a copy of this article every time someone opens a new bank account, to help enlighten (in a knowledge sense, rather than in a wallet sense) all those people who seem not to have heard of advance fee fraud.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    to the beat of the African drum

    Well done the 419 crew. World needs a bit of wealth redistribution...half the kids in West Africa must be in the internet cafes tonight...good luck to them cleaning out the stupid fat rich kids

  78. chris
    Thumb Down

    Stupid is as stupid does

    So unbelievably stupid, I'm stunned

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    selfish selfish selfish

    This guy is a Mexican mennonite who's family immigrated to Canada. They are not educated and have babies after babies after babies. Once the kids are old enough to help out in the fields picking cucumbers and whatever else they got growing, they hand the cash over to the parents. Education is not of importance to them. Then they sit on welfare sucking more out of the Canadian taxpayers and send the cash down to South America to relatives. They will name the kids the same names to run a scam on the government to get of more of the taxpayers hard earned money so they can continue collecting welfare while they are out of the country living it up in south america. This I have seen done for I lived in Canada in an area heavily populated by these people. Mind you not all of them are like that. Some actually separate away from the lifestyle they grew up in and do go to school and hold down jobs but that is just a very small percentage.

    how in the heck can a family of uneducated people like these have that amount of money when there are people out there who work full time at decent paying jobs living paycheque to paycheque. These people have more luxuries than what a family with two incomes pull in at top wage. Don't let this guys tears fool you. These scammers living on the taxpayers dime just got scammed themselves. Serves him right to be so damned selfish

  80. Tris Orendorff

    Season Tickets

    Well, at least he didn't lose his season tickets. Go Leafs go.

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