A scammer has my full name, address, age, occupation and s photo of my ID. What do I do

This is the email I received

“Dear Friend

Thanks for your mail, sorry for my late response. I have read through your email and I can see from all indications that you are very careful and cautious person and those who approach issues with such carefulness as you have exhibited not only live long enough but win each race of life. In direct answer I will HONESTLY AND TRUTHFULLY RESPOND.

1) Please be informed that here in our country Togo, there is a lawful government of the people, there is the constitution of the country as such there is an established LAW AND ORDER which every citizen is bound to abide in. There is also the police, army, and there is a prison facility. The point am making is that HERE IS NOT A NO MAN'S LAND where people can do anything and get away with it. No No.

2) On the strength of the above paragraph, I WILL BE THE MOST STUPID LAWYER ON EARTH IF I SHOULD EMBARK ON THIS KIND OF TRANSACTION WITHOUT MAKING SURE OF SUCCESS AT THE END OF THE DAY. Of course,there is no way at my age as a lawyer, experience and position in the society can I get myself involved in this claim in the first place if I think it was tress-passing and implicating. I have been in the bar association of Republic of Togo for years so by all means, I have a reputation I cannot just tarnish.

On your part, I believe there is NO DIRECT CRIMINAL IMPLICATIONS. I, as the lawyer to the deceased will recommend and introduce you to the management of the bank as NEXT OF KIN TO THE DECEASED. The moment I make the introduction officially, then on the part of the management of the bank it will be ACCEPTED WITHOUT QUESTIONING because they have no way to prove otherwise. Again, according to our Probate law and constitution, a NEXT OF KIN (DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN BIOLOGICALLY RELATED RELATION). Here, a next of kin goes further to mean a friend, a loved one, a most trusted person or a close confident . So by our own law and definition of the meaning of NEXT OF KIN, YOU ARE PERFECTLY IN A POSITION TO REPRESENT AS NEXT OF KIN TO MY DECEASED CLIENT Based on the the fact you bear the SAME LAST NAME with him. So you have nothing to worry about as there is no tress-passing on your part. The name of late client is Egnr M.M.Sharp

It is my belief that my above explanation will give you peace of mind and encourage you to co-operate with me fully so that we can get the said amount transferred to your custody without further delay. Also note that all I need from you is to stand and act as the sole next of kin to my late client.

Therefore, I will suggest and also advise that you provide the below information to enable me visit my late client's bank to present you officially as the sole next of kin to my deceased client in order to expedite the proceedings for the immediate release of the said deposit to you.

  1. Your full names.................................................................
  2. Your complete address......................................................
  3. Your age..............................................................................
  4. Your Profession/Job............................................................
  5. Marital status....................................................................
  6. Your country of origin supported by an Identity card.........................
  7. Your private phone.................................................................

Yours faithfully,

Barrister Steven Utonbury. +228-97416184

  • 1
    Please clarify: Have you already sent them this information and been in correspondence with them, or did you receive this email and that's it? How to respond depends on what has actually transpired. Also, please note which country you reside in to help point you to resources if needed. – BobbyScon Aug 18 '18 at 2:03
  • @BenMiller - The key difference is the inclusion of far more data. If the scammer has employer information and a copy of legal identification, there is more than can be done than just basic phone book (remember those!) style information. – BobbyScon Aug 18 '18 at 2:12
  • I don't think the title of this post matches the question. You're saying that someone has all of your information, but then have just pasted in a spam-looking email which is asking for all of your information? – trashpanda Aug 18 '18 at 9:22

Preface: This answer assumes that you have already provided this person with the details you mentioned. If the only thing that has happened is you received the email you posted and have never actually sent anything, then this may seem overly paranoid. If you have actually provided all of that information you mentioned, then read on.

First thing: Stop all correspondence with this person. No emails, calls, texts, tweets, hand-written letters... Nothing.

Second: Use a reputable credit monitoring service. You don't indicate which country you live in, so I'm not sure which service is best suited for you. If you're in the US, there are several paid services. For free, (as long as you don't go for their marketing of new credit/loan products), CreditKarma is a good site to use to keep an eye on things regularly.

Third: Lock down the privacy on ALL of your social media. Unfriend anyone you don't personally know on Facebook or similar apps. The people you've sent your info to can use that info to find your profiles and glean much more information about you.

Fourth: If the ID you sent to them has a unique ID on it, like a driver's license or (and I hope you didn't) a passport, do to the agency where you got it and get a new one issued. It won't do much, but at least it can flag that original ID as void/stolen if someone ever tries to use the ID number for verification.

Fifth: Inform your family that this has happened. You might be embarrassed, but, speaking from personal experience, this can affect your family. Most commonly, your information can be used to pose as you and reach out to family members to ask for help. We had someone call my in-laws, posing as a friend (or lawyer for...I can't remember) of my brother-in-law. They said he got arrested and needed bail money wired to him. They knew his name, his hometown, and a few other pieces that made the story incredibly convincing. Fortunately, we caught it before money changed hands. Here's a description of the Grandparent Scam.

Sixth: Depending on what your job is, you may need to inform your employer. If you work somewhere that deals with sensitive information or with easily reachable clients, you may have provided these people with the information they need to impersonate you and the company you work for. This one is a judgment call on your part, as you don't want to put your job at risk unnecessarily. But, if these people were to impersonate you and your company and it comes back to you later, you could also find your job in jeopardy. Again, this really depends on what your job role is and where you work. If you're with a government agency, you should report this immediately. No need to go into details about falling for a scam, but rather just say that your identity and personal information may have been compromised.

You have given this person enough information to do some damage. While much of what you've provided is publicly accessible information with some low-grade internet skills, you've done the work for them. They can use this information to find your social media accounts, which could be used to find out information that ties to your financials. Mother's maiden name, favorite pet, favorite color/food, best friend's name, etc. All of those extra security questions that get added to your online accounts.

Things you can do to safeguard yourself moving forward (and anyone reading this can do the same)

  • Obviously, never do this again. If someone emails you and you don't know them, NEVER provide personal information. Ever. Never.
  • Use complex passwords on your email, social media, and banking websites. Relevant xkcd for help
  • Do NOT use the same password on more than 1 website. If you have trouble with passwords, use a password storage tool like LastPass to do the heavy work for you.
  • Do NOT answer the security questions with real answers. If the question is "What's your mother's maiden name?" Answer it with something like "crazy banana". The questions and answers don't need to match reality, and if they don't, then it's harder for someone to guess. It's even better if your answers are formatted like secure passwords, but sometimes overkill isn't worth it.

Keep a level head moving forward. You've realized that you've compromised your personal information, and that's a good realization to make. You've fallen victim to a scam that too many have fallen for before you. Monitor your accounts closely, and if you start receiving anything resembling threats or harassment, inform the authorities immediately. There's nothing wrong with informing the authorities now, but there won't be much they can do if you willingly gave out information and there's no sense of danger. This may be different depending on where you live with regards to if you report it now and get any response.


It is a phishing expedition. Just like those scams where an African king or prince wants to give you money. They probably sent this exact email out to hundreds or maybe thousands of people. Most likely they bought the data of your information to be convincing.

You should report the email as spam, and report it to the FCC , FTC. They dont have your social or bank account information so there's not much they can do. 100% positive they will not contact you if you dont respond. I have gotten similar emails in the past.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    While it is a phishing expedition, the email OP posted and the title used on the post indicate that she has already responded and sent them the information they requested. If the original email was ignored and she just deleted everything received from them, then you're right, nothing to worry about. If she did send them information like her post suggests, there is quite a lot they can do with that. – BobbyScon Aug 18 '18 at 2:01

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