View Full Version : scam?
4th Jan 2011, 09:37
has anybody else received an email like the one below. Since our a/c is a tiger moth, we have never had any invoices and the email is semi literate it seems unlikely that it comes from Eurocontrol but I suppose one never knows! If it is a scam I assume someone in Eurocontrol should be told
We at Euro control are yet to receive our payment based on the invoices we sent to your company for payment.
We advice you update us now on our payment to enable us clear this debts from our record book and to avoid us not to ground any of your flights from operating over our Airspace in Europe.
Update us now to enable us send our banking details to your company for payment.
Collection of Charges
Central Route Charges Office
Tel/Fax: +32 2 416 63980
96 Rue de la Fus?e
Phone the number given and ask them?
4th Jan 2011, 10:44
Have you landed at a controlled airport in France, the Netherlands, Denmark or any other place that handles Terminal Charges via Eurocontrol in the last few months? If so, the charge may be legitimate.
Eurocontrol itself invoices "En-route Charges" for IFR aircraft >2t and it's unlikely you incurred any of those for a Tiger Moth.
But in order to invoice those charges, Eurocontrol built a highly efficient billing system and offers the use of that billing system to the national ATC units for "Terminal Charges" (the ATC component of the landing fee) as well.
Specifically for the Netherlands, the LVNL (the Dutch civil NATS) uses this Eurocontrol billing system for all invoices incurred at any field where LVNL occupies the Tower (EHAM, EHRD, EHGG, EHBK). And this applies to all traffic, regardless of weight or flight rules. So every time you land on any of these four airports, the owner (or registered operator) can expect to receive an invoice from Eurocontrol for these terminal charges.
There are 10 countries (according to the Eurocontrol website) that currently make use of this Eurocontrol billing system in one way or another.
For more information:
EUROCONTROL - Bilateral Agreement relating to Terminal Air Navigation Charges (http://www.eurocontrol.int/crco/public/standard_page/ssa_terminal.html)
Oh, and yes - the charge may be related to a landing or departure that happened several months ago. Eurocontrol is everything but fast in this respect. The original invoice should include a computer printout detailing callsign, airport, date/time and such. You can use this to compare it with the aircrafts logbook so you can invoice the PIC.
Furthermore, it doesn't make a lot of sense to contact Eurocontrol about it. Their system is completely automated, based on input from the local ATC units. If you think an invoice is incorrect, you need to contact the local unit that put the invoice in the system in the first place. (Although you might need to contact Eurocontrol initially to find out who that is, particularly if your groups administrator threw the original invoice in the bin already.)
4th Jan 2011, 10:49
The terrible standard of English does make one wonder, however; I can't imagine that sending out this kind of email is rare, and you'd expect a professional organisation to at least check the language first. It's not like English is an unusual language for an aviation organisation to work in...
4th Jan 2011, 11:08
Googling "Eurocontrol telephone number" brings up this:
though of course that could also be part of the scam...:(
Be sure to get any Eurocontrol telephone number from an independent trusted source.
Edited to remove link.
Given the link has Eurocontroll rather than Eurocontrol, and is on the domain voila.net, I would regard it with extreme suspicion.
There are Eurocontrol billing scams, so you need to check contact numbers and bank account numbers independently.
However there are also loads of incorrect billings by Eurocontrol. I am < 2000kg so don't get IFR billing but I know 2000kg+ people are often having hassles.
Airport billing is a separate hassle. It is not uncommon to get billed for stuff you paid when you were there. I have had this several times. I got some from Spain, Italy, France. The other day I got 3 invoices from Caglieri, which were duplicates of stuff already paid. Now I keep all the receipts for a year.
On the plus side, I never got billed by Tempelhof, when loads of others did. I was quite worried about having the German air force after me over this (the Germans are very efficient) so I got it in writing from the DFS that I owned them nothing :) :)
Never assume some bill is a fraud, because if it is genuine and unpaid they can pursue you all over the place.
4th Jan 2011, 11:19
If anyone gets anything asking them to "We advice you update us now" or something similar with an invitation to click on a link to do so they would be well advised to do nothing of the sort.
Examination of the message headers (viewable as on option in your mail client) normally reveals that the mail originated from somewhere different to what is claimed.
4th Jan 2011, 13:01
our aircraft is a tiger moth and the largest airfield I have flown into is probably Sywell! Thanks for the advice. I checked the return address which end .tk - I dont even know where that is. I have pased the email on to one of the addresses an the eurocontrol site [thanks for that Stephen] and will post their response
4th Jan 2011, 13:06
.tk is Turkey. Sorry, it's not. TK is the ISO code for Turkey. Domain name .tk is Tokelau and ...
In 2006, McAfee conducted a survey in which they claim out of the 95 percent most trafficked web sites, .tk domains were twice as likely as the global average to be used for "unwanted behaviors", including scams such as phishing and spam. However, in 2008 McAfee reported that the threat of scams like phishing and spam was significantly reduced with .tk and that other top level domains such as .com and .net were much more used in such scams.
Eurocontrol's Brussels numbers begin with 729 (e.g. Tel: +32 2 729 90 11 and have 7 digits after the 32 2
Yours appears to have an extra digit : +32 2 416 63980.
I've rung it and it's permanently on fax.
Apart from the note having at the bottom :
PS This is not a scam
how many more warning signs do you expect!
4th Jan 2011, 13:53
Loads more where this came from it seems...
4th Jan 2011, 13:55
Google is your friend - EURO CON TROLL (http://eurocontroll.voila.net/index.html) The OP e-mail is at the bottom right of the page.
4th Jan 2011, 14:16
I did wonder why Eurocontrol would put this on 'voila dot net', which seems to offer French personal websites, when they already have 'eurocontrol dot int'.
4th Jan 2011, 14:23
I checked the return address which end .tk
That doesn't mean anything other than that the scammer is a relatively dumbass. If you know the mail protocol (SMTP) well enough you can let an e-mail appear to be from just about anybody, including Mr. Obama himself.
Only a very detailed examination of the path that the e-mail message took (which requires a deep dive into the e-mail header, something that's sometimes stripped off or inaccessible if you use, for instance, Lotus Notes or gmail) will reveal that it will not actually come from the Whitehouse itself.
Of course if you just fake an e-mail as coming from an arbitrary e-mail address, or an e-mail address that you don't control, you'll never be able to read the responses that anybody might send you. It depends on the contents of your scam if that's relevant or not.
Besides which - how do you know the billing department of Eurocontrol is actually located in Brussels and not in Turkey? I work for a large IT firm and our billing department and similiar functions simply follow the path of the cheapest labour. On any given day I'm dealing with direct collegues who are actually located in Dublin, Manila or Budapest.