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Old 8th Sep 2010, 01:19   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mel-burn
Posts: 4,943
SCAM Alert - Used aircraft

Watch out for this one.

A man in the UK (or at least with a UK phone number) has been scamming Australian aircraft sellers. Looks to be some kind of reverse Nigerian scam or whatever it's called.

This scam is of a far higher calibre than the usual poorly worded emails, they are highly customised, there are on genuine looking company letterheads. Some derivatives of the approach are getting sellers to pay for a pre-purchase inspection to a company that doesn't exist, plus local agents actually coming and quickly picking up the aircraft whilst a fraudulent cheque bounces after the fact.

Email attached is from one of the on-line aviation websites that many of us would use:

Over the past week we have become aware of an individual who is posing as an aircraft buyers consultant, based from the United Kingdom. This person has been systematically contacting aircraft sellers in Australia and advising them that he wishes to proceed with buying the respective advertised aircraft.

This person informs the aircraft seller that he wishes to send a deposit of between $10,000 and $25,000.

This is a well known scam which involves a person sending you a fraudulent cheque. Once it is banked, and before the international banking registry can identify it, the person then informs you that he cannot complete the sale as his customer has either fallen ill or otherwise.

He then informs you that he is prepared to loose 50% of the deposit, requesting the balance be electronically transferred back to him.
Those that have been foiled by this in the past have undertaken the refund, to only find out several days later that the bank has withdrawn the entire deposit from their account. The cheque of course being identified as a fraudulent payment.

The email generally comes from Mr Mark Simpson from AVIA Connections in the United Kingdom

Information and electronic communications from this individual are being collected and will be passed onto the Electronic Fraud Department of the NSW Police, Australia.

Unfortunately following the global financial crisis, more and more individuals are seeking immediate and easy ways of making illegitimate money. Unfortunately here in Australia the automotive, marine and aviation classifieds industry are targeted with such scams.
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