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Old 8th Sep 2010, 01:19   #1 (permalink)
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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:

Quote:
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have been foiled by this in the past have undertaken the refund, to only find out several days later that the bank has withdrawn the entire deposit from their account.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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Old 8th Sep 2010, 02:49   #2 (permalink)
 
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This has been happening with boats and motor vehicles for some time now. Effectively the scam revolves around the buyer working in some remote place like an oil rig or somewhere who gets in touch with the seller, tells them that he is happy with the purchase as is and gets you to pay a freight forwarding "agent/company" because, the buyer tells you, that the agent is difficult to deal with and with the horrendous cost of overseas freight for large articles he has asked the "buyer" for the money up front, an amount - usually anywhere between a couple to around ten grand - after the supposedly interested buyer deposits a sizeable deposit in a Paypal account - that they ask you to set up so that they can "get the money to you". This money never gets the chance to clear and by the time it is due to have cleared it has been withdrawn by the supposed buyer, leaving you $X,000+ out of pocket to a bogus account that the "buyer" has set up to look like a freight forwarding company.

Has been around for quite some time now.

Regards,

OpsN.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 03:00   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Has been around for quite some time now.
Yes, but people are STILL being sucked in by it!

I've been keeping the scammer on the line and corresponding with him to see which avenue he's trying to take with me. He even has a valid phone number and answers with the company name etc. Quite an elaborate set-up. He's probably using a Skype phone number as you can have a phone number in any country these days and still be based in Nigeria
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 03:07   #4 (permalink)
 
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I had one of these muppets hit me on a car I had up on carsales. Sent me a somewhat odd SMS which stood out because it had a UK IDD code on it. When I sent an email back to find out what the deal was it was this freight forwarding crap and he wanted my details so they could "arrange an inspection". He then asked for the link to the ad claiming his computer lost it after an update - which to me said he was just spamming every ad on the site looking for hits and now needed to find it again. Why someone would want to buy a sight unseen stock standard commodore and go to the trouble of shipping it to the UK raised red flags as well.

Probably the best response to one of these scams is this:

The Powerbook Prank: He wanted a Powerbook. We gave him a P-P-P-Powerbook!
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 03:16   #5 (permalink)
 
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There was a similar one going around a couple of years ago targeting flight schools in which hotel bookings needed to be made on the students behalf.

"Cheques" would be sent to cover this which bounced after the bookings were cancelled and the schools had already refunded the money to the student.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 07:28   #6 (permalink)
 
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Be warned, it extends to flat rentals and sub rentals right now.

My Son had a variant of this type of Scam last week in Edinburgh where he is sub letting a room of his flat.

He got an email from a very attractive girl in South Africa (with photo) claiming to work for a major South African company who was coming to Edinburgh to study something professional for Six months and enquired if flat was still free.

She said the flat sounded delightful and that she wanted to take it. She was going to send a cheque for 500 quid as prepayment of a months rent.

Son and his flatmate thought this was too good to be true, one or Two spelling errors in emails. Checked the company and it exists.

Lady says she has sent cheque for 2500 quid as the company accountant had made a mistake and included her airfare and first months expenses in the one cheque by accident. Would they deposit the cheque and remit the 2000 quid balance? She would tell them how.

Son rang me for advice. I told him it most definitely was too good to be true. I also explained that the scammers usually ask for a remit via Western Union. They lie by saying "the money won't be released to me until you allow it." which is bullshyte, Western Union transfers are irrevocable and instant.

SMS messages bounced. Official looking Cheque arrived in company envelope with letter on letterhead two days later - sent to police.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 08:34   #7 (permalink)
 
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The used aircraft market is so dead at the moment some sellers are so desperate they will follow anything up. A good rule is that nothing moves anywhere until there's cash in the bank that can be drawn on. Even bank cheques should not be trusted until fully cleared - and dont even trust trust accounts until absolutely sure they're legit. The internet creates too many opportunities for these crooks - and they don't all come from Nigeria!
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 09:01   #8 (permalink)
 
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Devil What now....Cows!!!

And Forkie had better beware..........here is the contents of an email exhange from a scammer trying to "Buy a Bull" from my mother.......yep....a load of BULL

Speaks a funny version of kiwi this guy!

Quote:
Hello,
James gave me your email to contact you about this breed of
bull which I am interested in. I would want to know if the one I saw in
the picture is still for sale. I really like that one and I want to
know the price.
Reply so we can continue as I want to buy soon.
Thanks and regards.
Brian.





Hi Pam $ Dennis,
Thanks for the email. I am glad to know you still have the bull for sale. I am interested in Ultra Sonic
The price is fine with me and I have seen the pictures.
I am a Field Support Engineer in New Zealand and that is where I want him shipped. I have an agent who would come pick up at your location after you have received payment...
Being that I want it soon, I want us to proceed with payment which will be by a Bank Check. The extra money for the shipping will also be included in the payment, Which you will forward to the shipper when you have deducted yours.
Kindly get back to me with the following details for us to proceed:
FULL NAME................
Full ADDRESS...................
CITY.................
STATE.................
ZIP CODE...............
PHONE NUMBER...........
Will be waiting for the information so we can proceed.
Now, you can remove the advert from the internet and tell others it has been sold. Regards,
Brian.

Engr. Brian Daniels
Anyway mother played him along thinking you are a bit strange for an engineer in NZ with a very anglo saxon name and your written ENGRISH is pathetic, so with much laughter and surprise mail at the farm today yielded a beautiful Commonwealth Bank draft.....with all sorts of security and authenticity stuff on the back to make sure it was real .....would have been more real without it. Anyway it has no DATE on it anywhere.....and it was posted from the UK.

now they are gonna be pissed when they find they spent all that time and effort printing and posting it only to find mum's not getting sucked in.

I have suggested she keep the game going until they start asking her to pay for the transport to Auckland via a Western Union Transfer or something. If it goes any further I will post the next round too!

Its almost a sport, but some folk get burnt!
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 10:10   #9 (permalink)
 
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You're right Jabba, it has become a favourite pastime of mine now stringing these low-life good-for-nothing f#ckwits along on the phone.

I get about 3 phone calls a month from some indian person claiming to be from windows wanting to fix a virus on my computer. I get great satisfaction from playing the game and frustrating the hell out of them. I think the record so far is about 30 min.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 10:27   #10 (permalink)


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My current response to email scammers is this :

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me, the timing is most appropriate as I am producing a TV documentary on West African scams and we would like to interview you by phone. The rate is US$500 per interview.

Please confirm your acceptance.
I have had some interesting responses!
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 11:25   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I had one of these muppets hit me on a car I had up on carsales.
I sold a motorbike recently on bikepoint (I think) and also got a fair few having a fish. They all offered to pay far more than what the bike was worth and also wanted my email address for Paypal. So naturally I did the right thing and gave them each others' email addresses.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 12:30   #12 (permalink)
Keg

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Danger

Jaba, tell them that NZ has a processing fee of $100 per head of cattle to transfer it and see if they bite.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 12:54   #13 (permalink)
 
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I have been telling mum to bait them some more........in the end they know they are being played for the game and they give up.......in one email he even asked about the FAT BULL.........well those who know anything do not want FAT Bulls

Check This out.....This is where the game started to ramp up, Mums partner Dennis was throwing more baits! Of course there is always an excuse why not to give you an address or any details.

Quote:
Hi Brian
That bull has been sold, however we have a couple of outstanding bulls for sale within the price range that James mentioned. If you could give us a forwarding address I will send you some photos and pedigree information
regards
Dennis


Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the email. I am interested in the ones available. I would like to know if they as fat as the one I saw. I would appreciate it if you send photos to me via email and the pedigree information as I am located in New Zealand and it will take time for the package to get to me.


Fat..........


I wonder if the also want to buy FAT YAK's........I think that was a beer we had in the USA
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 17:31   #14 (permalink)
 
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They sell Fat Yak here too, Jaba, - Horrid stuff.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 18:53   #15 (permalink)
 
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Amazing that this thread started today. Two hours after reading it, my neighbour who has a hotel shows me e-mails from 'Michael Johnson' supposedly in the US (but who can't spell cheque US style) trying to book accommodation. He has a UK phone number but an address '66*North, Midhraumi 11'? Next e-mail, I am sending a cheque for 10,000 euros, please refund 8350 euros. Oh and BTW, seasons greetings, right.
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Old 8th Sep 2010, 22:39   #16 (permalink)
 
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It would appear that I have just won $850000 from Microsoft for being a numbered? customer according to an email I have just received. Wow how lucky am I. I can get that brand new aeroplane now.

Oh! and they just need a few banking details
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Old 9th Sep 2010, 01:08   #17 (permalink)
 
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Aircraft dealers all over the country are being hit with scams by these guys,

a few of the known scam emails have been sent from so far are :

Robin Stewart

Mark Simpson


James Wheeler


Martine Debouvrie


AVIA Connections

The ones that hit us all went very quiet when I informed them a local rep in there counrty would come and see them !
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Old 9th Sep 2010, 06:14   #18 (permalink)
 
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for anyone who likes stringing these people along check out
419eaters

its a forum that is devoted to wasting these scammers time so that they don't scam any unfortunate people.
you get awards for making them do stuff. its quite funny.
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Old 9th Sep 2010, 07:36   #19 (permalink)
 
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This web site specializes in reporting the scam accommodation attempts where you will see many familiar names repeated.

Scam Samples.htm
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 23:05   #20 (permalink)
 
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On the odd occasion I've sold a motorbike or something like that I have received a few emails from scammers. They always ask for my Paypal email so they can forward the money to me.
So of course I do the right thing, and send them each other's email addresses. Seems like the least I could do.
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