I've been subject to a number of E-mail fraud attempts the last months.
These attempts differ from the common Nigeria letters were someone promises millions of dollars if you let them use your bank account to smuggle money out of this development country or that (but first you have to pay a fee to transfer the money). They are of course only out there to rob you of your
money, Nigeria scams have actually led to violence on some occasions.
These other frauds are planned to work this way:
Someone contacts you and want to buy something rather expensive from you. They then want to pay with a check which due to one reasoning or another (often they claim that they got the check from a third party customer) is set to a higher sum than the price you set for your goods. Happily you go to your bank and cash in the check, and if the people in the bank are naive enough they give you cash for it right away. The people which claimed they wanted to buy your goods demand to get back the excess amount, which you, since you are an honest fellow, send to them. A few days later the bank people discover that the check of course is uncovered and demand the money back from you.
If the fraudulent people are really successful they will in the end get both your money and your goods.
Here are a few tell-tales of a fraudulent business proposal of this kind:
You can protect yourself from this by:
- Never, ever accept deals were the customer are eager to pay you a larger sum than you asked for.
- Never accept checks as payment unless you really trust the one paying. Use PayPal for handling money online.
- Never arrange meetings with these kind of people unless you bring your army with you and plan to use it.
As email fraud is on the rise you can look into fraud theft protection
or put our tips into practice. Here are a few authentic mails I've received (And no, they haven't managed to fool me, but they do sound pretty convincing at first don't they?):
IP: 188.8.131.52 HOST: ip-64-70-24-67.hosts.zerolag.com
Name: George Craige
Enquiry On Your Art Work
Good day to you,
I visited your site and i saw these fascinating artworks and i found some interest in :-
1. (City of the Spirits 2006)
2. (UPHILL IS GOOD 2005)
So , i will like to buy them for our new house in United Kingdom.
I must say you really doing a great job ,I have already contacted a shipping company that
will be shipping them along with our other house decorations. Our shipping company will Pick-Up these items once i pay you .
I will be paying you with a Certified Check which will be easily cashed at your bank,
Please let me know your mind about this sales and tell the the price for each ? I will be looking forward to your response on how to proceed.
FROM THE DESK OF ANTHONY SMITH
CHAIRMAN, CONTRACT AWARD AND REVIEW COMMITEE
I AM SENATOR ANTHONY SMITH THE CHAIRMAN OF CONTRACT AWARD AND REVIEW COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE. THIS COMMITTEE WAS SET UP BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT CHIEF KEN NWACHUKWU TO MONITOR AND AWARD ALL CONTRACT FOR THE SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
THE SENATE HAS DECIDED TO RE-DECORATE THEIR APARTMENTS AND WE WILL LIKE TO AWARD TO YOU THE SUM OF $1.5 MILLION IN ARTWORKS PURCHASE, WE HAVE GONE THROUGH YOUR RESUME AND WE LOVE YOUR WORKS AND HAVE DECIDED TO WORK WITH YOU IF YOU CAN HANDLE SUCH A LARGE CONTRACT.
THE CONTRACT PAYMENT WILL BE PAID TO YOU VIA THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA AFTER ALL NECCESARY CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AS BEEN ENDORSED IN YOUR NAME BY THE SENATE.
SO IF YOU CAN HANDLE THIS TRANSACTION, I WILL LIKE YOU TO GET BACK TO ME VIA MY PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS FOR MORE DETAILS
THANKS AND HOPE TO WORK WITH YOU.
SENATOR ANTHONY SMITH
My note: 1.5 million dollars - that's some bait! This scammer certainly takes the price. "Anthony Smith" is one of the most commonly used names in Nigeria-scams.
I am a private interior decorator located in the Netherlands . I have a client who's beenhearing of your works and is very much interested to buy any nice outdoor sculpture fordesigning a new home.
Do as much send me lists and prices of your available quality sculptures so that my clientcan be able to choose the best prefered one.
Awaiting your urgent response .
this is teresa store, i have visited your website and i am veryinterested in your items, i want you to kindly get back to me withbetter information so i can place my order in your store, and i wouldalso want you to advice me on your mode of payment. and for theshippment to lagos nigeria.
i want you to get back to me as soon as possible so that i can orderimmediatly.
awaiting to read from you.
From: rodrick stan
Question: hello max,
with reference to your advert,i hereby wish toindicate my interest in buying your dickhead tanks artwork.is itstill available?if you are interested,contactme through my mail address.rod.............
I can sell the Dickhead Tanks to you for $200 each, both (there are only two made) with freight ($50) included; $450.
Payment via PayPal ( http://www.paypal.com ) is usually the easiest and safest way.
I write to inform you that your price $450 has been accepted.However,my client made out a US certified cashiers check before he travelled to moscow for a diplomatic call,for a previous artwork and its shipment charges etc,but it was unfortunately sold.The amount on the check he deposited for the artwork before he left is bigger than what should be paid to you now, so the check is now meant for the total expenses which includes the purchase of your artwork,the pick up of the artwork from its present location and the shipping charges/other necessary shipping arrangements.So we want to know if we shall carry on with that.I will get back to you as soon as i conclude issues with him.Please get back to us as soon as you recieve this.
End of conversation.
My name is Femi Olu from Nigeria,I am America citizen here in Nigeria,and own this items store here in Lagos State Nigeria and I would like to order for this product from your store below:
Items: 3 Qtys
THE GOLDEN ROUTE, Oil and acrylic on wood, glossy varnish. 66 X 39 cm (25 X 15") Year 2004
Kindly mail me the cost and the shipping cost via UPS to Lagos StateNigeria,So as to have you paid with my credit card for you to chargefor the order urgent.
Hope to hear from you back urgent.
My note: This one is slightly different, it's not a check fraud. Instead the person behind it is fishing for my bank account number. "Femi Olu" went silent when I insisted on using PayPal for payment.
Name: Mr Peter
How are you doing today...am a at lover and i wish to get a very good work for my
new appartment...I read your Ad and i am interested in buying your (painting work,) you
still have for sale.Send me recent paintwork you have and there price list and let me know
your last asking price on each if you will accept Bankers draft as means of payment.Get
back to me with the request information or kindly call me phone +447760237989 asap if
there is any question to ask and have a wonderful day.
Here are attempts at "cybersquatting
". "yourdomainname" in the text below is of course one of my domains. Note that the fraudulent site "http://www.cn-nic.org" (www.url-center.com and tsnet-asia.com are other) looks rather legitimate to an untrained eye. If you respond to e-mails such as these the people behind them will buy the domains listed and try to sell them expensively to you. In worst cases they will make a site similar to yours at these addresses. Do not respond
in any way to mails such as or similar to these:
IP: mail27.corpease.net 184.108.40.206,
Name: Wesley Hu
Domain name dispute: yourdomainname
(If you are not in charge of this, please transfer this email to your President or the appropriate person, thanks.)
Dear President & CEO,
This email is sent by CN Network Information Center LTD. which is a registration organization in China. Here we have something to confirm with you. We received a formal application 8th May, 2012. One company called "Machine Imports, Ltd" was applying to register "yourdomainname" as Network Brand and the following domain names:
After our initial checking, we found the names were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company had authorized that company to register these domain names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please inform us within 10 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limited we will unconditionally finish the registration for "Machine Imports, Ltd"
Tel: +86 28 8778 3286
Fax: +86 28 8757 8035
Address: 4/F,No.9 XingHui West Street,JinNiu District,ChengDu.China
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail.
Excerpt from the blog at MaxMagnusNorman.com. This text may be distributed freely if you link back to MaxMagnusNorman.com
IP: mail.umail102.cn4e.com 220.127.116.11
Name: Bob Chen
Domain name dispute: yourdomainname
Regarding" yourdomain "Brand
(Letter to the President or Brand Owner, thanks)
We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on June 05, 2012 that a company claimed Kelin investment Co. Ltd were applying to register "yourdomain " as their Net Brand and some domain names through our firm.
Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for Kelin investment Co. Ltd.Looking forward to your prompt reply.
Tel: 0086-28-8591-5586 || Fax: 0086-28-8591-2116
Address:9/F Libao building No,62 Kehua North Road,Wuhou District,Chengdu City,China
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail.