Check Scams, Debt Collection scams and other financial scams.
#37193 by captaincarlo Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:58 am
These scammers try and get clever now - getting "valid" info from the web to create a very reasonable request. We run a charter business http://www.royaltyyachtcharters.com and received this mail from a marine Professor at a university to do research. I "googled" the name and found all info valid (except the email address).

From: Benjamin Wigham [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 5:13 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Boat Charter Request

Attention:
In view of the 1 weeks Research program my group of 4-man team is coming to carry out within your location, i wish to apply for the hiring of a boat with your company. It should be a boat of between 6 to 8 persons capacity size and the booking should be in October - 2010 as stated below:

Date of booking: 25th - 31st October,2010.
Number of boat: 1
Number of person: 4 persons
Type of boat: Either Sailing Boat or Motor boat
Size of boat: Boat of at least 6 persons' capacity

Get back to me on the booking details with the confirmation of total cost of booking for the period.
Note: We shall also need a skipper.

Regards,
Prof. Benjamin Wigham
Climatologist/Marine Ecologist
Chief Director of the Centre
for Climatic Research(CCR)
Newcastle University,Newcastle
NE1 7RU,United Kingdom
Tel: +447024041464
Fax: +448447747961
Email: [email protected]

and also:

Dear ...,

I wish to thank you so much for your options and i am happy to hear from you regarding the cost of hiring your boat for 6 days period. I am happy as you have met our demand of hiring the boat with an experience skipper for 6 days. From your information, the total cost of hiring the boat is € 1928. We have finalised with our financier for the academic research trip and ready to proceed with payment to secure the booking.
Our sponsor will be contacting you with his credit card details to charge € 1928 as deposit to secure the booking of your boat for the period. I would therefore, want you to confirm if i can inform him now to contact the credit card details so that you can processed for the deposit of € 1928. We are already making arrangement with our travel logistics agent for the trip and would forward to you our flight details as soon as we conclude with him. For your information, find below the confirmation of our group names list for the booking:

1. Prof. Benjanin Wigham
2. Prof. Simon Traynor
3. Dr. Elizabeth Traynor
4. Dr. Andrew Anderson

Get back to me with the confirmation of my information so that we can proceed to conclude the booking.We shall be paying the dock fee and other necessary charges on arrival.

Regards,
Benjamin
Advertisement

#37197 by captaincarlo Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:41 am
Response fron the "REAL" Ben Wigham:
Thank you for your mail. The email you have received is a fraudulent Nigerian mail scam (419). It was not sent from me or by this University and is not to be trusted. It is a world-wide scam targeting boat hire companies and the Police in the UK, US, Bahamas, Grenada, France, Malta, Croatia, Turkey and also the Netherlands are aware of this and looking into it. I suggest you contact your own local authorities and do not transfer any property or money to anyone claiming to be me or representing me or Newcastle University.

Best wishes
Ben Wigham
#37388 by sailinghongkong Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:08 am
Captain Carlo and other charter companies,

Thank you for making it clear that the Prof Benjamin Wigham charter client and his queries and pretense bookings are a scam. I work for a large chater agency in Hong Kong and we have also been targeted by this scam. We were asked in the same manner as you have been to book a 6 day charter on a Motor Yacht, provide a formal quotation and a means of payment. My suspicions were raised when they asked to pay the first 50% of the charter by credit card, I explained we are a small company who can only process cheques and TT tranfers. The email reply was that they wanted to advise my company how to process their credit crad transfer - this was very strange - especially for a straight forward charter booking. So I googled the name Professer Benjamin Wigham and found this site warning others against this scam.

I wish to warn other charter companies of this scam as I have had many hours of my time and other people's time wasted booking and confirming a charter for a non existent party.

Please see the some of the emails they sent us which are very similar to other charter enquires which lead me to not realise straight away we were being scammed:

First email recieved:
Attention:

In view of the 1 weeks Research program my group of 4-man team is coming to
carry out within your location, i wish to apply for the hiring of a boat with your
company.
It should be a boat of between 6 to 8 persons capacity size and the booking
should be in October - 2010 as stated below:

Date of booking: 25th - 31st October,2010.
Number of boat: 1
Number of person: 4 persons
Type of boat: Either Sailing Boat or Motor boat
Size of boat: Boat of at least 6 persons' capacity


Get back to me on the booking details with the confirmation of total cost
of booking for the period.

Note: We shall also need a skipper.

Regards,
Prof. Benjamin Wigham
Climatologist/Marine Ecologist
Chief Director of the Centre
for Climatic Research(CCR)
Newcastle University,Newcastle
NE1 7RU,United Kingdom
Tel: +447024041464
Fax: +448447747961
Email: [email protected]

Second email recieved:
Dear sir,

I accepted the option 1

So send me tje formal quotation and for your information, i would appreciate if you can provide the qotation to me in US$ or British Pounds( £ ).
From my calculation, 1HKD = US$ 0.13 = £ 0.08 gbp

Regards,
Prof. Benjamin Wigham
Climatologist/Marine Ecologist
Chief Director of the Centre
for Climatic Research(CCR)
Newcastle University,Newcastle
NE1 7RU,United Kingdom
Tel: +447024041464
Fax: +448447747961
Email: [email protected]

Third email received:

Thank you for the information and find below the anwer to your question:

We are to be using the boat for about 5:00hrs everyday starting from 9:00am daily.
The days to use the boats are 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th October.
Since we shall be using the boats only during the day i wish we can be paying the
cost of fuel at the end of charter everyday.I hope my answers will help you to arrange the quotation.

Regards,
Prof. Benjamin Wigham
Climatologist/Marine Ecologist
Chief Director of the Centre
for Climatic Research(CCR)
Newcastle University,Newcastle
NE1 7RU,United Kingdom
Tel: +447024041464
Fax: +448447748760
Email: [email protected]

Fourth email received:

OK i wait for your quotation.

Fifth email receieved:

I wish to thank you so much for your options and i am happy to hear from you regarding the cost of hiring your boat
for 6 days period. I am happy as you have met our demand of hiring the boat with an experience skipper for 6 days.
From your information, the total cost of hiring the boat is $7692.31. We have finalised with our financier for the academic
research trip and ready to proceed with payment to secure the booking.
I will be sending you credit card details to charge 50% of $7692.31 as deposit to secure the booking of yoru boat for the period.
I would therefore, want you to confirm if i can send the credit card details so that you can processed for the deposit of $3846.20.
We are already making arrangement with our travel logistics agent for the trip and would forward to you our flight details as soon as we
conclude with him. For your information, find below the confirmation of our group names list for the booking:

1. Prof. Benjanin Wigham
2. Prof. Simon Traynor
3. Dr. Elizabeth Traynor
4. Dr. Andrew Anderson

Get back to me with the confirmation of my information so that we can proceed to conclude the booking.We shall be settling the
balance,skipper and other necessary charges as specified.

Regards,
Benjamin

Sixth and final email before I stopped replying as all they kept asking for was credit crad processing:

I am happy to have your information received from your email. Unfortunately we cannot make any deposit by bank transfer because the research trip is financed by a sponsor and it was the sponsor's instruction that we book via credit card and has already mapped out and paid the budgetted fund into the credit card. I would therefore advise you to secure a POS online credit card charging facility to process the $3846.20 or you can find associate company that has one to process the deposit on behalf of your company.

Thanks as i await your urgent confirmation of the information.

Regards,
Benjamin

I hope this helps other worldwide charter companies in the future avoid scammers like this and thus wasting their business time and money.

A Yacht Broker from Hong Kong
#37390 by GomerPyle Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:36 am
Welcome to Scamwarners sailinghongkong and thanks for posting details of what is obviously an organised scam attack on boat charter companies. The details that you and captaincarlo have posted will help other companies avoid being scammed of money.

This looks like a researched and organised scam though the minute you are given a +44 (0)70 number to contact them you should recognise that it's a 'fake' UK phone number that redirects to somewhere else. They're often used by people trying to hide their true location - frequently West Africa or Nigeria.

Your insistence on a bank transfer or cheque was quite reasonable, though you must be cautious that these people have no trouble handing out counterfeit cheques, but perhaps had nothing pre-prepared for you. Any legitimate UK University (or company) will have no trouble organising a bank transfer and the benefit to you is that you'll receive cleared funds without the risk of dealing in stolen cards or fake cheques.

Once these people have devised a scam tactic there's no doubt they'll be contacting every company they can find in their effort to steal money, and they'll do everything they can to make you invest time and effort on them, as that makes it harder for a target to let go, so if you can pick up the early signs, like the +44 (0)70 number, you can drop them that much quicker and get on with your business.

Non-EU citizens should go here to find out about obtaining a visa to work as an au pair in the UK
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/
Whenever payment is requested by Western Union you're dealing with a scammer

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests