Cambridge, Ontario woman loses 140,000 to email fraud

The following article is from The Record.

Woman loses $140,000 in e-mail scam

Cambridge victim's fraud loss is largest ever in Waterloo Region

WATERLOO REGION (May 10, 2005)

A Cambridge woman was swindled out of $140,000 after being told by e-mail that a long-lost relative had left her a fortune.

Thisis the largest financial loss ever reported by an individual fraudvictim in the region, Staff Sgt. Wally Hogg, head of the Waterlooregional police fraud branch, said yesterday.

The scam is a twist on the Nigerian advance-fee fraud, Hogg said.

"This is the first time that I have heard of it," he said of the inheritance scam.

Earlyin January, a person claiming to be a lawyer e-mailed the Cambridgewoman about an inheritance worth millions of dollars from a relative inEngland, Hogg said.

The woman, who is in her 50s, doesn't haveany relatives living in England. But the person who allegedly left herthe fortune was someone who lived several generations ago, the officersaid.

The victim was told to pay certain transfer fees and taxesto get the money. She made several payments to overseas accounts, butdidn't receive any inheritance.

When she ran out of money, forgedbank drafts were sent to her, which she deposited into an account. Thewoman was then told to wire matching amounts of money to overseas bankaccounts.

Police were alerted after a bank official became suspicious, Hogg said.

"Ifpeople are soliciting you, be very careful," said the officer, addingthat police should be contacted about any suspicious solicitations.

Waterloo regional police say the Nigerian advance-fee fraud works in the following way:

Thevictim receives an unsolicited e-mail, fax or letter requestingassistance in advancing a large sum of money to an overseas bankaccount. The scam artists usually represent themselves as corporateexecutives or bank or government officials from Nigeria or another WestAfrican country.

The victim is promised a significant percentageof funds for their assistance but must first disclose personalinformation such as telephone number, address and bank-accountparticulars to receive the money.

The victim is then asked to payan "advanced fee," a sum of money up front to cover the cost oftransferring money into their account. Once an initial payment is made,additional money is requested.

Police offer the following tips to avoid being a victim of such scams:

Ignore unsolicited letters requesting money.

Never commit to these scams or forward money.

Never disclose personal information, such as bank account numbers. The information could be used to commit additional frauds.

Report such scams to police.

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Comments

fraud from bishopton trading.

From: Mr Greg Rhodes
BISHOPSTON TRADING CO.LTD, CHIINA
Imp. & Exp.code: 1100710928487
A SUBSIDIARY OF BISHOPSTON TRADING .CO, UK
5 Sandy Way, London SE5 8UN,
United Kingdom
Ref UK/OG/CA/2651/007

First, I must thank you for picking up the consideration to be our commission agent via which our costumers who are ready and willing to pay some of our outstanding bills can make payment through you to us.
Your role in this endeavor is to serve as our agent to get to our customers who have been indebted to us over a considerable length of time and help stand as an agent through which they will make such payments to us. But before we commence I will want you to understand this as you would be placed on commission.

Your reward for helping us collect such an outstanding debt will be 10% of whatever money that is being paid to our Company through your account. You will be given adequate coordinates and banking instructions through which you will remit our balance 90% from your Account to us upon receipt of payment from our customers.

Our constraint has always been a method of payment by several of our foreign client who we supply our goods. We presently get our payment through checks and draft issued in our favor by our clients but the problem of delay is usually experienced as we are made to wait for up to one month before our local banks here clear the checks/draft.

We are loosing a lot of money by doing this as most of our money is produced as short term loan and overdraft from the banks with high interest rate. Be inform that there is no financial obligation at your end and to avert unnecessary telephone bills at your end, you are advise to mail us and we will call you upon receipt of your mail.

We want to let you know that your full names phone number/contact address will be forwarded to our clients/accounts department of the company for accreditations as the company foreign commission agent in your country.

Upon receipt of your reply, I shall inform you on the next step to take to proceed with this business.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Mr. Greg Rhodes
Chief Executive Officer
BISHOPSTON TRADING CO.LTD.