Gold Bricking, Grifting, Hustling, Frauds, Cons & Conmen

rynner2

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I thought we already had something about this character, but I can't find it...

Fraudster's 'pop star' lifestyle
By Phil Kemp
The Donal MacIntyre programme, BBC 5 live

A fraudster who has been jailed for more than 12 years led a 'pop star' lifestyle, complete with helicopters, fast cars and race horses bought from the proceeds of a multi-million pound VAT scam.

Craig Johnson, 35, from Stone in Staffordshire, laundered more than £6m through a complex tax fraud involving the apparent importation and exportation of mobile telephones between several EU states.

So-called 'missing trader' or 'carousel' fraud is estimated to cost European taxpayers up to £170bn a year - twice the European Union's annual budget. :shock:

Johnson is one of 21 people to be jailed in connection with a £138m VAT fraud following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Stately home

"The grass was never long. It was always cut short," said Alan Tune, describing the Grade II listed Meaford Hall, which is next door to his house in Staffordshire.

The beautifully-kept stately home, which is situated in 22 acres of grounds, was the birthplace of the Napoleonic War hero Admiral John Jervis.

Meaford Hall, valued by HMRC at between £2.5m and £3m, is perhaps the most vivid indication of its most recent owner Craig Johnson's ill-gotten wealth.

"It was nice to see the automatic gates opening and see Bentleys coming out of there and Ferraris. Top of the range cars you'd die for," Mr Tune told 5 live's Donal MacIntyre programme.

"It was like living next-door to pop stars really."

'Fiction'

Meaford Hall, which will soon to be put up for sale by the tax authorities, was just one of a millionaire's wish-list of assets seized by authorities after the six year fraud investigation.

Other assets seized in the operation include a yacht, Rolex watches, diamonds, luxury cars and two helicopters.

Craig Johnson was at the centre of a scam in which businesses illegally claimed back VAT on imported mobile phones - taxes which they had never paid.

"They construct a fiction of paper movements, and [actual] movements of high value goods such as mobile phones and computer chips," said Euan Stewart, director of operations for HMRC's Criminal Investigations Inspectorate.

"The invoicing relates to hard cash and large amounts of VAT, and at some point in the carousel, somebody goes missing with the money.

"We have to put the carousel of paperwork and phones together with the money and how the money moves," he added.

etc....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7650883.stm
 

rynner2

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VAT fraudster must pay back £26m

A 35-year-old man jailed for his part in a multi-million pound VAT fraud must repay £26m to the government.

The repayment order on Craig Johnson who is serving 12-and-a-half years, was made at a confiscation hearing.

Among the assets he must sell are a helicopter, his stately home near Stone in Staffordshire, two Bentleys and an Aston Martin.

The fraud is one of the largest thefts from public funds that has been brought to court after a Customs investigation.

Robert Alder, assistant director of Criminal Investigation for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said the six-year inquiry had resulted in one of the longest prison sentences for such a VAT-related offence and one of the largest confiscation orders ever secured.

If Johnson does not repay the money he could face another 10 years in prison under the terms of the confiscation order at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday. :shock:

He must pay £8m within the next 12 months and the remainder within a further 12 months, HMRC said.

Another defendant was also ordered to repay £376,540 within nine months or face a further three-and-half years in prison.

Johnson was one of 21 people to be jailed in connection with the £138m fraud. The defendants were sentenced to a total of 133 years, HMRC said.

He laundered more than £6m through a complex tax fraud involving the apparent importation and exportation of mobile telephones between several EU states.

Meaford Hall, Johnson's stately home situated in 22 acres of grounds, has been valued by HMRC at between £2.5m and £3m.

After he was sentenced, a neighbour told BBC News that "it was like living next-door to pop stars" although they were unaware of the source of his wealth.

Other assets seized in the operation include a yacht, Rolex watches, diamonds and more luxury cars.

Mr Adler said the order "signals our determination to pursue convicted criminals".

"The outcome of our investigations will result in vital funds being restored to the nation for investment in public services," he added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west ... 741881.stm

Seems to bear out the old saying: "Crime doesn't pay"....
 

rynner2

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NHS funds 'used to import horse sperm'
Police investigate allegation that hospital manager imported equine semen for her stud farm, claiming it was for human IVF treatment

By Ian Johnston and Paul Bignell
Sunday, 7 December 2008

Police are investigating allegations that horse sperm was imported into Britain disguised as human semen for IVF treatment. They are looking at claims that a senior manager in the UK's largest NHS trust diverted NHS funds to buy the horse sperm that was then used to breed mares.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police have arrested and questioned the daughter of a former British ambassador to France in connection with the inquiry. The woman, Louise Tomkins, was employed as a senior general manager at the Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust in west London.

Mrs Tomkins also runs a stud farm in Horsham, West Sussex, where she breeds top showjumping and dressage horses. It is understood that she recently left the NHS trust, which she joined in 2004.

NHS trust sources said police were alerted after internal audits revealed an unusual series of large purchases of human semen from overseas suppliers. Invoices said to be worth several hundred thousand pounds had allegedly been created to account for the transactions. When these were later checked it appeared that the companies had supplied thoroughbred horse sperm. :shock:

They stressed there has been no suggestion of any horse sperm being improperly or inadvertently used in the trust's IVF treatments. Imperial College Healthcare has some of the UK's leading IVF treatment facilities. These include the Hammersmith Hospital, where Robert Winston pioneered many groundbreaking techniques in reproductive surgery.

A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust declined to comment on the investigation. A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "Officers from Hammersmith and Fulham are investigating allegations of fraud involving Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust. A 45-year-old woman has been arrested and bailed."

Mrs Tomkins, the daughter of the late Sir Edward Tomkins, a former British ambassador to Paris and The Hague, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Her stud farm, Southfield Stud, describes itself as "a small breeding operation which aims to breed good competition horses by using top-class proven mares from known pedigrees and crossing them to stallions known to improve performance and temperament". It boasts several brood mares, including Holsteiner, Hanoverian and Westphalian breeds.

The allegations are likely to cause a commotion in the well-heeled world of horse breeding, which is still recovering from its first dope test scandal. The showing judge Lucinda Sims was fined £1,000 this summer by Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain, the governing body, after her horse Herngate Buccaneer tested positive for the banned painkiller phenylbutazone (bute). The nine-year-old gelding was randomly tested in May after winning a major competition.

Random drug testing was introduced after allegations that some horses had been doped at competitions. Herngate Buccaneer is the only horse to test positive so far.

Mrs Sims, a judge for the British Show Horse Association who adjudicates at the Horse of the Year Show, said the doping occurred after the horse ate some of a companion horse's feed that contained bute to treat the animal's laminitis.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/cr ... 55691.html
 

rynner2

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This story has been in the papers for a few days now...

Two banks exposed to '$50bn con'

Two major European banks said they have exposure worth billions of dollars to a US broker accused of a $50bn (£33bn) Wall Street fraud scheme.

Spain's largest bank, Santander, which also owns three UK banks, said one of its funds had $3.1bn invested in the firm run by Bernard Madoff.

France's BNP Paribas estimated its exposure to be more than $460m.

Mr Madoff has been charged with fraud, in what is being described as one of the biggest-ever such cases.

Correspondents say the case is likely to fuel uncertainty about the entire hedge fund industry.

Mr Madoff is alleged to have used money from new investors to pay off existing investors in the fund.

Investors are assessing their exposure to the alleged fraud Mr Madoff is said by prosecutors to have confessed to.

US Prosecutors say Mr Madoff, a former head of the Nasdaq stock market, masterminded a fraud of massive proportions through his hedge fund and investment advisory business.

A federal judge has appointed a receiver to oversee Mr Madoff firm's assets and customer accounts, while the 70-year-old banker has been released on $10m bail.

"While BNP Paribas has no investment of its own in the hedge funds managed by Bernard Madoff Investment Services, it does have risk exposure to these funds through its trading business and collateralised lending to funds of hedge funds," BNP said in a statement.

Santander said its exposure to Madoff was through its investment fund Optimal.

Santander also owns the UK High Street banks Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

UK-based asset management firm Bramdean Alternatives accused US regulators of "systemic failures".

The firm saw its share value drop by over 35% after it revealed that about £21m - nearly 10% of its holding - was exposed to the New York broker.

"It is astonishing that this apparent fraud seems to have been continuing for so long, possibly for decades, while investors have continued to invest more money into the Madoff funds in good faith," the firm said.

"The allegations made appear to point to a systemic failure of the regulatory and securities markets regime in the US."


Mr Madoff founded Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities in 1960, but also ran a separate hedge fund business.

Investors have withdrawn from hedge funds amid market volatility.

According to the US Attorney's criminal complaint filed in court, Mr Madoff told at least three employees on Wednesday that the hedge fund business - which served up to 25 clients and had $17.1bn under management - was a fraud and had been insolvent for years, losing at least $50bn.

He said he was "finished", that he had "absolutely nothing" and that "it's all just one big lie", and that it was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme", the complaint said.

He told them that he planned to surrender to the authorities but not before he used his last $200m-$300m to pay "selected employees, family and friends".

Under a Ponzi scheme, which is similar to pyramid schemes, investors are promised very high returns on their investment, while in reality early investors are paid with money collected from later investors.

If found guilty, US prosecutors say he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5m.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7782731.stm

No wonder the world's in a mess... :(
 

rynner2

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Fines fraud hits Italian drivers
By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Rome

Thousands of drivers in Italy are expected to seek compensation after it was revealed that a system to catch them jumping red lights was rigged.

More than 100 people, including police officers, are being investigated as part of the fraud.

The T-Redspeed system - a revolutionary camera technology - has been in use for two years in 300 areas across Italy.

Cameras linked to traffic lights capture 3-d images of vehicles if they jump the lights or are speeding.

It can also detect offences like illegal u-turns.

It is believed more than a million drivers have been trapped by the system.

But it is now claimed the lights were rigged to change from yellow to red in three seconds instead of the regulation five or six seconds.

The fraud was uncovered by a senior police officer who noticed an unusually high number of fines being issued.

Instead of an average 15 fines a day in some places, the figure jumped to more than 1,000.

The fraud may have netted as much as $170m (£116.4m) for those involved.

The scheme's inventor is now under house arrest, though his lawyers say he is innocent.

More than 100 other people including 63 police commanders are also being investigated as part of the scam.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7862893.stm
 

rynner2

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Those wacky Nigerians are at it again! :roll:

Straw hit by internet fraudsters


Justice Secretary Jack Straw has been the victim of Nigerian fraudsters who sent out hundreds of e-mails in his name asking for money.

The e-mails claimed he had lost his wallet on charity work in Africa and needed 3,500 US dollars to get home.

Messages headed the Right Hon Jack Straw MP were sent to council bosses, government chiefs and others.

The fraudsters are thought to have hacked into computers at Mr Straw's Blackburn constituency office.

Mr Straw has confirmed the e-mails had been sent to a "significant number of people" in his address book but he said there were no security issues as it was his Blackburn e-mail address rather than his ministerial account that was targeted.

He told his local newspaper the Lancashire Telegraph: "I started getting phone calls from various constituents asking if I was really in Nigeria needing 3,000 dollars.

"It was an issue for constituents, not the government.
"We are checking all that and I am assured there's no evidence that confidentiality of constituents was affected."

When he was home secretary, Mr Straw established the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit to combat internet hackers. [Oh, the irony!]

He said: "The internet is wonderful in many ways, but these gangs put a lot of effort in because they make money from it.

"In a lot of cases they do get people to cough up.

"But I think it was so obviously ridiculous that I could go off trekking in Africa and I would lose my wallet."

The scam e-mail, which was sent to Labour members, council chiefs and Ministry of Justice officials, said Mr Straw was travelling to Africa for a project called Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, and was at an address in the Nigerian capital Lagos.

Mr Straw is quoted as saying: "I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept.

"I would like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently to settle my hotel bills and get myself back home".

The scam came to light on Thursday when Mr Straw's office received an e-mail saying its account would be suspended unless a reply was sent.

But when a member of staff replied, they were blocked out of the account.

Constituents then began to phone Mr Straw's constituency office asking about the e-mail they had received.

One is believed to have replied to the e-mail, but nobody has offered any money to the fraudsters.

The Hotmail account was suspended by Microsoft.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7908498.stm[/i]
 

jeff544

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Listen up, this can happen to you, It almost happened to my Daughter:
She is looking for a musical instrument - one that is very expensive to buy, especially a good known make. She has been looking on e bay etc, and found one, a good make and an unbelievably good price on an auction site (not e bay). My Daughter contacted the seller and it turned out that the instrument is situated a very long way from where we live so we left it at that.

Out of the blue, and after the auction time ended the seller contacted my Daughter and asked if she is still interested. She was, and after some e mails exchanged the seller offered this as a plan to get the instrument to us:

She gives the instrument to DHL to transport, DHL contact us when they are ready to deliver it. We send a cash transfer to a private individual then pass on the reference no. to DHL, who then deliver the item on 5 days approval. If we want the item we keep it, if not, contact DHL who will collect it and arrange for the payment to be refunded.

My Wife & I thought it looks a bit odd but maybe sounded plausible. I had a look at the DHL web site and very quickly found a FRAUD WARNING about this kind of transaction. http://www.dhl.co.uk/publish/gb/en/info ... .high.html
I called DHL and they confirmed that they do not offer this service. We called the whole thing off obviously. We were lucky this could have cost us over £1000.
The main clue for me was that the bogus "official" DHL information (using their logo's etc) contained some poor English. Not major but little things.

Please be warned and tell others too.
 

ProfessorF

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I was contacted regarding a laser printer I was selling, except your example shows a degree of finesse that the scammer I dealt with lacked.
It got quite amusing.
He'd tell me that PayPal would only release his funds when I provide proof of postage/courier docket.
I strung him along for a good week or so, adjusting the shipping costs, and would he adjust his payment accordingly, etc.
Good fun.
 

ramonmercado

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'Lord' jailed for £229m bank plot
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7926294.stm

"Lord" Hugh Rodley lived in a Tudor manor in Gloucestershire
A bogus peer who led a "sophisticated" plot to steal £229m from a Japanese bank has been jailed for eight years.

"Lord" Hugh Rodley, of Gloucestershire, who bought his title and lived in a manor house, was convicted of conspiracy charges dating back to 2004.

Gang members had installed spyware on computers at the London offices of Sumitomo Mitsui bank in order to steal money from big business accounts.

Four other men were jailed for a total of almost 15 years.

Rodley, 61, who lived in Tewkesbury, had teamed up with a gang of internet thieves to target the bank.

The judge in the trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court described him as the "chief executive".

The "bold and sophisticated" plot was only foiled at the 11th hour by the complexities of inter-bank money transfers, the court heard.

Bank insider and security supervisor Kevin O'Donoghue, 34, of Birmingham was jailed for four years, four months after admitting conspiracy to steal.

He unlocked the Japanese bank's London offices so the gang could make "surreptitious" visits at night, the jury was told. THE £229M BANK SWINDLE PLOT
Hugh Rodley, 61, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, guilty of conspiracies to defraud and to transfer criminal property
David Nash, 47, from Durrington, West Sussex, guilty of conspiracy to transfer criminal property
Kevin O'Donoghue, 34, of Minstead Road, Birmingham, admitted conspiracy to steal
Jan Van Osselaer, 32, of Belgium, admitted conspiracy to steal
Gilles Poelvoorde, 35, of Belgium, admitted conspiracy to steal


Heist plan that came so close

He also tampered with CCTV equipment in a bid to avoid the presence of Belgian computer expert Jan Van Osselaer, 32, and his "recruiter", Frenchman Gilles Poelvoorde, 35 being caught on camera.

Osselaer and Poelvoorde then used software to corrupt the bank's computer system, record the keystrokes of staff and reveal user names and passwords, jurors were told.

That gave them access to the holdings of major companies like Toshiba International, Nomura Asset Management and Sumitomo Chemical UK.

They made several attempts to electronically transfer up to £12.5m at a time around the world, but were unsuccessful because of "field logging errors".

The plot was discovered when staff returned to work after the weekend and realised their computers were not working properly.

Then they found a number of network cables had been "taken out".

Woman cleared

Rodley was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to transfer criminal property between 1 January and 5 October 2004.

Soho sex shop owner Nash, from Durrington, was cleared of that first same charge but convicted of the second same charge.

He had been used by Rodley to front accounts into which the funds would have been channelled, the trial heard.

Osselaer received three-and-a-half years while Poelvoorde got four after they admitted conspiracy to steal.

Soho sex shop owner David Nash, 47, from Durrington, West Sussex, was jailed for three years for his role in the plot.

He had been used by Rodley to front accounts into which the funds would have been channelled, the trial heard.

Swedish national Inger Malmros, 58, who lives in Gran Canaria, was cleared of both counts.

She had told the court she knew nothing of two instructions - allegedly from her firm - concerning the planned transfer of some of Sumitomo's cash.

A seventh defendant, Rodley's 74-year-old business partner Bernard Davies, committed suicide two days before the trial began.

'Lost will to live'

A note was read to the court in which he said he had "lost the will to live" after receiving death threats from an underworld figure because he would not reveal Rodley's and Nash's whereabouts.

Rodley did not give evidence during the trial, relying on his barrister to defend him against Nash's claims he was "the architect of all this".

But the sex shop owner went into the witness box to deny any knowledge of the bank theft plot, insisting: "I was just the driver, the security, working on a need-to-know basis."

Sumitomo Mitsui said in a statement that its systems and controls had prevented the fraud's success and that at no point were customer accounts at risk.

"Following the fraud attempt, we conducted a full review of our internal procedures and have subsequently continued to enhance them further," it added.
 

Dingo667

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This is a very different kind of Nigerian scam, sent to my husband the other day. They want his hardware :shock:



"My Dear,



My name is Destiny Duru i work with the Financial Bank of Benin , here in Benin Republic as a Manager in (Telex/Computer Section) .I am in charge of all payment into foreign bank account. I will help you if you will not deny me after i helped you.

As i was going through the computer in the morning ,i saw your name and your unpaid inheritance fund/ Expired Cheque which has been kept for quite some time now un cashed/unpaid due to some outstanding fees you need to offset before your payment could be delivered or transferred to you, though this your payment was sometime discussed with our Director, but this information i want to give to you now , do not discuss it with our Director as i will not be happy if you do and I will abandon it as soon as you inform him about this development.



You see , i am ready to credit this your money into you bank account just of Free Of Charge (FOC)since I am in charge here, i am given you 100% Assurance that i can do this for you, but on the ground that you will give me 5% or 10% of the total sum IMMEDIATELY this fund is credited into your account just as soon as the credit is effected , i will cover up every tracing point about this fund so that no one could trace or find out about this fund again. You know this thing i am embarking on is some how illegal, but i want to take the risk so that i will make some money to establish good business out there.



Please if the above suggestion is ok by you, do reply me immediately i will inform you about the next step.



Note that the Hard Disc for all foreign payments is only one and there is no way i can use the same Disc to credit your account to avoid any trace and on that ground you will have to buy a Hard Disc in your country and send to me so that i will transmit all your file into it and later use it to credit your account. You don't need to spend money any more before you receive your money except the Hard Disc you will buy and send to me. I would have asked you to send money to buy it here in Africa , but for the fact that it will be cheaper in your country than here; hence i wanted you to buy it there and send it to me. The name of the Hard Disc is (TIAC.U12 HDD) and please do not buy any one made in Taiwan, the best is the one made in England ok please take note, and what is needed is just one Hard Disc only to execute this transaction either the small size or the big size any one among them can serve ok. This Hard Disc is used for crediting of an account, only use in the bank and financial houses. Just buy it and send it to me immediately so that before the next 48hrs the job will be completed.



Thanking you in advance for your understanding.



Yours sincerely,



DESTINY DURU (FINANCIAL BANK OF BENIN )"
 

jeff544

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That all sounds very complicated!
Note again the poor English. I think that is a giveaway.

I keep getting phone calls asking if I am considering selling my time share. This might well be above board, BUT I DO NOT HAVE A TIME SHARE. It worries me a bit, that somewhere there is a piece of information that says I do, that I would find hard to refute. I have asked what information these people have to suggest I own one, but they go all elusive and will not disclose anything.
is anyone else having this?

We are registered with TPS http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/tps/ which is very good, but the odd call still comes through.
 

Quake42

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I keep getting phone calls asking if I am considering selling my time share. This might well be above board, BUT I DO NOT HAVE A TIME SHARE. It worries me a bit, that somewhere there is a piece of information that says I do, that I would find hard to refute. I have asked what information these people have to suggest I own one, but they go all elusive and will not disclose anything.
is anyone else having this?
Not timeshares, but I got a call earlier today from a gentleman with a strong Indian accent who claimed to be calling from the "MS Windows monitoring centre" or similar. He said that he had received reports that my computer was running slowly. I said I had no problem with my computer and asked where he had obtained this information. He said the computer had sent the information directly. I expressed some scepticism and asked who he was where he was calling from. He gave a non-Indian name (I can't recall it now) and claimed to be calling from Bradford. Despite repeated requests he wouldn't give the company name, but kept saying he was working for "Windows", etc.

I got fed up by this stage - I'm on the TPS list too - said he had the wrong number, and hung up. I thought it was all a bit odd but a quick Google indicates this is a fairly well-known scam aimed at making people believe their PC is infected with viruses and that they need to purchase expensive anti-virus software to combat the problem.

So, if you do get a call like this, don't get taken in!
 

rynner2

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Metal detector user David Hutchings jailed for selling fake coins
David Brown

A metal detector enthusiast who claimed to have discovered hoards of valuable antiquities during years of treasure hunting has been convicted of selling modern fakes.

David Hutchings, known to fellow users as “Coldfeet”, was renowned for finding rare items. But his reputation lies in tatters after he pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and was jailed for six months.

Hutchings, 43, was the organiser of the Coventry Moles metal detecting club, which held archaeological searches across the Midlands. He used legitimate digs to “discover” fake items before passing them off as genuine antiquities. Some buyers were told that the items had been verified at the British Museum.

Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit raided his home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, after an Essex-based dealer raised concerns about a set of coins Hutchings was trying to sell.

During the searches they discovered a number of real coins that are believed to have been used as a base for test striking during the manufacture of some of the fake items.

Warwick Crown Court was told last week that Hutchings had tried to sell the Essex dealer £2,000 worth of coins that he said dated from the 1st to the 8th century. He had already sold similar coins to two other dealers for a total of £1,400.

Experts from the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, assessed the coins and concluded that all had either been manufactured by casting in a mould or struck using forged dies.

When questioned by police, Hutchings, who was unemployed, claimed that he had bought the coins from two dealers, “Gary and Steve”, believing they were genuine. Hutchings — who used other names including David Chester and Roy Chestert — said that he did not know where the dealers were.

Hutchings has been the subject of speculation among metal-detecting enthusiasts. Despite many dramatic finds over the years, there had been growing suspicion about his claims to have discovered antiquities many miles from where they would normally be found.

There were also rumours that he had been involved in “nighthawking”, illegally looting protected historical sites.

Roy Blunt, a verifier for the UK Detector Finds Database said that Hutchings had recorded about 80 finds in recent years.

“He is a strange character,” he said. “There was a general view that the find-spots he recorded were not reliable. He seemed to find items where you would not normally expect to see them.”

Mr Blunt said he had first raised concern about Hutchings when he recorded an Anglo Saxon Shilling which he claimed to have found in Warwickshire in July 2007. Two experts later contacted him challenging its legitimacy.

Another metal detector user said last night: “Coldfeet was known as a bit of a rogue. We are pleased he has been jailed — we don’t need people like him damaging the reputation of detectoring.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 261804.ece
 

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'Fake' claims over Nefertiti bust

The famous bust of Queen Nefertiti believed to be 3,400 years old could be a fake, according to an art historian.

Henri Stierlin, who has studied the subject for 25 years, claims the bust of the Egyptian beauty is a 1912 copy.
 

ramonmercado

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'Man in wetsuit' claiming yacht stolen has case adjourned
Mark Hilliard

A MAN who arrived at a Wexford hotel in a wetsuit claiming that pirates had stolen his €100,000 yacht while on a voyage up the Irish coast had his prosecution for making false statements adjourned at a court hearing last week.

Marek Kucia, 38, a Polish national with an address in Mallow, Co Cork, claimed that when he arrived off the coast of Courtown in Co Wexford, two men boarded his yacht and took it in an act of piracy.

On 28 July last year, Kucia arrived at a hotel where, dressed in a wetsuit, he told his story in broken English and was brought to meet a translator at Gorey garda station.

In a separate incident in the same month, Kucia had made up a story of having his jet ski stolen by a gang of four men while visiting Lough Derg.

He later conceded that both stories were false.

In Gorey District Court earlier this year, Kucia admitted a charge of making a false statement tending to show an offence had been committed at Gorey garda station and to giving false information and that he had made a false statement in Killaloe garda station in Co Clare.

At a sitting in February, his solicitor said Kucia had told him his family owed €50,000 to the Polish mafia but added that he did not know if this was true.

Kucia, who has no previous convictions, has lived in Ireland for five years and has a wife and a 14-year-old son.

He had worked for some time as a truck driver and is currently completing a Fás computer course.

His solicitor said that he had suffered from psychiatric difficulties in the past and recommended that he be sent for an assessment.

Psychiatric reports were submitted last week and the court head that Kucia was very remorseful for his actions.

Judge Donnchadh O'Buac­halla had remanded the defendant on continuing bail until the production of a probation report last week.

The case was adjourned again last week ahead of sentencing.

www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2 ... case-adjo/
 

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Criminal gangs target car buyers

Criminal gangs are duping car buyers out of millions of pounds each year by using adverts on reputable trade websites, the BBC has learned.

The "virtual vehicle" scam also involves fake shipping websites that promise to safeguard the buyer's money.

The Metropolitan Police say 21,000 fraudulent sites were shut down in the UK last year. :shock:

The Met warn that unless buyers see the car for themselves, it is likely to be an offer that is too good to be true.

According to BBC correspondent Fiona Trott, criminals will place an advert on a reputable website, like Auto Trader or E-Bay, but for a vehicle that does not belong to them.

But the ad looks legitimate and the websites themselves are none the wiser.

Then, the fraudsters direct you to another website that is supposed to look after your cash until the car is shipped to you.

But this one is fake and the money goes straight into their bank accounts, our correspondent added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8090559.stm
 

rynner2

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Isn't democracy wonderful? :roll:
[Iran Election]

....Mr Mousavi's cancellation of the protest came as sporadic disturbances continued around the Iranian capital, and reports circulated of leaked interior ministry statistics showing him as the clear victor in last Friday's polls.

The statistics, circulated on Iranian blogs and websites, claimed Mr Mousavi had won 19.1 million votes while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won only 5.7 million.

The two other candidates, reformist Mehdi Karoubi and hardliner Mohsen Rezai, won 13.4 million and 3.7 million respectively. The authenticity of the leaked figures could not be confirmed.

Mr Mousavi has accused Iran's government of "fraud" after Mr Ahmadinejad was declared on Saturday to have 62.6 per cent of the vote, making him the landslide winner. The capital has been rocked by disturbances for the last three days.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... third.html
On the radio (Friday, Saturday?) I heard that a poll of London-based Iranians showed they had voted about 90% against Ahmadinejad, although the 'official' result showed he'd won! :shock:
 

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Iran's Supreme Leader orders election inquiry as opposition defies rally ban
Jenny Booth

Iran's Supreme Leader has ordered an investigation into the disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad, reversing his earlier decree that the result was fair.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's intervention came as Iran braced itself for a third day of street protests by reformists, who claim that official voting figures giving Mr Ahmadinejad 63 per cent in last Friday's election were rigged, and a "charade".

Ayatollah Khamenei, who has the final say on all strategic matters, had described the result as fair and urged the country to unite behind Mr Ahmadinejad.

Today it emerged, however, that he had met the defeated opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi last night and ordered the powerful Guardians Council to examine his allegations of vote-rigging.

"Naturally in this election, complaints should be followed through legal channels," Ayatollah Khamenei told Mr Mousavi, according to Iranian state television. "It is necessary you follow the issue calmly."

etc...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 502374.ece
 

ramonmercado

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Maybe this needs a thread of its own.

Here are articles about the election.

The Iranian Election a ‘Legacy of Martyred Flowers’
by Farah Mokhtareizadeh


The Iranian government’s campaign to mold ‘model’ Islamic citizens has not only fashioned a profound crisis of loyalty to the religious ‘ideals of the revolution’, it has nurtured action that many have silently prayed for - as the public sphere, the last bastion of the religious elites grip on power, was shot open by their own guns Sunday.

https://www.indymedia.ie/article/92744

Secret Police Open Fire At Opposition Demo In Tehran
by Chicherin (me)


Iranian Secret Police have fired on the crowds protesting against the stealing of the Presidential election. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the "defeated" oresidential candidate had previously addressed the crowd. The demonstrators gathered in Tehran's Revolution Square, chanting pro-Mousavi slogans as riot police menaced them. "Mousavi we support you. We will die, but retrieve our votes," they shouted, many wearing the green of Mousavi's election campaign.
https://www.indymedia.ie/article/92719

Support the mass struggles in Iran

Yassamine Mather, chair of Hands Off the People of Iran, assesses the highly fluid situation in Iran. She calls for support for the mass demonstrations but warns against any illusions in Mir_Hossain Moussavi.

It is no surprise that the highly contested results of the presidential
elections in Iran have sparked unrest in Tehran and other cities across
Iran. The level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of
Iran's Islamic Republic regime. Clearly, the results are the final proof
that confirms that the whole electoral process is deeply undemocratic and
rigged from top to bottom:

https://www.indymedia.ie/article/92697

Heres a press release I sent out today:

Press Release: No Embargo.

Hands off The People of Iran’ calls for solidarity with the masses in their struggle for liberation!

No to imperialist intervention!

Demonstrate Saturday 20th June at 1.00pm - All Welcome
Outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
72 Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin

Demo followed by meeting at 3.30pm
Seomra Spraoi, 10 Belvedere Court, off Gardiner Street

Join us in showing solidarity with the masses in Iran who have taken to the streets in outrage against the rigged elections. This is a revolt against a deeply repressive state. The situation is Iranian is on a knife-edge. Hopi supporters are in daily contact with Iran. We are pushing for maximum solidarity from the working class movement here in Ireland to progressive forces in Iran. The upsurge against theocratic rule should not derailed by reformists from within the Iranian regime itself. Moussavi was himself a demagogue during his 8 years in power. He is not a solution but a danger to the struggle for mass democracy.

Anne McShane of HOPI Ireland said:

Too many have already lost their lives at the hands of the state forces. We call for immediate, unconditional release of all prisoners arrested and for the withdrawal of state forces from the streets. The ban on reporting and on use of the Internet must be lifted immediately. We are pushing for maximum solidarity from the working class movement here in Ireland to progressive forces in Iran. The upsurge against theocratic rule should not derailed by reformists from within the Iranian regime itself.

Yassamine Mather, chair of Hands Off the People of Iran UK said:

It is no surprise that the highly contested results of the presidential elections in Iran have sparked unrest in Tehran and other cities across Iran. The level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of Iran's Islamic Republic regime. Clearly, the results are the final proof that confirms that the whole electoral process is deeply undemocratic and rigged from top to bottom.

Irrespective of the illusions of his supporters, Moussai is no radical opponent of the regime. For eight years, Moussavi served as prime minister of the Islamic republic. He was deeply involved in the arms-for-hostages deals with the Reagan administration in the1980s, what came to be known as ‘Irangate’. He also played a prominent role in the brutal wave of repression in the 1980s that killed a generation of Iranian leftists. During this period, thousands of socialists and communists were jailed, with many of them executed while in prison.


Contact Anne on 086 2343 238 or at [email protected]
 

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London Marathon man, 75, runs into 'too fast' cheat row... for covering 12 miles in 43 minutes
By James Tozer
Last updated at 7:47 AM on 20th June 2009

He has run more than 400 marathons all over the world, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
And at 75, Alan Morton is apparently still going strong, coming seventh in the over-70 age group at the London Marathon in April.
But last night, the veteran runner was at the centre of extraordinary allegations amid suspicions that he may have taken a short cut during the second half of the race.

According to the electronic timing chip worn by all runners, Mr Morton finished in an impressive 4 hours 16 minutes and 23 seconds.
But members of his running club began to suspect something was amiss after examining his split times over the course of 26 miles and 385 yards, or 42.195km.

He passed the 20km mark in just under 3 hours 9 minutes, which put him on schedule to finish in around six and a half hours.
However, no more chip times were recorded for him until the 40km mark, which he passed in 3 hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds.

That means he would have had to cover the second 20km (12 and a half miles) in a staggering 43 minutes, far quicker than Haile Gebrselassie's pace when he set the marathon world record of 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 seconds in Berlin last year.
If he had run the whole course at this speed, Mr Morton would have won outright, beating the world's top runners by more than half an hour. :shock:

The absurd times led fellow members of Bro Dysynni Athletics Club in North Wales to invite him to explain. Instead, he handed in his resignation, saying he was 'sick of the whole issue'.

The club chairman Helen Williams said: 'So far as the club is concerned the matter is now closed.'

etc...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... nutes.html
 

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Sly children fool exercise study

Children taking part in a study to measure how much exercise they do fooled researchers by attaching their pedometers to their pet dogs.

About 200 children in east London were given pedometers to automatically count how many steps they walked and ran.

Mile End Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine was surprised by the activity levels recorded in some obese children.

Professor Nicola Maffulli said: "Then we realised they were attaching the pedometers to their dogs' collars."

The pilot study in Tower Hamlets required each child to clip a pedometer to their waist, with researchers at the centre collecting the readings by satellite.

"But after a week we found there were some kids who were extremely active but still obese," said Professor Maffulli.

It was "not unheard of" for participants in previous studies to manipulate the readings of pedometers, he added.

Once adjusted to take into account the help from pets, the study indicated that boys in the borough walk or run 12,620 steps a day, below the recommended level of 15,000 steps.

It also found that girls take 10,150 steps, falling short of the recommended 12,000 steps.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8143364.stm
 

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Law student who cheated her way out of £3,200 breast op bill
By Chris Brooke
Last updated at 12:48 AM on 11th July 2009

A law student used a fake identity to get a £3,200 breast enlargement operation for free, a court heard.
Nina Burmis, 19, who had her chest boosted to a 32CC, also tried to get a mortgage for a £77,500 house using false details.
Yesterday her hopes of a career in law were in ruins after she was given a suspended prison sentence for fraud.

Burmis, described by fellow students as 'having more front than Blackpool' 8) , won a place at Hull University to study law, despite two previous shoplifting convictions.
But she was unwilling to accept the financial limits of life as a student and soon began to live beyond her means.

In November last year, using the assumed name Jayne Ladylock, Burmis arranged the breast enlargement with the Transform cosmetic surgery clinic in Hull.
Prosecutor Nick Adlington said Burmis handed over a £500 cheque as a deposit. Although the cheque bounced, she had the surgery in Manchester on December 12 last year before suspicions were aroused.
Clinic staff called police in when the second-year undergraduate missed her post-operative check.
At the same time Burmis was involved in an equally brazen mortgage sting for a house in Hull.

She claimed to be working fulltime for a construction company, providing a forged reference and payslip in an attempt to get a mortgage from the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.
She handed over a £5,900 deposit cheque to estate agents, knowing the bank account had been closed and it would be rejected. Unsurprisingly, her con quickly unravelled and checks revealed she had never worked for the building firm.

Burmis pleaded guilty to three fraud charges relating to the cosmetic surgery and house purchase bid. Sentencing Burmis at Hull Crown Court yesterday, Judge Michael Mettyear gave her a nine-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, and ordered her to do 200 hours' supervised unpaid work, adding: 'You can still regard yourself as lucky. Many other judges would have sent you to prison straight away.'

Given the nature of her convictions it will now be impossible for Burmis to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister, said a local Law Society representative.
She faces further legal action under the Proceeds of Crime Act later this year to recover cash to pay for her cosmetic surgery.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... boost.html
 

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Shot down - Capa's classic image of war
For decades the authenticity of these classic Spanish Civil War photographs has been debated. But a new study claims to have settled the argument
By Elizabeth Nash
Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The photograph of a soldier falling to his death after being shot on a grassy hillside is probably the best known image of the Spanish Civil War, the photographer hailed as the founder of modern photojournalism.

But the authenticity of Robert Capa's dramatic photo has been repeatedly disputed since it appeared in September 1936, with regular efforts made to establish exactly where it was taken, and of whom.

New evidence revealed this week suggests that the young Hungarian hailed as one of the world's finest war photographers may have staged his classic picture after all.

The so-called "falling soldier" was not photographed near Cerro Muriano in Andalusia, as has been claimed, but about 50km to the south-west, near the town of Espejo far from the frontline on a day when there was no military action, a Catalan newspaper claims.

"Capa photographed his soldier at a location where there was no fighting," wrote the daily El Periodico on Friday. The paper carried out a detailed study of Capa's pictures taken in September 1936, three months after the conflict broke out.

"The real location, some 10km from an inactive battle front, demonstrates that the death was not real," the paper says.

The claim is backed with photos taken very recently on a hillside near Espejo that show a mountainous skyline that appears to match exactly that of Capa's photo. The background to the falling soldier never pointed conclusively to its location. The key to unlocking the decades-long mystery rather lies in two other photos taken by Capa in the same series, which is currently on show in Barcelona.

One shows a militiaman lying on the ground, and the next, a line of kneeling soldiers aiming rifles. The background landscape threads continuously across the three photographs, and this is the skyline echoed in the new photos. Capa's photos purport to show movements of a group of young milicianos in action against Franco's troops who rebelled against Spain's republic. "But the location proves beyond reasonable doubt that the sequence was a flagrant fake, a setup," Ernst Alos, who wrote the report, told The Independent yesterday.

The Capa photos form part of the acclaimed exhibition "This is War" that opened recently in Barcelona, having travelled from New York and more recently from London.

There was fighting in Espejo only on 22 and 25 September, nearly three weeks after Capa and his companion Gerda Taro had left Cerro Muriano. The photo of the falling soldier had by then appeared in the French magazine Vu. Franco's troops were at least 15 miles away, in Montilla, near Cordoba, and the hillside in the shot faced areas still under republican control, Mr Alos said.

It seems "unlikely" that those in the photo could have received enemy bullets, especially since no deaths or injuries were reported by combatants there until the end of September. That would scotch the theory ventured by Capa's biographer, Richard Whelan, that militiamen on manoeuvres were "playing around" for the camera, and were picked off by a sniper.

etc...

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 54405.html
 

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Smoker tricked into paying fine
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 183564.stm

A man was conned out of £80 by a bogus council official after dropping a cigarette butt in a town centre.

The 24-year-old victim, from Stone, was confronted by the man on Sunday evening as he walked out of an alleyway off High Street in Stone, Staffordshire.

The offender claimed to be issuing an £80 on-the-spot fine for littering, saying the victim would go to court if he did not pay immediately.

The offender is described as white, in his late 20s/early 30s and 6ft tall.

He is also described as being of medium build and he was wearing a black cap, a green rain coat and black trousers.

Sgt Dave Ingham, from Stone police, said: "Stafford Borough Council wardens have the power to issue £75 fixed penalty notices for littering, but on-the-spot payment is not required.

"Wardens carry ID and wear high-visibility jackets which are clearly labelled 'Streetscene Enforcement Officer'.

"This was an opportunist offender who frightened the man into giving him cash."

Anyone with information has been asked to call Staffordshire Police or Crimestoppers.
 

MsPix

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Hmmm - there were some cheap high visibility jackets on the market and stencilling Enforcement officer should be easy...
 

OneWingedBird

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It's amazing what you can get up to in a high vis jacket :twisted:
 

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BlackRiverFalls said:
It's amazing what you can get up to in a high vis jacket :twisted:
Especially if you also have a clipboard and/or an official looking notebook.
 

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Colombian guilty of pyramid scam
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8187429.stm

Murcia Guzman has still to be sentenced
A Colombian businessman has been found guilty of running a pyramid scheme that collapsed last year with thousands of people losing their life savings.

David Murcia Guzman, 28, was convicted by a court in Bogota of money-laundering and illicit enrichment.

He led the DMG Group, which promised returns of well over 100%.

Its collapse last November led to widespread street protests across the country by investors. Two people died in the unrest.

Murcia Guzman was extradited from Panama to Colombia last November to face accusations that his business was a pyramid scheme that amassed millions of dollars and duped at least 200,000 Colombians out of their life savings.

The demise of DMG provoked protests both by those angry at the loss of their money but also by investors who insisted that the company was legitimate and that the government had forced its collapse.

Murcia Guzman is still to be sentenced and faces 10 to 15 years in jail, Colombian media report.

His lawyer said the verdict was "political", the Associated Press reported.
 

Abendstern

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I found a new fishing attempt I'd never encountered before when I looked at my inbox this morning....I still fail to grasp how anyone actually from NZ would make such simple grammatical errors, but otherwise it's just like the 419 scams with different scenery. I'm currently job hunting at the moment, and I wonder if this is a response to current trends. Quite who would be fooled into applying for a job as an 'earnest assistant' with these goons continues to baffle....even if it WERE a real tendered offer I'd have trouble telling friends and family I worked at BJ Ball's!

Dear Sir/Ma,
The BJ Ball Group is a leading distributor of Paper & Packaging products into the Australasian and Pacific regions. The BJ Ball Group comprises BJ Ball Papers (New Zealand's oldest paper merchant, est.1921), Kirby Papers, Reel Papers, and the newly acquired Typecut Graphics.

Through our Converting Facility, we offer tailored solutions for our customers and happily provide a full sample and mock-up service.

Most of our customers from Australia, Canada, US & UK pay through various terms of payment which some are not negotiable here in New Zealand. This brings our quest to employ a credible and trustworthy fellow as our representative to handle our payments. This would not affect your present job but add more to your income.

Being our representative and assisting us in processing the payments from our clients should earn you a commission of 10% of every payment you coordinate.

Once we makes a sale we deliver the product to a customer (usually through UPS).The customer receives and check the products. After this has been done, the customer has to pay for the products. About 90 percent of our customers prefer to pay through Bank Wire Transfers. We have decided to open this new job position for solving this problem. Your tasks are;

1. Receive payment from Customers through your Bank Accounts /or Credit Cards,

2. Deduct 10% which will be your percentage/pay on Payments processed

3. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the offices you will be contacted to send payment to. (Payment is to forwarded by Local transfers (Western Union only). A local Money transfer takes barely hours, so it will give us a possibility to get customers payment almost immediately.

For example you have got £50,000.00

You take your income: £5,000.00

You will be able to operate with larger orders and you will be able to earn more.

Our payments will be sent to your bank, deduct your 10% and forward the balance to the company via Western Union only.

We understand it is an unusual and incredible job position. This job takes only 3-7 hours per week.

You Will have a lot of free time doing another job, you will get good income and regular job. But this job is very challenging and you should understand it. We are looking only for the worker who satisfies our requirements and will be an earnest assistant. We are glad to offer this job position to you. If you feel that you are serious about this and earnest worker, All we will need for recording you to our database is below:

Full Name:- ................

Address:- ....................

Age:- ................

Your Mobile Phone Number:- .........

Mr William Smith,

Managing Director,

BJ Ball Group.

121 Hugo Johnson Drive

PO Box 12-544

Penrose,

Auckland.
 

KarlD

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Abendstern said:
I found a new fishing attempt I'd never encountered before when I looked at my inbox this morning....I still fail to grasp how anyone actually from NZ would make such simple grammatical errors, but otherwise it's just like the 419 scams with different scenery. I'm currently job hunting at the moment, and I wonder if this is a response to current trends. Quite who would be fooled into applying for a job as an 'earnest assistant' with these goons continues to baffle....even if it WERE a real tendered offer I'd have trouble telling friends and family I worked at BJ Ball's!

Dear Sir/Ma,
The BJ Ball Group is a leading distributor of Paper & Packaging products into the Australasian and Pacific regions. The BJ Ball Group comprises BJ Ball Papers (New Zealand's oldest paper merchant, est.1921), Kirby Papers, Reel Papers, and the newly acquired Typecut Graphics.

Through our Converting Facility, we offer tailored solutions for our customers and happily provide a full sample and mock-up service.

Most of our customers from Australia, Canada, US & UK pay through various terms of payment which some are not negotiable here in New Zealand. This brings our quest to employ a credible and trustworthy fellow as our representative to handle our payments. This would not affect your present job but add more to your income.

Being our representative and assisting us in processing the payments from our clients should earn you a commission of 10% of every payment you coordinate.

Once we makes a sale we deliver the product to a customer (usually through UPS).The customer receives and check the products. After this has been done, the customer has to pay for the products. About 90 percent of our customers prefer to pay through Bank Wire Transfers. We have decided to open this new job position for solving this problem. Your tasks are;

1. Receive payment from Customers through your Bank Accounts /or Credit Cards,

2. Deduct 10% which will be your percentage/pay on Payments processed

3. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the offices you will be contacted to send payment to. (Payment is to forwarded by Local transfers (Western Union only). A local Money transfer takes barely hours, so it will give us a possibility to get customers payment almost immediately.

For example you have got £50,000.00

You take your income: £5,000.00

You will be able to operate with larger orders and you will be able to earn more.

Our payments will be sent to your bank, deduct your 10% and forward the balance to the company via Western Union only.

We understand it is an unusual and incredible job position. This job takes only 3-7 hours per week.

You Will have a lot of free time doing another job, you will get good income and regular job. But this job is very challenging and you should understand it. We are looking only for the worker who satisfies our requirements and will be an earnest assistant. We are glad to offer this job position to you. If you feel that you are serious about this and earnest worker, All we will need for recording you to our database is below:

Full Name:- ................

Address:- ....................

Age:- ................

Your Mobile Phone Number:- .........

Mr William Smith,

Managing Director,

BJ Ball Group.

121 Hugo Johnson Drive

PO Box 12-544

Penrose,

Auckland.

Its quite a clever con because with a stolen foreign cheque it takes three weeks before the bank in the U.K here finds out, so as far as the mark is concerned the funds go into his bank, he takes ten percent payment, forwards the rest, weeks later the bank takes the cleared funds back, the mark has just lost funds to the value of the cheque.
Although the mark is going to be expecting to see cheques made out to the ficticious comapny not just random ones which have been stolen.I suppose that anyone stupid enough to think that a company is going to loose 10% of its income simply to have a cheque cashed isn't going to be thinking too clearly.
 
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