This post is to pass on a warning after Jurang was targeted by Ghanian fraudsters last week. I will add details such as mobile numbers, e-mail addresses and names so that people searching Google will be able to find this page and be protected; as not everyone seems to immediately be suspicious and from visiting a few other blogs, it seems many people still fall for this scam!
The basic scam is this. You are asked to send something abroad and payment for products and shipping will be made up front by credit card; the customer also gives you detailed of the freight company; which you are asked to contact. So you receive payment and then pass on some to a fake Freight Forwarding company (essentially, you are paying money back to the fraudster, as they are the customer as well as the freight forwarder). Once that is done, the goods are not collected and the customers issues a card chargeback because he/she has not received the goods. The chargeback means you have to pay back all the money, including the shipping money, which unfortunately you have already forwarded so this is your loss and this is how the fraudster makes money. In our case the goods cost £3100 and shipping was quoted at £950. If we were to proceed, we would have paid £950 to the Freight Forwarder (which is the same guy as the customer) and be left with £3100 for the goods. However, we would have received a chargeback for £4050 and as such have lost the £950.
Initial contact was made through our contact form by Rev. Father Chris Johns, e-mail address: email@example.com – asking for the price of a Bravilor Iso Coffee Machine. That’s when the first alarm bell started ringing as the price, with and without VAT is clearly advertised on our website and if the reverend father could find our contact form, he would surely be able to find our coffee machines prices!
However, I decided to at least reply and see what would come. Things then quickly started to get more scammy. All of the sudden the dear reverend father Chris Johns was living in Ohio, but still had some strange UK mobile number: 07031 884185. I was then asked to contact McDan Freight Forwarders; which apparently is a genuine and reputable company in Ghana that is suffering from abuse of their good name by fraudsters. E-mail was for Mark at the address: firstname.lastname@example.org
At this point I decided to play the game and see what information I could get out of them that would help others. A few more e-mails went back and forth and I simply stayed courteous and didn’t make any promises. At the end I obviously pulled out and didn’t hear from them again. I advise you to do the same! If you are interested in finding out more, I have compiled a PDF with a copy of all the e-mails sent, which might help if you think you are in the same position. Download the PDF by clicking here