It has come to our attention that AudioWeb has become the
target of a scam (illegal theft, trickery, etc.). Basically, a person going by the name John
Kojo or Mr. Benjamin will claim to be interested in buying something you are selling on
AudioWeb, yet have a check sent valued over the amount of the product. The specific
name of the scam artist is not important, the basic idea of the scam is. He
you to Western Union the extra amount of the check to him.
Naturally the check is forged and you will be out thousands of dollars.
Usually this check will clear your bank account due to United
States banking laws insisting funds are available within a certain period of
time. Due to various financial institution routing, the check basically
"hangs" within the system long enough to force the funds to become available,
when in fact the real funds are bogus. When your bank discovers the funds are
not available they take the money back out of your account (and possibly
charge you a bounced check fee). Please
see below check and e-mail offered simply as an example. The check you receive
will most probably be different as will the names accordingly. Again, it is
the basic idea of this scam that is important.
From: john kojo [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
To: Your E-Mail Address
Subject: RE: Your For Sale listing on AudioWeb
thanks for your mail. i will instruct a client of mine who is owing me $5,750 to issue a cashiers check in your name and once the check clears in your
bank, you will deduct cost of the goods and my balance is sent back to me through western union money
transfer. this is so cos it takes time for american checks to clear over here but takes a few days to clear over
there. let me have your name and address that will be written on the check and as soon as the check is sent to you, i will let you
know. i am already arranging for shipping to DUBAI let me hear from you soon.
From: john kojo [mailto:email@example.com]
To: Your E-Mail Adress
Subject: URGENT REPLY
Dear Your Name,
How are you today and every body around you?, hope fine. I have been busy for the past few
days, my client told me you should expect the cheque today that is before thursday via FEDEX COURRIER
SERVICE. he said the cheque would clear within 24hours because it is a Certified Cashier's
Cheque. Dear once you cash the funds today, i will want you to deduct your amount and send the balance to my personal assistant through western union money transfer. Below are directions on how to send the money via western union money transfer; i would want you to go immediately to western union outlets either in gas station or supermaket close to you and have the balance sent to my personal assistant today as soon as you cash the cheque so that he will start arranging to come and pick-up the GOODS latest on friday morning.
my personal assistant information are as follows:
please this is the information that you will use in sending the balance to my personal assistant.
You should deduct the western union charges from my balance. Once the money has been
wired, i will need the Control (referrence) number, amount sent, test question and answer with the sender's information that is sender's name and address so i can forward it to my shipper to pick-up the Funds, and start making his trip to your house to pick-up the GOODS on friday morning, as soon as he receive's the payment from you today and tomorrow morning.
And i would like you to send the sales invioce to;
Johnkodex inc ltd
20 Rue du commerce.
you scan the invioce to this box for scaning will be better and faster. and every other infomations like purchasing order shipping
informations. that you will be needing from me, i will make sure that my shipper come's with them on friday morning after he might have received the money today. Blow are western union outlets close to you that i want you to go and send my balance back my personal assistant for the shipping of GOODS please go immediately to one of this people and have the funds sent because they are cheaper than the bank and also faster in transaction than the bank;
Western Union Agent locations/Addresses Hours Available Services
Send/Payout Money Transfer
Looking forward to do more Business with you. My regards to you and your family.
To learn more about this rip-off, please see www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/alert/2003-3.txt.
Note, the bank the check is drawn on is different from the link above, yet
the scam is the same. Those of you with fraudulent checks from Commerce Bank
Fraud Detection Manager
Voice: (816) 234-2072
Fax: (816) 760-3161
And now a letter from Eugene Arnold (Economic/Commercial Officer) American Embassy Lome, Togo:
Dear Mr. Rochlin,
Mr. Fitzgerald asked me to look at your e-mail and reply to you. Thank you for your concern and for forwarding the link describing yet another version of the many scams that originate in West Africa. The Department of State is working closely with other US government agencies and host governments in the region to combat this sort of fraud. Unfortunately the scam artists are careful to use aliases and other false information. For example the name John Kojo is a common name in the region, akin to John Smith in the US, making it very hard to trace. A quick check of the telephone book and local directories revealed no listings for A. Francis Gbologan, or Johnkodex Inc LTD. We will forward your e-mail to the Togolese authorities responsible for fraud investigations.
American Embassy Lome
BP 852, Lome, Togo
Tel. (228) 221-2991
Fax (228) 221-7952
This message is UNCLASSIFIED according to E.O. 12958.