Hey guys, be on the lookout for this scam !
Works as follows:
I get a phonecall from somebody in Zimbabwe looking for a supplier of mining equipment/spares.
I say ok fine, but send me an email with the details and the contact person/s
The email arrives within a few minutes and this is what it looks like:
Date: 27 September 2013 at 12:43:24 SAST
Subject: Business Proposal
Good day Martin Coetzee,
I trust this mail finds you well. As per our telephone discussion
earlier on, please find below the specifications of the Drill Bits we
are looking for.
Bergmann BL series *Part no# BL9575(GERMAN MADE).
As I explained to you briefly, the company that used to supply us was
liquidated we are currently looking for an urgent supply and/or
supplier. We used to pay them USD$1200.00 per unit and I have used the
same as suggested prices. We are looking for 150 Bergmann drill bits
every month and when products are ready, we would need to come and do
the inspection down there in South Africa. When satisfied we then do
the full payment for the Drill Bits at our bank in Johannesburg. If
you are interested we are prepared to offer a 12 months contract for a
Please find attached a confirmed order form to speed up the process as
we have run out of stock.
We looking forward doing business with you.
For further information kindly contact us:
Senior Purchasing Manager
XXXXXX Gold Mine
Private Bag X000
Tel: (274) xxxxxx
Fax: 086 xxxxxxxxxx
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (note the .com )
(Pro Forma Order attached)
So what does a business hungry guy do ? ….....................You Google for the part number.
Low and behold, you find a site in SA that carries the item. ( Wow )
So I give them a call and speak to Vic. Yes they carry the part and the price is R 5500 per each and they do have stock.
So I make a quick calculation and man ! Is there PROFIT in this deal. ( Sounds to good to be true! ) and on top of this the mine offers me a supply contract for at least a year, but before we can conclude any deal Witness needs to physically inspect some samples to make sure it is the right stuff before the mine deposits the full amount (for 150 pieces ) into my bank account. ( USD 180000 + VAT) The goods will be collected in a few days time as soon as the bank deposit is cleared. So far I see no problem, right ? In order to make 100% sure the goods is of the correct quality, they want to see at least 15 to 20 samples. ( Huh ? )
As you can see in the email, the mine is desperate and things have to move fast and I also need to get samples fast ! I phone Vic for the samples and get told that they only supply in quantities of 50 per pre-packed box and cannot supply less than this quantity. Make a quick calculation and see this is going to cost R 275000.00 plus VAT but I can sell this for+- R 600000.00 plus VAT ( A handsome profit ! ) for not doing much work. Vic assures me that should the product not be acceptable they will refund in full within 14 days and thereafter charge a 2% handling fee. ( So, ok we are covered ! )
Vic sends the Invoice for 50 units and we see the company is in Port Elizabeth ( Huh ! ) So we phone back ( Cell phone ) and speak to the owner ( Afrikaans speaking european guy ) who claims that he sells “hundreds” of these drill bits all over the country and he needs to be close to a harbor and hence PE. ( Still a little fishy, but yes )
We now put the thinking caps on and Google the supplier address as well as the mine (which turns out there is a mine in the area described by their website ) but we cannot locate the supplier exact street address on Google Maps.( The closest is a motor scrapyard ) So the next best thing is to fly down to PE and speak to these guys direct. “Vic, how do we get to your offices ?”...............”No problem, I shall fetch you at the airport which is very close to our office”
So we Google Maps again and see that the approximate street address is NOT very close to the airport.
It is starting to smell now ...................... In the meantime Witness phones on a regular basis to find out when he can view the samples. We phone Vic and tell him that we are on our way to see him.
By now I have phoned a few friends to check out the websites for me. Yes you have guessed it, very suspicious fake sites and after looking at the IP addresses of the emails from both the mine and the supplier turns out to come from Cape Town ! Ok, how did the cellphone numbers from Zim look authentic ? Easy............you buy a few phones and sim cards in Zim and you use the roaming facility which still shows your Zim number. At no stage could we reach the mine by landline. It also turns out that there is no such product with that part number available in the world ! ( Except from the guy in PE )
Just to stir a little we phone Witness and tell him that the samples are ready and when can he come down to view these ?
No response !!
So, to conclude, the scamsters are in SA and even a Boertjie is involved !