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jayjayuf
Not quite a Newb


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Mon - Fri 9- 6 Earth- other times - unknown


PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Guys,

I have been on the outskirts of this world for some time, now I need some serious input.

I work for a small ethical investment company in central London,

My boss has recently been introduced to a nigerian friend of one of his trusted colleagues.

This Nigerian wants to promote our French investment properties to his wealthy nigerian friends (based in Nigeria), now I am far from racist and don't want to write off a whole nation but I do have to voice my concerns.

I am aware of all of the usual scams, overpayment, flashing accounts etc,

I have written an e-mail below which i will be sending to my boss. Any input would be hugely appreciated.
--------------------------
Hi XXX

I just wanted to voice a few concerns.

I understand that the agent may be completely legitimate. Although many of the people he will speak to in Nigeria will not be.

I would be very wary of providing a corporation certificate as It will be duplicated and used in scams where the scammer will pretend to be XXX and this could tarnish the name of the company if not lead to a misinformed victim.

In fact I can guarantee all information which goes to Nigeria (property appraisals, company information, branding) will be duplicated and used in the very popular property scams originating from Nigeria at the minute.

Also we will need a separate company e-mail, for example to catch 419 scammer to play with, you simply place your e-mail address on an online guestbook know to be frequented by the scammers. I’ve done this once, about 10 months ago and to date, that account still receives between 80 and 100 e-mails a day. Can you imagine of our e-mails are bandied about in Nigeria.

Payment Scams: two main things to watch out for here, 1)flashing cash and 2)over payment.

1) The money will show up in the account for a day to a couple of weeks then be claimed back by the originating bank when the transfer is discovered by the originating bank.
2) Overpayment and request for the balance to be returned. Then the original cheque is declared fraudulent and you lose both the fund in your account and any balance you forwarded.
3) There are more and more methods being uncovered each week.
4) Also we need to ensure our bank details are very well protected.
5) Never accept money or pay money by Western union (or any other) non traceable transfer system. This is one of the most common tools of the scammer.

----------------------------------------------

I know you will say just don't do the business but I think if we put the right safeguards in place I am sure we can do this safely.

Thank you eaters

_________________
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'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
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Last edited by jayjayuf on Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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Rodus
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tough one. you are absolutely right in that not all Nigerians are scammers and there is every likelihood that this chap is a totally legit businessman. Having said that, there is the strong possibility that not all his contacts are.
To be honest, there are so many different scams floating around and lads can catch vics with the most dubious looking info that I wouldn't let that worry you. Make sure that you as a company are protected and don't worry about the lads using your company info, they'll always find that sort of thing anyway so you aren't making it worse.

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ernieh1969
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Personal opinion only - If you aren't in a position to discuss this face to face with your boss, then keep out of it.

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Rodus
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^No, sorry, don't buy that. Nothing wrong with keeping his boss informed and safe, face to face or not.

_________________
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now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

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jayjayuf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for your input. I am aware that they will get company info and these scams will go on but my concern lies with the fact that they will be using our company info and have direct access to pdfs, company info etc to ensure it is legit looking.

I would hate for it to have a detrimental effect on our business.

Does anyone have any other ideas as to what we should be concerned about while dealing with these potional buyers?

Thanks guys I really appreciate your input.

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bill2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hop the pond, have a nice weekend with the missus and meet them in person. Once you got the names and info (business cards) run their info and see what pops up. Take "holiday" pictures for easy identification if needed later. That's what I would do, have done. If it's so important to the company, it might even be a business trip Wink

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jayjayuf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Very much in a position to discuss this with my boss, in fact I have done and he agrees with my concerns. I even forewarned him i'd be looking for further advice on this forum.

There are only 4 of us in the company and I deal with purchase operations and especially when dealing with buyers of a new nationality. So this definitely falls within my remit.

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'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
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jayjayuf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Bill,

The properties will be in france but the buyers will be based in Nigeria.

not as easy to pop over to Nigeria as to france. Smile

French banks are willing to lend up to 60% ltv to Nigerian Nationals.

Having spent some time in Africa and knowing the laid back mentallity (I was in Ghana and nothing ever got done for at least a week after it was supposed to be done.)

In fact I think the yahoo boys are the hardest working African Nationals I have come across Smile

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'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
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jayjayuf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My point there was the process which can already take significant time will now be super delayed trying to achieve finance (french banks are so stringent)

however that is beside the point.

Do you think if we are aware of

overpayment
flashing
advance fee requests

that we should be safe enough?

_________________
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'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
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Rodus
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^As long as you (as a company) are aware of these scams then you will be better prepared then many.
Yes, your company details, letterheads etc may be available to scammers but if you look on Google images, the sheer amount of this sort of thing is huge so yours will be little more then a drop in the ocean.
Check out scamwarners for lots of info on different types of scams.

_________________
I will kiss you romance u,suck and penetrate u - Williams Muyeke
now am as poor as a church rat - Lou1s Mar1on
I AM FINANCIALLY DEAD RIGHT AWAY - Louis in Accra
u can keep sending money to Gomer and leave me alone - Agent Smith cracks up

Pith Helmet Lou1s Mar1on - Lagos to Accra (satellite IP) - "so, what i need to do to get out of these place?"
Sand Timer - 18 mths: Louis

starstar

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*My Church*

pony pony pony Nurse Nastys Audi TT Nurse Nastys Audi TT Mortar x23 Closed lad accounts
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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You need to discuss the matter with this prospective employee/contact.

If you feel that you cannot do that due to sensitivities then you cannot establish a relationship with him. One the prime benefits you would hope to get from him would be his own insight into the frauds and his ability to filter them out for you.

If there's a reason you cannot discuss this openly with him, then he disqualifies himself.

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree with Gomer. You need to (tactfully!) voice your concerns with your prospective agent/contact. Legitimate Nigerian businesses are all too aware that their reputations have been tarnished by the activities of scammers and so you are raising a perfectly valid and important issue. If your discussions cause any apparent bafflement or are brushed off as being unnecessary or irrelevant that would be a big red flag.

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remmy223
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

can i ask if you are the owner of newcastle Fc and are now
getting cold feet!!!!!!!

only joking..........

seriously,you will have your work cut out doing background checks
on the people you are going to be dealing with.i really do hope that
the people are genuine and your business will flourish from them.
best of luck

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jayjayuf
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Joined: 29 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you all for your highly constructive feedback.

I agree, we have to meet these worries head on and discuss them with the agent.

I have met the Nigerian Agent a couple of times, he went to university in the UK with one of my bosses closest friends.

Even though I am quite a sceptical person, he does seem genuine.

Luckily I won't be conducting the background checks, that will be the french banks job. I don't envy them.

Time will tell. I'll let you guys know if we have any interesting experiences.

And if anything arises which could be beneficial for someone else in this position.

Good luck all.

_________________
'As long as there is man there will be war' Einstein

'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
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Catcher In The Lie
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Joined: 22 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello, jayjayuf,

Well, I just spent 15 minutes writing suggestions to you and lost it all

Mad In short, Escrow is the 'sacred' word. If you are concerned about it beng legitimate, for this particular transcation, I would find a reputable attorney with a background in international banking law (that you both agree upon) to handle this one time transaction. Obviously, funds can't be held in either of your escrow accounts (if the other party even has one...hmmm) as you each have authorization over retaining and/or dispursement.

The funds (if they exist) go into his/her escrow account & are held, verified & cleared from originating bank etc.) and can not be disprsed until ALL contingencies are met on both sides.


All contracts are negotiable - any language can be written in. Tell them, you'll split the cost to ensure all parties are safe. That's just the cost of doing business today. If they are legit, they should not have a problem with that at all. If they do, run left.
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jayjayuf
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

HouseofGalf,

Thank you very much for the reply and the efforts that went into the lost document.

I think that is a very valid suggestion. Especially as I would not be comfortable with our account details being bandied about in Nigeria.

The situation is that we are an agent directly for the developers. So apart from a small Admin Fee the majority of the funds will be payble into a ESCROW / Client account (with the developers solicitors) until a time that the client has received a mortgage offer and signed the contract oif sale.

I do think that even for our admin costs we should set up an Escrow account, this should remove the opportunity for fraud.

Thank you.

_________________
'As long as there is man there will be war' Einstein

'Are all businessmen wannabe gangsters in suits?'
JayJayUF
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