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General Chat Thread, Possible Scam?? in General; Or not? We had a strange phone call this morning and I was wondering if anyone else has too. A ...
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    GeeHubb's Avatar
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    Possible Scam??

    Or not?

    We had a strange phone call this morning and I was wondering if anyone else has too.

    A man phoned the school and said his name was Joe and he worked in a school in Nigeria. He had just landed at Aberdeen Airport and bought a mobile phone and was phoning schools to ask for English and Maths text books that he could have for his school. He said he would be in Aberdeen until the end of the month (bear in mind we're in Essex). We asked how he had got our phone number and he said from the phone book. We took his number and said we would pass his message to our Head.

    The cynic in me says this must be a scam, but I can't see how it works.... unless he's going to ask for cash to airfreight all his text books back to Nigeria!

    If there's anyone reading this in Aberdeen, perhaps they could go and have a look round and see if there is a man named Joe roaming around with a mobile phone, phone book and pile of text books anywhere..

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has heard of this before and whether you reckon it's a scam..... or not!

    Thanks.

    Gill

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    steve's Avatar
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    I'm reckoning a scam. Surely it would have been cheaper to email schools from Nigeria? Or given the spam that comes reportedly from Nigeria it would've been better to go through a reputable charity.

    Very bizarre

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    korifugi's Avatar
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    I'm with Steve on this one - every thought in my head is screaming 'scam'.

    The question is though? What are they trying to gain?

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    Disaster's Avatar
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    Should have asked him if he knows my Nigerian General friend. I'm still waiting for him to transfer his cash, he seems to have borrowed a bit first... maybe this was some sort of credit check?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeHubb View Post
    If there's anyone reading this in Aberdeen, perhaps they could go and have a look round and see if there is a man named Joe roaming around with a mobile phone, phone book and pile of text books anywhere..
    Gill
    But you can never tell a book by it's cover....

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    Quote Originally Posted by korifugi View Post
    What are they trying to gain?
    knowledge!!

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    I'd say it's just an "in". Start with something reasonable and logical then slowly but surely keep playing you to see what they can actually extract before you realise that you're being scammed.

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    It's not always easy to tell is it?

    One of the PAT testers who came to my school yesterday asked if we had any old IT equipment or textbooks we could donate to schools in the Congo, he and his charity are flying out there for a month next week apparantly. We did give him some stuff, but only things that were going to be disposed of anyway.

    Even if it is a scam, or an "in" as 36degrees suggested, it's not like you are going to give them your new and/or working equipment is it?
    As long as you don't need the stuff you donate (and in the case of IT kit you ensure it's properly wiped of all school data of course!) then what's the harm in them taking it, it gets it out of your way.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    The first thing that springs to mind is that Aberdeen airport in not a major international hub, and anyone landing there is there to go to Aberdeen, and not (generally) as a starting point for a UK trip. It does smell very fishy TBH.

  10. Thanks to Dos_Box from:

    CHR1S (15th March 2012)

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    GeeHubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete10141748 View Post

    One of the PAT testers who came to my school yesterday asked if we had any old IT equipment or textbooks we could donate to schools in the Congo, he and his charity are flying out there for a month next week apparantly. We did give him some stuff, but only things that were going to be disposed of anyway.
    Hi Peterandom;numbers,

    Had it been someone known to the school, who mentioned a reputable charity, I wouldn't have had a qualm about it. It's just the whole unlikely scenario of someone flying from Nigeria to Aberdeen and contacting my school hundreds of miles away, by mobile phone, with no information about how this donation was to happen. The school that he mentioned, by the way, does appear to be a bona fide school in Nigeria.

    Gill

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    i know of a few charitys that take and would like more to take more things out to DR Congo, Zambia, Mozambeek and other areas of africa, where the pepole are hungry for information and equipment. but the stupid thing is our school dosent seem to want to know unless they are WEEE, any one else have this truble. when ever we recycle or scrap we remove the HDD's Any way. and we have derics wipes disks abought we just dont have time to wipe them all, and you still dont know if its been wiped properly i had a module of computer forensics and i was taught even if you securly wipe it acoriding to standerds 7 or 8 times the info can still be recoverd if the operater knows what there doing.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeHubb View Post
    The school that he mentioned, by the way, does appear to be a bona fide school in Nigeria.
    They usually are. But, that doesn't mean they have any links to the school.


    Also, +1 for Ackbar.


    Quote Originally Posted by korifugi View Post
    What are they trying to gain?
    Resale value. It may not be much, but it's pure profit.

    If it is for African schools, who desperatly need it, they may be willing to pay more that what they should.

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    For textbooks, these people may be useful:

    READ International - Homepage

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster View Post
    Should have asked him if he knows my Nigerian General friend. I'm still waiting for him to transfer his cash, he seems to have borrowed a bit first... maybe this was some sort of credit check?
    Read the first post, intended to reply with something along these lines.
    Beaten to the punch once again

    Sounds incredibly odd that they would phone instead of email.. Especially if they're not providing many details. Maybe it's legit, but personally I wouldn't go for it. I'd probably give them to a local school or a well-known charity, if it were me. Then again, I hate people cold-calling me..

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    CAM
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    Step 1: We need books! Can you please send books to me I'd be most grateful.

    Step 2: Ahhh, I didn't realise you are in Essex and I am in Aberdeen! I am here until the end of the month and cannot afford to go down, could you...you know, send them here?

    Step 3: My friend, the children need these books for their education but the airline says I am "over excess." I need to get the books back in time for their exams season, they are coming are they not? If you could transfer money to the school for air shipping I will pay you back and let the world know how kind hearted you are.

    Let's deconstruct this scam as it follows all the hallmarks of a con typically seen in a 419 scam:

    1) It's unsolicited. This alone isn't always a sign of a con but it isn't often you will contact the scammers, they nearly always contact you out of the blue.
    2) The magnet. Think of the poor kiddies lacking textbooks, you can save them! Such a heartwarming story and designed to suck you in to the scam.
    3) The timer. He is here for one month so you have to act fast! Scams normally have short time limits to give a sense of urgency and rush you into making the wrong decision.
    4) Eventually this will lead to the catch where something goes wrong and you have to pay money to help the scammer out, referring to point one to make you feel guilty if you don't help. This can either be in the initial proposal to the victim or made after first contact.

    The odds of catching this guy are slim though since he likely uses a throwaway PAYG phone bought with fake details and stolen cards.

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