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Oil Rig eMail Scam Targeted at Niagara Falls Business

Niagara Falls Tour Operators Beware!

Receiving emails from Nigerian Princesses promising a percentage of a large sum of money is nothing new, but just  recently eTours was directly targeted with a tailor-made scam centered around their Niagara Falls tour.

The scam involved booking a Niagara Falls tour for a small group but instead of charging the regular price the person wanted to be charged more. More? Yes because there were other costs that his agent would have to incur. He did not have access to his bank and money wiring services since he worked on an Oil Rig and it wold make it easier if he could be charged once for everything. After the initial email below the person wanted eTours to charge $3,000 on his card, deduct the Niagara Falls Tour portion and transfer the difference to another bank account… “his agent”.

Of course the eTours Reservation Agent was suspicious and with a quick Google search found out that restaurants were targeted with a similar scam.

oilrig

>>>To: info@etours.to

>>>Subject: Re: Want a tour Reservation

>>> Hi,

>>> I am interested but before other informations can be provided i

>>> will like to know if you do accept credit card for payment and if you do, when i give you my

>>> credit card details to charge i will like to know if you can be able to

>>> charge over the actual(which is your total price) amount because we are not

>>> in the country right now. I am on the high sea work at the moment (an OIL

>>> RIG) ther are no banks or moneygram here where i can send money to him so

>>> i will like you to charge over the amount and deduct your money and then

>>> send the balance to my agent who will prepare for our arrival. Get back to me

>>> if  it’s possible so i can provide you with all the necessary informations.

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23 Responses
  1. bukmacher says:

    ive thought that we recived emails from Nigeria only in Europe.Wishall the best from Poland

  2. Nelia says:

    This is ridiculous! Those scumbags targeting small businesses! Shame on them!

  3. Justin says:

    Same as above. Scammers targeting a small family business.

    Hello,
    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far. I got the total cost for the Saturday 11th(12pm-3pm) and i will like to proceed with the booking asap. Moreover, we contracted a logistics agent who will take care of all the other logistics which includes: Flights, accommodation etc. The prepaid agent is not yet a credit card merchant therefore cannot charge credit cards. On our own side, we would have sent him his money directly, but we are on the high sea work at the moment (an OIL RIG) as i said earlier.
    There are no bank or money gram here where I can make payment directly to the agent. So i need you to charge the total amount of £9650+ processing fees on my card, then deduct £1650 for the booking and send the balance to the prepaid logistic agent. I will provide the agents information later when you have charged the credit card and confirm the money. Please, i will like to hear from you soon as i am very busy with work and making other necessary arrangements. If this can be arranged let me know so that we can proceed over the phone.

    Best Regards,
    David Williams

  4. christian hoyle says:

    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far. I got the total cost for the booking and i will like to proceed with the booking asap. Moreso, I am having a little bit of a problem with the logistics agent who is taking care of all the other logistics to include: Flights, Hotels. The prepaid agent is not yet a credit card merchant therefore cannot charge credit cards. On our own side, we would have sent him his money directly, but we are on the high sea work at the moment (an OIL RIG). There are no banks or money gram here where I can make payment directly to the agent so i will need your assistance in getiing the money to him.

    So, please i need you to charge the total amount of £11,415.00 + processing fees on my card, then deduct £3415.00 for the booking and send the balance of £8000.00 to the prepaid logistic agent. I will provide the agents information later when you have charged the credit card and confirmed the money. Please, i will like to hear from you soon as i am very busy with work and making other necessary arrangements for our stay. If this can be arranged let me know so i can give you a call and process it over the phone

    I cant believe I wasted my time coming up with a quote for these idiots. Got this and put in google oil rig payment scam, and it came up with your email above, so thanks for posting.

    Now i’m going to keep playing them for fun.

  5. Phil B says:

    Still going strong. Just received a similar scam from “Donald Webb”. Thanks for your head’s up!!

    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far. I got the total cost for
    the booking and i will like to proceed with the booking asap. Moreso,
    I am having a little bit of a problem with the logistics agent who is
    taking care of all the other logistics to include: Flights, Hotels.
    The prepaid agent is not yet a credit card merchant therefore cannot
    charge credit cards. On our own side, we would have sent him his money
    directly, but we are on the high sea work at the moment (an OIL RIG).
    There are no banks or money gram here where I can make payment
    directly to the agent so i will need your assistance in getting the
    money to him.

    So, please i need you to charge the total amount of $14,468.56 +
    processing fees on my card, then deduct $3,468.56 for the booking and
    send the balance of $11,000.00 to the prepaid logistic agent. I will
    provide the agents information later when you have charged the credit
    card and confirmed the money. Please, i will like to hear from you
    soon as i am very busy with work and making other necessary
    arrangements for our stay. If this can be arranged let me know so i
    can give you a call and process it over the phone.

  6. akinvic says:

    Got the same sort of email from a Donald Webb here too. We are a small property management company in Victoria BC so it’s definitely going around.

  7. Pierre says:

    This person’s name is Billy Washington and I just sent him a note to share my thoughts about his/her actions. I wish there were a way to track these low-lifes down!

    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far. I got the total cost for the booking and i will like to proceed with the booking asap. Moreso, I am having a little bit of a problem with the logistics agent who is taking care of all the other logistics to include: Flights, Hotels. The prepaid agent is not yet a credit card merchant therefore cannot charge credit cards. On our own side, we would have sent him his money directly, but we are on the high sea work at the moment (an OIL RIG). There are no banks or money gram here where I can make payment directly to the agent so i will need your assistance in getiing the money to him.

    So, please i need you to charge the total amount of $14,516.85 + processing fees on my card, then deduct $4,016.85 for the booking and send the balance of $10,500.00 to the prepaid logistic agent. I will provide the agents information later when you have charged the credit card and confirmed the money. Please, i will like to hear from you soon as i am very busy with work and making other necessary arrangements for our stay. If this can be arranged let me know so i can give you a call and process it over the phone.

    Regards

  8. I received a similar message from ‘Donald Webb’. We are a small Personal Concierge Firm in West Vancouver, BC….they’re expanding. I was suspicious from the get-go. I’m also going to mess with him for a while…..

  9. Lori Finkelstein says:

    I am also a small personal concierge company and just received an email from Donald Webb. I wasn’t quite sure how the scam works as I have only received two emails saying he needed help with his shopping during his stay. If we are not providing any information to him how does he make money from it??
    Any ideas?

  10. Cynthia Pickering says:

    Hello – we are another executive concierge company who heard from Donald Webb, just last week- saying they were coming to an energy seminar in Calgary. I used to be in the energy industry and knew imeadiately that there is no such event in May -thus was also suspicious right away.

  11. joel says:

    donald webb, you mofo!

  12. Bill Weingartner, TimeWise Concierge says:

    Hello all – Concierge company in Denver that has been contacted by Donald Webb for the May energy conference in Denver. This guy attends a lot of conferences. His solicitation email has similar wording as those listed above. Thanks to all who posted.

  13. paul says:

    It looks like he’s expanding. I received a similar message from Donald Webb. I’m a small concierge company in Mexico.

    He said the same thing, energy seminar, oil rig, party of 4, busy schedule. He need it shopping service and errand. He’s getting smarter..

    Thanks for the mail,we’re all happy that we’ll be using your services
    during our stay,do reserve our classes for us as agreed. Everything as
    specified is ok.

    However, I also want to let you know that I have an agent who will
    handle our logistics details ( Flight tickets & travel insurance,visa
    procurement) like i said in my previous mail, but he runs a private
    business and does not have the facilities to charge a credit card, so
    i will need you to help in facilitating my payment to him, because
    it’s very crucial to our making this booking.

    At this point I authorize to charge my credit card, for the total
    amount for your services (), with an additional 9,000usd for the agent,
    deduct your fee and transfer the balance to my agent so he can start
    processing our travel arrangements prior to our coming. I will be
    waiting for your response, so that i can send the credit card details
    for the payment.i will also need a direct phone number so i can give
    you a call before sending my credit card details.

    Warm Regards.
    Donald Webb.

    I wasted my time with this jerk. I’m gald I google it, before it gotten any further than this.

  14. Mrs Jones says:

    Hello,

    Thanks to everyone’s comments here as we’ve had email communication from the very same “Donald Webb” with the same story: working in an oil rig, coming to the UK for 2 weeks in August 2011 for an Energy Seminar with 3 other colleagues, requiring concierge assistance during that time, etc. etc. all seemingly plausible.

    Alarm bells started ringing when the so-called Donald Webb started requesting transfer of £6000 to his “agent” who is managing their travel (“flight tickets, travel insurance, visa procurement”) as “he runs a private business and does not have the facilities to charge a credit card, so i will need you to help in facilitating my payment to him, because it’s very crucial to our making this booking.”

    His name was quite incongruous with the style of his English as well, which made me wonder from the start.

    Really appreciate everyone taking the time to inform others of their experiences with this kind of scam!

  15. It appears that Donald Webb (a.k.a. Billy Washington) is continuing to locate unsuspecting concierge services as of June 2011.

    We are grateful that we did not proceed with his urgent request and are hopeful that these posting will alert other service industry colleagues.

  16. Patrick Tobelem says:

    Hi everyone, Same scam attempt just arrived yesterday on our email:

    Thanks for the mail,we’re all happy that we’ll be using your services
    during our stay,do reserve our classes for us as agreed. Everything as
    specified is ok.

    However, I also want to let you know that I have an agent who will
    handle our logistics details ( Flight tickets & travel insurance,visa
    procurement) like i said in my previous mail, but he runs a private
    business and does not have the facilities to charge a credit card, so
    i will need you to help in facilitating my payment to him, because
    it’s very crucial to our making this booking.

    At this point I authorize to charge my credit card, for the total
    amount for your services (), with an additional 9,000euros for the agent,
    deduct your fee and transfer the balance to my agent so he can start
    processing our travel arrangements prior to our coming. I will be
    waiting for your response, so that i can send the credit card details
    for the payment.i will also need a direct phone number so i can give
    you a call before sending my credit card details.

    Warm Regards.

    I sent the info to my bank and police, hopefully something might happen…

  17. Laurent says:

    Add a Tom Bridge to your list of names of bad guys! He calimed to be on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, he was using his “cel phone” from San Jose! When I did a reverse phone search, I learned that it was a land line…Must have a heck of a long cord, eh? As a tour operator and new member of a tour organization, this guy found me rather quickly and sent a very similar email. The thing is, these folks steal our work time putting proposals and itineraries together before we ever smell that something’s up. Frankly, lo I’m happy I sussed him out, I want that 90 minutes back!

  18. Toronto says:

    If you hear of any local law enforcement office ever catches these people please do post it here. I’d like to send an invoice to the crook for my time wasted.

  19. Elysia says:

    I am a Naturopath in Brisbane, was contacted by the same scam email, asked to provide health services and had to collect money for my service and for their asian translator who did not accept credit cards, then transfer balance back. I smelled a rat and didn’t proceed by a colleague of mine just lost $8000!
    How do these guys make money doing this if they provide their credit card number? I can’t see how they would fleece money from the victim? Unless the money cleared, why would you transfer money to them which wasn’t provided by that company? I would like to know more about the details so I can warn my colleagues.

    The worst thing is the waste of time in quoting as they appear legit until they start ranting about money transfers after 3 or so emails.

    SCAM EMAIL BELOW:

    Hello Elysia,

    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far in booking the consultations for us, I am glad to tell you that we have concluded all payments arrangements and will be making a deposit payment of $2,000 as a part payment for your services to secure the book. I’m also making all necessary arrangements to ensure that all members involved enjoy and have a stress free vacation as some members are Asians and might have problem with language. So i have been in contact with a linguistics firm in South Korea whom will provide us with language translator through out our stay.

    As soon as i get the response of this email from you, i will send over the credit card details for the payment. When making the charges, you have to make the total charges for your deposit as stated above and that of the translator. When discussing the payment arrangements with my group we concluded that only your firm will handle the credit card details and the translator does not have credit card facilities to even make the charges as he is a private Asian firm. I would have loved to make a bank transfer to them but as you know we don’t have such facilities here as we are presently still at work (offshore work in Iraq -oil rig-). This will help most as i wouldn’t want two parties to handle the details for some reasons, please confirm that only you will have access to the credit cards when sent.

    Once you receive the credit card details, you will have to process $9,000 plus the credit card processing fees for deposit of your services and that of the translator. Once the full amount has been cleared and deposited into your business account, you are required to keep the total amount of $2,000 for deposit of your services, then i will request for a business bank account from the linguistics firm where you will transfer the balance of $7,000 for them to secure the bookings for the translators.

    Once all arrangements are concluded and payments received, I will be in further contact with more details in regards to the logistics activities when we are in your country, flight bookings, time and other needed details. moreover I will need you to send us your following information for records:

    (1) YOUR FULL NAME:
    (2) ADDRESS:
    (3) PREFERRED PHONE NO:

    Note that all taxes that will be attracted in this transaction will be payed by us, I requires prompt response and expect an expert service during the checkups.

    Kind Regards,

    Eric Plamper

  20. Jake says:

    Please add the following name to this scam – Eric Gerhart. We are a physical therapy clinic in California and just received a very similar email, see below. Thanks to everyone for posting this! Where can we report this so that these guys will get shut down?

    SCAM EMAIL:
    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far in concluding the bookings for us, I am glad to tell you that we have concluded all payments arrangements and will be making a deposit payment of $2,000 as a part payment for your services to secure the booking. I’m also making all necessary arrangements to ensure that all members involved enjoy and have a stress free vacation as some members are Asians and might have problem with language. So i have been in contact with a linguistics firm in South Korea whom will provide us with language translator through out our stay.

    As soon as i get the response of this email from you, i will send over the credit card details for the payment. When making the charges, you have to charge your deposit and that of the translator. When discussing the payment arrangements with my group we concluded that only your firm will handle the credit card details, although the translator does not have credit card facilities to even make the charges as he is private Asian firm. I would have loved to make a bank transfer to them but as you know we don’t have such facilities here as we are presently still at work (offshore work in Iraq -oil rig-). This will help most as i wouldn’t want two parties to handle the details for some reasons, please confirm that only you will have access to the credit cards when sent.

    Once you receive the credit card details, you will have to process $9,000 plus the credit card processing fees for deposit of your services and that of the translator. Once the full amount has been cleared and deposited into your business account, you are required to keep the total amount of $2,000 for deposit of your services, then i will request for a business bank account from the linguistics firm where you will transfer the balance of $7,000 for them to secure the bookings for the translation services.

    Once all arrangements are concluded and payments received, I will be in further contact with more details in regards to the logistics activities when we are in your country, flight bookings, time and other needed details. moreover I will need you to send us your following information for records:

    (1) YOUR FULL NAME:
    (2) ADDRESS:
    (3) PREFERRED PHONE NO:

    Note that all taxes that will be attracted in this transaction will be payed by us, I requires prompt response and expect an expert service during stay with you.

    Kind Regards,

    Eric

  21. Dave says:

    This scam is a new one to me, apparently they also use something similar for people selling cars online.

    As for how they make money from it as Elysia asked. The credit cards are normally from phished accounts, you know that other sort of scam where they obtain your credit card details. It could also be from stolen credit cards. They contact a business to charge the credit card which most of the time would work fine. At this stage depending on the bank the credit card is associated with and their fraud prevention measures it could have the charge blocked but the scammers are counting on it going through which in a lot of cases it would.

    Then they want you to send money to another person usually by Western Union. This alone is the big red flag as if you send money through Western Union you have no protection if something goes wrong. Once the money is sent it is gone forever.

    It is basically money laundering with someone elses money. They have then made the several thousand dollars you sent to the ‘agent’ as pure profit. The business that charged the credit card will have their payment reversed when the bank finds that it was a fraudulent payment, leaving the business with a debt from the money sent to the agent.

    I hope that explains how they profit from this. Unfortunately you can assume for every case that is posted online about it, there is probably several hundred times that the scammers were successful against other businesses that were not so savy.

    It is a pure numbers game for the scammers, they know by sending to enough people they will get enough people that know no better and be able to rip them off. I heard a couple of years ago that estimates of how much money the Nigerian scam puled in during the previous year actually exceeded the GDP of Nigeria.

  22. Andrea says:

    You can also add Changi Wong to this list. We are a Counseling Office and received the same email.

    Thanks for your reply and assistance so far in booking the training for us, I am glad to tell you that we have concluded all payments arrangements and will be making a deposit payment of $3,850 as a part payment for your services to secure the booking. I’m also making all necessary arrangements to ensure that all member involved enjoy and have a stress free vacation, So i have been in contact with a Linguistics firm who will provide translation services to all our Korean members and also handle flights logistics (ticket, flights insurance, international airport transfers and accommodation) on our behalf.

    As soon as i get the response of this email from you, i will send over the credit card details for the payment. When making the charges, you have to make the total charges for your deposit as stated above and that of the translator. When discussing the payment arrangements with my group we concluded that only your firm will handle the credit card details and the translator does not have credit card facilities to even make the charges as he is an Asian private firm. I would have loved to make a bank transfer to them but as you know we don’t have such facilities here as we are presently still at work (offshore work in Iraq -oil rig-). This will help most as i wouldn’t want two parties to handle the details for some reasons, please confirm that only you will have access to the credit cards when sent.

    Once you receive the credit card details, you will have to process $8,8500 plus the credit card processing fees for deposit of your services and that of the translator. Once the full amount has been cleared and deposited into your business account, you are required to keep the total amount of $3,850 for deposit of your services, then i will request for a business bank account from the translator where you will transfer the balance of $6,000 for them to secure the bookings with them.

    Once all arrangements are concluded and payments received, I will be in further contact with more details in regards to the logistics activities when we are in your country, flight bookings, time and other needed details. moreover I will need you to send us your following information for records:

    (1) YOUR FULL NAME:
    (2) ADDRESS:
    (3) PREFERRED PHONE NO:

    Note that all taxes that will be attracted in this transaction will be payed by us, I requires prompt response and expect an expert service during the exercise.

    Kind Regards,

    Changi Wong.

  23. Jo says:

    I received an email targeted directly to my business which is a health provider service
    however was also suspicious when there was not enough information of their company
    I disregarded email
    Have done a search and found this
    -

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