Saturday, 29 December 2012

Paul Temple and the Dr. Kumar Case (7)

We can finally put this whole affair behind us. After having received a rather aggressive phone call from our Dr. Kumar we decided to try and get hold of Dr. Kumar's phone number (even though we do not have number recognition). This worked; Dr. Kumar appeared to have phoned from a Nigerian phone number. Of course this does not mean that the guy resides actually in Nigeria; he could have phoned from any country using his Nigerian mobile phone.

A summary of how the scam works:
1. Mr. X starts sending a scam mail to hundreds of stolen or bought email addresses
2. Mr. Y steals a chequebook from mr. A or buys a stolen one from a third party
3. Mr. Z opens a bank account, most likely using the "stolen" identity of Mr. B
4. A gîte owner, Mr. C accepts the booking, and sends Mr. X the terms for rental
5. Mr. X gives details about the money Mr. C is about to receive
6. Mr. C agrees to the deal
7. Mr. X sends off the cheque
8. Mr. C acknowledges receipt of the cheque covering far too much money and asks for further instructions
9. Mr. X sends bank details, and generously allows Mr. C to deduct his costs first, as long as he forwards the surplus of the money ASAP to the "agent" Mr. Z

10. Mr. X puts pressure on Mr. C to pay "the same day" via emails and phone calls
11. Mr. C cashes his cheque with his bank and informs Mr. X that the cheque has been cleared, and that the surplus has been forwarded to Mr. Z
12. The moment the money is received by Mr. Z he will empty the account once and for all
13. At some stage, probably after a few weeks, the truth emerges, and the bank takes back the surplus amount payed to Mr. Z from Mr. C's account
14. Mr. C is ultimately the victim of this scam, and Mr. X, Y and Z have disappeared in thin air

This is pure speculation, but I can hardly believe that someone is randomly opening letterboxes in the hope that he finds a new cheque book. the operation centres (probably London and Leicester) are so far apart that a one man act is not very likely. It looks much more like a well organised scam with more than 1 person involved, and there are possibly hundreds of these scams being run at the same time.

Further, apart from a thank you note from the accountant and from the director of EE UK Ltd, we received a phone call from someone in the Netherlands. He had been approached by Dr. Kumar, and for reasons completely different to ours, decided to accept the booking. He also received a cheque, but he became suspicious because the cheque was not send via registered mail. He somehow managed to get hold of the Dutch version of this blog, found out about Dr. Kumar and managed to get hold of the director of EE UK Ltd as well. The Dutch have a saying, illustrating this quite well: "It is better to turn back halfway, than to carry on all the way and get lost".

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