Are you a woman, most likely from some Asian country, who has been approached on a dating or professional social networking web site by what seems to be a nice European man, perhaps in the United Kingdom? He says wonderful things about you… he seems eloquent and charming. He will send you heart warming pictures of himself and his purported family. If you want to view and talk to him via web cam, sorry… he doesn’t own one. If you’re an Asian woman, your culture might lead you not to ask specific questions as doing so might be considered “rude” in your country.
After a short time of getting to know you over a couple of weeks, he tells you he is on a business trip and he has sent a package with a gift to you. He wants to show you how much he cares. He sends you the tracking number to make sure you receive it. You go to the web site and look up the tracking number… and you can see a package is en route to you, including valuable contents. Strange… but this man seems educated, professional, exactly what you seemed to have been seeking. Unfortunately it seems that the package is held up in Malaysia! You are sent a correspondence by the Malaysian branch of this express mail company that states that they require customs to be paid before the package can continue its path en route to you. You aren’t quite sure what to do… but he calls you and tells you that he is on a business trip, perhaps to the Bahamas or some other remote island. He apologizes for not having access to money and that hopefully you can pay for it – after all, the gift seems to be worth much more than just a few thousand dollars. As you can see, there is a diamond necklace or other valuable item and customs will be a pricey proposition! The company may contact you again about the package they can’t hold for you for too long! The email may appear as follows:
Globelink Security and Courier Malaysia.
4KM, Jalan Mukah-Oya, P.O Box 205
96400 Mukah Sarawak
Malaysia Tel: +60-126-406-471.
October 10TH, 2008
ORDER NUMBER: GSC/ WFD /2008 (MALAYSIA).
TRACKING NUMBER: 27831241001
With reference to the delivery of your package. I wish to bring to your
notice that your package has been placed on hold by the Malaysian customs
for some reasons which happened to violates the shipping policies. As the
goods arrived Malaysia custom check point, the Malaysian custom detected
that currency were included in your parcel. Thereby,certain commission
must be paid as customs duty via us which is for the immediate clearance
of your package .For the main time reference of tracking on the ” status”
of your package is pending , this is in accordance to the mode of
operations in the Courier sector for financial delivery .
We have already taken order number for this package from the custom.
You are required to follow all instructions giving to you to facilitate the
release of your package. To do this, you are required to pay the required
charges listed below for the immediate release of your package. Upon
confirmation of payment, your package will be delivered to your designated
address above under few hours . PAYMENT DETAILS.
You can make the payment through WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER
or MONEY GRAM TRANSFER
ORIENT EXPRESS COURIER SERVICES
MIDDLES TOWN, SW436,
London, United Kingdom
The web site “tracking number” results might look like this:
ITEM NAME: PERSONAL VALUABLES
NO OF ITEMS :THREE (3) ITEMS
PARCEL COLOR: GRAYISH COLOR
VALUED PERSONAL/FAMILY TREASURES, ONE(1)DIAMOND RING, THREE(3)PAIRS OF SHOE(WOMENS), A SET OF APPLE LAPTOP WITH COMPLETE ACCESSORIES,
EVALUATION AND INDEMNITY: 100+1% INDEMNITY AND REIMBURSEMENT/REFUND/REPLACEMENT AND TOTAL RECOVERY AGREEEMENT.
ESTIMATED INDEMINITY VALUE:20,000 GBP
INSURANCE : 00 USD
CUSTOMS AND EXERCISE DUTIES : 00 USD
SERVICE AND DELIVERY CHARGES : 00 USD
GRAND TOTAL : 00 USD
ALL CHARGES, PAYMENTS AND DUTIES HAS BEEN PAID BY SENDER. RECIEVER IS STRICTLY ADVICED TO ADHERE TO THE GENERAL POLICY, DELIVERY AGREEMENT, AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF AIR EXPRESS COURIER SERVICES ASIA, RECIEVER IS ADVICED TO MEET WITH OUR DELIVERY AND COURIER OFFICER OR REPRESENTATIVES FOR INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY AT OUR STIPULATED AND CONDUCIVE PLACE WITH A TRUE OR CERTIFED COPY THEIR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT OR ANY ACCEPTABLE IDENTIFICATION INSTRUMENT IE; BIRTH CERTIFICATES, NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD, AND OR INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENSE.
CONTACT NUMBER: +44-703-174-2633
PARCEL AND CONSIGMENT MOVEMENT INFORMATION AND STATUS.
PARCEL POSTED FROM: UK–NETHERLAND–MALAYSIA–PHILIPPINES–FINAL DESTINATION.
CURRENT STATUS : Parcel Arrived And With-held In Malaysia
Discrepancy Detected(currency violation)code CVX/297/TY7
UK, DELIVERY CODE IPPG/54 DST
Orient Express Courier Services is a privately owned and well registered company of a good standing in United Kingdom with global affiliates and delivery. All our clients are guaranteed the best first class and world standard services. We dispatch our services and duties abiding by all the rules, and laws of all the territories and countries where we operate both international and local. For further enquiries please contact us.
I hope that this information would be sufficient for your purposes.
As you have already probably guessed, don’t send any money. This is a scam which seems to be originating in Malaysia but using a VOIP or “call me” number in the United Kingdom. Once such scam is this company is also operated by this phony shipping company:
Obviously this “Orient Express” is a fraud but look how many women are being scammed by simply using different URLs to pull them up:
Note the contact number:+44-703-174-263
What is a Malaysian branch of a shipping company using a British / UK phone number?
The man who may have befriended you may say that he is originally from the UK – but the phone number probably uses this same prefix:
Note that all of these phone numbers are VOIP based – this stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol” if you aren’t familiar with the acronym. This means that the telephone number isn’t your standard “land line” that is installed by a phone company in the UK. It is a phone number that is forwarded to another phone number, land line, cell phone or voice mailbox. The person using this number may not actually live in the UK but the calls to this number is a “follow me” number – it will forward to a phone anywhere in the world the account holder wants. So let’s say, for example, that I live in Malaysia. I can set up a VOIP phone account in the UK to get a 44 (70) number. After getting this UK-based phone number I can set it to forward directly to a nubmer in Malaysia. For those who don’t know about these follow-me VOIP services, you would never suspect that your con man lives outside of the UK.
Here is a rather amusing and interesting note – the company domain address is a subdomain, not a full domain. If you send inquiries, they will go to the domain name, which is a racing company: http://orientexpress.com/
General Rules when using Romance, Love, and Dating Sites and avoiding scams:
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask personal questions of a man who is trying to woo you that require verifiable answers. Doing so is not impolite and they will be taken aback only if they have something (or someone, like a wife) to hid. If this person is employed, simply ask the name of the company. Additionally, ask yourself this question – why is a man in another country so interested in meeting you? While I can understand how great you are, how are the two of you supposed to see each other and have a relationship? What’s the plan?
- Check this person’s email address – do they have a Facebook or other social networking account? If so, is it populated with other friends and seem legitimate?
- Check the phone number you’re given and do a lookup in a search engine. Check the country code and prefix. If there is some evidence that the number is a VOIP /follow me phone number, then you should question where the caller is truly from! Does his number ever show up on your caller ID and, if not, is it private?
- Always check out the full domain of any business purported to be real – no legitimate company would use a subdomain of a full domain.
http://orientexpress.ueuo.com/ – subdomain with a bad web site
http://www.ueuo.com/ – it’s a free hosting web site!
- If any official notification to you seems to contain a reasonably high number of words spelled incorrectly, chances are the company is not legitimate.
- The ULTIMATE hint that you might be a potential victim of a scam – if you are ever told to send cash via services such as MoneyGram, Western Union or any other “instant money” transfer – DO NOT DO SO! The use of these services with someone with whom you are not sure is bona fide will almost always results in a scam. Once your money is sent it’s gone – it’s not like a credit card transfer that can be reversed.
- Anyone who sends you gifts early in a relationship is suspect, doubly so if they send a parcel that requires you to send money to get your parcel! These scams typically involve you sending money for some reason, e.g. they send a check to you (usually endorsed) that has more cash than necessary and you should send cash back for the difference, etc.
Good luck finding love and romance and be careful!