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Fake escrows on the rise

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Nigerian 419 advance fee fraudsters operating from Amsterdam and Rotterdam have created copies of the websites of express transportation company DHL and Lufthansa Cargo. The idea is to lure victims into paying transportation and advance fees for used motorbikes and cars that are never delivered.

Now that many people are familiar with the old style 419 scam - where an email claims to come from a person needing to transfer large sums of money out of the country - the scammers seem to have discovered a whole new way of making a quick buck.

Just offer a used Suzuki Katana GSX-600 4500 or a BMZ Z3 Roadster at sites such as Car.com or Autotrader.com for next to nothing and buyers will respond. But often these cars are presently in Spain or another European country, the owner claims, so could the buyer please pay transportation costs? They then recommend the use of escrow services with slick websites that appear legit. Some fake escrows even warn you about internet fraud, or link to the Internet Fraud Complaint Centre.

Needless to say, the goods are never delivered.

Dutch 419 scam fighter Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations has issued warnings about dodgy sites promoting DHL Shippers and Lufthansa Worldwide Cargo (as opposed to the real companies, DHL Worldwide Express and Lufthansa Cargo).

The Dhl-shippers site was created earlier this month by someone named Angel Andonaire. Lufthansa-Worldwide-Cargo site was registered last month through Microsoft Office Live.

Sites such as Carbuyingtips.com claim to have shut down over 600 fake escrow sites already. ®

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