“Zimbabwean” Mining & Engineering Procurement Scam Continues

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Caped Crusader
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“Zimbabwean” Mining & Engineering Procurement Scam Continues


Unread post by Caped Crusader » Fri May 25, 2018 3:37 pm

“Zimbabwean” Mining & Engineering Procurement Scam Continues

“If it looks too good to be true it probably is”

In 2013 a client reported that they had been scammed by a “Zimbabwean” mining company who approached them looking for specific engineering equipment that was not available in their own country. They referred our client to a local South African company and requested them to source these supplies against their official purchase order. There was a considerable profit to be made on this deal and our client fell for it.

They checked the Web and confirmed the existence of the Zimbabwean mining company and the local equipment supplier. Both appeared to be active, established and substantial companies. They paid for the goods and were told to expect delivery to their site in a few days. Both the “Zimbabwean buyer" and the SA supplier then took down their websites and disappeared.

The scammer had acted as both the purchaser and the supplier of this equipment and used fake websites and contact details. Our client lost about R500 000, 00 (which seems about the average) by making a pre-payment for the goods firmly believing they were from a reputable supplier and that they would be paid a great deal more by the “Zimbabwean mine”

We have been working with the authorities and warning people about this directly and on LinkedIn since 2013. We have been contacted by a lot of potential victims and been able to prevent them losing their money. We have also been approached by just as many companies when it was too late for them and they had become victims.

This is how it works; Google and other search engines regularly use a “crawler” internet robot (bot) application that systematically browses the Web and indexes the content for later processing by a search engine. These indexes contain mirror images of websites which can be accessed and used to accurately reconstruct the original website for what would be a closed company.

With the company being closed the original domain name will generally be available or a similar lookalike can be employed which will also facilitate email addresses. Mobile telephone numbers are used and bank accounts for the deposit of funds can be opened very easily. The scammers use very authentic documentation, including photographs of their respectable looking “staff” (copied from various global websites) and are quite believable. It is a very slick operation and it is not just confined to South Africa!

These scams are continuing but now with a new twist. Requests for Proposals from seemingly large and well-known “South African companies” are being circulated to smaller suppliers who are overjoyed at “being chosen” and take requests at face value without checking their authenticity directly with the company using their registered contact details.

Scams like this make up a very small percentage of the criminal activity which has made South Africa the new fraud champions of the world with about 60% of this being in procurement fraud, perpetrated essentially by staff and suppliers (often in collusion) and cost companies an average of about 8% of their annual procurement spend.

Copied from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/zimbabwe ... lan-jewson

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