Here are articles on several scammers who were arrested by Russian authorities:
Nine West African scammers arrested in Russia
Nigerian scammers arrested in Russia regarding a $400,000 fraud
The Port of Rotterdam also has great articles on this scam —- Click here and a current blacklist of fake websites.
This massive scam involves the setting up of fake websites for various imaginary Russian oil, energy, mineral, agrochemical, natural gas and coal companies. To support the scam, fake Russian government, associations, banks, law firms, shipping companies, and due diligence websites are also set up. The purpose is to induce the victim into paying advance fees for non-existent oil or other commodities. Fake documents are sent to the potential victim as further inducement. Many scammers will request an advance payment or fee from $30,000 to even $150,000, before any oil is delivered, since, of course no oil will ever be delivered. One of the biggest indications that a website is fake is when it was registered. Real Russian oil companies have been in business for years, so if a website was registered within the last year or so, it is most likely fake. Do not even consider doing business with a company that has no website and uses free email addresses. Read identifying Scam Websites and Scam Email Addresses
The fee is usually for some fake government or association allocation code, license fee, tax, contract servicing, authorization fee, mandate seller fee, down payment, federation fee, Russian Ministry fee, pipeline fee, Uraltransneft fee, etc. The fake advance fees are only limited by the scammer's imagination, so keep in mind that ANY request for an advance fee is likely a scam! Frequently, the scammers request the fake fees be paid to some fake government officials or oil association agents through a fake websites or a fellow scammer like a fake tank farm. These scammers will state that such payment or fees are "customary." They are not! ANY ADVANCE FEE IS LIKELY TO BE A SCAM! Here is an example of scam contract language containing scam advance fees:
Scammers have gotten more sophisticated. They now don't necessarily ask for obvious advance fee fees to imaginary Russian agencies. They try to get you to pay upfront fees for storage or shipping of the oil before you actually receive it. Of course, since they have no oil, you will never receive it!
"Seller pays for the Legalization/Registration of the “CONTRACT” directly to the Ministry of Energy"
"Buyer pays to obtain Transaction Passport Transfer Certificate (TPTC) / Export Clearance Affidavit (ECA) which defines the buyer’s intention and competence, and it is duly documented to that effect."
"Buyer will open file with the Seller Company, fee of the file opening will be calculated and be based on the volume of the signed Contract. Fee stands for operational charges and payment will be TT wire transfer."
"Upon the Verification of the above documents by the Buyer, The buyers pays via T/T Wire transfer of the total Vessel Charter Fees to re-route the course of the Vessel Tanker to the buyer's discharge port."
"Fee For Transfer of Ownership Title of Product. Title transfer ownership"
Note that scammers will generally demand that advance fees be paid via Western Union, Money Gram, or Bank to Bank Transfer so that once you've been scammed, you will not be able to get your money back!. Please read: Western Union/MoneyGram or Bank to Bank Indicate Scam
Here is another example from a scam contract:
"PAYMENT: Payment terms may be optional except the payment for THE ALLOCATION FILE OPENING WITH SAMARA SALES DEPARTMENT payment will be made by NON-NEGOTIABLE TT WIRE -TRANSFER..."
Any request for an advance fee payment, especially for the "privilege" of importing oil or a down payment is a clear sign of the scam!
Many of these fake oil companies advertise extensively on B2B networks such as Alibaba, ec21.com, Tradekey, Gmdu.net, EcPlaza, Tradeboss, to name a few. Please note that NO LEGITIMATE RUSSIAN PETROLEUM COMPANY will ever advertise or search for buyers on B2B sites or advertise elsewhere on the internet as they already have regular buyers and traders. If you receive an unsolicited offer from a "Russian oil company, it is most likely a scam. If you see an advertisement from a "Russian oil company" on a B2B network or elsewhere, its most likely a scam.
Many of these fake oil companies use virtual numbers which are VOIP numbers that one can set up from their computer. The number then forwards the call to anywhere in the world: so any telephone number beginning with 7-495 should be considered very suspicious! http://www.flynumber.com/virtual-phone- ... scow_7-495
No real oil company, or any company for that matter, uses free email addresses, especially free email address chosen to match their supposed company names. Google every thing about any prospective company. The name of the company, the domain name, the email address, the telephone number, the name of the officials. We list many of these fraudulent companies on various anti-fraud forums and its very frustrating when potential victims do not take the time or energy to simply Google. Just because you don't find anything that indicates a company is not a scam, doesn't mean it isn't. It could be a new scam site.
A great way to tell whether a company is a scam is to look at the date the website's domain was registered. if the domain registration date is within a year, its most likely a scam. Thoroughly read identifying Scam Websites and Scam Email Addresses If they don't have a website, they are most likely scammers.
Here are some of the West African scammers setting up these fake Russian oil web sites:
As an example of what you could be dealing with, here are West African scammers that has been identified as doing oil scams from Russia:
Richard Addo and Stanley Uzeh
Mbega Steven Etienne, sentenced to 5 years in prison in Russia
Nelson Adesina Tosin and Olajumoke Mayaki
Alain Blaise Atah Tcheguie
Mbah Eugene Awah
Chukwunagorom Richard Chijioke
Dereak Graf Mela
Ilori Evans Johnson
Details: http://stop419scams.com/viewtopic.php?t=125 and http://stop419scams.com/viewforum.php?f=20
Here are more links to articles on scams. Take the time to read this entire article including the links and the posts below. The time expended is well worth the knowledge gained and will make you better equipped to recognize a scam.
http://www.gazprom.com/subsidiaries/ (List of Authorized Subsidiaries and List of Scammers)
I have reprinted an article from Alibaba below.
Please don't be afraid to share your scam stories !!! Scammers use the same scheme over and over because their victims do not speak outTo all buyers of Russian Oil Products.
Do not pay any upfront Transneft fee to Russian Sellers under no circumstances.
There is a well organized Russian crime network made of many so-called Russian independent sellers or seller's mandates,all of them advertising on Alibaba.com but their leader is posing as the Presient of Transneft, the Russian State Pipeline monopoly, issuing fake Transneft documents including Invoice with Transneft bank accounts (which really belong to the scammers), Affidavit and contracts. He uses the following email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. All deceptive email addresses from a Russian free mail server using the name of a legitimate Russian official to fool foreigners who think that they are dealing with the head of Transneft. We learned that he also uses the alias: Sergey Dmitriev.
Buyers from many countries have been victimized by these scammers and they are still in business.
These people are not selling oil. Their business is to scam foreign oil buyers for upfront Transneft fees.
DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY, YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE OIL AND WILL LOSE ANY MONEY THAT YOU SEND THEM.
We have paid Transneft fees for over 8 contracts and have lost all that money
Their contracts usually include Cell phone as seller's phone, fake ****, fake SWIFT code, fake email addresses, fake bank officer who is usually an individual who is part of a scam.
All phone and email messages that the buyer sends to the seller's bank go to people working for the scam not to the bank.
Some of these companies are fictitious and do not even legally exist.
When they provide Transneft invoice and other documents, if you ask for verification, they will put you in contact with fake Transneft officials including someone who claimed that he is the President of Transneft and a close friend of President Putin. All of These people are also part of the scam and no really who they claim to be.
They used to provide an invoice for payment to be wired to Alfa Bank or Russian Standard Bank in behalf of Transneft pipeline or Transneft Trustees; Not True. They have people inside Alfa Bank, Russian Standard bank and other Russian banks to divert the money to them.
Nowadays, they use Russian Standard Bank and other banks with the money going to an individual who supposes to be a Transneft Trustee but is part of the gang. Their fee went from $28,000.00 last year to $30,000.00 now per 500k contract.
They will make you believe that you are getting a god deal because you suppose to pay both the internal and external fees upfront but because of their special relationship with the President of Transneft, they will arrrange an exemption for you to only pay the Internal fee. All scam talk. The following companies are part of the scam: Alduke Holdings-Sibneftprom, Soyuz Corporation, Igion Oil, Icon oil & Gas, Rusneftprom, Golden Oil, Zorin Energy Resources.
If you pay them once, they will ask you to submit more contract before they can perform on your first contract because they must meet internal Transneft quota before they can deliver any PB or POP to you. If you insist, they will put you in touch with the fake President of Transneft who claims to be Mr. Boishtoc himself, to tell you that the Russian seller is in good standing with Transneft but you must deliver more contract to them so that they can meet their Transneft quota.
Avoid individuals like Nikolai Gubin from Alduke Holdings, Andrei Shaika from Soyuz Corp and Rusneftprom. In the case of Alduke, after you pay, they will then tell you that they have back tax problems with the government and cannot perform until this problem is resolved and will try to have the tax problem confirmed by the fake Transneft President who is really the ring master. This Master Scammer will not only confirm that Alduke or any of scammers is a good seller but will ask you to advance Million dollars in cash (to be wired to a bank that they will provide) to him so that he can get Russian officials to help Alduke so that you can get your oil. Right but not in this lifetime !!!! Just tell this guy to send you a certified copy of his passport as Mr. Boishtoc, the head of Transneft, so that you can verify it with the Russian Embassy before you send him the Million in cash that he is asking for. He will tell you that he is very offended by that request and will hang up the phone quickly.
These scammers will object to you visiting Moscow to personally make payment to Transneft Bank then move to LC in exchange for PB/POP documents there.
No matter what you do, do not pay them upfront fees and do not accept any procedure where you have to pay large upfront sum to get the deal started. Once you pay and pay, there is no way to get your money back and recover the lost time. The fake Mr. Boishtoc from Transneft will tell you that Transneft has met their obligations and that you are now liable for the additional external fee of $150,000.00 per contract and that you should address your concerns with the Russian seller.
Things to do to avoid these scams:
1.- Always contact your country's embassy in Moscow for help on screening Russian sellers.
2.- Ask your embassy to recommend a local lawyer to screen and verify any document that you receive from Moscow.
3.- Get your lawyer to invite you to Moscow to verify all documents issued by your seller and to visit your seller.
4.- Get the seller to move first by issuing PB from reputable Russian Bank with a major Foreign corresponding bank and Vessel Charter Party Agreement verifiable through your lawyer in Moscow.
There is no scam without a Bank. Check the seller's bank listed on the contract. Bank uses their own mail server so if given bank email address shows a different mail server then be concerned. Call the bank. Bank officer should use a land line for their phone number not cell phone
Serious and sucessful sellers should not have any need to collect Transneft fees upfront from you once you show then preliminary proof of fund via BCL or soft probe. Only scammers want to see your money first, because their business is to collect these fees,not to sell oil. Furthermore, once you send them one payment, they tell you that they have a quota and that you need to send them more deals before they can accept your Pre-advice LC or issue PB.
Even if you ask them to sign a promisory note to return the money in case of non-performance, they will do it because you have no way of collecting that money back from them.
Do not accept any document from these people unless you have a way of verifying it independently. They are master forgeurs for all sort of refinery and government documents.
They use a lot of Seller's mandate all of over the world to bring them business. The Russian mandates are part of the scam but foreign mandates are usually innocent victims who think that they are representing a legitimate Russian seller.
Happy Trading !!!br/>
Your story will help weeding out scammers from the business. It is not just about the money, it is about detecting these scams soon enough to avoid wasting time.
NOTE: Since this article was initially posted here, there have been some new company listings on Alibaba.com (Lukhoilsandgas, Golden Oil,....)presenting themselves as mandates for Russian companies like RUSNEFTPROM.
My personal recommendation is not to do business with any mandate or company that lists relationship with Alduke Holdings-Sibneftprom, RUSNEFPROM or any of the companies listed above in this article.
The real test is for you to get a copy of their procedure, they all require upfront fee from the buyer for Transneft fee before they issue PB, POP, or show any oil or SGS report or proof of previous deals where that have actually ship any oil to anybody.
petrofinder has posted a fraud warning from Gazprom
The complete contact details of Gazprom are posted hereGAZPROM FRAUD WARNING:
GAZPROM DOES NOT CHARGE RUSSIAN FEDERATION FEE, RUSSIAN MINISTRY FEE, PIPELINE FEE, URALTRANSNEFT FEE.
"GAZPROM, the Company, DOESN'T make a request to register future contracts at various ministries and entities of the Russian Federation as the Russian legislation doesn’t provide for such a procedure."
Gazprom wishes to warn the public against transactions with unscrupulous market players, which disseminate fictitious commercial proposals for petroleum products sales from Internet websites and via e-mail purportedly on behalf of Gazprom or its affiliated companies.
Gazprom and its subsidiary companies do not establish business relations and do not offer guarantees of goods delivery in absentia, via Internet or e-mail.
Gazprom exclusively exports its petrochemical products through its subsidiaries – Gazprom export and Gazprom neft, which bypass any intermediaries when concluding contracts.
Official information about the activities of Gazprom export and Gazprom neft is available on the websites;
1) http://www.gazpromexport.com and
Likewise, the Company doesn’t make a request to register future contracts at various ministries and entities of the Russian Federation as the Russian legislation doesn’t provide for such a procedure.
Gazprom reserves the right to take legal action in order to terminate fraudulent actions by unscrupulous market players.
JSC Gazprom Neft
ul. Profsoyuznaya 125 A, Moscow, 117647 Russia
Tel.: +7 (495) 777-3152
Fax: +7 (495) 777-3151
Here are the links to Bashneft's affiliated companies... http://www.bashneft.com/processing/petrochemicals/Warning
In connection with emailing and using the Internet for offers for sale of substantial quantities of natural gas from brokers allegedly related to the Gazprom Group's companies, Gazprom Export (a 100% owned subsidiary of Gazprom) informs that in accordance with Russian law it is the only exporter of natural gas that belongs to Gazprom Group abroad and does not engage any Russian and foreign businesses/individuals as intermediaries in negotiating and concluding contracts.
Bashneft issued a fraud warning regarding impostor sites, it includes contact details where you can report those fake sites. http://www.bashneft.com/company/swindlers/
A simple elementary Google search will reveal that Bashneft owns OJSC Ufa Oil Refinery, OJSC Novoil and OJSC Ufaneftekhim, all three having been impersonated numerous times with fake web sites and ads on B2B sites.
Bashneft export their oil to surrounding countries via pipelines, not exactly the type of company that would advertise their oil on Alibaba and other B2B sites. It's the same with all major oil companies, Russian or otherwise.
Searching the Internet for bargains in Russian oil is equal to searching for discounted Gold from Africa, it doesn't exist, Period.
- OJSC Ufa Oil Refinery - http://www.bashneft.com/processing/p...icals/ufimnpz/
- OJSC NOVOIL - http://www.bashneft.com/processing/p...icals/novooil/
- OJSC Ufaneftekhim - http://www.bashneft.com/processing/p...ls/ufanefthim/
- OJSC Ufaorgsintez - http://www.bashneft.com/processing/p.../ufaorgsintez/
Any offers from the above named oil companies advertised on Alibaba, Tradekey or any other B2B sites are scams. Any individual who claims to be mandated by one of the above oil company name is either a scammer or working with a scammer. It can't be any more clear than that.
We received the following from Gazprom...
The OAO LUKOIL Press Service would like to draw the attention of all interested parties to new instances of attempted fraudulence on the international petroleum-product market.Fraud Notice from Gazprom
All petroleum products of Gazprom Group are exported only by its two subsidiary companies - 'Gazprom neft' (http://www.gazprom-neft.com) and 'Gazprom export' (http://www.gazpromexport.com). Thus any petroleum products offers allegedly from ОАО Gazprom directly or from the so called mandates, most ofthem advertizing on numerous free Internet marketplaces, should be considered a scam.
Here is another extremely detailed warning about the Russian Oil Scam from Gazprom
Fraud in the oil, gas and derivatives industry
Press release from Lukoil
The Company has knowledge that certain persons are currently sending out commercial offers regarding the export of petroleum products on behalf of OOO LUKOIL-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez.
Under these circumstances the OAO LUKOIL Press Service would like to point out the fact that OOO LUKOIL-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez does not supply any petroleum products to the foreign market. These products are exported solely by LITASCO (an OAO LUKOIL wholly-owned subsidiary). (Beware of fake LITASCO web sites)
The OAO LUKOIL Press Service strongly recommends that groups closely examine the suppliers who claim to be acting on behalf of OAO LUKOIL or its subsidiaries.
To contact lukoil, click here.
Rosneft does not sell their oil through the Internet nor do they use so-called mandates to sell their oil.
Beware of fraud!
To all site visitors and Rosneft counter parties,
It has come to our attention that certain parties have begun using Rosneft's name and business reputation as the basis for their attempts at fraud. Generally the fraudsters offer to set up partnership with the company, promising outstanding business growth and returns in a very short timeframe and with only a minor Investorsment.
Some of these offers have begun to appear on the Internet. Typically these are offers to broker contracts in exchange for an upfront fee. To create the illusion of affiliation with Rosneft, these offers often contain links to the Rosneft corporate site and provide our contact details, even to the extent of using personal contact details for Rosneft's management.
These offers and announcements are in no way associated with Rosneft.
Rosneft only sets up partnerships in person with representatives from partner organizations. We do not communicate or offer guarantees to counter parties in documents sent by email.
To avoid any financial loss, please look out for the signs of fraud listed below. You may be dealing with fraudsters if:
1. You receive an emailed offer to partner with Rosneft or its subsidiaries. Email attachments may include a draft contract or sample purchase order (ICPO) and bank reference. Rosneft and its subsidiaries do not send out this kind of offer and do not offer supply guarantees over the Internet or by email nor do they grant such powers to third parties.
2. You are offered better than market conditions and a significant profit.
3. Before officially signing the contract, you are asked to transfer money to cover certain services, such as handling some form of paperwork (visas, invitations, permits), contract authentication or activation with state bodies or ministries (n.b. this is not required by Russian legislation), covering transportation fees or organizing a trip for a delegation from your company to visit Russia for a supposed meeting in the Moscow Rosneft office to sign the contract (Table Talk Meeting — ТТМ), etc.
Please also note that Rosneft does not check deals with organizations outside the company.
If you receive a business proposal from any companies with a domain name similar to Rosneft's or those of its subsidiaries or if you have any doubts about deals planned with our company, please contact Rosneft immediately using the contact details below.
If you are the victim of fraud, please report the crime to the security services in line with Russian legislation.
Rosneft highly recommends that you ignore any suspicious business proposals. On no account should you transfer any money.
We collect information about fraudulent schemes in order to ensure the security of our potential counter parties. Please let us know if you are exposed to any attempts of fraud.
Examine business proposals carefully and do not transfer money to anyone.
BRANCHES AND REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES OF OJSC NK Rosneft
1. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the North Caucasus
Office location: 350610, Krasnodar, ul. Krasnaya, 54
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Shcherbakov Viktor Pavlovich, acting director
tel. (861) 211-67-81, email:email@example.com
2. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District
Office location: 629830, Gubkinsky, microrayon 10, 3
Last name, first name, partronymic of the top manager: Bedrin Valery Gennadyevich
tel. 8 (34936) 5-32-26, e-mail:YYEfimtseva@purneftegaz.ru
3. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Far East
Office location: 693010, Sakhalin Region, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, ul. Khabarovskaya, 17
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Dryablov Sergei Viktorovich
tel. (4242) 499-390, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Stavropol Territory
Office location: 356880, Neftekumsk, Ul 50 let Pionerii, 5
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Samsonov Yuri Mikhailovich
tel. (86558) 2-23-98, e-mail:email@example.com
5. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District
Office location: 628309, Ugra, Nefteyugansk, ul. Lenina, 26
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Zdolnik Sergei Yevgenyevich
tel. (3463) 31-54-79, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Komi Republic
Office location: 169710, Usinsk, ul. Pripolarnaya, 1
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Nesterenko Sergey Mikhailovich
tel. (82144) 28-3-10, 28-5-97, e-mail: email@example.com
7. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Khabarovsk Territory
Office location: 680007, Komsomolsk-na-Amure, ul. Leningradskaya, 107.
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Melekhin Vladimir Vladimirovich
tel. (4217) 22-70-25, e-mail:ZKDobraya@koil.ru
8. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Arkhangelsk region
Office location: 163530, Arkhangelskaya oblast, Primorsky rayon, posyolok Talagi, 30
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Yudin Alexei Gennadyevich
tel. (8182) 217-511, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Primorsk Territory
Office location: 690000, Vladivostok, ul. Uborevicha, 5a
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Sugak Vladimir Grigoryevich
tel. (423) 261-16-71 Vladivostok (4236) 699-156, Nakhodka, e-mail: email@example.com
10. Name: Branch of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Chechen Republic
Office location: 364051, Grozny, prospekt Revolyutsii, 7 / 84.
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Minin Dmitry Vladimirovich
tel. (495) 777-45-27, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Republic of Ingushetia
Office location: 386300, Malgobek, ul.Nuradilova, 75.
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Tsitskiev Mussa Magometovich
tel. (8734) 62-38-08, e-mail: email@example.com
12. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Asia-Pacific (Beijing)
Address: 3008, Building D, Central International Trade Centre, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Goncharov Sergei Nikolayevich
Tel / Fax: 8-10 (8610) 6563 6900, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi)
Address: United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Bateen district, Baynuna Str, Tower C6, Sector B35, Suite A1101;
Last name, first name, patronymic of the top manager: Ilyukhin Vladimir Alexandrovich
Fax +971 2 681 9528, Tel.: +971 2 681 9529, e-mail: email@example.com
14. Name: Representative office of OJSC Oil Company Rosneft in Europe (Vienna) (in liquidation)
Address: Favoritenstrasse 7, 1040, Vienna, Austria
Last name, first name, patronymic of the manager: Kuryatnikov Anatoly Viktorovich
tel. 8-10-431-501-26, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org