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Old April 11th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Abraxus Investments - heard of them??

Hi folks, I am not sure where to post this. As this is my favorite forum I thought I would start here.

My company has been contacted by Abraxus Investments to take real estate photos for them. As they are located in the UK I wondered if anyone had heard of them or had any experience with them. They say we will be paid via international money orders and all of our interactions have sounded legit.

thanks,
Janice
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Old April 11th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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They are located in the UK and need photos of real estate here in the states WHY? I'd confirm they actually are who and where they say they are (website?, whois, return email, phone and address check out?). If you don't know how to cross check info like this dig around and find out and dig deep.

I had a scammer try to jack my website info - he knew where my site was hosted and had procured a legit looking email and a phone # with a matching area code to my ISP... can't imagine my site was worth hi-jacking, but... if he was in the ISP's town, I gave them enough info to go knock at his door, and I don't think I'd mess with my ISP...

Lots of these overseas scammers have a great line, and sound legit, but there's a hook somewhere where they are after your personal/banking info, at which point they will clean out your accounts... OR they want you to somehow "invest" something for or with them... No different scam than the old "I got a winning lottery ticket, but I need someone to front some money so I can collect it..."

That said, do your due diligence and be VERY careful - the scammers are always looking for a mark... and they do tailor their approach if they find your business "on the web". I've had a few approaches over the years on my guitar business...

There is ALWAYS a possibility they are a legit outfit needing professional services... it's possible. That's why I always keep an umbrella handy in case those flying donkeys pass overhead!

DB>)
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Old April 11th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #3
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Thanks Dave

Dave, you really got me thinking on this. It really made me question just what I knew for sure about the person emailing me. I researched identity theft and found they can divert my mail (now that they have my home address) and get my CC numbers or worse open new cards in my name. I have called the bank and signed up for Privacy Assist Premier. I will continue to watch everything closely. Thanks again for your response. I have learned a valuable lesson for hopefully a minimal cost.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #4
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i have a saying..

If in doubt, throw it out
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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #5
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Yesterday, I received a similar unsolicited email, purportedly from a "freelance researcher" in the UK who is researching birds in West Africa but wants video services in my state in the USA.
Some fishy aspects of the message: The email has no specifics about why the sender chose me. The email has grammar and punctuation errors and the person's signature doesn't match the name he gives with his email address. Also, the email address is from a free account.
The email sounds suspiciously like the "Nigerian scam," the basis of which is that the scammer cons the victims into providing their bank account information, so that the scammer can clean it out.
Needless to say, I ignored the request.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #6
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Better to only send them 1 credit card number then - just in case.... ;)
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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Bird Man

Hi Allen, I have recieved two of the same emails. One to do work in North Carolina and the other for Maine.

I will definitely be throwing out any emails outside the US period.

thanks to all
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Old April 12th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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I got three different emails like this just this year. Each offering to book my services on 'visits to the states' or after they physically moved to the states. One dude was very very convincing, and I didn't smell something fishy till they sent me the 'alleged' money. So yeah, if you can't confirm it, just ignore the emails.

Be very careful, apparently the scammers are out for our blood.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17697615/ is a good story to watch.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Brodsky View Post
Yesterday, I received a similar unsolicited email, purportedly from a "freelance researcher" in the UK who is researching birds in West Africa but wants video services in my state in the USA.
Some fishy aspects of the message: The email has no specifics about why the sender chose me. The email has grammar and punctuation errors and the person's signature doesn't match the name he gives with his email address. Also, the email address is from a free account.
The email sounds suspiciously like the "Nigerian scam," the basis of which is that the scammer cons the victims into providing their bank account information, so that the scammer can clean it out.
Needless to say, I ignored the request.
I recieved that same exact e-mail.... it seemed a little fishy to me, but I have got a few contacts via e-mail that sounded too good to be true that ended up working out just fine, so I replied to it. I asked him some questions trying to ascertain exactly what equipment would be needed and what locations he intended to shoot in so I could give him a price quote.... he never got back to me.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #10
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Steven -

Did they "wire" the money to you? This is one REALLY good reason to avoid these sorts of scammers - if they get your account info (supposedly so they can send you money), it's no big deal to clean your account out...

In short, keep your info as private as humanly possible, and be VERY careful with unsolicited email - while there CAN be legitimate inquiries, there are LOTS of people looking to improve their lifestyles overseas by fleecing anyone they can, and they are nearly impossible to find and stop as cyberspace has no borders.

ANYONE can get a free email account - and most free providers won't release any infor without a suppoena, and any info is probably false anyway... phone #'s can now be faked with VoIP, and of course if they can spoof the "big" web sites... they can create a fake/fraud/phishing web site...

Best practice, NEVER reveal anything you wouldn't in person or over the phone with a complete stranger...

A REAL business/person will have information you can confirm independently (Google map the physical addy!), and be able to work through "normal" channels like hard copy checks and if you have ways to take 'em, Credit cards (just watch out for charge-backs and stolen CC #'s).

It's very possible to be an "international" business with the Internet, but it requires far more thorough vetting and safeguards than "local" transactions.

DB>)
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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #11
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Steven -

Did they "wire" the money to you? This is one REALLY good reason to avoid these sorts of scammers - if they get your account info (supposedly so they can send you money), it's no big deal to clean your account out...DB>)
No, they mailed it to me. But it wasn't real.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #12
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Too Vague, too bogus.

Easy way to stop them ... or certify payment for your work.

Demand payment by credit card IN ADVANCE, with option to add additional charges on the same credit card account PRIOR TO DELIEVERY.

When you are assured their payments have been credited to your accounts (usually three days), send them the product of your work.

Get paid first, then do the work ... with anyone that does not have an active bank account in your communty!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #13
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More from Abraxus Investments

Dear Janice DeMille
I would like to inform you that you will get your first assignment next week.The client should make a payment of $2550 on monday or tuesday and i would like you to confirm receipt of such payment when you receive it.The client is a realtor and has a property under his care in North Carolina.I will forward the info of his contact in NC that will guide you in the photographic specifications they want.

Only your mobilization fee of $500 should be deducted from the funds received.Your commission and transportation expenses will be paid after you complete the assignment.I will forward the info to remit the balance to us after i hear from you.


Best regards
Uri Heller
_________________________________________________________________

I never gave them any financial information but this may be what he/she/they are leading up to. I have not responded to anything since posting here.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Janice DeMille View Post
.Your commission and transportation expenses will be paid after you complete the assignment.

Yeah, I'm all over that.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice DeMille View Post
Dear Janice DeMille
I would like to inform you that you will get your first assignment next week.The client should make a payment of $2550 on monday or tuesday and i would like you to confirm receipt of such payment when you receive it.The client is a realtor and has a property under his care in North Carolina.I will forward the info of his contact in NC that will guide you in the photographic specifications they want.

Only your mobilization fee of $500 should be deducted from the funds received.Your commission and transportation expenses will be paid after you complete the assignment.I will forward the info to remit the balance to us after i hear from you.


Best regards
Uri Heller
_________________________________________________________________

I never gave them any financial information but this may be what he/she/they are leading up to. I have not responded to anything since posting here.
Yep - here's how the scam goes - the "client" is a shill, will give you "payment" that is a bogus as a $3 bill, they will ask you to deposit and immediately send the amount ("remit the balance") over what your fees are to the setup guy... of course the funds out of YOUR account are real, so they just got free money AND your banking info...

Run! Or if you're feeling frisky, contact local law enforcement and set up a sting!

DB>)
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