Jump to content

Am I right to think this might be another scam?

Recommended Posts

Wise, learned and experienced colleagues,

I can usually spot the usual scam of African origin, involving travel agencies and Western Union but this one has made me feel uneasy, so I'd like another opinion please.  A couple of days ago I received the following message:


I am Dr. Franklin Altman Stokes from Franklin Yoga

Consultancy,and I wish to make a reservation with your for a group of 4 guests

coming for a family Vacation.We will like to know if you have vacancy for the

period of 18th September to 28th September 2007.

Please Calculate the

total cost involved for the services which includes and taxes for 10 days, and

get back to me if the dates mentioned above are free.

We appreciate your

prompt response.

Yours Sincerely,

Franklin Altman




Fax#: +442125042704


[email protected]







It made me smell a rat, and I checked out his website, which shows his yoga courses priced in $s in London, supposedly.

I've replied asking exactly what he's looking for in the way of rooms, and today received this:




I got your email.They shall be

staying for 10 DAYS

that will commence on the 18th to 28th of SEPTMBER



Number of Guests=4 Adults

Number of rooms needed= 2 Superior

Double Rooms

Check in date:18th SEPTEMBER. 2007

Check out date:28th


Payment Mode:100% deposit via Credit card


Please give

us your rates,for the entire period, and

get back to me with the grand total

for the period of

time i requested.


Your prompt response will be



Thanks for your co-operation.


No signture this time, just the message.  We don't take credit cards and as we're GdF 3 épis, don't rate as 'superior', so my next email may well knock the whole thing on te head, but what do others think.



Sorry about the formatting - it's past my bedtime on night off!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the internet.....

Dr. Franklin Stokes

+447024062538, +447024091908

Fax#:+447884514786 , +44704712105

6th Floor Gwent House

Gwent Square

NP44 1PL

Dr. Hanks Payne,

Baird Hall,

High Street Linlithgow,


West Lothian EH49 7ES


Why have an 0702 number?

• Getting a new mobile, but want a number you can take with


• Using your mobile for business and don't want to give

out your real mobile number?

• Have to give out your number a lot, but would rather keep

your mobile number private?

• Want one number for family and friends and another for

business, or new aquaintances from your social scene?

...Sounds simple, but how does it really work?

All you need to do is select your number from the link below and Ophone will connect you.

0702 is NOT premium rate. When customers, family or firends dial

an 0871 number, they will be charged at K rate. K rate may vary

depending on your phone provider, contact your phone provider

for more details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I tend to agree this is just another scam. But still not sure why the h... this guy should send such an email. But here is the email I received today with strong resemblance to the one your mentioned above. And I do not care to reply to it. Anyone knows how we can report or punish those scam writers? Thanks. [:)]





I will like to book reservation for 6 people that will be coming for vacation in your area on the 12th january to 22nd of january 2008. If you have vacancy for the specified period, give me the total cost for the whole period of 3 single or double rooms for 10 nights for 6 guest. Also, confirm if you will accept major credit card for your payment. Thank you and looking forward to hearing from soon.
Kind Regards,
Dr. Johnson Frank ,
Baird Hall,
High Street
West Lothian EH49 7ES
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can someone help me out?  Why are these letters/emails seen as being scams?  I need to know as we run a B&B.

I checked out your link, Sunday Driver, and now know about the cheque/credit card scam - thank you for that.  However, I do not see how the original letter tooks like a scam.  Can someone enlighten me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Cathy"]

Can someone help me out?  Why are these letters/emails seen as being scams?  I need to know as we run a B&B.

I checked out your link, Sunday Driver, and now know about the cheque/credit card scam - thank you for that.  However, I do not see how the original letter tooks like a scam.  Can someone enlighten me?


First I think it's just a feeling you get probably based on the amount of very similar emails you get. If you use good personal (I mean software residing on your PC as opposed to your ISP) anti spam software that 'talks' to anti spam databases then usually such emails are reported and the email comes up as spam.

If you take this particular email there are a couple of things. Firstly the 'vacation in your area' is a bit general and the word 'vacation' is an American description where as a Brit would probably use 'holiday', agreed its not always the case but it does make you read the rest more carefully. I had one saying they were attending a three day conference in central Paris and thought my place looked nice to stay at for those days. It takes me 8 hours to drive to Paris.

In some cases your suspicion is further enhanced by the poor standard of written English in a letter supposedly from a 'professional' person like a doctor, barrister etc. Many use these titles in their letter because we all trust doctors, lawyers, barristers etc, don't we ? [:D]

The next issue is the phone number, the correct code for the road used (the post code is correct by the way) is 01324 according to www.192.com .

Next there is actually no such address (Baird Hall is in Glasgow and is a 'Hall of Residence' for the university and was build in 1937), nobody registered with that name in that road on the electoral road, in a phone book or in the last census. This information can be acquired by using www.192.com.

You can also use 'reverse number look-up' (which is where you type in a phone number and it tells who has it http://www.ukphoneinfo.com/section/tci/locator.shtml ) in this case it's Magrathea Telecommunications Limited who are a 'use anywhere call forwarding number' this is a number that's allocated to a person and not a phone. This company is often used by people perpetrating frauds of some kind according to the Fraud Watchers Organisation in the UK (information source click HERE).

Now to put the cherry on the cake as it were they want to pay by credit card. Credit card and Euro cheque payments are often methods used by scammers as explained in the link SD has given (thanks for that SD I never knew it existed and now have it bookmarked). Credit card type payments are easy to deal with as I said before use PayPal as it is online and requires the 'magic' three number code from the rear of the card which scammers more than often don't have. It checks the card before accepting the transaction, scammers know this so if you ask the scammer to pay using PayPal they will either never answer or come back probably with the Euro cheque proposition.

Another 'test' you can do is give a price and put one or two zero's on the end i.e. a 900 Euro stay becomes 9,000 Euros. Scammers are driven by greed and will see the importunity of getting more money out of you so will go for it where as a real person will say HOW MUCH !!!!!!! and you can say 'Sorry my finger slipped on the old keyboard'.

Hope that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are the most lovely man in France (apart from my nearest and dearest)...  Not only have you got me back into the Forum after a frustrating absence, you have also answered my post in the most helpful way.  Your wife is very lucky!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We get our share of these 'enquiries' and delete them as soon as we see them nowadays. The bookings are always for a minimum of ten days, written with bad spelling/grammar, nearly always request single rooms despite what you advertise, the sender is a 'Doctor' or whatever and, lastly, that hotmail/yahoo address gives them away. What I'd like to know is why they simply do not book an etap if they are genuine?.

I can't believe people are still submitting these for verification here![8-)].

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about this one.  What do you think?  Any words of profound wisdom greatly appreciated.  [:)]

From The Desk Of David


The Head Of File Department,

African Development Bank (A.D.B).

Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso West




Compliments Of The Season Blessed One to Who I  Is Now Writing

     Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a

surprise and may offend your personality for contacting you without your prior

consent and writing through this channel.

            In my department we discovered

an abandoned sum of $ 5 million U.S.A dollars ( Five million U.S.A dollars or

dollars five to the million) . In an account that belongs to one of our foreign

customer who died along with his entire family in (Monday 31st July 2000) in a

plane crash (GOD BLESS HIS SOULS). Since we got information about his death, we

have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we

cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to

the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines, but unfortunately we

learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died along side with him

at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon

this discovery that I and one official in my department now decided to make

this business proposal since nobody is coming for it and we don’t want this

money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed bill.


series of prayers/fasting over 40 days and nights I was divinely directed to

contact you among other names found in the data base Yahoo tourist search. I

believe that God has a way of helping who is in need.   I am (David

Zongo),the Head of file Department in African development bank (ADB).  When i was searching for a foreign reliable

partner. I assured in a vision from the Lord our GOD (BLESSED BE THE NAME OF

THE ALMIGHTY) of your capability and reliability to champion this business


The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained

unclaimed after a certain period of years, the money will be transferred into

the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in

this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner, and

a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner. We agree that 40% of

this money will be for you as foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a

foreign account, 10% will be set aside for expenses incured during the business

and 80% would be for me and my woman colleague. There after i will visit your

country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.

Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, you

must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased

indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and

fax number for easy and effective communication and location where the money

will be remitted.  Upon receipt of your

reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application I will

not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that

you should not entertain any atom of fear, no my dear sir in all confidence be

dealing with me as I speak from GOD, as all required arrangements have been

made for the transfer.

You should contact me on my cell phone  number 00226-7685 5660. 

 Immediately as soon as you receive this letter. Trusting to hear from you


Your’s faithfully,

David Zongo.






1) Your Full Name.............................

2) Your Age.......................................

3) Marital Status................................

4) Your Cell Phone Number…………..

5) Your Fax Number……………….....

6) Your Country………………..............

7) Your Occupation............................

8) Sex................................................

9) Your Religion.................................

10) Your Private E-mail Adress...........

11) Your place of


12) Your mother’s

maiden name..............

13) The name of your

first pet.................

14) Your first school.......................

15) Your last school....................................

16) Your spouse’s

maiden name.........................

 POST SCRITUM:You have to keep everything secret as to enable the transfer

to move very smoothly in to the account you will prove to the bank. As you

finished reading this letter call me immediately so that we discuss very well

over this business.


POSTHUMOUS SCRAPTUM:  The Good Lord our God has once again appearded

to myselves in an imagining this past nights and has received to me a cavern in

the desrt whence we are finding a large quantity of pills, watches of irreprochabel

quality.  I am thinking that this may

also be of interest to you or other persons with small engines or whose women

are very demanding of services.  I am

convince that a good man of upstanding as you prove as revealed to me will benefit

in these delicacies.


To effect disposals of

pills and watches  I and a group of nuns

and accountants, all of faith and profession, am proposing to visut in your

region of FRANCE, EUROPE and wish to book for 10 weeks your ACCOMMODATIONS in

FRANCE, EUROPE.  Payment of Unesco bank

draft will be forthcoming on receipt of yourbankers details in the utmost haste

to facilitate.


Among our parties is an

equal number of womens of Eastern Romania Balkans and Russia with

manifold delights and breasts of bountifulbness.  Thes are innocent ladies of good breeding an voluptuosity.

We is praying that you is having thoughts, as OUR GOOD GOD WISHES that you be

laying your hands and other things on them and helping of these and yourself on

our arrivals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Moroccan Restaurant in NYC and this past week, I began receiving emails from a George Murray Barr from a law firm in Scotland.  He wanted to make reservations for three nights for his staff.  I became skeptical and googled the Law firm as well as his phone number and your email popped up.  Wow!  Needless to say, there is no George Murray at the Law firm either. You can see by my responses at the onset of this dialogue, that we were very eager to have a large reservation in January of course.  However, today is when my instinct told me something was not right.  His email reads:

Hello Toni,
Thanks for your reply and assistance so far.I am glad to tell you that we have concluded all payment arrangements. I will send to you my Visa credit card details that will cover the cost of our booking,and the necessary arrangement for the guests.Moreover,we also made an arrangement with a logistics agent who will take care of the following logistics to include.
1) Flights
2) Airport transfers on arrival and on departure
3)Transportation logistics during their stay
However, the prepaid agent has just informed us that their credit card merchant/terminal is faulty and is currently undergoing online upgrading and therefore cannot charge credit cards.So, we kindly solicit that once you are in receipt of my credit card details,you are required to charge $10,000.00 in  your account then deduct $2,000.00 as initial deposit and  transfer $8,000.00 to the prepaid flight/travel consultant, whose information I will forward to you once this is confirmed.
N.B:    All checks and balances will be made with you on the final day of the booking. So confirm this and provide me with your
1. YOUR FULL NAME....................
2. ADDRESS.....................................
3. PHONE NUMBERS.................... for office records.
You are also to deduct the visa fees and taxes involved in processing this amount.
Kind regards,

Barr. George Murray

Tagine Dining Gallery /Lounge <[email protected]> wrote:

Good Evening George,

Kindly find attached 3 different prix fixe menus!  They are all served family style, which allows everyone to taste a variety of appetizers and entrees. My suggestion would be the Berber or the Tuareg.  Also, would you prefer cash or open bar?  Open Bar has three price structures:

Beer, Wine and Sangria--$10per person/per hour

Beer, Wine, Sangria, Well drinks - $15.00 pp/ph

Unlimited BAR - $25.00pp/ph

I have also attached our wine list.  Please let me know if you would like to make any substitutions to any of the menus.

Thank you,


George Murray <[email protected]> wrote:

Hello Toni,

I got your response, kindly revert to me the total dining cost so that i can furnish you with my credit card details to charge it, prior to our full prepayment for the reservation.

Your earliest response would be appreciated.


Barr. George Murray

Tagine Dining Gallery /Lounge <[email protected]> wrote:

Thank you George!

I will create three menus and send them Wednesday as we have a wine tasting banquet event this evening.  I appreciate your detailed outline. 

Warm regards,


George Murray <[email protected]> wrote:

Hello Toni,
Thanks for your kind and prompt response.Can you please forward to me your proposal of 3 or 5 different menus for each day.We will like to start with a 3 course menu for the first day.

1. Number of guests: 15 adults
. Time: 7.00 pm every evening
3. No dietary concerns:
4. We are flexible on our budget
5. Mode of Payment:Prepayment by credit card
6. Booking dates: 15th,16th and the 17th of January 2008
I want you to get me 3 different menus as well their prices.

I shall be waiting for your prompt response so that we can proceed with the payment arrangements.

Kind regards,

Barr.George Murray

Tagine Dining Gallery /Lounge <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Mr. George,


Thank you for contacting Tagine from your law offices in Scotland.  We are more than happy to hold a confirmed reservation for at least 15 persons in January, 15, 16 and 17th 2008.  Would your colleagues like to order a la carte, or would you prefer prix fixe dinners.  Also, are you interested in any form of entertainment, for instance orientalist/middle eastern dancers and/or musicians.  Please feel free to call me directly on my mobile 646 373 6265 or we can continue to communicate through email. 


Thank you in advance for booking your corporate event at Tagine.


Warm regards,


Toni Marisa

Event Coordinator, Special Programs

212 564 7292

Tagine Dining Gallery

537 9th Avenue

NYC 10018

direct  646 373 6265

GEORGE MURRAY <[email protected]> wrote:

Content-Type: text/plain

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

I am George Murray, from Maclay Murray & Spens law firm, United Kingdom. I want to book dinner for my Staffs arriving from Scotland.

They will all come for dinner in your place as from the 15th, 16th and 17th January, 2008 by 7:00pm each day. They are 15 in number. Get back with your response if there is availability in your restaurant.

Warmest Regards,

Barr. George Murray

26 West Street, Glasgow,

Lanarkshire, G5 8AP



e-mail: [email protected]


Tagine Dining Gallery/Lounge

537 Ninth Avenue
New York City 10018


        212 564 7292

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="lovymarisa"]
Also, are you interested in any form of entertainment, for instance orientalist/middle eastern dancers. 


If Georgie doesn't show any interest, could you forward me the details please, Marisa?  [:D]

Tresco's link to the original thread which gave quite a detailed explanation of how to read a scam - partly rehashed by Quillan above - does not seem to work - how strange. [8-)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah we have had same and such.

Here are the common denominators:


The number '4' whether it be people, singles, couples or rooms.

'10' meaning the number of days required. They never ask for two, three or five days. The booking enq is always for a minimum of 10 days.

'Rates for the entire period'

Offer of '100% deposit' by card/cheque

Basically check the grammar.

And the names are usually pretty pretentious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

We have a very small restaurant in Newport, Oregon (USA) and had recently received a number of email requests (for reservations for a group of 10) from a "Dr. James Turner" from the UK.

After several attemps to confirm information (deposit and menu selections) with Dr. Turner, we decided to do a little research of our own.

I spent a good deal of time searching before I decided to enter the phone number Dr. Turner used in his emails....+337024062538 on Google.  Fortunately this "link" appeared and after reading your posting...I realized we'd been a victim of a scam as well.

Many thanks for posting your experience online.  It was just the confirmation we needed. Thankfully, only time and energy was spent instead of product and lost wages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...