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Old 09-06-2010, 11:57 PM   #1
akiy
 
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Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Hi folks,

I just received a quick heads-up regarding the following e-mail that is being sent to various martial arts schools (including aikido). It seems a slightly reworded version (sometimes with a different name) is also being sent out to ice skating, pilates, and dance schools as well. The scam involves agreeing to a price for the training, having the target cash a fake cashiers check or charging a credit card for more than the amount of the term, and asking to wire the difference to a third party -- a classic "419" scam.
Quote:
Hello,
My name is Arvel Thurman. I want to book training services for a group of six who shall be on vacation to your country for 8weeks.We want an intensive training sessions with you. Their stay will last from Sept to November,2010.They are all beginners and six in number.What can you offer? Can I know your qualification and service rate? This program coincides with our vacation timetable and it is designed towards improving the mental and physical fitness by challenging ourselves beyond our capabilities. Our aim is to improve our confidence, gain self defense skills, increase fitness and enjoy new challenges.

Do you have a training facility where you conduct classes? if not,we can arrange one for it.
I would love to know the possibility of working with you during this period.Kindly get back to me with your proposals so that we can make booking asap.

Best regards.
Arvel Thurman
BCSSA,Egerton Training Ground,
Mereheath Lane,
Knutsford,
Cheshire, WA16 6SL,Uk
A search on the name "Arvel Thurman" will bring up many pointers regarding this scam.

Please be careful with these kinds of scams, folks!

Best,

-- Jun

PS: Thanks to Jim Baker of Aikido of Norfolk for this information.

Last edited by akiy : 09-07-2010 at 12:01 AM.

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Old 09-07-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Thank you Jun, for watching our backs.

I did receive such an email, which I promptly deleted.

In Oneness,

francis
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
Linda Eskin
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Our dojo received a similar attempt at this scam, except it was by phone. Someone using the same name as in the email claimed to want to send a group of bodyguards or something like that from overseas for training. Good thing Sensei didn't just fall off the turnip truck. :-)

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:36 AM   #4
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

I remember when we held the great " Kenshiro Abbe Memorial Event " at London's Crystal Palace, there was a great deal of publicity for about a year before the event. I could not tell you how many requests I received from far away countries offering to bring their teams over and requesting a ``````letter of invitation ```` which may possibly get them into the country ?....I never replied to any of them so I have no idea what the next step of their scam would be.

Henry Ellis
http://kenshiroabbe.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:48 AM   #5
bleepbeep
Dojo: kyokan dojo bacolod city/dale city aikikai, va
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Thanks for the heads up..
got an email from Howard Paul..using the same letter word for word...
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:39 AM   #6
GMaroda
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Didn't something similar crop up last year? Just curious.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:43 AM   #7
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Jun:

I offered them a great deal of $10,000 per hour of secret training. All they had to do was to send me a suitcase with unmarked, non-sequential, US 50's and 20's before I would provide them with the next important, secret information regarding their potential upcoming stay.

Surprisingly, I did not hear back from them.......

Just Kidding

Marc Abrams

ps- one of my students works as a victim's crime specialist for the fed.'s. It is amazing how many people fall for that B.S. (bachelors of science - of course).
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:36 PM   #8
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

I saw one of these a couple years ago and just ignored it. I thought it was weird.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:18 PM   #9
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Strangely enough, I received a new and improved version of the old Nigerian banking scheme the same day. This time Mr. Wong Cheng of Japan National Bank wanted me to help claim 8.5 million dollars from the usual late depositor's account. A very long request and written in excellent english with good syntax. I forwarded it to a buddy in the banking industry for his security folks and to some old friends with the feds. Now if I can just find that ad for learning in my sleep the most devastating martial arts secrets the masters don't want me to know, I'll be set.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

What! They are learning to spell and use sentences. Wow. That will sucker more in to their scams. Most of those scams don't get the attention of the feds since there are so many they can't keep up I had my credit card info stolen and my account drained one night and the feds told me unless it was over $100K they wouldn't even talk to you. That's why they try to keep it under the radar since nobody seems to care. I'm for the not very aiki method of knee capping them and fixing their fingers so they can't type.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:33 AM   #11
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Usually they get the most vulnerable, senior citizens. This is nothing more than the old "pidgeon drop" routine that has been going on for generations. Identity theft is a nightmare and the feds don't work them very hard at all. They leave most cases up to the local agencies. Even if you aren't victimized, think of what it costs if you simply lose your wallet or purse. My wife had her purse stolen out of the nursing station twice over the years. Our only loss was the relatively small amount of cash, but each event ended up costing around $ 2000.00 to replace licenses, eyeglasses, phones, PDAs, keys, changing locks, and a ton of other things. Our biggest highlight was losing the check registry that she used to pay bills with. Since she didn't have the register, we cancelled all outstanding checks and that created check charges and late charges worth several hundred bucks. Kneecapping would have been too good.

Aren't you glad that we do Aikido and are so evolved, John?

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:36 AM   #12
akiy
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Just a heads-up that I just received the above message from a "Paul Smith" (paulsmith4747@yahoo.com).

-- Jun

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Old 09-29-2010, 04:08 PM   #13
tlk52
Dojo: Aikido of Park Slope/NY Aikikai
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

I got a similar email both re Aikido and teaching piano.

they were very aggressive.

Even when I turned them down they still sent me a fake cashier's check (hoping I'd deposit it,) for a large amount with directions to "take out what your program costs and send the balance on to our associate" ... I called the Secret Service, which handles mailfraud , and sent them the check

the scam is that if you do deposit it the bank will often credit the deposit before it clears (which it never will) and then you owe the bank for the amount that you sent on.

Last edited by tlk52 : 09-29-2010 at 04:09 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:16 PM   #14
Chris Farnham
Dojo: Aikido of Champlain Valley/Hamamatsu Aikidokai/Aikido Shidokai
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

I received a scam email in my hotmail account the other day, supposedly from hotmail support asking me to re-confirm my account by supplying my user name, and password as well as where I lived. I could tell before I read it that is was a scam because the email came from hotmailsupport4@gmail.com
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:24 PM   #15
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

We just received a new one this morning. It was an e-mail from one of my wife's colleagues who supposedly was mugged while visiting Wales. According to the story, Jean was visiting Wales with her family and were accosted on the street by a mugger who took all their money, jewelry, credit cards and cell phones. Her flight was scheduled "in a few hours" and she was having trouble checking out of her hotel. She further complained that the local police and the American Embassy were of no assistance. There was no request for money and I suspect the scam was to respond with an offer to help and then the scam triggered. It didn't pass the initial smell test; it wasn't written in a style that a college instructor would use, some strange phrases were used such as "we came down to Wales", she would be teaching this week, and Jean would reach out to others first, including a very close ex who is a law enforcement official. Neverending. This appeared to come from her contacts list and it did have the correct header. Almost nicely done. Or as Maxwell Smart would say "Missed by THIS much!"

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:46 PM   #16
akiy
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Hi folks,

As there are many e-mail scams going around, reporting all of them would probably be an exercise in futility. I started this thread to warn people about aikido-related e-mail scams.

So, let's limit this discussion to e-mail scams that specifically target aikido folks.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 09-30-2010, 05:04 PM   #17
Steven
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

I've been getting this e-mail scam at least 3 times a week from various domain addresses. But the same subject. I now have filters setup looking for key phrases that automagically delete the e-mails before I see them.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:07 PM   #18
akiy
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Quick note that I just received yet another permutation of this message.
Quote:
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 23:47:49 +0100 (BST)
From: Arvel Thurman <thurmanarvel@yahoo.co.uk>
To: info@martialartstraining.com
Subject: Booking Information

Hello,
My name is Arvel Thurman. I want to check if you have the following dates available so that we can make reservation for the training of the underlisted candidates in martial arts(self defense/fitness).They are six in number.They shall be coming over to your facilities for the training.There names are as follows;
Guest Names;
Freddie- -Carter
Darren - - Shaw
Gordon Khan
Paulyn Wilkinson
Marvin Powell
Adrastos Anastas
-Date; 29th October - December 17th 2010.
-Aim;to improve our confidence, gain self defense skills, increase fitness and enjoy new challenges.
-Sex;five males and one female
-Ages;18 - 22 and all beginners
-Number of sessions per a week 3
-Duration per each; 2hours
-Time; we are slightly flexible with time,kindly advise
-we are currently working with an accommodation agent who has been negotiating on a possible accommodation within the area.Would you be arranging for the training kits/wears,certificates ? What could be the total cost of your services?
Do you have a training facility where you conduct classes? Kindly get back to me with your proposals so that we can make reservation asap.
Best regards.
Arvel Thurman

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Old 10-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #19
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Quick note that I just received yet another permutation of this message.
Jun:

I am very disappointed that they did not take me up on my very generously discounted offer of $10,000 per hour, cash up-front in non-sequential bills for an hour of super secret training. I am even more upset that they are no longer sending me any more e-mails to learn from me !

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:23 AM   #20
WilliB
Dojo: Minato Aikikai
Location: Tokyo
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Jun:

I am very disappointed that they did not take me up on my very generously discounted offer of $10,000 per hour, cash up-front in non-sequential bills for an hour of super secret training. I am even more upset that they are no longer sending me any more e-mails to learn from me !

Marc Abrams
Wow, what a deal! How could they refuse that?
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:54 AM   #21
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
We just received a new one this morning. It was an e-mail from one of my wife's colleagues who supposedly was mugged while visiting Wales. According to the story, Jean was visiting Wales with her family and were accosted on the street by a mugger who took all their money, jewelry, credit cards and cell phones. Her flight was scheduled "in a few hours" and she was having trouble checking out of her hotel. She further complained that the local police and the American Embassy were of no assistance. There was no request for money and I suspect the scam was to respond with an offer to help and then the scam triggered. It didn't pass the initial smell test; it wasn't written in a style that a college instructor would use, some strange phrases were used such as "we came down to Wales", she would be teaching this week, and Jean would reach out to others first, including a very close ex who is a law enforcement official. Neverending. This appeared to come from her contacts list and it did have the correct header. Almost nicely done. Or as Maxwell Smart would say "Missed by THIS much!"
Damn, the UK is a dangerous place. I've heard from no fewer than seven different people who were robbed in London in the past two weeks.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:03 PM   #22
akiy
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Just got yet another one in this same vein:
Quote:
Hello,

My names is Richard Wilson I am contacting you on behalf of my colleague . We want to book training services for a group of six who shall be on vacation to your country for 8weeks.We want an intensive training sessions with you. Their stay will last from November,2010.to Jan They are all beginners and six in number.What can you offer? Can I know your qualification and service rate? This program coincides with our vacation timetable and it is designed towards improving the mental and physical fitness by challenging ourselves beyond our capabilities. Our aim is to improve our confidence, gain self defense skills, increase fitness and enjoy new challenges.

Do you have a training facility where you conduct classes? if not,we can arrange one for it.
we would love to know the possibility of working with you during this period.Kindly get back to with your proposals so that we can make booking asap.

Best regards.
Richard
BCSSA,Egerton Training Ground,
BCSSA,Egerton TrainingGround,
109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington,
London,UK, SW7 5LR..
+447031912723
richard.willson62@yahoo.com
-- Jun

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Old 10-18-2010, 02:29 PM   #23
lbb
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Are people actually still biting on this?
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:13 AM   #24
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Got one of these a few months ago, sadly it's still not up there with my favourite one of all time. About 10 years ago I got one from someone claiming to be the wife of a Russian cosmonaut who had been trapped on the Mir space station since the fall of the USSR and was unable to collect his paycheck as a result. Would I mind helping her get it out of the country with a UK bank account.

This is the only time I've genuinely had to clean coffee off my monitor.

PS - Sorry Jun I know it's slightly off topic but thought it was probably worth it

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:42 AM   #25
Keith Larman
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Re: Warning Regarding E-mail Scam

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Are people actually still biting on this?
Given that they're still being tried someone is likely biting occasionally. I actually just remembered a few people who aren't all that "jacked in to the internet" and I let them know about it. They're not the type to be browsing forums like this but they do use e-mail. A couple people I forwarded the scam to were unaware of it. Shrug.

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