Search-engine assisted fraud HOWTO

As many of the readers of this fine site are career criminals, it seems good to explain a new and popular procurement fraud scam.  Here’s a piccie to muddy the waters, followed by the blow-by-blow account, in which the numbers do not match the picture.

Scam by search engine

Scam by search engine

1. Register a web site with a forgettable name, e.g.

2. Register a web site with a name derived from some well-known business, e.g.

3. Send mail to your victims from (Vodacom Special Delivery Office) requesting quotations for the Meissner RRC929PPZ toner cartridge, light bulb, shredder, light meter, call quality meter, gamma ray emitter, mulcher, etc.

4. Your victim visits his favourite search engine, and finds that the RRC929PPZ is available from only one supplier, who happens to be in a distant part of the country, but has a local office.  He asks for a quote: it’s going to cost him R100k.  This is the hook.  Now you reel him in.

5. Your victim submits a quote to  You accept the quote irrespective of how much it costs, because it’s about the principle of the thing, not the money.

6. Your victim contacts your “supplier”, and orders the goods.  You ask for payment.  Once you get paid, you withdraw the funds, while you slowly ship the goods from your “warehouse” directly to the well-known “business”.  Laugh all the way from the bank to your evil lair.

Bonus points are awarded for …

  • Accepting multiple quotes
  • Haggling about the price
  • Trade discounts
  • Getting your victim to fill in a dealer application form
  • Not going to jail

Fundamentally, this scam relies on people’s willingness to make a quick buck at the expense of others, also known as greed.  If you think you’ll make a quick buck, you’re ready for the taking.  If you think you will make profit by using a search engine, and forwarding mails for well known businesses, you are ready to lose your money.

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