Friday 28 March 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I kindly request you to assist me with the business of old coal irons. I met people who call themselves agents of a company which buys that item at price of P10,000 each. When I came with those irons, they told me that they are the ones who permitted enter that business premises not me. The business premises is in Phakalane and I’m not sure about the place, and those who called themselves agent refuses with their name. Please if is possible find out for me.

I’m slightly confused by this business. I’ve heard several stories about people claiming to offer vast amounts of money for these old irons. I saw a post recently on Facebook where the guy was offering P15,000 for each one.

Something is very odd here and I’m not sure what it is. Currently the scrap value for cast iron is about $300 per ton, nothing like what is offered by these people. Others told me it’s because they contain uranium, which is simply nonsense. What’s more if you search the web and look at sites like Ebay you can these irons on sale for just a few hundred Pula.

It’s not just something that’s happening in Botswana. I’ve also seen stories in the press from Zimbabwe saying the same thing but they can’t clear up the mystery either.

I suspect that this is either a rumour that is getting out of hand or it’s the beginning of some sort of scam. As yet I’m not sure but if you know please get in touch and let me know.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I don't know if you assist with this kind of issue, but I need help. I applied for a few international jobs so now I got a response a company called Phoenix Consulting and it needs me to send my documentation, certificates and all.

Their email said “You are hereby notified that your qualifications and experience are found suitable for the requirements of our client, CORE OIL AND GAS (UK) LTD. For verification and screening, you are to submit your most recent resume and certificates to their e-mail address above. Please indicate your present salary and your preferred salary.”

Is it wise to send them my details? And is there any way to figure out if it is a real company or not?

This is without a doubt a scam. There are several clues.

Firstly they don’t give a landline number, they only give a UK mobile phone number which is of the type that can be redirected to anywhere in the world. They also give an address in a business area of London that I simply don’t believe. It’s also strange that they use a Yahoo email address, not one from their own domain.

Then there’s the wording of their email. It’s exactly the same as that used on other scams that have occurred before. You can find details of these on the internet.

Perhaps most importantly this is simply not how recruitment companies operate. If they selected you why don’t they seem to know your name?

Finally there’s the big clue. On the web site of the real “Core Oil and Gas” company is a warning:

This is the beginning of a 419 scam. Please don’t throw your money away.

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