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these guys really do their research…
Posted: 27 August 2008 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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So a co-worker of mine got this e-mail from someone claiming to be the director of the museum of life sciences…? We are a not-for-profit organization and we do fisheries assessments on different lakes all over Ontario. This summer we have been working on a rather extensive Lake Sturgeon assessment (this is how I figure this man got her contact information). Some of the stuff he is talkin about doesn’t quite add up. For example she isn’t a doctor, nor are we working in Minnesota. Here’s what we found out about the scammer: (the actual scam e-mail she recieved is at the bottom).

He runs what we can call a biological supply house.  He sells your
specimens.
I do not know of a museum that has received anything in return.

He can be very aggressive, such as emailing your superiors, or in one
US case
a state legislator in the US to pressure a state fish & game group.

My advice has been consistently to just not respond.

Next, he will ask you for hagfishes and other “sellable” taxa that
our common
in your area.


Now for the actual e-mail she recieved:

Respected Dr.Deary ;

We are in need of the following 45 PRESERVED STURGEON ;ACIPENSERIDAE
FISHES,ANY SPECIES( INITIALLLY PRESERVED IN 5 % Formaline for 7 days
than
transferin 45&#xIS;OPROPYL SOLUTION )as I AM WORKING RESEARCH ON :
” THE COMPARATIVE SKELETAL MORPHOLOGY OF WORLD ACIPENSERIDAE AND
POLYODONTIDAE FISH FAMILIES”.

WE CAN PAY YOU THE CITES PERMIT FEE and AIRFREIGHT CHARGES on your
specimens
IN ADVANCE through Bank Draft.
    Since you work with lake sturgeon in Northern Minnesota
U.S.A.,hence, Please help us and provide the following
PRESERVED SPECIMENS VIA AIRPOST EMS/SPEED-POST PARCEL through Post
Office.You
may also provide your Damp-Packed specimens through FED-EX (
international :
Economy). I have a valid Fed-Ex Import Account.

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF ACIPENSER :

Sturgeons ...  Preserved.Fingerlings;20 Cm.to 30 Cm.Size ..45 Pcs.

Now, the decision is in your capable hands. Please think over my
request, keeping in mind the obvious Research need.I think there
would be no objection to you while I am prepared to pay the PERMIT
FEE and
Airfreight/Airpostage to you in advance. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ESTIMATE
and do
send the available specimens VIA EMS SPEED-POST AIRMAIL PARCEL
through
Postr Office on my address .

You may also send your Damp-Packed specimens through FED-EX(
International :
Economy) as I have a Valid Fed-Ex Import Account. Please MARK the
following
Statement on your Parcel,Packing-list, Customs-tags and on CUSTOMS
INVOICE as
per Indian Rules:

“TEACHING-AID MATERIAL OF 45 PRESERVED FISH SPECIMENS FOR SCIENTIFIC
STUDY USE HAVING NO COMMERCIAL VALUE;ACTUAL COST FOR CUSTOMS
PURPOSE DOES NOT $.20-OO BUT NOT CHARGEABLE( FOR CUSTOMS
PURPOSE ONLY).”


Hopefully, I am awaiting to have you eareliest reply by Email.Please
cooperate with us on most humanitarian ground and oblige.Thanking
you.
With regards, I remain
Respectfully yours,

Dr.M .F. H. Rehmani
Director
Museum of Life-Sciences
INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
1066, Civil Lines,
Jhansi-284001, U.P.,
INDIA.

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Posted: 27 August 2008 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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couch, I’m not getting what the scam is here. Some guy is trying to buy sturgeon? Could you summarize what the scam is?

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Posted: 27 August 2008 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have a feeling ‘couch’ will not even return Alex. smile

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Posted: 27 August 2008 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Alex - 27 August 2008 10:47 PM

couch, I’m not getting what the scam is here. Some guy is trying to buy sturgeon? Could you summarize what the scam is?

What little I’ve been able to find out about the whole thing:

From September 07, 2001
From February 21, 2002

The latter one gives a brief resum

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Posted: 28 August 2008 01:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Accipiter, I’m in awe of your google skills!

So I guess there is something to couch’s post. If I understand the situation correctly, a scam artist is contacting small museums and not-for-profit orgs and pleading that they send him sturgeon and other biological specimens. And he just turns around and sells whatever is sent to him.

And this has been going on for 7 years?

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Posted: 28 August 2008 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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And he probably sells them as a different kind of fish to boot! wink

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Posted: 28 August 2008 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m surprised no one’s said it yet…

Phishing scam!

I’ll go away, now.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Given that sturgeon can produce caviar, he’s probably not selling the actual fish (unless it’s directly to caviar farmers).

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Posted: 28 August 2008 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 28 August 2008 11:17 AM

Given that sturgeon can produce caviar, he’s probably not selling the actual fish (unless it’s directly to caviar farmers).

Seeing as how the fish are dead and preserved in highly toxic and very smelly chemicals when sent to him (“INITIALLLY PRESERVED IN 5 % Formaline”), he’d not make much if any profit from selling the caviar.  Or selling the fish as farm stock.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You can only collect caviar at a certain point before they spawn. And since he’s asking for preserved samples I highly doubt the caviar would be any good to buyers.

I was just under the impression he was looking for us to send him stugeon DNA and aging structures for “educational purposes” and not actually send the money he said he would. Then turn around and “sell” the samples to museums. Then again…this whole scam kind of confused me. Hahaha. I just thought it was so strange how he managed to track down my co-workers name and the fact that we were doing sturgeon research…though at the same time if he did so much research into tracking her down you’d think he’d know she wasn’t a Dr. and the fact we are doing research in Ontario…not Minnesota.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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the other thing is we don’t actually kill the sturgeon…we are just tagging them and collecting a DNA sample and then we live release them…so I don’t really see how our research would help him out.

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Posted: 12 May 2011 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Anytime an email from a third world country includes the phrase ‘Please Be Serious”, My guard goes all the way up. hmmm

From the research Acci did earlier in the thread, it looks like this fine fellow is busy with a scam where he “orders/asks for” certain specimens, which he then resells without compensating the original supplier in return.  It may not seem like big money, but we are talking a 3rd world country, possibly dozens of such sales per year, and an inflated price for the specimens to whomever he sells them to.  This would certainly be enough for a person to live on in all but the most prosperous of regions in India. 

(I especially like how he has said that Western Union cannot make payments FROM his country, only To it.  This, naturally, makes it easier to send a fake check or somesuch to buy time whilst he receives the package, and then packs up his “university” and disappears!)  LOL

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