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Home > Uncategorized > 9 Tips on How to Determine if an Offer is a Scam

9 Tips on How to Determine if an Offer is a Scam

October 17th, 2008

We are receiving a dozen queries every day asking about the legitimacy of certain offer, generally received by email or over the phone after a cold call. Unfortunately, we cannot analyze case by case, and therefore will provide a set of useful hints which will help you evaluate the legitimacy of the company or individual yourself.

The list below is provided in no particular order:

  1. Is the domain name old enough? By means of a Whois (http://www NULL.whois NULL.sc/) search you can find out when the domain name was registered. If it’s only a few weeks old, be suspicious.
  2. Are they using mobiles? – If the phones used as contact numbers are mobile numbers instead of land lines, it’s definitely not a good sign. In Spain, mobile numbers start by +34 6..
  3. Have you been contacted out of the blue? – If you where cold called, or received an email from someone you don’t know, ask yourself why these people have your contact details.
  4. Are you being requested to pay money upfront? This is the single most worrying point if it comes in conjunction of with one or more of the above.
  5. Is the offer too good to be true? If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  6. Is the company properly registered? – Although it’s something positive if they can provide you with company registration details, you shouldn’t give this point too much importance. Fraudsters have been registering companies for decades with the sole purpose of deceiving (e.g. dozens of companies where incorporated by fraudsters to conduct the infamous Timeshare Resale Scam (http://www NULL.lawbird NULL.com/news/view/4))
  7. Is the address for their offices correct? – Not sure why, fraudsters tend to provide you with fake addresses which don’t really exist. Check any of the online street directories and find out if the address provided is correct.
  8. Something strange about their names? Funny names such as “Woley Fernandez” or “Barrister Perez Santos ESQ” are names made up by Nigerians conducting 419 advance fee scams (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=Q0e-pPfITts&feature=related) (the terms “Barrister” or “ESQ” don’t exist in Spanish law). Also, fraudsters tend to cite fake organisms such as “The Ministry of Finance” or “The Security Company”.
  9. What others are saying – Use search engines to find information about the company. Try putting the company in inverted comas, and add terms like “scam” or “fraud”. The company or individual you mention might have already been reported online as fraudsters by other people.

Needless to say, the above list shouldn’t be taken as definitive, nor the absolute legitimacy o illegitimacy of a company established based on one or more of the above points. You can use it, however, to personally evaluate the risk of the transaction.

My recommendation is that you never pay any moneys upfront if you have been contacted out of the blue. However, if you have to, before doing so always suggest the use of an escrow company (chosen by you) to hold the funds until the product or service has been delivered. If they refuse, I recommend that you back off.

Always remember; have a lawyer analyze the transaction before making any up-front payments.

Uncategorized , , ,

  1. Steve Roberts
    January 5th, 2009 at 01:47 | #1

    Thanks for the information. My father-in-law received a letter by mail from a ‘Barrister’ in Spain and your information has proved valuable in identifying it as a scam.

  2. Shendelle
    January 7th, 2009 at 00:11 | #2

    Thanks also from me too. Like Steve, my parents received a letter in the mail from an Esq. attorney. I was 99% sure it was a scam but now you have made me 100% sure.

  3. Mercedes
    March 3rd, 2009 at 23:53 | #3

    I work at a place where victims often try to wire money to Nigeria/Canada/UK etc, etc. It’s so sad but usually people will listen to me, although they haven’t always. Also, my e-mail account has been flagged for scammers. If I claimed every lottery I’ve won, or assisted every banker with abandoned funds, or helped every crippled mom of 18 in Africa, I would be a billionaire philanthropist!! ha ha ha…..

  4. k sewell
    October 17th, 2013 at 08:53 | #4

    are dextra legal on anybodies list anywhere?

  5. August 12th, 2016 at 22:37 | #5

    Hello my daughter Ágústa Överby,got la letter from Miguel Angel Navarro and he sais he is an attorney with Navarro Abogados Y Notarios.
    He clams that her aunt Natalya Överby has died with all her family in car axident
    and Águsta is the only person they found with same name “Överby”
    Miguel says that there is $4.8 M waiting for her,and he gives the mail address manmanavarro@gmail.com (manmanavarro null@null gmail NULL.com) or Tel +34-631-754-369.
    Very strange.I can not find out if they are scam or not so I would be very pleased if you could give me information about this firm
    Best regards Gunnar Överby Iceland gunnaroverby@gmail.com (gunnaroverby null@null gmail NULL.com)