NEW INVENTION - NEW SCAM
New invention warning!!
You’ve heard of the Nigerian Letter Scam - if you’ve been on the internet for any time at all - and have even received a few. I even went along with one for awhile to collect info for the Secret Service. They - the Secret Service - told me I was nuts for doing so.
People have lost money AND their lives getting sucked in to this scam. Now they are after the new inventions field.
For those of you that have not been exposed to this scam - you receive a letter from an “official” from Nigeria who has chosen you to help them transfer funds that are “off the books” - lost accounts, someone’s estate with no relatives, etc. If you help them, you will receive up to 40% of the proceeds, which is generally upwards of $120,000,000.
Of course, you have to come up with some “up front fees” before you can collect. You are even invited to Nigeria to finalize the deal - where you are kidnapped and your family is extorted for more money to free you. Sometimes you die or at least be beaten in the process.
Now - they are going after new inventions and those who are the inventors. Taking advantage of an inventor’s desire and need to sell their inventions, these people offer exorbitant sums of money for patent rights or the invention - from $35 to $125 million.
Needless to say, some inventors have fallen into the trap.
The “fraud artists” pick on websites that list inventions (like IFIA, where this information was gathered -
They then work through emails and phone calls to “negotiate” an email “signed agreement.”
In this case, the “author” pretends to be a Japanese living in Tokyo. Names used have been Fuji Tanaka or Dewa Kizito. New invention owners be warned about these names - and of course, be prepared for new names in the future as they get rolling.
This scam includes forgery. you could look for a good “passport with picture” to be sent to verify the credibility of the offer. Don’t believe it!
Of course, the only address supplied by the scam artist is an email address (usually a free address like Yahoo) and a cell phone number. In the above cases, the Yahoo address and the phone number (in Tokyo, remember) were traced to Lagos, Nigeria.
Tanaka (or Kizito) says that he has a client for your invention whom he describes as an important Japanese entrepreneur. The names he gives are fake names. The fact is, there is no Japanese entrepreneur - No investor - No money. There is not a cent in Tokyo or elsewhere!
The trick here is to convince the innocent inventor that the millions of dollars that were promised for his new invention will be sent to him in cash by air charter from Tokyo to a European destination (Dublin, and very exceptionally, Madrid).
There, the inventor will be dealing with a new contact, who is said to be a "diplomat" - sometimes this "diplomat" is said to be from Barbados or from Jamaica. Then the inventor is informed that his millions of dollars will be given to him only after he has paid from his own pocket (to the so-called "diplomat") all the expenses involved in the transport and custom duties of the parcel containing the bank notes.
The amount of this "advance fee" varies. It is no less than US $16 thousand, but several inventors have been asked much more (up to 32 thousand Euro, that is around US $38 thousand). The inventor also has to pay for his travel ticket to Dublin, and his hotel accommodations.
Once in Dublin, the inventor is in the hands of the so-called "diplomat". This "diplomat" (and his assistant) use different fake names, but it is known for sure that these men have at least one thing in common: both are English speaking black Africans. The inventor is demanded to give them the agreed "advance fee," a copy of the main page(s) of his passport, and the inventor signs a paper which authorizes the "diplomat" to retrieve the famous parcel supposed to contain the tens of millions of US dollars promised to the inventor.
Different scenarios are possible thereafter, one being that the inventor is informed that some unexpected "problem" came up… The inventor is then asked suddenly to wait a few more days in Dublin, to give time for the problem to be settled. Then, once again has to pay another important sum which is supposed to cover the new expenses… and the beat goes on… sometimes literally.
These boys are rough. If the inventor doesn’t come up with the money, he may lose more than the chance to sell his new invention - he may lose a few teeth, some broken body parts, or his life. There are better and safer ways to market a new invention. Please be careful.
Acknowledgments go to the International Federation of Inventor’s Associations for bringing this information and warning to us. Their website is: 1000 INVENTIONS