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Monday, February 09, 2009

Cost-cutting ... Looting at best!!!

Just checked the brokerage amount on my last few ICICIDirect trades and notice that the brokerage rate has gone up from 0.9678 to 0.9811 without as much of a notice saying there's been an increase either in the brokerage or the service charge.

Just had my Karnataka Bank Account charged 225 per month for the last 4 months due to a change in min deposit in the account without as much of a communication. Apparently, they had sent a mail ... but probably chose not to put the stamp on it as a cost-cutting measure.

My Dad had a similar experience with Canara Bank recently. And who said the financial downturn hasn't hit India.

Friday, February 06, 2009

London Housing Scams ...

Mail one: Interested in the flat for the period from Sep 20th to Dec 15th. Two people sharing it - ok to pay extra if it's big enough to be shared by two people. Call me at XXX-YYYYY.

Response within 3 mins flat - 50 line e-mail. I thought Mr. Fawcett's either has a very fast typing ability or maybe he has a canned response he's sending to everyone. But the last line of his mail was interesting.

It is not compulsory that i rent out the flat but if i can get a reliable and tidy person that will take care of my flat for me i can let it out.so i need to know them better i.e what you and your partner do for a living. Waiting to read from you.

Since I had heard about the Western Union scam and tons of other scamsters around London, decided to search for James Fawcett and found out that that was a very famous scamster who's been cheating people using that name for the last few years. Not sure why he didn't change his name more often and why gumtree and other sites did not disable his user id. Anyway, decided to have a little fun at his expense.

Both me and my room mate will be two London Business School MBA Students from India. When can I come to take a look at the flat?

James Fawcett's Response ...

Thanks so much for the reply and interest in my Flat. However,i will be willing to meet you,get to know you and show you round the flat so that you can see what you are renting.
 But the issue is that i have been having problems with time wasters with regards to making the payment for the Flat and this was really a wasted time because i am presently  in the studio doing some live recording and icant make or recieve calls due to the nature of my job,but have my Laptop here to reply to emails.viewing will not be a problem, Anytime during the week in the evening would be a good date for our meeting. but i want to be sure i get a proof you have the funds on you before i can commit to viewing as i have been dissapointed several times after scheduling viewings in the past few days.I work here as studio manager.. My job had suffered and i have also wasted my funds coming over to london before thats why im a little skeptical.
However,how am i going to be sure that i will not be disappointed when i come around to show you the flat?Please understand that i am NOT asking you to pay for what you have not seen.People have told me that they will pay upon us meeting if they are satisfied but they all don't have the money to pay,everyone of them is looking for a free or cheaper Flat to rent despite the fact that i have made the rent Cheap.
Pls,i need you suggestion here because you can't pay for what you have not seen,it is not advisable.
However,i am also discussing with my Colleague here as regards idea on what i can do.I will get back to you or you suggest on what to do so that we can arrange a meeting and the viewing of the flat.Thanks while i will be waiting read from you.
Do not hesitate to ask any question. feel free to ask me any question. 
waiting to read from you.

Do you have the money to pay me if you like the Flat after viewing?
How many are you to occupy the Flat?.

I sent a short one line response ...

I can send you proof of my bank statements to show I have more than enough
cash to pay you. :-)

His response!!!
Thanks for the mail and there will signing of an agreement and contract on the viewing day,I would have love to receive bank statement,reference and bank slip as proof,but sorry i have been sent fraudulent one in the past by time wasters .I wasted fund coming from manchester just because of this flat but people don't have the money to pay for it they just want to see how beautiful it looks so i asked my colleague here in manchester, .she said for both of us to be on a safer side, that we can both do it this way that  for you to show that you have the cash to pay for my rent and deposit and you will not disappoint me when i come down from manchester to sort the viewing, the best you can give me as a proof is to show that you have the cash in hand to pay.
 Is that you should go to any western union outlet close to you, to send one month rent of 560 +refundable deposit 560pounds in your name to  your friend's name in your present address or you tell your friend to send the money to you...Scan and send the transfer receipt via email to me for confirmation on the western union customer care line if the money is available for any of you to pick up. when i come around to sort things with you,we will both go and pick up the money together then you pay me up.moreover, you are not sending the money to me, which i can do to person and i can never accept it. You are in custody of your money all i just needed to see is that you truly have the cash to pay me when i come down.and i will refund the transfer charges back to you.If you can get the western union done today then we can meet for viewing tomorrow in the evening from 6pm and the keys to the flat will be given to you... the money will start counting from the day you intend to move in
waiting to read from you.

See the closing of the e-mail. The bugger's almost in love with this potential sucker that he sees infront of him.Waiting to hear from you my love!!!

But then one question, if I send you a scan copy of the Western Union Receipt, won't it mean that you could use that information to get the money from Western Union. I don't mean to doubt your honesty here. Since you are
taking so much care, I too need to take care. 560 pounds is a lot of money and I cannot afford to just lose it in a fraud and I'm hearing about lots of frauds happening every day around the world.

Mention of the Western Union Scam has him a little worried about the potential money he had started dreaming about. He comes up with a short response.

all i just want is to confirm the money is available for you to pick up

My Response: 
Can you send me a scanned copy of your photo id (maybe your passport) so
that I know who I am dealing with?

And you still haven't answered my question. Isn't it a big risk for me to
send you details of receiver because then you or anyone who reads that mail
will be able to fraudulently pose as "My Friend" and withdraw the money from
any Western Union? I am not sure how putting the money in Western Union
makes you sure I will be able to give you the money. Just as Bank Statements
can be faked, A scanned receipt of the Western Union can also be faked
Can you and your friend come up with a better plan to make this work? I
really need the flat and I'm going to be homeless in a week's time if you
don't give me your flat.

Thanks for your mail, i dont believe that the western union tranfer iscomplicating, what i just need it  for is an assurance and proof so that i can come to show you arround the house and handover the keys of the flat to you , and since you've told me that you have the cash to pay for my rent. i dont believe it should be a problem,...moreover, you are not sending the money to me, which i can do to person and i can never accept it. You are in custody of your money all i just needed is to see it that you truly have the cash to pay me when i come down.Cause i have recieve a lot of fraudulent bank statement in the past so i dont want to have anything to do with that again,Hence,I will also be responsible for the transfer charges when i get back to show you arround the house
Warm regards.

I'd like to have a scanned copy of your photo id/passport please and a proof
that you actually own the house. Thinking from my perspective, I don't know
you exist as a genuine person with a house. I lose the transfer charges for
sure (if you vanish) and potentially the money (if you are able to use a
fake identity). Again, I don't mean to doubt your credentials, but I need to
take precautions.

I didn't mean to doubt his credentials or mean to say that he might be a scamster. I KNEW he was a scamster!!!!

No more responses from the sucker!!! Realized that I had realized that he's a bloody cheat!!!