Published Aug 28. 2006 - 17 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Communicating with Guides

Firstly my apologies if the Subject line was a tad intriguing. It was deliberately meant to be purely to get you to read this.

In October - sandwiched between some Striped Bass fishing off Montauk and Salmon fishing on one of Lake Ontario's feeder streams - I'm targeting Red Drum from Morehead City on North Carolina's Outer Banks. I've found a seemingly good fly fishing guide and paid the deposit for the charter, as I always do, in American Express US $ Travelers Cheques. And there are absolutely no problems.

Dean, the guide, however just contacted me to say that several other local skippers were being targeted by individuals, purporting to be from England, who were requesting bank details so that they could supposedly transfer funds to their accounts. But, of course, it was a SCAM and the fund transfers, at least for one unfortunate guide, went the other way!

It's made several of them understandably VERY twitchy and there was talk that they wouldn't even respond to requests for charter information from Brits. Obviously a bit of an over-reaction but, you have to say, understandable.

I suspect, and I've expressed this view to 'my' guide that it was possibly a variation (evolution) of that 'West African' scam - 'Help me get 'x' million dollars out of my late father's bank account and I'll give you 20%. You just need a bank account and be willing to provide me with the details'. Their expectations are now somewhat lower!

What reinforced this view was that Dean mentioned that the quality of written English was poor.

Any rate obviously dealing with any new skipper can contain an element of risk.

(This is from someone, who together with 25 other members of our Club, were collectively defrauded of 14000$US on a Big Game fishing trip to Venezuela organised by a chap in Florida! Seriously though, touch wood, that's the only adverse experience I've had in 27 years of fishing abroad.)

Most, but not all, won't accept credit cards - the costs for them - the discount rates and money they have to lodge 'up front' - render it impractical. So, just from my personal experience, I've always found that Travelers Cheques give a degree of security for both.

It seems though that no one's immuned and Dean has literally just received this e-mail.
It purports to come from someone called Wanda Smith and interestingly the 'phone number quoted appears to be a UK mobile. (I certainly haven't tried ringing it though.) But does 'Mrs Smith', whoever she (or he) might be, come over to you as someone to whom English is their mother tongue?

In itself there's nothing apparently illegal in its content. And I suspect there's no way that you get a police force in the UK willing to investigate the matter. But patently such e-mails, coupled with the fraud I mentioned in my previous post, make overseas guides extremely twitchy of contact with people they've never dealt with before.

Subject: fly fishing lesson

I am Mrs.smith scotland
I was ask to contact you on fly fishing leason
Well my son steve is coming to stay with his freind for some couple of weeks in the U.S.A and he loves fish. i want you to help me teaching him fly fishing lesson. However you are based on recomendation from a google directories,So Note:my son steve is just a beginner. so plaese kindly teach him well. So kindly let me know your charges cost per week's ,inother for me to arrange for his payment before he travells down to your side. i have even made preparation for his personal equipment he will be using priavtly durning his stay and bring back to sccotland when he is going.

Please Advise back on
1. How many week will he use...
2. weekly charge's will and payment method ( Let me know if you will accept usa bank cheque ,credit card or! Money order) All
I look up to your reply regarding that.Bes t regards
You may call me on +44 7031820522 0r 07031 820522

rybolov's picture

419 scam??...

Hi Panama Jack

This email does have some of the signatures of a Nigerian 419 scam (my poor departed brother KING ABU JAMAL left with a total sum of ONE BAZILLION DOLLARS hidden in a bank account in the heart of old Tucson.)

If you can send me the original email, I should be able to tell for sure. I need the headers for some email forensics. At a very minimum, the guides should report the scammers to the FTC.

If you need anything, send me a private message and I should be able to give you better contact information


Hi Mike...

Hi Mike
Many Thanks for your offer of help. Dean Lamont, the guide in question, only sent through a copy of Wanda's e-mail which translates to a 'yahoo' account. I'll send you that through together with Dean's details and request that he copies the original to you and also refers it to the FTC - Federal authorities (?) - as you've suggested.

Although several of our Club members - Sportfishing Club of the British Isles - have fished the Outer Banks in the winter for the BFT this will be the first trip of any of us to the shallow water, sight fishery.

But whilst, on the one hand the Internet, and search engines offer unrivaled opportunities to make contact with such guides it's galling that criminals attempt to also exploit the potential 'opportunities'.

I'm sure Dean and the other guides will be most appreciative of your assistance.
Many Thanks

rybolov's picture

The FTC...

Oh, sorry, I have to translate. FTC is the Federal Trade Commission. They are the best to handle fraud--they turn it over to the Secret Service.

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