Cautionary tale re paying for overseas birding trips

To: Peter Marsh <>
Subject: Cautionary tale re paying for overseas birding trips
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:26:33 +1100
This sounds like an inside job. Even if you had used a credit card to pay them, 
would the bank refund the money? I think they would if you had paid the right 
people and an insider had passed the card details on to someone else. But would 
they be interested if you had paid the wrong person?

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

On 28/01/2013, at 4:26 PM, "Peter Marsh" <> wrote:

> Dear Birders,
> I appear to have had a very lucky escape when paying for a birding trip in 
> East Africa. I had a recommendation to a local birding company in the country 
> concerned and communicated with them a number of times regarding a private 
> trip I was organising. This communication was all done by e-mail with them 
> using a single e-mail address. After a number of exchanges I received an 
> e-mail (apparently) from the same e-mail address asking me to send the money 
> to them via Western Union. I did this and received an e-mail from the 
> (apparently) same e-mail acknowledging the receipt of the money. I also 
> received advice from Western Union that the money had been picked up..
> A few days later I received an e-mail (again from the same e-mail address) 
> asking if I was still interested in the trip! I responded referring them to 
> their acknowledgement of the money. That night I had a phone call from the 
> company advising that they knew nothing of the money or the acknowledgement. 
> I sent them copies of all the exchanges. I have now received advice that 
> someone at their end has been arrested and that the birding company will 
> recognise the payment and my trip is on.
> In researching the situation I have come to understand 2 key things
> sending instant cash to a friend or family member through WU but should not 
> be used for business transactions. This is because the security is pretty 
> small. If you receive a request from a bird guide to send money through WU I 
> suggest you phone the guide and say you need bank details. money sent through 
> a bank is more traceable.
> KEY. My tech savvy brother has made me aware that it is quite easy for 
> someone setting out to do a scam  to send an e-mail appearing to come from 
> e-mail address A but for the reply to actually go to a different e-mail 
> address B. If you have the genuine e-mail address in your address book and 
> use that to address the e-mail rather than hit the reply button you know what 
> address the e-mail has actually gone to.
> I stress that the birding company and Western Union appear to have behaved 
> honourably at all times. I also appreciate that it is only through their 
> efforts the perpetrator of the attempted fraud appears to have been caught. I 
> will, however, be more careful in the future and thought it worth sharing 
> this experience with other birders who might be thinking of chasing birds in 
> distant parts of the globe.
> regards
> Peter Marsh
> ===============================
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> unsubscribe
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> to: 
> ===============================

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU