Vietnam ministry warns against rhino horn fraudsters

TN News

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has warned the public that a recent string of emails asking people to invest in a legal rhino farm project in South Africa are fraudulent.

The warning advised people to be careful about online transactions with foreigners, especially those from Africa, according to a recent report on VnEconomy.

Several Vietnamese people have recently received emails soliciting investment in a rhino horn project worth one million dollars, the news website quoted the ministry's department of markets in Africa, West Asia and South Asia as saying.

All the emails were sent from Africa by a person known only as Flip Pretorius.

In the emails, Pretorius described the project as legal and stressed that its shareholders were allowed to trade horns and export them to other countries, the department said. The solicitor also made other attractive offers like promising to recoup investment within one year, it added.

However, the project is a simple fraud targeting the Asian penchant for rhino horns, the ministry said. 

It also warned against emails from Jimmy Henchman, who claims to work with a business based in England named Apex Group of Company. In the emails, the solicitor expresses interest in buying goods from his victims for import into England.

After receiving a reply, the con artist would send another email telling them to open a link to a website that asks them to enter their email address and passwords.

This allowed the fraudster to hack the victims' personal information including their email address, credit card numbers and bank accounts, the ministry said.


Meanwhile, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association reported that several local businesses have been cheated by fraudsters from Cameroon. 

The fraudsters would offer products to local companies and convince them to sign contracts on favorable terms. They would then ask the companies to send them 10 percent of the contracts' value by telegraphic transfer as a deposit.

However, immediately following the transfer, the solicitors would stop all transactions and cancel their contact details, according to the association. 

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