International car scam story

Here is a true story of the situation that another scam victim went through.  They asked me if I could share thier story with all of you.

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I wire transferred funds to The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Ueno Branch, 1-14-4 Higashi Ueno, Taito Ku, Tokyo, 110-0015, Japan, account no. 5463066, on 31 /07/08, in the name of a Richard Bent and Suzuki Junko, of Auto Mart Japan, http://www.automartjapan.com in Shitaya 3-5-3, TM Hermes House, Taito Ku, Tokyo 1100004 Japan. Tel: 0-3-3873-3327 Cell: 0-90-9950-6247, for the purchase of a used panel van.

My worst fears have been realized that the company, Auto Mart Japan, is not legitimate, and its managing director, Richard Bent, is a fraudster and con artist. My van was promised on 31st August 2008, and it has not materialized and now the scam artist, Bent no longer replies to my emails and has gone underground.

I traced the website to its developers, Tim Worley, in Australia, E-mail: tim@halonet.com.au & tim@weblife.com.au & tim_in_byron@yahoo.com http://www.weblife.com.au and his accomplice, Moharana Basanta, from Bhubaneswar India moharana.basanta@gmail.com & http://basantamoharana.wordpress.com/ I as well as other victims of the scam were led to believe that Worley and Basanta were behind the scam because of their peculiar actions and suspicious behaviour however, since they have lied, been evasive with answers, threatened, abused and cussed organizations, made obscene phone calls to other victims and myself have been subjected to e.g.

Worley claims that he does not know where Bent is or what he looks like. Basanta claims that he does not know anything about Auto Mart Japan, as he is only the web developer. They have changed names and switched information on their websites.

Basanta has since removed all ties to Tim Worley and Automartjapan from his site. When asked about providing the names and contact numbers of the police officers he made out his report to in Japan and Australia, Worley claimed to have thrown away their cards. He claims to have 160 emails from Bent but can’t provide a sample with an address, he cannot provide any documents with Bent’s name for their financial transactions, I gave him the numbers of Interpol in my country to call, but he hasn’t contacted them, he claims he will give all information he has to the police only when he is contacted.

On checking the who is website http://whois.domaintools.com/automartjapan.com you will notice that all the registrant, admin address email address and contact details of Tim Worley have been changed recently to a different name, Frank Costanza, of Australia. Postings of Auto Mart Japan’s dealings can be seen at this site: http://blog.japundit.com/archives/2008/12/08/9148/ Someone who was conned by Bent in Kenya posted here: http://www. funadvice.com/q/fraud_ in_japanese_second_hand_cars

Recent information has come to light as to the identity of the real mastermind behind the scam. A private investigator, Ken Gamble, of Internet Fraud Watchdog Ltd, Australia, (www.gambleinvestigations.com) office number:+61.2.9959.2290  Web: http://www.ifwonline.com and who also sits on the board of a Cybercrime Association in France (AILCC) and this is part of his role to present at conferences the legal difficulties of these international scams to lawmakers and judges investigating the Automart Japan scam, has discovered that the individual behind the scam has been identified as a 52 year old Slovenian national who has been residing in the Philippines for many years and is a serial con artist. This is the third major used car scam he has carried out, the last ones being the Moon Autos and Zunic Autos scam, also based out of Japan. The website used for Zunic Motors was: http://www.zunicmotors.com and the same offender called himself, Mr. Robert Louis (see Blog at the following link: http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:_8bYMBEnz5wJ:www.epoi.com/cgi-bin/guestbook/guestbook.cgi%3Fstart_number%3D30+%22zunic+motors%22+%2B+%22fraud%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Both previous scams were conducted in exactly the same fashion as the Automart Japan scam. The same offender contacts a web development company purporting to be a legitimate business and pays the web company to build and maintain a website, whilst the offender starts scamming customers. Once the scam is realized, the offender cuts all contact with customers and tries to avert the attention onto the website developer, which has happened in all three cases.

A report of his activities was forwarded to Interpol back in early 2008 but no action has been taken to date, due to the lack of formal police complaints by victims. Most just give up and do not pursue the lost funds. The Japanese Police will not investigate crimes that don’t involve Japanese citizens and the Philippines Police cannot act unless he commits an offense in the Philippines. This offender has exploited a loophole in the Japanese & Philippines legal system.

The individual responsible has several accomplices in the Philippines, one is his Japanese girlfriend who opens up the bank accounts in Tokyo and another is a fellow Slovenian male who operates offshore bank accounts used to pay the web developers. The private investigator has an extensive brief of evidence on them. The male who sounds Indian is actually from Slovenia and he has recordings of his voice, which exactly match the voice of the Philippines suspect.

I would certainly be interested in any US network that would be interested in this story and appreciate any help I can get from your organization.

Kurdaitcha

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14 Responses to “International car scam story”

  1. K P Manikantan Says:

    It is unfortunately a ‘global epidemic’ as the Wikipedia calls it and may require a global approach to apprehend the culprits and/or to prevent any recurrence of similar scams. Often the con artists get services of freelance professionals who advertise their services on the web. It can be from many countries including Australia, India, Philippines and other developing (or developed) countries and they find unwittingly entangled in this web of deceit about which they may not have much control. I trust this expose will be a lesson for all such eager but ‘uncircumspect’ people as well prospective victims.

    Creating adequate awareness within the community through concerted campaigns and continuing education seems to be the best that we can do to help people. Keep up the good work Shawn/Jeff.

    Best regards,
    K P Manikantan
    AUSTRALIA

  2. Kirsty Says:

    Hi i almost got scammed a Richard Bent today. It was for an upfront payment for a rental property. I think this is the same Richard Bent scammer that got you.
    Thank you

  3. MR KEN GREEN U.K Says:

    I PAID IN AUGUST THE COMPANY CALLED EXCO JAPAN MR TETSU YAMAUCHI FOR VAN I HAVE NOT RECIEVED AND THIS COMPANY STILL TRADING ON THE INTERNET BUT DO NOT ANWER MY EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS CAN ANYTHING BE DONE MR K.G.

  4. david786 Says:

    If you plan to buy a car, machinery, or anything from an exporter in Japan now or in future, it is strongly recommend for your own safety to check any Japanese website or company’s status under the “Japan Company Trust Organization” which is an anti-fraud organization in Japan. This Organization has close connection with Japanese police, and all fraud-attempts are immediately reported to Japanese Police Department. JCTO (Japan Company Trust Organization) make sure that any Japanese company that passes their scrutiny will not victimize any customer, online or not. They verify the company’s profile including registration, license, physical address confirmation, and company’s previous record. DO NOT remittance money to any so-called Japanese company before verification at “Japan Company Trust Organization – (http://www.japancompanytrust.org).

  5. MR KEN GREEN U.K Says:

    HI I SENT MONEY TO COMPANY CALLED EXCO JAPAN .A MR TETSU YAMAUCHI. NO CAR WAS SENT AND THEY DO NOT ANSWER ANY PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS .SEEN THE CAR ON WEBSITE OF ALIBABA.COM THEY WHERE LISTED A 2 STAR GOLD COMPANY BUT LOOKS LIKE IVE LOST MY MONEY KEN GREEN

  6. amit Says:

    To mr Ken Green:

    Can you contact me I also got scammed by Tetsu Yamauchi (EXCO). But I think I’ve got an idea to get back our money. I need details of your payment amount/ date/ car details/ your personal contact information.

    Contact me a.s.a.p.

  7. John Ochepa Arutu Says:

    I got scammed by a man called Junichi Hirota a Director of a company AUTOS JAPAN INTERNATIONAL, he is gone underground. the developer of the website says he cant trace him and has left a scam alert on the website. how can i get my money back.
    John Arutu Ochepa
    Uganda

  8. tito wanga Says:

    hi guyz i was scammed by this tetsu yamauchi guy with another guy known as suzuki of EXCO JAPAN. I had transferred 10,000usd but this guyz returned the money after more than 4 months. DONT DARE SEND THEM ANY CASH!! CONTACT ME I CAN HELP YOU WITH TIPS ON HOW I GOT MY MONEY BACK FROM EXCO. Unfortunately i have been scammed again by ASAD ALI SHAH OF DOLPHIN INTERNATIONAL MOTORS JAPAN! I WIRED ON DIFFERENT OCCASIONS A SUM OF NOW 16,300USD. THIS GUY HAS BEEN LYING TO ME FROM 2009 TO DATE. ANYONE WHO CAN HELP PLIZ KINDLY ASSIST, ALSO AMIT LIZ CONTACT at titofiam@gmail.com WE SHARE .

  9. Brian Wheeler Says:

    Let me know how it went with Exco as I was also scammed by this company. Sent payment in January 2011. No vehicle as yet. Needless to say he is not answering my emails or phone calls. Its as if the company does not exists but I can see from the internet they are still trading. I contacted Alibaba to inform them of the “scam” and they did not lift a finger to help me.

  10. Alberto Patricio Says:

    Hi! This is my firts time to enter here. I am having the same problem as you.
    These guys cheated me as well. I did a bank transfer to them last year and no reply to my e-mails. They did not deliver my TOYOTA HARRIER at a price of 5500 USD.
    Can someone help me about what to do to recover my money from them? The company is EXCO JAPAN

    exco-t@fol.hi-ho.ne.
    I need urgently a help.

  11. JENRO FUTE Says:

    ON JANUARY 2012 I SEND MONEY TO COMPANY CALLED AUTOJAPAN INTERNATIONAL WHICH IS IN YOKOHAMA JAPAN.PRESIDENT KNOWN AS JUNICHI HIROTA,TILL NOW NO CAR OR MESSEGE WAS SEND TO ME.PLEASE HELP ME!

  12. Levis Omondi Says:

    I got scammed by Richard Bent in 2008 when he was using his Auto Mart Japan – http://www.automartjapan.com. I tried to get help from the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Interpol (kenya office) and even Jetro (Kenya office) – none of these could help. I eventually gave up but would like to see this guy brought to justice…

  13. bobo81 Says:

    Dear Amit,

    I got de-frauded by Autosquare through tradecarview. I paid for a car, Toyata Altezza. Autosquare has seen de-registered on Tradecarview and have advertised the car once again on their Site.

    Kindly assist.

  14. Oscar K Says:

    Hi,
    I Also sent Money to Company called Exco Japan whose president is Tetsu Yamauchi in 2010. They did not sent the car and they don’t answer calls and now e-mails don’t go through. It seems like I have also lost that cash.
    Oscar.


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