Highland hoax location scams

We want to help tackle the emerging problem of e-crime scams that use fictitious Highland addresses that may damage our reputation as a place to visit or to do business. The Highlands of Scotland is a very large geographical area but has a relatively small population and on occasion scammers take advantage of these characteristics to try and hide their true location or to misleadingly associate themselves with reputable Highland commerce. They do this by dishonestly claiming they are located or have links to the Highlands of Scotland. We refer to these deceptions as ‘Highland hoax location scams’

We have identified the following ‘hoax location scams’. Do not enter into contracts with the following concerns or contact them:

Daniel NOVACK, address in the Ormlie area, Thurso, KW14 7EJ 

  • Name of website or user name - Various online classified sites
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of vehicles via online classified advertisements on Gumtree and eBay 
  • Method of operation - takes up-front payments using bogus secure payment system for vehicles advertised using online classified advertisements.  Also known to make appointment to view vehicle(s) at address given only for potential buyers to find out vehicle and seller not located at the address.   
  • Known identities and markers - Daniel Novack, Ormlie area of Thurso, KW14 7EJ 
  • False Highland links - Claims that the seller resides in the Ormlie area of Thurso, KW14 7EJ.  No business or seller with these details in this area.

42 Urquhart Road, Dingwall IV15 9PE 

  • Name of website or user name - Various online classified/Auction sites, in particular eBay
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of non-existent DIY/construction equipment via online classified advertisements/auctions including eBay 
  • Method of operation - takes up-front payments using bank transfer for  DIY/construction equipment advertised using online classified/auction platforms including eBay.  The operator provides an address of 42 Urquhart Road, Dingwall IV15 9PE.    
  • Known identities and markers - 42 Urquhart Road, Dingwall IV15 9PE or sometimes just Urquhart Road.
  • False Highland links - Claims that the seller resides at 42 Urquhart Road, Dingwall.  Urquhart Road is a real street but number 42 doesn't exist.

Bruno Manfrin , Inverness

  • Name of website or user name - Various online classified sites
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of vehicles via online classified advertisements on Gumtree 
  • Method of operation - take up-front payments using bogus secure payment system for vehicles advertised using online classified advertisements.  In some cases additional payment is requested for an 'overpayment' insurance.  The operator provides an address in Inverness but a telephone number from the Glasgow area.  
  • Known identities and markers - Bruno Manfrin, Crown Drive, Inverness 01416289661, brunomanfrin11@gmail.com
  • False Highland links - Claims that the seller resides in the Crown Drive area of the city of Inverness.  There is no business with these details in this area.

Crosshill Autos, Brown Place, Wick

  • Name of website or user name - www.crosshillautos.co.uk
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of vehicles via online classified advertisements such as eBay
  • Method of operation - take up-front payments using bogus secure payment systems for non-existent vehicles advertised using online classified advertisements.  The scammers have randomly picked a street address in the town of Wick in the North of Scotland.
  • Known identities and markers - Phone: 01955 472425, sales@crosshillautos.co.uk ,  07438932307
  • False Highland links - There is no business in Wick with this name.

12 Oldwick Road, Wick  - seller address used in 'classified ad' scams 

  • Name of website or user name - Various online classified sites
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of vehicles via online classified advertisements such as Gumtree
  • Method of operation - take up-front payments using bogus secure payment systems for non-existent vehicles advertised using online classified advertisements.  The scammers have randomly picked an address in the town of Wick in the North of Scotland.  The genuine owner of this property has no connection to this scam
  • Known identities and markers - Thomas Bucker, Thomas Bücker, Klaus Meuer, Paul Muller, Franco Salvato, thomasbucker60@gmail.com, thomasbucker61@gmail.com francoslv75@gmail.com
  • False Highland links - Claims that the seller is based in the town of Wick in the North of Scotland.  No such seller exists at this address

Highland Commercial

  • Name of website or user name - www.highlandcommercials.com  www.highlands-commercial.co.uk  www.highlandcommercial.co.uk (currently offline)
  • Scam type - Fraudulent sale of vehicles via eBay
  • Method of operation - take up-front payments for non-existent vehicles advertised using eBay classified advertisements
  • Known identities and markers - Highland Commercial Vehicles Ltd, 22 Bank Street, Inverness
  • 0141 2090062
  • False Highland links - claim that their business is registered and operated from premises in Bank Street, Inverness. No such business exists

Larnu

  • Name of website or user name - www.larnu.co.uk
  • Scam type - selling counterfeit clothing
  • Method of operation - sell fake country-wear. The company does not give a trading address but it is believed the fake clothes are produced and dispatched to the UK from China or Hong Kong. The website has an unsecure payment processing system that could lead to fraudulent use of bank accounts
  • Known identities and markers - www.larnu.co.uk
  • False Highland links - WHOIS information is falsely implying that the website is operated from Drumbeg, in North-west Sutherland 

Skimoar

  • Name of website or user name - www.skimoar.com (currently offline)
  • Scam type -fraudulent ski accommodation booking agent
  • Method of operation -take up-front payments for ski accommodation in Europe
  • Known identities and markers - Aultbea , Skimoar, booking@skimoar.com,  phone 0208 1239948
  • False Highland links - claim that their business is registered and operated from premises in Aultbea

Victims of Fraud

If you believe you have become the victim of fraud and you live in Scotland please report the matter to Police Scotland on 101.

If you live elsewhere in the UK contact Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. Action fraud’s A-Z of fraud provides further information about the different types of fraud and how to avoid becoming a victim.

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