Business Jet Brokers Warned of Fraud Scam

 - November 18, 2008, 10:50 AM

An elaborate scam originating in South Africa threatens to bilk business aviation interests out of substantial sums of money, according to Canadian consulting firm Business Aviation Service Solutions (Bass). It has been investigating the aircraft brokerage scheme, which is linked to the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup Finals. At least two business aircraft brokers report having been contacted by a supposed South African government official seeking to buy a number of business jets to be used in conjunction with the World Cup, Alliston, Ontario-based Bass said. The “well orchestrated” scam begins with communications from fake representatives of local organizing committees and involves applications, letters of introduction and, ultimately, a request for information to transfer funds for the purchase of aircraft. E-mail, Web sites, fax and telephone calls are all part of this scheme, according to the consulting firm. Bass said neither broker contacted fell victim to the fraud but warned that the hoax at first glance appears quite legitimate.