Be Aware of Scams Naming BASF
Letters announcing you have won a Canadian Lottery or a "Visa Superbowl Winning Contest"
A new scam has come to our attention: Individuals in North America have received letters claiming they have won a lottery that in fact they've never entered. The letters discuss making arrangements to pay taxes owed on the winnings before the winnings can be sent. In some cases, what appears to be a BASF check is included. In other cases the check is sent under separate cover. Either way, these checks are fraudulent and are worthless. BASF does not participate in lotteries and is not involved with the scheme described in these letters.
Should you receive such a check, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
New Email Scam Naming BASF
Recently, we learned of an email scam that was directed at individuals who either currently work with BASF or had previous contact with BASF. One version of the scam cites a sales manager working for "BASF Chemicals" in Antwerp. The scam started as a posting on Craig's List, then moved to similar types of accounts and now is targeting Yahoo! email accounts. Corporate Security is also working with Microsoft to determine the authenticity of a Hotmail account being used.
Should any customers or colleagues contact you with notice of this suspected scam, it works as follows:
1. The "BASF Representative" requests to have you serve as a payment representative and asks for your name and address
2. They send you several checks via FedEx or some other priority packager
3. You are instructed to deposit the checks into your bank account
4. Within 24-hours, or preferably 12 hours, you are asked to send the proceeds, less your 10% to a Western Union office in Benin
5. By the time your bank finds out the checks are counterfeit, you are out the money you wired to Benin
Benin is a country adjacent to Nigeria in Africa. Since Nigeria is a well-known hot spot for scams, we have seen the attempt to hide the tie to Nigeria by moving the operation to Benin.
Please be aware that while the message may appear to be authentic, it is a scam. Your customers and colleagues should treat it as such.