[Taxacom] [Nhcoll-l] Nepal "visiting researcher" scam revisited

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Jul 12 13:32:32 CDT 2013

On 7/12/13 10:20 AM, Bentley, Andrew Charles wrote:
> Doug
> As far as I can tell this has nothing to do with the Indian Dr. Haq 
> specimen scam and has very different motives associated with it... I 
> am not sure I understand the motivation behind this kind of request 
> and whether it is indeed fraudulent. Surely no-one would issue a visa 
> to anyone based on an email saying "sure, you can visit my collection"???
The "Letter of Invitation" requirement is SOP for India and Nepal, 
evidently, and J-1 visas are granted often enough on that basis that the 
scam continues, just like Nigerian princes offering millions of dollars. 
Consider the following response from 2009:
> (3)----------
> ----------------------
> Along this same line I received a request a few years back from an 
> ichthyologist from an African country wanting to visit the Canadian 
> Museum of Nature in Ottawa.  He wanted to come and study curatorial 
> techniques (all costs would be covered by a grant he had received) and 
> so I prepared a letter of invitation.  All went as planned until the 
> day before his scheduled arrival.  At that time I received an email 
> from a hotmail address claiming to be the visitors sister and telling 
> me that the visitor had been in a car accident and would not be coming 
> the next day so I was NOT to bother going to the airport to meet 
> them.  In retrospect I feel quite sure this was simply a scam to get 
> illegal entry into Canada (and perhaps from there to the USA).
The scam just has to work once for every few hundred attempts, as it did 
in the case above, for it to be worth their while to keep trying it. All 
it costs them is a little time to compose realistic-sounding e-mail 
messages and target potential suckers. As I mentioned, when this came up 
before, someone gave details on how and why a letter of invitation is 
converted into a visa, but I can't find it in my archives. It would be 
helpful if someone knows and can share this.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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