This has already been referenced in two other very similar scams:
The scammer pretends to be a real businessman named Prasert Bunsumpun and reaches out to startups that are looking for funding – in my case through Angel Investment Network – and offers them an investment and a term sheet in return for a legal fee that requires your business to be registered with the Thai authorities. No money actually gets transferred from their end and you would end up paying that fee and never seeing the money again if you send it over. (Thankfully I did not since I saw the above two links in time).
The scammer writes very good English and makes everything seem legitimate throughout the process, so it’s very easy to get sucked into this. He will take his time with you and email you back and forth over the course of a few weeks just to get that small payout at the end, and he makes a point to sound like a professional investor. He even sends out PDF documents that appear to look like the real Prasert’s and will bring other “advisors” like his “CFO” into the mix to appear even more legitimate.
His initial email to me:
Top of the day to you. I am a private investor based in Bangkok, Thailand. I got to know about your company through my investment team. They received a newsletter from your post on angel investment network. My dream is to help entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into global businesses and invest in businesses that can leverage on network effects-exchanges, markets and platforms.I am interested to know more your investment opportunity. Do you mind sharing a teaser or your project summary. I will also share more information about myself and investment portfolio.
Mr. Prasert Bunsumpun”
And his second email, which included a PDF of the real Prasert:
“Thank you for sharing your one pager. We will go through it and discuss further.
I will tell you about myself and what i have been doing over the years as you can see on my profile. Firstly, i am an industry player who has helped a lot of organizations grow to a global entity. My experience is not limited only to the engineering but also in oil and gas, energy, business and manufacturing sectors. I have also gained experience as an active investor in this sectors which has helped me making the best decisions while seeking foreign investment opportunities.
I am not looking for companies to invest in only to make money but also to ensure that people are impacted through this businesses and companies. Listening to people talk about their aspirations towards providing a better health care, creating technologies that will ensure an easy access to security and business enhancement, helping youths get a good education, drinkable water, creating employment and so many other ideas that makes it easy for us to live our daily lives without hassles is what motivates me. To me, it is not all for the money and business. It is rather the passion and enthusiasm in which i see in people and the willingness to support each other that matters to me. But of course, money is part of what we help people with.
So far, i have invested in an E-commerce investment opportunities in India and Sweden. I have invested in Wind energy project in Poland. I have invested in real estate opportunities in Hong Kong and Singapore. I have invested in Health care opportunity in New Zealand. There are others in the manufacturing in Vietnam and a online money transfer opportunity in Indonesia. I have a project in Singapore which is a tech opportunity. However, i prefer to discuss about the companies i have invested in with my partners because as a private individual investing in projects as an individual investor, most of these companies have an non disclosure agreement with me. This is for clarity and also to let you know that i prefer investing as a silent investor. Now you know why it is like that.
My team work with an investment consultant and as you know, investment consultants source for companies looking for investment funding for their respective projects. Also, i prefer to make my own connections with a project owners because most project owners do not like it when they are contacted by an investment consultant.
Meanwhile, i have more than $66 million which i made through investing in stocks, money made through mutual funds investment and real estate for over 25 years. Some of the companies i invested in has started paying dividends made from their high revenue stream. I am happy and fulfilled as an investor. In terms of mode of financing, I prefer equity and debt financing even though i am open to other funding methods like convertible note and joint venture capital funding. My investment ticket size is from $150,000 to $66 million for foreign investment opportunities.
I love to travel because it gives me the opportunity to learn other people’s culture and tradition. Also as a team player, keeping in touch directly with people am working with especially travelling to meet them gives me a sense of belonging.
Let us have a call on zoom audio conference call or phone call to discuss about the investment opportunity. Share your available dates.
Mr. Prasert Bunsumpun”
Two very obvious things to notice here, which I really should have picked up on earlier.
1. Prasert’s last name is spelled wrong in the email address, and
2. He only wanted to do a phone call and not a video call, which would have obviously revealed his true identity.
I reached out to the real Prasert via a verified site and didn’t hear back from him, but when I confronted the scammer about doing a video call he ignored me and I never heard back from him again.
Beware of this person and also of the two other links at the top of this message!