Attention Inventors: International Email Scam Warning Alert!

Worldwide organizations warn inventors about email scam targeted to inventors

  1. Introduction by National Congress of Inventor Organizations [NCIO]
  2. Press Release from the International Federation of Inventors Associations [IFIA]
  3. Original emails that the scammers send
  4. Red flags to watch out for
  5. What to do if you've made contact with the scammers

1. Introduction by National Congress of Inventor Organizations [NCIO]

A dangerous email scam is posing a serious threat to independent inventors, under the guise of a very wealthy Japanese investor who buys inventions outright for tens of millions of dollars.

On first inspection, the email letter is very well written and impressive, and the opportunity seems to be well worth exploring by any inventor.
Enticed by such a large amount of money for their prized inventions, many inventors feel compelled to at least check out the offer to see if it's real or not.  

But once inventors start communicating, they end up becoming personally involved.  Negotiations are started and the inventors are eventually asked for tens of thousands of dollars in "handling fees" in order to claim the millions, while also being requested to travel internationally to meet a representative in a European country.

The International Federation of Inventor Associations [IFIA] has traced this ploy as being a new Nigerian scam which is extremely dangerous.  The Nigerian scams are notorious for not only scamming people of money, but also for the disappearance and even murder of individuals while their identities [passports, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.] are taken over.

For ongoing updates and more extensive information, including photos that the scammers send inventors,
see IFIA's Information Here

Read the
FTC Consumer Alert :
The "Nigerian" Scam: Costly Compassion

This Scam Alert includes IFIA's press release, along with the original emails that these scammers send, red flags to watch out for, and what to do if you've already made contact with the scammers.

Worldwide inventor organizations  have united to warn inventors about this dangerous email scam.

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2. Press Release from the International Federation of Inventors Associations [IFIA]


The International Federation of Inventors' Associations (IFIA)
alerts the world of inventions about a new version of the "Nigerian scam"!

(June1, 2005) Over the past few months and for the first time, the internet "Advance Fee Frauders" have found (i) a new easy target, the inventors, as well as (ii) a rich picking ground, which consists of the websites that list their inventions and which were created by non-profit organizations like IFIA with the specific aim to help inventors find business partners. These frauders have already raided our website , a unique virtual market place with 1,000+ inventions from 100+ countries for sale or licencing. We know that the websites of some similar USA inventor's organizations have recently also been the target of the same frauders.

Taking advantage of the inventors desperate desire to sell their inventions, an incredibly huge sum (ranging from US $35 million to 125 million) is offered to them in exchange for the patent rights on their invention as listed on the website. Many innocent inventors have fallen into the trap and have exchanged e-mails and phone calls with the frauders, some have even "negotiated" and signed an e-mail "Agreement".

The author of the e-mails which are sent to the inventors, pretends to be a Japanese living in Tokyo. He calls himself Fuji Tanaka or, in other cases, Dewa Kizito [1]. Needless to say, all these are fake names, therefore we can expect other names to come up in the future. The frauder is also a good forger, he does not hesitate, if requested,  to provide the inventor with a copy of "his" Japanese passport page with "his" portrait!

The only address given by this Number One contact is an e-mail and a mobile phone. The e-mail is most often a "yahoo" free webmail services address, which is never used by any important business person, and which, in this case, traces back to Lagos, Nigeria, the place of the notorious internet trade frauders. The code number of the telephone (+882 16) is not that of Japan (+81). It is the code number of an advanced mobile satellite system, "Thuraya", based in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. More important, Japan does not even figure among the countries covered by Thuraya. So, the so-called Tanaka (or Kizito) is obviously not phoning from Japan. In fact nobody knows from where he speaks on the phone. We even have reasons to question his being a Japanese [2].

Tanaka (or Kizito) says that he has a client for your invention whom he describes as an important Japanese entrepreneur. The names of the entrepreneurs that he gives are fake names, not even Japanese names of real persons [3]. A shrewd way indeed to avoid problems with genuine Japanese entrepreuners! In brief, there is no Japanese entrepreneur. No investor. No money. There is not a cent in Tokyo or elsewhere!

The trick is to convince the innocent inventor that the millions of dollars that were promised will be sent to him in cash by air charter from Tokyo to a European destination (Dublin, very exceptionally Madrid). There, the inventor will be dealing with a new contact, who is said to be a "diplomat" - sometimes this "diplomat" is said to be from Barbados or from Jamaica. Then the inventor is informed that his millions of dollars will be given to him only after he has paid himself from his own pocket (to the so-called "diplomat") the expenses involved in the transport and custom duties of the parcel containing the bank notes. The amount of this "advance fee" varies. It is no less than US $16 thousand, but several inventors have been asked for much more (up to 32 thousand Euro, that is around US $38 thousand) [4].

The inventor has to pay  his own travel ticket to Dublin, and his hotel accomodation.
Once in Dublin, the inventor is in the hands of the so-called "diplomat". This "diplomat" (and his assistant) use different fake names, but we know for sure that these men have at least one thing in common: both are English speaking black Africans. The inventor gives them the agreed "advance fee", a copy of the main page(s) of his passport, and signs a paper which authorizes the "diplomat" to retrieve the famous parcel supposed to contain the tens of millions of US dollars promised to the inventor. Different scenarios are possible thereafter, one being that the inventor is informed that some unexpected "problem" came up. He is then asked suddenly to wait a few more days in Dublin, the time for the problem to be settled, and once again has to pay an important sum which is supposed to cover the new expenses… and the story goes on…

To conclude. Forgetting all the rest, and speaking only about money (and supposing that the inventor returns home safely!), the scenario is always the same: the inventor doesn't get the money that was promised to him; instead, the frauders steal his money.
1. To note that Kizito is not a Japanese name, it is found in some African countries like Nigeria and Uganda.
2. Some of the insults used by Tanaka (or Kizito) in his "angry" moments rather betray an American or English origin - or education.
3. For Tanaka, the entrepreneur is called Shimbashi Ekimae. But this is not the name of a person or even a company in Japan. The combination of the two words means "in front of the station", and is usually a building. For Kizito, the entrepreneur-investor's name is Kaijo Sempaku. Again, not a name of a Japanese person or company. "Sempaku" is the name of a Hotel or a Building.
4 .Those inventors who have tried to convince their so-called "business partner" to pay these expenses - and to deduct them from the money they were about to get - have received a blunt NO!

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3.   Original emails that the scammers send

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, April 16, 2005 4:36 PM
Subject: [Name of invention]

> Attention: [Name of inventor]
> Re: [Name of invention]
> My Client, a Japanese investor is interested in buying
> new product ideas and inventions, either at early
> development stages, or in patent pending. My client
> has instructed me to contact prospective inventors and
> organizations who are currently dedicated to ongoing
> research and development of new products which could
> be commercially viable. My client is also interested
> buying inventions for which patents have been
> obtained, and wishes to hold the sole rights to such
> newly developed products.
> As soon as my client can positively analyze the
> commercial viability of any new product proposal or
> idea, he is ready, willing and able to provide the
> required funding for the purchase and actualization of
> such newly invented products.
> Depending on the projected commercial impact of any
> such products or ideas, my client and his partners are
> willing and able to pay up to a negotiable amount of
> between 35 Million to 40 Million United States Dollars
> for products of anticipated medium scale commercial
> impact, and up to 150 Million United States Dollars
> for products of anticipated large scale commercial
> impact. Upon completion of negotiations and
> agreements, my client will make full payments to
> beneficiary patent owners in exchange for original
> patents, for onward execution by my client. My clients
> will under penalty of perjury, accept only ideas and
> products which are the original works of the acclaimed
> owners.
> Due to certain problems with the Japanese government,
> my client will only be able to purchase foreign
> patents and inventions on a confidential and top
> secret basis, hence he will not accept third party
> involvement and negotiations,through patent attorneys
> and lawyers or anyone else. We sincerely wait to hear
> from you as soon as possible.
> Many thanks,
> Fujita Tanaka
> Tokyo - Japan

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 11:30 AM
Subject: More info - Asking Price - xxxxxx

> Dear xxxxx
> My client Mr Shimbashi Ekimae has been at the
> forefront of his family Shipping business, alongside
> Hotel, Casino and Estate businesses here in Tokyo for
> many years, and now wishes to venture into offshore
> manufacturing of newly developed products. I have no
> doubt that he is financially capable of paying for
> your xxxxxx invention and say he
> will be willing to proceed with the outright purchase
> of the invention and all its rights as soon as you are
> ready. He also hopes that you will consider
> cooperating with him by providing consultancy services
> or by generally overseeing the mass production
> manufacture of the invention. However, he demands to
> have a little more information on the invention and
> the patent, in order to enable him make a suitable
> price offer for the purchase. On the other hand, he
> will also want to know your asking price for the
> outright purchase of the invention, with hope that
> your asking price will fit into his earlier stated
> purchase price budget of not more than $150 million
> United States Dollars. He also wants to know if it
> will be possible for you to send him a photocopy of
> the first page of the patent by email attachment. This
> will positively assure Mr Shimbashi Ekimae on the
> reality and feasibility of his proposed investment in
> your invention. Furthermore, he would like to have a
> little more information of any possible sales
> projections based on marketability of the product and
> possible economic impact it could have worldwide. I
> will be waiting on all this information from you as
> soon as possible. Mr Shimbashi Ekimae will want to
> confirm the possibility of conducting this transaction
> in the European Union. Due to the problems he
> currently faces with the Japanese government, the
> European Union Countries are the only places where he
> will be able to make any payments for the invention.
> The transaction must be made on top secret basis,
> without the involvement of lawyers and patent
> attorneys or anyone else, in consideration of the
> confidentiality he demands for his protection and
> avoidance of interference from the Japanese
> government. As soon as the purchase is concluded, he
> will further wish to proceed with manufacturing of the
> product by citing the production plants in the
> European Union. He awaits your response as soon as
> possible. Many thanks
> Tanaka

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 6:06 AM
Subject: Asking Price Accepted - xxxxxx

> Dear xxxxxxx
> Mr. Shimbashi Ekimae accepts your asking price of
> $ 25,000,000 (Twenty five million, United States
> Dollars Only) with no royalties afterwards. He
> requests for you to stop further negotiations with
> other prospective investors, in order to enable him
> feel secure enough to continue with the bid. This he
> says is because of the positive worldwide economic
> effect the xxxxxx product could
> have, since the competition will be healthy enough.We
> have received all the vital information and schematic
> drawings you have provided. You may call to discuss
> with Mr. Ekimae on telephone number +88216-46681371.
> He does not speak English, so I will have to translate
> for him. Since I assume you will be calling from The
> United States, you will have to dial the numbers
> direct like this 011-88216-46681371. The best time to
> call is between 7am and 11am Japan time. Mr. Shimbashi
> Ekimae says that he will only make this purchase on a
> confidential and top secret basis, because of the fact
> that he presently has unresolved, economic and
> financial related problems with our government already
> pending. Moreover it is a difficult process for him to
> send such amount of money out of Japan at these times
> of crisis without answering to charges from our
> government. This means that he will not accept third
> party negotiations and involvement by any patent
> attorneys and lawyers, or anyone else throughout the
> transaction and thereafter. He will prefer to deal
> with you directly for confidential reasons, as long as
> you can provide him adequate assurance of his
> protection and anonymity in the transaction. This is
> the reason why he has also decided that after
> completing payment for this patent sale, he wishes to
> enter into a new consultancy agreement with you for
> continuing the execution of the patent in good faith.
> This means that you may wish to either provide
> consultancy services to assist in the manufacturing or
> undertake full charge of managing the affairs of mass
> manufacturing of the product line, of which he intends
> to site the production plants in the European Union.
> If you are agreeable to all the above stated terms and
> conditions, then email me immediately to let me know
> when you wish to call. You may also provide a secure
> landline telephone number where we can reach you at
> most times for discussions. Many thanks
> Tanaka
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 2:25 PM
Subject: Transaction - Agreement - xxxxxx

> Dear xxxxxxx,
> I am glad I was able to discuss with you over the
> phone. I have discussed with Mr Shimbashi Ekimae at
> length, and he has agreed to proceed in the business
> with you. As I write this email, he has started making
> arrangements of getting the required funds together
> for the purchase of your "xxxxxx"
> invention, and will be ready as soon as possible. He
> has however emphasized the earlier information that
> the funds will be delivered to you in cash by air
> cargo, to Dublin - Ireland as soon as you are ready.
> This is the only place so far where Mr Shimbashi
> Ekimae is sure of safely sending cash money in air
> cargo, based on advice of his personal contacts
> persons in the embassies here, who are willing to
> assist him with the funds dispatch. As I have informed
> you during our phone conversation, you have to prepare
> to offset the air cargo customs charges and tariff
> duty required for the Irish customs authorities to
> release the cargo containing the total cash to you on
> arrival of the funds in Dublin.
> Mr Shimbashi Ekimae can only dispatch the funds by
> this means as soon as he has a clear message from you
> that you have made assessment of the estimated cost of
> clearing the cargo with the Irish customs authorities,
> and that you are ready, willing and able to take full
> responsibility of offsetting these customs handling
> and duty charges. You will be able to get an estimate
> of the cost for the custom handling and duty charges
> from any of the few diplomats in Dublin who are
> conversant with such diplomatic cash operations. Upon
> your request, Mr Shimbashi Ekimae has made extensive
> enquiries, and finally provided you with the name and
> contact information of a reliable, trusted and very
> experienced diplomat in Dublin - Ireland, whom he is
> 100% sure will assist you with the smooth lodgment of
> the cash into the Irish banking system in Dublin -
> Ireland. His name is Mr Phillip Clarkson. He is a
> native of the Bahamas. His phone number in Dublin is
> +353-868-477-572. His two email addresses are
> Mr Shimbashi Ekimae wishes to assure you that Mr
> Phillip Clarkson is knowledgeable in the area of high
> volume cash operations, and he has strong links and
> personal contacts with top Irish bank officials that
> will readily accept cash lodgments of such amount from
> him without any questions. Most importantly, the
> diplomats by their status will be able to assist you
> by providing adequate first class bullion security for
> the funds, starting from when the funds leave the
> custody of the Irish customs, up to the time of
> lodging the funds in the designated bank. Moreover, as
> long as Mr Phillip Clarkson is physically involved in
> assisting you to pass the cargo through customs, we
> can all be 100% assured that the authorities will have
> no right or ability to search the cargo. All the Irish
> authorities will require for immediate release of the
> cargo, is the payment of customs handling charges and
> duty tariffs against the release of the shipment. This
> is a standard practice and procedure worldwide, for
> any international cargo shipment delivery, arriving
> any country's international airports. You must ensure
> that you give the appointed diplomat Mr Phillip
> Clarkson full details of the amount of funds involved,
> to enable him make proper arrangements for the best
> option amongst Irish banks that will be prepared and
> ready to accept the total amount into their financial
> banking system, from where you will personally make
> the funds transfer directly to your bank account,
> anywhere in the world. Mr Phillip Clarkson will be in
> a position to provide you with all necessary
> documentation, declaring that the funds originate from
> a clean source, and meant for the purchase of your
> "xxxxxx" invention. You have to
> follow the instructions of Mr Phillip Clarkson
> properly to ensure a smooth transaction. Mr Shimbashi
> Ekimae will be ready to dispatch the funds to Dublin -
> Ireland as soon as possible, depending on when you
> will be ready to proceed to Dublin-Ireland for the
> transaction. You have to make your travel itinerary
> when you are ready, and let me know the details. Mr
> Shimbashi Ekimae will arrange to dispatch the funds to
> ensure its timely arrival by 24 hours to your arrival
> date in Dublin-Ireland. Furthermore, I have attached
> the draft agreement with this email, which shall be
> signed in Dublin - Ireland after you have completed
> the funds lodgment and transfer with the assistance of
> the diplomat - Mr Phillip Clarkson. Please fill in the
> necessary information missing in the agreement, fix a
> US postage stamp on any free space of each page, and
> return the agreement to me by email attachment as a
> sign of your acceptance of the clauses guiding the
> agreement.
> Mr Shimbashi Ekimae says that you do not need to bring
> the original patents along, when you proceed to
> Dublin-Ireland for the funds transfer and agreement
> signing. He prefers that after the funds have been
> transferred into your bank accounts and the agreement
> is signed, then you may return to your base in USA and
> send the original patents and all other relevant
> material, by express courier service to the designated
> diplomat (Phillip Clarkson), for safe keeping in an
> Irish bank vault. Please, remember that this business
> will only succeed if we keep it as confidential as
> possible among ourselves, for Mr Shimbashi Ekimae's
> protection. Mr Phillip Clarkson will be in a position
> to advice you on what to do when you get to Dublin -
> Ireland, and to guide you through the transaction
> process. Mr Shimbashi Ekimae will require a scanned
> copy of a valid form of your identification like
> International passport or Driver's License, as it will
> be needed to accompany the funds to Dublin - Ireland,
> for identifying you as the sole beneficiary of the
> funds. For the best interest and success of this
> business, we must all realise and accept the fact that
> Mr Shimbashi Ekimae presently has a serious economic
> and financial problem, with our government. It will be
> impossible and unwise for him or any of his associates
> at this time to get involved in direct wire transfer
> of funds to anywhere, or issuing cheques through any
> Japanese Prime Bank. This is because his banking
> operations and those of his trusted associates are
> closely monitored presently by various government
> agencies. For these reasons, Mr Shimbashi Ekimae has
> carefully chosen to send the funds out of Japan in
> cash by air cargo. This way, his name and the names of
> any of his associates will not be linked directly to
> the transaction by our government. Once the funds can
> leave Japan this way, there will not be any problem.
> You must agree with Mr Shimbashi Ekimae, that there is
> this need for transition of the funds in cash, through
> an intermediary country like Ireland, as he has wisely
> proposed. Because of the delicate nature of the
> transaction, he advices that you deal through an
> experienced diplomat like Phillip Clarkson for the
> success of this transaction, since the diplomat is a
> professional in international cash movements and
> lodgment. You don't need to carry the cash by yourself
> when you arrive Dublin. All you will need to do is to
> give directives to the diplomat to move the funds for
> you from customs until the funds arrive the bank the
> diplomat will propose, because not every bank in
> Europe will accept cash deposits of such amount
> without much bureaucracy and complicated procedures.
> Mr Phillip Clarkson, with your permission will provide
> first class bullion security for the funds until it is
> lodged in the designated bank and ready for your
> transfer orders. Mr Shimbashi Ekimae sincerely
> anticipates that you will handle this transaction with
> good understanding. I shall be awaiting your telephone
> call as from 7am Japan time. Awaiting your response
> and decision. Many thanks
> Tanaka
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!

----- Original Message -----
From: "phillip clarkson" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 8:07 AM
Subject: RE:Need to speak with you about traveling to Ireland!!!

Dear xxxxxx, thanks for your email. I apologise for my late response, it
was due in part to a huge workload which I have at this time. I have
previously been intimated about your intended business deal with Mr Ekimae and I have informed Mr Tanaka of the need to make arrangements for the handling charges which will result from the shipment prior to your arrival here. Please do call me by all means so that we can discuss this in full details. I look forward to your earliest response.

Have a pleasant day!


Dear Mr. Clarkson,

My name is xxxxxxx a business client of Mr. Ekimae. I was asked to contact you in reference to traveling to Dublin, Ireland on business. I would like to talk with you directly to get more detailed information for traveling and my itinerary. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.


¡Sé listo! Contrata el antivirus\?idpers=109&track=13920

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phillip Clarkson" <>
To: "xxxxx" <xxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: The Details!!!

> Dear xxxxxx, thanks for the email. I think the way
> forward now is to decide how you will send me the
> handling charges, so that I can make arrangements for
> consignment on arrival. I am sure Mr Tanaka has
> intimated you with the proposed cost of handling this
> shipment. If he hasn't then I should let you know; it
> is $26,000:00. This will include security,
> transportation, customs duties, storage fees and other
> miscellaneous charges. Please let me know if you are
> willing and ready to take care of the charge above. I
> await your earliest response.
> Regards,
> Phillip Clarkson.
> ___________________________________________________________
> Yahoo! Messenger - want a free and easy way to contact your friends

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 6:29 AM
Subject: Haven't heard from Mr. Clarkson !!!

> Dear xxxxxxx
> The first email address you used was wrong. It is
> supposed to be
> You should also try reaching him by phone during the
> official hours. The number again is
> +353 868 477 572
> If the second email went through, then I believe he
> should respond soon. I will try to call you in a few
> hours from now. Many thanks.
> Tanaka
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Dear Fuji,
> I have made several attempts to contact Mr. Clarkson
> by email and also by
> phone but have
> not received any response from him at this time. I
> first made an attempt to
> send a email to
> the and it was returned as
> wrong email address.
> Then, I sent one to this second address
> and it went
> through but he hasn't
> contacted me. Awaiting your response.
> xxxxxxx
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fuji Tanaka" <>
To: <xxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2005 12:16 PM
Subject: Here Is Decision!!!

> Dear xxxxxxx,
> I will gladly pass your message on to Mr Ekimae. I
> have to let you know that no matter what you think, Mr
> Ekimae means well as far as this transaction is
> conserned. Your decision is yours to take. You don't
> need to give him any time frame on which to act as it
> may please you, by threatening to deal with other
> investors.That is not neccessary. You have to
> understand that Mr Ekimae can only act within the
> limits his present restrictions will permit. Anyhow,
> many thanks for your time.
> Tanaka
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Mr. Tanaka,
> In reference to our phone discussion. I did not
> contact Mr. Clarkson as
> promised. I have come to the conclusion at this time I
> am unable to provide
> the necessary funds to move on. As I mentioned in my
> phone conversation to
> you, there is no excess capital available. This is due
> to the investments I
> have tied up in other inventions and marketing cost.
> You have also said due
> to Mr. Shimbashi's circumstance he is unable to
> forward any funds as well.
> So it seems to me we are standing still spinning our
> wheels and no progress
> is being made. I must inform you that there are three
> other investors that
> have been in contact with me about this very same
> invention and one of them
> has been very persistent. At this time, I have no
> other choice than to ask
> that you speak with Mr. Shimbashi and let him know
> that I can only extend
> negotiation's between us until Wednesday. Then I will
> make the decision to
> move forward with the other interested investors.
> There is no need to
> contact me any longer about me acquiring money to send
> to Mr. Clarkson. I
> stand firm with my decision that I am unable to
> produce any money at this
> time. On the other hand if Mr. Shimbashi can find
> other means to close this
> deal out perhaps we will be able to get something
> done.
> Sincerely,
> xxxxx
> Yahoo! Mail
> Stay connected, organized, and protected. Take the tour:

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4.   Reg Flags to Watch Out for

TO: Inventors:
From: Stephen Gnass
RE:  Reg flag signals to watch for in any deal

Dear Inventor,

I am concerned by several details that I consider big “red flags” in the emails that indicate that it is a scam. These type of signals should be watched out for in any type of deal.  Here are the red flag signals for your review:

A) The email letter says:
“My Client, a Japanese investor is interested in buying, willing and able to pay up to a negotiable amount of between 35 Million to 40 Million United States Dollars.”

Stephen says:
The money that's available in a deal in never put up-front right into the first proposal letter.  Nobody does that because it's not good business sense.  Usually in any negotiation, the buyer is trying to buy at the cheapest price while the seller is trying to sell at the highest price.  So putting this huge amount of money in the email makes it sound like a lure.

B) The email letter says:
"Due to certain problems with the Japanese government, my client will only be able to purchase foreign patents and inventions on a confidential and top secret basis, hence he will not accept third party involvement and negotiations, through patent attorneys and lawyers or anyone else".

Stephen says:
1) He repeats "my client" at least 7 or more times in the letter.  Therefore Mr. Tanaka is a third person; so why does the “no third party” rule only apply to the inventor?

2) Why is he asking you, and other product developers, to send their ideas without anyone but the inventor knowing about the submission?

3) Why is he asking you to keep the negotiations and deal “top secret”?  The classic ploy in most scams is to keep it “secret”. Keeping a deal “confidential” is different, it means that you don’t reveal the details of the deal to outsiders. But keeping the whole thing “top secret” with no legal attorney representation or advice is something completely different.

4) Why would anyone ask you not to be properly represented by an attorney? Every company or individual has a right to legal representation in any deal. Legal representation by an attorney is especially necessary with international deals where there may be international laws, as well as different country laws, and state laws that are involved.  A legitimate company would not require the other party to keep a deal a “secret” and not get proper legal advice or representation. 

If there were ever to be any problems with such a deal in the future, there would be no witnesses on behalf of the inventor!  Without legal advice, the inventor could theoretically give away all his rights to the invention without knowing what he signed.  So this requirement signals that perhaps the deal is illegal or that they are somehow trying to rip off the inventor either financially somehow or steal the invention and leave the inventor with no proof or evidence of it.

5) What are the "certain problems" with the Japanese government? And what does the Japanese government have to do with a company licensing new technologies or products?  Why are they trying to hide their business activities from the government? The next follow-up email says that the deal is to be made somewhere in Europe.  No legitimate business would tell another party to take a deal out of the legal countries that are involved in a deal.

5) I did a search on the internet for the person’s name, which comes up as the name of a hotel in Japan, not an individual.  There’s no proof that the guy sending the email works for him.  The email that he is sending this email letter from is a “yahoo” email, which is not a real company email.  Due to the “top secret” nature of the proposal, there’s no way to check out the companies or individuals involved.

These things indicate that they are not following regular international business protocol, but seems more like an international con artist.  

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5.   What to do if you've made contact with the scammers

1. Stop communicating:

IFIA suggests that you stop communicating immediately. If you have already been in contact with these scammers, immediately stop any additional contact with these criminals.  If you have only emailed them, kindly email and let them know that you are not able to pursue the opportunity. If you have talked to them by phone, and they continue to call you after you email them, the best thing to do is to tell them politely in a follow-up email that you are sorry that you just cannot participate in the offer. If you answer a live phone call from them, thank them for their time and let them know that you are cannot pursue the opportunity.  

Important Note:  Do not "insult" or display anger at these people. It can be dangerous for inventors to antagonize these dangerous individuals.  These people can be very dangerous…so it is better to keep quiet and avoid further communication.

2. Inform the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission [FTC] web says that if you receive an offer via email from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of Nigeria — or any other country, for that matter — to forward it to the FTC at .

For More Information

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues , visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel , a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

3. Call your Local Secret Service field office

If you have lost money to one of these schemes, call your local Secret Service field office. Local field offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

More information about Nigerian Advance-Fee Loan scams is available from the U.S. Secret Service ( ) and the U.S. Department of State ( ).

4. Let Inventor Organizations Know

In the U.S., you can inform the two umbrella inventor organizations to let them know that you have been communicating with scammers. If you are a European inventor, let us know and we will put you in contact with IFIA.

National Congress of Inventor Organizations
8306 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 391
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone: (323) 878-6952


United Inventors Association
PO Box 23447
Rochester, NY 14692
Phone: (585) 359-9310
Fax: (585) 359-1132

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