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Fuel Scam. Part I. Introduction.

Commodity trading was and is one of the most popular trading markets in the world with a long history. There are many traded commodity classes including precious and non-precious metals, agricultural produce, and, of course, energy. In its turn, energy commodities include crude oil, natural gas, ethanol, diesel, bio-diesel, aviation fuel, marine fuel, etc.

Being one of the most traded commodities in the world, petrochemical and fuel products became a point of interest among scammers and fraudsters willing to trick people for their personal gain.

Those who know a little bit about the industry and tried to buy or sell fuel products are probably familiar with the "Russian scam" - you get contacted by a "Russian fuel supplier" or "an official mandate/agent/representative to a Russian refinery" with the proposal to buy fuel products.

Why "Russian Scam"?

There are several reasons why scammers use Russia for their fraudulent activities.

  • Language barrier

The Russian language is definitively not in the list of "the 5 most spoken languages in the world" and not many people outside of Russia or post-Soviet countries know/speak Russian. Meanwhile, the majority of Russians know and speak English.

Scammers use it as an advantage because the communication between Russian and foreign companies is usually held in English. It's a win-win situation for scammers because they don't even need to learn the Russian language to communicate with "victims to be".

  • Cultural differences.

Different country = different rules, different laws, and different procedures.




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