Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bank Instrument Leasing and Letter of Credit Scams

This one has been a long time coming.

If you have paid money to anyone for a service like this, and are still waiting for the desired result, call me in complete confidence.  I can usually help if you move quickly enough.

Bank instrument scams are usually offered to any of the following
  • Those looking for large project financing for which they can not qualify
  • Those in control where large sums of cash are held on deposit (e.g: escrow companies, corporate treasurers, etc)
  • Those who think they may have influence on those who control where large sums are held on deposit, or;
  • Those who hold themselves out to be any kind of financial broker
  • Legitimate investors seeking high returns

Bank instrument leasing scams come in a variety of looks, shapes, sizes and descriptions. The verbiage used to hook the mark into the scam can vary as well. Typical examples include:
  • HYIP or High Yield Investment Programs
  • HYTP or High Yield Trading Programs
  • Platform trading programs
  • MTN or Medium Term Note trading programs
  • Bank instrument trading programs
  • Credit enhancement programs
  • Sinking fund programs

These programs represent the most sophisticated misdirection techniques I have ever seen, as well as what I suspect are the most successful in history.  Virtually all of them involve duping the mark, and often the brokers too, into believing that a balance showing on a statement is something more than what it is.  Various real bank instruments are used for this con.  Some of these instruments are:
  • SWIFT MT799
  • SWIFT MT760
  • Letter of Credit  or LC
  • Standby Letter of Credit
  • Medium Term Banknote
  • Bank Instrument

By some estimates, this scam has existed for 30 years.  I first saw it 15 years ago, and have been approached with more of them every year since.  By now it has developed its own vernacular.  Some of the terms used by the practitioners of these scams are:
  • "Top 25 bank"
  • "Trader"
  • "Platform Trader"
  • "High Yield Investment Program"
  • "Show Money"

The specifics of each of the scams included in this breed is a thick book I've yet to write.  Let's hope it becomes history before I ever have the chance.  I will summarize for your here.

If you have paid any funds whatsoever toward the objective of leasing a bank instrument, you won't see it again.  If you see anything, it is the proceeds of others who bought into the same scam, and a perpetrator paying you to keep you quiet while he does it again.

It's a scam. 

If you have paid funds for such a service, and are getting delay after delay, feel free to reach out to me using the information to the right. 

Don't be embarrassed.  Some very sophisticated people have done the same.  

If there is any potential of getting your funds back, I can help.  Move quickly!

I offer no legal advice and charge no fee.  Nothing herein shall be considered an offer of any legal service whatsoever. 


  1. So you are saying this is a scam even if you have reicievied a email from the bank official how is funding these swift 799 and 760s.


      Dear Sir/Madam,

      Sri Lanka is a country which is located in the middle of the asian region. Also known as the gem of the Indian ocean

      Colombo Stock market is an great opportunity to value your money. Its oppotunity you will able to earn more than the bank annual fixed interest and at the same time build a retirement fund

      Richard Peiris Stock Brokers started operation in the beginning of 2010 We have been able to collect a team who has build up their respective reputation in the industry over decade

      We humbly invite you to invest through us where you will receive an adequate return for your investment and high quality advices. If you are interest please be kind enough to reply on this email

      Appreciate if you can respond though you are interest to invest or not

      Name: Mr. Vindu Perera
      Contact details: 0094 773 414516

      Thanks for your time


  2. Yes. And by the way, a Swift MT799 doesn't fund anything.

  3. but the 760 does right cause I have both. From a bank that I have looked up that is holding 25 billion in cash

  4. Mechanically, it can act as a guarantee - but not for you. Think of it as an insurance claim with a thousand escape clauses.

    There will be a default in the terms, and it will be uncollectible. It will have been your fault, and there will be nothing you can do about it.

  5. But they say the money is 100 percent refundable if the transaction does not fund and the firm Iam using is very good with a ton of referals and past deals of clients.

  6. Ask yourself these questions (you don't have to answer them here, of course):

    1. Did you pay anything to anyone, including any kind of leasing fee for a bank instrument?

    2. Has the process taken longer than you originally thought?

    3. With the interest they claim, they could easily replace the deposited funds usually within a few months. So why would they not just give you back your funds instead of paying you interest?

  7. Ill call you in the AM.

  8. Basically,a leased instrument is to secure loans from banks when the companies are having cash flow problems.Some banks knew about these types of operation and would only loan to credit worthy customers.I've been using lease LCs for more many years now when I've encountered cash flow difficulties so NOT all lease instruments are scams.It depends on how you utilize them.

  9. There is nothing wrong with leasing an LC or other bank instrument. But the use you've identified is not a legitimate one.

    Question: How could a leased asset possibly improve your ability to borrow?

    Answer: You don't disclose the net present liability of the lease itself (the fact that you do not actually own the asset), thereby artificially inflating your net worth. If you have an accountant to back up your claim, you might even get audited financial statements to completely trick those bankers who perhaps aren't the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

    That's likely to be classified as bank fraud.

  10. Ok so I think I have another example. I was approached to make an investment so that a charity could obtain a forgivable loan. To receive the forgivable loan the charity had to be credit worthy, so they needed a credit sponsor to get a Standby Letter of credit. The letter of credit had up front fees and the charity needed money to prepay for the SBLC. The investment would be returned within 45 days once the SBLC was issued and the first draw of the forgivable construction loan paid banking fees.

    Does this sound familiar to you?

  11. Clearly Jonathon you have no idea.

    The fact that you are propigating half truths clearly indicates to me you have no merchant banking background nor have you been educated in the correct way to lease a bank instrument. I doubt you have even worked for a "top 25 bank" in even a menial capacity.

    For your information nearly all of the top banks lease bank instruments to qualified customers. I would be more than happy to furnish you with a list from which you will see each an every instrument is assigned an ISIN number which fully documents and identifies the instrument and its value.
    Some examples are listed below:

    Issuer/Currency/Face Amount
    /Rate/Maturity/Type/ISIN #

    UBS AG USD 74,158,000
    6.40% 31.08.12 MTN XS0229236418

    11.50% 20.08.12 MTN XS0314534610

    BARCLAYS BANK PLC USD 35,076,000
    10.00% 03.08.12 MTN XS0226653839

    These instruments are fully verifiable through the internal processes of any top bank. Make no mistake, they exist and are real.

    To put my comments into perspective, do you think that for one minute, some of the world's top banks would be involved in such scams.

    I understand that there are scammers out there, however, to tarnish everyone with the same brush is unacceptable.

  12. Thank you Mr. "Anonymous" for your comment.

    Of course bank instruments are real. You can even lease them. You just can't trade leased bank instruments in your magical programs for rediculous returns.

    I would love it if you proved me wrong. But you won't. You'll say that nobody who makes such money is willing to tell anyone, or that they are sworn to secrecy by your top 25 banks, etc. etc.

    You use the oldest ploy in the book - naming household name banks to prop up your legitimacy. They don't like that. Neither do the feds who regulate them:

    In reality, the ponzi schemes and ponzi scheme derivatives created with this sexy verbiage are the only way anyone makes money - except for, indirectly, your banks (for which you seem to hold some sort of idolic reverence) which get to hold on to more money than they would if less people believed "the money is on the way" from trading these otherwise yawn-provoking instruments.

    Thank you also for the classless personal attack. And your name is...?

  13. They ask me to make a blocked deposit in their favor 14% agaist a 10 year loan of US$ 200 million they said they will advance me within 40 days after which the blocked deposit will be free for them when the loan is concurrently made readily available for me.
    shall I go agead with the deal documentation?

  14. careful anonymous jonathan is right and 100% right my friend leased for 100 000 euros to get a bg at 100 000 000 dollars and its was just impossible to get loan against it ,the scammers guys are in colombia their name mr bhiannic mr rocha they are french .
    It's not that easy to get 200 000 000 $ loan!

  15. I found your site when looking at Letter of Credit Scams. We are a startup petroleum trading company. We have a petro transaction with a reputable buyer and a refinery. We have a contract in place with the distributor of the refinery. The distributor requires a SBLC with a 2% PB in return for the cargo. All is fine for the buy and sell side, however we have an investor who is providibg the SBLC to our bank from a Russian Bank. Our bank will not accept the 700 series LC from them. We paid 25K upfront for the LC. The investor said it is too costly now to move to another bank, and my suggestion was we would use another accpetable bank. My question is, Does this sound normal, or a scam?

    1. Anonymous from Aug. 3, it sounds to me like you just lost $25k.

  16. Per your request, here is an outline of questions your JV partner will need to have his Banker answer.

    By Tuesday of this coming week, there will be a live (issued) instrument available that your company can acquire. It will be either a HSBC or Barclays (London) 100M Bank Guarantee that is fully cashable at 100% face value. The term for maturity will be one year and one day. This instrument will be approximately 3 days old when I am able to show the front and back copy of the instrument. The insrument will be verifiable by a banker to banker window call.

    You need to ask your banker if:

    1. The price for the BG will be 85% of face value. Will your banker issue you a 90% Credit line against the instrument? Where you are able to pay the bank fees (how much will your bank charge you in fees?) and still have the ability to draw on some cash to forward your business project funding. (Obviously the issuing Bank of the BG pays your banker in one year and one day from the issuing date equal to 100% of the face value of the instrument, so if your banker gave you a 90% of face credit line, that line would be payed back in full at the end of the one year and you would realize 10 million Euros net into your account as cash.

    2. When your banker speaks to the Instrument providers banker, your banker will need to state that "you are financially capable to pay for the instrument at 85% face value upon your bank's receiving the MT-760 delivery with full bank responsibility and can pay by MT-103 within 48 to 72 hours after verifying anc confirming the instrument. So, thye question to your banker is; do you need a credit line before the banker to banker window call? Or will your banker be able to move forward with the advance viewing of the live instrument?

    You don't need to state you have the funds. Just the ability to pay (Financial Capability) after receiving the MT-760 delivery.

    I need these answers by the close of Asia Banking hours on Friday.

    Does this sound like a scam to you? they are not asking for any upfront moneys

  17. Dear sir,

    Is there a way to ask you any guidance on the financing of the acquisition of a building and land in a Middle European country, owned by a company in an other EU country but in the company books valued at 5% of the asked for price.banks balk on that position.



  18. jonathan thanks for your insight to this tricsters.They took so much money from us and begin with different stories.
    I want to know the credibility of a company called EuroAsia.their operation method look mature but one need a double check especially whan they are asking for upfrom.Another one is world wide funding

    1. All high yield bank trading programs are scams.

  19. Thank you Jonathan. My father has been scammed by these platform traders for over $42K...which he mortgaged a portion of his paid off farm to get. I have tried to explain to him that these platforms are not real to the extent that our relationship has been somewhat damaged. He feels like he has some sort of insider knowledge that I just don't understand and he desperately wants to show me that he is right. We have not spoken of it in over a year and today he informed me the he now knows, "for a fact", that these platforms are real. His "friend" has a "client" that is on a real one and just bought a painting in New York for $90 Million dollars. He said that because they are so lucrative, 99% of the platforms are scam artists but this friend is a part of the actual program. I am extremely distraut and do not know how to convince him that there are not any real platform programs. He will be selling off all of his assets soon in order to move and retire with my mother. I know that as soon as he has money in hand, he will give it to his "friend" for a platform and my parents will have lost an entire lifetime of money that will be gone forever. Do you have any advice for me in this situation?

    1. I'm sorry for your frustration. Unfortunately, this is a story I've heard time and time again. Law enforcement basically takes the position that anyone falling for this gets what they deserve (Except when banks have fallen for it, which it the only time I've seen it prosecuted).

      I'm afraid your only recourse might be to have your father declared incompetent before his money entirely gone. Please let us know if you have news.

  20. Dear Jonathan, I appreciate the work you are dong in this field. Before getting into the scams I have experienced, I would just like to know if you have eve heard of a company called World Financial Contacts. The are a company out of Belize with a Florida address also. They provide for the leasing of instruments with ISIN by having a Provider buy the instrument and then lease it to the Lessee. They'r website is Do you know if they are legitimate?

    1. All high yield bank trading programs are scams. No such offer is ever legitimate.

  21. i have been offered similar deal. the agent said i will provide you a NBFC first ,who will assure you of monetizing the sblc instrument . he will enter into an agreement to monetize such 'SBLC'.After that agreement ,we have to show proof of funds and he will arrange for MT760 by hsbc london.after the confirmation of that instrument he will debit our account for i about to be duped .

  22. Hi Jonathan,

    I find your blog useful and value add.

    I have been offered a financial proposal for my project based on financing via Bank Guarantee (BG). The financier is a UK based registered entity which states that they have discounting lines. As per the proposal, it uses the BG to leverage it further and provides 3x funding. The financing pricing and terms are extremely lucrative and enticing.

    My legal counsel states that he hasn't ever done such a transaction but my banker states that issuing a BG doesn't provide any repurcussions as it cannot be used and if the funds are not delivered within the stipulated time period, it can be cancelled prior to its maturity.

    My board is pushing me to take the decision between various financing options

    Kindly advise whether I'm being scammed? Please guide
    If you require I can share with you the agreements as well.

  23. Hi my name is Liang from Singapore.

    To Anonymous August 26, 2012
    I have a friend also has similar offer.
    MT 760, 1 year 1 day tenor, issued by Barclays or HSBC London
    Size up to USD 1.5 billion

    Charles K King
    Executive Director
    Triconvest GmBH
    International consulting and development consultants

    with Switzerland address and phone number.

    I told him that it is a scam, but i just cant prove it.

    1. The proof will be in the fact that it never happens. I challenge anyone to prove it has. ANYONE? HELLO? ANYONE?

      [insert sound of crickets here]

  24. Jonathon,
    Thank you for having this blog. Please help. I have been approached by my father and his two partners to put up $165,000 for a portion of the up front fees for a Stand By Letter of Credit (SBLC). The up front fee's total $330,000 for a $6m loan that they are securing through American Medical Capital (AMC) of Bethesda Maryland. It has been explained to me that the SBLC is cashed backed by a group of investors unknown and unconfirmed to me. The SBLC is being issued by AMC who is also funding the loan of $6m. My fathers investor group has no money in the deal or collateral to offer for the up front fees so they are offering a 100% return on investment for loaning them the up front fees. The president of AMC has indicated to me over the phone, that the deal will take no more than 4 weeks to fund once the upfront fees are wired to AMC's account. I have been told that AMC is a FDIC insured bank but cannot confirm that. I have asked for their number and am waiting for it as I write this. Does any of this appear legitiment to you? I am suppose to wire the funds tomorrow, please help!

  25. No. I believe your $165k is about to disappear. Do you know who, if anyone, put up the rest of the $330k? I would question that authenticity as well.

    Ask yourself this: The borrower is bringing NOTHING of the three necessary components of finance - no CREDIT, no COLLATERAL, no CASH (down payment to offset risk). So what value does the borrower bring to the table? Do they think there is a shortage of good ideas that some elite group of bankers is orchestrating this elaborate transaction so that they can provide a miracle to these geniuses? Please.

    A Really good idea and $4 will get you a cafe mocha.


  26. Thank you for your quick response. To answer your question about the rest of the upfront fee's; Here's where it gets really interesting. My father and his two partners have raised $230,000 including my $165,000. I cannot verify where they are getting the additional $65,000, the remaining $100,000 is coming from one of the officers of the bank that is providing the SBLC and the $6m loan. I'm not even sure if AMC is a bank. Can't find them listed on FDIC's website for insured banks. I have requested a FDIC # prior to wiring any funds.

    It looks like I will pass on this opportunity. It will more than likley cost my relationship with my father.

    Thank you again for help Jonathan.

    1. If one of the officers of the bank were to do what you describe above, he would be committing a federal offense, in my estimation.

      I'm glad to hear you won't be going forward. I know it is difficult to deny requests to family, but I am confident you just saved $165k, and hopefully the others who have contributed won't have the opportunity to lose their cash because you stood up.

  27. Thank you for having this blog and creating awareness. Last week I was been approached by a Financial consultant for funding through MT799.

    He wants me to show 5M in my bank account anywhere in the world. He wants me to send MT799 to his bank. He also stated MT799 is only Pre-advice copy. Only MT 760 will Lock the funds. I cross checked the same with my banker and found the description true for MT799 and MT760.

    He wants us to send only MT799. He doesn't want MT760.

    He said using his credit limit he will discount MT799 and pay me 30% of the LTV (Loan to Value) of which 15% is non-refundable and 15% is 0% interest loan for 3 years.

    Here he doesn't want any money from me. No upfront or any transaction fees.

    Too good to be true. Please let me know your valuable feedback On the same.

    Thank you very much for all your help.

  28. Jonathan,

    I am leasing a fresh cut bank guarantee for 5M for a project. No broker, no middle man. I'm dealing directly with the investor who, mind you, has worked in the banking industry for over 30 years working for various Federal and private banks and who is also putting up the cash as collateral. He's also monetizing the 5m instrument into cash which will be wired directly into my company account in no later than 2 weeks. The term he used was "Non-recourse loan." Now, I've seen proof of funds from previous closings, various other documents, etc. Now, a friend of mine has been involved in leasing instruments before with the same investor and has assured me that my funds wil be available for my company and project. In your expertise will I get my money


    1. No.

      YOUR money is the money you are paying for the up front leasing fee, by the way. The rest would be the BANK'S money.

      Ask yourself this: If the 'investor' is putting up CASH collateral for what would presumably be a standby Letter of Credit, which he will then collateralize to obtain a loan which he is saying he will then lend to you without recourse (meaning he has no recourse if you don't pay), why go through all of those costs and gyrations? Why wouldn't he just make the loan to you, even WITH recourse to cover his risk?

      The reason is most probably to obtain the fee from you for leasing the instrument to begin with.

      If you've already paid him, I hope I'm wrong.

  29. Hello every body,
    please tell me what about if i Lease a BG by this way then can i use it for loan enhancement.?

    We will not pay a single penny before we receive BG via MT760 in our bank. Procedure is same as every body says or as follows.

    Sign contract.
    Both sides exchange POF. (bank to bank only)
    then MT799 from both sides to show willingness of receiving and sending the MT760.

    Then receiver will send MT103/23 for the leasing fee.

    Sender will send MT760 and with in 5 days after received BG then receiver bank release MT103.

    please let me know if this is scam.?
    can we get loan on this BG.?
    BG will be from TOp 25 banks.

    Thanks if some one can tell me about above said procedure and BG.

    I will appreciate if also send reply to my email Regards Shabir

    1. You will pay to lease a useless instrument.

      Ask yourself this: If I use this "leased bank guarantee" as collateral for a loan, or even as an enhancement to my overall standing so that I might be more favorably considered for financing, and I default, what security would it provide?

      Answer: NONE! The lender would lose the money the loaned to you, and you would have tricked them into making you that loan by showing an asset which you never owned, and against which you never revealed any encumbrance.

      You will never receive any money against the leased BG (bank guarantee). The one charging you the lease fee makes money. You have a useless instrument, or one with which you could defraud someone. Nothing more.

  30. Thank you for an extremely useful blog
    I have approached some traders who have been recommended to me by persons I trust.
    They will give a non recourse loan with money they get thru monetization of a MTN they put as collateral.The amount will then go to a trading platform which is supposed to double the money in 12 months.Before that I will get an amount in cash equivalent of the money already invested in the project.They will then go into a joint venture
    where their percentage of the shares will proportionally increase until the project is 100% funded with the proceeds of the trading.
    No up front fees.Should I proceed with the deal?
    If yes which dangers should I be aware of?

    1. If they were doubling the money every 12 months, whey would ever need you?

  31. find this most interesting i have come across these people before and anyone asking for money upfront is a con.

    1. It is isn't just those asking for money up front. It's all of them. Often your committment to getting your financing from such operators for "no money up front" is itself used to get others to pay to lease instruments which are then said to be used to obtain the financing for the other party which is then said to draw huge interest or an equity stake.

      This also creates false demand for the deposits securing such instruments, and keeps more money in banks in order to draw bogus lease fees to account holders. This may be one reason why banks remain relatively quiet on this subject.

  32. Is this a scam? BO-to-BO confirmation before sending MT103/23

    2.1 Within 1 -2 International banking day after the countersigning if this agreement by the Provider , the Beneficiary shall send Swift as per ANNEX 1 to the Provider’s bank to open the file.

    2.2 Provider will reply within 1 - 2 International banking day Swift to the Beneficiary bank as per ANNEX 2

    2.3 After receipt of confirmation by the Provider’s bank, the Beneficiary will issue
    MT 103/23 per ANNEX 3 to Party 1 (PROVIDER) bank coordinates, eventually with
    MT 799 Preadvice. If requested preadvice being subjected prior RMA exchange between banks.

    2.4 Upon receipt of the 103/23, Party 1 bank will deliver the requested MT 760 per
    ANNEX 4 to Party 2’s Bank with MT-799 Preadvice first, if apply and requested by Beneficiary (Preadvice being subjected to RMA exchange between two banks)

    2.5 Payment is made by releasing the MT103/23 within 7 international banking days of the successful validation of the BG by the Beneficiary Receiving Bank.

  33. I have been in finance for 20 odd years and have worked for some of the largest derivative brokers in the world. Whilst the brokers I have worked for accept guarantees from customers to collateralise their accounts, they are plain vanilla guarantees or SBLC's (issued by top tier banks) which are backed by collateral, cash, assets etc. Furthermore they are structured in such a way that we can draw on them whenever we wish and the issuing bank can't stop us (which does not apprear to be the case with any of the structures outlined above). Reading the many contributions made to this blog reminds me of the warning that when something appears to be too good to be true, it always is.

    1. Thank you for reminding everyone to keep it simple.

  34. In the year 2008, I received a USD 100,000 SBLC in my HSBC Hong Kong account. The issuing bank was not from top 25 nor even from top 1,000 (Yes, that's true... Nor in top 1K). HSBC called me and inform how to set credit limit. So, I believe it's true. For your kind reference, I can send it's scan copy to you Mr. Jonathan.

    1. So you obtained a $100k stand-by letter of credit. So what?

      That is only a form of credit guarantee provided by someone who owed you money contingent on your delivery of a product. SBLC's, as I stated above, are of course real and used every day. The instrument terminology is used in the scams shown above to lend them credibility. They often state that the mark will receive an SBLC to borrow against. The trick comes when they try to borrow against it, and the conditions are impossible to comply with. It's a scam.

  35. Mr. Warren,

    My fathers company is involved in a sale of petroleum to a company in Europe they are issuing us a MT760 from UNICOM BANK PJSC to "back up" the purchase so to speak. My question to you is as a seller do you see any potential pitfalls associated with this? I realize the question is rather broad but I see you providing valuable insight into others business dealings involving the MT760 and other swift messages and thought to ask you. Thank you

    1. Not much info here, but from first blush it sounds like a standard, legitimate use.

    2. Unicom bank is not big enough to issue anything. The bank capital is only 60m and I got their BG for 250m euro. All real, just bank is not capable enough to support the claim. Just FYI, I am doing discountig for last 8 years. Just like any other trade, stick to the fundamentals, and keep eyes/ear open.

    3. i am receiving 2 SBLC's from the same bank for 300 M usd . Are they able or not ? The bank of the beneficiary says they can issue a $100M credit line in cash to invest in PPP program returning 40% profit per month.

    4. The dollar amount was not given in the original description, but the basic use of an SBLC is nothing new. HOWEVER, the bank you mention appears to be a Ukrainian outfit with a website that looks like a 4th grader put it together. The domain registrant is a chinese individual's name based in Beijing. Let us know how you do.

  36. Mr. Warren
    i was offered to lease a DLC or let`s say a financial instrument for a fee precentageb of 10 % of the amount we are asking for, no other demands ; just 10 % - then the consultant says we can monitize for min. 80% to be used to lease a bigger amount instrument till we reach the amount we require ; maybe 3-4 times .
    My question is it logical that we can monitize a leased instrument?can this process be done ?
    or just a scam as always.

  37. Mr. Warren-

    So good to find you. SO GOOD. My friend has been involved in several attempts to get his business start up financed by this SBLC garbage. I say garbage because it has been failed attempt after failed attempt.

    During all this I have asked one question of all 4 of these groups "helping" my friend with this financing: HAVE YOU CLOSED ONE DEAL IN THE PAST AND WHEN AND WHERE WAS IT? IF NOT, DO YOU HAVE REFERENCES AND COUNSEL?.................................Not one concrete answer...always "Well, we are bound by confidentiality under agreement with previous clients. What horse$#!%.

    Boy, do I have a list of names to run through your database. Can I do that privately? Some of the clowns involved may be just that, and not out to really harm anyone, like the scum they work with.

    Thanks for your time in advance.

    1. Thanks for your posting. Every day more people tell me they are going to "try" one of these "programs" even after reading all of this.

      It really is the perfect scam. I suppose that's why its the most successful scam in history.

      I'm happy to review names for known quantities, free of charge and by email.

  38. Copy and paste into your browswer:

  39. Do you know of any circumstances where obtaining a stand-by letter of credit or bank guarantee under a lease agreement would be beneficial to a company obtaining it? If there is never a legitimate use, then the defacto standard would be that they are all scams, correct?

    1. I can imagine legitimate use for a "leased" or otherwise 3rd party-provided SBLC. But these uses are few, and are not within the realm of the inquiries herein above. There can be no defacto standard of legitimacy on a mechanism without context, in my opinion.

  40. please am seller expecting an mt760 form buyer monetize said to used there bank account and there verbiage and he want to be the Beneficiary
    THE WILL GIVE ME 10% in 72hrs and 55% in 15 day
    is this a SCAM
    please explain this to me

    1. I'm sorry to be blunt, but you need it. You are clueless and this is a scam. Run the other way.

  41. we have been offered to participate in a "program" with a 366 day BG (MT760), that will be held as collateral for a trading credit line.
    we have supplied a draft MT799/MT760 where our bank and we are comfortable that it cannot be "cashed"
    we are promised certain payment at set time points (starting in a few days).
    there are no upfront fees or costs and our lawyers have reviewed and cleared all contracts/documents, including pay-master agreements.
    we have met the people and seen their passports and cleared their criminal records.
    if this is a scam - what are we missing and how could we get hurt?

    1. If your collateral instrument is uncashable, you have probably just committed bank fraud. But it is more likely that there will simply be no trading taking place collateralized by that instrument. More likely, your cash is either being used to pay others at the entry level of what is actually a ponzi scheme, or that uncashable instrument created from your funds is being "leased" to some poor sap who thinks he can get financing based on it. Please let us know the results.

  42. Have you heard of American Medical Capital in MD having success with a cash backed SBLC and the monetization of it through a loan?

    1. No. I have never heard of any success of any such program, anywhere, by anyone, ever. If you do hear of any such thing, please let us know.

  43. I have read all the posts above. While I agree that 99.9% of BG and SBLC are scams, some are not.

    I have worked for a wind farm that borrowed $200m and used a $250m BG as collateral. The owners of the windfarm tried to get finance just using the prospective windfarm as security and had no luck.

    They then got access to someone's BG and the bank leant the funds within 14 days. My bosses gave the BG providers equity in the project.

    So yes they do work but like I said, very very few far and between.

    1. Your post makes MY argument. If you read the other posts, you will find that victims are promised funding WITHOUT collateral. Your people gave collateral in a real project, in which they had real equity, to a BG provider which RISKED ITS ASSETS to provide the BG in lieu of cash, thereby allowing the bank to make the loan. You simply had someone else put up cash equivalents so that a bank could take on the risk. A BG is just a tool to effect this. It is NOT a source of funding as it is promised to the victims you see here.

    2. I have received a similar offer. Per the Loan Agreement, my company is to provide a BG of 10% of the face amount of the loan (which we have the cash to have issue). No up-front fees. The BG will be issued by my bank. However, the lender is requiring the BG to be issued prior to the loan closing. I am trying to get the lender to agree to a close through an escrow agent (I am concerned that the lender could try to call the BG without funding the loan). Thoughts?

  44. The above comments are very helpful. I have an offer to invest in a fund that provides loans to small businesses to pay the fees to acesss SBLCs. The returns are 8% per month The SBLC is drawn on a bank in New York specialising in emerging market trade. The fund has operated for about 2 years i am told and folks have made withdrawals of portions of their money as required. Does this sound like a fraud?

  45. Hi Jonathan,

    My name is Rick and my associates and I were approached on by a broker group based on the east coast called Cagle Collins Group. We were seeking funding for two merchant services industry projects: the first is a merchant services Independent Sales Organization start up (1.5 mil), the second is the acquisition of a 15 year old internet payment gateway company based in the Midwest (30 mil). We have since funded the ISO project working with an associates bank here in Seattle. One down, one to go.

    We are all industry veterans with an excellent track record, however, our experience with the type of funding offered by Cagle Collins is beyond our expertise. One of our due diligence team mentioned you and thought you might be willing to take a look at the documentation they sent to us. If that's the case, please contact me at

    Thank you sir. Great blog by the way, a real eye opener.

    1. Feel free to email or tweet @jonathan_warren. Be sure to read the other comments here. You might not bother.

  46. This is an email I got back from a "lender", whom I sent my business executive summary to looking for a loan.

    1. Client engages arranger and fills out Request for Services Form. The refundable .25% Processing Deposit is due and payable to the arranger with the execution of Client Request for Services.

    Processing Deposit: 0.25% of Face Amount (Gross) of BG (Due upon execution of Request)
    Both Investor and Arranger agree to act in good faith and to make all reasonable effort to comply with the conditions of the subject transaction. In the event of default, failure to perform by Arranger or Investor, or client declination of escrow instructions for non-conformance to conditions set forth in the MOU, a full refund of the Processing Fee will not be unreasonably withheld or subjected to financial penalties.

    2. Client completes Customer Identification Documentation (“Know Your Customer”) for identification of Client with POF, Client entity and authorized signor(s) & Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

    3. Upon execution and delivery of Customer Identification Documents to Arranger and MOU, Client receives Project Documentation (including drafts Escrow Agreement).

    4. Upon receipt, review and approval by Client of Project Documentation and Escrow Instructions, Client is issued Final escrow instructions and escrow agent information for approval.

    5. Upon Client approval of escrow agent and escrow instructions, Client deposits the Cost into escrow.

    6. Upon deposit of Cost into escrow, confirmation of the availability of a "Live SBLC" is issued by Issuing Bank to Receiving Lender via SWIFT MT760 .

    7. Upon Receipt of confirmation of the Live BG, Issuing Lender will confirm/verify BG authenticity.

    8. Upon verification of BG Authenticity by Lender, Lender will close and fund CLOC.

    9. Upon verification of funding and availability of loan proceeds by Borrower, in accordance with those loan terms agreed upon between Parties, pursuant to the escrow instructions approved by Client, escrow agent shall forthwith release Cost from escrow. If, for any reason, Lender cannot verify, validate, and authenticate the issued Live BG and/or the subject loan is not funded, escrow instructions expressly prohibit release of the Cost and require that escrowed funds be automatically returned back to Client.

    10. Completion Time: approx. 6 Weeks

    1. There are thousands of these. Never gonna happen. Years of false promises to follow.

  47. Hello Jonathan,

    Thanks for the great and very educative blog/forum here.

    I am a naive to this world of business and wanted to know if any the types of fraud i might be open to as an holder of a BG (which my bankers are ready to issue against a project) i am trying to monetize.Many thanks

    1. Don't enter this world naive. You will wind up broke or in jail. No bank will issue a guarantee against a project. Sounds like someone is taking you for a ride.

  48. Here is a proposition that was offered to our company by the brother of a long term friend. The brother is looking to fund his own company’s project through a Canadian investment firm using LOC’s backed by the assets of that investment firm. The transaction involving the LOC “drops down” 50% of the face value of the LOC with a one year maturity date from issuance. There are no upfront fees and the transaction can be terminated by the investor at any time up until the language of the LOC has been approved and authenticated by the investor’s Bankers and/or attorneys. The bank issuing the LOC will be in direct contact with the investors to make sure the language and terms of the LOC are suitable to all parties. Is there a hitch in this that seems to be a scam?

    1. What makes your friend's brother think they need him? What value is he bringing to the table? I predict that incidental 3rd party costs will mount, along with other fees or required "escrow deposits" over time. I think its complete BS. Please log on and tell us if I am wrong.

  49. Hi,

    Excellent blog.
    Have you heard of a company called "Innerlex"

    They require a draft MT799 then they will meet!

    Any help would be so welcome.

    1. Have you noticed they give no address of their offices on that freebee website? Not that an office is proof of legitimacy. The domain name as of this moment is held by a Cyprus Company, which has a mailing address in a residential neighborhood there. I can investigate with friends on the ground in Cyprus, but that isn't free. Let me know if you need more, and please update us if you learn more.

    2. Hi Mark, did you ever figure it out?

  50. Has anybody heard of ARGO international GmbH? I have recently given them over 100k to issue a SBLC, I've been waiting now for 2 months,

    1. This appears to be some guy trading on a company name that sounds like Agro International Corp (a large multinational corp) but is not. The website I find is a free blogspot without even a real domain. Where did you wire the money to? Are you in the USA? Let me know via direct contact if you would rather at

  51. Hi Jonathan,

    Recently I have given a large sum of monies to a company called ARGO international GmbH Germany for a SBLC, I've not been a getting a good vibe from this person who seems to be running this company called Mr Syed Jamaluddin, is there any thing I can do to retrieve my monies back as I have a signed & stamped agreement with this company. Many Thanks

  52. Hi Jonathan,

    I've been dealing with a company in the name of ARGO GmbH ( Germany) I have given them 200k approx to issue a SBLC, I've not yet seen any results, I'm getting very uncomfortable with the way they are behaving after taking my monies. Shall I get lawyers involved, I have the agreements from Argo GmbH

  53. Hello Everyone, Does anybody know a genuine lease BG provider.?

  54. Hi
    Have you heard of a company called "Innerlex"
    i need informations about this company. i can pay for it.
    Please let me know.
    Thank you
    Cristian. Romania

    1. Feel free to tweet direct: @jonathan_warren or email

    2. Any feedback on Innerlex ?! Are they legit or not ?! Thank you

  55. Hello Jonathan, congratulation for this blog.

    Do you have any info on a company named Magritte Global?

    They are offering such services, Private Equity Guarantees and Bank Guarantees. On their contact page they don't have an adress, but I have found their registration in Luxembourg and their amendments on their articles of association.

    I am in a dillema as to if it is worth contacting them?

    Thanks, John

    1. Their website has them "leasing" bank deposits in order for lessors to use them for collateral. They even say they are leasing deposits placed with them for management. The only way a "leased" deposit could serve as collateral for you is if you falsified the ownership by not disclosing the net present liability of the lease. You can't offer the deposit as collateral because you don't own it. If you trick someone into thinking it is yours or can be collateralized when in fact they can't get it, you are in a bad place. Run, don't walk.

    2. Thanks Jonathan for your quick answer

  56. --has anyone delt with this guy
    Andrew D. Smithson, Managing Partner

    American Capital Holdings, LLC
    201 Penn Center Blvd. Suite 400
    Pittsburgh, PA 15235

    1151 Freeport Road Suite 366
    Pittsburgh, PA 15235

    1. All you need to do is google that company name. Also notice that the address is an executive suite and the website is...well... rinky dink.

  57. Hi Jonathan

    I have been invited to participate in a program - no up-front fees, I have just been asked to have my bank send MT799 to traders bank. That's it - no MT760. I am then promised returns 10-days after sending M799. I have sent client information with copy of passport and proof of address. Is there any way that you can see that I could lose money here? Thanks

    1. You are most likely being 'stock horsed' for so that your money can be used to "lease" the instrument to unsuspecting victims like the many others in the comment chain. You could lose money because you could end up in civil court or federal investigations. Either could freeze your funds.

  58. @ MT799 Anonymus:
    Have you consulted with your issuing bank regarding the implications of an MT799?
    Worse case scenario is you you are dealing with a non performing platform and your money is safe.

    1. Wrong. His money is being used to generate a SWIFT message likely used for to defraud others. This could easily lead to freezing of funds by federal investigation or civil injunction. Legal fees to defend that he is not a part of what will probably be some bs instrument leasing scam could go into the 7 figures.

  59. I have visited PJSC Unicom Bank in the Ukraine. They have offered to me a 100M BG/SBLC. They have given me a list of bank that will monetize this BG. They are asking for 100K Euros for this instrument. My question is if all this is a scam wouldn't the bank in the Ukraine be part of the problem? Also If the person/company issuing the BG has the assets to back the BG why wouldn't I be able to Monetize is?

    1. That's the Ukrainian bank with a website that looks like someone put it together in the garage, right?

      According to other posts above, they don't even claim more than $60 million in capital. So they can go issue you an instrument for $100 million, but they can't support the claim and the "monetizing banks" won't play. Let us know how you do.

    2. You are correct about the website it looks like my 10 year old did it.

      The way it was presented to my partner and I was when we were there is as follows.

      They have 60M in their public side banking and 140M in the private side. They also "claim" to have close to 20B in assets with different clients in the bank. I was made privy to the assets they have associated with the account(s) that we are getting the BG from. I'm NOT naive enough to think that the paperwork can't be doctored, all I am saying is if the dog and pony show they put on at the bank was just that. Then wouldn't that make the bank part of the problem since they entertain this sort of thing? Also my second question is this. I am receiving this instrument for a product (in this case jet fuel) I am providing why wouldn't I be able to monetize it? It isn't like this is an "air" transaction in which I'm getting money for nothing.

    3. A: Yes.
      A: Because they don't have the cash to back it up. The bank simply isn't strong enough.

      But also you said you are being asked for EU100k for the 'instrument'. Why are you paying when someone else is buying and pushing you to this bank? Doesn't something smell funny to you here?

  60. Is a private trust that doesn't have swift capability has an instrument posted on Euro Clear (even though someone else has posted the instrument), will that instrument have an ISIN number assigned to that instrument. If yes, can you provide the rule or mandate that requires that ISIN number assignment. Thanks.

    1. Nope.

      In fact, I've seen cases where the deposit/instrument is documented to lure you into paying a fee, without the deposit owner even knowing about it.

  61. Great blog Jonathan. Hopefully it will save a lot of people a lot of money. Although somehow I get the feeling that if its "in the cards" for people to lose their cash, they will find someway to do so.

    What are your thought on this site:

    1. Same old rediculous claims but without the benefit of spell-check.

  62. do u know of any periodical or website ( or an assocoiation ) that screens companies that offer these financial products.? or can reccomend some companies that u have found to have been around for awhile and have not been found to be illigitimate ?

    1. This is the website. Let me spell it out for you. ALL OF THESE BANK TRADING PROGAMS ARE SCAMS.

  63. Thanks Jonathan for your warnings !

    Just found this on:

    How To earn 4 Billion as Non-Recourse Financing:
    INVESTMENT: 100K - MINIMUM 75K with a majority Share Joint Venture with us.

    We will acquire a 1 Million leased BG/SBLC instruments
    The lease instruments will be issued from the top 20 world banks. They shall be utilized to activate/open credit lines for developers to fund YOUR projects. The instrument(s) will be placed with Our Monetize provider who will provide 40-70% of The face are to be placed in our affiliated platform programs for your fund qualified commercial/humanitarian project developments.-PROVEN - You will Earn approximately 700K in 7-10 days with an Investment of $75,000 minimum.-(remember JV partnership)

    STEP 2. -
    REQUIREMENT: NOW YOU HAVE YOU HAVE 700,000 - WE WILL TAKE 600,000 AND RE-INVEST ENTER THREE (3) TIMES INTO THE 200K ($200,000) and in 10 days you "Will" Earn 9 Million and 60 Million in the next 30 days - Total 62M-73M in 40 days - WHAT ABOUT THE 150K/ YOU CAN NOW ACQUIRE 2 BG/SBLC FOR 1 MILLION AND START THE PROCESS AGAIN - BY THEN - WE WILL HAVE ALL Evidence of funds RWA Ready - Willing and Able to Wire to a FEDERAL ATTORNEY BONDED, LICENSED,AND APPROVED ESCROW ACCOUNT - The Fund WILL Not beTouched and remain in the Control of The Principal Investor with passport and CIS submitted to us:

    FOLLOW OUR DIRECTION: COMMISSION IS 20% / OR MINIMUM 10% - WE ARE TAKING 75,000 AND SHOWING YOU HOW TO EARN 4 BILLION USD IN 12 MONTHS - "WE EARN IT" - Our suits are tailor made, THINK: HUMANITARIAN: "Making A better life for Others" Our Motto

    Total Accumulated- 186M - (3 times 62M) - IN 45 DAYS

    We will take 100M and Now pay You 75M per week for 40 weeks as a JV Majority share Hold partnership - Therefor 100M times 40 weeks = 4 Billion - You will Net Minimum 1 Billion in less than 12 Months -

    Total Time for your First Million in hand is 10 days - with Your own Investment of $200,000(200K) -
    Return of Your Original $70,000 Investment in 20 days of less -
    JV Cash in 25 days 750,000
    JV Cash In 30 days 1 million Minimum -
    JV Cash in 40 days 62M
    JV Investment in 45 days 75M per week

    What do you think ?


      The claims get more and more outrageous. Copy and paste this into your browser:

  64. Hi Johathan,
    Love your blog.

    Does you believe those people are scammer?

    They are pretty convincing.
    - full web presence: full fledge and convincing website, youtube, facebook, linkedin, twitter account on professional plateform...
    - real adress, physical office
    - phone, quick answer
    - "almost" acceptable due diligence on their customer (I tried their process until last stage)
    - They ask for upfront fee. 12% of facial amount for one year BG/SBLC on an escrow account and release after SWIFT message to my bank.
    - claim to be an actual trader offering financial service.
    - refuse to give the name of the issuing bank unil "final stage"

    I feel uneasy after reading your blog and comments.

    It seems like they will probably provide a good looking but useless financial instrument.

    Scam or bizarre?

    1. You SHOULD feel uneasy. You SHOULD hide your wallet.

  65. This is a great blog Jonathan, its too bad there are so many bad people out there preying on innocent, hard working people.

    I'm curious if you are aware of any real monetizing transactions. I am the CEO of a public mining company with real projects in production. We just signed a JV agreement with a commodities group in Mexico, the principle is a well know individual. The JV is to acquire an active mine and the commodities group will receive all of the produced metal at a modest discount from London Metal Exchange prices as well as an equity position in the JV, They have provided a BG in the amount of $500M Euro, issued from BNP Paribas and the expectation is for JV company to monetize this BG for 80% of the face value. The JV company is the beneficiary, we have the Euro Clear document that shows that the instrument is backed by a 2.5B bond issued by HSBC.The BG is owned by the Mexican principle, not leased, and it has been transferred to the JV company.

    At this point we believe this BG is as real as they come but so far the people I have contacted for monetizing all make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Do you know of any real non-recourse lenders? (Do these loans exist?)
    Do you offer consulting services?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


  66. What about a purchased instrument can you monetize these, also have you hear of Blue Bank Capital, Finance Solutions for Business, Real Estate.

    1. Why would you purchase and instrument and try to monetize it? Yes, I've heard of that company. Run, don't walk.

  67. Hi, did you know cardinal Group leasing UK company, they sell Mt769 BG, only at 26% of the face value. Do you think it's logical?

  68. Is this a scam or real?

    Client A is asked to send MT 799 pre-advice to Recipient Bank. Recipient Bank does due diligence on Client A. Client passes bank due diligence. MT 760 sent to recipient bank. Recipient bank collateralize MT 760 with a credit facility of 85% LTV. The credit facility is attached to a SPV set up by program manager through a lawyer where the client is 51% majority owner. Program manager has balance. An operating account is set up at the recipient bank to receive drawn funds. Drawn funds are use in trading through the bank's trading desk. Bank makes condition of granting the operating facility that the funds are traded through their trade desk.

    Credit facility is for one year. MT 760 for 1 year plus one day. All profit disbursements are reported to the bank as a condition of granting the credit facility.

    Your thoughts appreciated.

    1. It's meaningless. What is it supposed to do for you?

    2. I pay no fees upfront. I provide POF with a 100 Million Euro cash deposit that is blocked off via MT 760 once I pass the law firm and the bank due diligence. The law firm that set up the SPV handles the disbursements. I have control of SPV. Fees for program (2.5% of blocked funds) are taken off the initial draw of the credit facility. Balance of credit facility goes into trade. Bank monitors draws as condition of granting credit facility. A portion of trade profits goes to project funding and the rest to debt service and program manager fees. MT 760 issued for 1 year plus one day. Trade program for one year. At end of year, program is wound up and credit facility clear.

      Trades are settled daily or next day. I have access to all trading records.

    3. What purpose does your involvement in this transaction serve? What value to you bring to it? Why would they need you?

    4. I keep my capital principal intact. The leverage funds are invested. They have a trading record of between X to Y % return per annum. My portion of the profits is invested into high tech ventures that I will own and some of the profits go back to me. In addition to the fees, they get a cut of the trade profits as an incentive.

      The law firm involved informs me I have to provide proof of the source of my wealth, filed tax returns, proof of paid taxes, a bio etc to the bank. The same information is requested of the program manager. Legally, the law firm represents the SPV to the bank of which I am 51% simple majority owner.

    5. This is the typical confidence game played. Lawyers, it might shock you to find out, are not a guarantee of anything. They often get sucked into this. All of those doc requests are to build your confidence. You are going to lose.

  69. Hi was just sent this by an unknown contact on LinkedIn, I get contacted about these a lot, and always tell the person politely to get lost, because I always observe the "If it sounds to good to be true" rule.. anyways would be interested to hear your feedback:


    For the one year SBLC with mt760 issued in your designated beneficiary name delivered to your designated bank. And now, for a short time, an Annual fee as low as 3% ONE TIME PAYMENT for one year term. Pricing will be quoted on a case by case basis.

    The provider has put together a large pool of funds for this offer. Once we have that subscription filled the program will close. Serious inquiries only please. Must comply with procedures and provide a current Proof of Funds for the fees!

    The escrow deposit provides a secure method for delivery and payment. The client's designated receiving

    bank validates and confirms the SBLC and the client releases the funds based on his receiving banks'

    confirmation within 3 days of delivery of the MT760 as always with our firm.

    Size: $20 Million to $500 million

    Fees: Total Annual Cost Based on Face amount. Smaller face amounts higher cost.

    20mm to 40mm – annual cost is 4.5% total

    41mm to 90mm – annual cost is 4% total

    91mm to 500mm – annual cost is 3% total

    Banks: Top Euro 25

    Timing: Delivered in 5 to7 days from escrow funds

  70. Fresh Cut BG / SBLC, MTN Specifically for Lease @ (5.0 0.5 X)%. Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and are 100% protected We are direct to a provider for BG/SBLC specifically for lease, at leasing price of (5.0 0.5 X)% of face value, Issuance by HSBC London/Hong Kong or any other AA rated Bank in Europe, Middle East or USA.Our BG/SBLC Financing can help you get your project funded, loan financing by providing you with yearly renewable leased bank instruments. We work directly with issuing bank lease providers, this Instrument can be monetized on your behalf for 100% funding: For further details contact us with the below information.

    Contact : Mr. Sorin Lassmann
    Skype ID: ls.nicu

    1. ^^ The above message is a typical lure by an actual person offering such ridiculous programs. It never ceases to amaze me how many of them post their offerings here.

  71. Hi,
    I asked a while back about Innerlex, I didn't go with them (I now think maybe they are real) but I went with St James Transflow run by Chris Richmond and Lee Byfield.
    They said if I hand over £3,000 they will get me a meeting with Graham Martin, (very rich man, also owns catchup tv) which was perfect for my project.
    I handed the money over, 6 months later I think you can guess.
    If you are about to deal with them please read up about them first here:

    1. I think we can guess too, but why don't you tell us anyway?

      Having you meet with a rich, legit individual is a major part of this scam nowadays. I hear about it over and over.

  72. My first niggle which I should have listened to was their contract had a slightly different address to what they have, I googled and found that out, I then asked them about it and they changed it, anyone that can't put their own correct address on a contract AVOID, that tells me they didn't want to be found.
    The deal was they introduce (put me in front of) an investor within a week, but after handing over money, they were reluctant to send the contract back with their signitures.
    After a few months any many unanswered emails and calls I finally got to meet one of their friends, sadly he was not an investor and they was meeting him anyway.
    When it came 6 months they sent an email saying I didn't supply enough information, which was a lie.
    They then sent an invoice for over £4,000 adding in their friends air ticket from spain to meet me.
    Their contract was a one of fee for £3,000.
    I was introduced to lee and chris by another guy that I don't know that well Chris Cullum, he said he would put £1,000 and if I put the other £2,000 he would repay me if "it went belly up", he's now refusing to repay.
    I did record that conversation (it is legal in UK to record a one on one conversation if you don't share it with anyone else except the courts)
    So I now think Cullum was part of this scam, I also think they thought I had more money and was going to try to get more from me but when I told them I had borrowed the £2,000 they lost interest and knew they couldn't get more.
    I will be taking Cullum to court, as for the others all I can do is hope people google their name before handing money over.
    Love this site, keep it up.

  73. You guys should REALLY REALLY listen to Jonathan. I personally know a retired scam artist, he dabbled in all avenues of treachery, but in I'd say 05'/06' when he started hearing about these platforms/top bank nonsense, he had to explore. People, there's no such thing, period. But the oddest thing that he found was that there was no shortage of successful highly intelligent people willing to flush their money down the tubes over something your common sense should tell you is as real as the land of Oz. People, how the FUCK can you put up 200k and make 10million a week? lol. Yeah, he stole quite a few million over the years from idiots. But it is so amazing how people actually play internal tug of war with their own logic and fall victim. Even here, they read thru hundreds of various scenarios on this site and then come with their question as if theirs is any different or special, it's so CRAZY!! Trust when I tell you, I know what I'm talking about, and Jonathan does too.

    ONE OF MANY REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: You're all set to get into the "platform" with your humanitarian project, oil deal, diamond deal etc. Mr broker says "you're completely safe because the money is being kept in your own account you control, it just gets pinged everyday." So you and your naive business associates, or just you, proceed to put 2million into YOUR business account at one of the "top banks", with the delusional hopes of turning that into 2mill into 100mill by the end of football season, so says the broker on the phone you've more likely than not never met and never will. But wait, being that it's alot of money homeland security requires a background check on you to make sure you're not a terrorist and that the funds are "good clean funds", so you proceed to fill out those docs, complete with copy if passport, DL, social, home address, etc etc and submit it. Now your palms are itching and can't wait to get started, spending the money in your head. But, reality tends to bring them back to earth when they realize that those compliance documents were used to make highly legitimate duplicate forged identifications of you, and you call your bank and youre told there's a zero balance because "you came into the bank personally and wired it to panama 4 days ago." What then? FDIC will tell you that you're a moron and arent paying you shit after their investigation and they realize that you gave someone you've never met copies of all your identification because he was going to make you a 100,000% return on your money that got stolen. Trust me on this please.

    If you hear ANYONE say BG, top bank, monetize, bank instruments, SBLC, or any other terms Jonathan has REPEATEDLY explained, then hang up the phone because you're about to get ROBBED. Don't ask questions, you're getting robbed. There is no what ifs ands or buts, you're getting robbed, you are not an anomaly, you're getting robbed. And sadly enough, even after reading all if this, some will still move forward and get robbed. Play powerball instead, much better chances hitting powerball or lotto than getting $1 from a "platform" or monetizing a bank instrument, this I assure you with thee UPMOST CERTAINTY.

    Sorry post is so long, but just don't get robbed

    1. Thanks for this. So dead on. This is probably the most successful scam in history.

      "Anyone who falls for that deserves what they get. We aren't going to chase it." - FBI Agent

  74. Hi Jonathan
    What do you know about Visconti Industries and their "private placements". I helped a friend to pay their site visit fees "in escrow" more than a year ago and he has not received a cent todate

    1. Their privatized domain name appears to be subscribed in Austalia. It takes you to website with a template that looks like someone put it together while waiting at a bus stop. No info on any principals.

      The offerings are typical BS just like always. All you have to do is google them to find out the opinions of many, many of their would-be "clients" (victims). The money is gone. There is no such financing. Every one of these things is a scam.

  75. Many readers of this blog call me to ask how a prime bank trading transaction in which they've involved themselves could be a scam, when a verified lawyer his involved and handling the funds.

    Never trust your money to a lawyer.

    Here's a typical example of a lawyer getting involved in the scheme to build confidence of victims in the scheme (copy and paste this into your browswer):

    For nearly 30 years, variations on this scam have been tremendously successful. In my view it is the least prosecuted, most successful scam ever created.

  76. Dear Jonathan,
    Firstly I want to congratulate you on a very informative blog.
    It is good to know that there are people like you out there advising individuals who are trying to make an honest living.
    We were recently issued with an SBLC from Inter Bank, Ukraine. I can send you a copy of the actual instrument which was delivered for your perusal. The instrument was for the value of $40 Million USD for a fuel trade. Again we are aware the seller is genuine, as we have traded with them before. Now the question is we have been informed by the sellers bank that the SBLC does not have anything behind it. We have paid $430,000 USD, $30k prioir to issuance and $400k after delivery. Naturally after hearing from the sellers bank and then reading your blog I feel we may have been duped. Would you be kind enough to shed some light on the matter.
    Kind regards,
    D2 Trader.

    1. Reports are that the bank in question is legitimately formed, but insufficiently capitalized to handle an obligation anwhere near this size.

      This happens when a government allows a bank to exist without much behind it, thus allowing the bank to offer guarantees at lower rates than others. Your SBLC is probably useless.

    2. Mr. Warren, I would recommend that you do not mislead people who are posting their questions here. Yes, I agree that there is lot of scam around, but not all of it, and reading some of your posts I can clearly see that you do not have sufficient professional knowledge in this industry to judge all these situations. Especially concerning Russian and Ukrainian finacial situation, perhaps you do not have information that there are very small and private banks, which do not have even internationat ratings, but they hold a huge amounts of private cash, not even listed in banks books. As oppose to your bancrupting American banks and financial system, these small banks are much better off. Have you ever in your life seen a 100M EUR in cash bank notes stored in safe box in the bank? I guess maybe in your dreams. And how about if the bank takes this as collateral and issues bank instrument with face value equal or slighlty lesser than the cash they hold in that safe box? Got the point? So please, do not provide such "qualified" comments and advices to people if you do not have proper qualification to do so.



    A Bank Guarantee is raised in your name and Bank Account in the tune of $105,000,000.00 USD, the Bank Guarantee will be placed on a Euroclear Bank Screen of pages 1-15, as soon as you received the 15 pages of the Bank Guarantee, you take it to your Bank and confirm the Bank Guarantee. Upon confirmation of the Bank Guarantee, you will have to pay the 1% Transmission Charge and Insurance Surety Bond which is calculated as $1,050,000.00 USD (One Million & Fifty Thousand United State Dollars) to the Provider designated account. Within 48 hours after the Transmission Charge and Insurance Surety Bond is received your funds will be Transmitted to your Account through Swift MT760.

  78. Hi Jonathan It would be very helpful to have your opinion on this:

    Dear Sir,

    As per our deal with ABC Partner ( Dr. RZ) ,  costumer of yours, we are able to cover their credit line with titles issued by A+ levelBanks , which are in our possession or/and management.
    Kindly required to advise if your bank is willing to accept the bankoperation which definitively will be between the two Bank offices of your ABC Bank & CBA Bank/ XY Bank/ PA Bank/AP Bank ( all A+level Banks) confirming initially to us the below :


    We ABC Bank , with head office / office ( whatever) , hereby confirmthat:- Accept Financial instruments, MTN, BG (Cash Back), issued by A+ levelleading Banks like  Deutsche Bank, Unicredit Bank ( kindly find the titlesattached ) , to be used as collateral for passive credit lines, issued onthe basis of project submitted.- We discount the above titles through ICPO or MT103- We emit and issue financial instruments: MT760, MT799 and MT 103

    In addition, we state that, the monetized value of the financialinstruments shall be deposited in the appropriate account.The passive credit line will be active after the discount of instrumentsused as collateral.We are waiting to contact your Bank Office, to decide on all furtherproceedings Bank to Bank.

    Yours truly,


    Seal of the Bank

    That confirmation is required in order to enter in action our program and upon receiving this letter me personally and the program manager will be present in the country to start the procedures which as mentioned above will befollowed BANK to BANK.

    Waiting for your confirmation ,

    With my very best personal regards,

    Please let me know

  79. Jonathon,

    Have you heard of these guys?

    D. Shaun T. Williams


  80. Jonathan, please explain to me how these scammers get value from an issued MT799. I need to understand the leasing part

  81. Dear Jonathan,

    My friend had signed a contract with Argo International with Syed Jamaluddin. It's been two months since the payment for the leased sblc . I can say that at least 20 times he has promised the delivery. I have no hope for my friend as it is obvious that this man is an out right fraudster. Would be possible to put me in contact with the other victims of this man
    so that we can work in sync to put this man in jail? I would be so very thankful if you .

    Steven Lax

    1. Dear Sashi,
      We have had the exact same experience with the same individual, having naively paid tens of thousands of dollars up front, except it has been over a period 5 months. I'll email you directly now.

    2. In which countries do you reside? I can help.

    3. Jonathan,
      Syed Jamaluddin is currently based in Heidelberg, Germany. Before that he was in France, and before that Nigeria. For us, we're mainly interested in seeing him go to jail now. I'll send you a PM later.


    4. Hi Jonathan,
      Sorry for the delay in getting in touch. As usual, the aforementioned fraudster, Syed Jamaluddin of the one-man band 'Argo International GmbH' was using more of the same delaying tactics and promising results etc (even though the post-dated cheque we sent for discounting six months ago has actually matured now). It's now clear, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the man is a small time fraudster just pulling in advance fees with no ability to produce anything. But you already knew that right?

      Anyway, what's the best email address to contact you on? I'm happy to send you all the details. We have an agreement with him, and rafts and rafts of emails with new commitment dates, some dodgy looking scans of bank drafts, BGs and even an attempt at something called a 'server to server' transfer, which seemed dodgy to us. He's refusing to return our money - but it's not really about the money, it's more about nailing him before he can continue ripping people off and laughing in our faces.

      As far as I can tell, the only way to get a result is to go to Germany myself and file a complaint with the police there.

    5. PS. I reside in London. However, the 'victim' corporation (small business run by a very close friend of mine) is registered in the UAE. Jamaluddin operates from Germany and his operation is registered there. I have visited his 'office' which is just a small empty room in a shared building.

    6. Dear all,
      Please see the website at for information about how he is scamming several companies across the world and swallowing the up front fees in an advance fee fraud.

  82. FYI to all.

    Unicom bank is not a legitimate financial institution in the Ukraine.

    The Credit Rating Agency of the Ukraine does not rate them as a legitimate bank. The Credit Rating Agency rates all legitimate Ukraine financial institutions.

  83. Are you still answer to our questions on this blog?

  84. I just received this ANONYMOUS posting from someone defending a Ukrainian bank mentioned above. They appear to have pulled the comment immediately after posting it, before I could approve it (typical of those hiding). Here is what they said:

    "Mr. Warren, I would recommend that you do not mislead people who are posting their questions here. Yes, I agree that there is lot of scam around, but not all of it, and reading some of your posts I can clearly see that you do not have sufficient professional knowledge in this industry to judge all these situations. Especially concerning Russian and Ukrainian finacial situation, perhaps you do not have information that there are very small and private banks, which do not have even internationat ratings, but they hold a huge amounts of private cash, not even listed in banks books. As oppose to your bancrupting American banks and financial system, these small banks are much better off. Have you ever in your life seen a 100M EUR in cash bank notes stored in safe box in the bank? I guess maybe in your dreams. And how about if the bank takes this as collateral and issues bank instrument with face value equal or slighlty lesser than the cash they hold in that safe box? Got the point? So please, do not provide such "qualified" comments and advices to people if you do not have proper qualification to do so."

    1. The method of issuing an instrument described above (issuing a bank guarantee against something held in a safe deposit box at the bank) is fraudulent, but it is an EXCELLENT strategy for laundering money!

      For more of the track record of the institution in question, read comments above from various readers.

      So come back to us, "Mr. Anonymous" and defend your position in public forum. I provide you with an open challenge. But don't chicken out this time.

  85. Mr. Warren, I do not need to defend my position, I did not "pull out anything", I did not "chicken out" as you stated. No need for that. As I can see, my comment is still there. So do not accuse people of doing something if you have no proof that they actually did it. My further question is, why do you immediately claim that it is bank fraud if the bank will use funds in safe deposit box to cover issuance of the instrument? That only shows your lack of proper knowledge in this field. If I make agreement with my bank that the bank will accept my property as collateral in certain value and based on that it will issue any such bank instrument, it is still a fraud? Yes? Or if I have 3 metric tons of gold bars in safe box and the bank will accept it as collateral for issuance of bank instrument for my client, it is still fraud? What do you say to this? As I said before, please do not try to pretend that you know everything and do not mislead people who may not have enough experience with these kind of operations. I clearly state again, yes, there is lot of scam in the world, lot of scamsters and fraudsters, but you cannot consider some actions to be scam only because you never had chance to participate and/or you do not have enough professional knowledge about it.

    1. It seems we drew "Mr. Anonymous" out of his cave!

      Thank you for commenting.

      YES, the 'method' which you so emotionally defend, that of cobbling together a hobo's wardrobe of assets to cause unsophisticated or greedy "investors" to place too much faith in an underrated, oversized bank guarantee is a SCAM.

      Typical methodology is to name drop, use jargon and the picture of hard assets (of dubious origin) to impress some unsuspecting pensioner into leasing such an instrument in hopes that more worthless psper will generate financing for some project completely without merit. Typically the result is conspiracy to defraud, abd it is almost never prosecuted.

      Now I expect you will resort to name dropping, asset descriptions such as gold bars, name calling and profanity.

      What did you say your name is?

  86. Hi Jonathan,

    Have you seen more prominent or recognized Banks issue similar instruments? Or is it typically issued by these lesser outfits?


    JC in Bermuda

  87. Mr. Warren, where did you disappear my comment which I posted immediately after your accusation of "fraudulent activity and money laundering" above? You are acting as any stupid government agency, heavily censoring these posts, so you do not get in trouble by answering straight questions. And it is simply because you DO NOT HAVE CORRECT ANSWER and YOU DO NOT KNOW THE CORRECT ANSWER. You just play Mr. Smart here, but you know shit in reality.

  88. Mr. Anonymous is back! Exactly as many of you predicted. See my comment above.

  89. Many readers have asked my opinion of the legitimacy of various companies which promote these so-called "systems", such as Bluebanc Capital.

    Bluebanc posted videos to buoy its credibility, including one of Donald Trump describing Bluebanc's founder Phil Jones as "Number one at everything you do." The video was at (cut and paste that into your browser), and has been removed since the major New Zealand news blog "Suff" published this article:

    An interveiw of Phil Jones about another of his businesses remains on youtube at:

    If you think you might have lost money or that this or another company like it may have made misrepresentations to you, your best course of action is likely a complaint to the Securities Exchange Commission. The fastest way to get them to consider your case is to submit it online, here:

  90. Well I have found when you have cornered a scam artist they will hide and then resort to the name calling and lack of professionalism. Just like the snake that gets cornered. The only way out is to strike and bite. If a person has a real deal and not cheating people then he would treat them like a real person. John are doing a good deed calling out the cowards that cannot make money the legitimate way.

  91. After reading many of the posts above, I'm quite sure I am in the process of being scammed out of $155k. Any advice on getting it back?

  92. What is the risk of a buyer putting up an MT760 Instrument with a Seller's bank (Credit Suisse) for a CIF Oil deal? Does the Buyer stand to lose more than the bank fees for the instrument (if the seller puts up a 2% performance bond) if the product is not delivered? Can an instrument be fraudulently monetized at the risk of the buyer raising it? The final payment each month is supposed to be via an MT103 upon delivery and verification, but the instrument is supposed to guarantee the product until payment.

  93. Hello, I am interested to know. By the way I have read through the post 3 time. Forgive me if I have missed something above. As far as I have seen is all the "deals" involved were with overseas banks and trading platforms. I am looking at a deal with a SBLC starts with chase bank and then @ 125k then motorizes through the trading platforms @ 2.5million 50% loan to ratio. The interest rates are 5%. I wonder sir if with the strict regulations here in the US and on US soil if this very well may be safe. I have watched the gentleman and his company doing this for 6 months and not once has there been a complaint of scam. I am not denying your knowledge or questioning it. Just questioning my own understanding. What is your thought of my understanding?

  94. Hi guys

    I have a firm who will receive a government backed instrument. This intrument is for a specific purpose and we are to use it to secure funding the guarantee the project.

    I have an offer saying if we enter into a JV with an asset management company they will give me a hell of a return. .hmmm

    Anyway this jv will have both parties as co signatories so I can see how the money will get stolen? The asset management will put the intrument into a platform ...hmm. The platform is backed by a Germany bank or a Chinese bank. The contract is with the bank not the platform. How do I verify this and how are they gonna scam me?

  95. Hi
    Is there any chance to get a real BG/SBLC lease ?

  96. Hi,
    Is Euro bond financing legit?

  97. Hello,
    During a web research on a company called "Innerlex Financial Group" I came upon this informative blog. Seeing some questions here about this company I would appreciate any kind of answer: Are they a legitimate company? Have you heard of any scam and/ or fraud done by them?
    My research of them has yielded nothing with regards to their business conduct and reliability.

    Thank you in advance,
    D. Brinner

  98. Hello,
    What do you think about Fixed Deposit Receipts issued by top banks.
    I have a buyer who claims to assign/lien the FDR in his company name . He offers me 140 for 100 instantly.
    Is this work legitimate??

  99. Hi,

    Mr Danial Paloma, Mr Norman William, Mr Mohd Al Jafri and Mr Joe N Ward have collectively made a Fraud with my Client and made a Cheating of 10000$.

    Request to Help me in getting return back the amount.

    Shaikh Ameer
    From India


  101. Hello,

    Has anyone dealt with a man called Maury Schein
    He is based in the US and offers several fund raising options

    Under his creative fund raising options, he has sent me several emails, some of which include

    1. 144A bond program
    2. managed bank guaranty program
    3. Bank instrument credit enhancement

  102. Dear Mr. Jonathan Warren, very interested comments you have brought into the table. Thank you very much for trying opening our eyes to crude reality.

    Best regards

  103. Why all these banking instruments available and why all banks are still serving the customers for doing the transaction if these all are really a SCAM? EXPLAIN PLEASE. ........

    1. These banking instruments have always been available. They do not accomplish what these promoters are promising, and are not intended for the purpose being presented to you.

  104. $500,000 CHALLENGE. Anyone that can provide verifiable evidence that they have - either as the client or the facilitator - closed any of the transactions as described in these posts, we will pay $500k. This is a legitimate offer. Email us with your contact information and what type of evidence you can provide and we will send you a direct number to call.

  105. Dear Mr Warren,

    When looking for euro 100M to funding our project, we've been offered by an investor to issue an 200M Bank Draft for us.
    We shall pay back the provider 50% of face value.

    Do you think it is a Scam ?
    Thank you for your precious help.

  106. Dear Mr. Warren,

    I am about to pay the 3% fee to the issuer of the SBLC as per details listed below. What is your advise?

    SBLC 2 -5 M UNSECURED, UP TO 10M WITH SECURITY Provider of SBLC, which are cashed backed from a top bank, issued for one year via swift. Fees 3%. Must be able to satisfy issuer that the SBLC can be returned unencumbered if you are using it for loan purposes. Acceptable to any bank in the world. Contact Eugina Chan Attorney

  107. Dear Warren,

    Thanks for your nice work in educating us on various frauds.

    We have an offer to buy fresh cut BG from a Swiss provider. He is offering the instrument at 49% of the FV, with a maturity of one year and one day. The issuer of the instrument will pay back the amount of 100% at the time of maturity. All the transaction happens from bank to bank.

    My question is :
    1. Are fresh cut BG issued ?
    2. Why are they selling at less than 50% of face value
    3. how can we verify their authenticity.
    4. Will the Issuer (Barclays) honour and pay us back on maturity.
    5. Can you buy BGs

    We are utilizing this BG to enhance our credit line. The bank is ready to provide credit line upto 85% of the FV.

  108. Mr. Jonathan, Do you something about company Suisse Credit Capital Ltd (UK)? Could you tell me if they are reall or they are crooks?

  109. Dear Jonathan, Thanks for your blog.

    Do you know a company named IntaCapitalSwiss SA based in Swiss? Their website link: Are they genuine? Trustable or scammers?

    Can you tell me if these following 3 offers are trustable/genuine or scams?

    1. Collateral transfer
    ‘Leasing’ of Bank Securities
    Securities Lending
    Providing Collaterals for Credit
    Economical Solutions

    Keeping track of the growing demand for Collateral Transfer and Securities Lending facilities (often referred to as ‘leasing’ bank instruments), we are able to provide bespoke solutions to our clients allowing the provision of collaterals for the effective monetisation of ‘leased’ securities.

    Working with several international funds, we are able to offer competitive collaterals from rate of 06,50% per 12 month period. Terms up to 60 months.

    Credit Line Bank Guarantees
    Monetise Instruments
    Competitive Interest Rates
    Fast Completions

    Through existing credit relationships we are able to accommodate bank obligations such as Guarantees and Standby L/C’s for credit line and monetisation facilities. Offering up to 100% of security value, interest charges are deductable from the credit allowing facilities up to 36 months with no monthly or quarterly repayments.

    Fast completion process and interest rates from 03,50% per 12 month period.

    3.Corporate Loans
    Letters of Credit

    International Jurisdictions
    Bi-lateral & Syndicated
    Competitive Lending Rates
    Flexible Terms

    We are pleased to announce that IntaCapital have been granted the opportunity to package corporate loan applications on behalf of several private lenders and equity investors. Working closely with these lenders, IntaCapital are able to facilitate medium term loans to selected clients for project finance, expansion capital, acquisitions and trading positions. We are able to facilitate all aspects of the application from initial approval to obtaining adequate security on behalf of our clients.

    Terms from 12 to 84 months
    Amounts from €5 million, no maximum

    1. Dear Mr. Warren,

      You said the bank instruments are real, we can even lease them. Could you recommend us the real providers that can lease us a SBLC? As our company desperately needs it to get the loans from the bank.

      Thank you kindly for your respond.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


    3. No.

      Read my complete comment. I said leasing such an instrument would serve no such purpose.

      You cannot borrow against an asset you've leased. Even if you could trick someone onto it, the act would be fraudulent.

      FORET IT.

    4. All companies purported to offer such instruments are perpetrating scams by doing so.

      I challenge anyone to show evidence of othereise. I have for years.

  110. Dear Mr. Warren,

    So the bank instruments can be leased for what kind of purpose?


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