A Dubai-based fraudster, who has previously tried to con people selling their luxury yachts and holiday homes, has turned his attentions to British horse owners.

Using the alias Craig Hamper, the scammer tried to defraud international three-day eventer Clayton Fredericks in December.

Two members of the H&H forum — user names JetSet and Pathelschoice — also reported being contacted by a Craig Hamper with enquiries about horseboxes they were selling.

In a similar ruse to one reported by H&H (news, 30 June 2005), the conman offered Clayton the full asking price for a horse after viewing photographs online and exchanging emails.

“I rang him back several times to check his story and could not get any real answers, but at the same time there wasn’t any reason for me to say I wouldn’t sell him the horse.”

Clayton was nervous about providing his bank details to the “buyer” so set up a separate bank account.

A little later, Craig Hamper sent an email to Clayton claiming his secretary had made a “terrible mistake” and had sent £20,000 more than the agreed price.

He asked for the extra cash to be returned when it arrived in the Fredericks’ account.

However, a diligent bank employee was suspicious when a banker’s draft arrived filled out in the horse’s name rather than in Clayton’s.

She queried it with the bank and found it to be fraudulent.

A Craig Hamper has also been linked to fraudulent attempts to buy property in Sardinia and yachts in Ireland.

Joey Dujardin of yacht broker Boatshop.ie told H&H Craig Hamper had targeted his clients.

For this article in full, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (5 February, ’09)