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A case of Online fraud (almost)


Happy Holidays Orchidians, I just wanted to share something that
happened to me recently this week. Hopefully it will save someone
from getting ripped off. I had a woman email me who was interested
in buying some of my jewelry off of my web site. To make a long
story short. She had corresponded with me for a couple of weeks.
She finally decided what she wanted and the order came to about
$1,100. She had originally asked if I sold gold chains. At first I
said no, that I only sold my own jewelry I designed. But since she
was placing a fairly large order. I told her I could get any chains
she might be interested in. She picked out about $3,000 worth of
chains. At first I started getting really excited. Then I started
getting really nervous. She told me she was from Moldova, which
used to be Russia. Then she said that she traveled a lot and to
make sure she wouldn’t miss the package when it arrived she wanted
me to mail it to Romania. She sent me her credit card info. My
husband (who i hate to admit is usually right) said, “I have a bad
feeling about this, just remember where you heard it. So I went to
the bank and talked to a woman I know there. She said, “I wouldn’t
do it!”. I said, “Well, if the card goes through isn’t everything
fine?” She said not if it’s stolen! They could come back in a
year, and if it went up for arbitration the charge would immediately
reverse back to the merchant. Also she could claim faulty
merchandise and I’d have to pay and more than likely not receive the
jewelry back. I asked what I should do. She said I could tell
"Adrian” to either send me a money order or wire the money to my
bank. So I told Adrian because of the identity thefts going on here
my bank wouldn’t allow me to take a credit card from another
country. She said she wasn’t sure how to send a money order and
didn’t know if I would get the money in time, cause she really
wanted me to ship it asap. (Of course) So I proceeded to give her
the routing number for the bank and explained in detail how to wire
money. And of course I’ve never heard from her again. I emailed
her yesterday. “YO, Adrian where did you go?” :slight_smile: I just praise
God I didn’t get taken, because I really could not have afforded it.
She just got too greedy. Otherwise I wouldn’t have thought
anything of it. So be careful! If you start getting bad vibes,
have them send a money order or wire you the money, if they really
want it they won’t care. God Bless you



Poppy, I’ve had two run-ins with people in Moldova. My policy now,
with international orders, is to say that they must pay with a
certified check, money order, or wire transfer. I almost sent a
$1700 bracelet to Moldova on the strength of a credit card
transaction, but after researching it I canceled the card transfer
and informed them of my overseas policy. Not a word of protest, no
money, no further contact. I just got a message the other week,
possibly from the same person you were working with, and my first
response included the payment policy. No further contact there,


p.s. Anybody want a custom-made bracelet that I could just as well
have done without making? If it doesn’t sell sometime soon, I’ll
probably untie it and recyle it into a few rings.


Happy Holidays Poppy and all, Well, that lady from Moldova certainly
gets around. I also went through a similar routine with a lady from
Moldova. Though it didn’t go quite as far. Also a so-called “rep
from a company in the ShenZhen district of China” has sent many a
bogus emails to me, proposing “a large purchase” for his company.
Although it didn’t cost me anything in the end, the endless emails
became a form of harassment. They were polite, but annoying. So now I
go right for the credentials, before wasting a lot of time emailing
a prankster, or worse yet a credit card thief. If you get a bad
feeling about a pending online sale, check with your credit card

James Kipp


Poppy: I have had two orders from Indonesia that also were credit
card fraud. The indicator was a series of credit cards where only the
last four numbers were different. I called Bank of America, who is my
credit card processor, to report it. They in turn called the fraud
unit of MasterCard. The fraud unit then called me. I faxed them all
the I had on the person. I do not know what happened
after that, but I hope it helped the company in keeping track of
stolen cards. My point, is report the person and the card numbers to
the fraud unit of the credit card they were using. It might save
someone else a lot of grief. It might also be helpful in tracking
down the credit card rings that are

Marty Galarneau


wow, she’s going around…she? he? (Adrian) was trying to order a
couple (!!) Gold Byzantine Bracelets from me. From the first e-mail I
got from her I smelled a rather largish rat, but figured I`d deal
with her, to see if the order is real, since, my biz is small enough,
that I absolutely require half down payment for Gold custom orders,
without that I can’t make the piece. So I was in no immediate
Danger of getting completely ripped off. She dealt with me like a
real customer in some ways, concerned about design, link size and all
that. But on the other hand, usually people let me know, if it’s for
a gift or for themselves and all that…I’m rambling. I’m glad I got
out of it (Paypal doesn’t work for Moldova) and I never heard from
her again, when I suggested sending a money order.

I was thinking about posting something here at that time, but
didn’t, and now I feel bad about it, because she’s going around and
trying the game with other people



I just wanted to second the caution on credit card purchases from
Indonesia. I usually get several inquiries a month wanting to make
a purchase on a credit card from someone in Indonesia. It’s always
the same, “I am very busy and in a big hurry to get the item, please
use my credit card and ship immediately.” I always respond that I
only take cashier’s checks or bank wire transfers for overseas
payment, and I have yet to have one of these phony inquiries follow
through. From what I have been able to determine, there is no way to
safely verify a credit card purchase from Indonesia. An address
verification is not possible due to their privacy laws and unless the
card has been reported stolen there is no way to tell if it is good.
If anyone has any other useful for such situations,
please chime in!

Best regards,


Banking laws differ widely in different countries. I learned
Canadian laws are not congruent with American laws the hard way.
There was a time when 50% of our gross sales was due to Canadian
shoppers. We took a personal check in from a long time customer,
drawn on a Saskatchewan bank and had it returned to us 5 1/2 months
later. No recourse and the product was out the doors. The good news
was that this was the only time we had that particular experience.
But Poppy is correct, be cautious with international sales.

Norman Kimes


Creditcard fraud turned in my favor I had a bidder purchase about
$830.+ s/h $24. worth of new/old 1 jewel men’s wrist watches from me
on Ebay about two years ago. He was a new bidder on Ebay, and paid
via Paypal. The funds went into my account, but because he lived in
Indonesia he did not have a confirmed address. I was not about to
send the watches and then get word that the account was phony. I
contacted Paypal and got his bank number and called to inquire about
it. The bank would not give any except to say that the
address on the account was not same as the address the buyer wanted
the items shipped to. So, I did not send them. The buyer never
contacted me again about delivery or return of the funds. I sold
most of the watches a year later for around $1,100. In 6 years of
selling on the net, both our web site and auctions we have only had
4 cases of fraud total around $4,600. less the $830. not to bad I
would say. Maybe 20 or so other attempts at fraud. Your best bet, is
NEVER send anything to an address other than the one that card
billing goes to. And, if accepting Paypal, only deal with confirmed
accounts. They have a setting that will block those that are not
confirmed or place an address to ship that is other than the
members. That rule will save you from 75% of the scammers

Jim Mannella
S. Fla.

    ...I had a woman email me who was interested in buying some of
my jewelry off of my web site ...She told me she was from Moldova 

Yep, Adrian from Moldova, wanting to buy gold chains. One or two, I
can understand. Bunches? Smelled funny to me. Why not order from
Italy or Israel, both with large chain manufacturing companies? I
told ‘Adrian’ that I was too small a company to have an import/export
license to handle the tariffs and dues (true), and that the shipping
and insurance costs would make the chains prohibitively expensive

Remember Aesop’s advice: If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Thank goodness for Orchid, Hanuman and the Orchid members for a
timely warning.


All Here is my Adrian experience dated back to last July:

      Hello. interested in your 14K Yellow Gold Bracelet set with
Diamonds Weight: 27.20  Grs. Diamonds: 3.17 Cts. How fast can be
shiped if ordered 3? you can ship them via USPS Express Mail to
Romania. I'm out of town, and the only way to pay is with my
credit card. If i go to a bank i would be pay a lot of taxes and
comissions, and this is not good. I hope this will work for you.
thank you best regards, adrian Please let me know 

I would like to point out that looking at her (or anyone else) email
address headers you can trace the origin city and country of the
caller. Good for screening of ALL your online transactions.

how it works?

Look at the full headers of the email. {outlook users press CTRL-F3}
find the received from line with the IP sting.

Received: from alnostru ([]) by with
esmtp; Mon, 01 Jul 2002 19:43:00 -0600

go to

paste the email IP in the form provided. in this case

and you will point her to Timisoara, Romania.

Add an extra layer of security to your online business!

for a better Internet



Within the last few weeks RMS has received a couple of curious
orders. Both of which we refused. Both were from Indonesia. The
first was for a large amount of precious metal Mokume-gane. It was
odd in that the buyer had never ordered before and apparently had no
experience with the material. They wished to pay via credit card,
actually several credit cards with low limits. The cards turned out
to be from a bank in the Dakotas. We use the credit card service
offered through Costco. My calls to them were very well received and
attracted prompt attention. I was immediately warned off any unknown
purchasers from Indonesia. There is apparently a good number of
scams coming in from that direction. They immediately called the
bank that issued the cards. None of the cards matched the address we
were to ship too. The real warning was this: CHARGE BACKS CAN BE
customer can ask for his/her money back through the credit card
company and get it. You will see only the charge back on your bill.
You end up out both product and cash with no recourse. The rules are
set up to protect the buyer, not the seller. If you are uncertain
about a customer call your credit card authorizer. They can and will
help. When I wrote the buyer that we would only accept a money
transfer, they disappeared over the horizon. This has happened more
than once. The moral is, “Seller beware.” Bill


Doesn’t it seem kind of suspicious that so many Orchid members have
been contacted by this one single person? It looks like she is moving
right down the list of Orchid members to me. Does she really get
around or has she just discovered the Orchid community?

Would it be feasible to have a list of fraud experiences/current
scams on Orchid so we can watch out for each other? I’ve been a
victim in the past of some pretty tricky scams that didn’t include
credit cards or women from Romania.



Hi All, I used to get a raft of “orders” from Romania and Moldavo,
always large order for several pieces and always needed ASAP. I
don’t get many anymore and I think it’s because word has gotten
around to these fraudster rings that my site doesn’t accept their
cards, so they don’t bother me much anymore. I do believe they prey
on the smaller “handcrafted” type jeweler, thinking we won’t know any
better - hah! Check out PayPal, they do not allow any credit cards
from a number of countries, Romania and Moldavo being just two of

Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry


First off, I agree with all the measures needed to protect against
credit card fraud. In the case of Paypal, I have had a problem at the
other end. I am Canadian and Paypal will not confirm Canadian
addresses. I purchased something recently from a US seller and
although the seller indicated they accepted paypal and the purchase
was only $13US, when they saw my unconfirmed address, would not
accept payment. I then had to trek to the bank and pay the extra fees
for a money order. Something for Canadians to keep in mind.

   I am Canadian and Paypal will not confirm Canadian addresses... I
then had to trek to the bank and pay the extra fees for a money
order. Something for Canadians to keep in mind. 

Stephanie, when a seller refuses to take payment because of this or
because they don’t accept Paypal(do a search in google for paypal
horror stories), I use’s money order service. Try it out,
could save you alot of trouble.

Jonathan Brunet



   I use's money order service. Try it out, could save
you alot of trouble. 

I was just looking at their site and it specifically restricts its
services to online auctions, so that seems to indicate that it
wouldn’t be all that useful for regular sales.


    Would it be feasible to have a list of fraud
experiences/current scams on Orchid so we can watch out for each

I think this is a great idea. Including galleries would be a big
help, too. Most of my bad gallery experiences are in the distant past
but some of the newer members might appreciate insight from the more
experienced voices here. On the other hand, I deal with over 50
galleries and stores here in Hawaii and can give great
recommendations for almost all of them. A list of positive
experiences could be even more helpful. If we’re dealing with good
people we don’t have to be tempted by Moldavian scammers. John Flynn