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Another Scam?

To all of you who receive unwanted calls.

There is an excellent book out intitled “Fun with Phone Solicitors
50 ways to get even.” I try one of the techniques illustrated in the
book whenever I get a live call form a person who has ignored the do
not call list. It at least gives me some satisfaction to waste as
much of the solicitors time as I can. One of the points of the book
is to give the caller a feeling that you are about to share the
requested and string them along as long as you can. The
most important thing to remember is to NEVER give any information
over the phone to a solicitor.

Fun with Phone Solicitors : 50 Ways to Get Even!
Robert Harris
Media: Paperback
Manufacturer : Warner Books
Release data : 01 October, 2001

Lee Epperson

There’s a comedian (Jim Florentine) who yanks the chain of
telemarketers and records the calls. He’s got several recordings of
these and you can listen to some of them online here:

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts
No one deserves lung cancer.

I may be taking this scam thread on a tangent, but i think it is
worth it if it helps someone by preventing their loss of goods,
services, or privacy. To show you how simple it is, I did a simple
internet search by typing in “tips for safe business” in the search
box. I received a wealth of back. There were various
web sites covering things fromhow to ensure your privacy, safe
internet banking, safety tips for women business travelers, all the
way to a U.S. government document published for U.S. businessmen on
the perils of scams from the country of Nigeria.

You people who use this forum are already on the digital road. For
safety’s sake, you should know, among other things, how to tell
where an email comes from, how to determine if that email offering
you money on a silver platter is bogus ( is that a no brainer or
what?), and that a lot of about YOU exists online because
of our digital world.

Did you know that a lot of you can be found by simply doing an
internet white or yellow pages search, or a search on offers up public and personal records for a fee.
There are sites for reverse email lookup, reverse telephone number
lookup, car tag lookup, etc. For a fee, social security numbers can
be had; I wont name that site for obvious reasons. Maps can be
pulled up (free) that lead right to your door! In some communities,
county public records are kept online.

This amazing computer system, the internet, does have the weakness
that it is not a judge of character. It does not care what you want
the data for. If you order up the internet is here to

I hate it that there are people out there who would exploit the good
honest working people of Orchid land. However, that is a fact of
modern life. So arm yourselves with Knowledge! Knowledge is power!
You can protect yourself by being savvy, observant, and diligent.

One last comment for those who are hard of hearing: The only reason
ANYONE needs your bank account number is so they can withdraw cash
from it!

steve mashburn
In Oklahoma, the hummingbirds are thirsty!

Greetings all,

I am constantly battling these nit-wit scam ‘artists’. It seems that
even though their scams are mostly transparent, a lot of people
still are fooled by them.

What I do when I get one in email is to forward the email, with
header, back to their server ie., and to the
Federal Trade Commission, .

Another thing I have done is to put helpful, l links on
my links page, . You can
also add a link to your web site while you’re there.

There is another type of Nigerian scam where the scammer calls your
store using a relay operator. If you get a call from a relay
operator it will almost certainly be a Nigerian scam. Just ask the
operator where the call originates from and make your decision from

Hope this helps,
Josh Powell
Coyote Canyon Web Domains


This is a ditto to what Josh said regarding the Nigerian scam. I
just received my monthly newsletter & alert from the Jewelers
Vigilance Committee. They stated that several jewelers had been
scammed into sending watches to overseas addresses. One had a loss of
over $15000.00. The other became suspicious after sending 2 watches
to an address, then it was followed up with “Send your entire chain
inventory to the address below”. Needless to say, he didn’t. Be very
careful out there!

American Goldworks
Great Falls, MT


We would like to report another scam. This is a true story; hence,
we will not mention the names here. The modus operandi will be clear
from the description below.

An Indian company, I, received an order from an African company, A,
for an X amount. The African company, A, sent a check for the full
amount, X, issued by a US firm, U, in favor of the Indian firm, I.
The reason given for this was that U and A were business associates
and since U owes A some money, this amount was being sent directly by
U to I. The African firm, A, also forwarded a letter, apparently,
written by U to A stating this.

Upon receiving the check, the Indian firm, I, deposited it with
their bankers in India. On behalf of their client, the bankers sought
permission from the Federal Bank (called the Reserve Bank of India)
for this transaction. The Federal Bank gave their permission as a
special case and said that they would allow this transaction provided
the full amount was deposited into I’s account before the goods were

Subsequently, the check cleared after about 30 days and, in
addition, a cooling period of 21 days was observed. After this, the
goods were shipped out and the African firm, A, confirmed having
received the goods.

However, the US bank has now intimated the Indian bank saying that
the check was forged and asked them to return the full amount.
Accordingly, the Indian bank intimated their client, I, and, in the
meanwhile, froze their client’s account.

Mumbai, India.

Rasesh - Thank you for the about the scam. I would
suggest an attorney be consulted in the United States as there are
very clear laws and rules about banks being able to recover from
someone in the chain, such as “I” in India who acted in good faith
and who neither knew nor had any reason to know of the forgery.

“I” in India might try to find an attorney in the U.S. city in which
the bank (which now wants to recover from 'I" and its bank) is

Sheridan Reed

Rasesh - My heart goes out to you! You took all precautions, and
still got burned - I am so sorry! It is such a shame that people
like that exist in our world. Best wishes on resolving this.

Beth in SC

I am in the check security business and I would like to say that
after 51 days of waiting that the shipper has recourse against the
bank for agreeing that the check had cleared legitimately. The
shipper needs to go back to the bank and raise heck!! In the US, the
check must be cleared legally within 48 hours of presentation, so
they had plenty of time to determine fraud. If I were the shipper, I
would be telling their bank that they need to go back after the US
bank for the funds. In this case this is NOT the shipper’s fault as
he followed all the bank’s rules and the check was held for a very
long time.

This scam is however going to become more common as the US has just
implemented a bill called CHECK 21 which allows the receiving bank
to clear a check based on a scan of the check, rather than on
physical presentation of the actual check. More and more fraud
artists will be presenting fraudulent checks at banks far distant
from the issuing one. You are all going to have to do more checking
personally for orders of this nature - including having your bank
check that the funds to clear a check are actually in the other
bank’s account. For third party transactions such as this one, you or
your bank will need to check the credit of both parties.

Check 21 (which has NO standards for check clearing), just made it a
lot more dangerous out there for businesses to accept checks from
those they don’t know. Hold times might become much longer in foreign
countries than the 51 days noted here. You may in fact have to go
with wire transfers rather than checks.

Be careful out there.

Rasesh - My heart goes out to you! You took all precautions, and
still got burned - I am so sorry!

Thanks Beth. However, we were not the ones who got burned, a friend
of ours was.

Folks, we feel that there are 2 ways in which this could have been

  1. If an unscrupulous person receives a check written by you, they
    could easily get a check book printed and forge your signatures.
    Therefore, we need to keep a close watch on who handles our checks
    and on our bank accounts!!

  2. Or, somebody could easily write a check and then claim an
    unauthorised person issued the check.

Rasesh in Mumbai, India.

We recently received an email from someone in Nigeria who has “
clients who bowhunt with traditional equipment.” Since my husband’s
archery business has customers all over the world, including Kenya,
it sounded legitimate.

He wanted to buy 50 sterling silver thumb rings (used to release the
string) and 25 Saluki Bow tee shirts. It sounded a little peculiar,
since they are a variety of sizes, but we were willing to take his
cc# and ship them out. After all, there must be some legitimate
folks in Nigeria, right?

When in his next email he wanted us to add seven Nokia phones, even
supplying the model number(!?!), I deleted the whole transaction and
got a good chuckle out of it.

I could see that next thing would be, “Please supply us with your
banking info so we can transfer the money” . Oh, sure…

I work at a gallery in Philadelphia. We had a “client” calling from
Nigeria wanting a painting. We called DHL to find out about shipping
there and they told us that they have lots of problem in Nigeria
because of scams. They will only deliver there if they get cash up
front and only to certain locations (cities?). They advised not to
accept any credit cards and to only accept checks and to make sure
they cleared before sending anything there! Apparently there are a
lot of credit card scams originating from Nigeria. Of course our
client disappeared, I wouldn’t deal with any one saying they are
calling from Nigeria. It is unfortunate for those in legitimate
business there!

Jen Macartney

Hi - I’m new to Ganoksin and it’s a terrific resource for someone
entering the jewelry arts. I only receive the Digest format, so I’m
not sure how to submit this idea, but here goes.

There have been several comments in the recent thread about scams,
particularly in dealing with suspicious overseas customers, as well
as questions about unfamiliar companies. It seems to be helpful
when someone mentions a person or company that they are leery of
doing business with and others contribute their experiences with
that company. I think there may be a value in establishing a sort
of international “Better Business Bureau” through Ganoksin that
would function like my local (U.S) BBB. A simple alphabetic list of
individuals and businesses with whom Orchid members have done
business and their experiences, both good and bad, could provide a
quick reference to determine those which our associates might
recommend (or not). It would be just a starting point in dealing
with a new customer or supplier but could ease the fear of doing
business with a totally unknown name. I think this is important to
us in a global economy and particularly in the jewelry business.
Rather than haphazardly asking about a single company or individual,
the fact may be that a company or person has done business with some
people in our group already. We could help each other in
establishing new business relationships as well as alerting each
other to true scams and other shady deals.

Thanks for a great learning opportunity through the Orchid Forum!

Mary Bradt
New lapidary and metalsmith
North Carolina

    A simple  alphabetic list of individuals and businesses with
whom Orchid members  have done business and their experiences, both
good and bad, could  provide a quick reference to determine those
which our associates might recommend (or not). 

Hello and welcome to the Orchid Forum, Mary. As it happens, Ganoksin
does have something along the lines of what you’ve mentioned, called
The Gem and Jewelry Trade Directory Guide. Members can write reviews
and list their experiences with individuals and businesses, just as
you asked about. Here’s the URL:

James in SoFl

A few months ago, a gentleman from VA asked for people to send in
their logos, tags, hallmarks to him to be photographed and put into
a new book he was writing with Rainwater. Has anyone sent him
anything, and have they heard back from him about the book. It was
for contempory designers.

Cheers !dinah.


   A few months ago, a gentleman from VA asked for people to send
in their logos, tags, hallmarks to him to be photographed and put
into a new book he was writing with Rainwater. 

I sent him a copy of my logo but have heard nothing back from him.

Joel Schwalb

Hi Joel,

       A few months ago, a gentleman from VA asked for people to
send in their logos, tags, hallmarks to him to be photographed and
put into a new book he was writing with Rainwater. 

That makes three of us so far. I am sure he is who he says he
is-because Paul Riley also sent him a logo, and said that he does
know that he has co-authored books, but to date, neither of us has
heard a peep. Well, hopefully he will write soon.

Cheers !Dinah.

Dear Joel,

I don’t know what has happened to the book, but I do know Mrs.
Rainwater passed away last fall. She has done several books and was
a very fascinating lady. Perhaps someone is doing something with the
logos, etc. to carry on, but it probably was not a scam to begin
with, and perhaps has died on the vine so to speak. I doubt that the
would be given to anyone for the wrong reasons.


the other day i received a bogus pay pal email message telling me to
go to a site that looked similar to pay pal’s and, of course, enter
personal data.

i thought i should warn orchid members since many of us use pay pal
to make our donations.

(have you made your donation yet? hmmmmmmm?)

jean adkins

  Source: Paypal Help Center   -   Email Security 

  The term spoofing and phishing have been used to describe the
  act of collecting personal using a fake email in
  order to commit identity theft, credit card, and Internet
  fraud. If you click on a link included in an email you're not
  sure is from PayPal, make sure the address at the top of the
  browser window you're brought to reads exactly

  PayPal emails will address you by first name, last name, or
  business name, and NOT by Dear PayPal User or Dear PayPal

  If you are ever uncertain about the validity of the email or
  the email links, open a new web browser window and type in 

  If you think you have received a fraudulent email, forward the
  entire email to and then delete it from your
  email account. 

Hi- I’ve had several of these. Forward to entire message to They will acknowledge your response and hopefully
do something about it. They also have several tips on how to spot a
false paypal message.