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Another scam


#1

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, but I wanted to
alert you’all to a possible small business scam.

Here’s my story:

I have a web site and received an email from my Contact Us page. The
email asked if I made international sales (I’m in the USA). The
person was in Singapore and stated she wanted to use her Visa. We
exchanged a few emails and determined she wanted three pieces of
jewelry retailing for $16,600.00 (US Dollars). She was also adamant
that I ship via USPS Air (no FedEx or other carrier).

I am, generally, a cautious person so I contacted my credit card
processor to determine my liabilities in an international sale of
this size; as well as to determine whether or not this may be a
scam. The processor requested the credit card prior to
actually making any charges. The was provided and the
investigation began.

The results were: the purchaser name and address was Singapore; the
credit card issuer was from the US; the name and address did NOT
match the issuer’s The issuing credit card company
stated any sale to that name and address on that card would be
invalid.

I email’d the purchaser with this response and terminated the sale.

My reason for posting is that there may be people targeting small
businesses in the hopes that we will be anxious for a large sale and
not be diligent enough to check things out ahead of time.

Please be careful and if something seems too good to be true, check
it out first.

Good luck to all.
Doreen Sanborn
DKS Designs, Inc.
http://www.dksdesigns.com


#2

I’m sorry to say that this is all too common. I get several requests
per month for high value goods to be shipped to various addresses,
commonly in Singapore or Australia. They use mail boxes nd have
friends or relatives pick up the goods if you send them. The
fraudsters come from Nigeria, China, Singapore, Pakistan- the common
theme is wanting to use a cc but not using the payment gatewaywe
offer online. The cards are cloned, not stolen so dont set all the
alarms off when you input he details. As they are supposedly in
another country the address cannot be checked using the payment
provider’s scoring system. Ask for payment by bank transfer, this is
commonly free for both parties and is foolproof for the seller.

Nick Royall


#3
.... Ask for payment by bank transfer, this is commonly free for
both parties and is foolproof for the seller. 

To process a bank transfer, do you give your checking account number
to the buyer?


#4

I’ve had the same thing happen to me twice now, but fortunately, I
didn’t fall for the trick.

Since my website offers easy payment with PayPal and clearly states
prices, I wasn’t at all satisfied with the callers insistence on
paying by credit card. When I contacted my bank, they asked for a
copy of the email and advised me that this type of scam is rampant
and very widespread at the moment.

The first involved an initial email, subsequent telephone calls and
finally an email giving not one, but TWO credit card numbers…
authorising me to pay for part of (believe it or not!) some sort of
engine with one card and another item with the other!!!

The second gave a name and address in Singapore and a credit card
number - I courteously replied, advising that purchases could be made
through PayPal and that I did not accept international credit cards
offered in this manner because of previous fraudulent attempts… I
also asked the ‘client’ to let me know which piece was of interest so
that I could let them know if it was still available.

There are usually holes a mile wide in these approaches, so be
vigilant!

Jane Walker in chilly winter Australia.
australiannaturalgemjewellery.com.au


#5

but with bank transfer do you have to give them your bank account #?
Isn’t that dangerous?

Thanks for the heads up on cloned cards and the address system not
working. All my scams say this: I am an American living in xxxx, I
have a US credit card.

I have a quick & easy email saved that I just forward back to them
when I get an inquiry. I do this because I ignored one and almost
lost a real wholesale sale! She was legit, but her English was poor
and it sounded kinda like the other scammers. So this helps me weed
them out.

I ask for a copy of the CC- front and back so I can contact the cc
company and have them contact the account holder to confirm that
they are making the purchase. I only had one respond with a copy and
she was legit.

Here it is in case anyone wants to use it or a part of it.

Thank you for your interest in my work.

Please let me know if you are interested in wholesale or retail.

If you are wholesale I will need the following before providing you
with wholesale pricing:

Your resale #
The name of your business
The addresses of your business
The phone # of the business
web address
# of years in business

The type of business- gift shop, jewelry store, etc… Other jewelry
lines you carry.

Unfortunately, we can not provide you with our wholesale information
until we have all the above, so please make sure to
reply in full.

Our new account policies are as follows:

#1— 50% deposit on all orders. We will need, credit card #, exp
date, three digit code, billing address & phone number of the card
holder as well as the credit card company. I also need a copy of
your credit card, front and back- this can be faxed to:
866-403-6512. This is to prevent fraud.

#2— remainder will be charged when the order is shipped. Our turn
around time is 2-3 on all products.

#3— our opening order is $700 and 7 pieces. (wholesale only)

#4— customer to pay all shipping costs including insurance and any
duties due to international shipping.

Retail sales must follow the same new account policies (except for
#3).

Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge.


#6

We have experienced requests for quotations on just about everything
we offer, and for large quantities of goods which will be picked up
by their shipper. As soon as we tell them that we only send via our
shipper, ask for street addresses, and/or request payment up front
via wire transfer, we don’t hear from them again. I have gotten to a
point where I can smell them out immediately. I want to thank the
rest of the Orchid community for sharing their experiences regarding
these scams.


#7
Ask for payment by bank transfer, this is commonly free for both
parties 

In my area of the US (SC) bank transfers have a fee to use, about
$50 - $75/transaction. Charged to the person sending the money, not
the one receiving it.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


#8

Betty,

To process a bank transfer, do you give your checking account
number to the buyer? 

Yes, but it’s a lot easier to put money into 'em than it is to get
it out. I wouldn’t avoid it altogether, but…

One of the things I did when I first began conducting transactions
online, buying or selling, was to get a second account to use for
that, and never keep more in it than I could afford to let go of –
just over the minimum balance to avoid racking up fees, in other
words. I’m happy to give that account number to anyone who wants to
put money in it. All my PayPal and wire transfers of any sort go to
it, then I transfer the excess to my regular account.

I’ve had a few attempts to defraud me with international sales, but
they generally smell pretty bad on first whiff, and worse on
re-examination.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/


#9

The initial email received asking for product, not necessarily
defined, followed by any number of questions and/or comments,
could/should be a bright red flag.

If you know how to expand your headers and look for the “Raw
Source,” you can compare the name/email address in the "from box on
the message, with the actual source of the message.

I can tell you just how to do this on a Mac, but have not yet
figured it out on the PC at work.

I agree that it should/could be obvious, but some do not listen to
that inner warning system.

In some cases, making the sales is more important than being
prudent.At work, I have seen every one of the scams mentioned here.
I reply and then blacklist them.

There are many online resources to protect yourself, Google is a
good place to try with as simple as a request as “How to identify a
scam email.”

Hugs,
Terrie


#10

There’s another advantage to using bank transfer for online
transactions… you don’t have to worry about chargebacks!


#11
To process a bank transfer, do you give your checking account
number to the buyer? 

Yes, they have to give it to the bank so they know where to send the
transfer… at least that is my memory from the one time I did
this…

Beth Wicker
http://www.bethwicker.com


#12
#1--- 50% deposit on all orders. We will need, credit card #, exp
date, three digit code, billing address & phone number of the card
holder as well as the credit card company. I also need a copy of
your credit card, front and back- this can be faxed to:
866-403-6512. This is to prevent fraud. 

Is this a normal thing to be asked for in the US in general? If I was
purchasing something I would be very wary myself of being asked for a
picture of my CC front and back. This gives out all the numbers on
the credit card and also my signature. I would definitely agree with
asking for a registered delivery address for the card and being
suspicious of someone using more than one card etc. It’s a tough one
to get everything right!


#13

Yes, you do but it is no more risky than sending a check to anyone,
the account name and number are printed on the check. The banking
system is liable for any loss caused by using a bank transfer
mandate (with certain exceptions when sending money). The whole point
of using wire transfer is that the scammers DONT have a bank account
they can access to send he funds and dont want to pay anyway-that is
the entire point. I got another request to send goods to a hotel in
Singapore and the invoice to a mailbox in Texas. Again I shall not be
heeding their request.

Another scam resurfacing here in the UK is fake charity
handbook/directory listings. You get a phone call offering you an
advert in a magazine (for charity) and if you show any interest you
get an invice for an ad that probably wont appear. If you dont pay
you get threatening letters from debt collectors who just happen to
be part of the same group of companies as the publishers and whose
boss is CEO of the charity they are working with. B2B deals arent
covered by consumer protection law so unless you can prove otherwise
you DID sign up and you have to pay up.

Nick Royall


#14

Yes, for wire transfers you do have to give out your checking
account number… but you do that every time you write a check
anyway, so I’m not sure I see the extra danger! (Your account number
is in those weird “computer readable” numbers on the bottom of each
check.)

The tricky part of wire transfers for us is that none of the local
banks know how to do them, so it’s a hassle. I think the last one we
did cost us about $40, and we were receiving money, not sending it.

I really wish Paypal would get itself together and offer address
confirmation in more countries!

(But then, I also wish they’d start charging the CORRECT sales tax
here in MA, rather than the old one when it’s been higher now for
almost a year! And yes, I’ve emailed them about it several times.)

Amanda Fisher


#15

For what it’s worth… as regards safety in bank transfers I keep a
separate account for that purpose with a small amount of funds in
it. When monies come in… I remove them as soon as possible and
place them in the active business account… leaving the transfer
account subject to minimal liability.

Hope this helps.
Benjamin Mark


#16
(But then, I also wish they'd start charging the CORRECT sales tax
here in MA, rather than the old one when it's been higher now for
almost a year! And yes, I've emailed them about it several times.) 

If I remember right, you supply the tax rate to be used under
Merchant Services to PapPal.

Cheers.
John Fetvedt
www.bijoux-de-terre.com


#17
Is this a normal thing to be asked for in the US in general? If I
was purchasing something I would be very wary myself of being asked
for a picture of my CC front and back. This gives out all the
numbers on the credit card and also my signature. I would
definitely agree with asking for a registered delivery address for
the card and being suspicious of someone using more than one card
etc. It's a tough one to get everything right! 

It is not normal. The merchant bank determines the requirements as to
what is acceptable.

It’s not tough at all. Just talk to your provider and ask them for
their requirements for credit card transactions.

As for what you require of a customer (50% deposit; or whatever)
that’s up to you.

KPK


#18

I’ve not read all the responses to this so someone may have already
brought this point up: I have spoken with our bank and confirmed that
the person who sends the bank transfer can take the money out of your
account without your permission (such as they complain they did not
receive the items or other reasons). The banker said it does not
happen often, but can happen. We had felt comfortable taking bank
transfer on international orders, but I am not so sure now.

Mrs. Terry Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts, LLC


#19
If I remember right, you supply the tax rate to be used under
Merchant Services to PapPal. 

If this is possible, I’d love to know how to do it! I’ll see if I
can figure it out, although I’d appreciate any tips you might have.

As it is, I have specified that I want MA sales tax applied to
intra-MA sales, and they persist in charging 5%, when the current tax
is 6.25%, as it has been since August 1, 2009.

Amanda Fisher


#20

And how about all those notifications of wonderful opportunities to
cash in on someone who needs to bring large sums of money out of
their country, or notices of winning a lot of lottery money in
England/Nigeria/etc?

I always write back and tell them just to send the money to my
PayPal account.

John
Indiana