Be careful, Beth. There are some unscrupulous scammers out there
preying on people selling over the Net. One scheme involves a fake
cashier's check, which the scammer's "creditor" issues for more than
the amount of purchase. You are requested to issue a check of your
own for the difference. Then, after a month or so, the original check
is returned by the bank as fraudulent, and you're on the hook for the
check you wrote. These fake checks come with fake numbers, which are
answered by a confederate "Hello, Bank of Montreal? (or wherever) who
assures you that the check is perfectly good. For this scam, the
goods themselves are irrelevant; it's your check they're after.
If you're selling high intrinsic-value goods, though, the scammers
usually use the credit card charge-back dodge. You may be surprised
to know that credit card companies take no responsibility for
transactions conducted without actually swiping a card; all the risk
is assumed by you, the merchant. A customer can give you an
authorized credit card order, receive the goods, then repudiate the
charges. The credit card company removes the money from your account
automatically; you end up holding the (empty) bag.
So congratulations on your new international orders, but try to do
some independent checking on this customer. See if anybody in the
jewelry business in Israel has actually heard of them. There are some
Israel-based readers of this list; perhaps one of them could help.
Nigeria should raise a red flag- it's World Scam Center now (but
perhaps you'd like to help someone invest 50 million ill-gotten