Challenges, problems, and triumphs
-- from a manufacturer's perspective.
How a Small Vendor Was Almost Scammed
A savvy, suspicious mind averted a serious
by Karen L. Desmet, Art Declassified, LLC (Aug. 4, 2008)
I wanted to fill you in on a little scam that targeted my
company. I feel if he found me, he will find others in the industry.
I was contacted by a man who claimed to be with a store in
Australia. He requested the regular items: catalog, price list,
ordering information. He provided a store name and address (which
later I could not confirm). A few days after the first email, he
contacted me asking for more information. He then placed a very
large order and requested a quote for the merchandise and shipping.
After I provided the quote, he informed me he had a U.S. shipping
agent who would pick up the order.
He then asked me a favor: could I can pay his shipping agent
because the agent doesn't have the ability to process credit cards.
He requested I charge his credit card for $X.XX more and then send a
Western Union money wire to the shipping agent. (He wouldn't provide
the agent's company name, just a person's name and what appears to
be a bogus address).
He then provided TWO credit card numbers which are almost
sequential and demanded the authorization codes from the
transactions. Within one hour of sending me all of this information,
he called wanting to know if I ran the credit cards and if I had
gone to Western Union. (I had not done either. I actually contacted
the local sheriff). Another strange part of this is we exchanged
emails almost the entire afternoon and if he was in Australia, this
would have been happening through the evening and early morning
hours for him. Also, he did not have an Aussie accent.
I know this is a common scam with individuals, so I was quite
taken aback to see this happen in this manner. I was impressed with
the size of the order he was about to place and became very excited.
I am glad I had the sense to realize something wasn't right.
(Note: Anyone else been the subject of a scam? If so, tell
the story so CLN can alert our readers. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)