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Phone: 785-760-5071
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Challenges, problems, and triumphs -- from a manufacturer's perspective.

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How a Small Vendor Was Almost Scammed

A savvy, suspicious mind averted a serious financial loss.

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 mike@clnonline.com.)

xxx

 

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