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BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

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  • BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

    Just letting everyone know that there's a SCAM targeted at printers and it's not geographically confined!

    We were contacted by a "Buyer" via email on the 2nd April.

    _Hello ,_
    _I am Jennifer Miller, i will like to order some flyers and the_
    _types are as below:_
    _This is the specification on the flyers._

    _1. measures 8.5' x 11'_
    _2. 80# Gloss Text or_
    _3. 0.25 - White boarder_
    _4. One sided_

    _Please provide a quote on 80,000 copie...Please send me the total cost_
    _plus tax for the above material.What type of payment do u accept.Let me_
    _know asap so i can provide you with my credit card details for_
    _payment.Pls include your address and phone number._
    _Thank you and you have a great day_
    _Bye,_
    _Jennifer_


    Now the US specifications of 8.5' x 11', 80# Text with the domain of 'h-mail.us' lead us to think it's a US company. So we respond by telling them, we're actually in Darwin, Northern Territory Australia and the shipping cost would be prohibitive. We ask for the location and a phone number to talk to them about it.

    Which is ignored.

    We then get this email 2 days later. The "Please provide a quote on 80,000 copie..." is identical to the other email. Perhaps they work together and Jennifer forwarded the email to Mackenzie to follow up on? (Now we know is probably an overlap between two scammers. )

    _Hello ,_
    _I am Mackenzie Brown , i will like to order some flyers and the types are as below:_
    _This is the specification on the flyers._

    _1. measures 8.5' x 11'_
    _2. 80# Gloss Text or_
    _3. 0.25 - White boarder_
    _4. One sided_

    _Please provide a quote on 80,000 copie...Please send me the total cost plus tax for the above material.What type of payment do u accept.Let me know asap so i can provide you with my credit card details for payment.Pls include your address and phone number._
    _Thank you and you have a great day_
    _Bye,_
    _Mr,Mackenzie._

    We again ask for location and phone number. Which is again ignored.

    _I am very busy right now,am in at a meeting.Can i provide you with the file.What will be the total cost and your method of payment?_
    _Mackenzie._

    They then supply a design for printing which is a very generic, no location or date. It's for an event and there's no date or location? However, perhaps it's just an initial mockup for Ink Coverage estimates?

    We decide, we'll quote them anyhow. Probably won't receive a response. We email them a quote, apologise for the delay.

    That was on Friday. Check emails on Sunday night and have an email there waiting.

    _Thank you for the email.I prefer quantity A.Can i provide you with my credit card details for payment so we can proceed asap._

    We're thinking "you want to proceed with that artwork"? No Date or Location for an Event Promotion? We email them and say our company policies dictate that we cannot proceed until:

    • We are able to talk over the phone (we need your number)
    • We can get business details for our system
    • We can find a precise location for shipment, and
    • We can receive the final artwork version.

    I also said DO NOT SEND CREDIT CARD DETAILS OVER EMAIL. IT'S NOT SECURE.

    He responds by saying he will call me soon (my numbers in my email signature) and that he's an individual.

    We get a call and it's patched through to me and there's a long delay and a very thick foreign accent. It was hard to pick with the delay and accidently talking over him as a result of the delay. I thanked him for the call. I asked him where he is located and he says Victoria and don't worry about Shipping. I asked whether they are going to Victoria? He ignored the question. I then mentioned the Artwork had no date or location. He got agitated and said "No, no, no. Just the one I sent you. The dates and location don't matter".

    He said he would email me the credit cards. I said, "No give me the credit card over the phone". Then he said "OK, I'll get them". Then it got cut off abruptly. Now I'm sure it was less than a one minute call.

    I sent an email saying thanks for the call, but we still need your phone number to be able to contact you. I though at this point they were going to Victoria. I mentioned that it's important to determine the freight costs since this quantity of product would weigh close to 1 tonne.

    I then received an email with information from him saying that it's to go to Ghana In Africa and that he would arrange shipping. Shipping to Ghana means serious shipping costs!

    He still emailed me the cards and we tried them. We we're thinking, "If I were to steal a credit card, why would I buy printing with it? You can't resell it! It's worthless to anyone else except the person who needs the printing." So the cards must be legitimate right?

    They were cancelled cards. Red flags begin to wave furiously. We told him and he kept sending new card details. He got his hands on two more credit cards in 10 minutes. How many cards does he have? In reality, he probably has a bag full of them, sitting in an internet kiosk. We rang the bank and said something isn't right here. They said immediately, "Don't give them your bank details!"

    *Google to the rescue!*
    We then began a little internet research and searched for the term, "Please provide a quote on 80,000 copie..." since it was indentical in both emails. Perhaps someone has already been scammed and they used the same text and someone posted with that text. We found a forum post on www.graphicdesignforum.com and that's where we found the variations of the letter sent to other companies. Google to the rescue!

    *So, how do they make money?*
    Well this is the trick. From what we read, we didn't get to the clincher part of it. Which is the shipping. What they want is you to use a 'private shipper' which they select. They want you to take the money out of the credit cards and for you to pay the shipping company for it yourself, using their cards. So technically it's not your money it's there's. The email address they give you to make payment to is very long but is usually at yahoo or gmail or something. A free email account nonetheless. The long email address kind of hides the fact that it's from yahoo or google. They will ask you to send the money via Western Union.

    The shipping company is bogus and the person placing the order is the one who is also the shipping company. So they get their money through the shipping. All for a few emails and an occasional skype phone call.

    As a result this Scam is not limited to just the printing industry, but also any company that ships goods. For example the Art Industry has been scammed regularily with this method. It's not just with Credit Cards either. Cheques are often used with this type of scam.

    *Seller Beware! Red flags*
    If you see a combination of a few of the following...keep your wits about you.
    • They are very eager to provide payment, even in the first email.
    • They are more eager for you to process the payment, then to receive the actual product.
    • They have little concern with the specifics of your product. They have no questions for an order of $2-5K? None at all other than related to shipping?
    • They mention Western Union!
    • They appear to have no problems supplying multiple credit cards!
    • They ignore your attempts to determine their location
    • They ignore your attempts to get a phone number (skypeID doesn't count)
    • If they phone you, they won't stay on the phone for very long. Again, they show no concern about the specifics of the product.
    • They are not interested in alternative shipping! (Even if you suggest you might get better rates)

    We're not saying that anyone of these should tip you off, but if 2-3 of them start to coincide, chances are they're a scammer. Keep your eyes open.

    regards,

    Dwane Hollands
    PRODUCTION MANAGER

    HOLLANDS PRINT SOLUTIONS PTY LTD

    Phone (08) 89 327 400
    Fax (08) 89 327 411
    Email dwane@hollands.com.au
    Website www.hollands.com.au

  • #2
    Re: BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

    Dwayne,

    Thanks for a great post. I have sent it to all of my customers so they may read and learn.
    Regards,
    OG

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

      Wow... that is something. I had someone do that to me with some antique furniture I was selling. How do these people come up with these elaborate schemes?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

        Jennifer Miller hit us too. We are a sign company out of New York and she was trying to order banners for a Charity AIDS walk to be shipped to Guyana through her own shipper. Obviously, this person is not just hitting printers, but other companies as well.
        Thanks for the heads up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

          It seems to be known as "The Shipping Scam"

          http://www.bogusartfair.info/shippingscam
          Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: BEWARE: PRINTING SCAM!

            This scam hit our store a few months ago. I just laughed at it. You got to watch your back 24/7 there is always someone trying to steal from you.

            Comment


            • #7
              I told him that 80,000 posters cost $1,450,000 and that I did take credit cards. He never got back to me. Shame - you only have to sell one.

              Comment


              • #8
                I got this one sent right to me asking me for a quote. Too funny.
                Matt Beals
                The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We've been getting this scam come in a few times a month for about a year. We get it from a pastor representing a Christian ministry that wants to send the flyers to Africa for missions purposes. What I learned is that they provide a credit card that initially works, so you start printing. When the job is finished they ask if you would pay the shipping costs upfront to their shipping company. They hope you will, because later the credit card charge is denied because it's a bogus card and you're out the shipping costs that went to a phony shipping company not to mention the printing you've done.

                  What is most interesting is the email has a domain name that when you look it up on the web points you to a Christian church or organization that looks legitimate but is not; it has stories about all the wonderful work being done in Africa by the Christian missionaries. When I investigated I found that it was a bogus site and like already mentioned is known as the Shipping Scam targeting Christian printers.

                  Again if it sounds too good to be true--it is! Beware! They not only target your greed but also your altruism.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FORTUNAETLY THEESE SCAMS ARE EASY TO SPOT BECAUSE THEIR POLITE, CAN'T SPELL, AND HAVE THEY'RE CAPS LOCK KEY STUCK ON!

                    :-) best gordo (all lower case)
                    Last edited by gordo; 11-10-2009, 05:35 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just got an order for 100,000 flyers on Monday. I got the Credit card numbers from him and was able to process it, the money is in my bank. When he asked me to pay his shipper I refused, I told him to pay direct, since then I didn't hear back from him. My question is what should I do with that money?? It's in my bank, who is going to ask me for it? I know he won't. I guess the Credit card company might call soon but for now it is earning interest in my account. Any input from anyone?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd call the credit card company and see if it's been reported stolen. Did you put any ink on paper yet?
                        Matt Beals
                        The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No ink on paper yet, thank goodness. If the card number was stolen how was I able to process the transaction? I am planning to sit on the money until I hear from the credit card company, you never know they might write it off as their scam expense and I get to keep it. Wishful thinking here, but not sure if I can sleep at night

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We get at least one of these a week.
                            I always reply cash or certifed bank draft only no exceptions.
                            They never respond.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              your busting your ass to make a living and these lowlives wont even pay for an email account with which to rip you off... BASTARDS!!

                              //deep breath head off angry rant//

                              keep your eyes open and remember that if it smells like sh*t, looks like sh*t..... it will taste taste like sh*t too...
                              Just get on with it. Its as simple as that.

                              Comment

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