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Credit Card Scam – AVOID THIS!

I received a email message from what I thought was a potential client. It took some time, but later found out that it was a decently executed credit card scam. This post is to show you what transpired, and to hopefully help you to not be deceived by a scam such as the one below. Please share this out with fellow freelancers.

scam

The email message came in evening, 9:48pm. It was poorly written but it was a email message so that wasn’t too surprising. The potential client said his name, asked if I can design a website for a new company and if we accept credit cards. (nothing strange so far)…

On 13/09/15 21:48, kane Smith wrote:

hello. how are you doing. i am tony smith. i need to know if you can handle website design for a new company and i also need to know if you accept credit cards as method of payment? get back to me asap. thanks…

So I wrote back ASAP and told him that I accept credit card payment via PayPal, but I also accept other payment options like transfer founds over bank account etc. It didn’t take long for him to come back with a response:

On 14/09/15 17:29, kane Smith wrote:

i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible.http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

Again, I replied to his email and explained my services and confirmed the payment methods to him.  I also provided him my quote, and payment terms like 50% deposit, contract and cell phone number (which is part of my email signature, so he already got it after my first reply!). Well, a few days later I got his reply by email. He told me that he is in the hospital for some treatment and need my help with something. Here it became really fishy:

On 17/09/15 22:21, kane Smith wrote:

i am okay with the total cost and i will like to make an upfront payment of 50% and i will be needing a little favor from you also.

I again replied to his email and re-explained my services and re-confirmed the payment methods to him.  I also re-provided him my quote, and payment terms like 50% deposit and told him again about the contract. Well, a few days later I got his reply by email:

On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 9:13, kane Smith <kanes4255@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for your response, i am okay with the estimate and i wanna proceed so i will be depositing £xxxx using credit card so work can commence ASAP, i understand the content for this site would be needed so as for the job to commence so regarding the content i will need a Little favor from you and the reason i need this favor from you is because the consultant does not have the facility to charge credit cards and i also am presently in the hospital for surgery so i will be glad if you can help me out with this favor

At this moment I had feeling something is not right. The spelling and matter of urgency, no business name or details, nor questions about work process or contract.. so I replied:

Hi Kanes,

I have facility to charge debit/credit cards physically or over the phone, however I would prefer payment over paypal, that way you can pay with credit card/debit card so it is perfectly cool. What favour you need from me? just tell me. I am sorry to hear that you are in hospital for surgery. Is there anything I can help with?

Thanks.

Then he replied…

On 09/10/15 22:11, kane Smith wrote:

i don’t no how to pay

So I replied last time:

Hi Kane,

You can pay by cards (credit or debit) via paypal (no account need it for this) or you can pay with your paypal. I hope this helps.

At this point my alarm bell was ringing very badly, so I decided just ignoring the emails from him – for now. As I expected the scam bug got back to me in early morning. I think its more then one person involved in this as they did lost the track of the emails sent out. This morning I received two emails:

On 11/10/15 4:21, kane Smith wrote:

i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible.http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

and (please note the timing – he must be a superman or something to type this that fast 🙂 )

On 11/10/15 4:22, kane Smith wrote:

i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible.http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

..So I went out to email settings and block all emails from this email address and created filter to make sure that emails will not reach me ever again. How this scam operates is they will get you charge stolen credit card and ask you to send some money back via Western union or via bank transfer or something else. Once you do that, card issuer will take money from you and you will end with minus on your account. Even you do have prove that you’ve been scammed by someone banks will not help you, they just take money from your account even if you don’t have them there, which means you will end up in minus or depth.

Be aware of scam-bugs like this and do not be naive. Please share this with as many freelancers and people as you could.

scam-warning

Posted in Beware of Scammers, How to, Thoughts