My inbox just sparkled like a unicorn crapping rainbows.
I had yet to brew my ritual pot of morning coffee with freshly ground beans, and a tiny bit of grit when I awoke to an irrefusable offer.
Now it’s not every day that you’re lucky enough to meet your dream client through the contact form on your website, but sometimes you just get darn lucky
Every artisan who day in and day out furnishes their tool and strives to perfect their craft is truly worthy of some respect, right?
Enter The Web Design Scam Artist
Name REDACTED REDACTED Describe Your Project Here is the job details I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in NJ and the company is based on importing and exporting of Sport wears such as running jacket, jersey,dance wear,socks, boots etc for both adult youth ladies and girls 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.XXXXXXXXXXX. 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.
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i
gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as http://www.XXXXXXXXXXX.com you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next
7. My budget is $4000 to $8000
8. No shopping ability
9. The site will be mobile friendlyKindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) your cell phone number
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ??Regards
No Thanks Jeff. Abandon Ship.
I could probably have overlooked the lack of capitalization on the syllabically heavy word “I”. Or perhaps even the lack of pluralization.
I get it English isn’t everyone’s first language. Someone less observant than me might not have noticed that he capitalized “I” the first time so it clearly shows he knows the correct spelling. The rest is just laziness.
I literally cringed out loud when I read this part,
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
Listen, Jeff, you could’ve at least pretended like you visited my website. You’d know that this is a freelancer’s website and that www.benweiser.dev is actually my name. How can I, as an individual not be the owner of my freelance business? That my friend is truly a puzzle isn’t it.
So Who Was This Guy Anyway?
Was I pondering a response to trickster or was I about to land a solid new client to help me upgrade from my lowly PC status to one of them shiny Macintosh Computer thingies.
As I sat there and daydreamed of mocking up a dentist website in Sketch 3 with its beautiful user interface and developer friendly export tool. As I enjoy the many fine wonders of the Unix Command Line and beautiful 5k display.
My dreams of an Apple utopia powered by the little acknowledged poor factory treatment of it’s Chinese workers were utterly crushed. Smashed into oblivion. Dissipated into the ether.
Why You Ask?
Clearly this is a scam artist, how could one person need to buy so many websites? In every single example, there are the exact same grammatical errors and syntactical errors that could only be the result of someone who was too dumb to even try to look legit.
Ample Evidence Unearthed
This is just a small sampling of what I found out just by copying and pasting small parts of the e-mail into Google’s search bar. If you ever receive a suspicious e-mail a quick search can save you a lot of time and headache. We all want new leads. We’re all looking to make a honest pay, but gosh darn it people have some self-respect and defer to the Almighty Google. Praise Sergey!
How Does The Scam Work?
When I first saw this e-mail I knew this scam was nothing new. This appears to be a classic Money Transfer Scam. Looking through some of those aforementioned links it’s obvious that it involves getting the web designer to process a stolen credit card and send cash.
Here’s a quote from scamwarners.com as to how this works.
- The scammer places a (usually large) order for goods, services or a reservation.
- The scammer insists on using his own courier/shipper or freight company.
- The scammer gives a plausible explanation for additional charges to be added to the card. These may include, but are not limited to, another party needing payment but doesn’t accept credit cards, or taking safety precautions by only sharing credit card information with one party.
- The scammer provides credit card information for payment with a request for the overage to be sent to a supposed third party. That third party is the same scammer using another name. The usual request is for the payment to be sent by transfer via Western Union or Money Gram.
- Any credit card information you receive belongs to an innocent victim. The scammer is using your ability to charge and process cards as a way to steal money from compromised cards. Any money sent to the scammer is lost, with both the business and card holder as victims.
Why add web designers to your list of targets? We’re smart enough to write code on a computer, do you really think we’re dumb enough to fall for your scam? Sadly, these Nigerian Princes must still be cashing in with this scheme if all these years after it was first reported they continue to persist with their digital hooliganism.
Spread The Word
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