Hi all, I wanted to post some important information based on a situation I was involved in recently – an internet scam. Luckily I got out of the situation before I got hurt but I learned how other people got sucked in to the same situation and lost thousands of dollars and/or merchandise.
I have my shop http://fuchsiabloomstudio.etsy.com posted on the Hotfrog site http://www.hotfrog.com/ which is basically free advertising for local small businesses. Somehow this scammer found my shop and sent me this email:
Dear Fuchsia Bloom Studio,
The following inquiry for your company was entered by Business/name Christie Jones within Hotfrog.com.
We hope this is a good sales lead for you:
Business/name Christie Jones Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number +22506303831
I saw your products and I like it.I want to know if you can sell to me so
that I can buy.
I will pay you with my company credit card.
My shipping address :
Mrs Christie Jones
Lot 206 Ilot 801
01 BP 4578 Abj 01
Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire
Tel : +22506303831
I wrote back to her thinking , great! maybe this will be something! And we actually wrote back and forth about items and shipping for quite a while. She put in a HUGE order with me and I was all ready to get her payment and get to work- but when I asked her about her boutique and other more personal info so that I would know who I was selling to she would never answer. And another strange thing was that she wouldn’t pay me through Paypal but wanted to give me her credit card directly ( I since have found out why this is- the credit card number would have been stolen or fraudulent and Paypal would have picked up on that right away) So finally I decided to look the shop up on the internet and I came across this blog instead: http://stopartscams.blogspot.com/2011/08/scam-email-jasmine-anthony.html I found the exact scammer in the list of emails that people had received. Thank goodness I looked the name up! I might have been responsible for a lot of money if the credit card sale had gone through and I had bought my supplies and paid for the shipping and then the card was fraudulent. Since this has happened I have received other emails, as have friends of mine and I have found there are a few key details to look out for – 1) if the amount of money they want to spend seems to good to be true it usually is 2) if the English in the email is broken and mispelled that is usually a tip off 3) if you communicate with them and they want you to use an independent shipper – this is a warning and 4) if they won’t pay you by the method you prefer, usually Paypal which is the safest way, then don’t go through with the transaction. I hope this information will be useful to anyone who has received an email like this!