Too Good to Be True? It is. Phun with Phony Orders.
I got this email this morning:
We are interested in purchasing some of your products to Solomon Island,can you send us complete catalog or website? also be informed that our mode of payment for this order is via credit card.
We anticipate, your prompt reply.
It looks like an awesome place there in the South Pacific, and I have to say it is tempting to hand deliver these shirts.
This of course is an obvious scam. I would love to organize a blanket party for this “potential customer” but I actually did the best thing, which was to simply delete it. Don’t be tempted to reply, “F you you F’n F” or even “Have a Nice Day” or in fact anything, you don’t want the scammer to know you have a real email address as they will sell it to some other jerk.
This one is obvious but some are not so obvious.
- The real litmus test is as I wrote in the title, if too good to be true it probably is. People don’t email you out of the blue and order thousands of shirts (particularly to go to the Solomon Islands.)
- No address or phone number? What kind of idiot with a legit business wouldn’t include that. In this case, that is what makes it obvious, “Ken” didn’t bother to give a business or any info that would even remotely suggest this is legit.
- Drop ship locations are often a bad sign. Use Google and check and see what the actual location looks like. We had what seemed like possibly a real order until we used Google and looked at the delivery address and it was not a commercial neighborhood.
- Lone operators are a bad sign, how many companies do you know where you can only reach one person?
- Poorly written letters are possibly a bad sign. “We anticipate, your prompt reply.” That doesn’t seem like the way anyone I know ends an email. And I have a feeling that “Dear Customer” as the start of this email is not Solomon Islands charm. We aren’t grammar police nor do we want to badly treat non-native English speakers, but it can be a piece of the puzzle when the other elements don’t add up.
- Just because they offer to use a credit card or even a bank check doesn’t mean it is legit, there are many cases of stolen bank checks even.
- Don’t follow their link to a website or use their info to call. Look up the business and call what you find when you look it up. Crooks make marvelous fake websites and even set up dummy company phone lines. Don’t use their links, independently look up the site and phone number.
And when any of you get an email out of the blue for shirts to be delivered to the Solomon Islands, and it is legit, then call me up and I’ll deliver it for free. I’ll throw in a free Stat Camera with that offer as well…