Over the past year we have been receiving the strange emails offering us boat loads of cash for a web design job and asking if we accept credit cards. A little googling have shown these to be scams, so they are ignored.
Apparently what they do is overpay you and ask that $3000 or so, be sent to an “agent”. Some time later the bank contacts you saying the real owner of that credit card is disputing the bill, they take back the money and you are out of pocket for that 3 grand.
However this latest email was different. I wasn’t altogether sure it was a scam, but it got us thinking real clients don’t write emails like this.
Initial contact came through our contact form like this:
Good day, am aschwelger i wanna know if you can handle website design and for a new company. please if yes send me your email to forward details .
Business Name: our time pizza
Phone: 587) 779-5725
Definitely looks a scam, even punctuation is similar to previous scam emails. But giving him the benefit of the doubt, I replied he could use the email address on our site.
Two days later this was in our inbox:
from: aschwegler lawrence
Here is the job details
I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in BC Canada and Salt lake US and the company is based on pizza 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 http://http://jetspizza.com/ my site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site .
1. I want 7 pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I dont have a domain yet but i want the domain name as OURTIMEPIZZA.com
4. 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 month.
7. My budget is $4000 to $6000
Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) your cell phone number
(3) Are you the owner ??
That was different, the email headers had it originating in DC, USA. “aschwegler lawrence” is even listed in whois as the owner of ourtimepizza.com, and there is a basic install of WordPress at the site.
Nothing came up google searching his name so I was left wondering maybe he is legit.
Then I googled
“(1) an estimate
(2) your cell phone number
(3) Are you the owner ??”
and the motherlode of email scams appeared in the search results.
Yep, it’s scammers at it again though slightly more sophisticated this time round. We stopped there, but from forums on the net, the scammer eventually asks you to redirect a payment elsewhere. So that is your red flag. But let’s face it, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Just to let others know what is going on. So if you ended up on this page after receiving a dodgy looking email, here’s your heads up.