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I want to know if you’re a sucker and fall for scams?

Well the text I received didn’t actually start off that way, but it quickly escalated to that point.

You see these scams start out by seeing if you offer a particular service and if you accept credit cards.

This is the text I received the other night…

“I’m David and I want to know if you can build an informational website design for my new company and do you accept credit card payments?”

I respond, “YES”

To which I received…

“Thank you I have a small clothing business for both male and female, now am trying to expand the business and I want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate. The site would only be informational, so I need you to get back to me with an estimate for the web design, the estimate should include hosting and I want the site to have not more than 15 pages since it is informational. I have a private project graphic designer, he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

Note:

1. I want only English language

2. I don’t have a domain yet but I want the domain name as Travis Fashion’s House

3. You will be updating the site for me.

4. I will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.

5. I want the site up and running before ending of next month.

Kindly get back to me with an estimate.”

I thought weird, but okay.

So I respond, “David what is your last name and where are you located?”

He responds, “Allan David Lancaster PA, kindly get back to me with an estimate so I know my budget”

Hmm, I thought that is vey close to where I live. 

So I dug deeper with my questioning and I asked, “How did you hear about our services?”

No immediate response. 

I thought yup, a scam and I was going to leave it at that.

Then 3 hours later he responds, “I got your info on bbb.org with a good recommendation. So what will be the cost?”

I respond with, “Really, didn’t know we had a listing on the BBB.”

Not less than 5 seconds later he responds with “OK”

Then asks again “So what is the total cost so I know my budgets??”

A minute goes by and he sends another text… “you there?”

I respond, “what’s your mailing address?”

He sends me an address that is real and about 10 minutes away. 

I quickly do a Google search on that address, he’s not listed. 

I ask him if that is where his web store will be located.

He says, “yes and kindly get back to me with an estimate”

Well at this point I had also reached out to one of my team members and he reaffirmed that it’s a scam and sent me a copy of a text he had just received…

“Greetings my name is Ken Nelson, I need to know if you can handle a website design for a new company and do you take credit cards for payments?”

Although Ken’s text was a bit of a variation on David’s

“Thanks for the response back, I will like to speak with you through the phone but actually i am an hearing impaired that is why i contacted you via mail, I have small scale business which I want to turn into large scale business now it located in 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 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 knowing that its a full out right scam we (my team and I) decided to play along with David and see how far it would go.

I reply to David…

“Well I spoke to my team and a 15 page website is just too small for our busy schedule. However for $20k I bet I can convince them to work with you.”

Under 20 seconds and David comes back with “Ok thanks very much”

Then he proceeds to lay out his scam…

“I will like to make an upfront payment of $3,000 for the web design and do you accept credit cards for payment? Also I will be needing a little assistance from you”

I respond, “Assistance?”

David gives a big YES reply.

I say, “What assistance do you need?”

Then he spells out his ploy…

“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 project consultant does not have the facility to charge credit cards and i will be glad if you can help me out with this favor,

{5 second pause in-between texts}

I would give you my card info’s to charge for $8,000, so $3,000 would be a deposit payment for my website design and the remaining $5,000 you would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he has the $5000 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you also the funds would be sent to him via Bank transfer into his account, sending of funds would be after funds clears into your account and also $50 tip for you stress. So I will be looking forward to read back from you.”

Hah, David thinks he slick so I up the ante on him a bit and reply…

“Well since our service is $20k and you want us to give your consultant $5k we will need to add a 20% surcharge to cover your guy. So the price will be $30,000”

And he responds, “Alright I will send you my credit card information to charge thru $10,000 first and then after it clears we can proceed with the balance is that okay?”

So I respond, “I will need card number, expiration date, cvv number, name on card, billing address, zip code and phone number.”

Five minutes later I get from David…”Ok good, but before I provide you the info I will like to know what merchant you use in processing my credit card?

I send “WHY?

David quickly replies, “I ask because my card don’t work with Square and PayPal. I won’t go through.”

I respond sarcastically, “that’s sad”

David’s responds with “whats’ wrong”

I say, “I never heard of Square or PayPal not letting cards go thru.”

He informs me that he’s tried using them and both gave him problems.

He asks, “What merchant are you using to charge my card?”

I say I have several.

David sends…

“Ok which one are you willing to use so I can inform my bank to avoid delay transaction. And how many days those it take funds to clear into your account ?”

“Kindly let me know”

I respond again with “send me the info and I’ll process”

I receive, “Okay hold”

10 minutes go by and I respond

“What am I holding for?”

David responds with “my card information”

And at this point it’s about 10pm my time and I wanted to see if i could trip him up so I ask him…”what time is it there?”

The idiot texts “7pm”

So now I know he’s (1) not local to me at all and (2) with a 3 hour time difference he’s probably on the West Coast somewhere or (3) has no clue what time zone I really am in.

So now I press deeper…

“Do you have the information yet?”

Then he does something that really surprised me!

He sent me a card number with a CVV #, an expiation date and a zip code.

The zip code was 34473 which is Marion Oaks Florida. And remember he told me he was from Lancaster PA.

I ask him for the name on the card and a billing address.

20 minutes go by and nothing.

Well the  first 4 digits of the credit card indicate it’s from Chase – so I call them.

As a merchant you can call any credit card company and verify funds availability. 

The Chase rep informed me the card was valid, but since I had a feeling it was in the hands of a scammer I told the rep the whole story.

The rep thanked me and placed the card on the fraud list and locked the card.

Just as I was getting off the phone with Chase, David the scammer was texting me a new card number.

This one was issued to Citi and David included an address that was from New Rochelle NY and he say’s, “Charge my business master card instead.”

I reply, “Your first card has been locked and marked as fraudulent, what gives? I’m calling the second card directly to see if funds are available.”

David responds with, “You probably entered the numbers incorrectly, try again.”

Then he adds, “Process the second card I gave you and please enter the numbers correctly.”

{2 minutes go by}

David texts, “Did you charge it through yet?”

I reply, “Both cards are stolen what are you trying to pull?”

Then David asks if I have a Clover Merchant account.

I don’t respond for about 10 minutes.

David asks “Are you there?”

So I say, “Are you there”

David then follows up with…
“It’s late now, I suggest we proceed tomorrow so I can confirm what’s going on maybe its from my end most likely you entered numbers wrong. Is that clear?”

I reply, “Nope, I think I’m done playing your game.”

He wonders what game. 

I say, “Giving me 2 stolen credit cards. Telling me your address is in Lancaster Pa yet your credit cards are from Florida and New York and when I ask you what time it is – you told me a time that puts you on the West Coast. Plus you are texting me from a spoofed number.”

David texts,  “Am a business man and I travel around the state am so sorry for the inconvenience. That why I need to call my bank and know what’s going on I promise by tomorrow you will have the payment on my credit card. I will give you my wife card to charge.”

I reply…”No Thank You. We Are Done!”

Well apparently we weren’t done.

As the very next day I started getting texts from this scammer again.

“I want you to believe me with this I spoke with my bank rep and told me my card is cancelled already that why it’s was reported stolen I guess.”

So I reply… “What’s the name of your bank.”

He sends…”BOA”   (which stands for Bank of America)

I then ask for his email address.

He sends allandavid6066@gmail.com

Then he asks, “Can I send you another card to proceed now?”

I reply, “Is your name on the card?”

“YES”, he send back

So I tell him to take a picture of the card (front & back) and send to me.

I get, “My cam is bad. I can only text you the necessary info to charge.”

{a minute goes by}

And we are back to the same question as yesterday.

“What merchant are you using to charge my card?”

So I send him, “After 2 bad cards, I need proof. Send a picture of the card front and back”

Then I get from him, “I told you my card was cancelled. I guess that’s why it was reported stolen and that’s why I need to know what merchant you are using to charge my card. My cam is not working fine.”

I zip off, “Well find a way to take a photo of it. I need proof.”

Then no word for almost 12 hours.

David sends me, “I don’t have a good phone to snap a card. Like I said I am on a business trip with my colleague here. Please just let me text you the card info and am very sure it will go through. I need the website in no time.”

So I reply, “Have your colleague snap the picture. I can’t process it without proof.”

Then I receive, “I don’t want him to know about the payment I want to make because he’s asking me to lend him some money with me and explained to him I have a lot to do with the money left with me and if am asking him to lend me his phone to snap he would know. Please try and understand me and trust me you will have all the funds charge on my card. You have nothing to worry about because I have already been to my bank today to let them know my card was reported stolen and told me it was cancelled.. it’s happened because it’s a joint account me and my wife and we are having a little misunderstanding with her so she went ahead cancelling the card. Kindly bear with me and am sorry for inconvenience. God bless you.”

David then asks, “Are you there with me?”

I respond, “I’ll need a picture of your drivers license too.”

I receive back, “That’s no problem I can send it along with my card information.”

Three days go by and no reply. 

And I’m still waiting…

 

Rob is an experienced Social Media Strategist, SEO Expert, Author, Corporate Ghostwriter, Speaker and Trust Creator who can transform and monetize your brand.He's the author of "Social Media Debunked", "Share: 27 Ways To Boost Your Social Media Experience, Build Trust and Attract Followers" and "Lessons From The Dojo: 101 Ways To Improve Your Life, Business and Relationships" and the coauthor of "Optimize This: How Two Carpet Cleaners Consistently Beat Web Designers On The Search Engines", "The #AskDrA Books 1 & 2: Easy & Practical Answers To Enjoying Life As A New Sleever", "No Experience Necessary: Social Media For The Boomers, Gen X-ers & The Over 50 Entrepreneur" and "Power Guesting: Insider Secrets To Profit From Being A Great Podcasting Guest."Rob is the host & creator of the E-Heroes Podcast, an interview series for entrepreneurs, which can be found on iTunes, Player FM, Google Play, Apple TV, Subscribe On Android, Cast Box, Storiyoh, YouTube, TuneIn, Listen Notes & BluBrry.Rob works inside corporations across the globe, helping companies generate new revenue and capture online business. Rob is also available to share talks and give interviews.To learn more and to get started visit www.AnspachMedia.com or call Anspach Media at (412)267-7224 today.