Website Design email scam still doing the rounds

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What is it with scammers these days, if it isn’t the Microsoft Service department on the phone trying to rescue you from “the viruses you are sending out to the internet’, its email scams targeting people who offer various online services.

I have received these type of emails a few times, though I am noticing with each new email, the complexity of the request gets a little more human and less Nigerian Prince.

Scammers First Contact

Asanda Robinson
asandarob797@gmail.com
[Webmix Australia] Contact
Greetings to you… I’m Mar Robinson, Also am a Hearing impaired person and i will like to know if you can handle my website design for a new company and if you do accept credit card as form of payment.. Please kindly get back to me Asap. Asanda..

Warning bells immediately due to the senders origin though a reverse IP check didn’t reveal anything suspicious.  The text however indicated a possible scam as did the name change in the message text. Why not play along.

My Response

Hi Asanda

We can certainly help you with your website design. If you like I can send you a questionnaire which will help both of us determine the fundamentals of the project. We can also accept credit card payments.

Kind regards.

Not expecting a reply back I was surprised to receive one a few minutes after responding.

Scammers Response

Hello,

Thanks for your prompt respond,I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business.The new company is based on importing and exporting of Furniture such as Sofa,Kitchen Cabinet,Office Cabinet,Chairs etc.

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.wayfair.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.

Note:

  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 www.NATS34furniture.com
  4. you will be updating the site for me.
  5. i will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
  6. i want the site up and running before ending of July
  7. My budget is $5,000 to $18,000 Kindly get back to me with the estimate:

(1) An estimate
(2) Your full name
(3) And Cellphone number
(4) Company Name

Thanks
Asanda.

If you search any part of this text with google you will notice a wide range of service scams containing the same or slight variations of this text affecting all sorts of industries including Web development, Photography, Video editing and even Personal trainers.  My next follow up was subdued yet direct.

My Response

Thanks for the reply Asanda.

Unfortunately your scripted response is not only disappointing but also incredibly unethical. I always check emails for specific patterns which may indicate something is not right and both your responses have matched up with a common service scam.

Examples on How this scam works from Reddit:

They (scammers) pay you 8 grand on the credit card and have you pay someone else 3 grand. After they have the 3 grand, they issue a chargeback and you lose the 8 grand they paid you as well as the 3 grand you paid the “consultant.” In the end you are out 3 grand, your time, and any work you may have done for them.

Have a nice day

Cheers

Aaron.

The best action to take is to just block these people and be aware that these type of scams are getting more elaborate and harder to detect.  Featured image from Pixbay.

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