Tag Archives: scam

Scammers just don’t get it…

Well today I received another check in the mail from what I thought was a scammer.  They did the classic over pay scam.  Basically they emailed my company, asking if we could reload windows and office on 10 laptops.  They never said where they were from but that they would send us a check and send us the broken laptops to fix.  Simply because their email was, bi.courtney97@gmail.com, not at any company I already had a red flag, this “Courtney Badgett” was using a free email account that can be created with no ID verification.  Red Flag 2 was that there was just plain text in the email most companies have a footer, at least these scammers could speak fluent English which is not really too common among scammers.  (If you ever see the word “Kindly” just run, this is a word that all the English as a second language schools teach people but real speakers almost never use.)

It started simply enough

Are you capable of repairing laptops in bulk? Let me know.

Of course I said yes.  “She” then sent a list of what needed to be done and asked how much.  Then after a day I received this email.

Thanks for the information. I’ll have the laptops brought out and ready to be shipped to you, and will have my secretary prepare your check as soon as possible.

Not bad, I thought to myself “I will believe it when I see it.”

Then today I received the check. (Click on it to see it in high res)  The paper was simple and plain and the signature was a stamp, did not really look too secure.  Also the check that I asked for was just $750, this check was for about 3 times that amount.






Now, I looked up the routing number, and it really was for Chase.  I also called the company listed on the check, VertiFX Technology, but I got the run around there.  Tracked the package to find the origin, here is what I got.

Phoenix, AZ, United States 12/21/2011 12:51 P.M. Delivered
12/21/2011 10:01 A.M. Destination Scan
12/21/2011 7:17 A.M. Out For Delivery
12/21/2011 6:44 A.M. Adverse weather conditions.
12/21/2011 6:40 A.M. Arrival Scan
12/21/2011 4:17 A.M. Late airplane.
Louisville, KY, United States 12/21/2011 4:52 A.M. Departure Scan
12/21/2011 1:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
DFW Airport, TX, United States 12/20/2011 10:38 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 9:21 P.M. Arrival Scan
Fort Worth, TX, United States 12/20/2011 8:30 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 7:57 P.M. Pickup Scan
United States 12/20/2011 6:55 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS


So the check for a California company came from Texas.  Very interesting. So I was 95% sure now that the check was a fraud.  I happen to have a Chase branch about a quarter mile from our office so I decided to go there and visit them.  Just as I suspected the account was closed recently, they would not say why but they decided that they would keep the check.  So it was all over….or was it….just an hour ago I got this email.

Hello Jason,
I just tracked the check, and it shows that it has been delivered to you today. I already got in touch with the movers today, and I need to pay them upfront for them to ship the laptops to your place, pick-up some other equipments for the office, and pick-up the laptops when you’re done, and that’s the reason for the extra cash on the check. So I need you to cash the check, deduct your repair fees,and go to a Western Union location to send the balance to the movers. Once they have it, the laptops will be delivered to your place to begin the repairs.
Send the balance to the information below:

Name:    Barry  S. Glick
Address:  6801 Otto Rd
City :       Glendale
State:      NY 11385

Deduct the sending fee from the balance and send the remaining to the information above. Get back to me as soon as possible with the Money Tracking Control Number (MTCN), and payment details (sender’s/receiver’s information) , as you have it on the receipt (I’ll appreciate it if you can scan the receipt to me).
Let me know.

So I replied,

I took the check to the bank and they said that it was bad.   Please just send me my amount by western union also.  That would work good.  They kept the check.

That was it.  I doubt I will hear back, but I wanted to blog about it so that Google will find these names and accounts and be able to help out others in the future.  Also I am thinking of calling Barry Glick, I bet he does not even know that he is part of a scam, I bet he is told to just go get money and keep 10% for his trouble and forward the rest, it is the way that these people keep out of trouble.  Other times they would tell the Barry guy to just use the money to buy stuff for them online, that way they get free stuff.  Lots of scams out there, so keep your eyes out.  So far they have tried it on me about 20 times, and I have not fallen for it yet.  Kind of a fun game really.


New Nigerian Scam method.

I thought I have seen or heard of all the nigerian scams.  To protect myself I always use PayPal or else I deal in person with the customer.  Basically PayPal is a good company for running transactions because they are really focused on security, it is fairly hard to scam someone on paypal.  But today I posted something on craigslist, I specifically stated that I will only ship my item to people who pay with PayPal.  Craigslist is a huge target for bad people and almost all checks are fraud.

So a few minutes after I posted the item I got emails from two people who were interested.  They were both from free accounts.  (Red Flag)   Both were eager to buy at the full price with out asking for anything (Bigger Red Flag)  Next they wanted it shipped to Africa (100% Fraud massive red flag).   But I wanted to see how they would scam paypal.  Paypal is very secure.  So I told them to send me the money.  This is how stupid they are, they just spoffed some emails from paypal.  They took the normal one and made it seem that it came from paypal but when I logged in there was no money in my account.   The email really came from  paypalverifyingagent@mail2consultant.com but they made the name say service@paypal.com the real address paypal sends from.   They did a decent job of spoofing the email, it looked just like a real one if you did not look at the header.    But then to try to ease any subspisions they sent a second email saying this.

This e-mail is sent to you as a confirmation of payment made to your PayPal account.We have rigorously examined the payment for Your Laptop by PayPal Member(monica0002) and the amount to be credited to your account by  PayPal is $800.00 USD 
       This transaction is in order and legal.This fund will be credited to your paypal account once the shipment tracking number is sent to our verifying team
      We encourage you to ship the item immediately (due to Paypal's policy) as your payment has been confirmed by us.Security is of critical importance to us at PayPal.
      We use proprietary technology and constantly innovate to help ensure your transactions are safe. In addition,  PayPal has over 20,000 staffs worldwide dedicated to keeping  PayPal accounts safe, and stopping online criminals. And we work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to shut off fraudulent websites as soon as possible.

PayPal‘s Fraud Investigation Team is highly experienced in fraud prevention. Several members of the team were former law enforcement officials with extensive experience in fighting online fraud. PayPal‘s fraud investigation team focuses on: Identifying and preventing fraud before it occurs, Detecting fraud in process Mitigating loss, if fraud does occur, Delivering information to law enforcement around the world to help stop those committing online fraud.

I sent a message saying that I had not received the money when I checked my account. Of course cause it is totally fake.  Four minutes later they sent another that was almost the same, but this time it said that my account would only be credited once they confirmed the tracking number with UPS (A total lie, PayPal never does this.) After 10 minutes I receive 5 more emails from the buyer who really wanted me to contact them ASAP (I guess their time at the Nigerian Cyber Cafe was almost up.)

I also receive another fake paypal message that is much more desperate

Dear  Jason Dragon (dragon@capitalactive.com),
                        This is to notify you regarding Payment made by "Monica0002" to your  account. The payment has been successfully made but on escrow due to security reasons we have to receive the shipment tracking number before your account will be credited.
                        This a new measure we are taking in order to protect both  sellers and buyers against fraudulent activities. Immediately the Item has been ship, send the shipment tracking number to PayPal Customer Service Department: paypalverifyingagent@mail2consultant.com composeto=shippment_proof@consultant.com&composecc=&subject=&body=" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">and immediately the shipment tracking number is CONFIRMED. Your account will be credited immeditely.

PayPal, and Craigslist company Copyright 1999-2008 PayPal. All rights reserved.
PayPal (Europe)  is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United state as an electronic money institution.

PayPal FSA Register Number: 226056

I simply sent an email back saying I don’t ship to scammers.  I wonder if that FSA number means anything?  I also noted how they misspelled, and why would a PayPal message mention Craigslist?   All odd.

Of course the reason that they do this is because it DOES WORK on some people who are too naive.  I am sure they have received tons of free stuff.  I bet at least one person who reads this blog has shipped an item out.  If this is you, or if you even were sent this scam I would love to see a comment from you.

The StoresOnline meeting, what I thought

I always am trying to learn about business. Today I attended an event that I received an invitation for. It is for a company called StoresOnline or StoresOnline.com. It is a company that sends our huge amounts of direct mail with invitations to an event about how to make money on the internet. They promise free dinner and a free (128MB) MP3 player to everyone who shows up and stays for the whole event.

Well let me tell you what it is all about, and what you should expect if you ever go to one. First off they seemed professional and they really has their act together. While we waited for it to start they were showing a slideshow with facts about the internet and how big of an opportunity it is. It started on time then they spent about 30 minutes telling people about the internet, and how powerful it was. They then offered a website you could build yourself, selecting from about 40 templates, inserting your text and photos, and setting up your shopping cart with the items you want to sell. It was almost like the one that I currently use, PrecisionWeb, but they made everything through the website, no FTP, no domain name, no email or any of that (At least they did not mention this). For this service they charge a set-up fee of $199 (That if you bought before you left the room and thought about it would be reduced to $50.). Then they charged a hosting fee of $24.95 per month. I pay only $19.95 a month for my service and I get MUCH MORE than they offer.

Now here is where it starts to get really bad. They took some polls. First off most of the people there were over the age of 65. Next of the 200+ people there only 7 of the people in the room currently had a website of any kind. (That includes MySpace or blogs or anything) Next at least 2/3rds of the people I talked to there did not even own a computer. Now at the end of the meeting they handed everyone a order form/contract. If you sign it says they will bill your credit card the monthly fee until you cancel in writing. For me it was crazy. But I was surprised when I looked around almost half of the people there were signing up, handing over their credit card info and their money. One guy who signed up for his own web site did NOT even have a computer, and only used one a few times in his life.

The people who run StoresOnline know that almost all of these people will NEVER make even one sale. Whenever they talked about their success rate they always said “Very active clients” or something to that extent. Should you really be selling this service to people who you know with 98% certanty that they will never do anything with it, is that really ethical?

Now I would say that everything they said was very honest (They were careful about this), and they did disclose a lot of things about but they did not mention and success rates or anything that would make people think twice about this. Many times the pointed out how much that they were disclosing, even though the most important things were not. It was very polished.

Now they started talking about the fact that if you have a web site but nothing links to it, and no one knows about it, it will never be successful, which is very true. They now said that they have the fix for this, and they will show you how you will found with ease and how you can make a ton of money using their secret tricks to get listed first in every search engine. They then showed some examples of their clients, like the one who is FIRST on google with the keywords “inland empire thomas guide”. OK anyone that knows about SEO is laughing right now, I know. It was hard for me not to. If you search for “thomas guide” they are middle on the second page, not too bad. They listed 10 different methods that they will teach you to drive traffic to your site, such exciting things as, “Permission Email”, “Newsletters”, and “Affiliate Programs”, and they promised to teach you all the secrets of these. What was missing from the list is anything that is Web 2.0, such as blogging or and community like linked in or myspace. Everything they were showing was right from 2001.

Next they pushed an event in two weeks where they would be talking more in depth about internet marketing. You would need to buy the plan today in order to go to this event. And then they dropped the bomb, at this event in two weeks they will offer a package that will give you access to these secrets and the other things that you need to get people to go to your site it will ONLY cost $3,600, but they will make a special offer at the event, but you have to go to hear about it. They then talked a bit about dropshipping and how it is the KEY to success, then they told the only lie of the night about how people can go to your site, order something and some of the money is “Wired” to your paypal account while the rest of the money is sent to your dropshipper and it all happens while you sleep with nothing from you. I talked to them later and they said that it really is not possible to do this but they just wanted to make it simple to understand for the people there, and I found that acceptable. They talked a lot about dropshipping and that they had a special secret list of dropshippers. I do not know for sure but I would bet you that this is NOT included in the $3,600 that it is an extra charge. They also talked about 1 on 1 consulting and how important it is, this may or may not cost more.

So here is what I what I think about it all. If someone is clueless about what is out there, and they are really motivated to build a business and need someone to hold their hand they could be successful with this system. (But how many smart motivated business people are clueless, they don’t coexist.) There is always the few successful people in any group. But for the VAST majority of these people it will keep their hopes up, BUT they will never make a penny, and many will spend thousands. I think their products seems good, I have seen others sell less for more money, but I also know if you look you can get much more for much less. Of course when people pay a lot for a little many of them get angry and upset, I just found a blog that some of these people have created, visit it HERE. Be SURE to read that site before you do business with this company.

One really annoying thing is that during the break I started talking to some other people there about computers and how I sell them. One of the StoresOnline people came up to me and was not happy, he basically asked me to sit down and stop talking to people. It was too late, I already gave them my business card.

I am really impressed with their presentation and how it all works, it was very slick, and I am sure they make a ton of money. They really controlled the room, no one could talk to each other and every time someone tried to ask a question they would stop them, one guy even got mad and yelled over them, but he was ignored. Who would of thought you could sell $100 worth of stuff for thousands and still have people lining up. They are able to send out targeted direct mail, then hold a meeting, give away free food, and free gifts and STILL make a profit. I need to figure out how to do this with one of my businesses. Maybe get business owners in a room and talk to them for 90 minutes on how to get the most out of computer technology, then sell them computers, and show them send out cards. At least I would only talk to people who I knew could use the product, not just any dumb person with a credit card like these guys do.