CAUTION: Fraudulent Large Sales Orders

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Forum topic by mmh posted 08-20-2009 10:38 PM 2669 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3677 posts in 3922 days

08-20-2009 10:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: caution large sales order fake sales order fraudulent sales sales fraud order fraud e-mail fraud scam custom cane alert

I thought I’d share a recent inquiry I had for a large order of my custom made canes. I had an e-mail from a fellow posing as “K. B——” and the origin of the e-mail looked to be that of a store’s website. The inquiry was for 300 pcs. of a custom designed cane. After a couple of e-mails trying to determine what they were looking for, they asked me what the price would be and what method of payment was accepted.

Being that I do one-of-a-kind custom work, this really wasn’t something I wanted to get into, but it was also intruiging. I had typed up a draft of a reply but decided to inquire first, the Company Name, President/Owner, Address, Phone, E-mail, etc. . The inquirer never responded. I looked up the company website and found a phone number and contacted them. The person I spoke to was one of the managers who had been employed there for several years and confirmed that he did not know of such an employee and actually that this person had purchased a small item from them “more than several years ago”.

He informed me that they have had some inquires for very large orders, especially from overseas. When they tell them they ONLY take Cashier’s Checks for payment, the inquirer is never heard from again. Apparently, if you accept a credit card or other method of payment that can be disputed, the funds can be reclaimed in a dispute and you will be out of your merchandise AND payment. (A “He said, She said” type of situation.) So, a one way venue of payment is the only way to go on large orders.

A Red Flag on the e-mail was also obvious when the spelling, diction and/or punctiation, was very poor and childish. It was not done in a professional manner at all. It could be that the writer was either very young, illiterate and/or from a non English speaking/writing background. (Please keep in mind that I give people who speak English as a second language a lot of respect, as I myself do not know enough of a second language to qualify as bi-lingual.)

I have not heard from this inquirer since and it looks like my instincts paid off before I could have gotten stung by a bogus order, possibly stocking up on supplies prior to payment or stiffed for valuable merchandise sent and monies disputed on.

I have had one incidence of a client not recognizing the sale as legitimate and disputed this with the credit card company. After realizing it was legit, they had already stopped payment and I had to submit several forms and proofs of sale for funds to be released. This took over 9 months of correspondence for me to get my money. Meanwhile the credit card had it and gave no interest on the funds they had use of during that time.

I hope this helps alert any of you to stay safe with your orders and sales.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

18 replies so far

View lew's profile


12428 posts in 3956 days

#1 posted 08-21-2009 01:42 AM

Thanks, Meilie. The internet sure has provided additional methods for the unscrupulous to take the honest person’s money.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3999 days

#2 posted 08-21-2009 01:50 AM

I am very glad you picked up on this and is sharing it here with others.Thank you. You could have been writing a much worse case scenario letter to us all. I am glad your gut feeling (and follow through) kept you from having to do just that!
In the shop, one should always think of safety first! On the internet one should think the same way!
Safety from scams, safety about our children, etc.
Thanks for sharing

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 08-21-2009 02:10 AM

Thanks MMH, for that very informative post….

you should always investigate anything that has a flavor of suspicion about it….and as a small business you should check any orders from new customers over a certain dollar amount (based on the product…its cost and what would be a “reasonable” purchase).....Some companies do credit checks on orders over a certain amount…which is perfectly acceptable.

I also check on every vendor on and then with the better business bureau for their location…You could also inquire with the attorney’s general office or comsumer complaints division. I do this for any purchase over $500.00.

You should also do a NSLookup on their ip address….sometimes they forget to spoof it…This address may give you a company name or other source to investigate…and if you see it originates in Nigeria do not respond…unfortunately, Nigeria is the fraud capital of the internet…I would never do business with any individual or company from there as there is over a 99% fraud rate.

It’s a sad reflection on our society that folks spend more time making up these schemes to defraud rather then using their talents for some worthy endeavor.


-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 08-21-2009 03:30 AM

Thanks for the heads up.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View WhittleMeThis's profile


125 posts in 3573 days

#5 posted 09-04-2009 07:50 PM

Good advice.

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 01-30-2010 03:46 AM

Thanks for spreading the word! I get this kinda stuff all the time. The most recent was an order for two of my chairs. I asked for a down payment of $600 for each. I received a check for $2000…..written from a community college in Minnesota. Strange? Almost comical!! I called the college and talked to the lady who “signed” the check and she said someone stole a bunch of checks and were passing them every where all over the country. Now what idiot would think I would send merchandise to an individual based on a check drawn on an institution of higher learning? Anyway, I turned it over to the local office of the FBI.

Absolutely amazing what they’ll try!!! Caveat Emptor…..buyer beware! also applies to honest guys/gals trying to sell their work!!

-- Les, Missouri,

View Bubby's profile


2 posts in 3103 days

#7 posted 11-11-2010 06:42 PM

This sounds like a scam which also hits Craigslist. They come from a foreign country. One has to go with their gut feeling. If it seems like a bad situation then drop the transaction. Usually you are right. That’s a sixth sense which I believe God has given us.

Wood Designs by Paul

-- Paul

View Wood_smith's profile


260 posts in 3225 days

#8 posted 11-23-2010 03:25 PM

I had a similar e-mail from a “company” who wanted to buy all my pouches. I replied that I only stock a few because most orders are custom sizes or with slight modifications.
He replied that was okay, just send him an invoice with the total amount for all the pouches and he would send me a cheque.
So I replied and said fine, just send me your company info because my comptroller (me) needed to run a credit check with the local police before accepting an overseas payment.
Funny, that was 6 months ago, he hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 3233 days

#9 posted 11-23-2010 04:43 PM

We recently received an email from a gentleman (generated by our “contact us” page on our website.) and he wanted us to build an entertainment center for him. He would not disclose where he lived until we had finished the product, when we would ship the entertainment center. His emails were also very poorly worded and were difficult to read. He wanted to pay with a credit card. After a series of emails back and forth with him sending us pictures of what he wanted, and us getting more and more suspicious, we told him we would not go any further unless he came to our shop to look over wood selections and examples of our work. He never replied after that.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3325 days

#10 posted 11-23-2010 04:59 PM

And you can also check the IP address from such emails and they usually originate from Russia or India where the money mule business is alive and well. Good you didn’t fall for that! I agree, the diction is a dead giveaway!


View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3374 days

#11 posted 11-23-2010 04:59 PM

I can’t imagine the Internet has truly made thieves of many honest people, but it has given thieves an international playground, in which to work.


-- -- Neil

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3057 days

#12 posted 11-23-2010 05:18 PM

Thanks for the warning.
Also beware of PayPal.
If an item is late on delivery, the buyer can have the payment stopped until the item arrives.
Even though you have proof of postage and again no interest is paid.
Should the item be lost on an overseas order you lose your shipping and product.
It has only happened to me twice on 5k of sales, but it could hurt.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 2997 days

#13 posted 11-26-2010 10:48 PM

Yeah, stuff like this comes out of Nigera all the time! There’s all kinds of different scams out there. In a lot of these SCAMS, they will send you ‘extra money’ which you are to send on to a ‘shipping company’ via Western Union. By the time YOU find out your check or payment is no good, they have the money that you sent to the ‘shipping company’ and no way of getting it back!

-- Wooster, Ohio

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3126 days

#14 posted 11-27-2010 01:01 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I also have had about 25 inquiries from the same person over a 3 year period, wanting to buy certain plaques which we market for the horse industry, except he wants to have a diffrent style and have me quote him the price and he will get the money to me right away.

The first time I bit on the hook he dangled, quoted him a discounted price, took a pile of rough lumber to the post office, had them weigh and give me shipping options and sent him a price for shipping , only to have him try to chisel me down on the price some more (basicly he wasted my time).

After that, I didn’t answer the emails, but they keep coming…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4222 days

#15 posted 11-27-2010 02:21 AM

Foreign crooks think we are stupid.
Basically, they are correct.
We expect our ISP’s and our Govt to protect us where in fact, they are only capable of billing us for services not rendered.

Jus sayin there should be a Govt. snopes for these rascals- there isn’t.

Places like this help.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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