Author Topic: scam or legit order?  (Read 9259 times)

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Offline jmelson

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scam or legit order?
« on: April 11, 2018, 09:52:26 pm »
Hi, I make a range of boards for motion control, and sell mostly through a web store.  These are all highly technical products.  It is a one-man operation, and I make stuff so I can have just a few units at a time ready to ship.

I was contacted by email by a guy calling himself "Sultan Mohammed", representing Al Amir Trading Co. in Dubai.  He wants to buy 30 of a particular board.  there is no indication he has tested the board in his application, I've never sold any to Dubai.  Usually a customer tries one out first, then buys more if they work OK.  Often, they ask some technical questions about compatability with software or something.  He wants to pay by wire transfer, which is not unusual for B2B sales.  He did mention having the product picked up in the US, which really set my alarm bells ringing.  I've heard of these scams before.  This Al Amin Trading Co. does seem to exist, but that's no guarantee he actually works there.  He sends the email through gmail, which removes the original IP, so I can't use that to help verify the guy.

What I'm trying to avoid is building a 2 year supply of these boards before finding out this is a scam.  Anybody know how to look up and see if this guy has been pulling similar scams before?  I did some web searching but didn't turn up much.  Sultan Mohammed is apparently a VERY common title/name in Dubai.

Thanks,

Jon
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 09:54:39 pm »
Can you maybe contact the company he says he's working for? If he works there it's easy to explain why you called or invent a polite excuse. If not, then it's clear what's up.
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 10:07:45 pm »
If ever I get an email from very_big_company@hotmail.com I think nuh. Most any decent sized organisation would have its own domain name. Ask for money up front, or use a 3rd party escrow.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 10:34:16 pm »
If ever I get an email from very_big_company@hotmail.com I think nuh. Most any decent sized organisation would have its own domain name. Ask for money up front, or use a 3rd party escrow.
Oh YES!  I am expecting money in advance.  But, wire transfers can be reversed.  I don't know how long they have to do that, have to find out.
Yes, the domain name/private email server is a VERY good point!

Thanks much!

Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 10:35:42 pm »
Can you maybe contact the company he says he's working for? If he works there it's easy to explain why you called or invent a polite excuse. If not, then it's clear what's up.
My Arabic is a bit WEAK, sorry!  Also a big time zone jump from the US.  And, sending email there might just end up at the same guy.

Thanks,

Jon
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 10:46:09 pm »
I also manufacture boards on a small scale - but for new customers with a big request, I try to engage with them - it adds value to the future/ongoing relationship.

Can he link you to some online resources... remember he wrote to you in English, so he can certainly understand some.

Discuss the end-user applications he has in mind - to assist in future development, Does he have a document that indicates his competence or familiarity with your type of product...?

The more he has to think & write will expose his willingness to spend time, or just walk away and scam someone else.

These deals can be great, but can also sink a small operator.
You're being smart protecting your interests.
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 10:57:28 pm »
My Arabic is a bit WEAK, sorry!  Also a big time zone jump from the US.  And, sending email there might just end up at the same guy.

Thanks,

Jon
Dubai is fairly internationally oriented, so there's a fair chance someone will speak or be able to read English. If it's just the same guy you at least know it's a real company and he's working for it. As for the time zone thing, that's not actually a problem right? Apologies for the management speak, but think solutions and not problems.
 

Online Kean

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2018, 10:55:18 am »
If they've had no previous contact asking technical questions or evaluating the product then it soundy pretty dodgy to me.
Almost certainly a variation on one of the overpayment scams...

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/buying-or-selling/overpayment-scams
http://www.bfm.org.uk/news/bfm-news/141-june-2012-scam.html
https://www.thebalance.com/money-order-scams-315055
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2018, 11:02:31 am »
I am a native Arab Muslim from Jordan (never went to Dubai). If he sent you any Arabic text or so, let me help you translating it or anything.

Currently my brother works in Dubai so if there is anything we can help, we will. I don't really know what to do.
 

Offline Rascal

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 12:55:05 pm »
I have had a number of potential orders from Dubai

All I can say is be careful - over payment scams have been running for a number of years with Dubai seemingly quite popular at the moment. Phrases such as 'erroneous blunder' seem quite typical when describing the overpayment. Using gmail accounts seems to also be a another potential indicator.



Paul



 
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2018, 08:02:09 pm »
I have had a number of potential orders from Dubai

All I can say is be careful - over payment scams have been running for a number of years with Dubai seemingly quite popular at the moment. Phrases such as 'erroneous blunder' seem quite typical when describing the overpayment. Using gmail accounts seems to also be a another potential indicator.

Paul
I'm certainly aware of the overpayment scams, and suspect this could be what he's up to.  But, I told him I couldn't ship the full order for 30-60 days, and he seemed OK with that.  But, how does a guy send a phoney bank wire transfer?  I guess he could ask his bank to reverse the transfer, but I'd certainly hear about that before 30 days.

Anybody know how long after a wire transfer it can be reversed?

Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 08:05:34 pm »
I am a native Arab Muslim from Jordan (never went to Dubai). If he sent you any Arabic text or so, let me help you translating it or anything.

Currently my brother works in Dubai so if there is anything we can help, we will. I don't really know what to do.
No, nothing in Arabic.  He uses somewhat "stilted" English, but quite understandable.  The time stamp on his messages are fairly consistent with middle east time zones.
I have looked up this Al Amin Trading Co., they do have an English version of their web site, but it really doesn't tell what they do at all.  There are so many outfits with this name, I'm not even sure I got the right one.

Jon
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 08:18:38 pm by jmelson »
 

Offline StillTrying

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 08:14:03 pm »
It looks a bit suspicious to me using hotmail when they have their own email domain. I presume you've googled the email name you have.
CML+  That took much longer than I thought it would.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2018, 08:43:50 pm »
I was contacted by email by a guy calling himself "Sultan Mohammed", representing Al Amir Trading Co. in Dubai...He wants to pay by wire transfer, which is not unusual for B2B sales.  He did mention having the product picked up in the US, which really set my alarm bells ringing.
the usual tactic to trigger islamophobia, africanophobia or zimbabwephobia. a misc guy claiming to be a muslim name, its not that hard to grow some beard and wear arabic clothing and falsified or photochopped ID. whats mr mohd al amir is doing in the USA? btw, since this is unlikely a national security stuffs, i can suspect the common scam which is phishing your bank information. once he get your bank account number and "international transfer code" (i forgot the term) which you should get from your bank provider, he can do whatever he want to in his know how knowledge. if you are me, i will do necessary detective work before i give him anything. anyway he is done with step 1, which is getting your reply, you replied means you do exist, you exist means he can do step 2. btw Dubai is a wealthy city there is no such a need for stealing anything or pick pocketting somebody, not like on the other so called civilized and developed countries.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 09:41:54 pm »
Well, it appears there are a LOT of scams/fraud coming from Dubai.  Seems like maybe it is the wild west out there, no regulation and a bunch of low-morals guys start thinking about what they can get away with.  There certainly seem to be a lot of fraud alerts all over the net citing Dubai specifically.  it used to all be citing Nigeria.

As for the bank info, my bank will not send money to anybody without written authorization from me.  If they ever DID, I could scream bloody murder and they'd have to cover the loss.  (But, I know them, they are pretty cautious!)

Jon
 

Offline hermit

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2018, 10:02:25 pm »
Tell him you keep track of orders and conversations about them through company domain email addresses and ask him to re-establish contact that way. 

Edit.  "Picked up in US" = I ain't even gonna pretend to give you my location.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 10:25:44 pm by hermit »
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2018, 11:48:31 pm »
Well, it appears there are a LOT of scams/fraud coming from Dubai.
if you cant read the IP address, how can you be so sure they are actually coming from Dubai?

As for the bank info, my bank will not send money to anybody without written authorization from me.
fair enough, if you are sure, just give him your bank info and ask him to pay in advance for small order first, and then you can trace where the money come from by asking your bank manager.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline xygor

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 12:03:24 am »
I was thinking the scam would be that Dubai is a middleman who diverts the product to a banned export destination.  You would get paid, but could be in a world of hurt from the State Department if you turned a blind eye to that possibility.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2018, 01:47:27 am »
I was thinking the scam would be that Dubai is a middleman who diverts the product to a banned export destination.  You would get paid, but could be in a world of hurt from the State Department if you turned a blind eye to that possibility.
Yeah, that is another concern.  This isn't really serious dual-use technology, but CNC stuff does have a dual-use possibility.  I wouldn't want this stuff going to North Korea even if there weren't sanctions on that country.

But, how the hell can you be SURE anything you sell won't be diverted?  Besides putting a GPS receiver in it that burns the board out if it is powered up in a forbidden location, I just don't know how to do it.

Jon
 

Offline Rascal

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 10:09:00 am »

Another method regarding the over payment scam is to deposit a cheque into the account you supply. Obviously the amount is more than the order. In the UK cheque deposits take 3 days to clear, but in the meantime they show on your account. At this point you will get an email apologising for the error and then frequent requests to refund the difference and giving you bank details to refund wire (bacs) the difference. Unfortunately the bank details they give appear to be a prepaid card, so no real traceability.

Obviously anyone 'on the ball' will realise that although the deposit appears on the account it wont be available to draw until the cheque clears. However if you have multiple transactions and reasonable healthy bank balance you might over look this. After the 3 days the cheque will 'bounce'.

The above applies even if the original contact states Dubai as being the base for the company. They will tell you they have an employee presently in the UK who will deposit the money into your account and will also arrange collection of the order.


Paul


 

Online CJay

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 11:30:11 am »
Find their website and use the contact details from there to see if they use GMail (it's not impossible that they do but rather unlikely)

It's also not impossible the whole thing is a scam from top to bottom and it's ringing loud alarm bells for me.

M0UAW
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2018, 11:57:16 am »
It is an 169% scam, in my previous work at a custom camera company that was producing some very obscure and strange cameras but was having an ordering form, I was dealing with this shit once every two weeks. Crooks that couldn'd distinguish a camera from a tire iron, were placing orders of around 500K minus 20-30K, sending a fake transfer or check and asking for difference, of course one of them also wanted to hit it good and wanted to send a truck to pick-up the merchandise, sadly only after he would get the difference, or the police would have had a nice catch.

They are really becoming threatening after a while, it seem that at lest for the fake bank transfers they have to pay the middleman something, I've told them that they should bring it on, I was living in the second most armed country after US ;). Police was informed and it seem that they become serious, the whole shit suddenly disappeared.

To avoid the hassle, my recommendation is to immediately cut any contact, like really don't answer, don't offer any reason or anything, just drop all the shit in the Recycle Bin. Not to forget, when they realized that they won't get anything, all the mails were either having a virus attached or some strange javascript crap.

 Good luck,
 DC1MC
 

Offline ogden

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2018, 12:38:59 pm »
It is an 169% scam

Scam indeed it is. 0) business offer that looks too good to be true 1) PO box "company" 2) gmail or yahoo email.

Quote
of course one of them also wanted to hit it good and wanted to send a truck to pick-up the merchandise, sadly only after he would get the difference, or the police would have had a nice catch.

All you get - representative of some small logistics company who will show you papers with shipping address that does not match billing address you know. After trying to go after recipient company - they will tell that they are purchasing (or already prepaid (ROFL)) goods from your scammer. They as well may be victim or not - does not matter much.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2018, 09:26:29 pm »
Well, haven't heard from the guy for a whole week, now.  I'm not sure if he just gave up, found another dupe to bother, or what.  Maybe he thought my bank would be dumb enough to allow a wire transfer OUT of my account.

Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2018, 08:50:47 pm »
So, today my bank calls and asks if I was expecting a big check.  He used the info I supplied him to do a wire transfer to MAIL a paper check to the bank.  The scammer mailed a check for $93,000 to my bank branch.  Wouldn't anyone think that was a bit ODD?  NO?  So, I asked the bank to check with the issuing bank to see if the check was OK.
So far, the issuing bank (fifth third bank, major national bank in the US) would not give them any info.  My bank's fraud dept.  is now trying to contact fifth third's fraud dept. to try to get an answer.

I went down to the bank and now have the check, the document they sent with it, ** AND ** the priority mail envelope it was sent in!
I'm waiting to hear from the bank, then I will get the Postal investigation Service involved.  If they get fired up enough to want to investigate, they may be able to subpoena lobby video records of the guy purchasing the postage.  (Not at a USPS counter, some kind of mailboxes-r-us sort of place, I think.)

Anyway, the guy CLAIMS to be in Dubai, but somebody creates a check on an eastern US bank branch and then mails the check from Las Vegas.  This is so comical I can't believe anybody thinks they are going to get away with it.

Jon
 
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