Author Topic: scam or legit order?  (Read 9205 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.
 

Offline 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.
 

Offline 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 »
 

Offline 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


 

Offline 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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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2018, 09:08:41 pm »
So does the $93K correlate with the cost of the 30 boards?
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2018, 09:22:47 pm »
So does the $93K correlate with the cost of the 30 boards?
NO!!!  The 30 boards would have been $7500 plus shipping.  So, this $93K is just crazy stuff.  I don't want to deposit the check, as it will surely bounce, and then I'll have to pay returned check fees.
Also, I'll have to explain to the IRS next year why this is NOT "income". 

Ugh, what a mess, but I'd love to get federal agencies involved and have somebody arrested.

Jon
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2018, 09:29:11 pm »
Even if this weren't a scam (what are the chances?).
Do you really want a customer who can make a $85.5K "erroneous blunder"?

Find one of those evidence bags and send it to the FBI.

 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2018, 10:54:05 pm »
Even if this weren't a scam (what are the chances?).
Do you really want a customer who can make a $85.5K "erroneous blunder"?

Find one of those evidence bags and send it to the FBI.


Well, since the check was MAILED to the bank, I think maybe the Postal Inspection Service is the place to start.  I'm hoping that because I actually have the ENVELOPE the check was mailed in, they might have some chance of arresting this guy.  (I don't know at this point if this is one guy with a computer and a color printer, or an international criminal gang.)

Jon
 

Offline hermit

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2018, 11:23:03 pm »
Tell them with postage and handling  they are 37¢ short.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2018, 03:41:40 am »
So, I examined the check under a microscope, and it does have some security features on it.  There's microprinting around the edge, and a heat-changing color spot.  Then, I looked up the DocuGuard paper, and found you can order the blank check paper forms from Amazon, WalMart, etc.

I don't know what the banks think about people printing their own checks on a laser printer, but my guess is they are not real happy about that.
But, I guess if the forms are available, at least a few businesses are doing this.

Jon
 

Offline IanB

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2018, 04:40:05 am »
I don't know what the banks think about people printing their own checks on a laser printer, but my guess is they are not real happy about that.
But, I guess if the forms are available, at least a few businesses are doing this.

When I was growing up in the UK, cheques were not in theory required to be written on a bank issued cheque book. As long as all the required information was present and the signature was correct, a cheque could be accepted by a bank and processed. It is after all just a written instruction to your bank to transfer a sum of money to someone else. It could be written on notepaper. Of course banks would be very unhappy about the special handling required since it wouldn't go through the automated clearing systems, and maybe there would be a charge for that, and maybe times have changed and such is no longer true. But bank issued cheque books in the UK have never had much in the way of security features. It is not the paper that matters, but what is written on it.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Online helius

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2018, 06:37:48 am »
Security check paper is intended to prevent checks being modified (erased and rewritten) or duplicated and deposited more than once. As IanB said, there is nothing in the paper itself that carries the authority to draft a check. You can print your own checks with the automated features present: all it takes is ferromagnetic toner in the right font (MICR patterns). This toner is also available: you can buy it at Staples.
 

Offline CJay

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2018, 08:19:09 am »
Security check paper is intended to prevent checks being modified (erased and rewritten) or duplicated and deposited more than once. As IanB said, there is nothing in the paper itself that carries the authority to draft a check. You can print your own checks with the automated features present: all it takes is ferromagnetic toner in the right font (MICR patterns). This toner is also available: you can buy it at Staples.

You don't even need the ferromagnetic toner, it's just a nicety that makes it machine processable.

if the reader can't do that then it gets processed by a person.

There are a few cases of people handing over cheques written on really weird things, a pig in one case I seem to remember...

*edit* Awhh, damnit, seems despite my remembering the cheque pig being reported in a UK newspaper, it might not be true.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 12:31:26 pm by CJay »
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Offline Circlotron

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2018, 12:11:00 pm »
There are a few cases of people handing over cheques written on really weird things, a pig in one case I seem to remember...
Hopefully it was to pay a jizya tax.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2018, 03:51:46 pm »
Well, it gets much messier!  The check was apparently valid, ie. the company has the actual account with Fifth Third bank, but they did not create the check.  It seems that a few other people deposited the checks and funds were pulled out of the company's account!  I was the only one who was suspicious enough to NOT deposit the check.  So, the victim company is also going to contact the Postal Inspection Service.  With enough people reporting the same fraud, they may put enough resources into catching the crook.

Jon
 

Offline IanB

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2018, 04:08:28 pm »
So someone writes fraudulent checks on a third party's account, and then when the money is transferred they con people into "refunding" the money to the con artist? Check fraud and money laundering? Sounds like some Federal agencies should be interested in that...
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline CJay

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2018, 04:13:16 pm »
Let's hope they put some effort in.

One of the neighbour's houses is often let out and one pair of tenants were running a scam like that, the mail that kept coming in proved that there are a lot of stupid people out there who can be scammed easily.
M0UAW
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2018, 07:56:24 pm »
So someone writes fraudulent checks on a third party's account, and then when the money is transferred they con people into "refunding" the money to the con artist? Check fraud and money laundering? Sounds like some Federal agencies should be interested in that...
Yes, if the other checks were of the same magnitude, we're talking about a nearly half million $ fraud.

And, presumably they are doing this to other companies, too.

Jon
 

Offline JohnMc

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2018, 02:57:45 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
Could still be the Nigerian's. Thailand is having a big problem with them running there scams from here. 
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2018, 05:41:17 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

Are you sure it wasn't $95093.35? :)
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Online PA0PBZ

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Offline tggzzz

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2018, 10:44:25 pm »
FFI: https://www.ft.com/content/93a47a62-daf0-11e1-8074-00144feab49a
Paywall  :--

Irrirating. Somewhat to my surprise, it wasn't paywalled on my machine.

Google for Patrick Combs $95093.35
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2018, 10:59:38 pm »
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
You can never be sure, but if it is proven that you were suspicious and did not care for the red flags like the ones you are pointing in this thread, that is what matters in court - you would still be in big trouble. Also, you need to check if all the parts you are using are EAR99 - a single one that is restricted and your product becomes restricted as well.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2018, 02:35:29 am »

Are you sure it wasn't $95093.35? :)
FFI: https://www.ft.com/content/93a47a62-daf0-11e1-8074-00144feab49a
Nope, $93,565.00   I have no idea how they came up with that number.  It is a fabricated check, printed with a laser printer on paper you can get from Amazon, but the ABA and account number were valid.  It was mailed from Las Vegas, NV.  Several other people got similar checks and actually deposited them, much to the concern of the outfit they were drawn on.

No idea if they are having any luck getting the authorities interested in investigating.

Jon
 

Offline Acecool

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2018, 08:14:36 am »
I know of plenty of business who print their own checks, but they order their own unique paper... Imagine if large franchises or large corporations had to buy checks from the bank just to pay their employees... It'd be really expensive. You can pay with a check without even providing a check too - give routing number, account number, amount, name, and sometimes a signature to an online company and they'll use that information to initiate a transfer of funds... The check number just becomes a reference number.

Now, if the bank account number and routing, swift or ABA or whatever is correct then it could be the user got the companies information out of the trash or some other means and is using it to write bogus checks which the company will eventually discover and either return, or if it is too late to return they will come after you...

The large amount of money over what you would normally charge may support the idea that it is going to a country with sanctions and it makes YOU look complicit as though you're taking a bribe or payment to allow it, or to look the other way to let it happen....

NEVER take an order from a business without an official order form request from them signed by someone in charge of orders with a phone number you can call which is registered to them that you can call to confirm the order. If it is a company out of the country then they need to state what the product will be used for - at the very least they will need to sign a document claiming they will not send it out of the country ( I know Harbor freight and other companies in the USA does this - a family member of mine from Germany came and was denied being allowed to buy a ball peen hammer because he wanted to take it with him to Germany and that particular hammer wasn't allowed to be exported to Germany for some reason - turned out it was a mistake and he got the hammer, but a few other items he wasn't allowed to buy )....

I'm pretty sure, by law in the United States, if you take an order knowing it is being exported out of the country you need to do all of this extra paperwork... It happened at like 3 stores we went to...
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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2018, 10:28:23 am »
I'll bet it's a classic overpay scam: the scammer pay too much "by mistake", then ask the seller to refund the difference in cache, or to a third party.

Usually the initial payment is fraudulent, or made with somebody else's money. In the case of a totally valid initial payment (most probably not for this money check), then the scammer will ask you to send the refund to a different address, and thus using you as an intermediary in money laundering, or other illegal payment to a 3rd party.

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/buying-or-selling/overpayment-scams
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 10:47:05 am by RoGeorge »
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2018, 09:44:48 pm »
I'll bet it's a classic overpay scam: the scammer pay too much "by mistake", then ask the seller to refund the difference in cache, or to a third party.
Yup, I've been holding the documents in the hope that some investigative agency would want to get involved, but nothing has happened so far.  I'm afraid the trail has now gone cold, so the perpetrators would be nearly impossible to track down.

I can't imagine what a mess it would be to MY business if somebody started fabricating checks on MY bank account number!

Jon
 

Offline Acecool

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2018, 01:35:37 pm »
Tell them you cashed the check, but they overpaid... Ask them where to send the difference.... See what they say and forward that address to local law-enforcement in the area citing overpayment scams...
Just because it works, doesn't make it right -Josh 'Acecool' Moser
 

Offline tsman

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2018, 05:33:14 pm »
Tell them you cashed the check, but they overpaid... Ask them where to send the difference.... See what they say and forward that address to local law-enforcement in the area citing overpayment scams...
Unless they're really inept, you'll just get the details of some random sucker. They'll be cashing cheques for the scammer in their own account and then transferring the money somewhere abroad. They may even be the person in Vegas that printed out the cheques.

The hook is that they get to keep some large percentage of the cheque as a fee and it is all legitimate company operations that needs payment processing.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:36:34 pm by tsman »
 

Offline Werecow

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #51 on: June 28, 2018, 01:14:46 am »
Sultan Mohammed, using the same company name, is trying the same overpayment scam with my company.  The order initially looked like about an 80% chance of being fraudulent, due to his email address and the fact he didn't have a clue what he was ordering.  Those aren't always red flags, though, as we had a very similar start several months ago that ended with a legit $23K transaction.  So, unfortunately, since we regularly do business with clients around the world, we have to go along with the charades as though they're all legitimate orders, until we have proof of the scam. 

The expected email did eventually arrive last week, with the claim that a wire transfer for ~$100K above the invoiced amount was being sent -- "in error", of course -- and instructions that the difference should be wired to an as yet unnamed third party's account.

Bottom line:  In a case like this, we alert our bank to the possibility of a transfer or check for the specified amount appearing in our account.  They will put a hold on the funds and immediately notify us and the issuing bank if/when the money appears.  This account was set up only to receive wire transfers; no checks can be drawn on it, and any balance is automatically transferred to other accounts.  Reversing a wire transfer is very rare, but this puts one more roadblock in the way of anyone who tries to do it.

Bonus:  Mohammed's purchase order shows a cell phone number, very likely the only thing about this deal that's not fraudulent.  Some fun could probably be had with that ...  >:D
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #52 on: June 28, 2018, 08:00:13 pm »
So, Werecow, did you (or your bank) get a check?  After telling me there'd be a wire transfer, they sent a paper check DIRECTLY to my bank, which seems a really ODD practice.  Contacting the outfit the check was drawn on, the check WOULD have initially cleared, as the ABA and account numbers were valid.  3 recipients actually DID deposit their checks, to the great consternation of the outfit the checks were drawn on.

The checks were printed with a laser printer on generic check forms that you can buy on Amazon.  They did actually copy the logo and other info for the company they wrote the checks on, which makes me think of maybe disgruntled/dismissed employees.

The checks were sent from one of those Mailboxes, Etc. type places in Las Vegas, although the guy claims he is from Dubai.

I still have the check and mailing envelope, I was hoping somebody would be investigating this and want the evidence.

Jon
 

Offline envisionelec

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2018, 01:55:16 pm »
I was a victim of check fraud, but in the form of a stolen FEDEX account number. My account was used to ship 47 fraudulent checks OVERNIGHT all across the USA. I was getting calls from angry people, police detectives, etc. My customer service skills were really tested that week.

It took a lot of legwork and frustration, but I was completely cleared of all fraud within a few months.

 
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Offline Kean

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #54 on: July 02, 2018, 02:19:21 pm »
It took a lot of legwork and frustration, but I was completely cleared of all fraud within a few months.

Ouch!
 

Offline a59d1

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2018, 02:44:58 pm »
btw Dubai is a wealthy city there is no such a need for stealing anything or pick pocketting somebody...

Some parts of Dubai are wealthy.
 

Offline RJS

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2018, 02:55:19 pm »
This guy contacted me today trying to make a purchase VIA wire as well. He is not in Dubai. I was able to track them down using the online chat from my website which shows IP address and location. He is in NIGERIA.

169.159.106.5
Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
 
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Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2018, 08:35:10 pm »
This guy contacted me today trying to make a purchase VIA wire as well. He is not in Dubai. I was able to track them down using the online chat from my website which shows IP address and location. He is in NIGERIA.

169.159.106.5
Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Well, if the wire comes in, let it SIT for a few days, at least, to make sure it is not fraudulent.

Jon

 

Offline hermit

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2018, 08:51:28 pm »
Tell him you can only accept Bitcoin.
 

Offline 1sciguy

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2018, 03:37:41 pm »
First post for me.  I find this particular thread amusing.  Yes, I too was contacted by Mohammed a few years ago for my business.  I knew it was a scam and cut off communication.  But this year I had something else interesting occur.  I received an inquiry for an order of my products from an individual who claimed to be from Facebook.  His email address was had XXX@fb.com.  I was skeptical.  We talked some more and he said before we could discuss his project I would have to fill out a non-disclosure agreement.  This form came to be filled out electronically from and address of XXX@thefacebook.com.  Hmmm.  Something sounds fishy, but I continued because I was not releasing any personal information that was not already available through the government SAM system.  Well it boiled down to them telling me they wanted to place the order ($5000 worth of equipment, which is normal for my product line) and I needed to fill out a form to become a facebook vendor.  This form came from a third party registrar and was asking for VERY detailed information about my company size, bank transfer routing numbers, lists of other clients and amount of sales in the past year.  This was more intrusive than even the government bureaucracy of the SAM (System Awards Management) in USA.  At this point I put my foot down and said absolutely not.  I told them if they wanted my product, they could hire an electrician to install my product and the electrician can make the purchase.  Guess what?  It was all legitimate!  I made the sale and got paid, but the process had so many red flags along the way.  You should have seen me... doing reverse IP lookups and checking google earth for registrar addresses.  All pointed to the Facebook complex.  Crazy stuff.
 
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Offline Johnny10

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2018, 03:57:10 pm »
So you are Mohammed?
Tek TDS7104, DMM4050, HP 3561A, Tek 2465A, HP8903B, DSA602A, Tek 7854, 7834, HP3457A, Tek 575, 576, 577 Curve Tracers, Datron 4000, Datron 4000A, Fluke 181 Nanovoltmeter, Dos4Ever uTracer, HP5335A, EIP534B 20GHz Frequency Counter, TrueTime Rubidium, Sencore LC102, Tek TG506, TG501, SG503, 1062LS101
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2018, 04:50:36 pm »
First post for me.  I find this particular thread amusing.  Yes, I too was contacted by Mohammed a few years ago for my business.  I knew it was a scam and cut off communication.  But this year I had something else interesting occur.  I received an inquiry for an order of my products from an individual who claimed to be from Facebook.  His email address was had XXX@fb.com.  I was skeptical.  We talked some more and he said before we could discuss his project I would have to fill out a non-disclosure agreement.  This form came to be filled out electronically from and address of XXX@thefacebook.com.  Hmmm.  Something sounds fishy, but I continued because I was not releasing any personal information that was not already available through the government SAM system.  Well it boiled down to them telling me they wanted to place the order ($5000 worth of equipment, which is normal for my product line) and I needed to fill out a form to become a facebook vendor.  This form came from a third party registrar and was asking for VERY detailed information about my company size, bank transfer routing numbers, lists of other clients and amount of sales in the past year.  This was more intrusive than even the government bureaucracy of the SAM (System Awards Management) in USA.  At this point I put my foot down and said absolutely not.  I told them if they wanted my product, they could hire an electrician to install my product and the electrician can make the purchase.  Guess what?  It was all legitimate!  I made the sale and got paid, but the process had so many red flags along the way.  You should have seen me... doing reverse IP lookups and checking google earth for registrar addresses.  All pointed to the Facebook complex.  Crazy stuff.

   I've dealt with legitmate companies that were very intrusive too (Fermi Labs for one) but I found that they were more trouble than they were worth and I refused to answer all of their questions and SWEAR to the answers and to PROVE that I was complying with all of the requirements that the US Gov had imposed on them and required that they flow down to all of their vendors (like drug testing!).  Since I was the only that could supply their needs, they started paying me in cash and up front!   I later went through the same thing with Air France. Life to too short to deal with possible scammers or with a bunch of bean counter bureaucrats that want obsessive amounts of paper work and I'm sure as hell not going to try and prove THEIR compliance with a bunch of ridiculous US or other Gov requirements.  It's simple; if you want something, pay me the money without making me jump through a bunch of hoops to get it, then I'll deliver your goods or services.  And I don't do refunds, if you paid me too much then cancel the check and send me a new one. Otherwise, take your purchase/scam elsewhere.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2018, 06:08:27 pm »
Some parts of Dubai are wealthy.
Probably most parts.
But you can't prove that they are really from Dubai or in Dubai or on behalf of Dubai (or anywhere else for that matter).
 

Offline 1sciguy

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2018, 08:20:40 pm »

   I've dealt with legitmate companies that were very intrusive too (Fermi Labs for one) but I found that they were more trouble than they were worth and I refused to answer all of their questions and SWEAR to the answers and to PROVE that I was complying with all of the requirements that the US Gov had imposed on them and required that they flow down to all of their vendors (like drug testing!).  Since I was the only that could supply their needs, they started paying me in cash and up front!   I later went through the same thing with Air France. Life to too short to deal with possible scammers or with a bunch of bean counter bureaucrats that want obsessive amounts of paper work and I'm sure as hell not going to try and prove THEIR compliance with a bunch of ridiculous US or other Gov requirements.  It's simple; if you want something, pay me the money without making me jump through a bunch of hoops to get it, then I'll deliver your goods or services.  And I don't do refunds, if you paid me too much then cancel the check and send me a new one. Otherwise, take your purchase/scam elsewhere.

I'm in the same situation.  I am the only manufacturer of a product, and they know it.  Strange.  I sell to all of the National Labs on a fairly frequent basis and have never had to go through much hassle.  Perhaps because I'm registered in SAM and they can see my "sweared" compliance to "equal opportunity employment" and all the other BS.  I am also registered in DUNS & Bradstreet.  The SAM registration is like 50 pages of BS.  There are tons of companies that offer their services to get you SAM certified, but it is just a matter of going to the web site and checking all the boxes.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2018, 09:46:15 pm »

   I've dealt with legitmate companies that were very intrusive too (Fermi Labs for one)
Yes, I occasionally sell to state universities that are buying on US government grants, or even WORSE, state grants!  They asked all sorts of intrusive questions about child support judgements and legal cases, and want to make sure that all my "employees" take regular training on harassment laws gender compliance.  Never mind that I am a one-man shop with zero employees.

It's kind of down to the level of the Senator McCarthy hearings with the "do you now, or have you ever..." questions, where practically any answer is an admission of something.

Jon
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: scam or legit order?
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2018, 02:31:00 am »
It's kind of down to the level of the Senator McCarthy hearings with the "do you now, or have you ever..." questions, where practically any answer is an admission of something.
e.g. "have you stopped doing bad things?" Y/N
 


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