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Is this a scam? Update

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Emiliano Achaval, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I received an email, to me it appears to be a scam. I just don't know what they are after. My work? Kelly agrees that looks bogus. Like I told I Kelly Dunn, I'm no Shakespeare, but take a look at his English, a few grammar flags went up, somehow I do not think that Steve is true Texan. Let me know what you think. Read below:

    Greetings... I am Steve Thomas from Sydney Texas. I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to I and my wife's anniversary which is just around the corner. I stormed on to some of your works which I found quite impressive and intriguing. I must admit you're doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

    With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes, which are ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this is within the price range of $1500 to $5000.

    I look forward to reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you accept a check as a means of payment.

    Steve Thomas.
     
  2. Forrest Forschmiedt

    Forrest Forschmiedt

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    Scam.
    The weird language is typical of a scam.
    99.9% certain it's a bogus check scam. Almost zero chance they want the work as it would be too hard to turn into cash for them. Most likely it will be a check for over the agreed amount and a request for you to refund the difference.
    It's been a while since I got one of those but I like to get them to send the check so they are out at least the postage and the scam check.
     
  3. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    That's a common scam, word for word. Ask which pieces they are interested in, and they'll say you pick! Can I pay with a check is a tip-off. Not all are scams though. Some years ago, several of us got emails from someone whose English was poor, Names were foreign and they wrote in all caps. I suspect some trashed the email, but I sold them three or four major pieces, and I know Art Leistman sold them a bunch, as did a number of others. The guy and wife lived in Vancouver and Art visited them to confirm it. They made a book of the pieces and gave them all to a museum, which was the point of buying them. You never know. LOL

    John
     
  4. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    If the scam is that they send you a check, written for more than you asked, and you are supposed to send them some cash back? How many people do they catch?
     
  5. odie

    odie

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    Tell him sure, you'll accept a check, and will ship as soon as it clears.

    -----odie-----
     
  6. Dan Stromberg

    Dan Stromberg

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    Actually, I've heard of this being part of the scam as well. Checks drawn on foreign banks may take a long time to verify, but US banks have a maximum amount of time that they're allowed to wait before clearing the check. So frequently the US bank will allow it to clear, then months later they find out that the check is bad and take the money back out of your account. By that time, the work has long since shipped (and sometimes, the money already spent)...
     
    odie and Mark Hepburn like this.
  7. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    I would accept a check drawn on an U.S. based bank. Once you get the check, run the routing number through the ABA Routing Number Lookup. Call the bank and see if the funds are there and see if they will confirm the owner of the account. Tell them you have a suspicious check. I would not agree to refund any excess money. That is a sure fire way to tell it's a scam. If they live in Texas, they should have a U.S. account. Be aware that your bank will probably charge you $35-$45 for any bounced check.

    There are lots of resources on the internet to look up and verify information provided on the check. Just do your due diligence, I think is the term.

    https://routingnumber.aba.com/defau...49.917993098.1592394891-1221616925.1592394891
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  8. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Tell him sure, you'll accept a cashier's check drawn against any US bank.
     
    odie and Charles Cadenhead like this.
  9. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    They can fake cashier's checks as well as US Treasury checks. I once got an email like this, and suspicious that it was a scam, I played along with it and they sent a real-looking but bogus US Treasury check in a blank brown kraft paper envelope, for more than the agreed amount. I brought it to my bank to verify, and they said indeed it's bogus.

    If I get a suspect email that could be real but also could be a scam (i.e. John Jordan's example), I'll look at the e-mail header information making sure that the sending and reply-to email addresses match (and are consistent with the name of the person who they say they are), that the mail was sent specifically to me (not part of a batch email, or sent to undisclosed recipients), etc...
     
  10. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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    Sounds iffy but why did they pick Sidney TX and not a larger city like Dallas or Austin? BTW, he misspelled Sindey TX. It's just a little unincorporated town west of Ft. Worth. I've never been there but it looks like just a 4 way stop.
     
  11. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    Emiliano, try and copy-paste the whole text into google and click search. Plenty of hits. It not only smells, it IS scam.
     
  12. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    They catch a lot, and the checks can be confirmed and cashed, only to be returned weeks later-I don't know how that works, but it does.Its easy to google and find expalnations of how it works. Asking about a check is ALWAYS a scam.

    John
     
  13. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    You can request a postal money order if the amount is less than $1,000. They are a lot harder to fake due to the watermarks. You can also call the postal service money order verification system at 866-459-7822. I'm guessing you won't hear from them again after requesting the Postal money order.

    You can also look at the actual raw text of the email and find their IP address. Then using an IP address lookup website, find where the email came from. I get a lot of scam email from the UCLA library. Apparently they have an open wifi for all the criminals to use.
     
  14. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

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    It sounds like a scam, but as you are talking about a tangible product, as opposed to cash, ask for a mailing address, so you can get shipping estimates.

    With the address you can find out who lives there pretty easily or if it even exists.

    Just a thought
     
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  15. odie

    odie

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    Wow......I'm getting educated here! o_O

    Tell him to send cash in the mail, then take it to the bank and let them verify it isn't counterfeit......! :eek:

    -----odie-----
     
  16. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Cash the check then it is the bank's baby to diaper. I got into a situation where a paycheck bounced. I cashed it and then deposited the cash.
     
  17. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Not too many years ago you could look up a persons name and address to validate a verified home or business. Today they don't even have a printed phone books or city directories to look up home and business addresses. You could enter the address into Google Earth and view the residence from the satellite view or street view to get an idea of the home and neighborhood. You can also access most state or county courthouses to access tax records, criminal records and property valuations. Some of those databases will list the homeowners name. Some small counties may not have computerized online data systems to access that kind of information. 99% odds this is a scam.
     
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  18. Michael Lyle

    Michael Lyle

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    I would tell this unknown person from Sydney, Texas....
    that your bookkeeper is named Helen Wait
    and he should call Helen Wait.

    Thats what i would do!

    MLyle
     
  19. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I once sold a big box of T-shirts to a very suspicious person in Nigeria. I personally went to the bank. They told yes, they are for real, this is a code for you to use, they are approved, go ahead and do it. $2500 A few weeks go by, I get a letter telling me the CC was no good. I go back to the bank, I showed them the code, talked to the same lady. Sorry, she said, per your merchant agreement, you owe the bank $2500!! I was livid... Thank you guys, I was burned once, I was suspicious of this guy. I was a bit flattered, LOL too bad it was not an honest collector for real wanting my work.
     
  20. odie

    odie

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    Suppose it's a scam, and Emiliano took the bait.......so, what does the thief do with Emiliano's artwork?
     
  21. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

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    Why not turn (sic!) the show around for once?
    Accept the offer, present some possible objects for sale, recieve the check, hang it on yout wall - and keep it without doing anything.
    What can a scammer do?
    Just thinkin' ....
     
    Mark Jundanian likes this.
  22. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    A much easier answer would be PayPal. Extremely secure. If you are not familiar, or not comfortable with it - I can tell you I have used it for about 10 years. NEVER lost a penny - with in a sale or a purchase. The cost is about 3% - similar to credit cards. Some sellers add the fees to their price.
     
  23. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

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    I would steer him to one of my galleries. If he's legit, he'll appreciate the service. If not, that's that.
    I made a decision when starting that I would not sell direct and would not have people visiting the shop. As a result, the galleries spend money promoting my work knowing I won't violate the trust.
    And I'm convinced my work get 10x the price in galleries - maybe more
     
  24. Steven Forrest

    Steven Forrest

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    Scam. Jerry Kermode told me the other day about an almost identical approach he received. The scam was that the buyer would send a check for too much, and then you are expected to return the difference. You send a good check, their check bounces.

    I also was recently contacted by a fellow in England. Had a website for a different business, sounded legit (although there was virtually nothing independent about the guy - a tipoff.) His assistant "found me" through AW and my website. Big opportunity - insanely expensive urns for insanely wealthy people. When I questioned the reality of the prices he was floating, and some details I would want hammered out in a contract, he launched into the "insult phase" of the project. Glad my greed didn't get the best of me before he showed his true colors. It was nice to be flattered for a while, though.

    In the movie "House of Cards," written by David Mamet, the con man played by Joe Mantegna talks about how cons work. It's not what you think - it's not getting the mark to put their confidence in the con man. Rather, the set up is that the person running the con puts their confidence in the mark. Of course, all they are doing is setting up the mark for the kill - but that comes later...
     
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  25. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    They don't want the work. They want him to deposit the check that is for more than the amount of purchase, then return the excess cash to them form his own, real account. Also, banks can and do accept and credit checks which later turn out to be no good-I guess it has to do with international banking. In any case, you can bet your ass the bank is not losing money-they will debit your account, no matter how long it has been.

    John
     
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  26. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Well if you cashed the check in your bank they probably used your account to guarantee the check, just saying.
     
  27. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Nigeria is a sure sign of a scam. I once represented a company that refused to sell to a certain country in Europe. Payment would take months, if they paid at all.
     
  28. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I worked for DoD. Early on lots of companies stopped doing business with the Federal govt because the USA was so slow in paying. Congress came up with the prompt payment act around 1985 which made agencies pay within 30 days....

    This had the unintended consequence of spawning the Medicare fraud industry once computer technology became wide spread that thrived until around 2010. The fraudsters bought Medicare names and ssns which were used to send phony bills to Medicare knowing Medicare would have to pay the bills before they could verify the services were rendered.
    These businesses were just storefronts that relocated under a new name every couple of months so that no one was home when the Feds came knocking.
     
  29. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm updating both recent threads about scams. A fellow forum member contacted me and shed some light on the scam. The scary part is if the "shipping agent" shows up at your gallery or studio! This is what I was told on an email:
    saw your forum entry "Is this A Scam" on the AAW site and wanted to let you know that, yes it is a scam. My wife has an online gallery of her artwork and received the exact same message from "Steve Thomas". When we agreed to sell him two pieces for $2250, he sent a check for $4260 with instructions to pay his shipping agent the difference when the artwork was picked up. Like you and the others on the forum this raised all kinds of red flags for me. The check he sent me was drawn on the account of Carol Wright Gifts of Edison, NJ and sent from a residential address in Orlando, FL. I took the check to the bank and they ran a verification on it and determined that it was indeed bogus. I agreed to let them retain the check and all of my documentation to send to their security center.
    I tried to reply to your forum entry but the AAW site wouldn't allow that so I am using this method to contact you. Feel free to share this information as you see fit.
     
  30. Rob Fridenberg

    Rob Fridenberg

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    This scam has been around for at least 15 years for people selling used cars. A bit surprised to hear that so many folks are still not aware of this old scam for selling anything online.
     
  31. John Walls

    John Walls

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    They tried to pull the same scam on me years back but it was for a boat I was selling. Same B.S. line, I suppose it's still around because they do find ppl to rip off. One other time it was over a moto-bike I answered an add for. Bike was being shipped to them as the military moved them and it was in shipment. First, they guy wanted the $$ for the bike and he would deliver when it got to him. I inquired as to location of the bike, he told me then I told him perfect, I have friends stationed there that can go look at it. All of a sudden it had been moved to a different base which again, I told him I had friends there too! Now, uh... uhhh... oh, it's being shipped now to me. I said perfect, your only an hour away from me, I'll be there, what's the address..... could not get the jackwagon to answer anymore e-mails after that.... idiots. I knew it from the start, but I love messing with the jack/a.... LOL
     
  32. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    More info.
     

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