The other day I started a correspondence from an inquiry and got 4 emails into the request before googling the email address.
So glad I googled, I almost got caught in a scam loop!
I found a slew of people reporting this scam that almost tripped me up!
As a freelance designer or small business owner, you must be watchful for fishing scams. It seems a bit far stretched but look into who they say they are before there is any exchange of information.
We work with churches and ministries providing graphic design and web development – as well as SEO and social media management. So, this wasn’t quite a fit, but it was a lead so I thought I’d investigate.
Once I did, I found out this scam has been used a lot! Thankfully portlandwebdesignanddevelopment.com had this article up, so I thought I’d write about my experience as well to help others not get caught.
Email 1 was short:
“Hello, i want you to help me with my brochure design for my new company?”
Email two after I sent information:
“Company Name: AGRICULTURE NATURAL INC
This company is really based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa etc.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS AND PROCEDURE OF THE JOB:
1) Company Name: AGRICULTURE NATURAL INC
2) MY WEBSITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WOULD BE REGISTER VERY SOON
3) I DON’T HAVE LOGO BUT NEED A CUSTOMIZED LOGO FROM YOU
4) I COULD ONLY SUPPLY THE TEXT CONTENT AND PHOTO ALL ARE
WITH MY PROJECT CONSULTANT BUT THE ARTWORK WILL BE DESIGNED BY YOU
5) I WANT THE BROCHURE TO BE TRI-FOLD IT WILL BE FRONT &
BACK THE TEXT AND THE PICTURE IS APPROVED AND CROSSCHECK
6) THE SIZE OF BROCHURE IS 8.5 X 11.
That all i can provide from my means and i hope you understand what i listed above i need more perfect Job. If you can handle this for me you will be my permanent graphics designer and i will meet you in person after this design is done, due to my trip to get some stuff for my company.
I would be very happy to hear from you on time.
GOB BLESS YOU”
“kindly find attached samples of logo and brochure, the color code are black and red and get back to me with the total cost cause the full text and image of this project is coming from the project consultant.”
Thanks for your response, i am okay with the estimate and i want to proceed with the payment so i will be making deposit of $XX the payment using my credit card so work can commence cause the full text and image of this project is coming from the project consultant.
It seemed at least kinda normal, except I found this link to an excellent article by Azunga Marketing LLC. Check out the link below and all the various forms this email has taken.
Here are the emails and numbers to look out for so far!
6128437588 – Mannix Jones
7026213773 –Humble Smith
8123290706 – firstname.lastname@example.org
2247956718 – Sam Haroun
6786019668 – Kathy James
8044594809 – Frank Anderson
7178357449 – PatDoween
Carlton Ball – email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org – Florence Parker
3316847158 – Lana
9175039684 – John Locke
4434037730 – Isabella Bradley
6143759933 – Kate Am
email@example.com – Kerry Robert
firstname.lastname@example.org – Kendra Miro
5086239341 – email@example.com – Rita S Haynie
firstname.lastname@example.org – Martins Stanis
email@example.com – Micheal Williams
firstname.lastname@example.org – David Willson
email@example.com – Alex Williams
firstname.lastname@example.org – Jane Haggard
email@example.com – David Willson
firstname.lastname@example.org – Clara Jones
email@example.com – Tracy Obrain
firstname.lastname@example.org – Gray Floyd
email@example.com – Jeff Lewis
6466998509 – Barry Smith
7205099143 – Barry Smith
firstname.lastname@example.org – Tom Handerson
email@example.com – Faith Williams
4157995585 – Scott Hollan
firstname.lastname@example.org – Amber Alex
email@example.com – Robin Stark
firstname.lastname@example.org – Tom Steward
email@example.com – Terry Banks
4439641907 – Elena Patrick
9293364302 – Guan
8163218767 – Walter
7122548330 – Joy
firstname.lastname@example.org – Joe Kelly
email@example.com – Walker
6015091127 – Thomas Nicolas
916-581-0495 – Adriane
951-292-0035 – firstname.lastname@example.org – James
email@example.com – Roberts James
firstname.lastname@example.org – PatDoween
email@example.com – Cole Mayer
firstname.lastname@example.org – Michael Christian
email@example.com – 818-639-8611 – Joshua Co
William James – firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this is helpful to others!