Don’t Get Scammed!

5 Ways to Detect Email Scammers Before It’s too Late

Scams proliferate the world over and their victims are many. Scams among handmade makers are no exception. Don’t get scammed! Learn the five ways ways to detect email scammers.

A typical email goes like this: the sender is outside the country and wants to order your products. They ask for a list with prices and if you take a credit card. They then mention that they want to use their own shipper.

To illustrate, here is a recent letter I received:

            Dear sir I am Lauren Morgan and I would like to place an order from you and have it shipped with   a shipping company I have used several times in the past. Before placing an order with you, I would like to know if I can pay with a credit card (such as Visa or Master Card), also, I don’t like to place online orders so can I simply email an order form and have you give me a quote? This will allow the fastest processing of my orders. I appreciate your time in these matters. Home Address: 46 George Borg Olivier StSliema, Malta Looking forward to your response so we can proceed further as soon as possible.. Warmest Regards Lauren Morgan

What are the red flags here?

Is it that they are interested in purchasing from the US? No. Many makers sell successfully overseas. It should, however, spur you to check things out further.

Here are some of the other tell-tale signs that this is a plan to bilk you out of money.

  • Their email contains several grammatical, spelling, punctuation and other such errors. Reputable companies value their reputations and do not send out messages riddled with errors.
  • They refer to your products but do not name what you sell. “We want to sell your products,” instead of, “We are interested in your candles” (or whatever you sell). If they want to purchase from you, they know what you sell.
  • They ask if you take credit card. Again, ordering information is on your website, Etsy, or whatever avenue you use, so had they perused it, they would know about payment.
  • They want to use their shipper.  This is a sure sign of a scam. They do not want to involve a large, legitimate company, of course.
  • If you respond, they will say they want to make a large order, but do not ask about wholesale terms, even when they say they want to sell your items in their store.

Here is how the scam works. They place an order and use a credit card. You think all is well and ship the order. They later reverse the charges. Now, they have the product and the money and you are out on both counts. They use their own shipper so as not to get legitimate shipping companies involved.

This is a common scam and easy to avoid. The old saying, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is,” applies.

With just a little knowledge and detective work, you can easily avoid this common scam. Look for a poorly written, generic email. They want to use a credit card and their own shipper. They want to make a large order but do not mention wholesale. Dismiss these pesky scams with a click of the delete key and save your time and money for real opportunities and ventures.

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