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Topic
Posts:
3
March 11, 2016
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1
upvotes

Overseas shipping scam targeting Shopify stores This post is outdated

It started with this email. We do get orders overseas for one really unique product we make so this didn't raise any flags...

Hello,

I want to place an order from you to our store here in Belgium.I will like to know if you can ship here and will like to know if you will accept credit card as form of payment.

Reply back asap

Thanks.

Emily Albert.

emmystoresllc@outlook.com

After followup, they wanted to place an order:

Hello,

 

Thanks for your reply back. Its a pleasure receiving your reply back. I will like to order for the below items for my customer's here, I want you to reply back with the total cost plus shipping quote. We're ready and can't wait to receive these wonderful products of yours here.

Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated.

 

INTERESTED ITEMS IN ORDERING FOR AND MY ADDRESS FOR SHIPPING QUOTE...

 

 Giant Replica Thread Spools ACE Sears & Roebuck 

QTY..................................5

 

 Set of 10 Art Deco Style Laser Cut Table Numbers on Base 1-10 

QTY..................................1

 

 Screen Printed Laser Cut Acrylic Invitation - Heraldic Style 25 

QTY..................................1

 

 Love Sign Small (12x25) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Together is a Beautiful Place to Be Sign Small (13x16) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 True Love is a Big Deal Sign Small (13x18) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Happily Ever After Sign Small (14x30) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Eat Drink & Be Married Sign Small (14x30) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

Forever in Love Sign Small (13x20) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

12" Laser Engraved Acrylic Charger: Rose Pattern 

QTY..................................1

 

Flat Pack Pedestal

QTY..................................10

 

....ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE....

 

Frankrijklei 114,

Antwerp,

Antwerpen,

BELGIUM.

2000.

 

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and finalized my order.

Thanks and God bless you.

Emily Albert.

 

But no company would bulk order a bunch of stuff from a small business site-unseen. They would order one thing and see if it's good and go from there. So I googled the address and while it is a shopping district there, I couldn't find any mention of the store in question. I googled the person's name and found an ongoing discussion of scams, including this person's name. Apparently they want the shipping quote so they can say they want to use their shipper instead, which is fake. 

Anyway, the thing that lent credibility to this was the apparent detailed list of items they wanted. But in looking through the discussion, every email people posted was formatted exactly the same way. As a former web developer, I realized they're building it automatically from the options list on our Shopify store. While that information needs to exist for the site to operate, and there is no way to prevent it completely, it seems like Shopify could modify their code to at least make it more work for the scammers to get this information off the sites. And at a minimum, make it known that this is happening so people don't fall for it. 

 

i
Replies
Posts:
4
March 25, 2016

The same thing just happened to me. I had a feeling right away that something was wrong with the situation. She only ordered small/child size Acupressure Bracelets which is odd with large orders... usually a mix of sizes. The she wanted her own shipping service who I had to contact by email which was massively overpriced. She has tried 3 times to pay her invoice and everytime declined using different US addresses.

I don't understand the end game with it... I would never have given them product or money so why bother?

 

Img 5071 thumb
Posts:
331
March 25, 2016

Here's what I suspect. Just a guess having seen plenty of scams to varying degrees. She pays you for it all, whether that goes through or not is a different story. You then pay her "shipping service". The service is setup to collect your CC details insecurely, which she can then abuse.

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Posts:
4
March 27, 2016

I am not sure if I am sold on the shipping scam. I would never front the shipping money for any customer wanting another service... that is their issue. And if they were to pay me to then pay the shipping service I would take cash to Western Union and never would use my personal/business credit cards. I still do not really see the end game here......... scammers must be getting more and more desperate. This person is still attempting to pay the invoice for the "supposed" items she/he wanted to purchase.... which is another thing I do not understand. Why would they bother?

Thanks for the insight tho... I appreciate it :)

Posts:
1
Last edited April 01, 2016

We've had the exact same thing happen to us! Seriously don't undertand why they do it. It's not as if we are going to send products with no payment. 

 

Such a waste of time! 

Posts:
33
April 05, 2016

I get these emails all the time.  I've quit responding to them, they are all pretty much the same - large orders, often want to use their own shipper, don't want to place order on the website, they want to send you their credit card number (which is stolen).

If they can get someone to go along with what they want and their credit card gets through fraud protection, they have free product they can sell.

When the real owner of the credit card complains, the seller is out the cost of the purchase, plus the cost of the product.

Apparently a lot of people fall for it.  If they didn't, the scam would stop but it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  I average about 5 of these emails a month.

Posts:
1
April 25, 2016

Same thing JUST happened to us today. Two separate emails from different "prospects" but same exact format. It tipped us off immediately. We ignore those kinds of emails. If a customer wants something in our web shop, they can purchase it easily. Basic questions like shipping and whether we accept credit cards are red flags because the information is made obvious in our shop.

Posts:
1
April 29, 2016

Same thing happened to my shop a week ago.  What tipped me off was the person sent the same message from the contact forms multiple times, once a day for 4 days to which I've already replied to her first one and finally had to reply to another one to get her (or a bot?) to stop.  The rest is similar to what happened to the OP above; a detailed list of items they wanted to purchase, quite organized, then requested to use their own "preferred" shipping company.  

I sincerely hope the message spreads, scamming small businesses is just sad.

Posts:
1
April 29, 2016

Same thing happened to us.  I googled their name (Emily Albert) and address (Antwerpen, Belgium) today and what came up was the information from sites talking about the scam.  Thank you for all the people who take the time to write so people like us can learn!  You saved us time, money, and embarassment.

Posts:
6
May 12, 2016

I got an almost identical email this week, and spent a lot of time researching shipping options and preparing an invoice. This one claimed to be from Aaron Vincent in Switzerland. Fortunately my warehouse staff is very sharp and looked him up on scamwarners -- she found a listing for this guy using the same email word for word.

"I want to order for the following items listed below for my customer's here, I want you to reply back with the total cost plus shipping quote. We're ready and can't wait to receive these wonderful products if yours here. Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated."

We got four quotes, and he wrote back:

The shipping cost is a little on the high side! I will want you to contact
my shipper which i uses every time i order for goods via the below E-mail
amazefreightlc@gmail.com,with the weight and dimension inclusive
the value for insurance quoting my customer  ID# QP34567555A. They will
come pick my order up at your location I will need you to obtain a quote
and tell them that i want to insure the package and i will like you to get
back to me with the total cost of my goods and the items including the
shipping cost via my shipper.
Once I have these details, I will get back to you with my credit card
details immediately for payment.
God Bless you (Amen),
Kind Regards,

Aaron Vincent

 

 

 

Posts:
1
Last edited December 22, 2016

Would like to share my incident too in case someone is googling this bot's e-mail for the same suspicion...

I had an e-mail sent to me in the same format as decribed above. It immediately seemed like a scam because of how generic it was and that there was a misspelled hotmail e-mail address, no name of the shop provided, plus the e-mailed claimed the shop was located in Spain but I checked the hits on my website and there were no hits from Spain.

So I replied asking what store they were buying for and there was no information provided in their reply--just a detailed description of items they wanted to purchase & stipulating to send with their preferred courrier. 

Seems like they always use two first names too - here's the bot's e-mail:

Amelia David <amilia20@hotmail.com>

It seems as though the initial e-mails are sent by a bot copying the web page into the subject because the reply back was sent under a separate e-mail. The first e-mail had the subject as a copied URL from my shop.

My guess is that if they are using stolen credit card info to attempt to pay for the goods they claim they want from your shop, then the scheme is probably that they attempt to obtain your credit card info, and in this case through their fake courier but that's just a guess. 

 

Posts:
3
January 03, 2017

Same thing happened to me. Normally scrapers and abusers are blocked by me at the domain level (cloudflare) which is good at blocking the typical bots but obviously shopify is sharing our shop information outside of the domain level.

Posts:
1
January 05, 2017

I also got this email yesterday from the same email address: amilia20@hotmail.com  and thank God I had a suspcion and googled this email. Here is the content as follwos:

 

Hello,

 

  Thanks for your reply back.I can't wait to have your lovely products in our store for my customers, Below listed 

is the items i want to order for and will want you to get back to me with total cost +shipping cost and i can 

provide you my credit card for you to charge and have my order ready and i can carry your product in our new 

inventory for our numerous customers.

 

 

 MY ORDER............

 

 

PALMYRA Ivory

36

............................1 QTY

 

RUMI Black

36

.............................1 QTY

 

SPACE KITTEN White

37

.............................1 QTY

 

COMET Metallic Platinum

36

 

.............................1 QTY

 

 

MY ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE.........

 

Area de Asuntos Internacionales, 

Calle Aduana, 29                      

28070 MADRID 

 

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and finalized my order.

 

God bless you,

 

Amelia David

 

Posts:
43
January 09, 2017

Hi

We also get this frequently and just ignore them.

 

We did get pinged by another scam over Christmas.  A large order that the customer claimed was never delivered - and complained to Shopify without even contacting us. Partially as it was a busy period we probably did not respond as well as we could have and Shopify refunded them - and charged us a $25 fee on top!

I gather this scam is becoming more popular - with the scammed products appearing on Ebay pretty rapidly.

We had thought we were immune to this sort of behaviour as we are specialty products - but apparently not as anything can sell on Ebay

Be alert.

Cheers

 

David

 

Posts:
1
January 10, 2017

Thanks everyone for posting it , just got the same email ....

Posts:
3
March 02, 2017

I too just got the Amelia David email! I fell for it at first, replying with my store policies. The email did seem strange with the broken English and strange syntax. But I have a lot of foreign customers so I figured it was because they were from Spain (a country I actually ship to often). I'm so grateful for this community and thread which I found by googling the address in the email (Area de Asuntos Internacionales, Calle Aduana, 29 ,28070 MADRID). But the biggest tip-off that this was a scam is the "God Bless You" at the end of the email. Most of my clients are rationalist/scientists/atheists and would never write that. I don't think I've ever seen that particular sentiment in my 8 years of business and thousands of customers. Haha!

Elo Shopify Merchant
Posts:
7
March 10, 2017

Got one today, they change name to MERCY VICTOR and send a shorter email before that wasn't too suspicious.  I pasted below the second email. The shipping address "Rue de la Terrassière 24" seems to be used often and also format of product/quantity with lots of dots in between looks exactly the same. 

_______________________

mercy victor
mercyvictorstoesllc@gmail.com

Hello,
 Thanks for your response. I want to order for the following items
listed below for my customer's here, I want you to reply back with the
total cost plus shipping quote. We're ready and can't wait to receive
these wonderful products if yours here.
Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated.

ITEMS, WE'RE INTERESTED IN ORDERING IS LISTED BELOW, GET BACK WITH
TOTAL QUOT PLUS SHIPPING,

250ML TUBE
QTY::::::::::::::::::::::::36

100ML TUBE
QTY::::::::::::::::::::::::36

Rue de la Terrassière 24
1207 Genève, Switzerland

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and
finalized my order.
Have a blissful day,

Posts:
1
March 12, 2017

I've had the exact same experience with an Amelia David wanting me to contact andrewfreight@post.com

I think the excitement of such a large order got to me (it was specific, listed exactly like the above - although I took the high number of small sizes to mean 5 of each size), and I didn't question sending out the invoice - until the much more detailed email arrived with specific instructions to contact the above email address to ask them for a quote etc.

So I googled both and here I am - thank you to everyone who has posted on this already, sincerely. 

Posts:
1
May 09, 2017

Hi, I'm so appreciative of this thread! I had the same thing happen to me yesterday - this email from a guy called Davie Damon. The wording and email sequence were identical to everyone else. What I found weird is that I haven't had anyone from Belgium look at my website ever and also the time he was emailing me would have made it 3am in Belgium. Also he didn't ever give the name of his shop and he's an internet ghost - no record of anyone by this name anywhere on the web. I can't figure out what the angle is either. I wondered if it was a drug courier front. Won't spend any more energy thinking about it now though. Thanks again everyone for sharing. 

Posts:
1
Last edited May 19, 2017

Thanks to this thread I would have spent many hours making the products and losing money because of this.  It's very sad they are targeting small businesses.  They are pretending they are from a large French supermarket franchise Systeme U that wants to sell my handmade jewelry in their store.  I'm copying the email below hopefull it would help someone....

How're you? I want to purchase an order from your company to our store
in the France. I want to know if you can ship international and also
your form of
payment? e:g...Credit card.

Await your reply back asap.

Thank you and God bless you.

Yours

Cecilia Wallece

===============================

Hello,

  Thanks for your email,i really appreciate you getting back to me
with the cost of my order plus shipping. I have experienced lots of
difficulties when it comes to getting my items to my address here in
France, I will want you to contact my shipper which i uses every time
i purchased order worldwide via the below e-mail address about my
order
andrewfreight@post.com ) with the weight and dimension inclusive the
value for insurance quoting my customer  ID# A46103834. Also get the
shipper your address the pickup address so the will come to pick my
order up at your location. I will need you to obtain a quote and tell
them that i want to Insure the package and I will like you to get back
to me with overall cost of the items with the details from my shipper.

Once I have these details, I will get back to you with my credit card
details immediately for payment.

God Bless you,

Kind Regards,

Cecilia Wallece

=================

Hello,

  Thanks for getting back to me for the size in inches of Ribbon
Bracelet in Denim Blue, Dog Leather Bracelet and Cat Bracelet i will
like to have 6 length inches, and also sell shoes and begs i will love
to also have your jewelries also in my store, the name and address of
store is

Name: Systeme U

Address:
72 Avenue Robert Schuman,
94150 Rungis, France

Kindly contact my shipper with the weight and dimension of my order
also with pick up address so the shipper can give accurate quote of
the shipping and i can proceed in making the payment to you with my
credit card, i will be waiting to read back from you as soon as you
read back from my shipper.

Thanks

Cecilia Wallece.

 

Posts:
5
May 25, 2017

Hi Guys Happennig to me right now.

I also thought it might be a scam from the first mail.

Exactly same with the description you provide so I will give you the two emails they provide so far.

I copy and paste the email I received.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,

  Thanks for your reply back. I can't wait to have your lovely
products in our store for my customers, Below listed is the items i
want to order for and will want you to get back to me with total cost
+shipping cost and i can provide you my credit card for you to charge
and have my order ready and i can carry your product in our new
inventory for our numerous customers.

MY ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE.........

Systeme U
72 Avenue Robert Schuman,
94150 Rungis, France

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and
finalized my order.

God bless you,

Cecilia Wallece
 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cecilia000wallace@gmail.com

andrewfreight@post.com

I think they are changing all the email and name so be careful.

Also I searched address he/she provided but it is kind of weird place to be shops around.

Best,

 

 

Posts:
1
May 29, 2017

How're you? I want to purchase an order from your company to our store
in The France. I want to know if you can ship international and also your form of
payment? e:g...Credit card.

Await your reply back asap.

Thank you and God bless you.

Yours

Cecilia Wallace​

 

Just received the above email via our contact form and the email address it came from is

cecilia000wallace@gmail.com

Needless to say, I won't be selling or supplying to this person.

Thanks for the heads-up guys.  
 

Posts:
1
May 31, 2017

Yesterday, I received the same message from the same e-mail address as Michelle's. Really annoying and I got suspicious because of her persistence to give me her credit card number in order to charge it although I made it clear that technically I couldn't do it and she had to proceed via my web shop or pay pal. Thanks to this topic and all of you, we avoided the worst.

Thanks.