Scam, for those who sell perishable or breakable products

Wits' End

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Below is an email I sent out, regarding what I assume is a scam. Clever, but I've gotten too many offers for several million $, or a cut of an inheritance to believe it. I will look quite foolish if it turns out to be real I guess :)

Just thought I'd pass this on to you, I'm guessing it is a scam. I'll cut and paste emails below, however basic idea is that, I want to order your (perishable product , that I love) for my wedding. I am having my event in Toronto, I will arrange for pick up by 'private carrier'. You charge me for the product and the carrier. Then you give the 'private carrier' cash for the delivery, in this case $980. I reported this to Yahoo Phishing.
Just a note, this all got started by someone calling using a tele-relay service, as a deaf or hard of hearing person would. They asked for our email address to make communication easier.
I figured that any business that sells a perishable or breakable product could be hit by this. The big give-a-way being, use a credit card to pay the business, then the business pays someone cash. I'm also thinking if we fell for it they would be sending someone to pick up the cake and cash, so other businesses, especially in Lake County are likely to be hit.
- Hide quoted text -

[first email] I will like you to bake me chocolate and Vanilla cake of 5 tier that can serve approximately 300 guest or more , and I want the cake to be decorated with pink roses and the cake should be covered in fondant or in butter cream, and there will be an inscription writing on the side of one of the tier as "HAPPY MARRIED LIFE" and i want you to pack them in different boxes to be ready for pick up at the said time and date.. 2nd of July 2010, 3 O'clock PM. Reply me back and let me know if you can fill in the date for me....??? then i can forward all the details and the picture sample of what i will like you to bake for me.
Thanks and God bless.
[name omitted]
[our reply] Hello,
I need a few more details.... were you planning to pick this up and assemble it yourself? Where is it going to be set up? Is there air conditioning? Did you want a filling, or just frosting in between? If you have a cake that is just tiers stacked on top of each other the boarder at the bottom of each tier can't be put on until after they are stacked. I would do butter cream or a traditional white frosting depending on whether you want the frosting to be white or cream colored.
I do have that date available but I need a response as soon as possible, if you could respond by 5:00 pm central time, that would be best because this is very short notice for getting the things I need.


[second email]Hello , thanks for the reply to my order request, and for your concern as well, I want you to know that am very grateful, and am really inspired ever since the first time I tasted your cake, that is why I will prefer you bake for me..or i rather not bake a cake for my wedding.... :D

I will like you to bake for me separate 5 tier cake, I want some tier to be chocolate and some to be Vanilla flavor cake , and they should be decorated with pink roses as seen in the picture i attached, what you see in the picture is a four tier separated stand cake, but i want five tier cake, let the flower be made of silk or butter cream, or icing or real flowers, which ever one you know you can provide. ( in the picture what you see on the side on the cake is a polka dot, dot, i will like the color of the polka dot to be blue, brown and purple). And you should also have the cake covered in fondant or butter cream, and the inscription should be writing on one side of the tier as "Happy Married Life". After which you will packaged in your regular cake boxes for pick, Once they are ready for pick up .

They should be ready for pick up by 3 O'clock PM on the 2nd of July 2010...and a private shipper will be coming to pick them up...to delivery to my wedding reception in Canada and i dont want you to be worried about the safety delivery of the cake. Regarding the shipping ,I have a private shipping agent that will take good care of pick up and the delivery consignments. The Shipper will come for the pickup arrangement of the Cake at your place, at the pick up date and time.

And as I have told you previously, you don't have anything to be worry about on the shipping of the cake it will be well secure and in a good condition on arriving the location of my wedding reception in Toronto Canada, the shipper will be coming with there refrigerator Van for the pick up and it will be ship under the fragile shipping insurance scheme, a friend of mine has use them before for a shipping consignment of this such and they are well reliable, dependable and secure…..

So I want you to calculate for me what will be the total cost of the cake order including the decoration plus tax if included, and also I want you to add $980 for the cost of the pick up and the shipping, so once I have your reply for the total I will remit my credit card for you to charge for the total cost…so that you can have the order book right away. And once you have the order secured, I will have the shipper contact you for the pick up schedule arrangement, also i will instruct you further on how you will pay the shipping fee to the shipper as to confirm the pickup arrangement of the cake. Willingly Am also offering you an extra $100 for taking care of my order properly and for any less stress you will go through for completing the transaction for me due to my absence.

So please do calculate altogether the total cost of the cake + decoration and tax + $980 for shipping charges, including the $100 am offering you, then get back to me with the total for all, so once i have your reply for the total cost i will remit my credit card for you to run for the charges, also let me know is you accept Visa or Master card.
I will be waiting to have your reply for the total cost then we can proceed from there, hope to hear from you soonest.
Thanks and God bless.
[name omitted]
 

flashfan

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Absolutely screams "scam," especially the part about paying the "private shipper" cash.
 

JohnR66

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I don't know but this post sure makes me hungry for CAKE!

Of course this is a scam. Especially when they offer to give extra money. They also are very vague in exactly what they want and their responses often generate more questions.

When you pay the "shipper" you are probably sending money to the scammer. No one will likely pick up the cake. You would be out the cost of making the cake. Not sure what happens when the credit card is found stolen. You might be out the $980 you gave to the scammers.

No matter what business you are in, you probably have or will receive one of these. I have gotten a couple. some people actually fall for it.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Tulsa,OK
It could be you are sent a cake that only costs $980 including shipping post paid and the guy is doing nothing but calling them up and making an order and charging you an outrageous "fee" on credit. $1000 shipping is a bit excessive, I would think you could box something in dry ice and ship it for a few hundred on a plane most anywhere these days.
 

Ken_McE

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Minor variation on standard internet fraud. You could write back, say "sure, send the card #" just so you can report it stolen. The real owner of the card would thank you. If you feel ambitious you could see if local police would like to be there waiting for the "shipper". If they feel he is just a dupe you could give him 9.8 cents and a stale twinkie to send to his hidden master, just to let him know what happens when you scam a Minnesotan. The mastermind is off in Africa, most likely Nigeria. If you want I can take a look at the headers on the incoming emails, might get you a location.
 
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Solscud007

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Brentwood, CA Not LA
I think the true give aways are terrible grammar and the quizzical $980 in cash.

First of all the Client is pushing forward this "private shipper" to pick up the cake.

Since the client is picking up the cake, the client should pay the shipper directly. It is not the responsibility of the bakery to pay the shipper.

Its like I order a pizza and tell the pizza place to charge me extra and then pay me cash when i pick up my pizza.

uh WTF???? that is not normal.
 

Wits' End

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Turns out it is a pervasive scam. An industry magazine we get ran an article saying places had been hit by a version of this. Reported it starting in the NorthEast and moving across the country. To be successful this scam does require someone to show up to pick the cake up, and get paid the cash for the transportation.
FYI transporting a wedding cake would take more than packaging in a box. I could see it costing close to $1k to get it from here to Toronto. Plane or van. Then again I haven't looked into it :)
 

mdocod

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I suppose you could arrange the whole thing to go down (don't actually make anything), and then have the police waiting for the shipper when he arrives.

:)
 

LumenHound

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This is a case the Toronto detachment of the RCMP needs to get interested in. Fools Gold anyone?
 
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