Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 

Printing Scams Make Their Rounds on Web —Michelson

February 2010
3

KUDOS TO Peter Soloway and Larry Kahn, estimators at Design Distributors in Deer Park, NY, for spreading the word about the latest Internet-based scam that targets commercial printers. Their shop received an e-mail last month, complete with artwork attached, from a Mr. Glen Green at a Yahoo! account. The e-mail sought a quote for printing 70,000 copies of an 81⁄2x11˝, full-color flyer, and queried what form of payment the printer would accept if awarded the job.

Design Distributors responded online with an estimate, but became suspicious when "Mr. Green" replied (in an e-mail laden with typos and grammatical errors) that he accepted the price and was ready to provide his credit card information, but first wanted the printer to e-mail Tankers Limited Shipping to find out the freight charges. The 28 cartons of printed flyers, Green instructed, were to be shipped to the Mr. Wilson Orphanage Home at an address in Paris. Once the total bill had been tallied, Green indicated he would pay in full by credit card. Tankers Limited, by the way, did e-mail a quote back to the printer with various shipping options based on delivery. And the shipper noted, surprise, surprise, that its company policy was to receive payment from the location of pickup only.

The red flags were fully raised at Design Distributors by this point, thus Kahn forwarded the quote from the shipping company to Mr. Green, but also indicated two stipulations: 1) Green would be responsible for setting up and paying the shipping charges directly, and 2) as a first-time client, he was required to make full payment by wire transfer, not credit card, before production could begin. Green replied that he would only pay for the job using a credit card. As expected, they never heard from him again.

Kahn and Soloway are convinced that if they had taken Green's credit card as payment, the card number would have been fake or come up as stolen, or they'd been out the money because Green would have later disputed the charges with the credit card company. They now believe, too, that Green was somehow affiliated with the freight company, and would have also benefitted financially if the job had actually been shipped.

The estimators-turned-detectives also directed me to some Web posts where similar examples of this type of scam aimed at printers were detailed. Perhaps even more insidious, I found a link to another site, detailing the African Puppy Scam, where dog lovers seeking new puppies recounted various horror stories. They had fallen victim to supposed U.S. missionaries who indicated that they had just relocated to Africa. And, because these missionaries were so busy helping the less fortunate, they could no longer care for the beloved puppies they had brought overseas with them. Thus, the puppies were available for free (only to good homes, of course) if the new owners just paid the shipping charges up front via Western Union. In one post, a poor guy even revealed how some of the money earmarked to help pay for his wife's upcoming organ transplant had been swindled away in his attempt to surprise her before the operation with a new puppy. Various e-mail scams—including well-known ones that have made the rounds, such as the Nigerian government official or royalty seeking help to access their fortunes tied up in a bank account—have been traced to Internet cafes throughout Africa.

Perhaps one printer summed it up best in an Internet post to a fellow owner who nearly fell victim to a printing scam: "Keep your eyes open, and remember that if it smells like sh*t, looks like sh*t...it will taste like sh*t, too." Do you know of anyone (yourself included) who's been duped by similar fraud? We'd love to hear about it to pass along, so the same misfortune doesn't happen to somebody else. Rest assured; all names will be changed to protect the innocent, and to not add injury to insult.

In these tough times, with printers struggling to fill idle press time, and thus more likely to bid on and produce a job that comes in over the Web from an unknown party, it's disheartening to hear of e-mail scammers targeting our industry. After all, it's hard enough to please finicky graphic artists let alone worry about falling prey to scam artists. PI


 
3

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON BUSINESS MANAGEMENT >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. 

Competing for Print's Thriving Future focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the emerging changes — the changes that are shaping the printing industry of today and tomorrow. 

Use the research, analysis, and forecasts in this book to: 
• Assess the changes taking place
• Understand the changes
• Design a plan to deal with the changes

Topics include: 
• Economic forces, life cycle, and competitive position
• Place in the national and global economies
• Industry structure, cost structure, and profitability trends
• Emerging market spaces--ancillary and print management services
• Competitive strategies, tactics, and business models
• Key practices of SuperPrinters
• Combating foreign competition
• Social network usage
• A ten-step process to survive and thrive Competing for Print’s Thriving Future

The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. “Competing for Print's Thriving Future” focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the  changes that...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Mark Burow - Posted on February 10, 2011
Glen Green has contacted us as well, the cost for printing was $2,000.00 + and shipping was $3,000 + to Norway, we were to use the shipping company that he wanted. We were on the phone with the Authorities when Glen Green called with his Visa #, the Authorities said to tell him the card was declined, they knew he would say "I will have to call back with another card #" He did... we told him him we would email with confirmation. What he does is, gives you the Visa # for payment including shipping the so called shipping company wants a money wire to a bank account in Ghana right away, when the Visa card is found out stolen you are out the $3,000 that you wired to Ghana and any printing costs that you started. Anyway we emailed Glen Green and told him the card was accepted (Not), he keeps calling to see if things are underway and to see if we paid the Freight company, first we told him we needed the artwork. He called again to see if we received it, "Now that you have everything you can send the monies to the freight company, this afternoon!" He just called back and my boss had the secretary tell Glen that he was out doing some banking... (the bugger is probably rubbing his thieving hands together). We'll string the bugger along as long as we can, it's a shame there are people out there like that in these hard times, when a lot of printers are hungry for work. As far as I can tell the same group are doing the same thing to door companies, electrical motor companies, boat companies to name a few. This needs to be plastered all over the net!
Richard Bernier - Posted on October 19, 2010
Thanks for the comments. I have received the same scam this morning and got suspicious. it will save me the time to prepare the quote.
Debbie C - Posted on October 01, 2010
We just had a request come from Glen Green last week! Went through the hoops to get his quote back to him, wanted to help the "Church" right? Today after getting pricing for 60,000 flyers, he sent me an email with all this crazy info on contacting his freight company and I called his number... didn't work, and saw the Ghana address and SMELLED A RAT! Glad I googled it! Wow, the info we find on the web!
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Mark Burow - Posted on February 10, 2011
Glen Green has contacted us as well, the cost for printing was $2,000.00 + and shipping was $3,000 + to Norway, we were to use the shipping company that he wanted. We were on the phone with the Authorities when Glen Green called with his Visa #, the Authorities said to tell him the card was declined, they knew he would say "I will have to call back with another card #" He did... we told him him we would email with confirmation. What he does is, gives you the Visa # for payment including shipping the so called shipping company wants a money wire to a bank account in Ghana right away, when the Visa card is found out stolen you are out the $3,000 that you wired to Ghana and any printing costs that you started. Anyway we emailed Glen Green and told him the card was accepted (Not), he keeps calling to see if things are underway and to see if we paid the Freight company, first we told him we needed the artwork. He called again to see if we received it, "Now that you have everything you can send the monies to the freight company, this afternoon!" He just called back and my boss had the secretary tell Glen that he was out doing some banking... (the bugger is probably rubbing his thieving hands together). We'll string the bugger along as long as we can, it's a shame there are people out there like that in these hard times, when a lot of printers are hungry for work. As far as I can tell the same group are doing the same thing to door companies, electrical motor companies, boat companies to name a few. This needs to be plastered all over the net!
Richard Bernier - Posted on October 19, 2010
Thanks for the comments. I have received the same scam this morning and got suspicious. it will save me the time to prepare the quote.
Debbie C - Posted on October 01, 2010
We just had a request come from Glen Green last week! Went through the hoops to get his quote back to him, wanted to help the "Church" right? Today after getting pricing for 60,000 flyers, he sent me an email with all this crazy info on contacting his freight company and I called his number... didn't work, and saw the Ghana address and SMELLED A RAT! Glad I googled it! Wow, the info we find on the web!