Printing Scams Make Their Rounds on Web —Michelson

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

Related Content
  • http://DebbieC Debbie C

    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!

  • http://RichardBernier Richard Bernier

    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.

  • http://MarkBurow Mark Burow

    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!