Please Read. Don't Get Scammed Like I Almost Did!!

Business By meihana Updated 30 Sep 2009 , 10:58pm by morgs2485

meihana Posted 6 May 2009 , 7:01pm
post #1 of 48

Ok bakers. Please take note of this and be wary of "sight-unseen" orders. I feel embarassed and foolish, even though I was able to catch the scam before I lost money. Here's what happened:

I post ads on Craigslist and several weeks ago I got an email from a man claiming to be "brittish but marrying a woman from Ontario" (Ontario, Canada). He said that he had seen my cakes and my site and loved my work. He sent me a photo of a cake and said that he would like me to make the exact cake for his upcoming wedding (June 6th) for 300 guests. It was a decent looking cake, lots of texture detail, gold painting, and red roses.

I sent him a quote, asked for flavour choices, etc. I asked him if he'd like me to make a small sample for he or his fiancee to try and he answered back that he was in China on business but that he would be sending me a cheque for the full amount and that he wanted the date reserved.

So, today, my husband called me from the courier location (as we missed the drop-off of the cheque yesterday) and said "He sent you a certified cheque for double the amount".

I almost immediately received another email stating that he had been informed by his accountant that the incorrect amount had been sent to me and that half of the cheque was intended for some musician. (Getting a bit wierd, right?!) So he gave me the name and address (in the UK) that he would like me to send (via Western Union) half the amount of the cheque to.

I was like, are you kidding me? First off, they charge you a fee to send anything via Western Union. Secondly, if, indeed, this is all true I don't want to be responsible for half this money belonging to someone else.

Well, my husband thought it a bit strange as well and happened to notice that the issuing bank on the cheque was nearby so he actually took it in to the branch. Thank goodness! The branch told him that it was a fake cheque, a good one, but fake all the same. She said that they have been getting a couple of these coming in, all for wedding-related businesses.

Basically, they are hoping to get you to cash the cheque at your bank, then go to Western Union and send them a big amount - so you would be out the money you sent, plus the bank would hold you liable for the fraudulent cheque.

I am so angry. And embarrassed. And disappointed. (I really thought that I had a big order coming up and had cleared my schedule around that date.)

Please don't let this happen to you! Thankfully I caught it before I lost any money, but I'm sure others haven't.

If someone contacts you via email for a big cake, demand to meet them (or someone) in person!!! Demand all of their contact details immediately. Be careful and protect your money and your business!

We were asked to take all email exchanges, and anything else we had, to the police. My husband is going there now. So, keep copies of EVERYTHING!

Good luck everyone. I hope this saves at least one person.
LL

47 replies
pattycakesnj Posted 6 May 2009 , 7:11pm
post #2 of 48

I get those types of emails all the time, and once when I was selling a couch on ebay, same thing. They will send you a check for too much money and want you to wire back the difference. I am sorry you got caught in the scam. Tipoffs are a lot of misspelled words, they are usually from a foreign country and mention a courier service picking up the cake or couch or whatever and are willing to pay whatever you want, no questions asked. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

sari66 Posted 6 May 2009 , 7:15pm
post #3 of 48

Wow, sorry that happened to you but I'm glad that you were able to catch it before you lost any money.

kimbers Posted 6 May 2009 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 48

A LOT of these type things are going on mainly originating from Britian. I almost got scammed a few years back on buying a car from craigs list. It's very scary. I hadn't heard of this one.... thank you for letting us all know.

cfao Posted 6 May 2009 , 7:39pm
post #5 of 48

These scams are going on constantly, both I and another local cake decorator recieved this one last week, watch out for his name & email.

Hi,

I will like you to bake me a chocolate or a strawberry cake of 5 tier that can serve approximately 250 guest or more, and I want the cake to be decorated with pink roses and the cake should be covered in fondant or butter cream and let there be an inscription be writing on one of the cake as (JEFF WED VANESSA) and i want you to pack them in different boxes after ready for pick up. And I want you to have the cake ready for pick-up on 21ft of May 2009, 11 o clock A.M. So let me know if you can fill in the date, once i have your reply i will forward all the details and the picture sample of the cake i will like you to bake for me. I await your reply soon

Thanks and God bless.


Jeff.

Jeff Gilbert [[email protected]]

goldenegg Posted 6 May 2009 , 8:02pm
post #6 of 48

ya this happens almost every time i post anything for sale on craigslist, especially laptops. i just don't respond to them, i can always tell which are scams because they always want to overpay and always are out of town for whatever reason. now if i post to CL i always include: i only accept USD cash as payment and transaction must be made local and in person.

leah_s Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:21pm
post #7 of 48

That scam has been around for years. I'm surprised you hadn't seen it before. Craigslist is not a good place to advertise. it seems to attract a lot of wackos.

indydebi Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:59pm
post #8 of 48

YEah, it sounds like a slight variation to the number of scams going around.

Here's one that my 16 year old got .... she received an actual check in the mail for $4900:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-621929-scam.html

cylstrial Posted 6 May 2009 , 11:41pm
post #9 of 48

It's pretty sad really. I'm glad that you didn't get scammed!

meihana Posted 7 May 2009 , 12:07am
post #10 of 48

leahs - Thanks for your comment. I honestly just didn't notice because of the barrage of orders I have been getting during wedding season. I have gotten many "internet only" orders through the same channel that have been completely valid as people in a younger generation use this means of purchase and communication often.

I just wanted to pass along the information to others who might be targeted. Since starting my business I have been constantly targeted by Melaluca, Amway, and other pyramid schemers as well as local individuals trying to get free cakes. It is tough to start a business without these horrible methods for people trying to take your money, or your business, away from you.

Even though we've "all heard about these before", I feel it's important to pass along the information because these scammers are efficient and re-use the same information, name, and addresses to target many professionals in the same field.

indydebi Posted 7 May 2009 , 12:12am
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by meihana

Even though we've "all heard about these before", I feel it's important to pass along the information because these scammers are efficient and re-use the same information, name, and addresses to target many professionals in the same field.




Always a good idea to keep the word out that it's a scam. When I was in my 20's, I got hit with a scam regarding printer/fax paper that was pretty common in offices. When I told my hubby (we were just dating then) about it, he laughed and said "That's the oldest scam on the books!" It ticked me off and I told him, "Well, if it's the first time I heard about it, then it's new to me!"

So, yeah ... always a good idea to keep the info out there! thumbs_up.gif

littlecake Posted 7 May 2009 , 12:17am
post #12 of 48

don't feel stupid...they almost got me last year...i went as far as buying the boxes to ship the cake in.

sweetjan Posted 7 May 2009 , 12:27am
post #13 of 48

Thanks for sharing. Don't you wonder who has the time to come up with some of these things???? icon_confused.gif Glad you're OK!!!!

meihana Posted 7 May 2009 , 12:31am
post #14 of 48

sweetjan - Thanks! Yes, my husband said that if they all got together and put their time (and obvious level of savvy and smarts) toward the greater good cancer would be cured in a matter of months! It's sad that these people have to turn the rest of us into such cynics.

en-passant Posted 7 May 2009 , 4:22am
post #15 of 48

Happy Marriage Life

bakermommy4 Posted 7 May 2009 , 4:36am
post #16 of 48

The same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Mind you I was soooo excited because it would have been my first wedding cake. The lady wanted me to charge her whatever price for the cake. She wanted it to be shipped somewhere out of state and asked me to add the shipping price $1000 to the total bill of the cake. I didn't realize it was a scam until I figured, if some shipping company is going to pick up the cake from me...without being paid first...that's kind of weird. I figure they would have to have their money to even accept the offer of picking up the cake. I just ignored her email and when I asked her how did she find me...she never responded and that was the end of that.

As hard as times are now...it's a shame that people aren't more concerned about the well being of other people. I guess I'm just the lone ranger, but our country is in a rutt right now and the last thing I'd be trying to do is scam folks out of the little money we have.

Evone Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:41pm
post #17 of 48

We did get caught up in the scam... We were so desperate to pay our rent that we were behind on we took the bait sorry to say. I wasn't going to write and tell everyone how stupid I was but then I got to thinking about it and decided to let everyone know what I learned from this experience.
1) Never do business with someone you know nothing about over the internet.
2) We ran the card number they gave us and it was approved so we didn't think anything of it until he never came for the cake and I emailed him about a hundred times and no answer. He then emailed me back the next day begging me to send him money western union I knew then I had been had. THE IMPORTANT PART OF THIS LESSON IS : READ YOUR CREDIT CARD MANUAL!!!!!!!!! I HAD NEVER READ THE BOOKLET BUT APPEARENTLY IT STATES THAT ANY AND ALL TRANSACTIONS YOU MAKE MUST STAY IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FOR 18 MONTHS!!! I DON'T KNOW ANY SMALL BUSINESS WHO CAN DO THIS SOOOOO PLEASE BEWARE.
THE CREEPS NAME IS JEFFRAN STEVE.
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE TRUST NO ONE. WE ONLY ACCEPT CASH.

indydebi Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:47pm
post #18 of 48

Got an email today. They wanted to ship my product to new york. I knew it was one of those emails, and replied "My products are not shippable". She comes back and says she's looked at my website and wants to order a cake and her shipper will contact me. I replied, "THis is a well documented scam. Try it on someone else."

Rylan Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:57pm
post #19 of 48

That is a common scam... especially if you post on Craigslist. Anything that starts with you sending a check is a sure sign of scam.

chaptlps Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 11:51pm
post #20 of 48

OMG, my boss just got one of these except it was from a "Ben Parker"

Almost word for word of the one that cfao got.
I knew I had seen this type of scam before but my boss hadn't. Glad I checked it out.
I did send him an email detailing what we can and cannot do. But now I might regret that but then I also stated that we do not take checks and that they needed to pay with USD. Other forms of payment would not be accepted. Hopefully he'll just move right along and go somewhere else.

My boss told me about it and red flags went popping up everywhere!!

Thanks to CC we know about this sort of nasty business.
Some people should get a life and a "real" job!!!

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 11:57pm
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Got an email today. They wanted to ship my product to new york. I knew it was one of those emails, and replied "My products are not shippable". She comes back and says she's looked at my website and wants to order a cake and her shipper will contact me. I replied, "THis is a well documented scam. Try it on someone else."




Lol....I respond with some pretty heavy expletives, in several languages, because these idiots are from Africa, parts of Europe, India...you name it. I usually end it with "translate THIS mother-effer!" icon_biggrin.gif

mclaren Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:38am
post #22 of 48

just wondering, - whether it's a scam or not--, if someone sends us a check with the wrong amount written on it (more than total bill), can't we just tear off the check & request a new correct check from them to be sent to us?
why must we go thru the hassle of returning part of the excess amount the person had written on it?

sorry if i sound dumb... don't have experience in this.

cylstrial Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:44am
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren

just wondering, - whether it's a scam or not--, if someone sends us a check with the wrong amount written on it (more than total bill), can't we just tear off the check & request a new correct check from them to be sent to us?
why must we go thru the hassle of returning part of the excess amount the person had written on it?

sorry if i sound dumb... don't have experience in this.




You could do that. That goes against what they want you to do. And they won't be sending you another check. That's the scam. They send you $3000 (that they don't have). You cash it and keep the $1500 like they say to do, and then you send $1500 back to them and now you're out the $1500 you sent to them, and the $1500 you kept, plus all of the bank fees).

I think it's different if someone who is near you, met you in person, and wants a cake writes a check for $5 over. You can just settle up with them.

Just stay away from anyone who wants you to wire money back to them. It's a SCAM!

playingwithsugar Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:50am
post #24 of 48

When did the groom move from Nigeria to Canada?LOL!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

auntmamie Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:55am
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by meihana

Even though we've "all heard about these before", I feel it's important to pass along the information because these scammers are efficient and re-use the same information, name, and addresses to target many professionals in the same field.



Always a good idea to keep the word out that it's a scam. When I was in my 20's, I got hit with a scam regarding printer/fax paper that was pretty common in offices. When I told my hubby (we were just dating then) about it, he laughed and said "That's the oldest scam on the books!" It ticked me off and I told him, "Well, if it's the first time I heard about it, then it's new to me!"

So, yeah ... always a good idea to keep the info out there! thumbs_up.gif




Is this the "what printer do you use" and then they send toners and an invoice? I got that when I was a front desk clerk at a hotel - I had no clue, and then management yelled at me. I had no clue at the time....

oneyracing Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:58am
post #26 of 48

my husband has been selling alot of stuff he dont use anymore from the garage on craiglist...alot of them we have been getting are gmail accounts...and using alot of different names now too...even names you would think was american and actually real...they dont even want to look at the item...wierd...this is one of the emails i sent to one of them...

ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm let me think about this...first you want me to believe that you want to buy this without even looking at it, testing it, or even knowing if it works.....second, you think i would ship this overseas so that i can get a stop payment put on it and never see the money...third, your english is not very good...so the next time you are searching for someone to scam make sure you write in terms we use...of course if you still insist on buying this "item"...you can send me cash and i will ship you something i totally dont need and has no value at all...thanks and have a great day


now i know i dont have the greatest english..lol...hated that class icon_redface.gif ...but it worked...never heard back from that name again...

diane706 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 4:35am
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

don't feel stupid...they almost got me last year...i went as far as buying the boxes to ship the cake in.




I actually started on the gumpaste roses for his cake (made about 30!!!) after I received the "check". What a jerk!! We realized after a while that it was a scam but not soon enough. I actually spoke to him on the phone after he refused to speak with my fiance. Thank goodness I was able to use the roses for another cake!

Unlimited Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:00am
post #28 of 48

You shouldn't reply to these people. If it sounds like a scam, you can research it first. Just do a google search "Ben Parker scam" and 29,200 links appear. You can google phone numbers, and e-mail addresses too and you might find out exactly where the computer is located that generates these scams. (my scam came from someone at Microsoft in Seattle, WA.) If you're so inclined, you could report them to authorities and let them handle it or inform the company with a heads up if the source is found.

littlecake Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:02am
post #29 of 48

they called me again a few days ago on the deaf phone....i got so much grief the last time i posted about it, peeps saying it could have really been a deaf person.

so this time i rode it out....told them to come into the shop, i've taken ordes for the hearing impaired before....they didn't respond....then hung up.

then they called back, couldn't we do business thru email?....i said no, come in the shop and we'll hammer out the details...they said no thank you and hung up.

so beware, they have called me twice in the last couple of months, i guess they are just going thru the phone book.

jamalyn1 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:28am
post #30 of 48

a couple of years ago my friend got scammed in a similar manner. She is forever looking for love and met some guy online. They talked for a while and he told her that he needed to get money to africa to take care of his daughter to have a surgery or something.... yes my poor friend is so looking for love she fell for it. She cashed the first set of money orders for 2500.00 then he sent her more! she actually went to cash those but the bank happened to notice they were bad. She had to pay all the $2500.00. I felt bad, but boy oh boy was it a dumb thing for her to fall for. So this scam is everywhere and they must be successful because they keep doing it.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%