Cake Scam - Cathy J Labella

Decorating By Godiva Updated 3 Dec 2010 , 5:43am by kelleym

Godiva Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:56am
post #1 of 38

Hi Girls,

Just thought I'd relate my experience with this group of scamers this week. You may have heard about it or have even been contacted by "her".

I received an e-mail from this person saying that she was interested in having me make her wedding cake to serve 300 people. She wanted it packed in separate boxes and had arranged for a courier to pick it up to deliver it to Toronto Canada.

I found this fishy and odd from the get go because when I told her I wasn't available for her October 26th date, she changed it to the following week...I was wondering who the heck was going to change a wedding date for a cake, undecorated to say the least. Then she asked to charge a credit card, to which I told her I would only accept a money order. It's been going back and forth for about two weeks, and mostly because I was very very uncomfortable with the whole thing and the story behind it. I thought to google the name from the beginning, but for one reason or another, I didn't do it until tonight. Part of the scam was for me to charge for the delivery service and personally pay them for the delivery, $980 total!!! So I would've been out $3,000 total!

I contacted the FBI and also called VISA to alert them about the credit cards that I had been given. THese were both debit cards, so I'm glad I saved this person from the hell they werer about to face.

Hopefully this will continue to be shared around th eweb, as it's been going around since 2008. Just google Cathy J Labella and you'l see.

Best,
Erica

37 replies
Gingerbear Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:57pm
post #2 of 38

"She" just contacted me on Sunday wanting to know if I could fill a 5 tier cascading rose cake order for Nov. 18, 2010. After sending a reply email to "her" she wrote back completely ignoring everything I said. She sends me a photo and gives me instructions on how to have the cake shipped from BC to Chicago... as long as I arrange it. She'll pay me the $980 for the shipping costs (and don't worry, I do this all the time she says) plus $100 for my trouble... do I take Visa or Mastercard? Just tally up how much I think the cake will cost; she'll pay anything because she really likes the taste of my cakes....

Red flag!!!

Naturally it made me suspicious and so I googled her and voila... cake scam. Wow... the unbelievable nerve!! I'm so glad I looked her up. Thanks for your post!!

elliespartycake Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:27pm
post #3 of 38

"She" contacted me a couple of weeks ago. Just from the wording of the email, the short time frame, etc. it was obviously a scam. I just deleted her email.
If it smells fishy...hit delete!

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 5:02pm
post #4 of 38

I recieved the same contact- same dates as you too. Shipped from NC to Canada. It sounded more and more fishy and the more we emailed back and forth on the cake my gut told me to tell her I couln't do it. Too many things didn't make sense and it felt like a scam to me. Never got to the point of discussing how the shipping payment would work out- I was wondering how they actually got ant money out of the scam, now I know. Hopefully no one falls for this!

vangiecakes Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 7:09pm
post #5 of 38

Thanks for posting.. I just go the same emails and felt it was a scam too... so I google too and and found your posting.. its so frustrating... thanks again!

carriejoy Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:31pm
post #6 of 38

I have seen this thing all over the Wilton forums and all so it must be common but I cant figure out how this profits them.can someone tell me?

imagenthatnj Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:23pm
post #7 of 38

Carriejoy, watch the first video on this link:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/BlogPost.aspx?id=25528

GeminiCake Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:38pm
post #8 of 38

Yeah, I tried to warn someone on wilton, and they didn't belive me that it was a scam.

cakesondemand Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 3:13am
post #9 of 38

Hello Sorry I would have call instead, to place this order, but am a hearing impaired person, and its more easier for me to communicate via email and sign, help me express myself more...Please, .can I book cake order for 18th of Nov, please check if you have the date open to take my order ?...Await to hear from you. Cathy Labella

I sent a messaage I was booked and recieved a second message

Please can you make me cupcakes for the date instead, I have already told my fiance and most of my special guest that you will be baking for the wedding, so please do not let me down..I shall be more than grateful if you consider the cupcakes orde done for me..I shall be waiting to hear from you soonest so as to proceed with the order....

I recieved a heads up from a friend on FB that several cakers were contacted. Boy there getting desperate....

steffiessweet_sin_sations Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 7:42pm
post #10 of 38

dunno if u . guys have seen but we have someone on here now, first wanting cupcakes in australia then 2 cakes in south africa. name is same79, does anyone know this person? of course i dont live anywhere near those places but u guys keep eyes and ears open!!

dsilvest Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 8:10pm
post #11 of 38

Sometimes when the red flag goes up the order is real. Got an email from a lady wanting an engagement cake, 2 shower cakes, 1 stag and doe cake and 2 wedding cakes. She sent pictures and all were very elaborate styles. I played along with her and it turned out the order was for real. I was quite surprised and happy at the same time.

simplydelish Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 9:03pm
post #12 of 38

Thanks for the reply...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.. 18th of Nov 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.
Cathy Labella.

Hello cake girls,
Thanks for the update, I sure know you are in British Columbia, I also reside here in the state, more also I know you make the best baking around...Am not from US, am just having my wedding there, because my fiance is from US, and most of my business associate are also there in US....

It was my late cousin who brought the sample of your cake of an occasion for me to taste because he knows I have passion for cake, at the very point of taste, I vow you be the one to bake for my wedding, and am glad you are able to fill the date for me...I have already told my fiance and most of my special guest about your cake and they are all waiting to have the bite....

I shall be waiting your reply for the total cost, so as to proceed with the order..Hope to hear from you soonest.
Thanks and God bless.
Cathy Labella.

Thanks for the update, the sizes are same sizes of the stands, 18,16,14,12,10...It will even serve with extra down.. You have everything correct and intact.,
Now I want you to split the total cost into two half's, then you should charge each half on each of my below cc..

Card type: visa card
Exp date: 02/11
Card #
Card type: visa card
Exp date: 02/11
Card Run the total cost through and get back to me with approval, along with confirmation for my order...then we shall proceed from there, hope to hear from you soonest.
Thanks and God bless.
Cathy Labella.

steffiessweet_sin_sations Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 12:04am
post #13 of 38

is this the emails u guys have gotten? or is this the scammers trying to get onto our site....?

artscallion Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 12:42am
post #14 of 38

simplydelish, do you really think it's a good idea to post, what are probably some innocent person's stolen credit card numbers here?

tokazodo Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:08am
post #15 of 38

My husband is a detective with law enforcement and runs across this problem often.

It is a scam and by the time you find out you have been scammed the scam artist is long gone. Good luck trying to find the bad guy to press charges.

The scam happens when the scam artist asks for a cash type advance on a credit card for things like shipping. They are not trying to hit for the total amount, but a chunk of it.
It's difficult to trace and often e-mail accounts have been shut down and all traces are gone.

Businesses who have been scammed like this need to file a police report. Personally, I would document everything and keep it in a file just in case. If the bad guy is ever found, the business might be able to take the bad guy to small claims court to recoup some loss.
Notice I said 'if' the bad guy is found.
Often this happens across state lines and he has even seen transactions bounce back to countries like Russia and Africa.
Because different jurisdictions have different laws it is almost impossible to press charges.

I guess this is a case of seller beware.

I do know you can write off the value of the cake as a business loss. icon_sad.gif

steffiessweet_sin_sations Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 2:27am
post #16 of 38

simplydelish where did u get these?

warchild Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 3:52am
post #17 of 38

This scam has been making the rounds for a few years. Bit different wording on each one, many times a different name, but still the same old cake scam.

A thread from cake talk 2008. Same scam, usually includes shipping to or from Canada, but different name thats asking about the cake. Mike Williams was popular then.

http://caketalk.typepad.com/caketalk/2008/08/wedding-cake-scam.html

Wilton forum 2008 with warning about scam. Name of scammer, Mike Williams.

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=3&threadid=109958

April 2010, a bakery that unfortunately fell for the scam. This one the scammers name is Steve Nicole who wanted the cake shipped to Toronto.

http://www.king5.com/news/Bellingham-bakery-falls-victim-to-wedding-cake-scam-90808149.html

steffiessweet_sin_sations Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 4:55am
post #18 of 38

so sad that people would go thru that much trouble to get money from hard working people. didnt those people learn any better than that!

Frosting2915 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 5:26am
post #19 of 38

I had a lady call and say that she was calling for someone who was hearing impaired and that she was typing what I said and waiting for the person's response. Before asking me any questions about pricing or availability she said, "I would like to order 250 cupcakes for this date to be picked up at 4 pm." They then said that they would give us a credit card and for us to charge an extra $400 that we would then wire to them Western Union in order to pay for the delivery.

Right away...red flag! icon_eek.gif Not to mention that the sound of her keyboard typing in the background was entirely to fast to be real. I tried to get as much information as I could. I got a phone number, e-mail address, and name. While I was on the phone with them I googled it and found that it is a scam and it has been going around to alot of bakeries and florists.

Sad and scary that stuff like this has been tricking people.

indydebi Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:52am
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosting2915

Not to mention that the sound of her keyboard typing in the background was entirely to fast to be real.


that may be if you are comparing it to your typing (and admittedly, I've no idea what your typing speed may be).

Hubby was watching me type once and said, "My screen doesnt' move that fast ..... oh, you type faster than me." On a regular typewriter (back in the olden days!), my kids said I sounded like a stick on a picket fence .... I've gotten much faster since the computer age has hit us. I probably type between 130-150 wpm. (and some of you wonder how I can post so much! you silly things!! icon_biggrin.gif )

So if you ever listened to me type ... you might think the same thing. I actually CAN type a conversation as its being said. There was a talk show with an interesting topic so while I watched the show, I typed the whole conversation(s) so I could share it with my daughter.

But back to this scam ... yeah it's been around for years. The names always change to protect the guilty! I think I got the same email scam under 3 different names inside of a 2-week period once! icon_lol.gif

Apti Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 9:00am
post #21 of 38

On the news the other night, they said there were specific things to look for in scams:
Bad use of English
Mis-spelling of words
"God Bless" or claim of church affililiation
They are in a distant location, sometimes claiming to be service men posted overseas
They need to have someone handle the "shipping arrangements"
Will often offer to have a third party like PayPal "hold" the money, but PayPal, or other financial businesses don't offer this type of escrow service. The scammer simply uses an accomplice posing as a legitimate representative.

Why do they do a "cake scam"?
They want the $980 shipping money.

Yesterday I got a telephone call from a salesperson offering to have her company "do FREE carpet cleaning". I said "No". As Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't make sense, I don't believe it!" FREE carpet cleaning (let alone letting a stranger into my home!) didn't make sense.

Frosting2915 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 2:34pm
post #22 of 38

I'm a fast typer too, but this was like taking your finger and running it around all the keys. Even if her typing was real, it was a scam no less.

3GCakes Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 2:36pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosting2915

I'm a fast typer too, but this was like taking your finger and running it around all the keys. Even if her typing was real, it was a scam no less.




I'm sure that the people who do the TTY phone lines (used by deaf people) can type that fast.

I did data entry (check encoding) for a bit...and there were some girls with super-human speed.

But yes, the scammers usually DO use those lines. Sad, it's a useful service being used for a really bad reason.

WhiskCakes Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 8:52pm
post #24 of 38

Hey all,

I was contacted by this "Cathy J Labella" starting on Wed. November 10th asking the exact same thing- 300 person cake, 5 tier,Delivery on Nov. 18th at 3pm, same pic as everyone else got...She will pay whatever I want for my cakes because she loves it so much and won't have a wedding without my cakes. blah, blah, blah. She will pay me $980.00 for shipping, plus an extra $100 for my troubles...knew it was a scam from the beginning. I contacted my local police (I'm in B.C. Canada, she wants the cake for her wedding in Chicago!) and they forwarded me onto the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center www.anti-fraudcenter.ca or www.recol.ca if you want to file a complaint online.
I've been giving them(the Canadian Fraud center) the credit card numbers that "she" has given me (which are stolen by the way!) and now the location in which I am supposed to Western Union the $980.00 for shipping to- A lady by the name of Erica Langford in Champaign, IL.....Don't let this person get you, and if you can, file a complaint- the more people that do this, the more they can do about it!

TPDC Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm
post #25 of 38

Just received the email too. Searched online and CC's post came up right a way! I know some fall for this, so please be careful. The police I talked to (in hopes of making it more aware to people in my community) said that people fall for this all the time. He has done several reports of people being scammed not only out of their money, but also of their identity. So sad!

kookycutter Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 5:26am
post #26 of 38

My person's name was Mrs. Amen Nicholas. Why do they fake that they are deaf or hearing impaired? Why wouldn't a hearing impaired person just email a baker? Why use the relay call? There are just better ways of running a scam in my opinion. This is one of the most bone-headed things I have encountered.

kookycutter Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 5:31am
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3GCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosting2915

I'm a fast typer too, but this was like taking your finger and running it around all the keys. Even if her typing was real, it was a scam no less.



I'm sure that the people who do the TTY phone lines (used by deaf people) can type that fast.

I did data entry (check encoding) for a bit...and there were some girls with super-human speed.

But yes, the scammers usually DO use those lines. Sad, it's a useful service being used for a really bad reason.




Yes, I agree that it's horrible that they abuse the TTY phone lines. I actually really hate it though because I know the operator is supposed to act like they are not there or not a person, but sometimes they can't read simple words and it makes the whole process just needlessly tedious. I wish they could just reread what the person wrote instead of asking the person to type it again.

vangiecakes Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 5:57pm
post #28 of 38

Does anyone know of a scam with a Rev Johnson wanting coookie and cupcakes and cake?

I am very of people now due to so many scam emails ...

Chef_Stef Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 6:21pm
post #29 of 38

*sigh* There are always scams like this. I get them several times a year in our other business.

I can immediately tell by the wording that's it not for real. I don't give it another thought. Ever. I just click <delete>.

Never sure why the hubbub about this. Obviously it's not real when they're asking for all kinds off odd ball things in terms of "units" and using some freaky form of English composition (no offense to ESL folks).

I figure on the OFF chance that it's for real (it's not, believe me), and I deleted an order, they will realize I didn't respond to their online order and call me to order it, like MOST PEOPLE WOULD. What amazes me is that anyone would ever ever ever be a victim of one of these scams.

And yes, you can type that fast. I did medical transcription for 12 years and was at 200-250 wpm--no problem typing a conversation as fast as you can talk. Not much use to me now though, except to fire off wise cracks on here. icon_cool.gif

KayMc Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 7:00pm
post #30 of 38

It's not just cakes. I got almost the exact scam from an area rug I advertised on Craigslist a few years ago. Sight unseen, she would send her professional movers to pick up this rug...blah, blah, blah.....

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