AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:27pm
post #1 of

A few weeks ago I recieve this email:

SUBJECT: Tiered cake for Sept 18th

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Kerr.I am looking for a six tiered cake for
200 people.These are the cake flavors I am interested in:




real mandarin oranges, mango puree and flavored with tangerine and
pineapple pound cake
rum-walnut mascarpone buttercream filling



Dark chocolate cake
Burgundy Milk Chocolate Cordial Cherries truffle filling
( this is the candy I would like the filling made with
http://www.queenannecandy.com/go/?product/C80004/TreeKey=QUEUE&Ordinal=1)


Dark chocolate butter cake
Belgian Chocolate truffle ganache filling with hazelnut praline
frangelico buttercream filling




Strawberry cake marbled with white chocolate cake
fresh strawberry in gran marnier mousse



vanilla cake filled with a pomegranate-lime buttercream, painted with
pomegranate vodka,and almond buttercream

Ginger cake with lemon syrup
gingersnap-lemon buttercream filling

This is the plate I would like the cake to be design like I would
ruffles on the edges painted with gold and I would like the pink
flowers painted on them and would like fresh pink flowers.
http://www.rubylane.com/shops/grannymares/iteml/GM-001226#pic1
My phone 845-452-4735.My budget is $1025

Now this is the largest cake order I have recieved, so I was excited, I've talked with her on the phone a small handful of times, but she sounds like she is either slightly deaf, or drunk... In any case she says she is sending me a $200 deposit via money order. All the while I have not been able to get out of her how she found me or details of the event.

Yesterday I recieved this email:

SUBJECT: tiered for Aug 4

Hi, my name is Angela Jordan.I am looking for price quote on this cake;




almond pound cake
cherry-almond filling
cannoli filling with large chocolate chips

tangerine cake
apricot levkar
almond Swiss meringue buttercream filling


yellow buttermilk cake
with mango passion fruit curd
with seedless raspberry preserves

banana cake
peanut butter ganache filling


strawberry yogurt cake
strawberries preserve
lemon curd


please call me at 845-380-2056.

She then called me right away and left a voicemail (from the same # I had for the previous customer, Elizabeth Kerr) same speech impediment, but saying she is a different woman. Red flags went up everywhere. I told her that I didnt have the date open and she replied asking me when my first available date was...

Any thoughts on what is going on or what I should do?

114 replies
CalhounsCakery Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:43pm
post #2 of

That sounds incredibly suspicious! I think you may be right, and this is a scam!

dinascakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:44pm
post #3 of

Bells are ringing, ding ding ding ding!!! Don't take either order!!! Sounds super crazy, both of them!! Good luck to you!

TinkerCakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:49pm
post #4 of

Something is wrong with this! I'd wait and see if the money order will ever show up, I doubt it. Keep us posted, I'm curious how this goes!

VaBelle Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:49pm
post #5 of

Strange, but could be family members? I would proceed wih caution, not spend too much time on them until you get some money and it clears the bank. Let them know you can only pencil them in until you receive the deposit and anyone else can still take the date if they put down a deposit first. That way if you don't receive a deposit right away and things get too wierd, you can just tell them someone else booked the date and paid the deposit so you won't be able to help them after all.

Sweetestdreamcakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:00pm
post #6 of

sounds like the weirdos who "wanted" to buy my wedding dress. An excuse for everything and wanting to mail a money order... thumbsdown.gif

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:03pm
post #7 of

also, I forgot to mention the the first couple of times the original woman called, it was from an CA phone #, I googled it out of curiosity (Since I am from PA and she is supposedly from NY) and a bunch of articles popped up about people making harrassing calls from the #

jason_kraft Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:24pm
post #8 of

If you have any doubts, insist on a cash deposit. Requiring cash up front will scare off any potential scam artist.

shadow3829 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:30pm
post #9 of

Run, dont walk!! I goggled the number to, not to good. I do that on a regular bases at my regular job when we are doing work with someone new and have found out some very interesting things.

leah_s Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:45pm

Oh please, people, that's such as obvious scam. And now that you've talked with her, your name is being circulated among the scammers as a "live one."

fabray13 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:46pm

I guess I am kinda gullible, but seriously, what are these people trying to accomplish? Is it possible to get money from a scam like this? crazy!

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:47pm

that's what I don't understand...what's the point??

carmijok Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:47pm

Sounds like they're price hunting. Those are very specific flavors and designs. Open up a Paypal account and have them send the deposit money there. And have a deadline for the deposit. I wouldn't hold my breath on this one. In fact I'd probably run from it.

Mb20fan Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:53pm

Sounds like one of the scams where they will soon ask about delivery and YOU having to wire money and stuff...I'd report the numbers then block them from being able to contact you and consider yourself lucky to have not been taken for anything. JMO. Be careful and best of luck.

Bakery avoids fake order scam



Prescott police continue to investigate a suspected fraud reported by a local bakery owner at 3:30 p.m. on Monday that was similar to a scam that targeted a local restaurant last year, a police spokesman said.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, the owner of Pangaea Bakery in the 200 block of West Goodwin Street told police an unknown person called her bakery and asked for her e-mail address, saying someone who was deaf wanted to contact her and could only use e-mail.

A bakery employee received the call and gave that person the e-mail address, she said. Just a half hour later, the bakery owner received an e-mail stating that the suspect had some of her baked goods at a previous event and wanted her to supply cupcakes for an upcoming wedding in Canada, according to the police report.

The bakery owner told police that the suspect gave her two credit card numbers and asked her to charge $1,053 to each to cover the $2,106 cost for 350 cupcakes.

The bakery owner told police the $780 shipping cost to get the cupcakes from Prescott to Canada would be paid in cash to a person who came to pick up the cupcakes at a later date.

On Monday, the bakery owner told police she received a call from Chase Bank in Indianapolis asking why she had charged one of their customers $1,053.

The bakery owner then suspected it was a fraud and reversed the charges on both the credit cards and contacted police, said Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

If the alleged scam had run its course, the bakery owner would have fraudulently charged two credit cards and a suspect would have taken the goods and the cash for shipping costs, leaving the bakery owner, the banks and the owners of the credit cards with losses, Reinhardt said.

An Asian food restaurant in town was hurt by this scam last year, said Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

"The scammers call up the restaurant and place a large order of food to be delivered out of state or out of the country," Reinhardt said. "Then the scammer asks the restaurant owner to call a specific shipping company, which is a fake, to pay the shipping charge."

The scammer will tell the restaurant owner they can bill the charges for the goods and the shipping charges to one or more credit cards, Reinhardt said.

Then they'll ask the restaurant owner to go to Western Union and send cash for the shipping charge, Reinhardt said.

"If you are asked to send cash through Western Union or ship a large order out of state or out of the county, we encourage you to look into the people and businesses further before doing it," Reinhardt said.


kakeladi Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:55pm

'''''''''''''''Open up a Paypal account and have them send the deposit money there. And have a deadline for the deposit. I wouldn't hold my breath on this one''''''''''''''''

Dittoicon_smile.gif I so agree w/this advice.

Mb20fan Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:58pm

Portland, Ore. -- Scammers are targeting small Portland-area businesses in the wedding industry.

A local bakery is the latest to get hit. The Sweetness Bakery and Café in Southeast Portland just lost several thousand dollars to the complicated scam. It all started with an e-mail from a buyer in Toronto.

It's not a hugely unusual request, said Kay Krueger who manages the bakery. I guess I let the flattery of somebody interested in my stuff that lived that far away take over.

It was a very big order, a $2,000 dollar wedding cake. The buyer paid for everything with a Visa card complete with security code and expiration date.

That code is what we depend on to let us know a person is legit, said Krueger.

The bakery spent 60 hours making the cake. At the last minute, the buyer said there was a shipping problem. They wanted more money wired to a new international shipper.

Krueger reluctantly wired the money.

Meanwhile, less than a mile away Peggy Lapoint noticed a massive bill on her Visa card from a bakery she'd never been too.

I could never imagine spending that much money on baked goods -- though I'm sure they're really good, said Lapoint.

Somehow thieves got their hands on Lapoints Visa info and used it to scam Sweetness Bakery.

At first we're thinking it's about a wedding cake and someone is paying for their wedding with our card, then you realize it was never about the cake, said Lapoint.

The elaborate cake eventually spoiled and ended up in the trash.

That hurt, said Kreuger. It makes me sad because it makes me feel suspicious of people and not trust them as much, which bothers me.

Visa reimbursed Lapoint for the credit card fraud, but the bakery still hasn't heard from Visa and will likely never get the cash back from the wire transfer.

Investigators with the Secret Service believe the scam is being operated out of Toronto, Canada and is targeting small businesses everywhere.



There are so many stories just like this one all over the internet. Scumbags!

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 3:59pm

I've heard of the other scam involving shipping, but she wants this cake delivered, not shipped anywhere. It is about an hour from me and she is paying $150 for delivery. I do have a paypal account, but she said a money order is in the mail...

jason_kraft Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyCozze

I've heard of the other scam involving shipping, but she wants this cake delivered, not shipped anywhere. It is about an hour from me and she is paying $150 for delivery. I do have a paypal account, but she said a money order is in the mail...



The money order is probably fake.

I would advise against accepting money with PayPal, especially when you think a scam is involved. It's ridiculously easy for a buyer to dispute a PayPal transaction.

mena2002 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:15pm

Just reading all these stories makes you realize just how easy it is to be scammed. On the one hand you don't want to be taken for a ride and lose out on your time and money. On the other hand you don't want to lose a potential client either. It really puts you in a difficult position.

Maybe ask for more info from her and make sure she is legit?

Whatever you end up doing good luck and keep us posted.

Mb20fan Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:17pm

ImageImageImage
Waiting to see how this pans out. Again, be careful and good luck!

bacillys200 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:25pm

Paypal is a great tool to use.

I personally use it all the time to both pay and sell thing on the web; I think that the older people have an issue with paypal.

I have yet to have a problem with them and have used it for over 9 years, they will usually take the side of a seller on a dispute anyways.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:27pm

Here is a related thread about PayPal and how problematic it can be.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=720426

bakingatthebeach Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 4:42pm

Ive read several threads about this very same scam. I wouldnt accept the money order, or the order for that matter. If you talk to her again, tell her your not interested. I think it will save you alot of time and headaches! Especially since two different people called you from the same number. You got your scam answer right there!

BlakesCakes Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 5:18pm

Very fishy. I, too, am betting that the money order will either be fake or will never arrive. Please let us know, either way.

Another thing that's odd to me....those are some of the most exotic flavor profiles I've ever seen. Just accumulating the specific ingredients, perfecting recipes, etc. would be a major $$ investment for most bakers.

Very possible that it's even another baker who's been asked to do this for the $ stated and wants to see if someone else thinks the pricing is reasonable.

I'd say no just based on the fact that I'd have so much $$ invested items that I will probably never fully consume.

When someone makes it hard on me, the answer becomes, "Sorry, I'm booked."

Rae

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 5:23pm

should I suggest to the first women that we meet in person, and at that point I will need a 50% deposit in cash before proceeding? I have already put in time designing the cake and have had a few phone calls with her, so if she is legitimate, I wouldn't want to turn her away just because I have "a feeling". That seems like bad business. I've only had my own business for 6 mos, so I'm new to everything, am I just being naive?

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 5:30pm

I know, the flavors really threw me off too. I've never had someone contact me with such specific over the top requests. So then when I got the 2nd email from the "other woman" with the same types of exotic flavors, I felt like something must be up, unless they somehow know each other...and also both have a speech impediment.... Ok, now I'm starting to feel dumb for even entertaining the thought that this could be legit....

mena2002 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 5:34pm

Yeah schedule a sit down with her to go over all the details and if she's legit then for sure she will meet you. But if she makes an excuse not to go or is fine and trust you to decide everything then I will think twice. People who order a cake that big and pricey will want to be more involved with the process.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 5:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyCozze

should I suggest to the first women that we meet in person, and at that point I will need a 50% deposit in cash before proceeding? I have already put in time designing the cake and have had a few phone calls with her, so if she is legitimate, I wouldn't want to turn her away just because I have "a feeling". That seems like bad business. I've only had my own business for 6 mos, so I'm new to everything, am I just being naive?



I would estimate there's a 90% chance this is a scam, but on the off chance that it's a real order I would agree with your approach of meeting in person and requiring a cash deposit (no checks, no money orders).

Tiffany0481 Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 6:03pm

I know others have said this but PLEASE do not accept a money order. My friend received a money order in the mail from someone last year for a transaction that he was doing. The money order looked completely legit and even his bank deposited it with no problems and cleared the funds. Then about a week later, his bank notified him that they found out the money order was a scam. It was a really weird situation, but just be careful!

I definitely agree with the other posts that you should try to meet her in person and ONLY accept cash.

Good luck and keep us posted on the status.

AmyCozze Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 6:13pm

Well I just sent her an email explaining the situation and said I would not hold the date unless she was willing to meet in person with a cash deposit, etc. I'll let everyone know how it goes. If I never hear from her again, let it be a lesson to everyone if you recieve a similar request.

It's very dissappointing as this was my first $1000+ cake order since opening my bussiness, and I had a lot of people really excited for me, only for it to be a scam...makes me a little sad..... icon_redface.gif

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