“They’re Back!”

The scammers have returned.

In the past few months, AWISCO received at least three e-mail inquiries that fit the pattern of the scammers who plagued us last year. Amazingly, some were using the same names, shipping addresses and “blind” business addresses. They were even so bold as to attempt to execute their nefarious schemes through manufacturers’ online lead referrals! Fortunately, we are getting smarter. We know how to read these requests, smell a rat, and then investigate. I propose that we send these to GAWDA for posting as a central repository of bad guy information for our mutual protection.

Sadly, contacting the authorities on these before sustaining a loss seems futile. I contacted several local law enforcement agencies and none of them were interested in launching a sting operation. I guess they have bigger fish to fry. Our collective efforts can stem the tide of attempted attacks on GAWDA members and perhaps set an example for other industries to follow.

How do you make the initial determination of a scam request? Re-read Teri Nock Hunter’s comprehensive article, Avoiding Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions. Here are a couple of ideas that AWISCO has put into use:

  1. Rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  2. If you have a suspicious request, “Google” the address or phone number in quotation marks plus the word “fraud.” Example: “718-555-1212”+ fraud.
  3. Poor English (grammar, structure, spelling) is an immediate tip off.

These three actions were used to help us determine that the following requests were scams. Here is AWISCO’s initial contribution to the dirty database. I encourage all of you to participate.

Seller beware! Let us all join together in this effort.

Name: Kimberly Ogoro, CEO
Company Name: Lightworld Inc
Address: 45 Clinton Ave , Brooklyn, NY 11205
City: Brooklyn
State/Province: NY
Postal Code: 11205
Phone: 718-234-8097
Email: ogorokimberly@yahoo.com
Category that best describes customers request: sales
This request is for: business
This customer prefers to be contacted by: email
The best time to contact the customer is: morning
Comments:    Dear Sales,
Compliments. i Wish you quote me the unit cost of the below mentioned item with overnight shipping cost to the address provided below: PRODUCT DESCRIPTION WELDING AND CUTTING TORCH Product Details: FP185T TIG Welder——— 2units
    More so I need to know if the mentioned product is in stock and available for immediate shipment. And let me know the Acceptable Credit card
    Either Visa Card Or Master card for the Payment Transaction. Your Urgent Reply Is Highly Needed Asap.
Ship To # Dr.Eric Bob
C/o .Tom Salako
Address: 145 Hook Creek Blvd.
Bldg. C 5 C
Valley Stream, NY 1158
Author’s Note: Lightworld, Inc., must be a major company…they have two CEOs! The address given for the corporation is actually American Self Storage, a lock box and rent-a-locker place. The phone number given is for a freight forwarder in Valley Stream, New York, that has been involved in scam orders for durable medical equipment. (See http://www.dotmed.com/forums/?forum=4&tid=2295). The urgency, offer of multiple credit cards and poorly written e-mails are immediate tip offs.


 
From Janet Basinger, CEO,
Lightworld Inc
Dear Sales, Compliments. i Wish you quote me the unit cost of the below mentioned item with overnight shipping cost to the address provided below: Welding and cutting Torch MS215M-3545 250 Amp Spray Master Air-Cooled MIG Gun—- 10 units Tweco A532 Electrode Holder—- 10 units More so I need to know if the mentioned product is in stock and available for immediate shipment. And let me know the Acceptable Credit card Either Visa Card Or Master card for the Payment Transaction. Your Urgent Reply Is Highly Needed Asap. BILLING ADDRESS Ms.Janet Basinger 45 Clinton Ave , Brooklyn , NY 11205 Tel–718-234-8097
 
Name: Patricia Bohorquez
Company Name: CPS – Coatings Protective Systems
Address: City: Weston State/Province: FL
Postal Code: 33327
Phone: 954 557 9716
Email: pbohorq@bellsouth.net
Comments: Good Afternoon. We need a quote for: 40 BIG BLUE 400 CC Motor: Deutz FL3 Please also include the prices for the cables. Include Shipping and Handling to Zip Code 33166. We’re TAX EXEMPT.
Author’s Note: We could not find this company. The phone number is a private number and had an answering machine. A message we left was not returned. They wanted to “buy” 40 diesel engine welders and they are “TAX EXEMPT.”
Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Victor Fuhrman Meet the Author
Victor Fuhrman is CIO and vice president of marketing at AWISCO Corp. in Maspeth, New York.