So I got an email at work yesterday that looked like a genuine quote request. I’m pretty good at spotting spam emails but at first glance, this one had me beat. It read:
Will you please quote for the supply of 20 x sheets of Silver Brushed aluminium Composite sheets @2440 x 1220 x 3mm We require this quote as soon as possible.
We shall be glad if you will state your prices, including delivery cost to our Office. Please find below our office
BECKER LOGISTICS SERVICES.
Unit 4, Ashburton Park,
Wheel Forge Way,
Looks pretty legit? Well, in a busy office I certainly thought so. I got a price from our supplier and sent it on to Harvey Becker. To be honest, we are not usually raw material suppliers in this fashion, so I wasn’t expecting to get the job. An hour or so later I had the following reply:
Many thanks for your email reply, we are okay with price. We will like to go ahead with the order. Please raise a proforma invoice for our order.
When we receive the proforma invoice with your sort code and account number we shall remit our payment into your account as soon as possible.
Waiting for your quick response.
The email does not mention the product, and it was not a reply to my email, but a new one. At this point the alarm bells started to ring so I did a bit of investigative work. Firstly, the company Becker Logistics Services does not exist in the UK, and when you think about it, isn’t the name a bit odd? Shouldn’t it be Becker Logistic Services (no ‘s’ on Logistics)?
The address is basically the middle of the road somewhere in Trafford Park, and there is no mention of the company anywhere. I also googled the email address and the name of the guy, but nothing could be found.
I sent him an email asking for his phone number and got no reply. Looks like I was right! And why wasn’t his phone number on the email to start with?
I can only assume that after I raised a proforma he would have paid the money into the account, overpaid by a massive amount and then got us to refund the difference straight away to rectify his ‘mistake’. After a week or so, the original bank transfer is marked up as fraud and the bank takes the full amount back. Thus, we are minus the refund, and the spammer gets to keep it. The original payment was never there at all.
That’s how it works, folks. Please share your experiences in the comments below and add any extra email text there so that others may find them. Wanna do me a favour? Why not head over to my bespoke, handmade furniture website – see if there’s anything you like! 🙂