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Pay and refund scam - alive and kicking against Melksham businesses

From my email box, reproduced with permission ...


I wonder if you would be so kind as to circulate a warning to your members for me? Recently we were exposed to an attempt to de-fraud us and we would like to let others know so they know what to look for. This is especially important to new businesses who might not realise what is going on or might be desperate to benefit from the fraud themselves.

How did it happen? We were approached by an unknown businessmen looking to book our photography service for August for his son's wedding. This done by email. After a strange few emails where the question of budget and costs were skimmed over by him I decided just to give him a price. It was all a little wishy washy but in the end we received a cheque (posted in the USA but from a Spanish business). The cheque looked legitimate but was for four times the amount we were after! I questioned the guy and he said his associate was meant to have sent me my deposit and the rest to him, but had made a mistake and sent me the entire amount. Cutting to the point, the idea was that I cash the cheque (probably stolen), keep my share and forward the rest to him (tempting for a small or struggling business) but the reality is that it does get flagged eventually and the cheque recipient is then responsible for paying back the entire amount!

Anyway, this did happen to me this last week (I was savvy though so did not get stung) but thought that others should share this experience so as to be on their toes for anything similarly suspicious.

This is a varient of an attemped scam be see quite often for hotel rooms:

* Contact books a number of rooms for his "special guests" and pays up front
* He then cancels rooms and requests a refund but "I have changed my card provider since I booked" or some such excuse
* Turns out that original card was stolen, and - guess what - hotel also has to pay back the original booker as it was done "cardholder not present".
And it's a double whammie if we have turned away other business while the rooms were blocked.

There's another varient with high capital items such as narrowboats ...
(written 2011-05-16, updated 2011-05-17)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G910 - Well House Consultants - Scams
  [4651] Pressure selling in the fire safety business - (2016-02-19)
  [4385] A booking that looks too good to be true? It probably is too good to be true! - (2015-01-05)
  [3859] Youve Been Selected for the 2012 Edition of the Global Registry - (2012-09-16)
  [3480] Direct Message: Really horrible blog about you ... a clever phishing trip, said to be from an MP - (2011-10-14)
  [3222] Clickjacking - another way to get you to follow a malicious link - Facebook issue - (2011-03-29)
  [2988] Not mugged in London! - (2010-10-08)
  [2895] Global Computer Maintenance Department - (2010-07-29)
  [2690] The World Company Register - is it another scam? - (2010-03-23)
  [2524] An update on legal changes from the FSB? - (2009-12-03)
  [2403] Hotel Booking Scam / Cost of calls to 070 numbers - (2009-09-12)
  [2373] Translation from Ghanaian to English - (2009-08-23)
  [1795] What have iTime, honeytrapagency and domain listing center got in common? - (2008-09-12)
  [1772] Ken Palm, iTime, and Domain Name Tasting - (2008-08-25)
  [1680] Astroturfing - the online definition - (2008-06-17)
  [1342] Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam? - (2007-09-09)
  [1313] Tratum Technologies - (2007-08-21)
  [860] Warning - false emails, said to be from Paypal - (2006-09-09)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [178] Calling a spade a spade - (2005-01-15)
  [78] Domain Registry of America - (2004-10-07)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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