General Discussion

Web Design Scam! Heads up!

I just want to make sure that people here are aware of a scam that's been going around that is targeting web designers. First contact from the scammer can be made through text or email and they use a variety of names. My first experience with this scam came as an email. I quoted them a price, and thankfully never heard a response! My second experience (that happened today) started off as a text message. This person said they were hearing impaired and asked if I would take on a web design project, and if so to contact them at an email address. The email address looked fairly normal (I even texted to confirm that "Stephen" didn't accidentally put an extra t on the end of his last name): stephenstewartt@outlook.com.

Naturally, I said I was interested in hearing more about the project, and so I emailed "Stephen" asking about what some of his design visions were for the website and other minor details to begin with.

I laughed my butt off when I saw that the email he sent me was literally almost the exact same email I had received the first time. I didn't know they were connected at first, but I looked through my sent mail and saw that they were the same email. Only the state of the business, the potential domain names, and the budget had changed.

So, that prompted me to do some digging, and I found plenty of other people who had either almost been scammed or had been scammed themselves here: http://www.graphicdesignforum.com/forum/forum/graphic-design/general/1584508-scam-alert and that's not the only site with warnings about this scam.

Here is the email below. If you get an email like this, stay away!

Thanks for your swift response and i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in CA and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com <http://www.agroamerica.com/&gt;…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site. Note:

  1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
  2. I want only English language
  3. I want the domain name as Finestplantationproduce.com <http://finestplantationproduce.com/>
  4. you will be updating the site for me.
  5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
  6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
  7. My budget is $4000 to $8000 Kindly get back to me with: (1) an estimate (2) your cell phone number (3) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

Thanks for sharing this ! :)

Wow everywhere scams.. if they would put the work in actuall business, they might just as well as develop something that they can make them self a life instead of trying to mess other ppl etc.. i just odnt get this people..

You're very welcome. I don't want anyone to get scammed, and so I'm glad you saw this! Hopefully more people see this and are aware to stay away from these cretins. I don't get it either, Konrad. We'll never understand people like this, I think.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

Its actually hard to prevent it too. There are scams that you can spot on easily, then there are scams you have to think cople of seconds and what about people that do it all life? its pretty hard to sport them out i think. I mean , there are soo many people that try to twikle people and try to make things for their benefits, usualy its all about money.

They can manipulate people or make then fall in some stuff, so everyone should be very careful and think twice, not even twice, people should analize it carefuly , everything .

I allways go with the idea of searching people online . I mean, google can tell you pretty much everything. Where somebody calls you or something, like this, i think there are chanes that you are the first victim, but usualy there should be something on the internet.

I think that these people are too much in the money and want goo without actually putting the work that has to be done. Wheres that 30minutes per day of or 16h. They have limited belief and think that people make money stealing , in my case, my stepfather thinkts that. He doesnt believe people can be wealthy, e.g me . But see, i do believe i can be wealthy as other, its just matter of belief . If he had an oportunity to make somehow money , he would go with it, but i would analize it really . If thats a good matter of the person , enviroment, animals whatever.. money are less important yet , they are hell important... i just want to get them out of my way in life an dont think about them.. yet , beeing financial indepentent . There are people that made millions stealing .. sure, there are people that did made also 100pounds stealing.. but it takes effort to steal too.. and ambitiomn, effort, hard work and positive mind , depending what ur doign . I see or hear about people that made 10 million per year, yet, they were completely happy and didnt know what to do with money, and yet they did steal from others to get even more wealthy which they dont need it, jsut greedy.. of course these people did get court . There are ppl that dont get court too , im sure. If we look at the wealthies people Bill Gates, or whatever, the hard work, decicatoin, willingnes, belief wins anyways.. and it gives a great life .

How do people feel when they stee\l? when i was a kid, i did steal some things fomr other kids , i must admit , but i was like what 5 years old? i do remember it .. but did i really control my self? or did i learned this fomr somewhere? when a baby children clean up the latter, its not scared of falling as it never experienced the fall.

There are scams every where , if you go on any sites, there are scams from my experience. Treehouse makes a good hob of ceeping most of them out, i barery see any here, maybe like one? that all.

But look that there are also naive people. I would say i can be naive near women . Yet there are people naive in real life in this terms that they fall in this type of things which is sad because it just makes them weaker in the way of position for them. Sure it can make them spiritualy stronger etc.. its like calling a grandmother and saying that im his son, because of the age, she actually can believe and borrow me 10k . I mean not son.. i dont know the name in enlgish.

I think it might be also a greed .

People should be positive, be happy and have ambitions :) sure, some people are just happy watching TV all day but uhh.. thats another story .

10 Answers

Just be cautious after some good talks. Suddenly they will say "you have to transfer some fees ($$$) to their account before we will start project, now tell me what's your bank numbers ######?" Then you better run away or never reply to them at all.

If you get this email, instantly destroy it. Do not talk to them whatsoever. The email will be in the same format as the one above.

But they don't just ask you for your bank account, however, which is why some people fell for it. The way they got their money was by keeping the entire process going until it was time for payment. They would take a stolen credit card and use that as payment for services. Then, they would say they were sending X amount of dollars (generally a few thousand) and say that the designer should use that money to pay their consultant instead of them doing it. I'm sure many were only seeing $ signs at this point.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

its a hard topic to discuss : p people have different approach to everything too.

There are contracts right? but they arent allways useful .

People should have some type of starting and making sure what their doing is safe and have some rules. So if the person is unwilling to call me, or go on skype as for an example. I will turn 180degrees and go away . Though well, thats life, its probably hard,especially for people that want to shot out . But it should be easier with time i believe , and experience too. Like i had experience with scams... but i learned . Anwyas, google things that are unsure :) thats best way of chekcing things .

The exampe you put is the most common and i think most people know its just a scam. But like i worte above, if somebody is doing this for years, hey mastered the art of scamming. That means they might know psychology of the human brain too which means they can manipulate and persuase effectivaly too . That means its hard for any human beeing if ur trained to take this people down or not .

People should be careful , if your unsure , dont do it. There have been cases where the victim had been acused of something that the scam did , but the fault was of the victim he did it though the scam persuade him as well as his mind to do it the way he did as that was the part of scam plan. Now the victim has to pay cople of thousands dollars... But i believe that the cours should see it differently too.. not the way it handeled this. Maybe some courts arent good too and make bad decision that usualy appears on TV or internet and make a big argue about it .

Most people do not know it's a scam, Konrad, or else people would not be continuously falling for it.

A M
A M
8,217 Points

I got a text from a guy calling himself "Arvind", asking about web design work. So I told him to email me what you want done.

I got the same email as others posted - word for word -

"i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in CA and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com.... the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

Note:

  1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
  2. I want only English language
  3. I don't have a domain yet but i want the domain name as www.goldenfoo.com
  4. you will be updating the site for me.
  5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
  6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
  7. My budget is $4000 to $11000

Kindly get back to me with: (1) an estimate (2) And will like to know if you are the owner ??


I honestly believed it considering the Agroamerica site looked legit - but when I googled "Gacillia Nut" - it showed up as a scammer alert and brought me to many forums declaring the person as a scammer using different names.

I can't believe will go to such extent to scam others. Terrible.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

Why people do this : p They want you to do some work that u wont get payed off : p and waste time?

This is still happening.

1st email from bobwayne794@gmail.com (Bob Wayn): Hello, Am Bob, I would like to know if you can handle an informational website design for my new company? kindly get back to me ASAP so i can send you the job details. Thanks, Bob

2nd email: Hi Sara, I have a small clothing business for both male and female, now am trying to expand the business and i want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate.

I need you to checkout this site but i need something more perfect than this if possible,http://www.missrebel.co.uk.

The site would only be informational, so i need you to get back to me with an estimate for the web design, the estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 8 pages since it is informational.i have a private project graphic designer,he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

Note:

  1. I want only English language
  2. I don't have a domain yet but i want the domain name as bobwears.com or bwears.com 3.You will be updating the site for me.
  3. I will be proving the images,logos and content for the site.
  4. I want the site up and running before ending of next month.
  5. My budget is $2000 to $8000 Kindly get back to me with: (1) an estimate (2) I will like to know if you are the owner ? Thanks, Bob

Blocking this guy immediately!

I even asked him to provide me with a legal business name, address and phone number and he did!

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

I had few scams too : p some of them, but not all were even in spam automatically.

Elizabeth Stewart
Elizabeth Stewart
357 Points

Someone just tried to scam me with this, they used the email williambruthner@gmail.com I Googled Kola Nut and Gacillia Nut, and I luckily ran into this article. Thanks for sharing.

Amy Hill
Amy Hill
352 Points

I has this email come in as well. Ronald Constanzo was the name they used. Just as a heads up, they are still running this scam.

Jarvis Johnson
Jarvis Johnson
3,367 Points

Has anyone here lost money out of this scam? Or actually been paid? What does he do when he is saying he'll send you $$ for you to send on to the consultant? Surely that never happens; if he had a stolen credit card he would just use it, not scam people. We're talking to one of these guys right now... ' Marten Rodriguez '.

Having a bit of fun with the guy. We need to send 'his consultant' $3,500 after he gives us $5,700. We've said our bank needs to verify the transaction from him so we need 3 payments between $5-$9 spaced out across 2 weeks.

Interested to see what happens! Will fill you guys in with the updates.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,429 Points

Lol, he's never going to get back to you again or either... the Governament is scamming you, and they sned you money but then earase transactions lol

Zach Slagowski
Zach Slagowski
15,181 Points

This is still happening. I got this exact email today!

chris terrazas
chris terrazas
11,033 Points

I just got the same tactic, slightly different email. Luckily these people aren't very creative...

i have business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in CA and the company is based on importing and exporting of Salon Equipment such as Dryer,hair cream,Weavon,Hairdressing,Clippers, i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.missrebel.co.uk.... I have a private consultant that has the text content and logo for the site . the site would only be information, so i need you to give me an estimate.

I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.

  1. I want only English language
  2. I don't have a domain yet but i want the domain name as R.E.SalonTools
  3. you will be updating the site for me.
  4. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
  5. i want the site up and running before ending of next 2 month.
  6. My budget is $2000 to $5000 8.Give me your personal cell phone number 9.Are you the Owner

no thanks

Below is the email of the scam I was sent today. This person first contacted me by text and I directed them to my website contact form. My contact form provides the IP address: 105.112.22.65 and after using IP Lookup found the IP in Nigeria. The whole thing seemed sketchy from the beginning. Designers beware!

Hello ,

Name: Clifford Johnson Company Name: Greener Farm Products Inc. Address: 4517 Lemay Ferry Road St. Louis, MO 63129 E-mail: Barrjclifford@gmail.com

I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in MO and the company is based on importing and exporting of agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ? I need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible www.americasfarmers.com the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out. The estimate should include best Hosting/Domain and the pages might vary from the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant/expertise, he has the text content and the logos for the site. My Budget is $1,500 to $3,800

I want you to find out this domain name for me www.greenerfarming.net You will be buying a better/preferable domain for me if my suggested domain is already taken, so it should be part of your estimate. I will send you more breakdown about numbers of pages and some more useful information in my next mail if that will help your estimation perfectly. I am not the CEO of the company but i am hired to be in charge of it been a family Attorney for a client.

Compliment Of The Season, Barrister Clifford Johnson.

Ethan Ede
Ethan Ede
9,203 Points

I got something similar today, but the company is in "WI" and it is for beauty products. Thanks all for the heads up!

Scott O'Neil
Scott O'Neil
8,282 Points

Hey Everyone, I had the same thing happen to me today but it started with a text! The name that was given was Donald Chaney and the phone number was 502-783-7451. They said they got my information from a third party company I use. Then they sent me an email like the one above about the Kola nut or whatever. The email was sent from chaneydonald8@gmail.com This is some of the response that I got:

Ok fine, I would need you to charge my credit card for $5500. so $500 would be a deposit payment for my website design and the remaining $5,000 you would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he has the $5,000 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website.

Regards
Donald Chaney

I responded by saying there is no way I could do that.

Please kindly help me out of this cos am currently in the hospital under going some treatment, please kindly help me out i will surely give you a tip of helping me out.

Regards
Donald Chaney

JUST A WARNING TO EVERYONE!