Fellow Web Designers – Are You Being Scammed?

I regularly receive requests for quotes via email and I’ve never really been looking for anything that would trigger alarm bells… until now!

Below is a copy of an email I received early this morning (Disclaimer: I would never normally publicise anyone’s email address, however in this case, I feel it is appropriate).

From: Patricia Marr [mailto:patriciamarr08@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 00:13 AM
To: info@www.cleverlittlefishes.co.uk
Subject: Web Design Needed

Hello I am Patricia Marr and i am hearing impaired i need to know if you can handle website design for a new company and i also need to know if you accept credit cards as form of payment ?
i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now 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?

Seems harmless enough right? I thought so too until I recalled getting a similar email a few weeks ago.

From: kevin smith [mailto:kevinsmith07050@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2015 14:31 PM
To: info@www.cleverlittlefishes.co.uk
Subject: web design needed

Greetings my name is Kevin smith  i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business i want you to understand am going through illness situation at the moment because of my diagnosis of lungs cancer which i will be under going surgery soon 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 ?

“Hang on a ruddy minute!” I hear you say but wait a second, the plot thickens… I was actually on holiday when I received this and my out-of-office kindly told this gentleman I wouldn’t be able to respond until I got back from Annual Leave. With that in mind, I wasn’t expecting to receive the below:

From: kevin smith [mailto:kevinsmith07050@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2015 15:58 PM
To: info@www.cleverlittlefishes.co.uk
Subject: Re: Out of office Re: web design needed

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 Farmsproducts.net
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.

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 ??
my budget to be more than $2,000 to $5,000

Now, I’m no detective but as Boyle Roche once said “…I smell a rat”. I thought it was pretty obvious at this point that some sort of attempted scam was going on, so I did little digging and discovered that there are many email scams like this that are circulating among web designers and the culprits are ultimately looking for people who will happily share credit card details with them. As if I would take or hand over credit card information without knowing anything about the person!!

Anyhoo, please share this and let’s spread the word to prevent any future scams.

Thanks for reading
Ant