First Email Received:Now, the first thing you will notice is that they had to ASK if I do website design for a new company. I am a website developer, OF COURSE, I DO! Next, you will notice that they specifically ask if I accept credit cards. THIS IS THE BIGGEST RED FLAG! Most people that really need/want your service are not going to ask for payment options in the initial contact email. They are going to be asking questions about your products or services. In my case, they ask about the platform, coding language, and what services are included with my designs. I usually NEVER have them ask about credit cards right away. But, I never want to miss an opportunity so I did respond with a yes to his questions and asked what type of business he has.
Second Email:Here is where I pretty much decide that I am not interested in working with these people because I am pretty certain this is fraud. First of all, the poor writing skills. Always a sign that something is up. BUT, the U.S. is a melting pot so broken English is not uncommon. Reading on, this is an export business, every fraud email I have ever gotten (it’s been A LOT) has been a church or export business. Also, they have a private consultant…this is the person they usually say is going to pay for the site in advance and that you need to contact them. Before I could answer, I received another email.
Email 3:Bingo! This is what I was waiting for. They want my personal cell phone number and asked if I am the owner. My response to this is: Now, I have learned that if you don’t know the person you are dealing with you pretty much need to run as much background as you can. Especially with large transactions occurring. I deal mainly with other business owners and I can EASILY check with the secretary of state for legitimacy. Following is the last correspondence with this person and after my response I haven’t heard from them again.
Last Email Correspondence:In conclusion, registering a business in the United States is very easy and there is absolutely NO reason a company shouldn’t or wouldn’t provide you proof of their business legitimacy. My recommendation is to always ask for this and followup with the Secretary of States Office to validate legitimacy. If you are dealing with consumers, a driver’s license & social security number is not out of line to ask for on high dollar purchases. A good practice is to wait five days before sending out ANY product worth thousands of dollars or call their credit card company and have them call their customer to verify the purchase. The idea is to protect your business! Hopefully the above correspondence has given you a reference to recognize the difference between a legit customer and one that is trying to commit fraud. Be Alert! | Be Informed! | Be Aware!
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