Queensland Australian Businesses targeted
Another day, another scam.
Enriches Business recently received an email requesting a new website to be developed. While the email was poorly written and raised what we will call orange flags (not quite red ones), we decided to reply to request a phone call.
If it is legitimate, they will discuss the project by phone. If not, we scrap it – boi bye.
Later that day, we receive what is a poorly worded email from a “Sailor” with the Royal Australian Army who is currently at sea but has a project in mind, which he needs to be completed urgently.
In the email response, he included a link to a Spanish website he would like his project to look like. He also included a link to the domain name he would like to purchase.
Within seconds we found it was a scam, and a brilliant company somewhere in the world has cleverly parked the domain they “want to buy” with a landing page which alerts to the scam. Thanks guys, u da best.
After some research, we found that this particular scam movement is apparently targeting Queensland businesses.
They are also targeting Queensland Businesses who work on Google Adwords, SEO, Website Development, Australian website hosting, Australian domain name purchases… Pretty much our entire, beloved industry.
We’ve included the emails below so you may compare experiences if you think you might have received a similar email.
Some tips to help you identify red flags:
- The inquirer will ask if you accept Credit Card payment before even discussing the job, and is frightened of PayPal
- They are not available by phone but require the job done urgently
- The email address is often a combination of letters and numbers, or “seemingly” ‘anglo’ names, yet the text appears as broken English
- They misspell or miss-label what should be obvious – In our example, the person says “I work with Royal Australia Navy”
- They mention the following products: Gacillia, Gacillia nut, Kola Nut, and Cocoa – but are starting an import business based on wine… (Come on, man. Who do you think you are trying on here? We LOVE wine and this was a major red flag for us!)
- They are unable to advise the location of the business (In our case, it had several full stops indicating they were meant to fill in some blanks in the scammy template, possibly?)
Please share with others and remember: If it looks like a phish, swims like a Phish, and stinks of a Phish, it’s probably a Phish. Do.Not.Proceed.
Here is our email thread:
I’m Sean Gillins i would like to know if you can handle website design for my new company and also if you do you accept credit cards ?? if so kindly get back to me,so i can send you the job details.
Thanks hope to read from you soon.
On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 12:57 AM, Enriches Business <email@example.com> wrote:
Please phone Ben on 0450 603 836 and we would be happy to chat about your needs.
Thanks for getting back to me Here is the job details,
I work with Royal Australia Navy and right now I’m on sea. I will be back home by next month so this is the best way we can communicate and i want the work done before i will be back onshore.
I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in…. and the company is based on importing and exporting of Red Wine 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.
- I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
- I want only English language
- I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as TNtopfarmproduce.com.au
- you will be updating the site for me.
- i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
- i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
It was at this point we wrote a blog to warn others. According to search results, they will also claim a disability such as a hearing impairment or pending surgery to avoid telephone calls.
Please feel free to share this to ensure no one in our industry falls into the trap.
Here’s to less scammers and a prosperous tomorrow,
Jess & Ben Riches