website scam alert | queensland Business

Scam Alert: Australian Businesses targeted

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:

 From: sean gilins [mailto:seangilins1@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, 3 July 2017 10:09 AM
To: hello@enrichesbusiness.com.au
Subject: WEB DEVELOPMENT

Hello,

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 <hello@enrichesbusiness.com.au> wrote:

Hi Sean,

Please phone Ben on 0450 603 836 and we would be happy to chat about your needs.

Kind regards,

Enriches Business

From: sean gilins [mailto:seangilins1@gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, 4 July 2017 2:57 PM
To: Enriches Business <hello@enrichesbusiness.com.au>
Subject: Re: WEB DEVELOPMENT

Hello,

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.

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 TNtopfarmproduce.com.au
  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) And will like to know if you are the owner ??

Regards.

————-

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

 

59 thoughts on “Scam Alert: Australian Businesses targeted

  1. I just received this exact same email – from the exact same email address – seangilins1@gmail.com
    thanks for the info!

    I have had another one of these in the past and it felt very odd as they said they couldn’t talk on the phone due to severe throat cancer or such. That was my red flag.

  2. Thanks – not limited to Queensland – just received one and I am in Victoria.
    MANY thanks for posting this. Much appreciated.

  3. And his reponse is:
    Thanks for your response,

    I am okay with the estimate everything sound good and do let me know if you are ready to take payment now with my credit card, I understand the content for this site would be needed so work can start asap but i will need a Little favor from you, there is this barrier bordering me that I will want you help me about. I am finding it difficult to pay the project consultant because they don’t have credit card facilities for payment and due to my present status beyond my reasonable control, It wont be convenient for me to pay via other method that is why i want you to assist me.
    I have intended paying you an upfront payment of which you can add to $4550.00,so that you can have all the sum charged on my credit card and you will have the $4550.00 transfer to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he receive the $4550.00 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you so work can start asap,You will be charging my card for remaining balance upon completion of work.
    I will await now your positive response about this and I hope you well understand me by putting my condition into consideration. I am sorry if however it cause you inconvenience.where is your company at

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Paul – hopefully, someone picks up the red flags before they get stung!! It’s kind of funny that finally, at the very end, they ask where you are! *shakes head*

  4. I got the same email, googled the senders “name” and “Australian navy” to see if my suspicions were correct and this came up. Thanks for alerting everyone.

    1. Yep we googled the domain name they wanted and some wonderful Samaritan has reserved it and marked it as “The offer isn’t real. The email is spam. Thank us later” haha!! How great are they! Glad you were clever enough to look into it.

      1. I was pretty happy to come across your blog article 🙂 not wanting to toot my own horn but I’m the one that bought the domain and put up the warning. I can’t stand scams and when we found the domain was available we knew what we had to do. I’m glad it helped you and many other people as well.

        1. Thanks for doing that! You’re our hero haha!! Toot away – you did a good thing and inspired me to share a blog about it!! Legends.

          1. well what do you know, I had another one this morning. Same message as before but this time the domain they didn’t have was wineproducts.com.au so we snagged that one as well and have it displaying the same message. When will these scammers learn to buy the domain first hahaha

          2. Hahahaha Somehow we have avoided any further emails? You are right though- they could pull this off so much better!

  5. Thank you for the post!
    I received the email and something in me felt it was NQR and I was suspicious so I did a search and came across your post!

    Cheers mate!

    1. Yep, we’ve seen that one before! Cheeky buggers.
      You’re welcome!! Really glad it has come in handy for so many.

  6. YEP,

    Received the SAME email today 14 Aug 2017. But I won’t post here what I replied with !!!

    Came from : seangilins1@gmail.com

    Reads:

    Hello,

    I’m Sean Gilins 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.

    Thanks for the Heads up on this SCAM. Really appreciated.

    Wayne
    Queensland

  7. Received the same email today. The sender forgot to include their email address for me to reply to…so I googled the name. Very thankful that I did as this thread came up!

    Thanks for the heads up

    1. Wow, still going around? Glad you found it too, although you would have smelled a rat soon enough anyway! They are not too clever!

    1. Nope – expect a response along the lines of “Can you just take my credit card info, I am currently on a sailing submarine ship with the Royal Australien navy military and need this set up before I get back to the East Australien shores of WA”. Something convincing like that, anyway 😉

  8. Hi, I am a Sydney based Web Design Agency and I just Had a similar email today and was from email address ( rebeccawoods4u@gmail.com ) Name Rebecca Woodruff.

    It Read…

    1st email..
    Hello,

    I would like to know if you can handle web design for my new company and also if you do accept credit card ?? if so kindly get back to me so i can send you the job details.

    Thanks hope to read from you soon

    2nd email
    Hello,
    Thanks for getting back to me Here is the job details,

    I work with Royal Australian 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.
    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 buywineproduct.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.

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

    //// SCAM SCAM SCAM ALERT.

    Thank you for this blog, I just wish I read this before waisting my time to quote.

    1. Ah I am sorry that happened to you but so glad you found some blogs alerting you. A lesson in your intuition – at least you trusted yours and went searching to check before getting proper scammed! Glad we could help.

    1. I mean, you’d think they would Google themselves and be a bit original, at least? An insult to my intelligence. CHALLENGE ME!!!

  9. Thanks for this information. I really value when people help out the community by alerting us to scammers.

    In my case, the same email as above, rebeccawoods4u@gmail.com, has requested to bring in TEN people to my clinic for reiki treatments. But every email that I ask and try to clarify, doesn’t make sense.

    She says that she is ‘hearing impaired’ or ‘hard of hearing’ or ‘deaf’, which is why she has to communicate by email, asked if I take credit card bookings, and now (on the third email exchange, which made me google her name; also the email was sent at 4am), she has requested that I go ahead with ten bookings, without specifying the dates, or responding to specifications and said that she is booking for 10 family members, listing them by name, but NOT ONE has the same last name.

    She said they are ‘coming into the country for her ‘dad 70th birthday party coming up soon’.

    So, please be aware of this variation of the scam, and do not reply!

    Hello,

    I am writing to request for your service for ten people that will be brought to your clinic / shop for treatment. How much does it cost to each per person, Also do you accept credit card. Get back to me if you can fill in the request and let me have the necessary quote.

    I await your response.

    1. (Also, just so the warnings are all in one place: I am a Sydney business. While this set of emails from ‘Rebecca’ was in May 2018, I received a similar request in March 2018 from adambryce178@hotmail.com. Again, I asked why you would book in 5 clients, 5 weeks in a row, without ever having tried the service before, and then didn’t get a reply)

  10. Hi just got a scam email from rebeccawoods4u@gmail.com telling me that she wanted to bring 10 clients to my business. Thanks for uploading this blog post, as it has saved me the hassle. I just blocked her email. Apparently whoever they are is targeting business across Australia.

    1. Hi John, So glad to hear the blog helped you. We have heard that too. I might update the post to Australia wide! Glad you caught it and didn’t have your time wasted. – Jess

  11. They are still going around with this scam! I just received an email from George Dean georgedean40@gmail.com with the exact same wording – It looks like this has been around for quite a while and they still have not fixed the typo “hope to read from you soon”.

    I just replied to the email with the word “Scam”. Thanks everyone for confirming this was a scam

    1. Unreal, isn’t it! Perhaps they don’t realise we Google these things? Glad you were clever enough to check them out, Gary!

  12. This scam is still going – just reached out to me, he’s up to seangillins0999@gmail now.

    Basically exact same email, different url. I googled his name after the first response and saw this link, so thanks for posting.

    I wonder what the scam eventually leads to?

  13. Yep just received this exact set of flippin’ emails. Annoying but thank you for sharing!

    We do Adwords in Sydney so they’re obviously targeting agencies up and down the seaboard.

  14. Received the same email today. Scammers will approach in different ways. Shouldn’t be stupid for money.

    Thank you guys whoever started for make alert us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *