I recently received an email from a David Stobart asking if I was available to build him a new website, obviously I replied “yes, of course” and asked a few questions on what he was looking for and if it was a brand new site or updates to an existing one.
Now, there’s nothing better than receiving an email from a prospective new client especially when you’ve not had to do anything to get it, no phone calls, no door knocking, no meetings NOTHING!!!
I should have realised then.
They’re called the Third Party Payout Scam, the Payment Reversal Scam, the Advanced Fee Scam or the Overpayment Scam.
You will normally be told a budget up front and it’s normally in the thousands of pounds/dollars mine was between £1000 and £5000, once you’ve given your quotation and are arranging payment, they will inform you of the private consultant who does not take credit card payments so they are going to pay you X amount (again normally in the thousands) on top of what you asked for and ask that you transfer that extra into there bank account (they may even pay a little bit more to yourself as a thank you for your help). Unfortunately the card that’s used to pay the money into your bank will more than likely be stolen and once the owner of the stolen card realises, the payment is cancelled and refunded from your account… BUT you’ve already transferred that extra money into another account, thats where the scam really works, the business that accepts the payment is responsible for paying the full amount back to the card holder.
I know being a small business I wouldn’t be able to survive a hit like that and I’m not sure many small business’s would.
So, David Stobart replied to my email and this is where things started to feel a bit funny…