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This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Weird customer address, looks like a scam

 7:50 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got an order from email asking if I ship to Nigeria, she said she's from Lego Intl. It is a pretty long list of what she needed, I sell apparels btw. So I checked and told her the actual cost. She then emailed me the credit card number and address.

Now i'm starting to think this is a scam. I have read a few threads here regarding orders from Nigeria. I am no racist but it looks like 100% of the orders originating there are bogus...

I'm not gonna ship and risk loosing a customer.. I guess my question is... is this the right thing to do? Im new to e-commerce so im green at this.. thanks



 7:53 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

From Nigeria?
Long list of items?
emailed credit card?

Sounds totally suspicious. It's hard to turn down a large order but I wouldn't process this one.

Is she ordering on behalf of Lego International? Is it possible to check with Lego int?


 7:56 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Firstly, Nigeria is 99.999% fraud when credit cards are involved. Most Nigerians can't get access to genuine cards as the issuers do not issue them easily to them.

Secondly, Lego could have offices in many places - you could try phoning Lego themselves and asking if they have any offices in Africa at all.

Thirdly, the credit card details should match - the country should come back as matched (if you don't have AVS and are operating ecommerce, you will get stung. Repeatedly.) To keep fees down, try a $1 charge and see how the AVS responds - or use a test mode (if possible) or pre-authorisation (if available).

If Lego are no help the I would refuse to ship the order. It would not be to unusual for a Nigerian fraudster to use an international company name to try to add a genuine feel to the order.


 7:58 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this helps but here's the edited message...

>Hello sales,
>             greeting from Lego consult shopping store.
>I am Lee Michelle the manager. of Lego consult shopping store.i will >like to place an order from your store and ship to  lagos nigeria via >UPS air express,I will like to hear from you if you can ship to the >destination before i proceeds with the products list i want to order >from your store.

Is there such a company? Lego consult shopping store? I also have a feeling she is in a hurry to get the shipping done, all her emails has ASAP on the subject line


 8:01 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, but i don't know what AVS is. I yahoo for my webhosting and payment for my merchant. I don't think they have AVS. I think worldpay does. Is this a service I can get serperately?


 8:02 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd email her back and request a correct purchase order, on Lego headed paper, with contact details etc.

Bet you don't hear from her again.


 8:10 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are also tools out there where you can check the first 6 digits and find out what bank they are from.

If the bank is not the local country this a flag the order is false.

I personally would actually not send the order. Sounds very suspicious.



 9:26 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry, but that is a classic scam email, I get them all the time (almost all identically phrased) and I don't even bother responding to them. You have better things to do with your time than chase after bogus Nigerian orders.

You must get AVS (address verification), and also CVV (which checks the 3-digit security code on the backs of cards). You can't operate safely without them. Yes, WorldPay offer both AVS and CVV.


 10:40 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is a scam, we see these all the time too, worded identically! Incidentally we also sell clothing.

The other ones we get are from bogus aid charities and automotive company sales people, quite why they would want large quantities of our somewhat specialist interest clothing items is beyond me! Makes me laugh just thinking about it.



 11:03 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Scam - he has told you what courier to use. Why? Because he probably has an account with them and can get it redirected.


 12:09 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

they're getting better at wording them ive noticed lately. I still think they're funny though..


 2:40 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys! you just saved me $$$ for giving me these advices. I will cancel his // her order right away. I will look into getting AVS and CVV next. I guess payment tech doesn't offer this. Time to switch merchant account i guess..


 2:41 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

HOw much more that avs and cvv cost? is is part of the monthly fee?


 2:43 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well I use WorldPay at the moment and AVS and CVV both come as standard. I should think it ought to be standard with any half-decent payment processor.


 2:50 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is WorldPays AVS global?

Corey Bryant

 8:26 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another part that I did not see - besides the Nigeria- is they wanted it Express. Usually this is one of the other tell-tale signs that you might have a fraudulent order.

And I would guess that most credit card customers know never to e-mail you their credit card number since that is not secure.

Most gateways cannot do AVS on addresses outside the US because they only check the street address and ZIP code.



 10:42 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have 2 questions about this thread:

1st, Can anybody give some more info about checking the first 6 digits of card to determine country? This was posted by Camflan.

2nd, If a customer gives a specific carrier to use, is this always fraud? I have a customer in Indonesia who is requesting us to use DHL.

Just looking for some tips. Thanks in advance.


 11:25 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have had experience with this kind of thing before, we have even had cards which have gone through from Nigeria and passed all the security checks and then 6 weeks later we get the call from our card processor that the money is being clawed back as its a fraudulent transaction.

Luckily for us we provide an online service (an online ecommerce software system) and so we haven't actually lost out on any physical goods.

Basically my advice is not to do anything with this order, if it is Lego im sure they could get their European offices to operated as the billing contact for the order as they would know about the problems with credit card fraud in Nigeria.

Corey Bryant

 11:42 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

The first digit in your credit-card number signifies the system:

  • 3 - travel / entertainment cards (such as American Express and Diners Club)
  • 4 - Visa
  • 5 - MasterCard
  • 6 - Discover Card

The structure of the card number varies by system. For example, American Express card numbers start with 37; Carte Blanche and Diners Club with 38.

  • Visa - Digits two through six are the bank number, digits seven through 12 or seven through 15 are the account number and digit 13 or 16 is a check digit.
  • MasterCard - Digits two and three, two through four, two through five or two through six are the bank number (depending on whether digit two is a 1, 2, 3 or other). The digits after the bank number up through digit 15 are the account number, and digit 16 is a check digit.
  • American Express - Digits three and four are type and currency, digits five through 11 are the account number, digits 12 through 14 are the card number within the account and digit 15 is a check digit

When I said express - I did not mean for you to take it that I mean another way of shipping. I meant, when someone wants it the next day - that can sometimes also be a factor. They want you to ship it to them immediately without hesitation. They are hoping that you are in such a hurry to make this sale & to ship it to them that you will not check the validity of the credit card



 1:09 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

2nd, If a customer gives a specific carrier to use, is this always fraud? I have a customer in Indonesia who is requesting us to use DHL.

The country/region is the biggest indicator in most cases. While Indonesia isn't as bad as Nigeria, a credit card order from there is still almost positivly a fraud attempt. Probably a 99.5% chance instead of 99.99%.


 9:33 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)


Indonesia is certainly another hotspot of CC fraud, also the fact that they have explicitly requested an express courier should set off a few alarm bells.

Knowing the nature of your goods would give an indication of the likelyhood of fraud. If it's electrical/entertainment products or anything else that is easily resold on then obviously you have to be more cautious.



 9:51 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

2nd, If a customer gives a specific carrier to use, is this always fraud? I have a customer in Indonesia who is requesting us to use DHL.

Not always, but it is good warning indicator - you have to look at evrything as a whole. The specific courier, plus a 'dodgy' country is enough for me to ignore the order.

[edited by: PCInk at 9:52 am (utc) on May 12, 2004]


 9:51 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

wackal, I get those Indonesia/DHL requests often too, again all dodgy, in fact they're getting as persistent as the Nigerians these days.

Camflan, AVS (as offered by the UK banks to UK merchants anyway) is only global in the sense that it checks the country the card was issued in. It does not check address and postcode unfortunately, but when used in conjunction with CVV is usually a pretty good indicator and better than nothing.


 4:40 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got this email from this fellow claiming to be from Singapore and it goes something like ;

If we can make agreement here i want to buy many Goods from you. Because i think you can give me a competitive price.
But i cant sign up on paypal because Paypal doesnt have option for my country ( Singapore) And if i pay you through bank ( Western Union, Certified Check, Money Transfer ,Etc )
I must pay 37% as a tax. That is regulation from my government here. So i just want to pay with my credit card.
I can give you! all the information about my credit card and you can charge it on your place.
You can find a merchant account or maybe your friend have it.

And I am from Singapore. We don't pay that kind of tax. Tracing the ip address, he is from Indonesia.

He should have at least look at my location and address before shooting off the email.

Corey Bryant

 5:19 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is really sad but there will be at least ten merchants that will fall for that because they see $$$$



 6:22 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would never ship to Nigeria no matter what...


 7:28 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks for the tips everybody. Matching the bank number to the country location seems like a very good way to catch potential fraud. Is anybody currenlty doing this and/or are their specific lists that will give all bank numbers within a certain country?

BTW, I'm going to look into the Indonesia order a lot more closely and i'm definitely leaning towards just canceling the whole thing.


 7:46 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks for the tips everybody. Matching the bank number to the country location seems like a very good way to catch potential fraud. Is anybody currenlty doing this and/or are their specific lists that will give all bank numbers within a certain country?

I haven't seen any lists available to merchants, but you processor should have them. Just call up your processor and they can get all the issuing bank information for you. So you can contact them and do a manual verification. That is what I did before AVS was available to me. I still do it on international orders or stuff that I have a funny feeling about and want a complete address verification instead of just the street number and zip match. VISA or MasterCard and have toll free numbers with automated issuing bank lookups. I don't have the numbers with me, but you should be able to get them from your processor.


 9:43 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't forget to watch out for the Canadiens, they're always ripping us off, especially when they want Indonesian coffee imported to them along with Nigerian sugar!</humor>


 11:33 pm on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have a look at the following site:


They allow you to enter the BIN. I am not 100% on how accurate it is but it may help.


This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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