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I received a typed letter from Michigan from a person that claims they ordered a product from my site and mailed me a "money order" that they know has been cashed.
The letter then goes on to say how I could be losing a very good customer who buys 30-40 orders a year, and if he doesn't receive his product he will go on all these websites & complain about my website. It also says to not attempt to call or email him, but only ship the product to the address listed in the letter to avoid my website from being listed on these complaint websites.
First off, the letter doesn't have a return address listed on the envelope and I checked my database and there is no order from this guy on my website. Also, I specifically state on my site that we do not accept "money orders".
It's crazy to see people go through such great lengths just to get free stuff...very disappointing!
joined:Dec 10, 2005
if he doesn't receive his product he will go on all these websites & complain about my website.Forward the letter to the local police of the "customer." It sounds like an extortion attempt to me. And if he does actually start posting messages about you, you can ad libel to the mix.
If you are in another state than Michigan, forward it with your concerns to the FBI. The letter in itself could be a crime if it crossed state lines.
Be proactive. Don't wait to see if something happens.
joined:Jan 12, 2009
This person has probably had some success with such threats in the past, or has been given freebies by well intentioned or scared merchants and is upping it to the next level.
Not too sure about that last bit, I've maybe seen too many America shows over here in the UK :O)
Do we think these attempts are a sign of desperation on the scammers part because fraud detection is improving? Or is this just an attempt at crafting new tricks? Or am I just late to the game on this one?
It makes you wonder who else they've tried this on and how long they've been able to get away with it?
My feeling is that scammers are extending their tendrils to include the deaf community. It's a whole new market for them. I won't say much more so as not to give scammers any new ideas.
Without getting into details, this is going to cause havoc in the deaf community if it continues. Hopefully the community will come together with a workable plan to combat this...
Scamming the general public is unacceptable, but scamming the "disabled" is reprehensible.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling it won't be much. Call display is probably as far as they take it. Most MRCs seem to be run by the telephone company, so they may have tracing ability, but would be unlikely to use it.
If you're able to get some good (real) referrals by mouth (er... hand) in the deaf community, chances are other deaf customers will show up since the community is so tight-knit. It can be a very difficult niche to break into, but I think if you get accepted, you'll definitely get some sales.
In the end, treat this "deaf" person as you would anyone else. If it scams like a duck...
Imagine if Abbie Hoffman had lived into the ecommerce age -- "Steal This Book" would have been 10 times thicker.
Try "Steal This Computer Book 4.0: What They Won't Tell You About the Internet" - by Wallace Wang
Interesting read, with plenty of information on scams that float around the net