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[edited by: Marcia at 4:07 am (utc) on May 24, 2003]
[edit reason] No specifics per TOS, please. [/edit]
Please help me I don't know what to do.
You did what you should - and you kept yourself from losing any money. Beyond that, I wouldn't worry about. The country is legendary as a hotbed for scam artists.
There are a couple of threads here about this kind of thing; you will probably find this one interesting:
And welcome to WebmasterWorld! :)
<<added - if you do want to pursue it further, the postal inspectors at your area post office would be the people to talk to about the mail fraud...>>
With Iran and the others on the watch list its cash only or no deal. Not really a harsh option when you consider all the possible fraud attempts that I suffer.
Those are calls made by supposedly deaf people using keyboards that go to a phone company operator who places a phone call and speaks for them.
I had a long chat with one of the operators. Instead of helping the deaf, they spend most of their day facilitating crime. But a recent law mandates that phone companies provide relay operators for the "handicapped."
I had one of these jokers try it out on me with the relay operator after I ignored repeated emails to take his hook. This scammers will go to any ends to rip you off, beware the certified cheques, they bounce back up to three weeks later.
I have heard of many being stung by these con artists.
I once saw an interview on BBC tv in England with the Nigerian ambassador on just this subject, fraud and crime of his fellow countrymen. The cheeky devil blamed all of the trouble on the 'previous white occuapation' of his country.
Mind you he did choke a bit when asked why the cars linked to the Nigerian embassy had the highest non paid number of parking tickets!
They probably shipped high ticket stuff to places like Indonesia and Nigeria to inflate sales figures. Stupid investors back then only cared about sales growth, not profitability. The charge-backs and accounting write offs occurred months later...often right after insiders unloaded their stock after an IPO.
I bet it was easy to get a Rolex shipped to Nigeria in 1998 if you sent an order to a faltering company right before the end of its financial year!
Another warning: never give a cash refund on a cashiers check. Some huge orders include a round number cashier's check, say $10,000 for an item costing $7123.45, with instuctions to wire the "change" to a bank in Nigeria and ship the merchandise by air.
The guy in Nigeria gets the item... plus the cash!
It has happened!
[edited by: TallTroll at 10:55 am (utc) on May 29, 2003]
[edit reason] specifics, per TOS [/edit]
Don't write off the whole world because a few countries have dodgy reputations. :) New Zealand is a long ways from Nigeria.
I trade from NZ, and have shipped US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia without ever having a single problem.
ps.. you'll need to remove that company name and email address from your post as it is against our Terms of Service.
Sorry, but yes, we do have valid, valued clients from Indonesia and Nigeria (as well as some cons from the US and Australia).
From my experience, conning/fraud is not country specific.
Cons are everywhere and you will also find decent, honest peolple in every country of the globe if you resist the temptation of following "main stream" prejudices.
E.G. 90% of the "Spam" email we get comes from the USA - Does this make the USA a nation of "Spammers"?
In our business, we follow internal anti-fraud guidelines with each and every new client independent of his country origin. We certainly don't give an unknown new client a higher "credit" just because he resides in a "trusted" country. And we certainly don't turn down a new client because his country has a bad reputation.
We do not do business with the country but with the individual/corporation.
Cheers from Berlin, Germany
Any guess where that Nigerian Scam email came from? Yep, I've gotten them from Sierra Leone, South Africa and Ghana, but 90% come from... (insert drum roll)...Nigeria.
Don't think for a second that those Nigerian Letters and emails come from ordinary people there. How did 100,000s of letters (often with counterfeit stamps) leave Nigeria for the U.S., England and Europe without the involvement of high ranking people in Nigeria.
Fraud against my company comes mostly from Indonesia where probably 99% of the orders are using stolen credit cards. Our overall fraud rate is about 0.05%
Almost all the stolen credit card usage that I have encountered and cared to investigate is from cards issued in USA. Doesn't matter who use the stolen CC numbers, it is mostly U.S based banks and merchants who let vital data of their customers to be stolen in the first place because of their errors etc.
there have been some good threads here at WebmasterWorld on checks and proceedures.
... follow your gut instinct not your greed.
I second your observations and do get increasingly annoyed by the politics of credit card companies who tend to put all the risk on the e-commerce websites.
E.G. Credit card charge backs just because the customer "forgot" that he ordered and credit card compani es put the liability on the "shop" to prove that the order was placed - selling on the net means you cant prove the order because there is no handwritten signature!
Without a handwritten signature every customer can ask for a charge back - Thank God, most customers are honest.
The way the system is running right now is that customers are able to order on the internet and when the credit card billing statement arrives they just call their credit card company, claiming they never made the order and the credic card company/merchant service simply revokes the sale - leaving the distributor with the loss.
In the long run this will result in a "no credit card accepted" policy by sellers - in our case, we grant credit card payment only on special request! We do prefer mailed checks or money transfer!
My company does not accept any form of payment for orders from suspect countries except wire transfer. We keep an account open with a low balance that is primarily used for accepting wire transfers.
Does anybody know of any fraud involving reversing a wire transfer?
In the long run this will result in a "no credit card accepted" policy by sellers
We don't take credit cards for our vacation rentals. What good is a damage deposit if the customer just calls the credit card company (after breaking a glass cooktop, for instance) and says "I object"?
But we have a relatively limited number of transactions. For people processing more than a few orders per day, I think you have to build an allowance for chargebacks into your pricing and get in bed with the devil...don't see how you could compete otherwise.
The scamsters, i'm sure, focus on new websites. The scam orders we get all have several characteristics: 1) huge in size; 2) want fast shipment with shipping cost no object; 3) 99% by shopping cart, not phone; 4) want liquid products that can be quickly resold; 5) usually from Indonesia, Nigeria, Eastern Europe; 6) often type in all caps; 7) they never read site's FAQ (ie. email: "do you take AMEX?" when FAQ clearly says site doesn't); 8) poor English
While annoying, fraudulent orders can be reduced to near zero by any competent/non-greedy web merchant. But I have to think some newbies really get taken by them...and shut down.
Of course, online fraud isn't going away. These bozos are going to get better!
Fraud can happen from anywhere.
That's certainly true, TimmyMagic, but some locations have a higher percentage of fraudulent transactions than others. If you have had just one chargeback in a year, you must have one of three conditions:
1) Product is not attractive for quick resale;
2) Low sales volume overall;
3) Outstanding security procedures that intercept 99.9% of frauds before they occur.
Merchants that I know that deal in products like electronics, sporting goods, etc., are subject to daily fraud attempts. They all employ a variety of means to screen out most frauds, though a few will slip through. These merchants generally identify locations like Indonesia and Nigeria as having a high percentage of fraud orders (e.g., over 50% of received orders, as opposed to under 5% in the US) and will either refuse to accept orders from those locations or employ very stringent processing criteria. It's not that all the people in these countries are bad - it's just that a small percentage of the population are criminals who seem to be able to operate without intervention by local authorities.
It's not just foreign countries. Some U.S. direct mailers don't mail to certain zip codes in the US due to high fraud rates - these are typically prison zip codes.
I've gotten a dozen letters from Nigeria over the past decade and hundreds of emails that all begin the same threadbare story:
"Hello I'm Bongo Bongoongo, son of the late esteemed Assistant Director of Petroleum Exports of Nigeria. Before my Father was killed by the new military government, he stashed $67 million in a shoebox in our house..."
Same thing with the Indonesians: They always order 30 of something from our company. Is 30 some kind of lucky number in the Jakarta environs?