Overseas shipping scam targeting Shopify stores

Highlighted
Tourist
3 0 2

It started with this email. We do get orders overseas for one really unique product we make so this didn't raise any flags...

Hello,

I want to place an order from you to our store here in Belgium.I will like to know if you can ship here and will like to know if you will accept credit card as form of payment.

Reply back asap

Thanks.

Emily Albert.

emmystoresllc@outlook.com

After followup, they wanted to place an order:

Hello,

 

Thanks for your reply back. Its a pleasure receiving your reply back. I will like to order for the below items for my customer's here, I want you to reply back with the total cost plus shipping quote. We're ready and can't wait to receive these wonderful products of yours here.

Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated.

 

INTERESTED ITEMS IN ORDERING FOR AND MY ADDRESS FOR SHIPPING QUOTE...

 

 Giant Replica Thread Spools ACE Sears & Roebuck 

QTY..................................5

 

 Set of 10 Art Deco Style Laser Cut Table Numbers on Base 1-10 

QTY..................................1

 

 Screen Printed Laser Cut Acrylic Invitation - Heraldic Style 25 

QTY..................................1

 

 Love Sign Small (12x25) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Together is a Beautiful Place to Be Sign Small (13x16) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 True Love is a Big Deal Sign Small (13x18) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Happily Ever After Sign Small (14x30) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

 Eat Drink & Be Married Sign Small (14x30) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

Forever in Love Sign Small (13x20) / Natural / 1/8" 

QTY..................................3

 

12" Laser Engraved Acrylic Charger: Rose Pattern 

QTY..................................1

 

Flat Pack Pedestal

QTY..................................10

 

....ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE....

 

Frankrijklei 114,

Antwerp,

Antwerpen,

BELGIUM.

2000.

 

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and finalized my order.

Thanks and God bless you.

Emily Albert.

 

But no company would bulk order a bunch of stuff from a small business site-unseen. They would order one thing and see if it's good and go from there. So I googled the address and while it is a shopping district there, I couldn't find any mention of the store in question. I googled the person's name and found an ongoing discussion of scams, including this person's name. Apparently they want the shipping quote so they can say they want to use their shipper instead, which is fake. 

Anyway, the thing that lent credibility to this was the apparent detailed list of items they wanted. But in looking through the discussion, every email people posted was formatted exactly the same way. As a former web developer, I realized they're building it automatically from the options list on our Shopify store. While that information needs to exist for the site to operate, and there is no way to prevent it completely, it seems like Shopify could modify their code to at least make it more work for the scammers to get this information off the sites. And at a minimum, make it known that this is happening so people don't fall for it. 

 

1 Like
New Member
4 0 0

The same thing just happened to me. I had a feeling right away that something was wrong with the situation. She only ordered small/child size Acupressure Bracelets which is odd with large orders... usually a mix of sizes. The she wanted her own shipping service who I had to contact by email which was massively overpriced. She has tried 3 times to pay her invoice and everytime declined using different US addresses.

I don't understand the end game with it... I would never have given them product or money so why bother?

 

0 Likes
Shopify Expert
379 0 41

Here's what I suspect. Just a guess having seen plenty of scams to varying degrees. She pays you for it all, whether that goes through or not is a different story. You then pay her "shipping service". The service is setup to collect your CC details insecurely, which she can then abuse.

Run Google Shopping ads? Get the free definitive guide to Google Shopping for Shopify (no optin required): https://www.digitaldarts.com.au/google-shopping
0 Likes
New Member
4 0 0

I am not sure if I am sold on the shipping scam. I would never front the shipping money for any customer wanting another service... that is their issue. And if they were to pay me to then pay the shipping service I would take cash to Western Union and never would use my personal/business credit cards. I still do not really see the end game here......... scammers must be getting more and more desperate. This person is still attempting to pay the invoice for the "supposed" items she/he wanted to purchase.... which is another thing I do not understand. Why would they bother?

Thanks for the insight tho... I appreciate it :)

0 Likes
New Member
1 0 0

We've had the exact same thing happen to us! Seriously don't undertand why they do it. It's not as if we are going to send products with no payment. 

 

Such a waste of time! 

0 Likes
New Member
2 0 0

Hello,

Something similar to this happened to me over the weekend, i got some influx of orders (with shopify flagging them as high risk orders) i mailed and called some of the customers and some checked out, and i was going to decline some of the orders(as have done in the past) but to my utmost suprise, waking up today to see shopify making my store 'unavailable' i chatted and had my VA called shopify on 3 different occasion but to no avail, the support couldnt give me reason why the store was made unavailable and they couldnt re-activate it straight away, all they could say was tha they will flag it for prompt response, which makes me wonder what type of customer-service shopify runs?

How can you just make ones store unavailable with no reason, or with no heads-up?

and after almost 24hours, no mail, no correspondence as to why the store was unavailable.

This is very Bad...I mean very Bad.

0 Likes
Excursionist
33 0 4

I get these emails all the time.  I've quit responding to them, they are all pretty much the same - large orders, often want to use their own shipper, don't want to place order on the website, they want to send you their credit card number (which is stolen).

If they can get someone to go along with what they want and their credit card gets through fraud protection, they have free product they can sell.

When the real owner of the credit card complains, the seller is out the cost of the purchase, plus the cost of the product.

Apparently a lot of people fall for it.  If they didn't, the scam would stop but it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  I average about 5 of these emails a month.

0 Likes
New Member
1 0 0

Same thing JUST happened to us today. Two separate emails from different "prospects" but same exact format. It tipped us off immediately. We ignore those kinds of emails. If a customer wants something in our web shop, they can purchase it easily. Basic questions like shipping and whether we accept credit cards are red flags because the information is made obvious in our shop.

0 Likes
New Member
1 0 0

Same thing happened to my shop a week ago.  What tipped me off was the person sent the same message from the contact forms multiple times, once a day for 4 days to which I've already replied to her first one and finally had to reply to another one to get her (or a bot?) to stop.  The rest is similar to what happened to the OP above; a detailed list of items they wanted to purchase, quite organized, then requested to use their own "preferred" shipping company.  

I sincerely hope the message spreads, scamming small businesses is just sad.

0 Likes
New Member
1 0 0

Same thing happened to us.  I googled their name (Emily Albert) and address (Antwerpen, Belgium) today and what came up was the information from sites talking about the scam.  Thank you for all the people who take the time to write so people like us can learn!  You saved us time, money, and embarassment.

0 Likes