web design scam text correspondence

Recently, we’ve received a number of different requests for website redesign proposals that had some odd and striking similarities, enough to trigger alarm bells that something wasn’t right. What started as a simple text message turned into a call with the Secret Service (yeah, really). We all know how prevalent scams are online, so it’s no surprise that these extend to specifically crafted web design scams, SEO scams and other scams that directly target photographers, designers and other creative professionals. In the web design industry, we’re all targets. Be alert, trust your instincts and reach out to others in your professional community.

Here’s how the scams work

They’re called the Third Party Payout Scam, the Payment Reversal Scam, the Advanced Fee Scam or the Overpayment Scam. The Fraud Prevention department at credit card payment processor Stripe put it like this:

I can see that you work in web design. Designers such as yourself are common targets for a type of scam known as a Third Party Payout. Essentially, the scammer makes a payment (generally in the thousands) for a project, and pays more than they need so you can then transfer money direct to a third party (e.g. a consultant, graphic designer, etc). I imagine your correspondence with your ‘client’ has been along these line. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, the fix is that the card used is stolen and the third party is actually the scammer. So when the legitimate cardholder disputes the payment the business is left holding the bag on the money retrieved from their account and what they transferred to the scammer.

What’s amazing about these web design scams

  1. How involved they are – by the time any money were to actually make it back to the scammers, a lot of work and time is devoted to each scam
  2. How long they’ve been going on for – these scams have been going on for a while, and they don’t look to stop
  3. The exact scams aren’t changing much – a basic web search will turn up dozens of minor variations on the same web design scams that are being recrafted into seo scams, designer scams and other freelancer scams
  4. The scammers will email you, text you and sometimes even talk on the phone with you – it’s amazing just how easily a scammer can be totally anonymous hiding behind a throw away webmail account and a Google Voice phone number

Here’s how the web design scams went down

The first scam came through from Kent Walter <kentwaltersnr@gmail.com> and seemed strange because it mentioned a budget right off the bat (what clients reveal their budget in a blind outreach email) and asked “are you the owner” – strange. It also referenced another website to copy – pretty unusual. Here’s the full email:

From: Kent Walter <kentwaltersnr@gmail.com>

Good I just want to open a new Indian Restaurant i need a website for my business to grow the site should be up & running by ending of March i don’t want a shopping cart in my reservation page also i don’t have a domain name yet i prefer: DHARMAKENTRESTAURANT.COM My budget is $5000-10000 for the web design i need you to go through this example link site: http://www.indikausa.com, i want the same page as this site i want only English language you will be updating the site for me. I have a private project consultant, he has the text content with logo along with the image artwork get back to me with an estimate including hosting i will like to know if you are the owner or the manager?

Thank you

This person is the scammer: “I have a private project consultant, he has the text content with logo along with the image artwork”

web design scam fake website sitemap

“Kent” even sent through a sitemap drawing of the website he wanted to make – pretty funny in retrospect. And since this time, the website http://www.indikausa.com has been suspended by HostGator. I emailed with “Kent Walker” a few times until I realized the whole thing was going nowhere – he never responded to basic discovery questions. I didn’t suspect this was a web design scam. Until a few weeks went by.

The second web design scam came through a few weeks later – early in the morning as a text message from someone claiming to be Luis Lee at (732) 893-0731. The first text read “good day are you available for a website design.” Our business number accepts text messages and our Google My Business listing allows potential customers to text message us. Here’s where the alarm bells start going off:

From Luis Lee (732) 893-0731

am luis i would love to know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you do accept credit cards ?? kindly get back to me with your email so i can send you the job details.

And it gets even more fishy when the email came through from luis lee <luislee23@yahoo.com>

From: luis lee <luislee23@yahoo.com>

I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TX and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

Note:
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as leetopfarmproduce.com
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be provideing the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $4000 to $6000

Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) And will like to know if you are the owner ??

Regards

This person is the scammer: “i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site”

I immediately thought, “There is that same email we received from the Indian Restaurant a few weeks ago. What are the odds.” It became obvious pretty quick that both were web design scams.

But then my brain quickly went to “how do these web design scams work? – how do they play out – what kind of people are doing this?” I have no intentions in vigilante justice. Or intentions of repeating the amazing journey of phone scam discovery that took the producers of the Reply All podcast to India to meet the people behind those annoying junk calls from a phone number a few digits off from your own (episodes one and two – will blow your mind).

Curiosity got the best of this cat, so I played along with the web design scam to find out more.

Luis of course eagerly responded to my proposal

I emailed with “Luis Lee” a few times and even made up a quick proposal based on the sitemap of the Agro America website and sent it off to Luis. I even called him to see if he would pick up. I ended up talking to Luis on the phone, though the connection was terrible and neither of us could understand each other. He did, though, email me right back to accept my proposal.

From: luis lee <luislee23@yahoo.com>

Thanks for your response, I am okay with the estimate everything sound good and i’m ready to make payment now with my credit card, I understand the content for this site would be needed so work can start asap but i will need a Little favor from you and the favor is that I will send you my credit card to charge for the sum of $5850 plus 3% Cc company charges, You will deduct $2750 as deposit for the design of the website plus extra $100.00 as a tip for handling perfect work for me and you will send the remaining $3,000 to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he receive the $3,000 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you so work can start asap,Sending of funds would be after money clears into your account and You will be charging my card for remaining balance upon completion of work, Kindly get back to me so we can proceed with payment asap

Regards
Luis

Here’s the scam: “you will send the remaining $3,000 to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website”

Pretty good location for a gacillia nut business

I asked for a name and address of the company, and was given the kind of uncreative name “Luis Lee LTD” and the address 5603 Peacock Ridge San Antonio, TX 78228. As if more evidence of this web design scam were needed, a quick search on that address showed that it had been listed for sale just 21 hours ago.

fake address used by web design scam attempt

I reached out to Stripe to see if they had any interest in at least tracking an IP address from these people. I can turn my credit card payment processor into testing mode so charges aren’t really processed. The great people at Stripe’s Fraud Prevention department told me to do absolutely nothing like that, to stop all communications and to reach out to the Secret Service with details of the web design scam.

It turns out this particular variant on the Third Party Payout Scam / Payment Reversal Scam / Advanced Fee ScamOverpayment Scam has its own name: the Agro America Scam and the Gacillia Nut Scam. Unlike the Indian Restaurant variant where the example website seems to have been suspended, it seems that Agro America is a legitimate business and doesn’t play a part in this scam. The website did send my computer’s CPUs through the roof, making me wonder about BitCoin / cryptocurrency mining. But enough about the scam.

What to do if you’ve been targeted

  1. Unless any money has been stolen from you, the best thing to do is nothing. Delete the emails / texts and never reply at all. It’s unlikely that the scammers are sitting in a room together and will put you on some kind of organized hey don’t contact this web designer again, she’s onto us type list. More likely is that the scammers are an unconnected group of people using the same scam, are totally disorganized and will probably contact you again. So just delete. We played along for a bit to find out more about the scam out of curiosity, but it’s probably not a good idea.
  2. If you want to report the scam, or have unfortunately lost any money, you can reach out to
    • The Secret Service – we were referred to them by Stripe even though no money had changed hands. The Secret Service is responsible for counterfeiting law violations as well as financial fraud including banking, access device, advance fee fraud and computer fraud, financial document counterfeiting, and money laundering. I had a pretty nice chat on the phone with a Secret Service agent who confirmed how widespread these web design scams are and told me that unless money had changed hands, they weren’t too interested in trying to track anyone down
    • FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – complaints filed via this website are processed and may be referred to federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for possible investigation
    • Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant

We’ve heard reports from others like fellow web designers Olive Group and Covington Creations about similar encounters. Have you been contacted? Have an update to report?

Updates

Looks like the scammers are moving to Yelp! Is anyone else getting these Yelp scam messages? Seem very similar to other general web design scam emails we’ve gotten dozens of times…

New Message: James H. is requesting a quote

Hi there, please respond with a price estimate. Here are my answers to Yelp’s questions regarding my project:

In which ZIP code are you looking for professionals?
78711

Describe your need:
Good day, am Hanson i would like to know if you can create and handle an informational website design for my new company ? Kindly get back to me as soon as possible with your email or cellphone number so i can send you the job details. Thanks

Thanks for the comments posting the details of all the variants on this same third party payout scam. Hopefully the scammers get tired of spending all this time trying to steal money and put their efforts into something more constructive. Keep up the comments so others can stay alerted!

This stuff never stops. Good thing is that it can be put online so others can find it hopefully before any money changes hands. Just got another of the same scammer emails from leon gregory <leongreg2006@hotmail.com>

From: leon gregory <leongreg2006@hotmail.com>

My name is Gregory Leon and I would like to get a quote for an e-commerce website for customers in Haiti, with the same functionality as Craigslist, but with distinct design. In addition, I want to integrate google translation because Haitians speaks French and Creole. Furthermore, the website will be for small businesses and individuals with goods and services they are interested in selling or advertising via this website. There are additional features I want integrate into the website as well:

Certify SSL, and all traffic to the website will be over HTTPS.
WordPress
Ensure current architecture adequately supports future systems upgrade
Enable electronics gift card payment.
Create ten additional staffs accounts.
Maintain complete ownership of the website and its content.
Mobile-responsive, fast-loading, and able to adapt properly to changing screen sizes
Maintain complete copyright protection of the website and its content
Please send me your quote to include the development, design and a reasonable monthly charge for hosting the website no later than June 1, 2018.

I can be reached at leongreg2006@hotmail.com and by phone at 786-473-4663. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Unfortunately, we were in the middle of putting together two proposals and didn’t have the time to catfish more out of Leon. Next time…

This crap never stops. Just got the exact same scam sent it via email from james morgan <jm6994017@gmail.com>

From: james morgan <jm6994017@gmail.com>

Sound good …… I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

Note:
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as yourtopproduce.co
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. My budget is $3000 to $8000

These scammers never stop. You’d think they’d start getting more creative. But everyone knows creativity is inversely related to profitability, or something like that.

Just got another of the same scammer emails from
julian johnson <julian4real147@yahoo.com>

From: julian johnson <julian4real147@yahoo.com>

Here is the job details

i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in USA and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
Note:
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as UlyateFarm.com 4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $5,000 to $19,000

Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate

Favorable Regards,
Julian Johnson.

Sent from my ipad

I asked for the name address and phone number of Julian’s business, and he said it was

JULLYFARM
USA
OFFICE 1754 Woodruff Road #153
Greenville, South Carolina
29607, USA
+1-785-428-2862

I called the number and spoke with someone I couldn’t really understand. It was a busy day in the office so I didn’t dig much deeper, but I did email Julian to get a life and stop stealing money from people.

blog post author avatar
Written with by Alex Wright

Runs a creative digital marketing, web design and SEO agency in Austin, Texas   |   Likes good looking, fast performing and high ranking websites   |   Doesn't want to understand Snapchat   |   Wants nothing to do with bananas   |   Wishes he were a BMX superstar

397 thoughts on “Avoid Web Design Scams

  1. Hi,

    I have received the similar email:

    Hello

    I did told you i was gonna get back to you soon,sorry am getting back to you late,here is the details of the new job for you.Am a CEO and an entrepreneur so i dont really have the time but lets get things straightened up cos i will be less busy for days.My name is April Petals(CEO April Petals Restaurant)living in Florida USA.

    I will be needing you to build a world class website for our newly about to be opened restaurant.I will want you to create the website within the space of 4 to 5 weeks,no prolongation about this.I said 4 to 5 weeks because the interior decoration of the website is the only thing left and it will be ready by that time,so i want both the restaurant and the website to start running the same day.

    Look at this website here https://www.lamarchaberkeley.com . I want you to check this website and create something similar to that for me,let me know if you can.So kindly get back to me with an estimation,the estimate should include the hosting too.

    Also i will like to inform you that there will be no shopping cart in my reservation page and there will be no chat include also.I will be preferring the domain name (aprilpetalsrestaurant.com or aprilpetalsrestaurant.net).

    Note: My budget is not more than $5500.So kindly get back to me with your total estimate for the job with domain price include.

    Note;I will be providing the logos,image and contents.All you need to do is to create the website

    Do you accept check payment?kindly let me know

    April Petals

    (CEO April Petals Restaurant)

    ————————————————————–

    Hello,

    I got your email now and am cool with it.Am not able to use PayPal or any other merchant because i had a double remit from a website i use few weeks ago.Since then i have a strict instruction from my bank that i must not use PayPal or wire transfer for any transaction now matter what pending the time been

    However,i can have my personal assistant write you a check and have it sent to you if you live in USA or to any one you have in USA that could receive a check for you.

    Let me know if you have someone that can receive check on your behalf in USA.I will be needing his or her name,address and mobile number for communication to have the check sent out to him

    —————————————————————————–

    Hello

    I will be sending you a check of $6100.89 which include the private consultant advance payment,once you clear the money remove your upfront payment of $2250.89 and send the rest ($3,850) to the private project consultant for her advance fee, she has the text content and the logos for the site with the image artwork, i could have pay her myself but she does not have facility to receive check or credit card at the moment. Are you clear with that?

    kindly acknowledge this message ASAP.

    April Petal

    ——————————————————————————

    Hello

    I want to inform you that the check has been delivered to your friend mailing address today via Fedex.Here is the new tracking 789487548748 so you can check its delivery status.Kindly tell your friend to have it deposited and funds will be available the next business working day for you to withdraw.You can deposit using your bank application,via ATM or physically at your bank.

    Kindly let me know once the check is received and once the check is deposited so that i can inform my bank.

    Here is my phone number(302) 385-6483.Tell the check receiver to text me when its received!

    Hoping to hear back from you soon.

  2. Just had a question from Dan Mike
    with the email: dan891515@gmail.com

    It was completely blank with the only sentence
    Hello, am Dan, do you offer Logo design service?

    I intimately googled email address and it brought me here. Thanks everyone.

  3. Just got one a couple of days ago.

    Name used is “April Petals” and wanted a website for a “restaurant”

    Here’s the introductory email:

    _____________

    Hello

    I did told you i was gonna get back to you soon,sorry am getting back to you late,here is the details of the new job for you.Am a CEO and an entrepreneur so i dont really have the time but lets get things straightened up cos i will be less busy for days.My name is April Petals(CEO April Petals Restaurant)living in Florida USA.

    I will be needing you to build a world class website for our newly about to be opened restaurant.I will want you to create the website within the space of 4 to 5 weeks,no prolongation about this.I said 4 to 5 weeks because the interior decoration of the website is the only thing left and it will be ready by that time,so i want both the restaurant and the website to start running the same day.

    Look at this website here https://www.lamarchaberkeley.com . I want you to check this website and create something similar to that for me,let me know if you can.So kindly get back to me with an estimation,the estimate should include the hosting too.

    Also i will like to inform you that there will be no shopping cart in my reservation page and there will be no chat include also.I will be preferring the domain name (aprilpetalsrestaurant.com or aprilpetalsrestaurant.net).

    Note: My budget is not more than $5500.So kindly get back to me with your total estimate for the job with domain price include.

    Note;I will be providing the logos,image and contents.All you need to do is to create the website

    Do you accept check payment?kindly let me know

    April Petals

    (CEO April Petals Restaurant)

    _____________

    “Her” response to my follow up email ticked me off that something wasn’t right. Anyway, I just wanted to share this publicly in case some creatives receive the very same scam and is looking at google search for confirmation.

    1. What i got from april patels is

      I got your email now and am cool with it.Am not able to use PayPal or any other merchant because i had a double remit from a website i use few weeks ago.Since then i have a strict instruction from my bank that i must not use PayPal or wire transfer for any transaction now matter what pending the time been

      However,i can have my personal assistant write you a check and have it sent to you if you live in USA or to any one you have in USA that could receive a check for you.

      Let me know if you have someone that can receive check on your behalf in USA.I will be needing his or her name,address and mobile number for communication to have the check sent out to him

  4. We got the “do me a little favor” Third party Payout Scam email just now from someone claiming to be Blain Edward at blainedward20@gmail.com. Don’t they know that web people are aware of phishing? Geez. Must not be too smart.

  5. Afraid its still going on:

    From: Carlos kidd
    Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2019 10:41 AM
    To: nick@jupseo.com
    Subject: Re: Website examples

    Thanks for your response, i am okay with the estimate and i wanna proceed so i will pay $2000 deposit payment for the job using my credit card so work can commence ASAP,i understand the content for this site would be needed so as for the job to commence so regarding the content and i will need a little favor from you And the reason why i need this favor from you is because the consultant that has the content and logo for the website does not have the facility to charge credit cards and i also Am presently in the hospital with my son for surgery so i will be glad if you can help me out with this favor
    The favor i need from you is. i would give you my card info’s to charge for $7500. so $2000 would be a down payment for my website design and the remaining $5000 you would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he has the $5000 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you also the funds would be sent to him Cashier check deposit into his account sending of funds would be after funds clears into your account And also $500 tip for your stress

    1. I got same emails but my client asked a your representative in USA, and he will send money checque to his location. And he delivered the checque and my representative has been cashed out, but now my client is not replying my emails, what should I do now, please reply.

  6. Thanks Alex,
    I just received this email today:
    Okay My business name is DharmaTJ Indian Restaurant I want my site exactly like this example link site: https://n-naka.com/ even better than this, The website should be ready by the next 3 month I don’t want a reservation page yet on my website I have purchased a domain name already: DHARMATJINDIANRESTAURANT.COM, My budget is $15,000-$25,000 for the web design I already have a project consultant that is taking care of the text content, logos for the site with the image artwork you will be updating the site for me, are the owner or the manager & I will like you to get back to me with a proposal estimate including a year hosting for the web design, Thank you
    SEE ATTACHMENT ON HOW I WANT MY SITE TO LOOK

    1. I just got one from email: sammyhuges100@gmail.com

      “Thanks for getting in touch. I would like you to review the details and get back to me with any question you may have.

      Here is the project details, well i have a small clothing business for both male and female which i run, now am trying to expand the business and i want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate..

      so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible http://www.missrebel.co.uk. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate .The estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 5 pages ,since it is informational. I have a private project consultant, he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

      Note:

      1. I want only English language
      2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as ELITEXCLUSIVEAPPARELS.COM
      3. You will be updating the site for me.
      4. I will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
      5. I want the site up and running before ending of next two month.
      6. My budget is $3000 to $6000

      Thanks,”

      1. I just got this missrebel.co.uk scam today from Alex Morgan (revalex23247@gmail.com). Seemed “off” so I’m glad you posted this so I didn’t have to waste time playing the game with them. Thanks!

        ###

        My wife has a small clothing business for both male and female, now
        she is trying to expand the business and i want you to build an
        informational website for it for advertisement and to increase her
        sales rate.

        I need you to checkout this site but i need something more perfect
        than this if possible,http://www.missrebel.co.uk.

        The site would only be informational, so i need you to get back to
        me with an estimate for the web design, the estimate should include
        hosting and i want the site to have not more than 8 pages since it is
        informational.i have a private project graphic designer,he has the
        text content, images and the logos for the site.

        Note:

        1.. she want only English language
        2.. we don’t have a domain yet. Also note you will be updating the
        site for her.
        3..I will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
        4..I want the site up and running before ending of next month.

        My budget is $2000 to $8000 Kindly get back to m

  7. I was just contacted as well. At first, everything seemed very legit. Until the scammer got lung cancer and couldn’t pay his “consultant” via credit card so he then decided maybe he could pay me the whole amount and I could just transfer the difference to his “consultant”. Mine was for a logo and catalog for a new furniture business called VEEHAUS.

    1. This exact same scenario happened to me. It was weird from the start. Glad I didn’t get sucked in. Was it Paul Lowery from VEEHAUS? Lung cancer too. 🤦‍♀️

  8. I just got one today. Haven’t had one in about 1 year so didn’t recognize it right off:
    Hello Mick,
    Thank you very much for your email,l have a Auto painting company business and i need an information website to promote my business,so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible http://frontrangedents.com/. So i need you to get me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant,
    he has the text content and the logos for the site.

    Note:
    1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding blogs.
    2. I want only English language
    3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as http://www.premiumautos.me
    4. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site My budget is $3,500 to $6,500
    I will be waiting for your email for the estimate

    Here is my company name: COLLISION REPAIR SPECIALISTS kindly get back to me with your cellphone number so that we can have suitable text on phone

    Best regards
    Scott

    Oh well – live and learn. I can’t imagine giving any “ project consultant” any of the $$$ though, lol. I want it all for myself hahahah

    1. I just received the exact same email request yesterday! The poor punctuation and English turned on my internal “scam radar.” Also, no information as to where the business is located. Not registered in State of Washington. No return phone number or address for the “new business”. Thank you for posting the warning, Eesa, as a Google search brought up the exact same words in the scammer email.

  9. Ya’ll! This is happening WAY too often. Does anyone have a hunch on how to stop the emails coming through? My delete button has had it with me!

  10. This also happened to us: email sent:
    On Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 1:56 PM Vidal William wrote:
    Thanks a lot for your prompt reply, Yes, i do, I have a small clothing business for both male and female, now am trying to expand the business now, it located in NV and i want you to build an informative website for it for advertisement. I need you to checkout this site but I need something more perfect than this if possible, https://www.reveboutique.com/. The site would only be informative, So i need you to get back to me with an estimate for the website design, The estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 12 pages since it is informative. I have a private project graphic designer,that has the text content, images and the logos files for the site.

    Note:
    1. I want only English language
    2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as vidalwills.store
    3. You will be updating the site for me twice in a month.
    4. I will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
    5. I want the site up and running before Two to Three Months Out.
    6. My budget is $5,000 to $15,000
    Kindly get back to me with:
    (1) an estimate
    (2) I will like to know if you are the owner ?
    (3) and provide me with your cellphone number

    Hope to read from you,
    Thanks.
    Vidal William

    Then changed the email address to: businessenterprises0007@outlook.com
    Phone Number: 740-310-5919
    and the designer who would receive the money from us:
    Name: Dustin Patterson
    Phone Number: (615) 378-5740
    Address: 916 E BRENTWOOD DR MORRISTOWN, TN 37814
    email: dusconsultant4life@aol.com

    Then I went about asking for proof of company (EIN, etc). He replied back saying he could not provided. We told him we could not do business with them.

  11. Interesting to see I’m not the only one who’s been contacted by these scammers, and DEFINITELY grateful I trusted my gut instincts when it came to that “Grascilla Nut” Nonsense!

        1. Thank you for posting! Came from 315-625-1740 and chrisskaggs0411@gmail.com
          “Hi my name is Chris are you available for graphic design service?”
          “I want to have a Menu magazine for my grand opening coming up on the 221st of November my budget for this is $4,000 let me know if you can handle the job for me if yes please text me your email address so that I can forward you the job details via email. Thank you”
          “I have a private project consultant, working on the text content, logo, pictures, menu items, Images with other documents for the Menu magazine the Menu magazine size will be 6-Panel Double Fold (“8.5” x “11”)Glossy in Premium 4 pages double-sided magazine-style I will like you to send me a rough estimate for the design before you have the text content with other documents from the consultant also I need to know if you can handle the printing of the Menu magazine for me as well or you will give it to a local printer of your choice in the area & get back to me with the Estimated cost for 800 printed magazine?See Attachment Image on the type of Menu I want”

      1. This guy just contacted me. I have been through this before (didn’t get burned financially as I also recognized it in the past, they can be so persistent) I am a professional organizer in the SF Bay Area and they sent me this request after they asked about my service area.

        From Christopher Scaggs chrisskaggs0411@gmail.com
        Okay I just purchase a house in San Mateo area I want you to help with the organizing of my bedroom, living room & closet its 3 Bedroom I want you to know I’m not around to meet with you because I’m presently out of state I’m in Germany with my wife who’s recuperating in the Teaching Hospital I’m always by her side confined to a wheelchair you will be meeting with the Private mover guy bringing my Stuff to my new house he’s with my house keys I want the job done asap before I’m back to the State can you handle that for me ?

        ****Beware*** they like to target small and independent business. Such a shame.

        1. Wow this is really amazing that they’ve moved on to professional organizers. That “private mover guy” is them – he’s the third party payout recipient. I’m sure if you continued communicating with them, they’d tell you that they need to pay you a bulk amount by check and that you need to pay the mover. Then their check would bounce. “Confined to a wheelchair” my ass…

      2. Got the same email – same email address – same restaurant about an hour ago – the tip off was the all the broken english and the big budget up front (no client does this) and he said he already purchased the domain; I did a domain lookup and it was still available and I was done after that.

        chrisskaggs0411@gmail.com <= loser!

  12. On Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 2:09 PM sammy hughes wrote:
    Thanks for getting in touch. I would like you to review the details and get back to me with any question you may have.

    Here is the project details, well i have a small clothing business for both male and female which i run, now am trying to expand the business and i want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate..

    so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible http://www.missrebel.co.uk. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate .The estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 5 pages ,since it is informational. I have a private project consultant, he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

    Note:

    1. I want only English language
    2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as ELITEXCLUSIVEAPPARELS.COM
    3. You will be updating the site for me.
    4. I will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
    5. I want the site up and running before ending of next two month.
    6. My budget is $3000 to $6000

    Thanks,

      1. got the exactly same thing 🙂

        Thanks for getting in touch. I would like you to review the details and get back to me with any question you may have.

        Here is the project details, well i have a small clothing business for both male and female which i run, now am trying to expand the business and i want you to build an informational website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate..

        so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible http://www.missrebel.co.uk. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate .The estimate should include hosting and i want the site to have not more than 5 pages ,since it is informational. I have a private project consultant, he has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

        Note:

        1. I want only English language
        2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as ELITEXCLUSIVEAPPARELS.COM
        3. You will be updating the site for me.
        4. I will be providing the images,logos and content for the site.
        5. I want the site up and running before ending of next two month.
        6. My budget is $3000 to $6000

        Thanks,

        sammy hughes “web design scammer”

          1. Also got an email from williamsoyin044@gmail.com. It was really simple, too. Subject line: WEB DESIGN (so that was a red flag…who types in all caps?). And the body of the email simply asked if I could design a website for a clothing store. No other details.

            But I got the exact same email last week so yeah. Scam scam scam.

  13. Here is one I got today that fits the profile from Dustin Patteson, duspattent@gmail.com with Dustin_Enterprises. He gave no phone number:

    I have business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in TN and the company is based on importing and exporting of Salon Equipment such as Dryer, haircream, Weavon, Hairdressing, Clippers, i need the best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible. https://www.absalonequipment.com/
    … so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want just 10 pages as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
    Note:

    1. I want 10pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
    2. I want only English language
    3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as dustin.salon
    4. You will be updating the site for me twice in a month.
    5. I will be providing the images, logos and content for the site.
    6. I want the site up and running before ending of 2 to 3months.
    7. My budget is $8,000 to $16,000

    Kindly get back to me with an estimate for the Web Design,
    Your Full Name:
    Shop Address:
    Types Of Credit Card You do Accept:
    Your Cell Phone #:(so we can communicate via text message:

  14. I just got this email. I was a bit suspicious, but responded anyway. Afterwards I started poking around and found this thread. So far I haven’t received any kind of response, but I’m interested in seeing what comes.


    I need an informational website on my business. 6-7 pages will be a good fit for me, My company is base on Agriculture products, such products are Cocoa and Gacillia Nut so i need best layout design, the site would only be informational, I need you to give me an estimate should include hosting and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.

    Note,

    1. I want only English language
    2. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as (qualityfarmproduce.shop)
    3. you will be updating the site for me.
    4. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
    5. i want the site up and running before ending of August.
    6. My budget is $4500USD
    Kindly get back to me with an estimate,

    Thank you!

  15. Wow, I’ve had several of these exact scripts sent to me but the details (like probably website name) are different. The poor English and flaky budget and/or “project coordinator” were big tip-offs, though.

  16. THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE!!! So glad I found this because I’ve gotten two in the past month…

    Thanks, i want you to know that this is the first time I will be doing a Logo design so I can only give you little details then you can decide on designs but I want the color to consist of Black and Gold with an image of an ancient chair. I want a very mature and presentable design and my budget for this project is $2000.

    For the Brochure, I want a double folded A4 size brochure with 8 pages and I can only supply the text content and photos but all are with my project consultant but the logo and brochure will be designed by you and the due date for the project is 3rd of June 2019.

    The company name is JBROWNE FURNITURE INC and is based on importing and exporting of furnitures.

    Thats all i can provide from my end and i hope you understand what i listed above i need a more perfect Job.

    Kindly let me know the total cost of the Brochure and Logo Design if it’ll cost more than I budgeted.

    NOTE: My website is still under construction and will be completed soon.

    I would be very happy to hear from you on time.

    Thank you.

    From James Browne (jbrowne231231@gmail.com)

    AND

    Thanks for the response Alex. i want you to know that this is the first time I will be doing a Logo design so I can only give you details then you can decide on Colors and designs but I want a very mature and presentable design and my budget for this design is $1500.

    I need you to make 2 designs writing ” GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME HE WILL BE GOOD” in the logo and 2 designs writing “THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD SHALL FIND NEW STRENGTH”. making 4 Logo designs. I need you to include religious images like cross or dove bird to make the Logos look more different.

    This logos will be printed on t-shirts, banners,fliers and mugs and I need to know how long this will take you and also get back to me with your total estimate so i will know if my budget can make the Logo design.

    Thanks

    Frank Eyeson (feyeson001@gmail.com)

    1. “Mr. Frank Eyeson” just emailed me. It smelled fishy right away. I googled his name and email address and found this article. I find it odd/ironic that searching for “Frank Eyeson” yields an actual(?) designer in D.C.

      feyeson001@gmail.com
      “Hello, how’re you doing today? I’m Frank Eyeson and I want you to design some logos that’ll be printed on t-shirts, fliers, banners and mugs. This is needed for our church’s program coming up soon.

      Kindly get back to me so i can send you the details in full.

      Thank you.”

    2. Wow! I am absolutely floored. THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE. I got the same email for Frank. Word for word. I thought something was up from the start.

    3. Thank you for posting this I was getting emails from the same address looking for the same things. I thought it sounded fishy when JBROWNE FURNITURE INC emailed:
      The little favor is that i will want you to add $4000 to the estimate this will be the Project Consultant which will be sending you the content of the Project such as images and text, once the payment is made an complete he will be sending you the details of the brochure in full also i will like to know the best file for you in sending the images and text.

      I need you to understand that the project consultant has all files needed for the brochure and he hasn’t been paid because he doesn’t have the access and facility to charge my credit card, that’s why I want you to help me with that.

      I’d be glad if my favor is highly considered.

      You will be charging the 3% Credit Card Charges and Tax.

      Thank You.

    4. I just received a similar one from a ‘Brian darius’. ‘I need a graphic design for a rally event 6 Logo design (1)”GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME HE WILL BE GOOD”. (2)” TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD”. (3) ”O TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD”. (4)”THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD SHALL FIND NEW STRENGTH ‘’(5) ”HIS FAITHFULNESS CONTINUES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS’’(6) HAPPY IS THE MAN THAT TAKETH REFUGE IN HIM”.

      ‘He’ asked right away if I accepted credit cards, and that a separate T-shirt printer was already lined up. I was immediately suspicious when he gave me a ridiculous $2500 budget right up front. Very fishy.

    5. Thank you for posting this…Ive gotten the same email from both of these guys. The first one had me so excited (until he mentioned his payment request), so when Frank emailed me this morning…I immediately googled his email and found this. Thanks for saving me the hassle!

  17. I just got 3 separate emails for a logo design, supposedly from a company in San Francisco. I spotted it as a scam right off, but I recently got job scammed on Zip Recruiter, so I’m hyper aware now. They went through a 2 hour text interview on Google Hangouts, pretended to be a real person/company, sent a job offer and everything. They sent a check to set up a home office, but I stopped it when they said I had to make a deposit into a personal account to purchase the items. Not only a huge waste of time, but I gave notice to my job that I was leaving. I’m still working and looking to move and find another job, but holy shit, what a total time suck.

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