Scammers contact online merchants, hospitality businesses and people offering services, posing as an interested buyer. The scammer places an order for goods, reservations, lessons, etc and pays with a credit card. They will usually ask for other costs to be added and processed on the card, such as for a courier/shipper or other supposed third party, or later cancel their order or reservation and ask for a refund.
In all instances, the credit card information you have received from the scammer is stolen and the scam involves a way for the scammer to steal money through having you process the card for him.
Any supposed third parties to be paid with the extra monies charged to the card are roles or characters played by the same scammer.
The list of types of businesses or people offering services who have been targeted by this scam is endless: Many online merchants, Avon representatives, hotels, restaurants, caterers, lesson instructors for sports, piano, etc.
Some Characteristics of this scam:
- The supposed buyer wants additional charges processed on the credit card for payment to another party
- There is a request to wire any portion of the money via services such as Western Union or Money Gram.
- The supposed buyer provides more than one card with instructions to charge part of the total to each card
- The credit cards are denied and the supposed buyer offers you more card numbers
- The name and info for the credit card do not match the name and info of the supposed buyer
How the Scam Works:
- The scammer makes initial contact with a general inquiry about placing an order and paying by credit card. Sometimes the scammer mentions a specific item(s) but often uses a vague reference to a "product". Example: Hi,
I want to place an order in your store,and i will like to know if you ship to Sweeden
and my method of payment will be credit card.so please let me know if you can assist me with
the order ,And please do not forget to include your web page in your replying back to my mail.
I will await your prompt response as soon as you receive this mail,i will be very glad if you
treat this email with good concern...
- The scammer places a (usually large) order for goods, services or a reservation.
- The scammer insists on using his own courier/shipper or freight company.
- The scammer gives a plausible explanation for additional charges to be added to the card. These may include, but are not limited to, another party needing payment but doesn't accept credit cards, or taking safety precautions by only sharing credit card information with one party.
- The scammer provides credit card information for payment with a request for the overage to be sent to a supposed third party. That third party is the same scammer using another name. The usual request is for the payment to be sent by transfer via Western Union or Money Gram.
- Any credit card information you receive belongs to an innocent victim. The scammer is using your ability to charge and process cards as a way to steal money from compromised cards. Any money sent to the scammer is lost, with both the business and card holder as victims.
If You are a victim of this scam:
- Stop all contact with the scammer.
- Do not process any payments.
- Report the card information immediately. You can send the stolen credit card information to a ScamWarners moderator or to Administrator @ ScamWarners.com and we will report the card(s) for closure.
- If needed, ask for help or advice here at ScamWarners
- Post the information about the scammer on our forum to alert others
More information and resources:
Please note that scammers run a variation of this scam with payment by check, money order or bank transfer rather than credit card. For information on this type of check "overpayment" scam, please see this topic: Information on Check Scams
Another example of a scam email, this time further into the scam, explaining the reason for the payment to a supposed third party, how to charge the cards and process the payment:
Thanks for your mail. I am glad to tell you that i have concluded payment arrangements with my clients, However we are going to send you the Credit Card Information,that will cover the cost of our accommodation, and the necessary arrangement for my clients. Moreover, we also made an arrangement with a transport logistics firm who will arrange the delegates with cars and their flight ticket ,so in order not to share the information with a third party,we have decided that only one person will have to handle the credit card
So once you are in receipt of it,you are required to charge the credit card,and confirm the amount of ( $10 087.36,)in your account then deduct the cost of your services which is ($17,487.36 ) and send ( $7,400 ) to the manega tour operators whose information will be forwarded to you once this is confirmed. Any other balance will be paid to you on arrival. The car hiring agent is going to use part of the money to arrange my clients flight ticket and other arrangement for transportation. You are required to deduct bank charges from my credit card and transfer charges of the ($7,400,) which you will transfer to the transport logistic agent.
A topic listing many examples of this type of scam: I'd Like To Order From Your Store
Powerhomebiz.com's Red Flags for E-fraud