International internet credit card scam. How's it work/should I report it?

Hi Folks,

Some internet stranger is trying to scam me using a credit card. I’m wondering… Is there anyone to report this to, or do I just hit the delete key?

You may have seen this type of scam. Someone contacts your company and wants to buy a strangely-large quantity of an item, or they want a few high-dollar, yet mis-matched items. At this point you know they have no knowledge of your product. Then they ask if you can accept their credit card and ship internationally. Most often I see Singapore, but the last couple have had a UK ship-to address. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but someone’s up to no good.

One of his correspondences (we’ve had 4) said this:
““So what I want you to do now is that you will assist me to charged an extra $1450,00 from my credit card and the reason why I make the propose to you is that the shipper does not have facility to debit my credit and I suppose to make the payment of the shipment to him myself have confidence in you and I want you to know that you will assist me to charged the said amount of the shipping charges to my credit card and you will assist me to transfer the money to my shipping agent either by bank or transfer or western union money transfer…And I will be compensating you with $200.00 for running around and below is the breakdown of the charges you will make from my credit card.””

Anyone familiar with how this works? What would you do at this point?

My response to that email would be “Sorry, I didn’t understand a word you just said. Try again.”

Sounds like a variation on the old “I’ll send you a cashier’s check for $300 over and send me the difference back.”

How it works is the credit card is bogus or stolen. It’s a safe bet you won’t get any money out of the deal.

Whom to report it to, or whether it’s worth reporting, I don’t know. My guess would be that by the time any authority could get around to doing something about it, the scammer would have long moved on to a more freshly stolen card. Odds of anyone successfully prosecuting or penalizing the scammer are probably in the jillion-to-one range. There are so many attempts to do scams of this nature that if all were reported the agencies that work on them would explode from the overload.

The shipper that they want you to pay with the credit card is the actual scammer. By having you make the transaction with the stolen card it breaks the chain, they cannot be found. You end up making a purchase with a stolen credit card and the scammers are gone with the money.

They are not at all interested in whatever products they say they want you to ship, only that money gets sent to the shipper/scammer. The products will never be picked up, but they will want you to hurry about paying the shipper.

Many small business’ are targeted for these scams.

Re-reading the scam, it sounds like they want to over-pay you with phony money and have you pay the shipper with **real **money by bank or wire transfer.

In any case, the scam is all about paying the phony shipper.

As others have pointed out their angle is that they get their money when you pay the shipper with legitimate money.

Obviously you should not do this but I wanted to add that you should, in general, know your exposure on fraudulent credit card transactions. For instance, if the bank in question did not support CVV2 verification and address verification but you attempted to check them, you would not be at risk of having the charge reversed even if it were fraudulent, at least according to my own U.S. merchant agreements with Visa, MC and Amex. That’s assuming you shipped merchandise in good faith and can prove it. In my experience it’s unlikely a bank in Singapore wouldn’t support AVS and the CVV2 verification, so if you don’t check them you’d be liable to have the charge reversed, but in plenty of countries in that region the issuing bank doesn’t support any of the security enhancements.

Could be a phony credit card scam, or could be classic money laundering. Could be terrorist attempting to finance their operations. Report it to the FBI here: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

The scam(baiting) experts are located here: http://forum.419eater.com/forum/
They can give you the gritty details. This sounds like they want to overpay you with phony money and receive real money via Western Union though.

You might wanna see my thread here, where one of my clients started to fall for this very scam.

Speaking of your experience with scams, how’s ol’ Fred doing? Is he still living on your floor?