How the printing quote scam (doesn’t) work

by +Mike Poller If you’ve received a scammer email, please enter it in the comments below so other printers may find it with a Google search, and avoid being ripped off… Don’t fall for printing, banners, t-shirts, plaques and awards fake order scams… This is how they work:

  1. You receive an unsolicited e-mail quote request.
  2. You respond with a quotation or ask for more information.
  3. Your quote will be accepted, immediately, no questions asked. They will supply you with credit card billing info.
  4. An “emergency” will come up and you will be asked to prepare the job for delivery to somewhere far, far away. I was asked to ship a supposed order to Sweden this morning.
  5. They provide a “recommended shipping company” contact email for you to get shipping costs. Typically a gmail, hotmail or yahoo email address.
  6. Shipping company quotes some huge sum. You are asked to charge the shipping, taxes and printing/product charges under one bill to a credit card.
  7. You go ahead and charge everything to the credit card.
  8. You are asked to pre-pay the shipping by Western Union Money Order upon pick-up by the shipper.
  9. Days later, the credit card is charged back to you. You are out whatever it cost you for the printing/product, your time and whatever you paid the shipper. The shipping company is bogus and is no doubt keeping some scammer drunk, fat and happy.
  10. Giveaways: The scammer never mentioned any artwork, just accepted my quote and asked me to proceed. Like that’s gonna happen… Religious messages, signing as Reverend or Minister and church-related jobs seem to be common in this type of scam.

Print13this post is brought to you as a public service by GraphExpo 2014

• If you’ve got a scammer email, enter it in the comments so other printers may find it with a Google search… And please, feel free to pass around this link and “Like” this post (below) so other printers become aware and we can put these scammers out of business. Here’s a short URL to use on Twitter

• Don’t use your real email account when replying to scammers.

What to do about this?
Report these scammers to their email providers. Most email providers, including Gmail, urge you to report suspicious emails and scams. Reporting a suspicious message will help block that user from sending more emails and help stop future scams. Forward the scam email to with full headers displayed.

Link to report for Yahoo mail

February 2013 update: It appears that 891 Davis Street in San Francisco is a parking lot

printer scam flyer artwork

Printer scam flyer looks like this

And this is the flyer artwork they will send you if it gets that far… It will be a low-res PDF file.

July 6, 2010 update: Well, well, well… the scammers are out in force. Just received an email from the actual person at the Bentley Drive address in Warrington, PA 18976. They are, needless to say, rightfully incensed about the use of their address. Please be advised the people in Warrington have nothing to do with this scam and have referred the matter to their local police department.

Scammer name: Rev. James Mallons, 210 Sterilin Avenue, Osborne, Sweden
Scammer email:
Scammer bogus shipper email:

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504 Responses to How the printing quote scam (doesn’t) work

  1. Sandy says:

    Received a very similar sounding request this morning, but was a little suspicious because it seemed that English was not the writers first language, but the request was specific on the item wanted. I did return a quote to Tim William of William and Sons Lnt. Received a reply immediately with an approval;however, I noticed that the date/time stamp on the email I sent him was 8 hours ahead of us, putting him somewhere in Europe. Did a Google search and found this site. His original quote request is below.

    Dear Customer Service
    My name is Tim William ,am with William And Sons Lnt and i will to order Galvanized Sheets with the following specs.

    24 X 36
    Galv Sheet Blanks Plain Galv Blanks (609x 914) 1.5mm thick

    I will like you to send me an email response with the price for this sizes and if you don’t have this size or type available email me with the sizes you have available. Kindly respond to me as soon as possible for us to proceed further with the order.

    Thank You.
    Tim William
    William And Sons Lnt


    Good Day,

    My name is Aaron and Can you please quote me on printing 80,000 copies of Flyers with the following specs.

    A. Measures 8.5′ x 11′
    B. 80# Gloss Text
    C. 0.25 – White border
    D. Full color
    E. It Should be Flat
    F. One Side printing
    G. Do you accept credit card payment.

    Please provide quote on 80,000 copies.Kindly quote accordingly for me to supply art-work.Awaiting for your prompt reply.

    Best Regards,

    Aaron Rodger
    Rodger Business Ltd,
    4002 Ronson Court,
    San Diego, California 92111
    United States

    ….I told him that if I heard from him again, that I was going to have my uncle, who’s in the FBI, track his ass down.

  3. Lori says:

    I’d prefer not to put my company name or my work email. I’ve received a request almost exactly like the one above from a “Joshua Frankenfield”. I responded to him that I received his request but never heard anything more.
    Another request came from is “Tim Williams LTC” for large qty but not artwork.
    And then a “Larry Downing” which was worded almost exactly like Tim Williams.

  4. D Wils says:

    From Tyler Woods (
    Calendar Printing

    Can you please provide a quote on 10,000 & 20,000 of calendars printing with the following specs?

    Binding: Saddle Stitch
    Size: 8.5″ x 11″
    Pages: 12 pages (4 cover, 8 inside)
    Cover Paper: 120 lb Dull Book with Matte Finish
    Color: 4/4 (Color both sides)
    Quantity: 10,000 & 20,000
    Year: 2015
    Turnaround Time: Standard

    Ty Woods
    3550 Watt Avenue
    Sacramento, CA 95821
    Tel: 727-456-9772

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