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 http://bit.ly/10nyhKL

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

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: jmallons@gmail.com
Scammer bogus shipper email: smartshippingline@gmail.com



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

  1. Administrator says:

    Received this (scam) request for quote 7/21/2014

    Dear Customer Service,
    My name is Tim William ,am with William And Sons Lnt and i contact to make an inquires of Shower door Units with the following specs.

    60″ width x 74″ height.
    3/8 clear glass sliding
    bi-pass brushed nickel frame finish

    I will like you to send me an email response with the custom ordered unit price for this sizes and if you cant do this size or type kindly email me with the custom made you have available. Kindly respond to me as soon as possible for us to proceed further with the order.

    Tim William
    William And Sons Lnt

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