I have been approached by a number of scammers who have tried the same basic scam with several new twists: offer to pay exhorbitantly for services, overpay and the request that the overpayment (with a generous “tip”) be paid out to the “event planner” or “caterer”.
Here’s a new twist that happened today, over TEXTing.
1. Get a text from “Matt”. The first thing I noticed was he seems a bit retarded. But I play along and ask where and when.
2. He proceeds to tell me “it is local in the state and only 45 minutes from me and he looked me up on the internet. Then he gets into some “specifics” like what size and accurate cost (without ever mentioning exactly what it is I’d be doing.) I tell him $1100 plus travel which is about what I’d want for generic bring my camera kind of work.
3. Then buddy “Matt” wants me to know an event planner will handle the even and does not have the ability to receive credit card, so he’d be happy to pay me all of it plus a ‘lil extra. All that and he’ll do that on his credit card plus some fees generously worked in for my trouble.
4. He asks me to send him information on my merchant services so I tell him I use Square. He gives me a laundry list of what to charge himself and I throw a number $2560. Oh yeah, looking good here.
5. Now he wants me to invoice him with Square and provides an email address. I throw him a curve and ask about how many f’s are in his email address. Like I care.
6. Figure what the heck, make him work. Asked for his address.. then zip code. The address is a real house, the zipcode is fake. But I’m all “jazzed to be paid for no apparent reason”.
7. I create a Square invoice for $50 more than he’s been told and send it along to the email address. It works. He suddenly uses another sending phone number for texts, claiming that there was a low battery on the other line. And says he’s ready to pay. I say Go for It!
Here’s the Invoice I sent him.
8. I get an email very official looking from Square saying he Paid!
9. I check my Square account and of course it shows unpaid.
10. Despite the fake payment, I play along letting him know I’ll await clearing before discussing arrangements. He blesses me and wants me to have a nice day. It has been about 12 hours of follow up on the scam so far.
11. Lo and behold! After “Matt” tried two other credit cards, he found one that worked. These two rejected:
And finally one made it: