To Catch a Scammer….

To fill you in, I got an order in the past week from a girl claiming to be in Germany. She didn’t order through my shopping cart-but my email. I knew at that point it was a bit fishy. But I played along to see where this would go. She was wanting to order 40 items of 4 different things that I carry. She said I could pick the scent-she gave me an address to check out the shipping costs through pamshippers. I did-as it wasn’t hurting me to do an estimate. They came back with an amount of $1800…right then I was like she isn’t going to go any farther. But she did-her order total would have been over $3000 with shipping. I told her I would need a valid credit card, with cvc, expiration date, address etc. She then came back with a credit card, but not one in her name. Now I have received orders before where the card was in the husband’s name-but the addresses were the same-the last names were the same etc.
So when I quesitoned her what the relationship was with her and that person-she then changed her story to it was her manager’s card and they would call me the next day. Problem was-this credit card was for someone in a southern state-and she was still claiming to be in Germany.
She gave me all of his information except a phone number. So when she didn’t immediately write me back I googled the white pages for this person’s phone number and called him.
I got their answering machine-but received a phone call back within 15 minutes. As I had suspected these kind people had NOT authorized this card to be used…..Hmmmmm did I catch her? or him? I gave the credit card information to this kind person-to find out YES it was one of their credit cards.
After that person called their credit card company they found that this person had also charged flowers to their card. And upon further investigation this person found out that the “scammer” was a manager for a rental car place out of Tennessee. Seems they had rented a car from an airport back in the spring-and the MANAGER…was the one using their card. Not only did the person go by another name (close though)-they were able to figure out her full name, address, and I had supplied the email. They are now going to be pressing charges against her.
I could give you her name that she went by-but it won’t help as if she were to do this again-she will most likely use a new email and a new name. But beware! I really didn’t think from the start that this order was valid-but I am glad that I pursued it as I might have saved these wonderful people more charges to their account.
I find it outrightly irritating that people out there are stealing other peoples information and using it for themselves. Did she not think that these people wouldn’t notice new charges? Did she think she would get a way with it with me? I led her to believe so. This scammer wanted me to charge the card asap…what she didn’t realize that an order that size would have taken me weeks to complete and IF I had been quick to do it-because heck the money would have been great. But in the end I would have had stock of items I put my money into and lost what I had invested, and these people would be fighting charges to their card that should have never happened. Scammers ruin it for out of country people that are legitimately placing valid orders. I do have a person in Italy, a couple in Australia that are legitimate…but I always 2nd guess them. It isn’t their fault, it is the scammers out there trying to take advantage of innocent people.
The scammer now knows she has been found out-I didn’t contact her again-but the person she tried to take advantage of did…and I am sure it felt good to let her know-as I wanted to say SHAME ON YOU…And to top it off-this person was in the US this whole time…
The person said they didn’t know how to thank me…Honestly? The good feeling I got from stopping if only 1 person was pay enough.
So take it from me-if the order seems to good to be true-then it probably is…and if you have credit, debit cards…check your statements each month-keep track of your bank accounts; especially if you can go online and sign up with your bank to view your statements in a secured setting. It might be the difference between someone taking your money or not. So I am feeling pretty good this week…There are many honest people out there-but you just have to watch out for the ones that aren’t. This isn’t the first time I have gotten an order like this one…but the last person faded off-and didn’t use a card that wasn’t theirs-to my knowledge…so I didn’t “catch” them…I may be a “small business” but maybe that is even better than being a big company that might have processed the order not realizing what was going on…who knows…Thanks for letting me share my story with you! Til Next Time….


10 responses to this post.

  1. Becky, good for you! Situational awareness is critical to spotting potential abuses. I hope your business does well. You can be sure Karma is on your side!


  2. I have had similar things happen with one of my businesses. It’s great you were up on what was going on and your follow through really helped others out of which I am sure they were grateful. It’s great you blogged about it and made an awareness because sadly others have fallen victim to scams such as this.

    You are a stand up person as well as business woman!

  3. I think this same person contacted me…I found your blog and situation thru google…

    I want you to contact my shipper on i want them
    to handle the shipping, there Services are effective and efficient they
    will be picking from your location, I will really be glad if you can
    work with them to ship the items , and one last thing is that they have
    all the needed license to full and adequately carry out their Services
    .email them and get back to me with the total cost of the goods and the
    their shipping cost ,so that i can forward you my Credit Card details to

    K****** H*******

  4. Yes Cheryl-
    This is the same person…she goes by Katrina and Kristina-I won’t divulge her last name-but if people happen to be contacted by her-maybe having her name in here will help. I am glad you found my post. I have also let the people she tried to scam with me in on the fact that she is still at it. She is NOT out of Germany-she is actually here in the US…so if any of you get a request for a large order, they don’t want to go through your shopping cart etc-beware!

  5. Posted by Jamie on August 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Hey, guys! I am glad I found this post as I have been communicating with Kristina Hornback in regards to a large order. At first, I questioned if this was a legit person, but as we were e-mailing back and forth I let my guard down. She said she was located in New York and gave me her address but said the product was being shipping to Germany. She said she would pay by a US credit card. Thanks for posting this to inform all of us out there! If anyone has any questions, please contact me about it!

  6. Posted by Kamya on August 4, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Hi all. I am so thankful for this post. Same lady that you mentioned started last month with us. Sound serious but I became curious when she won’t place her order online but keep exchanging emails. So, I started searching for the shipper she mentioned and found your posting.

  7. Thank you Becky for turning to your blog to let us all know how easily we can get scammed. You should feel really good that you stop this act and saved someones elses credit.

  8. I can not believe it! Thank goodness I went to the 2nd page when I googled!
    I have had the same sort of emails and even checked out the credit cards to verify that they were good
    (and they were). Since she said she saw my info on I was sure she was on the level. and didn’t question that she didn’t go through my store as my items are unique and I only have one of each posted on eBay so she would need to contact me direct for whole sale orders. I even got shipping info from PAM Logistics. I was concerned when she was hesitant to pay for her order when I invoiced her through paypal but Paypal even stated that it could be due to the high dollar amounts and she didn’t have an account. So I spent money setting up a virtual terminal through Paypal so I could process her transactions. I still felt uneasy
    with the whole thing and all the time thinking that I would loose the biggest sale of my business and money my family desperatly needed. I asked her to Western Union the money but she said the transaction exceeded the limit. I was just getting ready to put her card info through paypal when I googled her email again and found this. I

    This is what my husband warned me about having an internet business but he was so happy about the sale
    we both thought we were blessed this day. I just can’t tell him this happened cause I feel so stupid! I guess I’ll tell him she cancelled the sale. Thank you all so much for posting this information. It is becasue of you that I have been blessed this day!

  9. Posted by LisaLisa on October 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Dropping some pottymomma love to you this day. Missing you and love your blog. Very good post!

  10. Amazing the nerve & gall of some people! I go stuck via Teleflora a few years ago on about $1500.00 of bogus credit card charges. people from out of state were calling my flower shop wanting me to send flowers to another state…..when I called Telelflora to let them know, they told me to treat it as if they were coming in my shop & placing an order to be delivered out of state. so i did & after a few weeks they took the money back out of my account & told me they were made with a stolen credit card. I was furious, because I had told them I thought it was suspecious & they told me to go ahead…but then hung me out to dry when the jig was up!!
    Corporate America at it’s finest!!
    Way to go Becky, I’m sure that those people can not thank you enough for saving them from this financial nightmare!

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