Doing Business Over the Internet
Doing business over the internet has advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is you don’t have the expense of leasing a physical location for your business. Purchasing a domain name and website hosting is cheaper.
Another advantage is your business has worldwide exposure. Additional exposure potentially increases your business income if you maintain a physical location. The potential customer doesn’t have to live near your location.
One of the disadvantages is you have to arrange the shipping of physical items. The weight of some of the items may make shipping them expensive.
Since you have worldwide exposure, your website can become the target of spamming or hacking. Your contact email address gives an unscrupulous person the opportunity to send you emails.
When Opportunity Knocks
After your website goes live, you anticipate that first sale. Once you get that sale, you anticipate more sales. Then, you get an email. You see “urgent order” in the subject line. Initial excitement consumes you. And you think, this is your moment for your business to flourish.
Without carefully reading the email, you respond. You receive a response. After you read the response, you look at the original email. Things don’t look right. Red flags are all over the original email. An email order scammer contacted you.
Below is an email chain with an email order scammer:
I engaged with the email order scammer to prove my suspicion. After stating I didn’t have the quantity, he didn’t send another email. This scammer had two different email addresses with different names. Also, he requested a quote without shipping. My first email stated free shipping to US destinations and shipping to International destinations would be calculated at checkout. After seeing this, I performed an internet search and found similar reported situations. I’m glad I noticed this was a scam.
Warning Signs of Email Order Scammers
- Writing errors.
- Many times a large quantity is requested.
- The name may not match the name on the email address.
- They may request a quote without shipping.
- If it doesn’t sound or look right, it most likely isn’t correct.
Safety is Key!
After I researched email order scams, I found out that they try to get you to ship it through their carrier.
It is important to question and research emails like these. The promise of a large order could cost you if the large order is fraudulent.