Information about fraud schemas
Mostly from Nigeria and Ghana. Rarely from Eastern Europe and China.
Partly payment or payment after shipping
We strongly recommend do not send your artwork if you do not get the money first.
Chargeback from the credit card
The most straightforward type of purchase scam is a buyer in another country approaching many merchants through spamming them and directly asking them if they can ship to them using credit cards to pay. Most likely, a few weeks or months after the merchant ships and charges the Nigerian credit card, he/she will be hit with a chargeback from the credit card processor and lose all the money.
Fake Counterfeit Postal Money Orders
On April 26, 2005, Tom Zeller Jr. wrote an article in the New York Times regarding a surge in the quantity and quality of the forging of U.S. Postal Money Orders, and its use to commit online fraud. The article shows a picture of a man that had been corresponding with a woman in Nigeria through a dating site, and received several fake postal money orders after the woman asked him to buy a computer and mail it to her.
Cash the check system
In some cases, fraudsters even agree to pay via wire transfer in advance. After negotiation they invent some excuse to do this way, so they tell the merchant they will send a check that the merchant can deposit and wait for it to clear, before shipping. Then the fraudsters imitate counterfeit checks from a medium to large U.S. company the signatures. In some cases, the fraudsters agree to the wire but instead they send a check directly to the merchant's Bank with a note asking to deposit it to the merchant's account. When asked why was it a company check from a company that is not their company, they state that it was a payment that the U.S. company owed them. Banks usually pay those checks. Only when the U.S. company notices that they did not issue the check and complains to the Bank, the Bank debits the account of the merchant. By then, the merchant has already shipped the goods.
The major problem for fraudsters is how to ship and safely retrieve the artwork without being caught. So they have invented the "Re-Shippers". Fraudsters are recruiting the re-shippers through job postings (East European version), through chat and matchmaking sites (Nigerian version) and plain spam (Chinese version). In all cases re-shippers are located in US, Canada or Europe. Unsuspecting "bride" (Nigerian version) or �agent� (East Europe and Chinese version) help fraudsters unwillingly.
Real fraud examples
That example of the fraudster�s message on our website (Reported by Pam U.):
Hope this message finds you well, I came across some lovely and creative artwork on your site while searching for good artwork and I will like to buy some of this creative artwork out of your stock.
Candle Light. I will be happy to have these selected artwork Hanged in our new home in london. What is their least prices? We are moving from our SouthAfrica home to our new apartment in London. Regarding payment, I will be happy to pay you with a certified International Money Order and Traveller's Cheque...
An urgent reply we be appreciated.
An example of charge-back credit card from Nigeria (not our website):
Due to company policy this Payment has to be made out in this amount to you, because company policy only allows a refund payment on one Cashier Check, so you are required to deduct the cost of the piece which is $14,000USD when the payment gets to you and refund the balance of $8,000USD to our shipping agent via western union money transfer for him to be able to offset shipping charges. After payment has reached you and balance sent back to him, our agent would come, pick up title and take the piece to a prepaid shipper to be shipped to our client, while you send title papers and other necessary documents via FedEx courier services to our client.
That example was reported by other online corporate gallery (not our website):
From: XXXXXX XXXXXX [XXXXXXX@hotmail.com] Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 11:35 AM Subject: International order enquiry
Goodday Sales, This is XXXXXX XXXXXXX and I will like to place an order for some products in your store, But before I proceed with listing my requirements, I will like to know if you accept credit card and can ship internationally to Lagos, Nigeria. Could you get back to me with your website so as to forward you the list of my requirements as soon as possible. Regards, XXXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXXXX Inc. 9999 XXXXX street, Mushin, Lagos 23401, Nigeria Telephone: 234-1-99999999, Fax: 234-1-9999999, Email: XXXXXXXXX@hotmail.com