Web development is not only about codes, languages, frameworks and so on, it’s also about financial part of agreements, people and scamming! Web scamming is especially popular among Indian and Nigerian guys, so one of its “types” even called “Nigerian scamming”. “Nigerian scammers” is an organized criminal network that has been operating practically all over the world since the beginning of the 80s of the XX century and is engaged in financial frauds related to money laundering from people. Nigeria makes more profit from online scams than from the sale of its oil.
But today we’ll share our “Indian scam” experience with you. Recently, we’ve received a number of different requests for website development proposals. And they had similar and odd enough points to trigger alarm bells that something wasn’t right. We all know how prevalent scams are online, so it’s no surprise that these extend to specifically crafted web development / design scams, SEO scams and other scams that directly target developers, designers and other creative professionals. The truth is, we’re all targets. Be alert, trust your instincts and read carefully all the “proposals” paying attention to verbal markers.
In order to make the scheme clear, these are some extracts from the e-mails we’ve received: “My bank has warned me strongly against this and also I will be in trouble with United State Income revenue service if I try to do otherwise.” // “My account manager can only send check to you on my behalf.” //As informed earlier, the consultant has the necessary content, logo etc. for the new website and will be in touch as soon as there is a payment/contract agreement. // “My budget is $2000-$7500 for the web design. I have a private project consultant, she has the text content and the logos for the site with the image artwork, so please go ahead and check the example site.” // “I can issue out your deposit payment in form of check payment mailed and address to you since that is my only available payment method right now:
1. Full name on check
2. Mailing address with Apt/Rm # if needed (No PO Box)
3. Your direct cell phone number
4. 70% deposit amount due”
So, from these extracts you can see that such “projects” always have a great budget, the scammers also try to know whether you are a business owner or not and the key words of the scheme are: “my private account manager/consultant” and “check”. How it works? They tell you they are going to pay you a large amount and that part of the fee needs to go to another contractor. They pay you with a check, you pay the contractor, the check they sent is fraudulent and bounces but by then you’ve paid the contractor. They are the contractor. It’s called a third party payout. You see, everything is simple.
What is the best way to act in such cases? Unless any money has been stolen from you, the best thing to do is nothing. Delete the emails / texts and never reply at all. We played along for a bit to find out more about the scam out of curiosity, but it’s probably not a good idea. Be careful and beware of scammers!