I’m sure you’ve heard of the TV show, Catfish, where people pretend to be someone their not to entice their victims into having an online affair. It’s both an entertaining and sad show to watch, and I admit, I’m addicted. Here in the wedding industry, we’ve been dealing with our own catfish for decades. Every week or so, I receive an obvious fake wedding inquiry, most likely by someone in Nigeria, whose main goal is to scam me out of my hard earned money. Eventually, they want my address so they can send me a fake cashiers check for a ludicrous amount of money.
Their inquiries start out innocent. They ask for a price, I give them a price, and they drastically over pay the amount I quoted them, telling me that they are looking for US Dollars to spend on their trip. They mail me a fake cashiers check, tell me to take out my cut, and send the left over back to them in US Dollars via Western Union. And they want their money before their check bounces. I never fell for this scam, so I’m not speaking from experience. This is just something I’ve heard through scam warnings issued by from the FBI.
It’s not just my company that are getting these emails. If you’re in business, you’ve probably ran across one of these characters before. My parents got a few of these fake checks from property rentals they advertised on craigslist. I believe my father also got a $5000 order for Intel processors at one time. The check that came in the mail sure looked real.
Less and less businesses have been falling for their scam, so ately they’ve been getting a bit more creative.
They’re still stupid though, as they’re not even good liars. They are just more creative…
But now, instead of sending me a straight email, they are texting my company’s cell phone. Pretty cool huh. And they want me to reply back with an email… Today, because I was bored, I did.
Here’s a recent exchange I had with Julias Akinruli. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He claims to be from Ohio, and work in Canada for Long & Foster Real Estate Companies, Inc. You have to admire the creative effort.
Our recent email exchange is below, enjoy!