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 Restaurant reservation scam email

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Argonaut
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 2:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A friend of mine recently got a scam email of a sort I've never seen before. I'm wondering if this is a specialised scam that maybe hasn't been detected yet.

My friend is in the food service industry and has a website. The website is not for a restaurant, but if a lad was not being careful they might think it was.

My friend got an email requesting a huge reservation, about 50 people, for dinner on a specific date. Contact details were left. My friend asked me to look at the email and I was able to spot it as a scam straightaway:

1) The English was terrible

2) The contact number was a UK mobile beginning 070

3) It was sent from a Yahoo account.

4) Anyone who had actually read the website would know there is no restaurant attatched to the business.

Is it possible that there are scammers targeting a niche type of victim that we are missing because we concentrate on the scams that email every email address they can find. More discerning lads might be tailoring their emails to their prey (although not very well in this instance).

If my friend had been the owner of a small, struggling restaurant, though, he might have fallen for it. Has anyone seen this before? Does anyone know how the scam works? There was no appeal for money in the initial email.

I don't have a copy of the email at present or the email address although I'm going to try and get a copy.

Thanks,

Argo

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Master of Puppets
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 2:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

They do, occasionally. There's also the hotel-reservation type of scam and the travel agency targeting scams.

I guess they're all about the same as craigslist/ebay/whatever scams where they send you an overcharged (fake!) cheque and then ask to you wire back the surplus.

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Argonaut
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 3:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is really weird, because right now at work I've just had an scam email targeting my industry. I won't say which industry it is for privacy reasons, but it is def a scam. It has a 070 number but also a legit looking London number. Is there a K7 for the UK?

This may be an overpayment scam, but in my line of work we do get a lot of people making purchases with third party credit cards. Part of the pitch is to see if we accept payment by card or paypal. Cheque is not mentioned. I have a feeling they are looking for people to use stolen cards with.

I might just follow this one up myself as a baiting persona to see how it goes. I'd love to nail these jerks as I've known some people to get ripped off before.

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HarvestMoon
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 4:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Is it possible that there are scammers targeting a niche type of victim that we are missing because we concentrate on the scams that email every email address they can find. More discerning lads might be tailoring their emails to their prey (although not very well in this instance).


There are a lot of different types of scams, including niche scams. They are often overpayment scams, like MOP mentioned. The targets include hotels, restaurants, massage services, rental property, and items offered for sale on Craig's list or Ebay. There are also scams offering goods or services that simply do not exist. Puppies/pets for sale is a great example, but also things like computer equipment, electronics, even cars or motorcycles...just about anything that can be sold. One more sophisticated scam is a group that advertises that it is running a large conference on world social issues and targets charitable organizations by trying to get them to sign up for a conference that does not exist.

There are many people on Eater that focus their attention on specific types of scams, usually depending on what they feel passionate about. So while most time is probably spent on the scams that reach a larger audience, we do also have some members who target the niches.

Also remember our sister site, Scamwarners. You might want to post up the information on the particular scams you mentioned in this thread to warn other potential victims. Education is one of our best weapons against scam.

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pablo
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 7:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In RL I run a business that gets targeted with business specific scams frequently. The more common are

The most common both email and phone is related to credit card transactions. The scammers offer deep discounts to process credit card transactions (attactive to many businesses because the normal fees are significant) The give away is the non company email addresses and under construction web sites if any.

We instituted a policy of no phone information, no exceptions even innocent information like business registration numbers that are a matter of public record. We will not confirm or deny information.

A surprising number tell us we are obligated to answer their questions! Twisted Evil

There is still quite a bunch of phony invoice scams for imaginary services. Some quite clever. These are targeted almost always starting from public information and no, "WU and MG" are not suitable payment companies for business billing.

p.


Last edited by pablo on Wed May 13, 2009 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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GSN_fan
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Argonaut wrote:
This is really weird, because right now at work I've just had an scam email targeting my industry. I won't say which industry it is for privacy reasons, but it is def a scam. It has a 070 number but also a legit looking London number. Is there a K7 for the UK?

This may be an overpayment scam, but in my line of work we do get a lot of people making purchases with third party credit cards. Part of the pitch is to see if we accept payment by card or paypal. Cheque is not mentioned. I have a feeling they are looking for people to use stolen cards with.

I might just follow this one up myself as a baiting persona to see how it goes. I'd love to nail these jerks as I've known some people to get ripped off before.


Yes, it is called Flextel. It redirects calls to your phone as well.

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Austria is a the name of a country near Australia.

This are the details we required from you so our customer cab infect payment to you.

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Inspector Gadget
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

There is also Skype, this has the ability to allow you to set up phone numbers that look like they come from all over the world. I have 2 London based ones, and I am no where near the place.

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Argonaut
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Just wondering what people's experience was with these niche lads. I would have thought, perhaps, that they would be easier to get off script as they might have had fewer encounters with baiters. Does that stack up against anyone else's experience?

PS thanks for the phone info.

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