ATTENTION WEB DEVELOPERS & DESIGNERS: Scammers have developed a new scheme targeting Web designers and developers. We’ve outlined the con below. Take 2 minutes to read it through; doing so could save you lots of money, headaches and time.
Web-Designer-Scam Red Flags
Initial Contact: Perpetrators of the web-designer-scam usually initiate contact via an email originating outside the United States. People who’ve been hit reported that the sender inquired about services and included a link to an example website.
Air of Legitimacy: What makes this scam particularly lucrative is that the initial inquiry seems legitimate.
Poor Grammar: Though the emails may seem valid, people who’ve been taken in by this scam noted that the emails did contain poor grammar.
No Direct Response: One of the biggest red flags in this scam is the inquirers’ refusals to return your emails or address any of your questions. They’ll only initiate emails, dictating parameters. This is probably because it’s a semi-automated scam.
Inquirer Controls Terms: Another similarity that targeted designers and developers mention is the inquirers’ propensity to dictate the terms of the deal. They may tell you that a money order is coming as a deposit and that they’ll pay the balance on completion.
Large Money Order Arrives: One of the more interesting aspects of this scam is that money orders do arrive. And here’s the rub: they’re usually for more than agreed upon.
Asks You To Refund: The way the scammers make money is by getting you to Western Union money to them. So, the “closer” is almost always a request to send the overage amount to a) them or b) some specified intermediary in the U.S.
Generally speaking, all web developers and designers should be wary of inquiries that ask them to send money to someone else – especially if you’re being paid by credit card or money order.
Speak With A Design and Developer Attorney
Kelly Warner is an Internet law firm that represents Web developers and graphic designers. To learn more about our firm, click here. To get in touch, please use one of the methods presented on our contact page. We look forward to speaking with you soon.