Scam Targets Web Designers

Web Designer ScamScammers have been trying to fool people into all sorts of things over the years and the common thread is the promise of easy money. There is a great online resource for information about scams and fraud at StopFraud.gov. The folks there tell us how important it is to report fraud:

Fraudulent activities should always be reported to your local law enforcement office. The following is additional information on how specific types of fraud complaints or cases of suspected fraud can be submitted to federal agencies.

So, I am reporting a scam that was laid for me only yesterday. Monday afternoon I received this text from a “Kyle Roger” at (407) 536-7964:

Good Day

I'm Kyle Roger,am hearing impaired.I would love to know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you  do you accept credit cards ?? kindly get back to me ASAP so I can send you the job details.

Regards

Kyle Roger

Well, I got back to “Kyle Roger” right away... because that's business! But already, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up because of the question about accepting credit cards. I sent a text back to him and told him yes our company accepts credit cards. He replied back by asking for my email address to send the specifics and requirements.

I then asked him something I ask everyone who contacts us for work and that is “Where did you hear about Wolf Creek Technology?” His reply was:

A friend of mine told me about your company that you are the best in town and I will like you to help me with this work asap

I text back to find out the name of his friend so I could send the proper thanks and a so forth and “Kyle” responded back that his friend's name was “Frank”. Well, I don't know any Franks... at least not any who would recommend my company as the best in town. And why didn't “Kyle” tell me his last name? By now alarm bells were going off so I sent another text asking for the last name of “Frank.”

Can you guess what it was? If you said Smith, you were right. Well for sure I don't know any “Frank Smiths.” I next asked for “Kyle's” location and he said he was located in Orlando, FL. How could “Frank Smith” recommend my company as the best in town if I wasn’t even in “Kyle’s” town?

WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! RED ALERT! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

By now I knew this was probably a scam and began Googling “Kyle”, his phone number and after asking for his company name (Roger Bharat Earth Co.), I Googled that. I got one hit on “Kyle's” name and then came across the same message in the original text from him numerous times. Let me share with you the text of the two main emails I received from him (his email address is mathappen112@outlook.com).

Thanks for your response, The consultant want upfront payment before he can send logo and content,  i'm ready to make payment now with my credit card, I understand the content for this site would be needed so work can start asap but I will need a Little favor from you and the favor is that I will  send you my credit card to charge for the sum of $5,700.00 plus 3% Cc company charges, You will deduct $2,500.00 as deposit for the design of the website plus extra $200.00 as a tip for handling perfect work for me and you will send the remaining $3,000.00 to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he receive the $3,000.00 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you so work can start asap,Sending of funds would be after money clears into your account and You will be charging my card for remaining balance upon completion of work, Kindly get back to me so we can proceed with payment asap

Regards

Kyle.

This is a typical scam email right here. “Kyle” is going to give me his credit card number and trust me to send the 3K to his consultant? What we have here is probably a scam to use me to charge a credit card number he stole then have me send him the 3K leaving me to hold the bag when the stolen number is used. Notice the $200 tip he is giving me for handing all this stuff for him. Here is the email I received the next morning:

Hi David,

Good Morning and I will be forwarding you my credit card to charge through for the total charges of $5,700.00 plus 3% Cc company charges and What type of credit card marchant are you using please get back to me asap.

Thanks

Kyle.

After texting “Kyle” back he said he would get me the credit card number right away. I have not heard back from him yet with the number otherwise I would have posted that here as well (minus the last 4 numbers) to give more info. Please pass this scam MO around and share it with others so no one is taken in.

After researching this scam a bit I found other web designers have been targeted by these thieves as well as freelance content writers and SEO services. Be on guard... SCAM ALERT!

This has been a public service announcement from Wolf Creek Technology! 

UPDATE:

Our scam artist has also been using these names and email address:

  • Richard Temidayo - richardtemidayo@outlook.com
  • Micheal Jayjay - michealjayjay@outlook.com
  • Paul Thomas - paul_thomas12345@yahoo.com

UPDATE #2:

This scammer must not be keeping track of who they have tried to scam. Today I received another text from "Kyle Roger" with the exact same text scam. However, there is a new phone number and email address "Kyle" used:

  • tuff1go@outlook.com
  • (323) 844-7407

UPDATE #3:

These same scammers sent a text to me again. This time I received a text from "Ivan Morales" with the exact same text scam. Again there is a new phone number and email address "Ivan" used:

  • hiringoutlet25@gmail.com
  • (310) 595-9037

UPDATE #4:

This time the scammers just contacted me via email. The name used this time is "Helen Wilson" with the exact same scam. No new phone number this time but the email address "Helen" used:

  • lenwils70@gmail.com

UPDATE #5:

Another contact from text messaging and this time the name is "Kate Am" with the exact same scam. Same message and business as well as the other details. This time there is a new phone number used:

  • (614) 375-9933

UPDATE #6:

They just don't quit... They should really keep track of who they send these things to. Here is another name and email address used:

  • Deborah William
  • deborahwilliam02@hotmail.com

UPDATE #7:

Since the last update I have had a number of additional texts and emails using this same scam. This morning I received another text, but this scammer has gotten really lazy or just doesn't take his job seriously. The same sort of texts come in, hearing impaired, need a website for a new startup company selling agricultural products like kola gacilla, and cocoa nuts... blah blah blah.

But what is different this time is the texts are coming in out of sequence so I know what is going on is because I have received a lot of these scams by now. I'm probably not going to update this post anymore just because I could spend all of my time doing it. By now there should be enough info out there to warn people. Thanks to all who have commented here and posted links to this warning.

Here is another name, phone number and email address used:

  • Kate Marshal
  • (443) 488-9094
  • katemarshal615@yahoo.com

UPDATE #8:

Here is another name, phone number and email address used:

  • Cynthia Jones
  • (443) 488-9094
  • Cynthiajones047@gmail.com

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  • (phone) 515•490•6822
  • (email)
  • 115 East Vista Lake Avenue
    P. O. Box 260
    Polk City, Iowa 50226
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