Bakery Cupcake Scam

Besides writing about Perl, phones, geek items, and rants… I help my beautiful wife with our bakery business. She’s an amazing cake artist… but this isn’t about Yeni… and I told you that to tell you this…

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place.

People will take advantage of anyone. Since we opened the bakery, we’ve received tremendous amounts of donation requests (some legit, many not so much) and about once every two weeks or so a flat out attempt to hustle some money.

In 2010/2011 we would get 2 – 3 calls a month from operators claiming to be relaying information for deaf clients needing cakes, cookies, or cupcakes. Currently, it’s the cupcakes needing a courier trick.

Here’s how the scam works:

  1. You get an email, usually in broken English asking to price a good quantity (more than 100) of cupcakes.
  2. The cupcakes will need to be picked up by a courier within a short time frame (1 – 2 days)
  3. If you respond (please don’t), they will then offer to pay with a credit card… but
  4. You will be asked to charge the courier fee to the total and then wire that portion to the “courier”

What happens is that you will be given a stolen credit card and be out (a) the cupcake costs, (b) the money you sent out, and (c) any other costs associated with the order.

I hate this scam because of my first hand knowledge of the low margins that bakeries work within. Most of the targets are family owned bakeries and they simply cannot absorb the type of loss associated with this.

It’s brutal. It’s mean. But, sadly, it’s life as we know it.

For giggles (I’m cleaning my language today), I played along with one scammer… here’s how it went:

On 04/24/2013 11:42 AM, Katheryn Leedman wrote:

Hello Sales

I am Katheryn, i will like to know if you will able to get me cupcake for hundred (100) people for my son birthday on 27th april 2013. and it will be pick up by my private carrier. so i want you to give me the total cost for the 100 people.

Thanks
Katheryn

My response:

Yes, we can. Total cost is $275.00.

On 4/24/13 12:09 PM, Katheryn Leedman wrote:

Thanks for your soonest responce, the total cost sound nice. but i will also want you to do me a favor.

I played along…

What is the favor?

On 4/24/13 12:33 PM, Katheryn Leedman wrote:

hello Fred

I will give you my card to charge for the full payment for the cupcakes. and the favor was that i haven’t pay for the carrier fee so i wants you to add an extra $600 plus the total cost so you will send the $600 to my private carrier that will come for the pick up of the cupcakes in your shop.

Thanks
Katheryn

I told her I would… again I knew this was a scam, but was just curious to how they would respond…

Thanks for your coperation.so you will have to send the fund to the carrier via the nearest western union money transfer,so they can come for the pickup.
Looking forward for your response.

Charge the below card for the total sum of $875.00.

Name: Katheryn Leedman
Address:1512 W Lake Shore Dr
City:XXXXXXX
State: XX
Zip code: XXXXX

Card Number:438857XXXXXXXXXX
Exp Date:11/13
Cvv:XXX

Get back to me as soon as possible

Thanks
Katheryn

“She” gave me a legitimate credit card, it’s a chase visa– so I called Chase, told them I thought I had someone using one of their cards fraudulently. Chase didn’t seem to excited about the call, but figured it was good for Karma… anyway…

I wrote back to “Katheryn,” told her the card was declined, and asked if she had a different payment method.

I never heard back.

In Closing

People have and will always try to take advantage of anyone. Be careful out there.

Also, that sunshine and rainbows is just one awesome quote.

8 Replies to “Bakery Cupcake Scam”

  1. I just received an email almost exactly like yours today! Only instead of cupcakes they want “100 4-inch regular pound cakes with Vanilla buttermilk cake, chocolate ganache filling, peanut butter cream cheese frosting and pink rose with a pink ribbon around the base and leaf/gold board packed in an individual boxes the order is needed for my daughter wedding party and it will be pick up on the 18th of may at 4pm by my private carrier service…”

    Nice try asshat. I just wish more people knew that this stuff happens and people fall for it everyday.

  2. I received a text saying (I will put it with the same spelling as I got it): “Hello,my name is Mr william, i will like to place an order for pickup on 28TH of MAY, so can i speak with the owner or manager of this bakery and i want to know which type of card do u accept for payment? i want you to reply me ASAP.” I answered, “Visa or Mastercard”.
    Then, he/she texts me back; “ok that is good ,i want to know if youpies,cookies, cupcakes, pateries, Donut,breads, cakes, like Apple, cherry, peach, berry, pecan, pumpkin Lemon, key lime, chocolate silk, coconut cream and biscochistos. And i want to know how much per person.” I asked “Why are you not calling me?”, and he/she says “I would have called you but it was due to my condition right now,just recovery from ear surgery,so i can only talk through text at this moment,bear with me,thanks.” Then, I wrote back and said “This sounds like a scam. Please, stop contacting me.” and he/she stopped.
    His/her writing was awful, and the reason why he/she did not call me was absurd. Usually, these people call, put a big order, send somebody to pick the order up, and ask to charge to the credit card an additional fee to pay in cash to the delivery person. Then, you give this person the food, the money and, later, you find out that the card is an stolen card.
    The caller was identified as 213-632-9584

  3. I just got one of those emails, myself, and am playing along, just to see where they go with this. We are at the point of me letting them know the price of the cupcakes, so I am awaiting their reply. BTW they are “deaf”, as well, and cannot call me.

  4. We just had the same scam tried on us. Got an email from “Patel” from New York, asking for 240 cupcakes. Said his courier would pick them up and transport them to his son’s wedding. I called and asked him to send an email with pictures attached, front and back, of his DL and credit card. He said no problem, but the text did not include the attachments..claimed the camera on his phone broke. He said he got our name from a friend here in town…we are a small family run bakery…. but I believe he found us on Yelp.

  5. Got this…

    Hello – I am Mr Kelly, I’ll like to know if you offer cupcakes? Also, Do you
    accept credit card as a method of payment. Let me know, So i can send you my
    orders.
    I’ll be looking forward to read from you in my e-mail so we can proceed.
    E-mail: Kllelliot@gmail.com
    Thanks in advance!

    then…

    Thanks for your swift response. I’ll be needing cupcakes for my son birthday on the 6th of march. I want it individual 150 Vanilla and 150 Chocolate making 300 order and is going to be pick up order by a private courier. Let me know the Grand total cost so i can make the payment now.

    Playing along…

    very ok with the price very quite an affordable just let me know if you are in good position to run my card. I’ll be needing a little favor from you. And i’ll be glad if you can do it for me.

    … told him to send me the credit card and i can run it, but i’m not authorized to do any kind of favor — haven’t gotten anymore emails.

    1. I just got that exact email this evening word for word. I’ve been in this business long enough that my spidey senses were up right way. Ive got a nice slow work load this week, i might play along for funzzies.

  6. Just received this email:
    From: David Ben
    To: undisclosed-recipients:;
    Sent: Tue, Jul 18, 2017 1:51 pm
    Subject: Cupcake Order

    Hello this is David Ben, I will like to know if you do Cupcakes I want to order for my family re union party which is coming up August 2017 and I want to know if you accept credit card as your means of payment?

    Regards,
    Ben.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *