Fred Posner

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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.