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.


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.


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

Thanks for your 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
State: XX
Zip code: XXXXX

Card Number:438857XXXXXXXXXX
Exp Date:11/13

Get back to me as soon as possible


“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.


Michelle 2013-05-10 Reply

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.

Baker 2015-05-13 Reply

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

Erin Perry 2015-12-29 Reply

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.

Fred Posner 2015-12-29 Reply

Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Bob 2016-04-15 Reply

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.

John 2017-03-13 Reply

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
I’ll be looking forward to read from you in my e-mail so we can proceed.
Thanks in advance!


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.

Elizabeth 2017-05-07 Reply

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.

Christina 2017-07-18 Reply

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?


Terry 2017-08-27 Reply

We got a similar one:
On Aug 24, 2017 6:52 PM, “David Ben” wrote:

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



Liza 2017-11-03 Reply

David Ben is at it again!!! I just got the same email AND he sent me a text message to my business cell phone! This time, the family reunion is on December 25th. I didn’t think twice of it – y’know, Christmas and all, but the request came via text (as some of clients do). My spidey senses perked up when he said he’d be sending a courier to pick them up on the 16th. 1) Who sends a courier to pick up cupcakes? 2) Most people don’t use the word “courier” unless they’re in a downtown metropolitan office; and 3) You want fresh, baked goods NINE days before serving them? My cupcakes are good and stay good in the cooler for a few days, but 9 days? *eye roll*

Thank you for posting this…! It’s still relevant four years later

Carol C 2018-02-21 Reply

I have been getting these emails from a “Jerry Miller” …this is what I have received several times now for all different dates of his family reunion:

“Good day this is Jerry. I will like to order for 250 cup cake in chocolate and vanilla flavor with sprinkles and icing on them for my family reunion party that is coming up on the 24th of March and it will be pick up from you by 4 pm, Pls figure out an estimation so i will make full payment upfront with my credit card once i have book everything with you and what is the type of credit card you accept.

Full Name :
Cell Phone # (So i can text you) :
Type of credit Card Accepted :
Shop Address :


Jerry Miller
Marine Martial Arts Instructor”

It worries me that there are people out there that fall for this.

Mrs. S 2018-03-25 Reply

David Ben apparently has many family reunions. He is having yet another in April 2018. Here’s his message to me!

On Mar 20, 2018 11:45 AM, david ben wrote:
Hello this is David Ben, I will like to know if you do Cupcakes I want to order for my family reunion party which is coming up April 2018 and I want to know if you accept credit card as your means of payment?


Emily 2018-04-16 Reply

I’m so glad I found this article! I have a Facebook page for my “business”. Mostly it is just making baked goods for friends and family, but I do have my number and emails on the page just in case. I keep getting texts asking about cost of a large amount of baked goods. I knew straight away it was a scam, but couldn’t figure out how it worked. I don’t take anything other than a check and require that we meet in person. As soon as they said they lived out of state I stopped it there, I’m good, but nothing to order from out of state for.

Mary 2018-10-25 Reply

Have any of you reported these scammers? I figure the stolen credit cards is enough to warrant some action? Just got another one of these today.

Matt 2019-07-24 Reply

We had received an email that was basically the same, but looking for cookies. This is how it started out:
Dear Owner,
My name is Mr. Daniel Wolf with Elite Interior Designer LLC. We are interested in our bakery to special order cookies for an upcoming events on 20TH JULY.Below are the kind of cookies are interested in along with their quantity.
Chocolate Chip Cookies_____qTy= 150
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies_____qTy= 150
Double Chocolate Cookies_____qTy= 150
M&M’s Cookies_____qTy= 150
Collection Date: 07/12/2019

That’s 600pieces of cookies in total please send me an email with an invoice with the final cost plus tax and without shipping since we will collect it from your store with our shipping account.Send all your replies to my business email for quicker reply since that’s connected to my phone and feel free to call me 435-383-1333 if you have any question.

Thank you.
Mr. Daniel Wolf.
Of course we emailed back, even though we knew that it was a scam just to see. Then we got this:
Thank you for the response back with the estimate on these wedding order. I was supposed to come to your location and do an interior design job but unfortunately he called it off. I can no longer make it to your location to collect these order and have it shipped to my sister in the Island, so i made an inquiry with the cargo company i send shipment to her with all the time and the manager will be able to accommodate food shipment.
However the manager will need the shipment packaged in hard shipping boxes and they will need to know how many boxes those will be and also your store location address as well as your contact details so they can raise an estimate for shipping for us to proceed.I know there will be an additional charge for the shipping boxes and packaging so you are welcome to include it to my order but in the mean time please forward me these details so i can figure out how much the shipping will cost to collect it from your store by the cargo company on July 14th. You are also welcome to forward the details your self direct to the cargo company to their contact e-mail below.
Cargo company Contact Info.
Down Global Air Cargo
484 E 167 St.
Bronx, NY 1 0456
Direct Line: 716-262-2059
Fax: 716-262-5587
Delivery Address to the Island.
Colleen Benjamin.
9900 Oswald Harris Ct 15
Saint Thomas. 00802-310
US Virgin Island

Please forward me the details or the cargo company so we can find out how much the shipping will be for them to collect it and have it next day shipped to the Island. Thank you so much and I will be looking forward to your response soon.
We sent back pretty basic information on how we would ship. They then replied with an invoice from the cargo company for over $800.
We were out of town so we didn’t answer anything from there. Never heard back from them, nothing which is an obvious sign it was a scam. Just interesting how they find legitimate email addresses for these companies and everything.

Latonya Holmes 2020-03-05 Reply

I just got a similar email. I’m playing along to see how far it goes…..

this is Powell Roosevelt and ,i Would like to make an order for my Mom’s surprise birthday that’s gonna hold this March 20, i want to do this for her as a surprise package because I would like to order for 50 dozens of cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla flavors and assorted basic designs (sprinkles, rosettes, swirls e.t.c).i have a carrier that will come for the pick up of the cupcakes on that day by 2pm.just make the order ready by 2pm and a driver will come pick it up so let me have the total cost cos am ready to make the full payment now with my credit card .

Jenn McMillan 2020-06-23 Reply

I just got this exact email (in New Zealand) and remembered there had been a scam years ago…. I am glad I remembered about it and didn’t follow through!! dodgy old Powell! I have sent the word out amongst NZ cakers

Fred Posner 2020-06-23 Reply

I would love to be in New Zealand right about now.

Jenn McMillan 2020-06-23 Reply

we are pretty lucky Fred, I hope you and yours are keeping safe and well. Make sure to put NZ on your travel bucket list when the world opens up again. Look me up and I can show you around Hawkes Bay. Take care!

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