Back in March of 2010 I started posting a description of my lively correspondence with "Stan" from California (although I suspected he was from Nigeria). Now I think I smell another rat. I received an e-mail from "Jon Rosberg From Norway" who wanted to buy something from me (notice he doesn't mention what he wants, nor does he know what I have to offer). He also adds spice to the bait by hinting that he will supply me with a shopping "list" of what he wants, if I would just be so kind as let him know the address of my website!
Here's what Jon Rosberg From Norway wrote:
Good Day, I'm Jon Rosberg From Norway.I want to place an order and i know the difficulties encountered when shipping internationally,But that will not be a problem because i am registered with a shipping company which I've used severally times without any delay nor damage.Before i place the order,i want to inform you that i will be making the payment with my Mc/Visa cards because as for now i can only make payment with my US credit card account information,so if it's okay by you kindly get back to me with the contact details and please reconfirm your website so as to know if I'm right with the site.I awaiting your swift response so as to list out the items needed. Malin-Da-Store Th. Owesens gate 35, N-7044 TRONDHEIM, Norway. Telephone: + 4773825300 Telefax: + 4773515704 Warmest Regards, Jon.
The first red flag that came up when I read the e-mail was that Jon didn't express what he was interested in, nor did he even know my website! Then, of course, the other red flag was one I had seen before. Jon, like Stan, is "registered with a shipping company". I'm sure, if Jon answers my e-mail at all he will tell me he doesn't need to have me ship it to him because his shipping company will pick up "the merchandise". As far as Jon's method of payment goes, I've heard of McNuggets, McDouble and McMuffins, but I've never heard of a McVisa. I'm afraid that wouldn't work for me. Then I googled the address and found it is actually in Trondheim Norway and is a company called Q Free ASA which is in the business of traffic management. Their phone number has the first six numbers included in Jon's e-mail but it seems Norway doesn't divide its phone numbers in the same way as ours (first three is the area code). I first thought 477 had been the area code and it would have been in Leon Mexico. There were also links on the Google results which were to websites dealing with scam e-mails. When I brought one up on the screen there was a copy of a letter with the very same wording as the letter I received, only another name, not Jon! It's possible this is Stan again or one of his Nigerian Mafia cronies.
So, in the spirit of sharing with one and all, here is my response to Jon:
Good day Jon Rosenberg from Norway,
Thank you for your interest in my work. There are no difficulties shipping internationally at all. I only accept payment through PayPal. Please let me know which work you would like to purchase. As soon as you tell me your address, I can calculate the shipping charges to add to the cost. Then, when you have made the payment of the cost of the work, plus the shipping to PayPal and I have received notice of payment from PayPal, I will ship the piece to you. If that works for you we can proceed.
Stay tuned, folks!