Just like everyone else, at IconLogic we receive our fair share of spam emails and fraud attempts. Usually they're easy to snuff out. But training companies beware: scammers are getting more resourceful. Last week we received a paid order for one of our classes. The next morning we received the following email (presented as it was received, except for the account number):
This is to notify you to cancel Our attendance at the program due to some circumstances beyond my control. I recently lost my husband to complication during surgery, He was hit by bullet while we were robbed in our home in Illinois, and this have caused a devastating effect on my psychic as I'm seriously preparing for the funeral.Kindly issue a refund credit to my company corporate visa card account XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-4272, Exp: 05/14 and CVV:XXX on my authorization.
The email itself sounded fishy to me. The poor grammar and typos definitely sent up a red flag. And even without looking into this to see if was, in fact, a scam, I would have never refunded another card all willy-nilly. But I did look into it, and found that similar scams are cropping up amongst nonprofits and educational institutions. In those cases, similar emails to the one above are sent, but instead of cancelling a class order, the scammers request to be refunded the amount of a large donation that was made in error or to cancel a conference registration. The trick with all of the above, however, is that they'd like to be refunded to a different account than was used for the original transaction.
There were also a couple other tell-tale signs of fraud in this case. We tried to call the number provided with the class registration, but were told that we had the wrong number. The email address (although I won't list it here), was similar to those that are included with spam posts on blogs. Additionally, despite the email stating the "customer" lived in Illinois, the billing and shipping addresses were listed as California.
Have you received similar fraud attempts? Share your stories below and pass this article along to prevent these scammers' most recent creative attempts from being successful.
AJ teaches a live, 3-hour class that offers tips/tricks for improving the look and feel of your PowerPoint presentations: Slide Sprucing: Remodeling Lackluster PowerPoint Slides for eLearning and Presentations.