Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Humble Wine Blog Not Immune to Email Scams

Cyberspace 3000
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As a wine blogger, I receive some interesting communications. I get emails asking for help locating hard to find wines. I get messages seeking assistance with rebates. One Saturday I got a phone call from someone wanting to make a reservation at a local wine bar and restaurant. And then there are emails like this…

Hello ,
We are interested in purchasing
:- 36 bottles Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne ( In gift boxes if avaialable )
:- 6 bottles Dom Perignon ( In gift boxes if avaialable )
Do confirm how soon you can have them ready as we need them for an event on Dec 24th . I'll wait to read from you with the total cost for the bottles . Do you accept MasterCard or Visa ? . Our Pickup men will come for the boxes as soon as the Credit card goes through .

Sorry Mr. John Peterson, no sale.

The above email, which I’ve gotten from a number of “potential customers” is interesting, Of course, this is a wine blog and we don’t sell anything. Your antennae may go up at the dollar value of the sale, between $9,000 and $10,000. Cristal ain’t cheap. But the real scam doesn’t have to do with the product at all.

Once the scammer orders the wine, there is a problem. Since he lives out of the country, he’ll ask his shipping company to pick up the wine. You are asked to charge the sale and the shipping fee to the customer’s credit card but then wire the shipping fee since the shipping company is not set up to take credit cards. Of course, that's money you'll never see again and the credit card is a stolen one. Since the wine is being shipped overseas, the cost might be as high as $200 a case. I’ve also been able to track where this blog site has been searched for particular wines and then a scam email comes to me asking to order a wine that has been featured on the blog. 

It’s crazy in cyberspace – be careful out there!
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