Seven Colonial Targeted in International Shipping Scam

International Shipping Scam originates in Nigeria

We love to write posts about our support for animal rescue groups, offer shopping advice, tips on enjoying good wine, and even some of the technical side of running an e-commerce site. This is none of the above. We were targeted this week in an attempted international shipping scam. Here’s what happened:

Initial Inquiry

We receive messages every day via the “Contact Us” page on our website. This message we received on December 11, 2014 didn’t really seem out of the ordinary. People often inquire about international shipments just to be sure they can order from us.

To: Seven Colonial
From: Achazia Badrick
Email: de-ambush@hotmail.com
Subject: REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL ORDER

Hello,
I want to place an order from you to our store in The Spain.I want to know if you can ship here and accept credit card as a form of payment.
Reply back asap
Thanks
Achazia Badrick

Sent from (ip address): 41.184.122.206 (41-184-122-206.rv.ipnxtelecoms.com)
Location: Ibadan, NG
Date/Time: December 10, 2014 1:37 PM
Coming from (referer): https://www.sevencolonial.com/contact/

In retrospect, we should have looked more closely at that IP address (as I just did now) and we would have noticed that this was actually a request from Nigeria, not “The Spain” as stated in the message. But we didn’t do that. Instead we replied that yes, we do indeed ship to Spain and of course we accept credit cards.

The Bogus Order

The next morning, we received this urgent sounding request for a quote.

To: Seven Colonial
From: Âchazia Organic Store <de-ambush@hotmail.com>
Subject: MY ORDER LIST, READ AND REPLY ASAP TODAY!!!

Hello,

Thanks for your reply back. Its a pleasure receiving your reply back. I want to order for the below items for my customer’s here, I want you to reply back with the total cost plus shipping quote. We’re ready and can’t wait to receive these wonderful products if yours here.

Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated.

THE ITEMS I’M IN INTERESTED IN ORDERING FOR IS LISTED BELOW AND ALSO MY ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE::::

Lavender Body Lotion by Pre de Provence
QTY::: 20

Sweet Orange Argan Oil by Pre de Provence
QTY::: 20

Maria Evora Carob Mineral Body Moist
QTY::: 20

Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream from Panier des Sens
QTY:::10

Rejuvenating Rose Shea Butter Hand Cream from Panier des Sens
QTY::: 20

Nourishing Hand Cream with Organic Honey from Panier des Sens
QTY::: 20

Firming Sea Fennel Shea Butter Hand Cream from Panier des Sens
QTY::: 20

Milk Bath and Shower Gel by Pre de Provence
QTY::: 20

Lavender Bath Salts by Pre de Provence
QTY::: 20

No. 63 Men’s Lotion by Pre de Provence
QTY::: 20

Unscented Bath Gelée by Bath Nation
QTY::: 20

ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE……..
CALLE FUENCARRAL 23
28004 MADRID,
SPAIN.

Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and finalized my order.
God bless you,

Achazia.

That was quite a list and all small items from the spa and personal care section of our website. (A really nice collection of items, too!) But a few things bothered us. Why would she go to the expense of buying all this stuff from a retail site in the US and have it shipped to Spain? All of these items but one are sourced from within the EU (Maria Evora is even from Spain), so if she has a store, why not buy wholesale direct from these companies? Why the strange Hotmail address? Why did a Google search for this business turn up nothing?

I looked up the address on Google Maps and found that it’s in the trendy Chueca district of Madrid. Lots of cool shopping there. But no Achazia Organic Store.

Achazia Badrick's fake store address in Madrid

At this point our suspicions were aroused, but we were curious to see how this would play out. I sent a quote, including two options for shipping (one faster but more expensive at $482, one a little slower at $371.) I got a response right away.

Request to Use Foreign Shipper

To: Seven Colonial
From: Âchazia Organic Store <de-ambush@hotmail.com>
Subject: PLEASE CONTACT MY SHIPPER!‏‏

Thanks for your reply back with the total quote of my order,I really appreciate you getting back to me.
I have experienced lots of difficulties when it comes to receiving shipment to my address here in The Spain, We’re located in a very remote area of the city, which cause us a lot of hindrance in receiving shipment in the past. I want you to contact my shipper which i use every time i purchase order worldwide via the below e-mail address about my order GLOBEFREIGHTLLC@GMAIL.COM with the weight and dimension inclusive the value for insurance quoting my customer ID#RP78742988A. They will deliver the shipment to me door to door,their cost will include the custom clearance and handling cost with my order. They will come pick my order up at your location when the shipment is ready. I will need you to obtain a quote and tell them that i want to Insure the package and I will like you to get back to me with overall cost of the items with the details from my shipper.
Once I have these details, I will get back to you with my credit card details immediately for payment.
God Bless you (Amen),
Kind Regards.
Achazia.

The original “god bless you” (which I thought was a little odd) now gets an Amen added to it. This was getting stranger.

The Fake Shipper

The shipper has a Gmail address? Not looking good. But still curious, I emailed the “shipper” and got a reply within minutes. They were waiting for me.

To: Seven Colonial
From: Austin Morcus, GFLLC® <globefreightllc@gmail.com>
Subject: 108Lbs_ 4CTNS_12″x12″x18″_LA_USA(SHIPPING COST, INSURANCE, VAT, CUSTOM AND HANDLING CHARGES)

Dear Client,
Thank you for contacting Globe Freight LLC, for your service. We’re a private shipping agent with private affiliate all over the world. We ran into our data base on the location you provided and also rectified the customer id number #RP78742988A had later got to discover that we have shipped some Merchandise to Mrs Achazia Badrick in the past. We are located in United Kingdom but help private customers in pick up like this and have got affiliate all over the globe. So getting your shipment to you won’t be a problem.

For a shipment moving from 1505 Queens Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90069 to The Spain with the total Total weight and dimension you provide,below is the Standard and Express Shipment Air Freight quote.

Customer id number (#RP78742988A)
Express Shipment (2 to 3 days) $1,050.10
Standard Shipment(3 to 5 days) $952.98

The freight costs includes:
Collection from your Yard
Customs clearance
Duties & taxes
Inland transit to The Spain
Insurance
Door To Door Delivery

Pick Up Address:
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Pick up will be made by our agent in the states from your address after payment is Confirmed. We will need you to provide us with estimate pick up date and time so that we can schedule a date and time for you, before the the goods are ready for picked up as we normally have a lot of shipment request.As soon as we got payment confirmed, We invoice your shipment and scan it to you to print out and paste on the shipment.

As soon as we receive all necessary information from you we will proceed on the pick up at your location,Also i will like to inform you that we only accept Money Gram/Western Union Money Transfer for now prior to pick up and collection of package which will be paid as soon as the order is ready for pick up. You would have to send us the amount to which the weight of the goods weight via western union/wire transfer so that we can do the pick up and settle the necessary tax and custom duties,this price includes insurance and all duties, then we will get back to you with the necessary details.We have greatly reduce the price of your shipment. For further information don’t hesitate to contact us.

Looking forward to be of more service to you.

Yours Sincerely,

Austin Morcus.
GFLLC

The Scam

To: Seven Colonial
From: Âchazia Organic Store <de-ambush@hotmail.com>
Subject: AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE, LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU READY

Hello,

Thanks for the total quote of my order. The total cost of my order is okay with me and I’m ready to pay the bills and want you to send me an invoice via email and i will advise with my Credit Card for you to charge for the payment of my order. But, i just got a response from my shipping Agent that He cannot receive payment via credit or debit card from me at the moment due to some circumstance beyond their control. I want you to help me Charge another $952.98 USD to my shipping agent who is going to pick up my ordered items from you.

The $952.98 USD that will be sent to the shipping agent is for the shipping of my order plus other items i ordered from different countries which will be deducted from my credit card. Also, I’m compensating you with the sum of $100 USD for the transfer fee and for surcharge. Please note that i should have given the shipping agent my credit card for him to deduct the shipping funds but He told me that he doesn’t have the facilities to charge or debit credit card at the moment,so that’s why i bring my vote of confidence in you and i don’t want you to betray the vote of confidence i put in you. I want you to transfer the funds to him after you have make the charges and the money charged from my credit card has cleared your account, then you can now make the transfer to the agent via western union. I will have love to do this my self but there no Western union here around me,So the charges you’ll make on my credit card will be:

Order Fee ($2,877.12 USD)
Agent fee with shipping fare  $952.98 USD
Transfer Fee plus Your compensation ($100 USD)
Total:($3,930.10 USD)

Note: My credit card will be charged for the amounts above. Please do get back to me if you are in the office right now so that i can forward my credit card details to you, then you can charge full amount and transfer the agent shipping funds to Him via western union or money gram any that is closer to you.

Hope you understand?

Thanks for your co-operation & understanding. This is the beginning of a long time business relationship together.

Hope to read from you ASAP

Thanks and God Bless you!

Achazia

And there’s the con. She would pay us with what would turn out to be a stolen credit card number, we would send money to the shipper via Western Union (cash, no way to get it back), and when the person whose card was stolen for this fraudulent transaction gets their bill, they report the charge and the credit card company takes the money back from us. The cardholder is protected, but the merchant is not.

Many thanks to Edgewater Soaps for the wonderful blog post on this topic from about two years ago. It’s still the same scam and they’re still out there looking for victims. Luckily, a good dose of suspicion and a few Google searches kept us out of harm’s way.

4 thoughts on “Seven Colonial Targeted in International Shipping Scam”

  1. You got off much better than I did. On my order, the perp wasn’t nearly as wordy. Their goal was to get my product in the market in the Netherlands. They made a $25,000 order with a stolen credit card. The money was credited to my account. I spoke with the shipping company, they sounded legit, and gave them almost $9,000 to cover the shipping through a wire transfer. After all, I had been paid. They got my money and I paid back the charges on the stolen credit card. How could I be so stupid?

  2. Hi,

    Check out mine… =)

    Contact Form Submission:

    Name: Mury lisette
    Email: murylisette@gmail.com
    Phone:
    Body: Hello,

    I want to place an order from you, to our store in Spain.I want to know if you can ship here and accept credit card as a form of payment.

    Reply back asap

    Thanks

    Hi,

    What are you thinking of buying, so we can advise if shipping is possible.

    Kind regards
    Bags for Babes

    Hello,

    Thanks for your reply back . Its a pleasure receiving your reply back. I want to order for the below items for my customer’s here, I want you to reply back with the total cost plus shipping quote. We’re ready and can’t wait
    to receive these wonderful products if yours here. Your utmost reply back with the total quote will be highly appreciated.

    THE ITEMS I’M IN INTERESTED IN ORDERING FOR IS LISTED BELOW AND ALSO MY ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE::::

    Essentials
    (gender neutral colours)
    Qty : 5

    Baby Beehinds PUL Cloth Nappy Cover in Blue Spotty Botty (size: SMALL ~4-8kg)
    Qty : 5

    Baby Beehinds PUL Cloth Nappy Cover in Emerald (size: SMALL ~4-8kg)
    Qty : 5

    ADDRESS FOR THE SHIPPING QUOTE……..

    Store Name : Lisette Mury Store Ltd

    Calle Velarde 2,
    Post Code : 28004
    City : Madrid,
    Country : Spain

    Hope to read back from you with the total cost and we can proceed and finalized my order.

    God bless you.

    Hi,

    Before we proceed, can you please send through some identification of yourself such as a passport and also, the transaction will have to be a bank deposit with the fees carried by the buyer.

    I am sorry,In transaction last this i don’t know the reason why you are requesting my passport it looks weird …It is not a problem to provide it but i have already stated in my message that i can only give you my Credit Card to charge.

    I will be asking a native Spanish speaker to reply in Spanish and see what happens. Given the wording is pretty much exactly as per your ‘conversation’, I have no doubt this is a scam. =)

  3. Thank goodness for Google! Just found this thread after feeling very weird about an order out of the blue to my little personalised notebook business from Lisette Mury as mentioned about. ‘She’ wanted to order 120 books which I sell for between £9.50 and £13 I was wary and haven’t done wholesale before so only offered a 10% discount and a rough price for shipping over around £200 sort of to out her off and she came back with a strange but enthusiastic reply. Thank goodness I trusted my gut, I wouldn’t have bought supplies til I had the money but still. Thankful I found this thread!! Now to word my sarcastic reply!

  4. Ours was sent as a bcc in the bulk email:

    Henry Cole
    Apr 24 (10 days ago)

    to bcc: me
    Hello,
    My name is Henry Cole .I found your profile on the internet. I am interested in purchasing of some goods in your store for my new store in Barcelona Spain. Would appreciate if you can send me a direct link or a website that have your recent stock or few pictures of the stock you have available for sale so that I can make an easy choice of mine. Before placing an order with you, I would like to know if I can pay with a credit card (such as Visa or Master Card)

    I look forward to read back from you.
    Thanks.

    Henry Cole
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Then, from the shipping company:

    ttlslogistics.ltd@yahoo.com
    Apr 27 (7 days ago)

    to me
    Dear Customer,
    Thank you for contacting TTL logistic ltd. We do deliver to most business outlet worldwide.So getting your shipment to your client won’t be a problem. In order for us to provide you a shipping quote, we need more information from you.Such as
    1. Brief description of shipping items
    2. dimension of Packages ( example 24’x24’x 24′ box )
    3. weight of the packages
    4. Pick Up Address-
    5. delivery address
    6. Name of client
    7. Value of package

    So we want you to know that once we get all the required information we will quote you on the shipment, also all shipping laws and documents will be handled So we look forward to serve
    you.Thank you

    TTL logistic ltd
    Ivan Coo

    —————————————————————————————————————-
    On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 2:47 AM, henry cole wrote:
    Hello
    Thank you for reaching me back on time ,however i have the glass list needed to be ordered below,

    1: 8X10 Stained Glass Sheet Pack (6 Sheets Wissmach Glass) : SHADES OF BLUE OCEAN
    $35.52
    30-QTY
    $1,065.60

    2: RED Spectrum Stained Glass Pack – 4 Sheets of 8X10
    $33.66
    30- QTY
    $1,009.80

    3: Color of the Creation” Spectrum & Kokomo Stained Glass Pack (8 sheets)
    $58.48
    40-QTY
    $2,339.20

    Subtotal $4,414.60

    Ship to Address:
    Calle Sant Joan 16
    08840 viladecans
    Barcelona Spain

    So i got the quote total amount through your price in list of your stock for the goods i need and for the shipping i will prefer you to contact an agent who handles my shipment,you can contact through via email: ( ttlslogistics.ltd@yahoo.com ) ,they have been handling my shipments quite sometime now .All you need to do is provide them adequate information of the items or package and they will be able to quote you based on the information provided.So get back to me with the quote to the items and the shipping quote as well .And if these quote have been confirmed and suitable i will place you my Master card information so you can charge for the fees.I look forward to read from you soon.

    Thank you

    Henry Cole

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