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Friday 11 July 2008

"I'm customer from Singapore.."

If you sell any kind of high-value goods (or even if you have a web site that just mentions them) then you probably get all sorts of fraudulent emails.

One in particular is the "Customer from Singapore" email of which the following is an example.

Subject: special order
From: "Tony Canna"
Date: Fri, July 11, 2008 7:45 am

I'm customer from Singapore ,and I would like to purchase some products from your
company,but before we doing bussines,I need your answers for my questions

1.Do you accept credit card for payment?
2.Do you ship overseas via UPS,DHL or FedEX Service ?

Thanks before for the attentions and we are glad to doing more bussines with
your company.

I look Forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,
Tony Canna

Singapore is a pretty good place to do business with. Crime and corruption are very low, and you could be reasonably certain that business transactions from with Singapore would be 100% legitimate. The problem with this email is that the sender isn't from Singapore at all, but from neighbouring Indonesia as an examination of the mail headers shows. At the risk of offending Indonesian readers.. well.. put it this way - Indonesia is a much more tricky place to do business with.

Another telltale mark of a fraud is the phrase "Special order". I don't know why, but these scammers often like to mark their emails with this. Go figure.

This Indonesian/Singaporean scam is actually quite common, so be cautious about people claiming to be from Singapore, check mail headers carefully and check that the delivery address is a real business or residential address if you can (rather than some warehouse at an airport, for example).

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