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Mon Jan 30 2017 22:40:26

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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A Public Service Announcement to sellers who may be considering paying to get their items featured in magazines. It appears scammers have a new racket to rip off unsuspecting sellers.

The scammer poses as an editor and approaches the seller asking them if they'd be interested in collaborating with them on a feature spread in their magazine. The "collaboration" then becomes an advertorial where the seller pays to have their items - jewelry for sale on an online marketplace, for example - featured in the magazine.

Then the scammer requests that the seller send the items to be featured to (name of foreign country) for a photo shoot by their prestigious photographer.

And like many effective scams, there is a sense of urgency - the magazine is going to press in a couple of weeks and they need the items and payment quickly. If the seller falls for the bait, they end up being out the money, their items, and of course the cost of international shipping.

When reading the description above, it seems obvious it's a scam, but the con can be very convincing. Seller, beware!




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 30 23:16:24 2017

This reminds me of the lottery scam. You just won $5 million, but before you can collect, you need to send a cashier's check for $40K (or some other sum) to cover taxes (processing, or something).

I can believe sellers would fall for this scam, though, hopefully, being in a foreign "publication" would make them think twice before mailing anything.  

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jan 30 23:55:25 2017

Unfortunately these type of scams are increasing and becoming more sophisticated making them harder to spot. A few years ago, not eBay, I almost fell for a type of bank scam. They even sent a $5,000 cashier's check USPS Priority Mail. Suspecting it was a scam, I did my research and never followed through with the bogus check. I did get several emails from the scammer asking about our ''agreement''  but never responded. I also never deposited the check.

Another scam are those canvasing neighborhoods saying they work for such and such utility company. They state to their unsuspecting victim that there is a scam artist going around. So the scammer is talking about a scammer to gain trust. They then ask to see their utility bill and tell them there is something wrong with the billing and they are there to ''help'' fix it.  Not sure of how this one works but it is something to watch out for.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 11:05:56 2017

lol -- Really?  Well Ina does say the description is scam obvious, but the actual con is very convincing.

The entire description is nothing but red flags, the actual scam really does have to be a magnitude of sophistication to even start to be believable.  

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 12:18:08 2017

It seems obvious to so many of us who are experienced dealing with people and situations all over the world. Yet to so many the thought of such a thing would never enter their head so why would anyone suspect.

I have a close friend, educated, smart, at the time was teaching at a Christian School. Money was in short supply for her. Received a letter about having her car wrapped with an advertisement and would be paid a couple of hundred dollars per month. At the time, she had just avoided eviction as her ex husband wasn't paying his monthly child support on time. Imagine her relief when she received this offer to pick up some extra money. She responded and next thing I hear is she gets a cashier's check in the mail. With it was a list of instructions that basically said to deposit the check of $1,900 and then mail another cashiers check for $1,200 to the printing company who will make the wrap. That company happened to be in China. She was thrilled. Saw it as an answer to her problems. I knew something didn't seem right as it sounded too much like some of the scams I had heard about selling years ago on Ebay. Those where someone would send a check for a certain amount and ask the recipient to forward on a portion to some third party. I felt both awful and relieved when I researched the issue a bit and in less time than it took her to get out of the shower, I had pages of information about the Car Wrap Scam. She was getting ready to take that check to the bank. She was so disappointed and had no idea how such a thing could even happen until I explained the process to her. Then she just felt like a fool.

That's who these cons prey upon. People who are having a hard time but hopeful and looking for an answer. Add in some naivete and a lack of financial savvy and you have a victim.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 31 19:58:21 2017

I must be crazy, "cashiers check" would have been the big red flag for me.

Cashiers check to me always means no recourse, so I am always suspicious when it is required to seal a deal.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 22:05:29 2017

Rexford, you are correct.

I should expand a bit on the cashiers check. The scam works because the larger check is bogus. The unsuspecting victim deposits the bogus check, withdrawing funds to send off the second, legitimate check. By the time the bank receives notice the deposited check is no good, the money is long gone.  True to form, a contact person is maintaining the sense of urgency through email. The scammer sent the original via Priority Mail. That delivery has a tracking number that is used to follow when it is delivered. Once they see the delivery an email goes out stipulating a tight time deadline. That's why my friend was getting ready to go to the bank. They are really quite good and very convincing.  

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 22:11:08 2017

A lot of institutions won't even accept cashier's checks any more there's been so much fraud.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Siobhan

Wed Feb 1 00:40:46 2017

Anyone remember a few years back the scammers, ''Sellers On Line''? I believe the ceo of this thing was located in UT and they would send flyers to local residents, saying they are holding a ''seminar'' at a local ballroom of a motel, provide a free lunch and pull in as many seniors and others into the scam. My first indication that its was a scam was it name, which initials are, no surprise, ''S.O.L.'' I'm sure everyone knows what those initials stand for...

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 00:41:55 2017

As several posters have already mentioned this is a variation on a very old scam.  Cashier's checks can bounce.  One variation occurs when people advertise large items for sale (boats, cars, horses).  You are given a cashiers check and asked to forward (wire) a portion of the funds to a freight company that will make arrangements to pick up your item.  Because it is a large (bulky) item most people don't expect the pickup to happen overnight so it takes them a while to realize they have been conned.  I once sold a small printed item for $29 including postage and the scammer sent an email that his ''secretary'' made a mistake and sent a cashiers check for $2,900 ... and by the way, a freight forwarder would pick up the item I sold so could I just send the difference to the freight company.  Clearly the crook at the other end didn't pay any attention to the size of the item.  That was ten years ago, but they keep getting more creative. My bank now has a sign by the tellers window warning people who cash large cashier checks or make large withdrawals that they should be careful when sending money to strangers.  

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Siobhan

Wed Feb 1 00:47:04 2017

Sorry for the double post. :/

@hopeforthebest: You'd be surprised how many still do, like some LLC'S and LLP's

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 01:20:46 2017

One quick giveaway is misspelled words and incorrect grammar.  I see these often in PayPal phishing emails.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 05:44:24 2017

I refuse to ''lend'' items for photo shoots, exhibitions etc as I can see no profit in it and only risk. I sell unique items so a lovely photo of a model wearing my XXX is of little use to me once I sold the item/s in question. And I have heard from other sellers who had unfortunate experiences of lending out items and getting them back damaged, months later, or not at all. And these were (apparently) legitimate companies. If someone wants to hire my stuff then my hiring fee is equivalent to the retail price, so they may as well buy it outright. Any email asking me to ''lend'' stuff raises an immediate red flag with me, along with any company wanting me to pay by bank transfere (ie bank wire) rather than a credit card.

Another common scam at the moment is to send an email with a ''invoice'' attached to a known seller. The seller opens the attachment and its a virus of some kind. You really need to be aware before opening any attachment that the ''invoice'' is from a legitimate source and relates to goods or services you actually purchased.

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 12:01:17 2017

Lately I have been getting "buyers" who contact me through my website email or chat, asking for quotes on very large purchases.
The first one who originally asked simple, normal questions for shipping 100 items to New York and how soon could it be done, seemed fine, got the quotes and sent them on to him. He had an official looking email, US addresses, phone numbers and photo of very American looking guy in a suit was visible on gmail.  Finally, he tells me he needs to have his freight company pick it up and will give us a cashiers check, as it is going to some foreign country, forgot where... So suddenly this company that seemed US based is international...no thanks.
This guy really seemed legit, I have received another since then that was more obvious, broken language but trying to sound professional, declined that offer too.
I always have Japanese emails requesting large amounts of items that I do not entertain...so much so that it is more than the manufacturer requires for a minimum order.
I once got an email for a special event (that I was specially "selected" for by the way - it was such an honor!) for some supposedly famous guy's yearly party where they wanted me to send stuff so I could be "featured", LOL, did not do that either.
I guess I miss out on a lot of sales (mind you, I do not sell anything that is not readily available in CA or NY!)

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 13:10:23 2017

Boy, it seems that all small sellers are prone to be ripped-off by fraudulent offers and honest as well.

Starting my import business in 1985, I placed a small classified ad in a fancy big city magazine.  I never sold a thing from the ad but I foolishly agreed to pay for more ads when contacted by  small local religious publications promising wonderful results.  

Again nothing sold, but I was rewarded with collection agencies hounding me to pay my overdue advertising bills.

A few years later, I ponied up many hundreds of dollars for my first trade show.  I did not sell much, but a number of other trade show promoters promised ''instant success'' if I would only pay more hundreds of dollars to show at their trade shows.  The typical outcome was insufficient sales to cover the cost of the trade show and maybe enough for gas money home.

Finally, the Internet came along.  No more paying for advertising in magazines and no more trade show heartaches.

Websites were and are cheap, but then comes the add on's.  Daily E-Mail solicitations with promises of this and that.  Lot's of opportunities to spend money receiving little or nothing in return.  

And then their is our ''trading partner'' eBay....

Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers   Beware of Advertorial Scam Targeting Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Feb 2 22:47:05 2017

Happened to me. A person going by the name of "Becky Bernie" with a magazine named "Arts & Crafts Homes". She ripped me off for over $300.
Said she wanted to do an article on me and my product. I had to write the article.
After she sent me a copy of the magazine, she sent me a bill for $300 and threatened legal action if I didn't pay up.
She's still with the magazine, 8 years later,  and still sends me emails I told her not to send me.



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