The "Do You Have This In Stock" Email Scam

Reader SkokieGuy’s manufacturing company keeps getting these emails asking to buy parts and equipment they don’t even make. The diction is weird and they seem to be using a template. “I know this is a scam,” writes SkokieGuy.”But I can’t figure out why.”

Here is an example of one the emails SkokieGuy’s company gets:


I am Bent Rooney and well I am interested in displays and I will like to know if you have the Cut Off Machinery in stock and I will like to know if there is a surcharge on the use of Visa or Master Card.I will be waiting for a response as soon as possible.

Bent Rooney

“Our products are not the kind of item that can be purchased and easily resold, like jewelry or electronics,” writes SkokieGuy. “What exactly is the scam? Since the products have to be shipped, if the credit card is fraudulent we won’t let the order go through and ship anything.”

I get them too, and I don’t sell anything online. These are usually the precursor to an advance fee fraud scam. They don’t care about the physical product.

What would probably end up happening is they would try to complete the order with you and pay you with a credit card. They would overpay. They would then ask you to refund the difference via wire transfer, often Western Union, or say that the extra is for you to send to to their shipping agent. They take the money you give them… and the original credit card charge will turn out to be fraudulent.

So you would pay them with real money for their fake money and get left holding the bag.

Oh internet, are you just a delivery mechanism for lies?

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