Suspected a Scam: a 5-Digit SEO Budget via Credit Card

Alex
I talked to a potential lead earlier that said they had a budget of $7,000 – $13,000 for an informational only site and they linked me to a site example of what they wanted. Their example was a marketplace site and I told them a site like that would cost at least $250,000. They responded with saying they are fine with that and want to know if I accept credit cards so they can pay me $100,000 up front to get started.
I did not say I would or could do this, I was just stating that the scale of the site they were requesting was beyond their budget limitations. We didn't go over any requirements. I understand this is a scam, but I am wondering how? Has anyone else encountered this?
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Thompson
They'll say they want to pay you extra and for you to pay a subcontractor who is doing work on the project. You wire payment to the subcontractor (which is really the scammer) then find out too late the credit card was stolen.
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John
Additionally, if you do pay a 3rd party, they'll have your account numbers and start auto billing you with an Automated Clearing House (ACH) request.
Alex
How does a stolen credit card make a payment for $100,000 and make it seem like it went through?
Thompson » Alex
I would guess they either have a card with a high limit, or they'll try to split it into multiple payments or something. Maybe they'll pay $25K up front, and you need to pay $5K to the "content writer" who wrote the website content. Since the card is stolen, as soon as the real owner sees the charge they backcharge it, but hopefully by then you've wired the money to the "content writer" and they're gone with the wind.
Thompson
I worked at a company that got taken on a more sophisticated relative of this scam. They hired our company to customize their ecommerce site by purchasing and installing a plugin (that had a website and everything) that was sold via bitcoin. Bought the plugin, the payment from the customer was backcharged, company was out the money.

Brian
They will want to wire you the money.

Thompson
Nope, they will pay by stolen credit card. They will want you to wire money, which can't be reversed once sent.

Koszo
Love it, 100k up-front via BTC and we're good.
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Courtney Marie 🎓 » Koszo » Derrick
My man!

Britton
I only accept cash? 🤷‍♂️
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Oberg
Yes take btc or crypto
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Brent
They pay you with a stolen card or check and ask your to pay a second guy "the guy with the graphics or info" it takes the bank about 30 to 60 days to do a fraud check but when your account gets flagged and they pull the money you still lose the money you paid the guy. I have gotten this email 3 times now, but It is a common scam in contracting.
Snetiker
What I'd be worried about is that you have to pay a fee to accept credit cards. Let's say you did – so they pay $100k and you pay $3k up front as the fee, THEN they do a chargeback. Not sure if that would be refundable or not.
Peter
I love to play with scammers like that, claiming to take the card and keep telling them "it keeps saying rejected" – really winds them up, but they keep at it – it's astonishing how long they will keep trying sometimes, and what they will send you (I need a photo of you holding your passport and todays NYtimes etc etc). Been a long time since I baited one, but fun to be had if you have time to burn
Brennan
I would think it works something like this:
They "transfer" you the money, it shows up on your account like it's transferred to you, they say they have to cancel and ask you to transfer 100k "back" but the money never really arrived your end, so you are just transferring 100k out of your account
Dave
I'm really glad you brought this up Alex. It sucks when this happens – hopefully at worst it's just a time suck but I really hope no one gets taken by it.
A few months back I'd purchased some Bark credits to try it out. Found a guy that wanted a website. I quoted him 6k for what he wanted half down half when complete.
He said no problem but here's the deal – I owe my graphic designer 5k and I'm out of the country until next month. So I want to pay you 8k – and you pay my GD the 5k I owe him and you keep the 3k for the downpayment.
I had some experience with these scam artists in my computer business – they'd tell me they'll pay me a ton of money to fix 15 laptops but they need to be shipped so they pay me for everything and I pay for the shipping – I don't remember the exact details but that's the idea
So I played along a little with this guy just to see what he'd say. I told him I was the one taking the risk etc etc all the while he's trying to reassure me that everything's gonna be ok. I even talked to the GD to verify the story. It was so funny these guys in cahoots together.
In the end I told them both they were crazy and that they really pissed me off for wasting my time on their scam. Lol
By the way I notified "TEAM BARK" about this scam and requested they look into these scam artists, remove them from their platform, and that I wanted a credit refund. Three times. I was ignored every time.
Point in fact: anytime something sounds out of whack like that, it most definitely is and you should be running for the hills, and not get sucked up by their fake but very innocent sounding stories.

Alex
Bark is actually exactly where this came from. I've been trying it for the last week. I've contacted 7 people. 2 have been scams. 4 never answered the phone or returned calls or emails and the only legitimate one ended up hiring someone not even on bark.
They have been returning my credits but at this point it just seems to be wasting my time. What was your overall experience with them?

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This may satisfy you: Are Facebook SEO Groups Decently Fulfilled by Spammers?

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