It starts as an innocent request from a Chris Thomas for a website quote for naturesfarmproduce.com. In this case, an email was sent directly to one of my staff. The subject was "Design !". The first message, from [email protected], was simple: "I will like to know if you do Web design and please do you accept credit card ?"
My employee took initiative as would be expected, replying with:
Yes, we do website design and development and we do accept credit cards. If you are interested in this service, I would like to gather more information from you such as:
- Phone number
- Name of business/organization
- Type of organization
- Project budget
- Domain name (if you already have one registered)
I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for your interest
To which "Chris" replied:
Thanks for the reply, I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in FL and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .http://www.agroamerica.com.... the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don't have a domain yet but i want the domain name as Naturesfarmproduce.com
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $3000 to $6000
Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
(3) Contact Name :
(4) Full Shop Address :
(5) Cell Phone # (So i can text you) :
(6) Type of credit Card Accepted :
At this point the employee brought it to my attention at which point I notified her that it was a scam attempt. The difference between the previous phishing attempt from 2017 and this one was that this time the scammers contacted an employee directly by their email (how they obtained the email is still a mystery).
You may also find Interpol's guide to Staying Safe on the Internet useful.