Small business owners alert!: Scammers on the prowl

Stacey Pace runs a small florist in New Castle, Delaware.

So small (despite its elaborate website) that her office is her kitchen and she works from a laptop.

“I got this e-mail directly to my business e-mail address from a John Larry inquiring about Eureka Tents,” Pace told NBC 10.

She returned the e-mail explaining she is a florist and couldn’t help him.

But to her surprise, Larry offered to do business with her anyway.

“He then sent me an e-mail back inquiring about silk wedding bouquets,” Pace said.

Oh. But, the offer gets even better.

“In the course of a week I found out he needed 90 units,” Pace explained.

Pace returned the e-mail quoting the cost at more than $4,000 dollars. Larry said ok.

There’s a catch — Larry told Pace that he was out of the country and couldn’t pick the units up at the moment.

So, he sent her to the name of a shipping company in Africa. He wanted the items shipped to Ghana.

The shipping company demanded Pace pay up front by Western Union — the cost nearly $3,000 dollars.

Pace said Larry promised to reimburse her.

“He said he wanted the grand total of merchandise and shipping and he would contact me with a credit card number,” said pace.

But Pace became suspicious and asked for the credit card number first.

Pace checked the card out with the merchant credit card company. And, listening to her gut really paid off — It was a stolen card, nothing matched up.

Pace said she could have lost $3,000 dollars, and that would have put her out of business.

That’s why she contacted the NBC 10 investigators: “I just want to forewarn other small businesses that they just need to watch and make sure everything is legit.”

Source: MSNBC

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  1. Tammy says

    We are a new small business in Australia. We were targeted by this same man today. Thanks to the widespread reporting on the internet of this scam we were saved several thousands of dollars. Thanks to Stacey for telling her story – it will prevent others getting caught out!

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