Recently, in my life as a web host/developer, I have been getting approached by multiple scammers doing a not-so-new sort of scam where it feels like someone is interested in getting a website set up and has suspiciously reasonable demands and budget. I ended up doing some research on the clearnet to see if other people had this experience – and I found an article from 2018 that used the same exact language as this deal I was working through with someone that asked me to message them on whatsapp.
Note: If someone wants me to message them on whatsapp, I will not.
You can read the article here
I feel like Zanzarra did a really good job illustrating the different scenarios where things might get a little scammy, and if you feel like you are in one of these types of situations, I strongly recommend you read through them.
How to recognize that you’ve received a scam letter
- Client requests a simple job. Travel agency/restaurant website, usually they ask for an exact copy of an existing website. No complex features;
- Client discloses budget in the first message. Budget seems to be a bit extensive for a small restaurant website;
- Client says that all content and images will be shared by a consultant;
- Client offers a generous 50% upfront payment prior to asking anything about a contract or delivery dates (it never happened to me in 4 years of being a CEO);
- Client asks for a payment via check, because of being traveling abroad.
I think it’s important for people to understand that most scams are tactics that cast a very wide net, and just prey on people gullible enough to keep engaging with strange requests. It makes me think about how long those Nigerian Prince scams were prevalent. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still being sent out via mass email to baby boomers, honestly.
When I had a computer store, people would come in every day with viruses they obtained from downloading ridiculous things like ‘free dolphin screensavers’ or .gif avatars. I never understood why people would click on an advertisement and go to a random website to get these things, when you could get them in a much safer way by searching for them deliberately yourself. If the offer of fame/fortune/shiny object comes to you and you do not seek it out, it is likely a scam. If the offer seems too good to be true – it is likely a scam.
I Implore you to stop and question why you are getting approached with a very generous offer the next time it happens. Look up the phone number. Maybe copy/paste a few lines of the email into google and see what comes up. The world is full of people that are trying to exploit you while you are not paying attention, but if you pay attention even a little bit you will be less desirable to target.
With all of that having been said, if you need web development services, shoot me an email. I’m happy to haggle ;).