I feel compelled to share this – scams become more and more commonplace every day, and I know too many people who have fallen victim to them. Therefore, I am writing this in the hope that if anyone else does a google search under any info in this post, this might help them avoid being ripped off.

I received the following email via my website

Comment: Hello Sales,

I am interested in some products. But before i proceed,

Kindly inform me on:

– Shipping to Hamilton, Bermuda (if possible) ?
– Minimum order quantity ?
– If credit card is accepted ?
– Delivery lead time ?
– Do you have a catalog price list

I would really appreciate a reply as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Bibi Furbert

I responded with my usual terms and that it was possible to ship anywhere. I was very surprised when a few days later I received an order for 240 balls of cashmere! This is a pretty big order by any standards, particularly as he only wanted 3 colours. He also said that he wanted to use a particular shipping company because he’d experienced problems with Fedex, TNT and DHL. However, he provided the email address of shipping company as “fasterfreight@gmail.com”.

So, this was my first alarm bell… Faster Freight do exist, but they have a .com domain so why would they be using a gmail account for email. However, I emailed them and asked for a quote on shipping. I did also get quotes from the usual international shippers so that I had comparisons which ranged from £300-800 so I assumed it would be too expensive for the customer. His contact – a lady called Gill Marcus at Faster Freight responded that the shipping would cost £3,570 including insurance. I was really shocked as it seemed SO much more than everywhere else.  I replied saying that I doubted my customer would want to pay so much, and forwarded the quote to him. I was even more astonished when he replied that he was happy to pay these charges!!! He wanted me to invoice him for the total amount and then he would send me his credit card details.

I had told him that he could use his credit card and I would send him a paypal money request, but that I would prefer a bank transfer. Either way I would not release anything until the money had cleared in my account.

I then received another email from Gill confirming collection and delivery details – this was the final nail in their coffin – she knew the exact delivery address but I had never given it to her – I had just said Hamilton Bermuda.

I then decided to do some more research: into him – I found that he had made exactly the same request at a few other online craft stores, some dating back to 2014; into the shop – Anemone Shop, 19 Harrington Road South, Hamilton, Bermuda – it doesn’t exist – and the address according to Google Maps it looks like a residential house; and finally I did an online quote at Faster Freight and they do not even do the 3 days shipping service that Gill had offered me…

Suffice to say I will not be sending them any yarn!

What I can’t understand is how they were planning on getting their money back? Where they going to use a fake credit card? Maybe they had planned to “loose” the shipment and then do a charge-back? I will never know. They made lots of mistakes and in hindsight it was obviously not a genuine order, but there was a small part of me that was quite excited at the prospect of such a huge order just before Christmas…

Edit 21 Feb: having written this post almost two months ago, I am really pleased to see that it has helped several people who have also received emails from Bibi Furbert, pertaining to some similar scam. I have therefore changed the heading to Scam Alert (although the post url remains the same). I have now reported this scam to the Dept of Commercial Affairs at the Govt of Bermuda so hopefully they will put a stop to it.

Edit 5th March: Can I just ask that anyone who reads this NOT alert them to the fact that there is a blog post warning against them. Otherwise they will just start using different names with the same scam – at least this way if people do search for them they will find this post 🙂 thanks

 

 

 

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