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Scammers now claim to work for Brickset

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,442
Someone in Germany emailed me yesterday to check the legitimacy of someone he was about to buy a UCS Falcon from, who sent him this email:

Von: Steve Phillip [mailto:[email protected]]
Gesendet: Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 14:16
An: {removed}
Betreff: RE: LEGO Ultimate Collector s Millennium Falcon Star Wars Set 10179

Hello Mr. Micheal,
Thanks for your response,
We need to confirm your payment, and also settle the custom charges before shipping commerce. But we can send you a invoice.

To erase your doubt about our trustworthiness, we are legitimate and certified company. We have the potentials of our customers at hand and we have the image and reputation of our company to protect, so be rest assured that you will receive your goods within 2 to 3 working days after confirmation of payment.
Below is our company registered details under UK Government.

Company's Name: BRICKSET LIMITED
Registered Address: {Company address removed}
Registered Number: 07754012
Mobile Number: +44 7031998950 or +44 7031998960

Below are the website where you can search for all registered and legitimate companies in UK:
www.companieshouse.gov.uk
www.ukdata.com
www.duedil.com
www.cdrex.com

It is highly abnormal to receive money from customers and refuse to ship out his or her items. We do not want to tarnish the image of our company and we do not want you or any other customers to charge us to Court of Law, So we are preventing our reputation and we do not want to get embarrass from any of our customers.

I assure you that your package will be deliver to you without having any problem because Our objective is to give our customers utmost satisfaction in order to establish long lasting business relationship for future reference.

Regards.
Mr. Steve
As you can see the guy claims to work for Brickset, and has looked up company information from the internet and quoted it to imply authenticity.

This is obviously a worrying trend. Is there anything I should be doing about it? Given the data is freely available, I don't suppose there's anything I can do so stop it.

My reply to him was obviously 'scammer -- don't proceed with the purchase'.
TheBrickLaddTheBigLegoski

Comments

  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 523
    I'm a bit confused...he claims to represent a "Brickset Limited". Is that the official name for the copyright on this site? I thought we were just "Brickset: Lego Set Guide and Database". Or is that contact information he listed connected to Huw or other Brickset.com affiliates (i.e. server location)?

    What I am getting at is that he may have invented some company name that just happens to contain the same word as the title of this site. I mean, unoriginal of him, for sure, but how many Lego-related names can be thought of when you can't use the word "Lego"?

    Also, you mention this as a "worrying trend". Is this not the first time you've heard of people or organizations impersonating Brickset?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,442
    Brickset limited is my company, that runs the site, as stated on the about page. The contact info given was correct.

    It's the first time, but it's a worrying trend in terms of the lenghts the scammers are going to to appear to be legit.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,801
    It's quite obvious they are not a native English speaker. Plus it is fairly clear with a single visit to brickset that brickset does not sell sets.


    Hello Mr. Micheal,
    Thanks for your response,
    We need to confirm your payment, and also settle the custom charges before shipping commerce. But we can send you a invoice.

    To erase your doubt about our trustworthiness, we are legitimate and certified company. We have the potentials of our customers at hand and we have the image and reputation of our company to protect, so be rest assured that you will receive your goods within 2 to 3 working days after confirmation of payment.
    Below is our company registered details under UK Government.

    Company's Name: BRICKSET LIMITED
    Registered Address: {Company address removed}
    Registered Number: 07754012
    Mobile Number: +44 7031998950 or +44 7031998960

    Below are the website where you can search for all registered and legitimate companies in UK:
    www.companieshouse.gov.uk
    www.ukdata.com
    www.duedil.com
    www.cdrex.com

    It is highly abnormal to receive money from customers and refuse to ship out his or her items. We do not want to tarnish the image of our company and we do not want you or any other customers to charge us to Court of Law, So we are preventing our reputation and we do not want to get embarrass from any of our customers.

    I assure you that your package will be deliver to you without having any problem because Our objective is to give our customers utmost satisfaction in order to establish long lasting business relationship for future reference.

    Regards.
    Mr. Steve
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    Scammer's are hopeless, that email would do the exact opposite of reassuring me. They try too hard to prove they are trustworthy, which just rings alarm bells to me.

    Not sure what you can do, was this on Bricklink or eBay report them if so, also out them if they have an online presance. So others don't buy from them.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    poor grammar and syntax, makes me think not a native speaker, either way report to authorities on both ends.
  • BobkovBobkov Member Posts: 30
    Unless you're buying from a BrickLink account or a non-business related individual, you should always be suspicious of an email address not tied to the business the person says it's coming from. That doesn't mean you should trust emails that say they're from the specified business (that can be spoofed) but an email of "[email protected]" supposedly working for a company should be instantly suspicious.

    This all assumes of course that I read it right, and that's the originating email address.
  • mrtonytjmrtonytj Guest Posts: 214
    ^^^

    You are totally correct.. Some scammers now days just try way to hard to assure people they are legitimate.. If they had just googled a photo, sent it to them with payment details and left it at that, the person getting scammed wouldn't have bothered doing the extra research to see if they were getting ripped off?
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    I'd be reluctant to buy from an ebay trader who'd set themselves up as a limited company, for what purpose? Does their volumes indiciate the need for this, why would someone selling a bit of lego go to the trouble?
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,258
    It's a shame to see Brickset used for anything other than something positive. Unfortunately this is what humans do with everything. Take something wonderful, and use it for the negative! Sadly, human nature.

    I don't think there's anything else you can do, than what you already have @Huw, which is warn everyone here on the website itself. Unless there is some way you can make that information private, but as you already have mentioned you can't. I'd report them.

    Ultimately, the way of defeating the scammer will be in the hands of the buyer. People will have to look for the tell-tale signs, and do their research with resources that are available for them.
    Oldfan
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 621
    ^If it sounds too good to be true, maybe it is...as you say, it's unfortunate, but for these highly-prized sets, "buyer beware" and be cautious (or at least be as informed as you can be).
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 809
    The email didn't come from a brickset.com domain, correct? It's not much different than if I claimed I worked for Amazon, but used a gmail account to communicate with my "clients".

    I think the worrying thing would be if they purchased something like "brickset.org" or "brickset-limited.com", and pointed the domain at your site, making them look all the more official. In that case, you might have recourse to shut down their domain, but it would take legal effort on your part :(

    In the end, there's not much you can do, other than trust people to do their homework and not fall for scams. You can try and post about it to spread the word that the attempts are out there, but there will always be someone that you can't reach-- and the onus will be on them to do their research before handing out their money.

    DaveE
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    The problem is going to be, once these people get scammed, they're going to come after Brickset, creating a headache at best for Huw...
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    @Huw, possibly the best thing to do is to make this thread an 'announcement' or maybe even put a warning on the front page?
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,821
    Until there is some serious international collaborations to look at this sort of thing, it's going to carry on. Scams appearing nearly every week on ebay, every day in our inboxes. Putting it simply, it just appears to be too easy to set these things up, with very little chance of getting caught and punished.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 500
    If this scammer was working in the UK or in other parts of Europe, you might be able to bring criminal charges against them. You might be able to have their IP Address tagged, too? Wish I knew more about tracking such things.

    Maybe its time to bring in some hacker friends, backtrack them, and make their lives un-buildable? Ok, I've been watching action-movie trailers for the last 20 minutes... still in my veins.

    Scams like this are very common, now. Programs exist to extract names and even writing patterns, to re-create a writing style :( The challenge is only going to become harder to deal with in the future.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    while there are some very clever and sophisticated scams out there, in about 95% or more of cases, they are easily detectable and avoidable. All it takes is some common sense and due diligence on the part of the potential scammee. Unfortunately, that seems to be in short supply these days, so far too many scams are successful, which just breeds more scams.
    kylejohnson11
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,442
    @davee123, no, hotmail, which is what made the 'scammee' suspicious.

    I'll think about where best to post a warning.
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    edited February 2013
    If you do a quick Google search on "[email protected]" you'll see that it's not a one-off.
    bricknation
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 680
    ^ €600 - bargain. The price should make anyone suspicious.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    @Huw and the 'Scammee' > Email [email protected] too and say that the account is being used for fraudulent purposes. Put 'fraud / impersonation' in the subject line as they get 000s of abuse reports a day.
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