Email scam targeting freelance web designers

Beware of email and text messages from a prospective client requesting website design or other creative services, and asking if you are the owner and if you accept credit cards. If you’ve received this kind of message, it’s a scam. These inquiries are usually sent as an email or text message but may be a voice mail.

Below is my email conversation with ‘James’. I was dubious from the first email for several reasons but decided to reply to see where it went.
The scammer reports being a US company needing a new website and domain name. As the conversation went on I sent a price for the work and payment terms and the last response was asking if I could take credit cards as payment. This is where I stopped responding.

Their next step would be to send me a set of credit card details for me to process at my end, you will see from the email responses, James, then wants me to charge for the consultant’s fee for copy and images and forward the money on to the ‘consultant’.

This is the scam, the credit card details James wants to give me will be stolen, James wants me to process the card so I am making the illegal transaction and left holding the bag so to speak after transferring him the $3000 most likely via something like Western Unione.

This is my experience with the scam via email:

On Wed, 12 Sep 2018 at 17:25, sf1773011 <> wrote:
Hello I am James Parker and i need to know if you can handle website design for a new company?


To: sf1773011 <>
Subject: Re: Web design

Yes, I can help you.


On 12 September 2018 at 18:13, sf1773011 <> wrote:
I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in IL 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 .…. 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
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be providing the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running As soon as possible.


Date: 9/13/18 10:00 AM (GMT+01:00)
To: sf1773011 <>
Subject: Re: Web design

Hi James

I am happy to quote for your site but just wanted to ask how you found me and that you know I am based in the UK.

I already work for overseas clients in Germany, Australia, and Morrocco so this is not a problem for me.

Let me know if you are Ok with this and I will send over a quote.

Also, I have just checked the domain you want but unfortunately it is not available –, do you have an alternative.


On Thu, 13 Sep 2018 at 17:35, sf1773011 <> wrote:
Can you get me an alternative


Date: 9/14/18 2:36 AM (GMT+01:00)
To: sf1773011 <>
Subject: Re: Web design

Hi is available


On Fri, 14 Sep 2018 at 07:05, sf1773011 <> wrote:
Can you get that for me?
Wgsrs tgr tots estimate for the project and how long will it takes to finish the project.


Date: 9/14/18 8:47 AM (GMT+01:00)
To: sf1773011 <>
Subject: Re: Web design


I will need payment up front and your full name and company details for verification and the registration of the domain.

Site build would be $1800 plus $200 a year hosting.

Payment terms are 50% up front and rest before the site goes live.

If you are happy with this let me know and I will send payment details.

Can you let me know how you found me please?



09:05 (3 hours ago)
to me
Do you accept credit card for payment?

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