Mailbag: 500 Hard Drives, Yeah, sure…

From today’s mail, slightly sanitized enough to protect the companies whose names or contact data are being abused:

Hello, We want to place an order for 500 units new Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA/600 (WD5000AAKX) 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive (OEM).
Do get back to us with your price quote which should include FedEx next day A.M shipping to our I.T location in Deerfield Beach, FL ____.
Method of Payment would be net 10 terms. We look forward to your immediate response.
Kevin Douglas
Puchase Manager
The Twister Group
Glenview, IL 60025
Phone: 855-_________ext 374 Fax: 877._______
Email: _______

Yeah, right. 500 hard drives, net 10 terms, shipped to Florida by early-day overnight delivery–hot rush, but billed to Illinois on credit terms to an unknown company, when your web site looks like this:

Twister Group

The fax number provided goes to a real electronics distributor in Indiana, no relation.

So I’m just wondering…. Are there companies stupid enough to ship this order?

For anyone selling computer hardware on the internet, expect orders for hardware to fall from the ‘net, and expect them to be fake. I had one last year that needed 6 notebook computers and 3 network routers with VPN support, drop-shipped to Florida, with a credit-card billing address in Georgia, and would you please bill it to these three credit cards in equal amounts? What? The numbers are consecutive? Really?

I called the bank on that one, after looking up the first 4 digits of the card numbers to identify them, and had a chat with their fraud department. They told me, short version, “Unbelievable. Impossible. Felons.” Words to that effect.

Fraud on the Internet goes both ways. It’s not just shady Internet vendors–every possible opportunity to have a transaction is being attacked.