THE LEATHER CONNECTION
Don't Get Ripped Off.
There is a World Recession & it affecting everyone, unfortunately it is increasing the number of On-line Scams as Internet Crime is on the increase & Companies & Customers looking for bargains Could be at risk.
I have started to get reports from My "Site Members" & Contacts of some attempts & as I list a vast number of Leather Related Companies this has prompted me to create this New Page. Where I will List; Scams, (Old, New & On-going) Possible Scams, Precautions you can Take & Helpful Software you can use.
Please report any dubious Sites & Emails we owe it to our Visitors & Customers to be Viligant After all it is our reputation that is at Stake. If we all work together we should be able to counter most of these Threats.
This Page Will eventually form Part of a Downloadable report that anyone can use.
The following extracts are from an email I recieved from Romania. One Site Member recieved an almost identical one from Nigeria.
My name is (I have removed the Name)* the owner of SC CLIMATECH SRL Arad, Romania. As I was impressed by your site I have confidence that you can help me finding a a trustable supplier who can send me 2 samples of exotic skins.
Starting this autumn I intend to sell exotic leather products, as well as top brand linegrie. Therefore, I want to know your prices for wholesalers - specially for bags, shoes, wallets and belts and please send me your e-catalogue.
Before I\'ll make my first Order I need 2 samples - 1 wallets and 1 belt - made off stingrey skin and, if it\'s possible, shark/fish skin.
Name: (Again Removed in case someone elses name was used)*
ID card: S. AR Nr. 120017
Address: 112 Calea Victoriei Street, ap 77, Bucharest (in romanian language: Str. Calea Victoriei Nr. 112, ap. 77, Bucuresti)
ZIP code: 010092
Mobile: 40 - (0)767 - 221.687
Please send ithe samples urgently, because I intend to have my first Order in a way that I\'ll receive all the merchendise at the end of September 2009 at maximum! Please tell me, because it will be my first import of such stuff, all the documents you\'ll need from me! I must tell you that after I\'ll receive the samples I asked for I want to pay my Order with BANKING DEPOSIT!
Can you send your products unbranded? Please give me details about the packaging/original boxes (photos).
Looking forward to hearing from you!!!
I have removed the email address supplied as I don't want anyone to risk checking it out. Likewise Names have been deleted. (See Stared in red*) It may well be that it is just an attempt to gather some Free Samples but I doubt that. It is more likely to be far more elaborate, They would probably pay for the samples & then Default on a Large order.
If some Companies send details & catalogues they could also pose as that Company or as an agent & rip a shop off selling Non Existent Goods at discounted Prices.
The Second One
This appears to be UK related at present & is reported by "The Society of Master Saddlers"
Members are advised to be on their guard following a report of a fake advert scam. The fraudsters offer advertising space in a publication which later turns out to be non-existent. They state that the publication will be circulated amongst local businesses,
The SMS office is aware of two Society Members who have been contacted by a Kevin Richards, who states he is from the Police Press Office & that they are producing a feature on Saddlery Businesses.
Other Trades have been targeted & the fraud is carried out by telephone or letter. The Police are warning businesses to be extra vigilant when approached by anyone selling advertising space.
Anyone wishing to report being a victim of the scam, or who has any information about those responsible, is asked to contact Det Constable Matthew Clark via the 24-hour Police Inquiry Centre on 0845-8-505-505. Those who do not wish to speak to police or give their name should call the"Crimestoppers" Charity on 0800-555-111.
Again once they have letter headings etc of a company they can pose as that company. Do you want your reputation Damaged? Always ask for proof of authenticity, if they can't provide it walk away. The old adage applies, "If it sounds to good to be true then it usually is"
An Old One
I Don't have details now of this one & was asked at the time not to publish anything about it as the FBI & the Bangladesh Police were trying to catch them. It happened several years ago & I never did hear if they caught up with the perpetrators. This was a straight forward Fraud of someone offering Hides at attractive prices. Merchandise that did not exist by a company that did not exist.
Another Country to be wary of when trading on the international Market via the Internet. Again ask the right questions, proof of identity, Trading Licence, where it can be checked out, etc.
A Scam Involving My Manuals
As you may be aware if you are a regular user of this site Someone Downloaded two of my "Leather Instruction Manuals" a few of years ago using a PayPal Customers Account, PayPal refunded that customer when he complained & they also instigated a Police Inquiry in which I participated. As far as I am aware there is as yet no outcome.
Last Year while serching on Google to check how many people were using a variation of my Domain Name I entered The Leather Connection in my Status Bar, One result on the 6th page of results offered "Leather Instruction Manuals" But the Domain underneath was entirely Different & so was the page it led to. To get the Manuals you are tnstructed to copy & past a link into your Status Bar. On doing that I was taken to a Cloned Page of my Manuals Sales Page.
I exited at that stage & reported this To the FBI Internet Fraud Dept. The Metropolitan Police equivalent, & various on-line Internet Fraud Services all to no avail. (it has also proved impossible to report that listing to Google).
I have no idea if the Manuals Michal Willson in Birmingham Alabama is selling are copies of my Stolen Manuals or some of the low level of content manuals that are offered elsewhere on the Internet. It is however a scam as the buyer is either led to believe what they are buying is endorsed by me or they are being offered genuine copies of my Manuals at discounted prices.
Okay if someone wants to take a chance on getting them on the cheap but ask yourself what will he do with your account details when you pay him? & what sort of script will he put on your computer as you download that Manual?
If you live in America or anywhere near Birmingham Alabama can you help with this one & put me in touch with someone who can help? the Police for instance I have a File on this one.
General Security Information
This area is ongoing So keep coming back as I will be adding to this list.
Do not trust the Search Engines implicitly, they can & do list Dodgy Sites. It is not their fault as they rely on their Spiders to crawl the Internet & the Crooks are building credible looking sites now. it only takes a few visitors & few minuets while the visitors are browsing the site for them to be infected with a bug which can copy & transfer the contents of specific files on your hard drive.
The Scum Bags can shut down that site before The Search Engines Smell a Rat If you have banking info, etc. on file they then empty your account, these are Pilshing Site & they only need to catch 3 or 4 each time to make a tidy profit.
You can usually tell if they are targeting you as you screen will show your Hard Disk being downloaded & if you have a Good Anti-Virus & Firewall It should cut in & block it. But shut down instantly, (the quickest way to do that in an emergency is to press & hold the Start Button). That forces a shut down.
When you restart do a scan of your Hard Drive & you will see that you are clear & a Pilshing attempt has been recorded & Quarantined,
If you want to search some Safe Lists Use My "Membership Categories" Lists under the Cave Painting on my Home Page. (See Instructions in Red). All those listings are added (Free On Request) & provide far more details than any Search Engine. (they are all vetted before being added). If You or your Company are not on any of those lists you only have to ask.
You are not even obliged to provide a return link although it does benefit us both & does help with all Site Members with their Search Engine Ratings, Classified as SEO (Site Engine Optemisation). (See Info in Downloads in Left Scroll Area this Page) Also the Free Script to a Live Banner Link to My Site.
Note: This Site is not the only Ieather Site that provides Membership Lists, but it is the only completly Free one & also the only one that does not restrict the content. "Heck" I even list the Competition in my "Leather Organisations" List.
Credit Cards Used on the Internet:
There is always this discussion about whether or not it is safe to use one or not. The answer is yes & the Credit Card Company will refund any losses on the proviso that you have not been foolish or reckless.
A Tip; never use your main credit card for any on-line transaction. Take out a New Card for as low an amount as you can & get your card company of choice to agree never to raise your limit on that Card. Use that Card for All your on-line shopping.
If Pilshers get hold of it's details or they get sold on abroad the Low Life who uses it will go for as much as he can in a big hit before you realise your account is being targeted "Bingo" the amount he attempts to withdraw is going to be much more than your fixed limit.
It will be denied & you will get a notification from your bank as to why they refused payment which is good as that may well be the first proof you get that your details have been compromised. All you need to do then is explain & order a new card,
If it happens on a regular basis they may not be happy with your custom & warn you that they may not continue to refund your losses as You would be considered either careless or dealing with some dodgy characters.