What's this scam?

Raven

Well-Known Member
Here's some crazy phishing emails I've received over the past two weeks:

#1) "Hello this is smith, I will like to know if you do Tree service and do you accept credit card for payment?"

#2) "Hello I'm Steven I will like to know if you do tree services, ground maintenance and lawn care services and do you except credit cards? I'm interested in those service for my house."

#3) "hello good day...i will like to know if you still render tree service and what type of credit card do you accept"

I think because my business email has a "tree" in it makes me a target. My address is always in the bcc line making me think it's going to anyone and everyone. I don't know what they plan to achieve by giving me their credit card info but something very phishy here. Anyone else getting these lately? Anything I can do to stop it, report it?
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
When I get those sort of emails I mark them as spam and junk mail and let my email program get rid of them in the future

NEVER unsubscribe from them!!! That lets the bot know that the email is valid and live
 

ward

Well-Known Member
Raven, I'm so glad you put this up. I get these all the time and was wondering how extensive this scam is. "I will like to know if you do tree service"--not I would like to know if you do tree service. I'm not sure where to report this because this is not a robocaller, but a phishing query it seems to me. I get both text messages and emails. I certainly would like to throttle the ringleader behind the campaign ask him if "he will like" my tree service.
 

Tyler Durden

Well-Known Member
We recently signed up with homeadvisor.com and started receiving texts asking "Do you render tree service". It seamed that all the addresses that were inquired about were vacant properties.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
I've received these on my City email account. I think they are getting the addresses from the certified arborist list because my ISA profile says I'm available for work.
 

ROYCE

Well-Known Member
I received one of these in a text. Saying the same things as all you have mentioned above. I answered the text because it seamed legit. They did not ask about credit card at first. After my response that I do tree work they asked if I could look at some trees at a rental property they had and if I accepted credit cards. Still seamed legit. I then asked what the address was. They gave me an address to a street in a town that was about 5 miles from my house and asked for an estimate to have the trees in the back and the side all removed, including the stumps. They then asked if the estimate could be emailed to an address they provided. Again, this all seemed legit as I work for customers who have rental properties in southern Vt and vacation homes.
So, I drive out to the house. The guy says he will not be able to meet me there because he lives out of town. No biggie. I go over and start looking around. There is only two trees in the back years and none in the side yard. Nice property, not really trees you would want to but down. I start to go back to my car and someone comes outside and asks what I am doing. I asked if Tom owns the house and that I was there to give an estimate for cutting down come trees. The women, was very surprised and said she owned the house. That is when it hit me that it was a scam. My first thought was that it was my competition pulling a prank on me. The "real" homeowner told me that someone cut down some trees a few streets down that they did not have permission to and it sounded like it was this same scam. I told her we do not do any work with out a 50% deposit and a signed contract.
So, I text the guy back knowing now that it's a scam and tell him he gave me the wrong address and the homeowner was home and said he does not own this home. He replied and said he was so sorry that the actual address was such and such a street. I just texted back that he was scamming me and I was going to report him. He did not text me back after that.....
Until a few weeks later. I get the text again. Same one you guys are getting. Now, I know it's a scam and I play along. I get the address out of them. I wait about an hour and reply back that I went out and looked at the trees. Its the exact song and dance they did the first time. (I never actually went out and looked at the trees, I just made them believe that I did) I text back it will cost 5K to do the job and we will be in town on Tuesday to do it. Just playing along to see where it will go. He then texts me that he does not actually own the house yet. That he is closing on it in a few days and that he wants to pay me 5K for the tree job, plus add another 10K in to cover the closing costs of the home he is buying, With the idea that I will kick him back the 10K.
So, I text back sure, no problem. We will see you on Tuesday and we need your credit card to secure a 50% deposit. He then texts back......HA>>>>HA We FOOOOLED YA.... I never heard from them again!!!
Really strange. So don't be fooled and it's a solid reason why you should never do work without a signed contact.
 

Stant82

Member
Good follow through.
I've gotten a few of the same txts that are the same song and dance. Upon calling the number I found that its a txt only number, and with that I was out.
I wonder if this routine has actually worked? And what could one possibly be thinking that would not throw up red flags anywhere along the way?
I don't see how anyone could be played by this...
 

DruidCarol

Active Member
I have gotten these about doing websites for them and it is the same kind of scam. The person often says they're hearing impaired, as if that has anything to do with the price of bananas. The twist that I and other website development folks get is that they want you to charge them several thousand dollars to start work, but that you should rebate them half the amount.

Yeah, right, go on and pull the other one.
 

Tyler Durden

Well-Known Member
So this sounds like someone with a lot of stolen cred card numbers is trying to find a patsy to run them. I have a friend that is a grey hat hacker and he says crazy things like this are always coming out of eastern Europe and Russia.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

classictruckman

Well-Known Member
A few years ago I was selling some fancy rims from a car that I bought, online ad asking for $500. Some guy from NY state said he wanted them and sent me a cheque for $3000, when I asked him for a new cheque and an address to ship the rims to his only concern was that I cash the cheque and send him a cheque for $2500, so I played along and cashed the cheque but didn't send him one back. Long story short he canceled the cheque and our dollar had improved so much in between that I actually made $80.
 

tc262

Well-Known Member
I've been getting quite a few texts that ask if I render tree services and what kind of credit cards do I accept. I never repond to text messages I receive regardless.
 

NickfromWI

Well-Known Member
Yep- I've been following this scam- getting a lot of texts about it. That was their deal- they want us to overcharge the service, then give them the difference via western union or money gram.
 

vinniep19

New Member
i also have received numerous of these messages it usually starts with im away out of town etc, the best one was they were on a religious retreat .As with the same responses from above ,add an extra amount to the bill to help with the closing cost .Ive got at least 5-10 of these in the past 6 months .
its usually homes that are for sale on the market
 

DruidCarol

Active Member
I just added a new Android app for nuisance calls that is helpful. It's called TrueCaller (also available on iOS) and it keeps a massive database of numbers that people can flag as spam calls so when an unknown number comes through on my cell, I also get a color coded message that says something like the same "caller has been flagged 75 times as a spammer". So I can ignore calls from unknown numbers without feeling guilty (and you can add the unwanted numbers to TrueCaller's list to make it grow and grow, as well as block it from bothering you ever again). Truecaller also has an app called TrueMessenger (Android only, sorry iPhone pholks) that appears to do the same thing with SMS texts. All free, and if you don't like it, delete it. Swedish company, getting a lot of high marks for these two apps.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
I received one of these in a text. Saying the same things as all you have mentioned above. I answered the text because it seamed legit. They did not ask about credit card at first. After my response that I do tree work they asked if I could look at some trees at a rental property they had and if I accepted credit cards. Still seamed legit. I then asked what the address was. They gave me an address to a street in a town that was about 5 miles from my house and asked for an estimate to have the trees in the back and the side all removed, including the stumps. They then asked if the estimate could be emailed to an address they provided. Again, this all seemed legit as I work for customers who have rental properties in southern Vt and vacation homes.
So, I drive out to the house. The guy says he will not be able to meet me there because he lives out of town. No biggie. I go over and start looking around. There is only two trees in the back years and none in the side yard. Nice property, not really trees you would want to but down. I start to go back to my car and someone comes outside and asks what I am doing. I asked if Tom owns the house and that I was there to give an estimate for cutting down come trees. The women, was very surprised and said she owned the house. That is when it hit me that it was a scam. My first thought was that it was my competition pulling a prank on me. The "real" homeowner told me that someone cut down some trees a few streets down that they did not have permission to and it sounded like it was this same scam. I told her we do not do any work with out a 50% deposit and a signed contract.
So, I text the guy back knowing now that it's a scam and tell him he gave me the wrong address and the homeowner was home and said he does not own this home. He replied and said he was so sorry that the actual address was such and such a street. I just texted back that he was scamming me and I was going to report him. He did not text me back after that.....
Until a few weeks later. I get the text again. Same one you guys are getting. Now, I know it's a scam and I play along. I get the address out of them. I wait about an hour and reply back that I went out and looked at the trees. Its the exact song and dance they did the first time. (I never actually went out and looked at the trees, I just made them believe that I did) I text back it will cost 5K to do the job and we will be in town on Tuesday to do it. Just playing along to see where it will go. He then texts me that he does not actually own the house yet. That he is closing on it in a few days and that he wants to pay me 5K for the tree job, plus add another 10K in to cover the closing costs of the home he is buying, With the idea that I will kick him back the 10K.
So, I text back sure, no problem. We will see you on Tuesday and we need your credit card to secure a 50% deposit. He then texts back......HA>>>>HA We FOOOOLED YA.... I never heard from them again!!!
Really strange. So don't be fooled and it's a solid reason why you should never do work without a signed contact.
Nice detective work. What I don't get about your particular situation based on later posts in this thread, is why he didn't bring the hammer down on the scam. It sounds like you were telling him you were ready to charge a credit card. If he had a stolen credit card number that could be charged, why didn't he go through with it?

Your situation almost sounds more like a young kid playing around, just to mess with people. Makes me wonder if law enforcement would care to involve itself as an observer. If that same person is the one who indirectly caused damage to that other homeowner's property by having trees removed, I would think they'd be guilty of committing a crime. The police might be able to track back and find out where the messages are originating from.

Then again, law enforcement might want nothing to do with it; too many bigger fish to fry, maybe.

Tim
 

Kateislate

New Member
My husband and I do small scale landscape installation, "lawn and landscape" is in the title of our company...nothing about trees. They must be branching out.
I joined this forum just to post my experience. I ran across this while trying to find out some sort of information on these scammers.

Mine are Ok through text. We do absolutely no advertising, we've only worked on referrals for several years now. We do have a facebook page...so maybe that's how they got in? However, the guy/thing...whatever didn't know my location, and didn't know the name of my company, or my name. He only knew that I do landscaping, and had my cell. He would know the other info by just simply looking at my fb page, but he didn't....so maybe that's not th connection.

My deal was the same as above...."do you do landscape install, if so do you accept credit card as form of payment"? I told him no, because...I dunno...I figured the inspector could be trying to pull something to figure out exactly "what" I'm doing....and eventually ask if I do said services in some county I didn't have a license to work in....
So anyway, I said we only do lawn care. He responds "could you reffer me to someone who do landscape install job please." I said "where are you located?" he says simply "Alabama".(I already know something is up at this point....especially by the grammar of the responses. I always narrate them in an "Asian trying to speak English" voice in my head.) I said well....I'll need you be a little more specific. So he takes a whole 3 to 5 minutes to respond with Mobile. I am no where near Mobile. We are north of the Birmingham area. Like 4 hrs away from Mobile. I guess he went to check a US map or something. Then he comes back with "we just bought new home in Alabama" I asked how did he find my number and he said google search (No, he didn't. Not on google search. Especially in a search for landscapers in Mobile area.) So I just decided to try and call.....I got a recording message that asked me to state my name "to be connected"...I didn't say it of course...so it puts me through to a voicemaibox...something about the google subscriber cannot be reached...leave a message. I didn't.

So this has happened in the past....but I just ignored the texts...never answered. I guess I just got curious this time. Next time .....I'm Definitly going to play along and see where it leads. I really would like to know where they are getting their call lists. It's very unsettling to think maybe online supply dealers...or anyone we in the "trade" associate with could be selling the contacts. I think that's what's up.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
"Hello this is Luis Marcus, I will like to know if you do tree service and do you accept credit card for payment?"

"Hi Luis, What kind of tree is it?"

"Thanks for the swift response, I need your help i just bought a new home here Its Single family home in the City and i want all the t"

"rees in front and yard of house cut down and removed because I dont like way it looks there."

"Then hauled off to make my environment clean and neat"

"Let me know if you can handle that for me?"

"Sure what is the site address? Photos would help too"

Two hours later:

"Sounds great,"

"ow undergoing a surgery."

"Here is the address of the house
XXXXX You should have meet me at the property but i was rushed to"

"the hospital yesterday because i am recuperating from a diagnosis of lung cancer and i am still at medical center of the hospital n"

"But you are free to go there now and get back to me with a quote and i will forward you my credit card info to charge for the fess if"

"your price is okay."

"nd back to state due to some convenience reasons."

"Hello like how long it could takes to get me the quote for the trees because i want my job done asap before i am fully recovered a"

"Hope to hear from you now?"
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Partial attribution information
It is based on 1843416 (if it is out of the field may show 01843416) for the first seven digits of the phone number segment information:

Segment information:

  • Mobile phone seven number: 1843416
  • Owned provinces: Luliang , Shanxi
  • Carrier: Mobile
  • Phone card type: 184 card details: mobile 184 card
  • Including mobile phone number: 18434160000 - 18434169999
Recommended link:

 

ward

Well-Known Member
Many thanks Evo for the contribute. Looks like the investigation is making progress and that is a good thing. I wonder what they (the "Shanxi Calling Ring") stand to benefit from these transactions. People have reported that the conversations sort of go nowhere and the work is nowhere to be found at the end of the day. That is why I think it is a phishing attempt so that various other listening devices can be attached, lamprey-like, to the underbelly of your operating system. My advice: don't touch the eel!
 
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