I am a freelance web designer; I have a website and a Facebook page to find new clients.
A few days ago I received an email inquiring about web design that immediately sounded fishy:
Good Day, Am Tom Williams i wanna know if you can handle (Website Design) for a new marketing and also if credit card is fine to make payment with you kindly get back to me ASAP so i can send you the job details.
The bad grammar and immediate mention of credit cards was strange, but I need all the work I can get so I decided to prod for more details. He told me he was located in Texas (I am in Arizona), told me about his business (agriculture products), gave me a link to a competitor's site as reference and a list of job requirements as well as a budget of $4000 to $6000.
Now, that price range is not out of the ordinary for a professional business website but I myself am I young, self-taught freelancer and I don't usually make anywhere near that per project. And if he's in Texas, why choose an Arizonan web designer? There's got to be hundreds or more that are closer to him. So I really wanted this to be real but I'm now 99% sure that it's a scam.
After a couple more emails back and forth I decided it couldn't hurt to give him a price and ask for a deposit; and if I received the money with no funny business I'd make the website. I told him I wanted $1000 up front and then he replied with this:
I have my credit card available for the payment . But first I want you to pay attention to this .I have been advised to take a long rest for an easy and fast recovery,hence the reason why I need your favor. I haven't payed the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website he does not have credit card facility.
Regarding this fact,I will be giving you credit card for the total of $5,080. Once the funds clears to your account $2,000 will be deducted as an upfront payment for the design of the website,$80 for yourself as tip and the remaining $3,000 will be sent to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website. Be rest assured you will be charging everything on my credit card including the 3% CC charges. Below is the final break down of the total charges i will be authorizing you to charge on my credit card.
Website-Deposit: $2,000 - Consultant-fee: $3,000 - Tips & Gratitude: $80 - 3% CC charges?
Basically, it sounds like he wants to transfer a bunch of money to me, and then have me keep my cut and transfer the rest to someone else. I don't know how, exactly, but I imagine that somehow I'll get screwed out of everything and possibly the funds already in my account (jokes on them, I'm broke).
Anyway, I found this article confirming my suspicions that stuff like this does happen: https://www.alvalyn.com/email-scams-target-web-designers/
And I wonder if I should report this somehow? Or if there's any other legal action I could take?