Hi BHW! Here?s the story of how our company was scammed for a fairly large sum. Hope that it will be useful to the members here. Learn from our mistakes and never make big deals with guys which you didn?t know before. Also thank you OldSalt for approving to post this thread ahead of 72h limit! DISCLAIMER: Due to the forum?s requirements I had to erase/delete some personal data like last names/last 4 digits of the phones of both me/my colleagues and scammers. I also had to alter all URLs due to the limitations of my account. Anyway, our scammer?s name on BHW is alpenkorps (forum profile - blackhat dot com/blackhat-seo/members/252489-alpenkorps.html). His skype ID is ak.speaking (gyazo dot com/e5605c94bf5ac2d6581864c71dd5c81a - the info his profile contains), his e-mails are mail.richardrex on gmail dot com, payment.richardrex on gmail dot com (this one he uses a payment account in Skrill/Moneybookers). There's also a phone number (which is now switched off) ? 880168637****. The real name of guy is Ahmed and he lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh. How do we know that this is his real name? We sent him money via Western Union and they require to show a passport and a phone number to claim the transfer (more about it later in the text). Of course, he could use a stolen ID, but then he?s an even worse criminal that we could thought of. He also has a partner Matthew (matthew.nsuit at gmail dot com is the e-mail of that fellow). Not sure if this is Ahmed's alter-ego he used to execute this play or a real person (and hence - another scammer), but since he actively participated in the fraud, I decided to add him in order for other people to beware if they see this name/e-mail or both in regards to freelance work. So, now the story itself. Alpenkorps was one of the guys who reacted to one of my threads - back then we wanted to add reviews to certain Apps in App Store. First he almost took the job, but then said that his team ran out of capacity and thus we have to find another contractor. After our new contractor from Romania was also banned on these forums and stopped answering e-mails (guess he was a scammer too and someone ordered him a work before we did), I reached Ahmed once again and asked if he had capacity for a new marketing campaign. He answered positively (despite the fact that he seemingly had personal problems). I looked through his posts here on BHW and didn't find anything suspicious - he wasn't the most active participant on the forums, but he posted several thread, discussed a couple of things with other member, so no visible negative could be discovered. I also tried to search for his e-mail and it also wasn't noticed in any sort of scamming activities. Long story short - we discussed the campaign and Ahmed's capabilities for almost a month. He ensured me that he's interested in this project to be fulfilled and promised a long term cooperation. I also spoke to his partner and coder Matthew (which I already mentioned before), who could build the program for our cause. We were massively exchanging e-mails and price lists. In other words Ahmed seemed to be a good contact, a nice guy and was willing to cooperate. When new projects started to arise on the horizon and we could finally start what we were discussing for all this time, a problem with payment was risen. He required 75% pre-payment (which he explained as a need to rent servers and proxies) and the money had to be pre-paid like a week before the start of the campaign. Why so long? Well, because banks in Bangladesh seem to need a lot of time to process the transfer (3 days at least) and he needed the money at least 2 days before the contract is executed (add one day if the client will be late with payment and some time to process the payment on our side and you get a full week). He didn't accept PayPal (saying that his account was limited), but after hours of negotiations he told us that he agrees to execute the campaign with his own money (for the sake of making it work) if he sees the confirmation for pre-payment. He also added that we can send it via Western Union, which will be the quickest way to get the money for him if we can't do it otherwise. Because the campaign date was getting closer and closer and we usually use PayPal for such transactions (and therefore - couldn't easily withdraw the funds to Skrill/Moneybookers system), we decided to take more cash from our own funds and send it to him via Western Union. This was our greatest mistake. He received the scan of the sending receipt and gladly said that we'll be able to execute the campaign after all. He asked for a copy of instructions for the timing of the campaign and said that he will not be responsible for things that are not stated there. I had to attend to the funerals that day and couldn't control his every step, so one of the points I added to the instructions was about preparing and sending us detailed reports about campaign's start and end. And now the culmination of this scam: as I said, this Tuesday, when campaign was supposed to be started, I was attending funerals. Suddenly I got a call from my company's colleague, who said that nothing is happening. The promotional campaign doesn't bring any visible results (although it was expected to do so even at the very beginning). I immediately got to my smartphone and sent several messages to Ahmed in both Skype and via e-mail, asking if campaign is live and if they could send us the promised report. Needless to say that nobody was at home: nobody answered a single message or letter. At the same time, my colleague (who was sending him the money via WU) told that he received the SMS in the morning which said that the money were successfully claimed by Ahmed. I started to feel that something's wrong and despite my circumstances, I decided to call the number of mobile phone he stated in Skype/among the data we needed to list so he could claim the Western Union transfer. The robot on the other end said (first in Bangla, then in English) that the dialed number is switched off. Then I tried to send him a PM here, on the forums, and to my surprise, I was said that 'this member forbid to receive private messages from other users'! Although now I understood that the guy scammed us, I tried to call him and wrote a couple of other e-mails and Skype messages, where I stated that I didn't receive any reports and that he avoids me. I clearly stated that I'm going to post every piece of information to the Shit List. All in all - we lost 2625 USD (the prepayment without transfer fees) thanks to that fraud. Other members should beware of such highly skilled scammer - that guy behaves like a good partner until the very end. He states valid reasons, discusses everything like he's indeed going to fulfill his obligations and doesn't look like your average scamming guy. I suppose that his stories about himself are partly true and this is the reason why they're so believable. Anyway, here're the screenshots of some details stated in my explanations above: gyazo.com/9a60a60fd70cf8aa5eeb5ca1c17c3d12 - the beginning of our communication, he states his e-mail address and promises to be in tight contact with me (which he actually did until the money were received by him); gyazo dot com/7d4b06697811fd37a5d92d1521877f62 - here we're confirming the amount of prepayment that should be sent to him via Western Union; gyazo dot com/da9b6be949a96796bd0c576cb5735735 - he gives us the needed information for Western Union transfer; gyazo dot com/ec2e125f21f4c99d09c615bfb21a8643 - he also sent the information on his bank account for future campaigns - beware to send your money here!; gyazo dot com/f2fc9fcd89f8db1fb8dedb9865f06ff7 - he receives the scanned Western Union receipt and congratulates us with deal; gyazo dot com/ae3fab67ffbdbf3f18be82947db31e36 - and this the scanned transfer receipt issued by Western Union. It's in Russian, but you can see that it's a sending receipt with name of the recipient, the date and time of transfer, MTCN, a country, to which the transfer is going and the amount which is supposed to be transferred - that's 2625 USD, the 2746 USD is the amount with 121 USD transfer fee; gyazo dot com/f8e383fc95bb62b52e934b9a017926b0.png - the SMS (in Russian) from WU that confirms that our transfer (look at MTCN number) was received by the recipient; gyazo dot com/5b05e1bcc35a664eb37531d38d1ee548/ - here he's asking me to send him the instructions for the campaign; gyazo dot com/dcdb893d00e4d37b2bbd7ab63078fce9 - the extract from the letter I sent him on the 1st of July, saying that he should timely prepare and send us reports and warn us about any issues they may experience during the campaign; gyazo dot com/23536d7ed33183ba20392afe0ba412be - the series of unanswered letters I sent to Ahmed demanding the confirmation and reports; gyazo dot com/3680cdaea07e0dd47c25eb0040a2caf9- the series of unanswered letters I sent to Ahmed AND his partner Matt, after I received no answer from Ahmed alone; gyazo dot com/d565b9f7415c2bbfafd32cc6d655ba10 - my numerous attempts to call him in Skype and my message about my intention to report on him in The Shit List section; gyazo dot com/b0ba97ca5b97fe4883f792026f92182a - Ahmed (alpenkorps on BHW) forbids anyone to send him private messages. Although unfortunately that showdown most likely won't do him much harm, at least it will give people some knowledge on this dangerous scammer.