Yesterday, I received an email from what appeared to be a potential client. The Email was sent from a marine engineer, or so he said, who wanted a website for his growing oil company. The client, lets call him 'Bob', claimed that he wanted his website to be the best of the best and that he had the funds to pay for it; upward of $10,000. Of course, I am going to say yes to that!
There was a slight setback however; 'Bob' claimed he was on a trip and wouldn't be able to pay via direct-deposit. Instead he asked if he could pay with Credit Card. At this point, I replied to him that we could start building the website if he was serious, and have him pay me by Credit Card, using PayPal. The same evening, I receive another Email from 'Bob'. He claimed that after talking with his consultant, who is going to provide the content for the website, he is not able to go ahead with the website, until his consultant gets paid. The consultant cannot accept Credit Card. So, Bob asked me to do him a favour in this regard; specifically, he wanted me to charge his Credit Card $5000, keep $2000 in advance for the website and Direct Deposit $3000 to his consultant.
At this point, it is not difficult to see 'Bob' for what he truly is: a Credit Card scam artist.
When I Emailed 'Bob' back to let him know that its not possible due to the fact PayPal hold these transactions for two weeks, he magically disappeared. He did not respond to any further Emails, and left me in a state of limbo.
Of course! If I had not realized the trick, I would have lost $3000 to an alleged "consultant", and the $5000 Credit Card payment would have fell through. However, to be honest, I was more disappointed to lose the opportunity to make a truly amazing website for a client.