Scam – Website Design Needed!!

Scam – Website Design Needed!!

Subject: website design needed!!

Hello, how are you doing today? I’m Ryan Buchanian, I wanna know if you can handle website design for a new company and also if you do accept credit cards ?Kindly email me it’s important.

Where are the red flags?

First of all, I received this email at 3 am, but I too am a night owl so let’s ignore the fact that this email probably was not sent from the United States. Here we have a person that is either very young, very careless in his writing(sometimes poor grammar is a result of texting too much), retarded or a non-native speaker. Odds are that it is the latter. He used the word “wanna” trying to sound, a little too obviously, colloquial, but there is also the line “if you do accept credit cards,” which does not sound quite right. Also, the double exclamation marks in the subject adds to the spammieness and does not help this person’s case for legitimacy(Pun intended. I doubt that this person came from a loving family where his parents were married) 

Also, notice the lack of a salutation, the lack of spacing and run-on sentences. 

Therefore, at this point I am 90 percent convinced that this is a scam.

 Just in case it is not a scam

 I checked the email header and discovered that it was sent from a private IP address. This means that the person is trying to hide their whereabouts.  I responded as I normally would to a real client. As we would say in New Jersey “I did it for shits and giggles

Hi Ryan,

Thank you for writing. What kind of design did you have in mind?

I am freelance, so I don’t accept credit cards directly but it would be possible through PayPal

Best Regards,

More red flags

Without even reading the contents, I was convinced that this was, in fact, a scam. his reply, after a five minute wait, is simply way too long. Nobody would write to a single person at this length unless it is a pure cut and paste. Let’s forgive the atrocious English. 

A discerning  person would not even have to read this to know something is not kosher

Thanks for your swift response Here is the job details i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. If yes, i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .…. the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as (Note: this domain is already taken)
4. You will be updating the site for me.
5. I will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. I want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $5000 to $10000

Kindly get back to me with:
(1) An estimate
(2) Your cell phone number
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner
(4) What type of credit card do you accept for payment ??

Just to shut the scammer up

Just because of dingleberry’s proclivity to cut and paste, I decided not to go on or play with him like I normally would with a Nigerian or Indian Scammer. That is no fun.  I just thought I would point-out the transparency by sending(first time for everything) the professional email that follows…

Hi Ryan,

I have done many sites like that before and I have close contacts in the agricultural industry. Before I consider working on your site, I request that you send me your U.S. agricultural import permits.

Also, why are you sending this email from Africa? I researched the email header and it said that you are operating in Lagos. Are you currently doing business in Nigeria?

Thank You

I continue to become older and grayer as I wait for a response…


About the Author

About Thomas

Thomas Duda is a web designer who lives in Bakersfield, CA with his wife and dogs. He is also interested in: Blogging, Writing, Vaping, Fishing, Swimming and Drawing.


  1. I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. The problem with these guys is that they are usually in Africa. If it is on a credit card you can usually have the bank take care of it. Otherwise, unfortunately, the authorities don’t want to be bothered unless it is in the 100K area. The best prevention is to always check the English grammar in the correspondence. Their language skills are always very poor. Also, always do work only from people locally. I been designing since 1996 and I never had a real client contact me out of the city I was working

    1. Yeah, that’s what the FBI told me. Unless it affected more than just me and the amounts were much higher, it wouldn’t be likely that they would even look at the case. I wish the bank could take care of it, but they haven’t been any help. It’s odd that the perp can pay me with credit cards and then charge back all of the funds, but I can’t reverse my payments to him. Such a mess!

      1. I understand and it pisses me off to hear that. The fact is that it has effected more then just you. And the dollar amount is very high. I read somewhere that scams are considered to drive the economy in many African nations. It is so bothersome that everything has become a scam in recent years. We can’t rent an apartment, buy a house, look for a job and, now, even design websites without being targeted by scammers. Sorry to ramble a bit.

        I would have to say that your best bet is to annoy the crap out of those that can do something. Keep calling the banks. Keep emailing the FBI and insist on speaking to someone in authority. Also, I think it is useful to find others that have been scammed. For this scam there is a pretty good forum I came across:

        Like I said. I think persistence is key. It is your money and you work too hard for it then to let some scumbag take if from you.

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