Thankfully scammers contacting dress sellers is not as common as it used to be, however please remain vigilant and read the information below so that you know what to look out for.
These people are not interested in your dress, they are trying to trick you into parting with your money. If you receive a suspicious email similar to the ones shown below, please forward it to me so that I can add it to this page. Do not reply to the email, just delete it. If you are unsure about an email received, please forward it to me at Lisa@dance-again.com and I will let you know if I have seen it before or heard of the person sending it.
Known email addresses used by scammers:
How does the scam work? You have a check from them right? Wrong! You have a fake check from them. The check they send will be a very clever fake. So clever that your bank will accept it and on good faith, they will deposit the full amount into your bank account. You then deduct the amount owing and have a real check issued by your bank (or Western Union) for the change. You then send your dress and the real check to the "buyer" and think "Thank goodness my dress is sold!".
The way it works with international bank checks is that your bank will accept it, and in good faith release the funds to you. Your bank then processes the check and eventually mails it to the issuing bank. This processing can take a week, mailing to a foreign country can take another week. The foreign bank receives the check and submits it for processing, another week, discovers that it is a fake and then mails a letter to your bank to let them know it can not release the funds to them, another week. So all up, a month has gone by and you are still thinking all is well. Your bank will then contact you to let you know the check is a fake and they will automatically debit your account for the full amount that they originally cleared. So you have now lost your dress and you owe the bank a very large sum of money because during that month, the scammer has received your real check, cashed it and disappeared.
Update 14th May 2020: New email address to look out for, usual message. Please delete any emails received from this person, do not reply...
From: Monica Fred -firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Dress
Thank you, I must say i am pleased with the condition and Ok with the asking price .I work with Air force airline and am not in the country for now,Im buying the dress for my child who is in Irish Dance Academy in Colorado, I will arranged with a local shipper who will be handling the pick up of the dress from your door step to my preferred destination because of corona virus . However there is an extra fund on the check coming to you which is meant for my shippers ,so after receiving the payment and getting it cashed,you'll deduct your amount for the Dress and send the rest money to my shipper, I will patiently wait for the fund to be available at your Bank before you have the rest of the funds made available to the shippers cashier agent. Then upon confirming their payment they will alert their representative to come for the pick up , Hope this is fine by you. I will need thefollowing details to have the check posted out to you soon,
Name to write on the check:
last asking price
Hope to read from you soon with th requested information
Update 18th October 2016: New email to look out for, please just delete it if you receive an email from this person...
From: Rachel Gingell -email@example.com
Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Subject: Transfer Complete!!!
Hello.Am very sorry for the late response, this has been due to work.. I have just completed the transfer and you should have gotten the confirmation email from paypal already... So i would be expecting to receive the address where the pick up would be made and i made an additional payment €480 for the Shipping Agent Pick Up Fee and i am sure you noticed that, according to paypal's policy you'll have to send the extra amount to the Transport Company through Western Union right away,and then send the Western Union Information to PayPal for verification, so the transaction can be finalized... Here is the info you need to send the fee to the Shipping Agent through Western Union...
Name: Laura Murphy
Address: 03 Lancaster Avenue
Post Code: SE27 9EL
Country: United Kingdom
All other documentations should be prepared by my Pick Up Agent during pick-up. I will advice you to check your inbox or spam/junk folder for the paypal confirmation email if you can't find it in your inbox ...
It's Nice Doing Business With You.
I expect your response soon.
Update 10th January 2015: Be on the look out for emails from this scammer pretending to be a buyer: firstname.lastname@example.org .They claim that "I work for KLM and am out of the country" that their daughter dances at "Irish Dance Academy in Colorado".
If you receive an email from this person, please just delete it.
Update 6th September 2014: Please take note of a new name to look out for. If you receive an email from Tammy Curry, delete it. I have received an email from someone who has been contacted by "Tammy" regarding a puppy she has for sale. She became suspicious when asked to send the balance of a large check to Bob Guessford, a name that you will see below in a warning from April 20th. Anyone sending a large check, asking you to send the balance to a third party, or telling you an agent will collect the dress as they work on an oil rig, are in the navy, army, airforce, cargo shipping etc etc is a scammer. Do not reply to them and do not send them money or your dress, you will never see either of them again!
Update 13th July 2014: This is the latest scam email that I am aware of. Please do not reply to this person if you receive an email from them...
Thanks for the reply,i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project, i am at sea right now so l wont be able to check the dress,am buying this for my daughter as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you required. I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay,all i will need is your PayPal email address to make the payments,and if you don't have a PayPal account yet, you can set one up at www.paypal.com it cant take you less than 3mins to do that,i will be expecting your PayPal email so l can pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted.l will be waiting for your reply asap.
Update 20th April 2014: There is a new email address to watch out for. Same story as below, the email will come from email@example.com. Please delete if you receive an email from this person. The address they ask you to send the money to is...
34 Rue Du Maroc
22nd October 2013, updated 8th November: Please do not reply to: "Gary Barranco" from this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, same scam as below. He will send you a fake cheque from HSBC Bank in Buffalo, NY with St Lawrence University listed as the name on the account. He will ask you to send money to...
Name: ADE JOE
Address : 145 MADY WAY
City: Port Novo
Zip Code: 22902
Benin is a small African country, next door to Nigeria. I have emailed "Gary" and asked him to stop bothering my sellers and this was his reply...
"Help me Lisa i really do want to stop this, but the situation here in my country is becoming worse by the day, please help me if you can to become a better citizen in the country and be a blessing to our generation, rather than stealing from people over the internet.
Thanks will be hoping to hear from you soon
So he is happy to admit that he steals from people. He doesn't care, so I told him if he wants to be a better citizen he should stop stealing and volunteer to feed the starving children in his country, which I am sure he will not do! Please be wary and please let me know if you are unsure about anyone who contacts you.
16th October 2013: See below, same email contents except for claiming to be from Colorado, different email address. Please do not respond to emails from email@example.com. This person sent a certified cheque issued by Laurentian Bank of Canada for $2480.15 CAD for a dress with an asking price of $850. The postmark on the envelope showed that it has been mailed from South Africa. If the seller had gone through with the transaction, they would have been out $1600 and lost their dress.
Please be careful and if you have any doubt, please contact me.
23rd September 2013: Please do not reply to any emails with a similar story as below. It's the same scam as in previous emails...
Colbert Clone -firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, I must say i am pleased with the condition and Ok with the asking price .I work with KLM airline and am not in the country for now, Im buying the dress for my child who is in Irish Dance Academy in Ontario, I will arranged with a local shipper who will be handling the pick up of the dress from your door step to my preferred destination . However there is an extra fund on the check coming to you which is meant for my shippers, so after receiving the payment and getting it cashed,you'll deduct your amount for the Dress and send the rest money to my shipper, I will patiently wait for the fund to be available at your Bank before you have the rest of the funds made available to the shippers cashier agent. Then upon confirming their payment they will alert their representative to come for the pick up , Hope this is fine by you.
April 16th 2013: Please do not respond to emails from email@example.com. It's the same old scam as described below but with a slightly different story. "Kerry" offers to buy your dress but will send a check to you for much more than your dress price (most recently offered to send a check for $1300 for a $400 dress). She then asks you to forward the difference to her daughters wedding planner. The check she will send is fake and if you send a new genuine check for the difference to anyone or send money by Western Union as is often requested, you will most likely never get this money back.
July 17th 2008: Please delete any emails received from "S Morgan". This is the same scam as described below.
The following are emails received by Dance Again sellers...
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 02:12:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: James -firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your asking price for your dresses for sale?
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 02:14:35 -0700
Hi ,I will like to purchase your dress for sale. Get back to me with the availables and asking prices.
This seems innocent enough but if you receive an email from this person, please delete it. The warning signs are: the "from" and "to" fields of the email are the same email address, the "to" field should contain your email address. The subject line of "Purchase" is normal enough but most sellers would use the email link in the dress ad on Dance Again which will automatically insert "Dance Again dress 123" into the subject line. They ask for the price when this is clearly listed in the dress ad.
Sellers who have responded to this person have received a reply from yet another email address (they use several addresses so that they are harder to track down). The reply will not ask any questions about the dress, they will just say that they wish to buy it and will have a shipping agency pick it up. They will send a check for a very large amount, sometimes double or triple (or more) the price of your dress, sellers have been offered checks for $2,400 for a $400 dress. They ask that you cash the check and deduct the dress and shipping cost and then have a new check issued in their name for the remaining balance.
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 08:23:40 -0700
Subject: dress #XXX/Payment....
I would like my mover to pick the dress up at your location. I'm offering $250. I'll pay you $2000(US certified check). After deducting your cost, I'll like you to send the excess funds via western union transfer to my mover for pick up of the dresses at your location. Get back to me with your contact details in the order below, for immediate payment:
Your full name:
Another email received...
"julia riddick" -email@example.com
Hello am interested in buying your dress i saw your advert on irishdanceweb.com pls am a very busy woman i work all day am in turkey i like your dress i have already view it and just pls give me your final price including shipping fee to turkey am ready to buy and pay within 3 days i will pay you in cash pls send me your full name and address with your final price thats i need so i can make payment all am paying in cash thanks i will be waiting your urgent response impatiently thanks.
This email was sent to a seller who does not have a dress on the site mentioned in the email. The urgent tone of the email is trying to catch you out, everyone wants a quick sale, they are preying on that. Responding to this email will get you the same response as above.
Initial email received...
From: lisa Daniel -firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thu, 22 May 2008 9:07 am
Subject: Solo Costume
I'm interested in buying your ( Solo Costume ) please do get back to me with the last price and the condition of it and the picture of it.
This slightly more educated scammer looks authentic using the words "Solo dress" and asking for more photos. But note that the email address in the "To" field is not the dress sellers email address, the seller has never seen or used this address before, yet it came to her inbox. The seller replied to this email as follows...
Subject: Re: Solo Costume
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2008, 4:54 PM
Hi which costume? I have 2 for sale...one is $450 novice level and the other is $1100 Black/ orange / green Dancing in Celtic"....made by Ann Ash. Let me know...thanks!
...and received the following reply...
From: Lisa Daniel -email@example.com
Sent: Fri, 23 May 2008 8:32 am
Subject: payment details needed
Thanks for your rersponse.i am intrested in the $1100 Black/ orange / green costume.sincerely i am okay with the price of the products and it suits my requirements perfectly.
The payment will be made with a bank draft/cheque which i will allow to get clear before the pickup/shipment of the goods.I will also include fees for the shipment of the goods in the payment,this my shipping agency will use forthe pick-up. After the cheque clears and you deduct the payment of the goods from the cash the excess funds will go towards covering costs for shipping,insurance,tax and any other expenses that might be incurred getting it down to me, i also have some other goods that i want the shipping agency help me pick up so I will want you to get in touch with the following details if my terms are okay:
TELEPHONE NUMBERS ...................(Mobile and Land)
ZIP CODE .............
As soon as i have your details,the payments will be made immediately.
please reply soonest.
N.B:i want to to consider the goods sold to me so i will want you to remove the advert from where you placed it and i will add an additional 50 dollars for that.
Note once again that the scammer is using two different email addresses. The seller questioned the scammer on their location, and they replied that they were in New Jersey, however the spelling of the word "cheque" tells me that they are probably not located in the USA.
James is at it again with a different email address...
From: James C. Mishel -firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 5:13 AM
The seller who was contacted by James from this address has two dresses for sale. James kindly offers to buy both! Same old story though...
I'm offering $1950. I'll pay you $3800(US certified check). After deducting your cost, I'll like you to send the excess funds via moneygram transfer to my mover.
Basically, if you receive an email that just doesn't look right or they don't ask questions as you would expect a genuine buyer to do, respond at your own risk. If you aren't sure, ask them what school they go to, what age group their daughter dances in, their TCRG's name, the kind of things that a genuine dance parent would know and be happy to reply to. Usually if you ask these questions you will not hear back from them.
If in doubt...delete!