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Email Scam Targeting Web Developers

I recently received a request for a website development gig by email from a Joshua Knight (

My name is Joshua Knight,Do you do Website design for new company and do you accept credit card ???

It looked suspicious, but I replied that I did and got a web developer’s dream follow-up:
i have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in CA and the company  is based on importing and exporting of Office Equipment  such as Printer , Scanners,Laminating Machines and Dictation Machines so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this
if its possible .… I have a graphic content creator that has the text content and logo for the site  . the site would only
be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate.
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
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 3 month.
7. My budget is $2000 to $5000
8.give me your personal cell phone number
9. Are you the Owner
Some of the requests were weird like the cell phone and owner status, but it seemed somewhat legitimate, so I continued and requested a deposit of 30% of the estimated $2750 for the website to be paid through our store: The Code Interactive Shop
This is when it got sketchy. He replied:
Thanks for your response, i am okay with the estimate and i wanna proceed so i will pay $2000 deposit payment for the job using my credit card so work can commence ASAP,i understand the content for this site would be needed so as for the job to commence so regarding the content and i will need a little favor from you And the reason why i need this favor from you is because the consultant that has the content and logo for the website does not have the facility to charge credit cards and i also Am presently in the hospital with my son for surgery so i will be glad if you can help me out with this favor
Yeah, sorry to hear that, blah blah blah. Put the deposit down and we can talk. He replied:
The favor i need from you is. i would give you my card info’s to charge for $7500. so $2000 would be a down payment for my website design and the remaining $5500 you would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he has the $5500 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you also the funds would be sent to him via cashier check or instant wire transfer into his account sending of funds would be after funds clears into your account And also $200tip for your stress so i will be looking forward to read back from you
We exchanged a few emails and he was elusive, then he switched over to text from (702) 356-6276. It started getting really sketchy and I began to troll:

Hello this is Joshua
Are you there

Hello are you there

Hi I’m here

We accept all the main cards- MC, VIsa, Discover. Check out the link in the email


Hello you can resend the payment link and split it into 2 places….$4000 and $3500 so I can make the payment there
Do you have Stripe or Paysimple ?
Good morning

Hi there

Which Bank are you using ?


All banks

Are you using Bank of America or Chase Bank ?

All banks are fine

I mean which Bank are you banking with ?

Are you there

Hi Joshua- why does that matter?

Because i want you to setup the bank you are using bank merchant payment processor and Clover Go payment system and I will pay for the taxes fees and merchant fees

Apologies for any inconvenience,reason being that my card is restricted to some card processors and I need to know which processor you are actually using so as to know if it works with my credit card

Oh yeah, what kind of card is it?

Visa card,but firstly I need to know the name of your credit card processor so as to ask from my credit card company if it works
Let me know

Visa is pretty ghetto but I’m sure my processor can handle it. I use Turquoise 77.A

Did you spell it right?

Actually it’s the 77.A882 IF you want to get technical. It’s a really new system off of the Tesla mainframe

brb I have to step out for my urinalysis.

Is Tesla mainframe your credit card company name?

Just Tesla

It’s really new so you may not have heard of it, but it accepts all cards and has accounts at every bank. It’s really great—the future!

Then he switched over to another phone (339) 674-7476:
Hello This is Joshua

Looking forward to getting started. Have you initiated the payment yet?

I want you to setup another payment processor like Paysimple

I love my Tesla processor so I’ll never leave.

Okay can you send payment invoices through your processor so i can make the payment through invoices ?

Our shop creates an invoice for every order, so it works.

It’s not clear what the purpose is with this scam. Does he really think that a web developer is going to send a cashier’s check without any form of payment upfront? Is it a weird marketing ploy by paysimple? The most curious part is that after a couple days, I got a similar email from his buddy Alex Homan (

Sorry for the late response, I am not feeling too well so i’m taking things slowly. I  am glad to read back from you. My wife and I have a small scale business which we intend to turn into large scale, It is located in Salem, NY and it is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Almond Nut, Hazel nut, Pistachio, Gacillia Nut and Cashew nut so i need a good layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?  So i need you to check out this site but i need something similar if 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 but we do not want more than 15-20 pages for the site as we want it to only be informational and a Contact Us page. I have a project consultant that is working on the text content and logos for the site.

We do not want Videos and blogs for the site
We want only English language
We don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as
You will be updating the site for me.
We want the site up and running by the end of next Month.
My budget is $3,000 to $10,000
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 of the company ?
Thank you
Just got another request from Phillip at
Thanks for your swift reply. I am hearing impaired, and this is the reason why I am contacting you via email.
I have a small clothing business for both male and female which I run here in Dawley,Telford, now am trying to expand the business and I want you to build an information website for it for advertisement and to increase my sales rate.
I need you to checkout this site but I need something more perfect than this if possible
I want the site to be  e-commerce , so I need you to get back to me with an estimate for the web design, the estimate should include hosting and I want the site to have not more than 8 pages.I have a private project graphic designer,the  graphic designer has the text content, images and the logos for the site.
Here we go again ;D …
Leave a comment if you’ve heard from these guys and have any insight!

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