I received an email a few days ago from an individual interested in purchasing a large quantity of videotape. I quickly scanned the email. It was odd, but I just assumed he made an honest mistake. After all, we are a video production company, not a supplier. I responded and recommended a reputable supplier that I have used several times before.
After sending the email, I looked at his original message and read it more carefully. The more I read, the more suspicious it sounded. First, he introduces the email by giving his name, but does not tell me who he works for and what position he holds. Second, he doesn’t seem to know whether I am a video production company or an equipment supplier. If he obtained my email address from my website, then he would easily see that Parc Entertainment is a video production company. Third, if he is a professional in the production industry (as he indicates both from the content of his email and his email address) then surely he would be aware of the production supply businesses that are out there. And finally, there’s something about the way the message reads that throws up a red flag. The grammar isn’t quite right and some words are misspelled. Here’s the original message I received:
I Am …,I Want to Order The Product Bellow.
SONY DVCAM TAPE PDV184N …………………….
I Will Like You To Get Back To Me Now With The Total Cost Plus Sales Tax.I Will Forward My (Visa Card) or (Master Card) Details For Payment As Soon As You Email Me Quote..
If you don’t have the tapes or you are a video production store,Videographers or photgraphers and you have a supplier that you can help us place a special order overnight and we can offer $3 on each unit for service render fee and make payment upfront before you place the order.We want your store to help us order from any supplier you know because we are busy in our production film field.
Get Back To Me Soonest on email.
After sending my response, recommending a media supplier, I received this email…
Hi Clint,Thanks for your email.I want to know if you can help us place a special order for 165units of sony tapes and we will make payment upfront plus tax and give you extra $3 on each unit for service render fee.Pls render us the favour because we are kinda busy on a film location field.
This second message deepened my suspicions. First, in my experiences in production, I have never heard someone from the industry refer to the set as a “film location field.” More common expressions are “on set,” or “on location,” Second, why would someone in the production industry insist on paying extra to purchase video tape through a third-party? In my response to this email, I again recommended a supplier that I have used before and stressed the fact that he would save both time and money by going directly to this particular company to purchase tape. Here is the third message I received from him…
Clint,I know it will save me money but i will appreciate if you can get us the units through your company and we will keep you in our record for future business on video production contract.
In my final message, I politely thanked him for his willingness to keep my company in mind for future reference, but would be unable to help him with his request. I found it odd at how determined he was to purchase tapes through me, even after I mentioned how it would save him money by going to a supplier directly. I never heard back from him after that.
So, what is your verdict? Do you believe this to be a scam?