A customer contacts a shop via a relay operator or e-mail to order a large quantity of product. Red flags: The email exchanges are often littered with misspellings and poor grammar, and often come from a Gmail, Yahoo or similar free e-mail account.
The customer wants to pay for the product with a credit card and wants to ship the order a large distance, sometimes the end destination is across the country, sometimes it’s on another continent. The purchasing credit card is usually stolen. (Red flags: Scammers usually place an order for products they could easily get from a local shop, and the credit card billing address doesn't match the shipping address.)
The customer says they want to use their preferred shipping company to transport the product. The customer asks the business to pay the delivery company directly and says they will send a check or money order the business to repay the delivery costs. (Red flag: Business owners have reported scammers request to use the shipping companies AGC Delivery International, Ox Direct Shippers or Cargo Trust Shipping Freight Co.)
After the business has paid the delivery company, the scammer’s check or money order won’t go through, leaving the business without the thousands of dollars of delivery costs and with wasted product.