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I am Jessica by name. I need a website for my business

Watch out for this scam targeted at web developers. Something I experienced recently but identified early on, phew.

‘The fake web developer scam can take many forms, but regardless of the shape the scam takes, the result is always the same. Sadly, we have received dozens of complaints detail similar stories with small business owners reporting loses from $2,500 to as much as $50,000. While the web development scam can be devastating, there are steps you can take to ensure that your small business starts off on the right foot.’

In lockdown, an offer of new project work is a gift. A gift you’d bite someone’s hand off for. Back in April I received the following email.

On 23 Apr 2020, at 18:12, Jessica <[email protected]> wrote:


I am Jessica by name. I need a website for my business. I will like to know if you are available to build and design a website for me. If yes, please kindly get back to me as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

We shall overcome this too, please stay safe.

While the odd phrasing and email address didn’t feel right to me, not wanting to miss a potential order I replied that evening to find out more. What’s the harm?

On 23 Apr 2020, at 19:57, Ben Kinnaird wrote:

Hi Jessica, thanks for emailing.

That sounds great. Are you able to tell me a little about your business? And what sort of site you need?
It would be easier to have a quick chat over the phone if you have time.

Let me know when would be a good time to speak.

All the best

The next day Jessica responded. But I’m still wary. Jessica mentions that she is hearing impaired (this is a key part of this scam to prevent people contacting them), which is a problem as normally I like to speak to, and where possible, see potential clients, to verify who they are and also build rapport.

On 24 Apr 2020, at 14:39, Jessica <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for you response.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 London. I am trying to expand the business and I want you to build a website for this business of mine.

Can you do that?

Kind regards,

We shall overcome this too, please stay safe.

Incredibly wary at this point but also not wanting to offend I replied asking for more information and detail, interested to see what would happen. Luckily I was busy so didn’t respond straight away giving me time see if this really is a potential client.

I received a reply but it was missing answers to my questions such as ‘What is your company name?’. I stopped replying at this and heard nothing back. Perhaps if I needed the work I would have pursued this further and ended up out of pocket. This time I was lucky but I was almost drawn in. It certainly pays to not rush.

On 27 Apr 2020, at 17:10, Jessica <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Ben,

Sounds good. I need you to checkout this site (as sample). Miss Rebel is an ideal sample of what I want. Please check it out and let me know if you can do something like that for me.

I am currently dealing with 3 products (cloths, bags and shoes). The 3 products have variations in sizes and colours. Four categories of sizes, with five different varieties of colours. I have 17 different kinds of bags, 21 different kinds of shoes and 53 different kinds of cloths. Each kind of each product has variations in colour and size.

I need you to add just the different kinds of each product, and allowing visitors to choose what colour and size, instead of adding each individually.










I want the site to be an e-commerce. So I need you to get back to me with an estimate for the web design and I need your service on the search engine optimization of the site as well. The estimate should include hosting, domain name and search engine optimization of the site.

I have a private project graphic designer. The graphic designer has the text content, images and the logos for the site.

Kindly get back to me with the estimate, so that we can proceed from there.

Kind regards,

We shall overcome this too, please stay safe.