Reports of recent fraud attempts on Biblio

We’ve had several booksellers let us know of suspicious customer inquiries about listings on Biblio.com.  In at least two of the cases we know of, the text used by the customer is identical:

“Hi, I would like to ask you a question regarding this item. Can you get back to me with the last asking price and the cost of shipping the item to Hawaii. I am looking forward to reading from you.”

The customer subsequently asks to complete the order directly by paying the bookseller by check.

We highly encourage booksellers to approach similar inquiries with extreme caution.  While many legitimate customers prefer to pay by check, there have been many instances of scams involving checks.

A few things to consider when evaluating fraud potentials on DealerDirect payment orders:

  • The customer is trying to avoid Biblio’s checkout.  Biblio employs a fraud prevention system to detect potential fraud.  A fraudster may try to avoid detection by contacting booksellers directly, circumventing the fraud protection systems in Biblio’s checkout.
  • The customer’s inquiry is non-specific.  Vague wording asking about ‘the item’ or ‘this book’ can be a tip-off that the person making the inquiry has no actual interest, or even knowledge, about the title they are asking about.

A few notes about check payments.

  • Make sure you know that the funds are secure before shipping any items of value.Your bank may credit your account for a check deposited well before the check has actually been verified.  Booksellers falling victim to check fraud may have shipped a book, and even sent money for overpayment to a fraudster well before they are notified by their bank that the check they deposited has been returned.
  • Never accept third party checks.  Your customer should be able to write a check on their own account.  Third party checks may be stolen, or written on an inactive bank account.
  • Be skeptical about offers for more than you are asking.  Fraudsters may try to entice you to fulfill an order against your better judgment by offering you a fee for your trouble.  Most legitimate customers are willing to pay a fair price, but don’t typically offer more than the asking price.

Thanks to those of you who notified us about this issue early on.  Please keep letting us know about any fraud potential.  Any information you share with us may well help protect the entire Biblio bookselling community. Also, remember that asking your customers to use Biblio’s check out will allow our fraud prevention systems to do their work.



This entry was written by and posted on August 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm, filed under For Booksellers. Bookmark the permalink

23 Responses to “Reports of recent fraud attempts on Biblio”

  1. Sunrise Bookshop

    I just want to add my voice to the chorus of those who have received this email “inquiry”. Email address used is Terry Ramsey . There is a website for Ramsey Auction Company. The book was to be mailed to Linda Croswell, 303 Rodgers Blvd., Honolulu 96819. Needless to say, we did not act on this “order”.
    Thanks so much for verifying our suspicions!

    Richard Cook
    Sunrise Bookshop
    3054 Telegraph Ave.
    Berkeley, CA 94705

    Reply
  2. Love Books

    Hello I ran into a new trick recently on another site. The purchaser wrote me a scathing report about how I misrepresented the condition of the book and insisted that I initiate a refund of their money, asap. I told them that the return policy is clear, and if the book, in her opinion, was not as described, please return for a full refund. to this I received a letter swearing at me, but I held my ground, recommending that a refund would follow receipt of the subject book. I have never heard another word from the customer and suspect that she makes a practice of insulting the book seller into refunding, and may, or may not, return the book. The book site says she has a history of “refunds”. the initials of the purchaser are I.H. , would be too nasty to list the name. anyone with a similar experience, feel free to email me directly. Holly

    Reply
  3. Points West Fine Books, LLC

    The next step in the “Ramsey Auction Co.” scam is the “president,” “Terry,” says he’s in the hospital. Oops, the client wrote the check for too much. Can you hold the extra cash for me until I’m out of the hospital. I contacted the real Terry Ramsey. He told me these scammers have moved from antiques, to wine, to rare books. There’s not much he can do about it.

    Reply
  4. Patty

    Just want to thank those who reported this — I received an email today from this person today wanting to buy things from my online store (not ebay). I thought it looked fishy, thanks for helping me confirm my suspicions.

    Reply
  5. JJ

    On August 13, 2010 Ramsey Auction requested a quote for Ametista Model 3121L. Ametista is a granite and Model 3121L is a sink. To play along I’ve high balled the quoted any still wanted to proceed with order. They’d wanted me to contact their shipping company Ademar Shipping Co. via email. On recent similiar scam we received, I told them I contacted the shipping company directly and I was instruction to contact the Shipper only via email. What a hoot.

    Reply
  6. trickedbutnotscammed

    I was recently “hired” as an accounting officer/bookkeeper/payroll for Ramsey Auction Company. I received email correspondance from a Tom Grant, Richard Croswell and Terry Ramsey (all could be fictious). Anyway, with all the correspondance and even receiving a call from “Tom Grant” personally, it turns out the cheque they mailed to me was indeed forged. Thank goodnees I didn’t go any further with it! BE AWARE!

    Reply
  7. Karen

    Hi! I just found this site by googling “Terry Ramsey Auction, scam?”
    I’m a consultant for a party-plan company called Thirty-One Gifts. We sell handbags, baskets, etc. I received an email from “Terry Ramsey” wanting a quote for 4 of our “City Weekender Tote,” shipped via ground to Hawaii. It seemed suspicious, because if he knew my name, email and company and the name of the product, then he would know that if he any genuine interest in our products, he could simply go to my website and place the order himself. Thanks for the info, I will pass it on to my team.

    Reply
  8. Pam

    Yep – we got it too. The SCUMBAG! Is there anything a person can do??

    Reply
  9. Melani

    I’m glad I found this!! I too sell Thirty-One gifts. He did the exact same thing to me Karen. Beware everyone!

    Reply
  10. Cee

    Yep… I got a similar email from “Terry Ramsey” and became suspicious when I went to the website for Terry Ramsey Auctions (which appears to be legitimate) and found an impressive curriculum vitae for the real Mr. Ramsey. The email I got used slightly broken English and odd phrases like “I look forward to reading from you” instead of “hearing from you”. I surmised that someone from Illinois (like the real TR) probably wouldn’t speak/write in that manner. I responded to the first email but didn’t expect to hear from them again. Today, I got an email asking me to ship the book to one person and stated that he would have one of his auctioneers’ customers send me a check (without asking if I would even accept checks). Obviously, that sent up a bunch of red flags so I decided to Google “terry ramsey scam” and ended up here. Thank goodness. Now I can respond to this jerk in the appropriate manner… by blocking him. THANKS, all of you, for putting your stories out here. Very helpful.

    Reply
  11. Doug at TBMI

    He’s still at it. I headed off a $400 book scam today(9/10/2010).
    The REAL Mr. Ramsey shut down his auction company a few years ago, and told me today that the authorities believe this originates in Russia. Beware: the infamous

    Reply
  12. Dan Christian

    Yes, This week he continues to try the $400 book scam. Basically, his email read along the lines of… he [Terry Ramsey] is in the hospital, his customer, Andrew Lucas, has mailed us a check for the price (more than $400) that Terry Ramsey was going to charge for the book, could we please cash the check, send the book to Andrew Lucas, then keep the remainder until Terry Ramsey gets out of the hospital. Today, I sent him a reply email reading Нет Спасибо which means no thank you in Cyrillic Russian. Thank you to everyone who has helped stop this scam. Just in case anyone knows how to use this information, here’s the source code from his email: X-Spam-Flag: NO
    X-Envelope-From: t.ramsey@ramseyauctionco.org
    Return-Path:
    Received: from host.odornomore.com (host.odornomore.com [207.7.92.39])
    by mail393c25.carrierzone.com (8.13.6/8.13.1) with ESMTP id o8EIxKJp026802
    (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA bits=256 verify=NO)
    for ; Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:59:23 -0400
    Message-Id:
    Received: from cpe-001c1033b4e5.cpe.cableonda.net ([190.141.192.18] helo=User)
    by host.odornomore.com with esmtpa (Exim 4.69)
    (envelope-from )
    id 1Ovaio-0007qI-HS; Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:59:16 -0400
    Reply-To:
    From: “Terry Ramsey”
    Subject: Order Payment
    Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 19:59:11 0100
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset=”Windows-1251″
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
    X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
    X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname – host.odornomore.com
    X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain – aparkers.com
    X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID – [47 12] / [47 12]
    X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain – ramseyauctionco.org
    To: undisclosed-recipients:;
    X-MMR: 0
    X-CSC: 0
    X-CHA: v=1.1 cv=fco6 XX/VvuTOL8HxQRJQTohucQsrLFsuh1rDudUoqY= c=1 sm=1
    a=Dyoqhi_TatcA:10 a=nbypdwPIvTQA:10 a=Cfj4BQAnxiAA:10
    a=50k0jevGDG1yuFRx0Oy8dQ==:17 a=5kEYf6YBbepjJpPiM48A:9
    a=N_4UA2gRoAg7BX1w5Y4A:7 a=-ycXfz_T4FsTos0FSIV-eIOYEVYA:4 a=Ft8UYL4EG9YA:10
    a=b8xu5qTHvjeLtexV:21 a=9a2sYjyGwus8u-kK:21 a=50k0jevGDG1yuFRx0Oy8dQ==:117

    Reply
  13. Phil

    Here he is again….

    Dear Friend,
    How are you doing today? My name is Terry Ramsey. I saw products of my interest on your website and would like to place order for it. Can you let me know the major credit cards acceptable for payment?
    and would also like to know if pickup of the products would be acceptable as I am currently out of country for family business and would love to have it shipped to me via my private shipping company.
    I am looking forward to reading from you, Thanks, Best Regard, Terry Ramsey.
    http://www.ra–edited–co.org
    terryramsey@ramseyauctionco.org

    Reply
  14. Christine Pegram

    I was contacted by this person a week ago, inquiring about a $ 400.00 book I have listed on Abebooks.com. In his email, he used the exact same wording as found at the top of this page. He also claimed to be in the hospital. He asked to complete the order with a third party check from Andrew Lucas. I communicated with him but was suspicious from the start. My suspicions were confirmed when I googled “Terry Ramsey Auctions scam” and found this site. Naturally, I have blocked his emails. Thank you to everyone for sharing their stories.

    Reply
  15. Val from Ontario

    Oh my goodness! I thought it was just me! I’m still dealing with this guy. He contacted me out of the blue. I was suspicious right from the start but kept emailing him. He sent me the cheque before informing me that it was written for too much – it was en route before I could do anything about it. Sure enough, when it arrived it was for $2000 *more* than the value of his order. I tried sending it back but it just came back to me yesterday… apparently whoever mailed it in the first place doesn’t exist.

    Does anyone know where I can send it, or should I just destroy it? Obviously cashing it is out of the question, and I just want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

    At least now I know it isn’t from the mafia or something. lol

    Reply
  16. Cindy Mannella

    We post our books on ABE, however, we too recently received correspondence from Terry Ramsey, who was in the hospital, who had a client who wanted a 350.00 book that we have,

    Reply
  17. john cothes

    Add my name to list re: faux terry ramsey scamster..several days ago received correspondance from “said” Mr. Ramsey re a copy of “owls do cry” offered for 300 usd..he stated he was in the hospital for tests and would make arrangements in purchasing my copy..I even lowered my price from 400 to 300 as I discovered someone had added a first that was signed for 400..several days later I received a check for 2934.00 USD from chase bank in syracuse, NY. He requested me to wire the balance to him in New York along with the book. Please Mr faux Ramsey dont you realize that alot of us booksellers are nerds/geeks and have learned to read between the lines..beware my brother and sister booksellers..yours johncothes/aldebaranbooks ps thanks so much for all the heads ups..we protect our own..book people rule!!!!!!!

    Reply
  18. James Hailer

    I just received a check from this scammer as well. $300 worth of books, and I received a check from Brooklyn (via FedEx) from Bible Church in Texas. Should I just tear up the check? is this mail fraud?

    Reply
  19. Paul Carman

    He tried it on me with a $250.00 book and a fake $3,000.00 check. I didn’t ship and kept everything as evidence.

    Reply
  20. Seabird Designs

    … Biblio.com…

    […] Find More Informations here: biblio.com/blog/2010/08/reports-of-recent-fraud-attempts-on-biblio/ […]…

    Reply
  21. Badbookseller

    I got the below scammer, having the email of priscilliamorgan200@gmail.com

    Hello Sales,

    We are interested in some of your books and we want to place an order
    today but firstly i want to make an inquiry if this can be shipped out
    as soon as possible to our stationery depot in Oman for the
    additional books to our community library, and i want this to be
    shipped according to the following details i need you to answer me on
    this facts below:

    Do get back to me with answers on the following questions:
    1-will you be able to work with our shipper that will come for the
    pickup?
    2-Do you accept check as payment issued on U.S bank by my
    client?
    3-The check will cover the cost of books and the shipper
    funds,and you
    be responsible for emitting funds to both part parties after cashing
    the check.
    3-Give me your inventory name on Biblio to select books needed and
    get back the order to you directly,or preferably your updated
    website/webpage.

    Do let me know your decision on the details above so that i can
    Provide you the books list we needed,
    Thanks and i will be awaiting your email so that we can proceed now,
    but incase am busy attending to the issues, we are four here in the
    administration one of us will email you back with the list we needed
    to order today,
    Thanks again and i will be expecting your email,

    Priscillia Morgan.
    Shipping Address.
    Villa No. 1652, Way No. 3028
    Shati Al Qurum,
    Ruwi Muscat,
    Postal Code 112
    OMAN

    Reply
  22. Roger

    I just received (August 23, 2012) an exact duplicate of the message received by Badbookseller (above). Apparently “Priscilla Morgan” been pretty busy….the UK, Ghana, now Oman and on a dozen scam lists. BEWARE–looks like “she’s” poison.

    Reply
  23. David Koster

    I received the exact same letter that #20 Badbookseller received. Thanks for the warning!! This scam is the same as current Nigerian scams. They send a check to you, you pay their (shipping) agent in American money. Check is bad and they have gotten your cash.

    Reply

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