Be aware of email Order Scams if you’re in business on the net!

7 09 2010

I recently received the following email from what I thought was a interested customer. A few things within the email raised flags to me.

From: Gary Hartwell <gary.hartwell22@gmail.com>
Subject: Order Request
To: guards@viewithere.com
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010, 8:24 PM

Hello Good Day
My Name is Gary Hartwell and I will like to know whether you carry ( Guards ) in stock for sale. If yes, email me back each size and with the prices of (1) attached to it so that i will let you know the size and quantity i  will be ordering. I want to know if you do accept credit card as the method of payment.

Best Regards
Gary Hartwell

One question I had with the email was “why is Guards in brackets?” Sometimes in spam they use brackets as a way of customizing a generic email. Also right away I had to wonder why I was not asked about wholesale pricing? I did answer him though – just in case it was legit.

Hi Gary,

We do have ring guards in stock. We offer pricing per 1 item or discounts on more then 1.

You can see all the prices at
http://viewithere.com/ring_guard/ringguard.html

info on the sizing at
http://view-it-here.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-size-ring-guard-should-i-buy.html

We also do accept credit card sales. Thanks for the inquiry and have a great day.

Frances Howes
It’s easy to tell your friends to…
“View it Here”

Within 5 minutes He responded with the following

From: Gary Hartwell <gary.hartwell22@gmail.com>
Subject: Total Cost Needed
To: “View it Here.com (F. Howes)”
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010, 8:53 PM

Hello Frances,
Thank you for your respond  well am interested in the Ring Guards 1 Medium Yellow 14k-gf  $5.25 and i will like to order 1200 pieces for this and i want to know the total cost of the 1200 pieces excluding freight. Thank you

Best Regards
Gary Hartwell

By this time I knew it must be some sort of scam and searched around (I googled his name and email) and found an interesting link http://www.steam-brite.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1388 which not only had the exact form email but his name and email were right on the list! (mind you he is now on his 22nd gmail account). This would be a $6000+ order and at no time was wholesale pricing requested – if it seems to good to be true – it usually is!! I emailed him back to see how far it would go (and to try to get more info on this Gary Hartwell)

Hi Gary,
That order would be $6300. If interested we’ll send you an email request for payment to this email. Thanks again

Frances Howes
It’s easy to tell your friends to…
“View it Here”

Based on the scam, I knew what would follow – a request for using their shipper ( by the way cooltoad.com is not a shipping company site – it’s a domain adsense page – So now google is not only providing the scammer with emails it also is paying them per click on ads from their fake domain!!).

From: Gary Hartwell <gary.hartwell22@gmail.com>
Subject: Contact Shipping For Quote

To: “View it Here.com (F. Howes)”

Date: Saturday, September 4, 2010, 2:46 AM

Hello Frances,

I will like to order the Units ( 1200 Units Ring Guards 1 Medium Yellow 14k-gf $6300 ) .. And i will recommend a freight company for the pick up of the Units to to my Company in ( Sweden ) . Now i want to you to contact them with the total weight of the Units and find out the freight quote to Sweden for me . The delivery address is below :

Gary Hartwell S.O.S Home
# Ridmansgatan 42
Stockholm, SWEDEN  114 99

Freight company email address : continental_cfreight@cooltoad.com

And including the pick-up location and they will surely get you a freight quote . As soon as you her from them let me know so that i can proceed with transaction

Best Regards
Gary Hartwell(owner)

Well, well! What would he do if I offered free shipping? Which I would on such a large order! (plus I had already searched the freight companies domain name) Also the address seems to be for many different people & companies which I found at this link http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-404-397-1969/10

Hi Gary,

Your order comes with free shipping so no quote is needed. Your total order is $6300.

Frances Howes
It’s easy to tell your friends to…
“View it Here”

What customer would refuse free shipping on their order? WHO? WHERE? …no one that’s who!

From: Gary Hartwell <gary.hartwell22@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Contact Shipping For Quote
To: “View it Here.com (F. Howes)”
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 5:02 PM

Well i want use my freight company for the shipment. Advice asap

HUH….he is not happy with our free shipping? why the heck not? I emailed him back to explain why it is such a good thing.

Gary,

We use our own shipping company so all our order destinations can be tracked and logged. I’m sure this will be no issue, it’s our way to protect such a large order from false credit card purchases. Also when/If this occurs our shipper can work directly with police providing the drop off address to provide police with the necessary info.

I’m sure this will benefit your company as it protects you against fraudulent orders made with your credit card.

Alternatively you may send us a certified check or money order for the amount and your shipping/freight company can be used. Thanks again

Frances Howes
It’s easy to tell your friends to…
“View it Here”

FUNNY! I never heard back! If you happen to run an internet business and are excited because you thought you got a huge sale – take a deep breath and research your buyer! Get a phone number, talk to them directly, research the info provided! It’s easy to “google” someone (everyone does it). Always remember if it seems too good to be true….it usually is!

I hope this post helps in educating online businesses on this particular order scam – I’d hate to hear of someone falling for it and then finding out they are out of pocket – not only for the merchandise shipped but also for the shipping quote!!





“page not found” a wasted opportunity

17 04 2010

From time to time when you’re doing a search you may land on a 404 page. You know – the “page not found”  error message that causes you to click the back button (or close a window). Sometimes it’s because a page has moved, been renamed or was just typed incorrectly.

What a Waste!

You can create a custom 404 page for your site. That way, if a customer lands on it, they can at least easily navigate to any other page on your site. If have not already created a custom 404 page it’s a wasted opportunity to keep customers from going elsewhere.

It’s Easy!

If you have a good host, and access to ftp then it’s only 2 simple steps to rescue customers from the pesky “page not found” black hole.

Step1. Create/Edit your .htaccess file
  • Open a note pad and type: (If you already have a .htaccess file then just add this line to it)

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

  • Save the file as .htaccess to your computer
  • Upload to the server using ftp in the root directory
Step2. Create your custom 404 “page not found” page.
  • Create a new html page with your main page navigation, or a site map.
  • Let the searcher know the page they were looking for no longer exists.
  • Save the new html page as notfound.html
  • Upload it to your server using ftp in the root directory.
That’s it!

Now test it. Let’s say you were wanting to purchase one of our ring guards – and by mistake you type the url as viewithere.com/ringad (or went to a page that I moved or renamed).

Instead of a generic browser error page you now see  viewithere.com/ringad (you’ll have to click on the link to see what I mean). You’ll notice a line that says:

We’re sorry the page you were looking for was not found! It may be an old link – but you can visit any of the following pages 🙂

Now a customer can easily stay on our site to find what they were looking for.





Customize your Blogger Header

17 04 2010

I was surfing sites over the long weekend and saw someones company “blog” on their site. When I clicked the link I was sent to a “google blogger” page that matched their site perfectly. It made their “free” blog more impressive and professional.

Make your blogger header into a streamlined nav bar.

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought and if you have an image editing program and a html editor it’s just a few short easy steps to looking more professional.

Step 1

a) Create your navigation image in a program like fireworks or photoshop. Here is an example of what I mean:

b) Upload it to your server (or a free space) and copy down the URL

Step 2

a) Open your html editor (I used visual page -most html editor programs will have mapping tools)

b) Start a “new project” and insert your new image. Once it is opened if you right click (or go to image tools) you’ll see a “local mapping tool”.

c) Using the mapping tool highlight the area you wish to be a link and link it to the www page you want it to direct to.

d) Once completed view the page source- You’ll notice it mapped the coordinates for you (I wouldn’t know how it would be done manually) copy the image html into your note pad.

Step 3.

a) Go to your blogger layout to “customize” edit the header first. Take out any image already there, the title and description can be left if you want it shown.

b) “Add an element” just below the original header. The element you want to add is HTML/Javascript

c) Paste your image map code in the element box, save and….your done!

Visit our blog to see the mapped image nav bar in action http://view-it-here.blogspot.com/ – mouse over the tabs and the social network images.





Edit a contact in Joomla

17 04 2010

If you want to edit your contact form on your joomla CMS it’s easy!

  • Log into your Joomla CMS admin page
  • Mouse over “Components”
  • Scroll down the drop down menu to contacts
  • Scroll over to “contacts”


The next window will show you a list of your present contacts

  • Click on the contact you wish to edit (to add a new contact click on “new” on top right)


Edit the information and details!

  • If you wish to add a second address to one contact or add additional information you can add it to the “Miscellaneous Information:” on the very bottom of the contact page.





Adding images to Joomla Articles

17 04 2010

Easy steps for adding images to your Joomla CMS. Click on any images to see them larger.

  • log into admin
  • choose media manager as seen below

  • At the bottom of the media manager window you’ll see an empty box followed by a “browse” button, followed by a “start upload” button.
  • click on “browse” and find the image file you wish to upload, then click on “start upload”.
  • You should see your image in the thumbnails (the small pics) as in the image below.
  • Go to the control panel to add a new article (or edit a previous one).
  • In the article box you should see a “tree” image – this is what you click on to “add an image”
  • An image box will pop open and you type in the full URL (http://www.yoursite.com/images/filename.extention) of the image for example see below image.
  • After you add the image URL, you can add a description and title (good for search engines) you should see a snap shot of the image in the box if done correctly.
  • Next you can click on the Appearance tab of the same pop up box
  • You can decide the position of the image in the text of the article (center, right or left side)
  • You can set 10 vertical and horizontal space around the image
  • You can make a border around the image (a black box).
  • BE SURE to click on insert after your done!
  • Your image should now show in the article box!





Showing Crawl errors in Google Webmaster tools?

17 04 2010

If you have a Google account and a website you most likely added Googles “Webmaster Tools” to your account. If not, you should! It gives you great information.

Webmaster Tools is a snapshot of everything you need to know (and it’s free). The information it gathers on your site is priceless.

  • Top Search queries (impressions and clickthroughs)
  • Links to your site (who is linking to what page)
  • Keyword significance of your site
  • Crawl errors
  • Diagnostics and HTML suggestions
  • You can even go to a lab to see exactly how googlebot sees your site!
  • Site performance (how fast your site loads, tools to make it load faster)
  • If any Malware is detected on your site
  • Sitemaps can be submitted to tell Google about pages on your site they may not have discovered
  • Subscriber stats and more!

What if you don’t want a page/directory to be crawled and indexed? Or the page no longer exists but made it in search results and is showing “page not found” crawl errors?

Set an easy robots.txt for Googlebot. Here’s a great site that can teach you more about robots.txt http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html.





Adding images to Joomla Articles

9 02 2010

Easy steps for adding images to your Joomla CMS. Click on any images to see them larger.

  • log into admin
  • choose media manager as seen below

  • At the bottom of the media manager window you’ll see an empty box followed by a “browse” button, followed by a “start upload” button.
  • click on “browse” and find the image file you wish to upload, then click on “start upload”.
  • You should see your image in the thumbnails (the small pics) as in the image below.

  • Go to the control panel to add a new article (or edit a previous one).
  • In the article box you should see a “tree” image – this is what you click on to “add an image”

  • An image box will pop open and you type in the full URL (http://www.yoursite.com/images/filename.extention) of the image for example see below image.
  • After you add the image URL, you can add a description and title (good for search engines) you should see a snap shot of the image in the box if done correctly.

  • Next you can click on the Appearance tab of the same pop up box
  • You can decide the position of the image in the text of the article (center, right or left side)
  • You can set 10 vertical and horizontal space around the image
  • You can make a border around the image (a black box).
  • BE SURE to click on insert after your done!

  • Your image should now show in the article box!