Someone Tried to Cake Scam Me!

Last week, Delicious Cake Design received an email from a William Robinson claiming to be a hearing impaired person who could only communicate via email, not by phone, who required a cake for a date in a couple weeks time in March. I wrote back saying sorry but I have no availability in March. “William” replied saying he was getting married in April, so would I be able to make a cake then.

At this point I was already a little bit suspicious as I have never been contacted by the groom for a wedding before, it’s usually the bride or bride’s mother. But I thought okay, people often ask for a smaller cake as an “audition” cake before booking a wedding to see if they like my cakes and service. So maybe the cake he’d wanted in March was supposed to be the audition cake, but as I was unable to do the cake in March he was thinking about going ahead with the wedding cake anyway. Fine. I emailed back asking what date in April to see if I was available.

He wrote back the following:
Thanks for the reply..I will like you to bake me chocolate and Vanilla cake of 5 tier separate cakes, that can serve approximately 280 to 300 guest, and I want the cakes to be decorated with pink roses ( icing flower or artificial), and the cake should be covered in fondant or in butter cream, there should be an inscription writing on the side of one of the tier as “HAPPY MARRIED LIFE” and you will be packing each tier in different boxes to be ready for pick up at the said time and date.. 9Th of March 2011, 3 O’clock PM.
Reply me back to know how much cost am looking at….??? then i can forward all the details to conclude the order and the picture sample to give you an idea of what i will like you to bake for me.
Thanks and God bless.
William Robinson.

First of all, he’d said his wedding was in April and suddenly he wants this massive wedding cake ready to be picked up in 7 days time at the beginning of March??? No way a chocolate or vanilla cake would keep till April! Secondly, no one has ever asked for a wedding cake to be boxed for delivery, especially a 5 tier one, something that big they almost always want it delivered and set up by me. Thirdly, the way he spoke about vanilla cake and buttercream covering sounded very foreign (possibly American) – no Australians have ever asked me for such things. Fourthly, this rang a bell as I remembered reading about a similar order on another cake maker’s blog in America which turned out to be a scam! So I googled it and sure enough, it was word for word an email scam based in Nigeria. Hence the need to stress he couldn’t talk on the phone as his English wasn’t very good and was heavily accented and might cause suspicion.

If I was the idiot he had taken me for, what would have happened next is that he will say he needs the cake to be picked up by a shipping agent to be sent overseas, which costs $980 USD. He will tell me he will pay the money for the shipping to me along with the cost of the cake and ask me to wire the fee for the shipping to the shipping agent on his behalf. He will then give me a stolen credit card number to charge this amount to, plus he’ll very generously throw in an extra $100 for my trouble. I am supposed to then wire the money to this fictional shipping agent, the stolen credit card charge is later reversed, leaving me out of pocket $1,080 USD + whatever I charged for the cake! Oh, and no one shows up to pick up the cake either.

Luckily I am not an idiot and did not fall for this old cake scam. Unfortunately, others have. So watch out for those scammers everyone!

14 Responses to “Someone Tried to Cake Scam Me!”

  1. Danielle says:

    Nigeria! There are SO many scams to come out of there! I was looking at getting a French Bulldog, and came across a scam almost identical, but with puppies, not cake. I’ll be sure to look out for this though too. Thanks for posting Charmaine and I’m so glad you didn’t fall for it!
    Funny though – almost all of my sponge cakes are butter-cream and fondant, I think most Aussies go for ganache, which I only usually use for mud cakes. I’m a true blue Aussie though I swear! ha ha I just never have done a class through Planet Cake 😉 I think that’s where everyone gets it from. x

    • It’s amazing how widespread these scams are and the variety of areas they are aimed at isn’t it!
      It wasn’t so much that he mentioned buttercream that made me suspicious, it was that he wanted the cake to be covered in buttercream only instead of under fondant. I know that this is common in the States, but I don’t know of that many cake makers here in Oz that don’t use fondant.
      I used to use buttercream under fondant too when I was living in the UK, but found that most of my customers in Sydney wanted ganache so had to make the switch. I agree with you that Planet Cake and their book have made it very popular!

  2. supwiggles says:

    My father runs a bakery, and is currently away.

    I walked in to the bakery this morning and found the staff talking about a big cake order they received. I read the email and it screamed “scam” to me straight away. Told them my thoughts and got told I was crazy.

    A bit of googling later and I had confirmed my suspicions. I am also wondering how many people these scammers are getting.

  3. Danielle says:

    Ah yes, I see what you mean Charmayne.
    I just received two emails from ‘him’ this morning – one through ABIA and one through dlook.com.au. He’s on the prowl!

  4. Lena says:

    Be very careful. Not only from NIGERIA. Last week I listed my business on hotfrog.com.au I was still filling in the details on the web when suddenly my cellphone ring and it was a man with indian accent. He said he called because I just put my ad on hotfrog. He said for my ad to be listed on google I must pay $300 is it a one time payment. I said even before I listed my ad on hotfrog, my website already in google. I asked him what if I did not want to pay, he said he will delete my ad. He was very aggressive (like yelling) and very persistent. I know this is not right, I said to him “go ahead delete my ad” and hang up the phone.

    I sent email to hotfrog and telling them what happened. They said the phone is not from them. I knew it, just wanted them to know that.

    Everybody now that listed an ad on hotfrog is FREE, even listing your business on google is also FREE.

    I check my feedjit after that and I saw a visitor from West Bengal, Calcutta.

    So be very careful with email like your case or phone call, especially from overseas.

    • Andrea says:

      I had a similar experience! Listed on hotfrog today and got a call before I was done filling out the info–she said she was from “the yellow pages” and started verifying my information–I work from my home and as such I don’t use my home address when I fill out information online, but I use a street in our general area, she mentioned the fake road I had given when verifying the info…I finally cut her off and asked if this was going to cost me anything and she said yes, it’s $5 a month, no contract, etc. I kept giving her answers as to why I didn’t need her services and as such I finally just hung up (I rarely hang up on telemarketers, but she was persistent). She called back and it was 1.5 minutes of a message – all in a different language.

  5. Pete says:

    I was scammed, but by a ‘bakery’.
    I oredered and paid for a 3 tier wedding cake from http://www.delightfuldeliciouscakes.co.uk only to find they had ceased trading in November 2010 and the site had been cloned.

  6. JustSarah says:

    I just got two phone messages via AT&T from the same William Robinson saying he wanted to buy some pies from my bakery. You could only reply via e-mail (williamrobinson001@yahoo.com). Thanks for posting this because I searched for his e-mail via Google before I responded and found your message. BEWARE of false orders!

  7. Kat says:

    Someone tried to scam us in our cafe by ordering 200 sandwiches using the same scam scheme. We almost fell for it, but as we were very suspicious, we called our credit card processor & he alerted us to this widespread scam. Ours was someone who pretended to be hearing impaired & also communicated to us through email. It was a very exhausting day, but we learned our lesson luckily before we lost a lot of money. Beware.

  8. Dharma says:

    This world of the network is fantastic, I found your blog from one to another despite the distance that separates us, I love your designs and your cakes, I’m glad that they could not make the thymus. Thanks for the tutorial, Sesame, feel that I often go to see your wonders. Greetings from Spain 😉

    Este mundo de la red es fantastico, he llegado a tu blog pasando de uno a otro a pesar de la distancia que nos separa, me encantan tus diseños y tus tartas, me alegro que no pudieran hacerte el timo. Gracias por el tutorial de Sesamo, no dudes que me pasare a menudo para ver tus maravillas. Saludos desde España

  9. Nicole says:

    Hi

    I had that same fellow send me that emial last year. I was quite suspicous about it as well. He asked me for cc details and the only way he could pay was that way. I told him well that is to bad because I don’t give out credit card details at all.

    I also live in australia as well.

  10. Lynette says:

    I’m just now reading this. I was looking for instructions on making high heel shoes and came across your blog. Which is great, by the way. I noticed you said the scammer might be American. No, no, no. We Americans are a stickler about our English and grammer. If this person was American, they had to be trying awfully hard to sound uneducated. We get these scams all the time in our emails. And the English is always the same. Now I just spam them. But on another note, your blog is one of the best I’ve seen and read in a long time. It’s great. And your cakes are just amazing. Congratulations on the baby, which you’ll find to be two full time jobs. But sooooo worth it. And keep up the great work.

    • Hi Lynette,
      Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog and cakes!
      Yes, this fellow was not American at all, he was Nigerian trying to sound American. Unbelievable what these scammers get up to hey!
      Cheers,
      Charmayne from Delicious Cake Design

  11. Maureen says:

    Hi fellow Cakers….update to 2018!! Im a Cake Decorator! I design cupcake bouquets & received a very similar email…this one is from scammer John Francis . He thought I was a florist because of my cupcake bouquet arrangements!

    ‘Hello, I have certain order for my mum,s birthday and i will like to know if you can supply 13 big bouquets flowers in Clear glass Vases. Let me know if you are able to fill this request and get back to me with your price and options also with your method of payment

    Thanks’

    And then this ….

    Hello thanks for the reply , I wished so much to call you directly or come to your store but unfortunately I’m currently on a business trip outside the country and this is the best way I could communicate with you for now. Hope that’s fine by you? My mum,s birthday holds on 27th of october and I will back on 25th need to make a good arrangement for the birthday for her. I want to purchase the flowers with vases in bright summer color i want the price range of $120 per one Approximately 26 cm W x 41 cm H and the colors should be in ( white,Red,Orange,Yellow,blue in Roses Flower) and you will have it delivered to my house a day before the event.and the arrangements will be placed at the center table I know you are a professional florist and you will know the best design for birthday’s. kindly .get back to me with the total cost of all and the type of credit card u accept for payment.

    Regards

    This style of scam was very similar to one I had in Gumtree… Beware when they try to use western union, ask a favour, use paypal then get a refund via paypal. They can transfer the money then cancel the transfer or something like that. Just beware fellow hard working business peeps!! Why anyone would want to deposit a cent into anyones account beats me! Somehow its to do with a refund transaction they request I think? Is anyone savvy about their tactics?? Please share it so we are more aware, thanks

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