E-mail Scams Continue to Pester Auto Glass Shops
July 23, 2010

With the economy struggling to balance out auto glass scams continue to plague the industry. The scams, carried out through e-mail, attempt to scam shops out of money, but many shops have developed strategies to weed out the scams from legitimate orders.

Recently a scam was received that read, “My name is Robert Thompson. I am with the Presbyterian Church and I will to order the 30" x 30"x1/4" thickness clear glass. Kindly email me with a total pickup price of 100 pieces. I will like you to send me an email response with the picked up price for this sizes. I will like to know your forms or terms of payment you accept. Kindly respond to me as soon as possible for us to proceed further with the order.”

Another scam read, “This is Mr Robert. I will like to order some glasses I will need the pick up prices from your location for Windshield Glass for Ford Explorer 2005 model 4 doors. And I will need the pick up price for non installation and also the price on clear glass. 36 x 36 thickness of 1 / 8 inch clear glass . Send me the pick up prices on this and your contact phone # together and also let me know the types of credit cards you take for the payment . Waiting to hear back from you soon.”

Advanced Auto Glass of Escondido, Calif., recently dealt with an e-mail scam. Owner, Steve Glass received an e-mail from “Brent” that said, “I am Brent and I will like to know if you sell glass? And if yes, can you give me the price on window glass, 40 x 40 and the thickness of 1/8. I need the price of 40 quantity. Also want you to get back to me with the total cost, and the forms of payment that you accept. I also want to know if you are the manager or the owner. Thank you and hope to hear again back from you. Hope to hear from you so that we can proceed.”

Glass’ first reaction to the e-mail was suspicious. “He wanted prices on flat glass and I’ve seen this type of e-mail before and it automatically started throwing up red flags to me,” says Glass.

Glass recalled the scams that he had heard about in the past. “I’m only aware that these are scams from reading AGRR magazine.”

After a bit of correspondence with “Brent” some red flags began to pop up for Glass. “He basically gave me the sizes, the thickness, and it’s always a large quantity that they request. He wanted to know if I sold window glass and he told me he needed 40 pieces. I played into it a little bit to get more details out of him. If you ask them where they are located they start to get a little weird about it. Why don’t they deal with a local glass company rather than have me ship it to them? After some back-and-forth he wanted me to ship it all to France and at that point in time I stopped communicating with him,” says Glass.

Glass recommends other shops be careful about how they deal with e-mail inquiries like this one. “The first thing I would do is ask where they are located and if they are not local and there is a local glass company near them then that would be the first red flag. Also, if they are requesting large quantities that is another red flag. I would hope nobody else would get taken by something like this.”

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