Sales Ticket with an [Interesting Character]

At MDDHosting today we received an order which our sales department reviewed and determined was likely fraud and marked the order as such.  We shortly there after received an email from the individual who will hence forth be known as “Interesting Character” to protect their identity.  While they may not actually be a fraudster – their order details and actions all indicated that they most likely were.

The individual signed up using a first name and last initial only, their mailing address was a mail forwarding address, and many other red flags were sent up when this individual attempted to order services.

Here is a complete view of the email conversation with all personally identifying information redacted and by all means read it over and let me know what you think in the comments.

Interesting Character
Potential Client
03/31/2010 20:39
hello,
it seems like there is an issue with my order. can you please review it and approve it?
thank you
[Interesting Character]

Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 20:46

Is [address here] a home or business location?

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 20:48
my fault i forgot [additional address details]
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 20:52

The address is showing up as a forwarding address and the phone number isn’t listed in the same zip code as the one provided. Is the address you provided the one that is set on your PayPal account?

I’m sorry to make you jump through hoops but if this order is fraudulent the owner of the PayPal account I am sure would appreciate us taking these steps and if the order is not fraudulent I am sure you can appreciate our desire to verify your order.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 20:58
the address is my business address, the phone number is my cell which i have had for 15 years, i have moved a few times and always kept the same number, now i live out of the [area code] area code but i use my cell for work and am self employed thats why the number has stayed the same for that long, my paypal and this e-mail address are the same, my wife set up my paypal account so i am not sure if its business or home address. it is not fraud and i thought you cant even do fraud with paypal thats why i started using it. not sure what else i can provide to you??
thank you
[Interesting Character]
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 21:01

PayPal accounts are stolen all the time and when an order comes up as a forwarding address for mail it sends up a flag.

If you can send us a scan of a valid government issued photo identification (Driver’s License, Passport, State ID, Military ID, etc…) I’ll be able to approve the order but without that we’ll have to leave it set as fraud. This is about the easiest way for you to verify your order.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 21:06
wow, i never knew that about paypal,
i have never had a problem with any other order
i really dont feel comfortable sending out my drivers license or my passport
do you think if i register again and put in my home number and the suite number in the address the order will go through? that way my area code and my address will be in the same area?
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 21:09

You won’t be able to place another order using that coupon code. We’re not going to store your ID we’re just going to use it to make sure you are who you say you are. Think of it as showing the cashier at the store your ID when you try to use your credit card.

If you don’t trust us to view and delete your photo ID then perhaps you don’t trust us enough to host your site as the Client<->Provider relationship is one of trust.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 21:23
my ID has my home address, not the business address.
how will that prove that i am who i am, the reason i used the business address is that i really don’t want people knowing where i live. the reason i use paypal is because i thought its safer than a credit card. isn’t it good enough that my paypal account and my e-mail match? why would i sign up for a year with you using a stolen account, i am not sure how paypal works but wouldnt you find out real quick that its a stolen account and cancel my account? it just doesn’t make sense. i would try to set up another account with home phone number and adding in the suite number but then my e-mail wouldn’t match my paypal ;-(
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 21:27

Without the photo ID I won’t be able to activate your order and that is entirely up to you. If you choose not to comply with our request to verify your identity which is ultimately for your own protection [if this order isn’t fraudulent] then you are more than welcome to go with another host who cares less about you and your identity and preventing identity theft and fraud.

You may say "Why would I sign up for a year if it is fraud?" and to that I say "Because fraudsters tend to think that makes the order look less like fraud." We’ve seen hundreds of orders from 6 months to 24 months that were fraud over the years and we have become quite good at sensing fraud.

Your next update needs to be a scan of valid government issued ID or there is no need to continue this discussion.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 21:37
ok, before i do that
can you answer a few more questions for me please?
how will my id prove that its me? do you get my name from my paypal acount or what will you match my id with because like i said earlier, its my home address on my id?
i am coming from [old provider], been with them since sometime in 2008,
[Old provider’s support] was able to open a few ports for me, 8222 and 3306 and/or 1221 not sure which one but he somehow figured it out for me, will you be able to do the same for me?
thank you for your time
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 21:39

It depends on what you need the ports for, 3306 is MySQL but I don’t know what 8222 and 1221 are for so you would just need to provide some justification.

As for the ID, I can’t tell you how we will verify your order using it as that is a proprietary process but I can tell you that we will use the image to verify the order and then remove the image. We will likely have to set your address on file to the one shown on your ID before we can approve the account either way.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 21:55
This is [Interesting Character]’s wife, as I am the one that set up the account through paypal and have been using paypal for several years, he asked that I review your correspondence. I do not understand at all what the need is for his physical ID. The address he provided is not inactive and is not a forwarding address. It is a business address. Never, in the 8 years that I have been using paypal has a vendor requested my physical ID. Where you wrote " … request to verify your identity which is ultimately for your own protection [if this order isn’t fraudulent] then you are more than welcome to go with another host who cares less about you and your identity and preventing identity theft and fraud." – my reply is to protect my husband’s identity and financial information, I believe it is in his best interest to not provide a scan of his government issued photo identification to a source over the internet. What guarantee does he have that you yourself are not attempting fraudulent activity????
Michael Denney
Staff

03/31/2010 21:56

I’m sorry but we’re not going to be able to approve your order and we’re going to end this conversation. Good luck with your next provider.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Interesting Character
Potential Client

03/31/2010 21:59
Good luck with your business and please read my review about "account setup with mddhosting" on webhosting.com

This individual came to us from WebHostingTalk.com so I’m curious how they are going to portray this email conversation.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what they have to say.

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3 thoughts on “Sales Ticket with an [Interesting Character]

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention MikeDVB.com » Sales Ticket with an [Interesting Character] -- Topsy.com

  2. Wow. That person was all over the place.
    I bet if you said that you will be calling him on his home phone number(if he were to give it) to verify the order, he wouldn’t want that.

    From reading this, regardless if it is fraudulent or not, I wouldn’t want him as a customer as it is. I am careful about my Drivers License but when he contacted you for service, he should have provided his id. He sounds very paranoid.

    There are those people out there that are just paranoid about things that they shouldn’t be.

  3. Every time we’ve ever made an exception for this sort of thing it’s ended up being a spammer/phisher/fraudster using a stolen PayPal account or Credit Card. It’s happened enough times that we simply do not make exceptions to this anymore. It’s unfortunate that those unsavory types cause those in specific situations to have to jump through hoops.

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