Happy Marriage Life! And Other Scams.

I love scammers. Especially wedding cake scams.

That isn't to say that I think scammers have any redeeming personal qualities. No, They're pretty much total scumbags. However, they sure do give me some amusement every now and then.

The basic scam that they try with wedding professionals is to book a cake online using a credit card (stolen) or a bank check (fake), and pay you more than you told them. They tell you that the overage should be given to the shipping company that will pick up the cake. The overage, of course, should be paid out of your bank account, and by the time the credit card is declined, or the bank calls you to say that the check was fake, the scammer has taken the overage money that you paid them and they're long gone. You're out the money that you paid them, any money that you paid to produce the cake, and the cake itself. They also want to get your email address to sell it to other scammers.

I can't believe that anyone would fall for this, but some people still do, obviously. The tip-off for the cake is that they always seem to ask for strawberry cake to serve 250 guests, and that it have "Happy Marriage Life" written on it. Also, the emails are generally written in very broken English. I've received similar requests for cake decorating classes, limousine rentals, and catering. My sister-in-law works at an online shoe store, and she says they get the same kind of thing there, but the scammers always want to order a certain kind of boots.

The best thing to do when you get one of these is to hit delete, but I enjoy messing with these jerks every now and then. The last request that I got for a cake decorating class for 36 people received this reply from me (I tried to write the response in the same style that the scammer used to write to me, since I figured he would understand that better than a well-written answer):

That would be $36,000, $1000 for each of 36 peoples for performing for quality classes of the cake decorating style. I accept only cash, no credit cards, money order, or other fake documentation of payment options. You can make the payment options to be arranged for your momma's house and the "that's what she said" school of quality cake decorationing.

Now, I don't advocate answering these guys all the time, but my email address is obviously a real one since it's all over my website. If they want to sell it to another scammer who's too lazy to look it up, fine, let them scam each other out of their own money.  I need some amusement in my life, too, so every now and then I'll give in to temptation and converse with these bozos a little before telling them where they can go. Just don't give in to the temptation of ever giving out your personal information, or accepting payments from someone who wants to overpay you and get you to send them money back. There's a sucker born every minute, and these guys are on a mission to find every one of them. Don't be a sucker.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com