business being scammed or real order??

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11 Apr 2018 17:53 #108829 by jmelson
I run a one-man business selling boards for motion control applications, largely related to LinuxCNC.

I have been contacted by email by a guy calling himself "sultan Mohammed", claiming to be from Dubai, and wanting to order 30 boards. As far as I can tell, he has never seen this board, so it is a little strange to just jump right in with an order of 30 units.
His email is through gmail, so they conceal his IP, so I don't have much to go on. He did give an address in Dubai, and the Al Amir trading Company he lists does seem to exist. He wants to pay by wire transfer, which is common for international B2B orders.
He did say something about having the order picked up in the US, which really set my alarm bells ringing. I've heard of that scam before.

Anyway, I don't usually keep a huge inventory of these boards on hand, and don't want to make up 30 boards and then have the sale collapse when he wants to pick up the boards now and pay later.

Does anybody have any suggestions on this? Any ideas how to check this guy out and see if there are similar scams by somebody by the same name? (There seem to be thousands of Sultan Mohammeds in the middle east.)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. (Or suggestions where to ask for info.)

Jon
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11 Apr 2018 19:00 #108830 by PCW
It does seem suspicious, can you ask him a bit about his end use or get some information about his customer?
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11 Apr 2018 19:49 #108831 by Grotius
John,

Best is only accept bank payment.
I do that too. From Russia to Jakarta. Al my customer's pay by bank account, no exeption's and
alway's let them pay first. Don't let the sultan fool you.
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11 Apr 2018 21:36 #108836 by tommylight
Sultan is a title and a name, Mohamed is probably the most used name there.
I would steer clear of that deal, or have them pay upfront and wait for confirmation before mailing the goods.
Even cryptocurrency would be acceptable for me, upfront of course.
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12 Apr 2018 16:28 #108887 by tecno
Always always payment upfront!
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12 Apr 2018 17:00 #108889 by DanMN
There is enough new manufacturing development in Dubai to make this plausible -- either as legit or a scam, depending. A friend of mine is a consulting industrial engineer, and he has spent a lot of time over there getting automation systems in place. It's a high priority for the kingdom, since they expect to run out of oil eventually. They are rapidly implementing alternative income sources, but they aren't completely sophisticated at it yet.

I was surprised to see my son's snowboard labeled "Made in Dubai", but the company that makes them has a lot capacity in the UAE for precision carbon fiber layup and they are pushing the edge in innovation is several areas. If you can get payment up front, you could very well make a good score. There are legit customers for those kinds of products in that country for sure.
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