Not to say that all scammers are stupid... but these dickheads give themselves away.

I keep getting requests from email addresses that all end in "009 @ outlook . com" asking me for quotations. Bizarrely, all but one are for painting and decorating work, definitely not a string to my bow which these boneheads would know had they actually found my website or trade directory listings as they claim...



You can tell they're bullshit as they lack any specific detail and have been blind carbon-copied indicating they have been mailed to multiple recipients. I'm not about to engage with anyone who doesn't give me an indication of the supposed address of works and their contact telephone number, especially if they haven't taken out the time to contact me directly, even if it is a legitimate request for pricing. If I believe a quote request has gone to a hundred other electricians besides myself, then I don't play the "who can come back with the lowest number" game. That's one of the reasons I don't participate with sites like CheckaTrade and Rated People who dangle quote requests in front of their members like a SeaWorld employee waving a dead halibut over the hungry dolphins. It may well delight the public, but it's demeaning. It might work for someone who bases their pricing on plucking a number out of thin air, but for a professional such as myself it takes time to tailor pricing to ensure it is right for the job, and I'm not about to tailor anything to a generic or mass-market request.


Still, it's odd that the sending emails all have '009' before the domain, although that does make them easier to pick off. Maybe it's a scammer with a conscience who wants to give those who have no intention of falling for their nonsense an easy way to dismiss their missives? Who knows how the mindset of these people works though? They obviously lack the intelligence to make a legitimate living, so it's not worth second guessing them.


This next one is a bit different as it landed on Tracker and did target electrical work rather than painting/decorating, but the way the message is worded is similar to all the above, and the telltale 009 address is present.


Interesting too that the names Paul and Jennifer and the surnames Lewis and Scott keep getting used. To see what would come back for the sake of this article, I did reply to the above requesting a property address and a contact phone number. A few days later I received a follow-up email lacking such details but promising they were contained in the linked attachment. Yeah, right!


Needless to say, I didn't look at it any further, and the email addresses used have all been blacklisted and reported, but I'm sure these doughnuts will persevere. Fellow traders beware!

Update 12/09/18: Only a week since this was published, I have today received the following bogus request which again ticks all the above boxes with one exception: the number before the outlook domain has changed from 009 to 77. Otherwise 0/10 for originality.