Micro-Roasters Targeted by Online Scam

Posted by Kevin on 11/27/2013 to General

Since our inception, Woodshed Roasting has been a company that highly supports local businesses as well as similar small coffee roasters around the country. While not dutifully producing roasted coffee beans, we always find the time to stay up to date with industry news. This is why we’ve recently been very disappointed after reading an article from the Daily Coffee News in this month’s, “Roast Magazine.” It turns out that someone has been targeting small coffee roasters like us with an unusual online request for 250 pounds of fresh roasted coffee. Roast magazine has confirmed that numerous micro-roasters have received an email from a man calling himself David Walters of Walters & Sons Ltd., or as Mark Curry.

What is especially unsettling is that this, “David Walters,” actually explains that he wants the roasted coffee beans for an orphanage. While you can read the email in its entirety at Roast Magazine, the introductory paragraph reads as followed:

My name is Dave Walters of Walters & Son’s Ltd. and would like to know if you carry Coffee Beans. If you do I would like purchase some coffee for some Orphanage Home and café consumption. Below is the qty and type of coffee am interested in.”

A Curious Request for Roasted Coffee Beans

Grammar mistakes aside, the writer goes on to specify that he’s interested in purchasing 250 pounds of coffee and asks for phone numbers, credit card information, and what types of coffee these various micro-roasters specialize in producing. If only sent to a few micro-roasters, this email would seem innocuous enough to be legitimate but the fact that so many coffee roasters have received this email makes room for suspicion.

Using the phone number that, “David Walters,” left in his email, Daily Coffee News was actually able to get him on the phone. He did indeed identify himself as David Walters but when asked how many coffee roasters he had contacted, David said, “None. Maybe one or two.” And when further prodded about his company and the orphanage he intended to use the coffee for, the man replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and hung up. After that conversation, he no longer answered any of the Daily Coffee News’ phone calls.

It’s unfortunate to hear about someone trying to take advantage of small companies and micro-roasters like ourselves. Luckily, we didn't receive this email and thankfully didn't waste any time or, more importantly, any of our delicious roasted coffee beans!