Have you ever thought of buying cannabis or cannabis products from someone you found online who can ship via FedEx or drop it in your mailbox?
Meet Ryan (last name withheld).
(see about this picture at the end of this article)
Ryan is typical of today’s new cannabis industry entrepreneur. Ryan is a young “go getter” who runs a very successful medical marijuana (MMJ) dispensary in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ryan has a young wife and two small children. The new legal cannabis industry has provided Ryan and his family the opportunity to get his piece of the American Dream. Or so that’s what his profile said.
Ryan fancies himself a capable budtender who can and will help you find the right strain to address what ails you. In fact, Ryan will even ship you the cannabis you need quickly and discreetly and legally (which of course is completely illegal). If you are in the right location, Ryan will even have one of his capable drivers drop the purchase in your mailbox. Ryan accepts cash, money order, certified check and of course Western Union. Ryan likes to communicate with you via text, email and WhatsApp.
Sadly, everything about Ryan is fake and a lie and for many unfortunate souls their money has just taken a one way trip to the lovely coastal African Country of Cameroon with nothing in return.
Editor at the Cannabis Associates Network, James Kaufman, has been blocking the Cameroon scam artists since launching his cannabis industry networking platform 3 months ago. Kaufman said, “They (the Cameroon crew) found the Cannabis Associates Network website in the first week of our launch. They registered using what they thought was a typical sounding American name (Ryan) and used a stock profile photo they found on the internet of a smiling budtender in front of medical jars filled with various strains. They then attempted to create a believable and touching personal and business profile.”
“As we looked closer at the registration something seemed fishy. We geo-located the IP address they were using to Cameroon and cross-searched their email address on Google and discovered the scam. Luckily we were able to thwart the potential exposure by blocking them permanently”.
Kaufman added, “We found that they often snag people through Craigslist and the comment sections of cannabis focused websites where they add their sales message and contact information and often have a second and third accomplice telling others how great their product and service is. Again we were lucky we caught them right away before they attempted anything illegal and anyone was damaged.”
Many haven’t been that lucky. Many have been successfully blackmailed as well.
When the cannabis doesn’t arrive as promised, the buyer is sometimes told that the “delivery driver was pulled over by the police and arrested and if they (the buyer) want to keep their name 'out of it' they need to send more money.” And people do send them more money.
Here are links to 3 good bits about this scam.
NOTE: The picture above may have been used by the scammers for fake Ryan's profile but the man in the picture is not a scam artist. He is an honest, good and hard working young man with a genuine and cute smile; wouldn't you agree?
Bella Buddza is Staff Writer at the Cannabis Associates Network