Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Bedouin

     I'm on vacation this week and you would think that would mean I have more time to blog. It does not. I have more time in the day technically, but I am still finding it challenging to find the time for all the things I need to be doing. But the other day I got these lovely photos from Evan Le and I had to make some time to write in the blog. 
     A couple/few weeks ago, Evan contacted me saying that he had seen a tall cowboy I made at a recent show. The height of the doll was perfect for his Azham resin, who is quite a large resin and makes all the other dolls look tiny in comparison. Evan asked if I would make him a rider to go with his setup. I said my books are technically closed but send me some reference pics of what you want and I will think about it. Evan sent me a variety of photos and basically said I could do what I wanted as long as it was along the lines of the photos. It caught my interest, I do like doing different things every once in a while, so I agreed to the project. 
    We did message back and forth a bit as I was looking for the doll. The tall cowboys, and this Bedouin, are made on NBA dolls, which are incredibly expensive and can be hard to find. But this guy was perfect for the project. I did have issues with it. I broke several things while I was working with the doll, but I have years of repair experience and I actually swapped bodies so I could keep on going with the project. And he came together. Evan was so easy to work with and then he sent me these amazing photos and has allowed me to share them here. 
     I don't often like taking on custom orders at this point. They can be very stressful in many different ways. I always feel like having an order in my book means I need to get it done now. In general, I do not procrastinate. I like to get things done and out of the way, so having orders that I am not doing feels like slacking to me. Which is stressful. But this project was actually fairly relaxing. So I will say again for the record, my order books are closed but if there is something you want you can ask me. It might strike me as something I want to make. The worst thing I will say to you if you ask is no. 
      So I am in the second half of my week off for April vacation. I have done a reasonable amount of visiting, both here and at other people's homes, I have done some larger cleaning and sorting projects, I "built" a gym, and I have done a reasonable amount of doll work. Reasonable especially considering all of the other things I have been doing. I have done some reading, but the book I am in right now is not all that interesting to me. I refuse to just give up because it's not a terrible book (and I slogged my way through a pretty terrible book just a couple of months ago) but it isn't drawing me in like some books. I have gotten back into working out and I figured out that the recommended amount of rowing is 5-15 minutes and I can likely fit that into my mornings, even when I go back to school. Though we only have 39 days left of this school year. And I am ready to be done. I am ready to keep going with my fitness goals. Even though my entire body is sore, it is kind of always sore. Now it is sore in the ways that make me feel stronger and more held together. Which is good since I have the Desforge's challenge in a week and a half and I am absolutely not ready for it. I may need to walk a lot more than run. I may need to actually skip some of the challenges because of one injury or another. But I will go and do my best. And then I will keep at it. I need to remind myself that working out actually makes me feel good. Even while it is making me sore. 
 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Scam

     I don't have a lot of time these days, so I really don't appreciate it being wasted. But it happened and now I have to take more time because people need to know what happened so hopefully it doesn't happen to them. Or worse. 
     Last night I posted a doll on Instagram and those all cross-post to my studio page on Facebook. A short time later I got a message asking if this doll was still available. Seeing as I hadn't actually listed her for sale, of course she was. So I said yes she is, gave the total including shipping and my paypal address. I don't love doing the back and forth about things. People usually inquire if something is still available only if they want it. So while it still feels weird (even after 17 years) to say yes, this is the price and this is how you pay me, it saves time. The follow up message was irritating however, and I should have started paying closer attention right then. But I was busy and when the follow up message asked for the exact information I had just given I should have seen it as a red flag (maybe? Maybe that is just hindsight). There was also a message asking when I would be able to ship. Some people miss things in a message, even a short one, so I replied again with the price and said "as I said in the above message. I can likely get her shipped whatever the next day is after you pay". Which was not the most polite thing I have ever said to someone, but wasn't rude. Kind of a subtle hint to actually read the messages. And a subtle line to say I won't ship until you pay me. 
 So then I get a message saying she will send PayPal now with a follow up message saying "have successfully made payment, you should receive an email notification from PayPal kindly check your email inbox if you've received it." As I said, I was doing other things, this was after my working hours, and I saw the notification come in and didn't bother to look closely at it because the preview showed me the amount was correct and she had already sent an address. So I said "got it, I will get her shipped tomorrow, thanks!" She then asked if I received confirmation email from PayPal (and I was over here wondering, how the F$#@ else I would have known I received a payment) so I replied "yes, I just said that". Then I got 2 messages asking for a screenshot of what I got in the message from PayPal. 
     What???



     Now I'm really irritated because not only has this whole thing taken some time, now someone who sent me money wants me to PROVE I got it??? This is making no sense so I opened the email, which looked super weird, and then I messaged back saying apparently I do not have your payment. 

This was the email preview


part of the body of the email. I will post the full wording below. 
     
     Did I mention I was annoyed now? I then got a lengthier message from the person asking if I read and understood what the email said. That was immediately followed by an "explanation" that my paypal isn't a business account so there is a limit on it so she is required to send me an additional $300 and if she will send me back the $300 and so on and so on. 
     I replied "I did understand the email, and my account has been a business account for over 15 years. This is also not actually an email from PayPal and I'm not going to be part of your scam" 
     That was immediately followed by a notice on the bottom of the chat saying  this person is unavailable on messenger. Not sure if that means I was blocked, a fake profile was deleted or what. Now I could have saved myself some time if I had taken the time to actually look at the email. I have seen, quite literally, thousands of emails from PayPal. And besides the fact that this is not their email address (no @) it doesn't even look like an email from PayPal. The wrong email address, no logo, no "Hello Anne Field" and so on and so on. But I was distracted and then annoyed. So I figured I would put this all out there in case someone else gets this fun scam. I really hope someone very new to selling doesn't fall for this. 
     I'm just sort of bummed that she didn't say her "shipper" would contact me to pick up the item. But I guess scams only work if they are not all the same and I feel that one is usually a Craigslist line. 

    *update* I also contacted the profile of the name and photo that were used to try this scam and let them know that someone used their name and picture to try to scam me. She seemed confused and relatively nice. She swore it wasn't her and I honestly don't care, I figured I would just let her know. So either it was her and she is maybe rethinking her scammer life choices or it wasn't her and she will change her password like I said she probably should because someone stole her stuff. 



The full wording of the email for anyone that cares. The English is atrocious:


You’ve Received sent you $250.00USD 


Your PayPal profile is on hold until you resolve this issue 


While crediting your account we encounter a little problem, indicating that you have an outstanding payment of $250.00 USD  but we have a problem while getting your account credited with this amount because the status of your PayPal account is not a business user which makes your account have limit. And this amount is above your limit. This will not allow us to credit your funds until you expand your limit as ensure in this service mandate..


Why do I need to expand my account to a business user,

•We placed initial limit on all accounts to increase the security precaution and help prevent any fraudulent activities on your end. Take these urgent steps to expand your account to a business user and receive unlimited funds.

How do I expand my account-Action needed Contact the last payer of your account to send in an additional payment of $300.00 USD This will activate 

your account limit updated, as soon as this is done we will credit your account with the total funds of $550.00 USD into your PayPal account…..