July is traditionally our slowest month. The locals are all going on vacation. The tourists are scared of the heat. The sun is MELTING everything. BUT, for some reason the sun is NOT overheating one thing....THE SCAMMERS.
This is our fifth year, and after about one year of being open we started getting some WEIRD phone calls. They were ALWAYS the relay calls used for the hearing impaired. They were always some strange order for 100-300 cupcakes in ANY flavor for the following day to be picked up by courier...always to be paid by money order. After LITERALLY 12 of these calls in a matter of months (all of which we LUCKILY never fell for) we started telling the operator that this is a scam and please do not continue with this phone call....then they stopped. THEN the emails started. They looked like THIS:
But this week we had something TOTALLY, INCREDIBLY, and SCARILY different...It was a personal phone call from a "personal assistant."
Now....living in Las Vegas, we have had LOTS of opportunities to bake for all kinds of celebrities. Some we know about and some we don't know about until AFTER. So, when I got a phone call from the "personal assistant of Mr. Will Smith" I didn't think twice...until she KEPT saying, "Mr. Will Smith and Mrs. Pinkett Smith" OVER AND OVER AND OVER again...and that their daughter "Willow is in town celebrating her birthday tonight and launching her new video with Nicki Minaj." And "I know it's last-minute, but we need 25 individually-boxed cupcakes for Nicki to give out as party favors."
The red flags were not going up yet at this point. I've had to do this before...people come to Vegas...they wait until the last minute for Thank You gifts...I get it. BUT, she added ONE, little, TINY detail after we had finalized the flavors, delivery times, and contact info that proved to be the BIGGEST RED FLAG OF THEM ALL, "Oh. I also need each box to have a $20 bill either tied on with a ribbon or inside the box."
Now stop and think. WHY would "Mr. Will Smith" want to give 25 people $20 and a cupcake? That's WEIRD. AND why would his assistant need ME to go get cash for THEM when THEY are staying at a CASINO with access to HUGE amounts of cash.
Luckily, when I took the phone call I was actually ON a delivery with Brian WITH our children, so I agreed to the order, got all the woman's contact information, and hung up the phone....THEN I told Brian and the girls about the weird phone call I just had...I even said to them, "That was super weird." Then my Scooby Doo training kicked in to gear.
I asked Abbi to go on Twitter and see what Nicki Minaj or Willow had been tweeting that day...and guess what? Nicki had JUST tweeted something like "Who's coimin' out to my show tonight in Chicago?" AND then Abbi went on YouTube and saw that they DO have a single together...but the video came out last December. Oh yeah...Willow's birthday is on Halloween.
SO, Brian called back the lady and just said, "We will be more than happy to deliver you cupcakes; however, we just can't provide the cash." Her answer? "Oh. Never mind then. Mr. Will Smith really wanted someone to do the entire thing."
And that was IT. But think about it. That woman wanted me to deliver her $500 in cash from PROBABLY a fraudulent credit card number...and if I was HUNGRY for business and BLINDED by celebrity AND internet UNsavvy...I would have fallen for it. And, THAT is why I am telling YOU.
DON'T FALL FOR THIS SH*T. We work TOO F'N HARD for you to just GIVE it away. STOP and THINK before you get overly excited about a HUGE order or a possible celebrity order. BE SMART. BE SAVVY. BE SAFE...because there are people out there who DON'T want to work hard or be honest, and they are OUT TO GET YOUR MONEY.
Now...Let's focus on the POSITIVE!! Here are the Cupcakes/Cake O' the Week!
Edible image logo cupcakes for the Contemporary Arts Center:
Mommy and Baby Giraffe baby shower cake:
Tropical-themed bridal shower cake (with edible starfish on brown sugar):
Zebra and Polka Dot birthday cake:
Fondant Gift Box birthday cake:
And the Small Daddy of the Week:
Piped Lace wedding cake (half fondant half buttercream piping):
That's it, Baykahs. I hope you are now walking with your eyes a little more WIDE today when it comes to YOUR business. Protect yourself...