Please Explain this Scam

Every month or so for about the last year I’ve received an email purportedly marketing “estimators,” “estimating services,” or “material take-offs.”

Emails have been from:

  • “Luke Shaw” of “International Estimating, LLC,” 14 East, 4th Street, Suite 405, New York City, NY 10012;
  • “David Jackson” of “International Estimating, LLC,” 14 East, New York City, NY;
  • “Jacky Lee” of “International Estimating, LLC,” 14 East, 4th Street, Suite 405, New York City, NY 10012;
  • “David Jackson,” again, of “International Estimating, LLC,” 14 East, New York City, NY; and
  • “Jack Haber” of “Intl MEP Estimating, LLC,” 2701 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Suite 201, Coral Gables, FL 33134.

International Estimating, LLC has a page written in Indian English:

Dear Sir/Madam, 

We are providing reliable and comprehensible Takeoffs/cost estimates to our clients through information & knowledge developed over one and a half decade in the business.

We claim 98% accuracy in all trades/scope take-offs because we are utilizing certified software and a team of experienced estimators and civil engineers is working on them.

We provide estimates with detailed line items and we follow CSI divisions for client’s convenience.

Currently we are offering lowest rates in the market.

Send over the plans so we can give you a quotation for price and turnaround time. Please let me know if you have any questions.Thanks

Kind Regards,
Mark Henry
Senior Business Development Manager
14 East, 4th Street, Suite 405, New York City, NY 10012
Tel: (718)-450-9282
Email: [email protected]
Alt Email: [email protected]

Services Provided
Cost Estimation, Quantities take-off & Material take-off

Areas Served

All of those emails contained the same return phone number: (718) 450-9282. (Please try it and tell me what you find; they seem to have me blocked.) Spokeo lists that as a T-Mobile landline in the Bronx.

“International Estimating, LLC” has a website that lists among its projects “Newwark Liberty International Airport, New Jeresy.”

“International Estimation LLC’s” Projects

I have also received emails from:

  • “Eric Steven” of “Guarantee Estimation LLC”;
  • “Jerry Shane” of “Guarantee Estimation LLC”
  • “Tony Martin” of “Guarantee Estimation LLC,” 4908 Bell Ridge Lane Suite 106 Milton FL 32571.

The Steven and Martin emails contained the return phone number, (850) 400-6861. Spokeo says that’s a Sprint landline in Milton, Florida. “Guarantee Estimation” has an uninformative website and a page written in Ukrainglish, with that Milton, Florida address but “areas served” in New York.

Another estimation spammer was “James Thomas” of “Bid Solution INC”  (website) using the telephone number (510) 488-4552. Spokeo lists that as an Oakland, California number. ZoomInfo lists “Scott Brian” as “Marketing Manager at Bid Solution INC”.

What is going on here? I don’t think I’m their target market, since I don’t see these emails and say, “I GOTTA GET ME SOME OF THAT,” but I guess that when you are in the spam business the marginal cost of sending an email to another address is near zero.

I can’t even imagine what kind of person sees these emails and says IGGMSOT. So what’s the scam, and what’s the end-game?

7 responses to “Please Explain this Scam”

  1. Crickets.

    Obviously, it’s inexplicable. Must not be happening to your readers.

    I get similar spam (but different industries) at my work email; there must be some reason (some list you’re on somehow) that made these people think you might be interested.

    Definitely spam; possibly not a scam.

    • We are trying to get a prelimary cost estimate to renovate a building. This service would be helpful to us as to many others looking to “cost out” a project but now I have trepidation about the service if they do not pass the smell test. I have asked a few probing questions about the business and my reticense to use a credit card for these services. Much seems legit but I continue to have a cautious suspicion.

  2. I grew up at 250 West 94th Street, less than three blocks from their Number 1 project (but that is just an estimate).

  3. When scammers run a campaign, they send large numbers of emails to unknown recipients. They normally do this by renting time on “bot-nets” from a “bot-herder”.
    The more emails they send, the better their chances of sending one to a fish who will bite.
    The bottom line is there must be people who bite, or they wouldn’t do it.
    When people stop buying manure, others stop shoveling it.

  4. Takeoff companies provide an estimate of the materials needed for a construction project – think how many stacks of 2x4s or yards of concrete or boxes of doorknobs do you need to build a house. The estimator gets a fee for figuring out how many of everything you need – and may steer you to “preferred” suppliers or simply spitball the estimate and leave you with a seriously overbid or underbid project.
    As with most scammers, broken English and weird usage weeds out the literate from the potential marks, leaving those more credulous and/or vulnerable (who are also less likely to report being scammed.

    Here’s a BBB complaint about one estimator:
    US-Takeoff provided my company with completely insufficient material
    take of for a large residence. The actual amount of lumber needed was
    $30,000. Upon request to refund at least the money I paid they ignored
    me and sited that their estimates are approximates, however on their
    web-site they claimed extremely high accuracy. After repeatedly asking to
    be removed from their mailing lists I still receive emails sometimes several
    a day in which I am a BCC recipient. obviously in an attempt to herass

    My guess, anyway.

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