Nigerian T-Shirt Scam?

The t-shirt deal is starting to look like a Nigerian scam. The original offer was that I would get some free printed t-shirts from if I advertised about their site. Now have a load of this:

Do you have an American credit card? … I know that you’re getting the sponsorship amount off your order, but our site automatically charges every customer one cent as a security measure no matter what their total. Even my boss has to do this when ordering with the company card. I should have mentioned this earlier but did not think of it at the time. It’s a feature that some people find extremely off putting but others don’t mind. Do you mind?

A Nigerian scam (or advance-fee fraud) of course typically takes the form of an offer out of the blue for something valuable, like a million dollars (or a bunch of free tee shirts), with the condition that you need to give up something less valuable first, like $10 000 (or your credit card number). And Ooshirts aren’t willing to go through with the sponsorship deal unless they get my credit card number and one cent. The company has received decidedly mixed on-line reviews, and the positive ones tend to be pasted boilerplate text. So I ain’t going there unless Ooshirts clean up their act and take a straightforward approach to sponsorship.

Anyway, we have an excellent design for Aard merch now. I know about Dear Reader, are there other on-line merch shops I should consider? Most of you guys are in the the continental US, so that would be a good place to ship the shirts from.


  1. #1 Stephanie F
    September 2, 2011 is one of the more well-known t-shirt print-on-demand sites. is, from what I understand, a European shirt PoD company that opened a U.S. storefront, but I don’t know anything about their quality. I’ve just become aware of and heard good things about but I understand they use American Apparel shirts, which tend to run small, so it’s worth warning people about the sizing if you go that route (and also for any PoD route that uses AA shirts).

  2. #2 Birger Johansson
    September 2, 2011

    Good to be a skeptic when facing such creeps!
    What I think of scammers (Modified from “Hyperdrive”)
    “Kill the scammers ..End their culture
    Kill the scammers …Kill them all
    Watch them perish ..In their millions

  3. #3 Roger Pearse
    September 2, 2011

    I’ve read your posts on this with much interest. T-shirts is such an interesting idea for a blog. And what a novel scam!

    Scam it must be, of course. The reason why it is one cent is that they want your credit card details…

  4. #4 Mumin
    September 2, 2011

    PayPal also made a tiny test withdrawal when I registered my credit card there – too see if it checked out OK, I suppose. I wouldn’t put it beyond Ooshirts’ business back-end to require this in order to accept orders for processing.

    Maybe you could set up a virtual credit card with your bank, that has a limited amount of money and transactions. That would keep your actual credit card details very secure since you wouldn’t have to divulge them.

    As for the “American” part, I fail to see why it would have to be American – perhaps they mean “A card that is usable in the United States of America”? The only country I know of that makes it hard to use the main credit cards is Denmark.

  5. #5 Martin R
    September 2, 2011

    In PayPal’s case, it’s part of the serveice’s purpose to withdraw funds from my card. In the t-shirt case, I haven’t agreed to buy anything, so they don’t need my card. It’s me selling something to them: ad space.

  6. #6 ken
    September 2, 2011

    doesnt paypal do similer when opening an account… not that id trust these guys

  7. #7 Deborah
    September 2, 2011

    I wouldn’t give them my card even if I knew I was going to die tomorrow. “American credit card”; “Even my boss has to do this”; “I should have mentioned this earlier”: the very fact they would phrase supposed business matters in this way proves they are scammers. Stay very away from them!

    I’ve bought stuff from both Cafe Press & Zazzle. Cafe Press has a lot of variety in the types of t-shits they offer, for a lot of different fits and style preferences.I don’t happen to know if Zazzle has the same variety because what I bought from them was not a shirt. At any rate, the advantage of the POD route is you can offer both designs.

  8. #8 Linda
    September 3, 2011

    I have a store set up at Zazzle and I really prefer it to cafepress.

  9. #9 Masks of Eris
    September 4, 2011

    Zazzle prints on shirts up to 6XL, while Cafepress does only up to 2XL.

    As a space elephantian, I’m partial to Zazzle.

  10. #10 Martin R
    September 26, 2011

    Trying to set up an on-line store with t-shirts and mugs. Neither Zazzle nor CafePress works well with my browser version: buggity bug. *sigh*

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