Hello Scammer

The following is an exchange of emails and texts between me and a potential client. I was well aware in the beginning that he was showing signs of being a scammer, but I was not completely sure, so I played along until he revealed himself.

Joseph William

(J.williamclark134@hotmail.com)

My name is Joseph William, do you create Website design?

Me

Hi Joseph,

Yes, I do web design. Would you like to schedule a time to talk about your needs for a website?

Gretchen Thomas

Joseph William

The company is based on importing and exporting of Office Equipment such as Printer, Scanners, Laminating Machines, Dictation, Computer, Adequate Light, Desk, Multipurpose Machine, Software, Fire-Safe Bix, Network Router, Telephone, Paper Shredder, and Personal Server so I need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me? So I need you to check out this site but I need something more perfect than this if its possible .https://avada.theme-fusion.com/classic-shop/… I have a content creator that has the text content and logo for the site .the site would only be informational, so I need you to give me an estimate.

  • I want 12pages with 14 products
  • I want only English language
  • My budget is $10,000-$15,000
  • I want the site running up in 4-5 months
  • Give me your cellphone number
  • Are you the owner

Me

Hi Joseph,

Thank you for sending me a description and example of what you need for your website. I am sure I can create what you want within your budget and time frame.

I am the owner of Zade Balance (I accidentally responded to you from my personal email account the last time). The best time to call is Thursday or Friday. When is a good time for you?

Where are you located? If you’re local to Salt Lake City, would you like to meet with me to discuss the details of your website?

Thank you,

  • Gretchen Thomas
  • 801-200-3590
  • Zade Balance, LLC

Joseph William

I sent you a text.

(The following are the texts from Joseph William)

  • Hi
  • Hello
  • This is Joseph William

Me

Hi Joseph. When is a good time for you to have a conversation over the phone?

Joseph William

What time will you be available?

Me

I am available now.

Joseph William called me and we had a conversation about his website needs. It was clear to me that English was not his native language. Since I also speak Spanish, I asked what language he spoke. He said he did not hear me. When I asked again, he said English. I accepted that.

Me

Where is your company based?

Joseph William

Michigan (His area code was Nevada)

Me

How long has your company been in business?

Joseph William

It is a new company. (He also confirmed that the site would just be informational even though it was an import/export business.)

Me

Is this your company?

Joseph William

Yes.

Me

How did you learn about Zade Balance?

Joseph William

Indeed (my resume and info is indeed on Indeed.)

Me

Why did you choose my company?

Joseph William

I went to your website and I liked it. It’s good.

Me

(laughing silently to myself because I know my website isn’t quite there yet) I will do your site like the example you have provided me. The estimate is $2000 and $100 every year after that for domain renewal and hosting services. I require half to begin and the other half to be paid when I am finished. Do you agree with these terms?

Joseph William

Yes. Can you send me the estimate? (no response of relief or surprise to my taking the cost down from 10-15K to 2K.)

Me

Yes, I will do that.

End phone conversation. Back to email.

Me

Hi Joseph,

Attached is the estimate for your website project. Please sign, date it, and email a photo copy of it back to me. Please send me the content and logo for your website. When you’re ready to begin, please send me your first payment via Venmo or PayPal.

Thank you,

Gretchen


ATTACHMENT: pdf of Estimate

Joseph William

Thanks for your response, I am okay with the estimate and I wanna proceed so I will pay $1,000 deposit payment for the job using my credit card so work can commence ASAP, I understand the content for this site would be needed so as for the job to commence so regarding the content and I will need a little favor from you And the reason why I need this favor from you is because the consultant that has the content and logo for the website does not have the facility to charge credit cards and I also Am presently in the pediatric surgeon with my daughter for her surgery so I will be glad if you can help me out with this favor.

Me

Hi Joseph,

What favor do you need?

Gretchen

Joseph William

The favor I need from you is. I would give you my card info’s to charge for the sum of $15,200. so $1000 would be a down payment for my website design and the remaining $14,000 you would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text content and the logo for my website so once he has the $14,000 he would send the text content and logo needed for my website to you also the funds would be sent to him via Instant transfer or cashier check into his account sending of funds would be after funds clears into your account And also $200tip for your stress so I will be looking forward to read back from you.

Me

Joseph,

That’s a heck of a lot of money for just content. Sounds like your content guy is scamming you and that’s the last thing you need with your daughter in the hospital. I recommend you don’t do business with him. Go to someone else with more reasonable prices. You shouldn’t pay more than $1,000.


When someone tries to scam another person like that some people feel violated and develop a sense of fear. Most who have been scammed gain a fundamental knowledge of the nature of scammers. It’s kind of like immunizations. People become immunized to scammers when they have already been scammed or when they have read about how scammers work.


Some people who have been scammed go out and try to scam other people. Because they don’t have enough money to live, they are trying to obtain it. Maybe they live in a place where the government isn’t functioning properly so they can’t get a regular paying job. Maybe they don’t even realize what their personal talents and strengths are and how valuable they are to other people. They’ve been taken advantage of all their life so they become someone who tries to take advantage of other people to get their needs met. It’s not wrong that they have needs. It’s just a misconception that the only way they can meet their needs and find happiness in this world is by using their talents and strengths to take advantage of other people.


The cool thing is — and there are so many people who don’t know about this — that there is someone who can help them regardless of the difficult situation they are in. That person is Jesus Christ. I know lots of people have spoken of him in so many different ways. But here’s the truth: He is watching all of us. When we scam people, he can’t protect us because we’re breaking his law. And when we’re not protected, other scammers will scam us. But when we do good to people and seek to get our needs met in an honest way, Jesus Christ protects us from scammers and helps us obtain our needs. Call it Karma. Call it the Universe, or whatever you want. But he will make it so we have enough for our needs. His promise is prosperity and an abundant life. That doesn’t mean we won’t have any trials and conflicts. We will. But that’s the even cooler thing. The trials make us stronger. When we choose to obtain our needs with honesty even though it means we may struggle to a certain extent, our knowledge, talents, and strengths grow. We become more than what we once were. It’s in these times of need that we get the best ideas to solve our problems without taking advantage of others.


I wish your content guy, who is apparently scamming you, knew all this. I wish he understood that joy is only obtained through an honest and voluntary day’s work. As long as the work we do and the struggles we go through are voluntary, we gain a higher ability to love. And voluntary love is what brings us joy. That doesn’t mean we voluntarily let scammers take advantage of us. That means that we do the best we can to find people to work with who also desire to voluntarily work. These are people who have our back, while we have theirs. And let’s face it, joy is where it’s at. Who cares about money when the price is to live in sorrow, misery, or shear boredom. And part of the reason we live in sorrow is that we don’t understand how valuable we are. We don’t understand that we’re actually needed. We have a role to play in this world that is very important. We need to find out what that is and play it. That’s when true happiness will be sustainably ours.


So, you originally asked me for 10-15K for your website. At this point in my career, it would have been taking advantage of you to accept that amount of money. I chose not to scam you. I chose to give you a fair price -$2K. And because I did that, I showed you that I had your back. I am someone you can trust. So when you look for a new content guy, make sure you find someone you can trust.


Sincerely,

Gretchen

Joseph William

(No Answer, as of the date this article was written. Will update if he does.)

How to Use WordPress for Beginning Coders

Once you have created a database using MAMP/PHPMYADMIN and have downloaded WordPress to the folder on your desktop that MAMP is pointing to, do the following:

Sketch out in a notebook:

The pages you will have in your website. My website has six main pages:

  • Home
  • Portfolio
  • Services
  • Blog
  • About
  • Contact

The elements you will use for each page:

  • Header: Nav
  • Main
  • Footer
  • Sidebar
  • Banner
  • CTA Buttons
  • Sections
  • Forms
  • Bread Crumbs Nav

My website’s home page contains the following elements:

  • Nav bar
    • Logo
    • Main Navigation
    • Search Icon
    • Mobile Menu Icon
  • Banner
    • Hero (Splash) Image
    • H1 or H2 Tagline
  • Two Call-To-Action (CTA) Buttons
  • Section
    • Short description of website
  • Footer
    • Social Media Icons
    • Copyright Information
    • Link to Privacy policy

My Portfolio page contains the following elements:

  • Nav bar (same as home page)
  • H1 Portfolio
  • FooGallery plugin
    • Thumbnail images of my work
    • Full-size images of my work
  • Footer (same as home page)

My Services page contains the following elements:

  • Nav bar (same as home page)
  • H1 Services
  • Section 1
    • 2 H2 Website, Graphic Design, Links to Graphic Design Categories
    • 2 Images
    • Javascript to flip Images so Prices can be seen
  • Section 2
    • Same as Section 1 but no links to Graphic Design
  • Footer (same as home page)

My Blog page does not contains the same Nav bar and Footer as my home page. I have gone into Settings/Reading and selected this page as the destination for my blog list. I think it will populate the page automatically.

My Contact page contains the following elements:

  • Nav bar (same as home page)
  • Plugin: Fluent Forms
  • Footer (same as home page)

Add your Website Pages

Go to the WordPress Dashboard and select Pages/Add New. Add all of your Website Pages.

Create Blog Posts by selecting Posts/Add New from the Dashboard

  • Nav Bar (same as home page)
  • H1 Title of Post
  • Section
    • H3 or H4 & Paragraphs
  • Breadcrumbs Navigation will be in these posts
  • Footer (same as home page)

On the Dashboard, go to Posts/Add New. Add all of your blog posts here. In the top left is a gear icon. This is settings for individual posts. Click it and select the document tab. Create/select a category for each post. The categories should be more general. Use tags for specific categories. You can create sub-categories if you write a lot about a specific sub-category. But if you only write about it once, then just use the tags. You can delete/add/edit categories by going to the Dashboard/Posts/Categories.

Add Your Images

On the Dashboard, go to Media/Add New. Drag and drop all the images for your site here.

Add Your Logo & Favicon

On the Dashboard, go to Appearance/Customize/Site Identity. Either select your logo from your media images or upload your logo if you didn’t upload it with your other images in the previous steps. Go to “select site icon” and upload your favicon.

Insert Your Images on your Pages & Posts

Go to each page and post that you should have an image and insert the correct image.

Create a Contact Form

First choose a Contact Form Plugin from Dashboard/Plugins. I chose Fluent Forms. The new Plugin will show up in your Dashboard as a separate item. Go into it and select New Form. Create a new form. My plugin has me copy the shortcode and paste it into my Contact page. I did that and nothing happened. But when I went into the block selections, I saw the “Fluent Forms” icon. I clicked on that and on the dropdown menu and selected the form I just created. I saved the page and upon viewing the page, the form was there.

What is PHP?

WordPress and Facebook are run using PHP.

PHP is the most widely used scripting language for web development. In general, scripts are short computer programs that quickly complete tasks that one person could complete one step at a time. A scripting language is the programming language used to write those short computer programs.

How is this scripting language used?

It is embedded in HTML code.

What does PHP enable web developers to do?

PHP can generate dynamic page content. It can perform actions on files that are on the server such as create, open, read, write, delete, or close. It can interact with a database by adding, deleting, and modify the data stored there. It can be used control user-access to a website or certain parts of it. It can also encrypt data.

PHP also collects form data, generates dynamic page content, and sends and receives cookies.

What is form data?

There are various forms used on websites to collect information such as login, password, name, address, e-mail address, phone number, and comments. This information is form data.

What is dynamic page content?

It is web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests that are expressed by the user.

What does it mean to generate dynamic page content?

When users select a button or a choice on a webpage and these choices are submitted, the information is sent to the server, which processes the information and then sends back a different page or section of a page based on the users’ choices.

What are Cookies?

Cookies enables the exchange of information between the browser and server to provide a customized user session, and for servers to remember the user’s past requests.

When we go to a website, the links, buttons, and choices we select as well as the information we input are recorded in a file that is stored by the browser on our computer. The next time we go to that website, this file is uploaded automatically so the website can personalize our experience.

For example, if we create a user name and password on the website, this information can be saved and used for the next time we visit that site. This facilitates our use of that website and makes the experience more enjoyable. If we have to spend too much time looking for our username and password, we may experience frustration and associate it with the use of this website. In the future, we may avoid using the site.

What does it mean to send and receive cookies?

Cookies are sent by the browser to the server when an HTTP request starts. An HTTP request is when we enter and submit a URL or keywords into the browser address bar. The request itself sends no personal information. When Cookies are sent along with the request, they edit, personalize, and control the information that is sent back to the user.

What are the advantages of using PHP?

  • It runs on various types of operating systems. It’s compatible with most servers.
  • It supports many different databases.
  • It is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side.
  • It’s free. You can download it from www.php.net.

Business Email Forwarding & Sending

Business Email Forwarding & Sending

One of the first things I had to learn to do as a web developer was to configure email forwarding and sending for myself and my clients. As business owners, we may want to be able to send an email from our personal accounts under our alias business email. We also may want our business emails to be forwarded to our personal email account. Below is the workflow process to achieve this:

Configure your Mail Client

Use your personal Mail Client (e.g. Mail on a Mac or Outlook on a PC) to send email under your alias business email address to clients. When completed, you will be able to select your business email address from the dropdown list in the “From” field of a new email:

  1. Create an email on SiteGround or your web hosting service
    • C-panel > Email > Accounts
    • Generate Password and save that
  2. Forward business email account to personal email account
    • C-panel > Forwarders
    • Fill in new business email account and personal email address to be forwarded
    • Select CREATE button
  3. Configure personal email account to be able to send emails from it under business alias
    • If no personal Mail Client go to “Configure your Gmail Account Online”
    • C-panel > Accounts
    • Main page > bottom > Manage Email Accounts > Actions
    • Click on three vertical dots
    • Select Mail Configuration
    • Select Autoconfigure (if not selected)
    • Mail Client dialog box > your email service for Mac or Windows, Microsoft
    • Select CREATE button
    • Select SAVE in the dialog box that pops up
    • In the Profiles dialog box that pops up, select Continue button
    • Follow any other directions
  4. Test if it worked
    • Open email
    • Create a new email to send
    • From drop-down menu > select your business email address
    • To: choose your personal email address or someone’s email who can receive your email and confirm it
    • Type “Test” in the subject line and “This is a test.” in the body of the email.
    • Send the email.
    • Was the email received from the business email address?

Configure your Gmail account Online

If you don’t have a mail client on your computer (e.g. Mail on a Mac or Outlook on a PC), you can use your online Gmail account to send an email under your alias business email address to clients. To configure this, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your Gmail or email online.
  2. Go to Settings (gear icon) > Accounts and Import on the top ribbon > Send Mail as: (body of the page) > Click “Add another email address” (in blue).
  3. A yellow dialog box pops up. Your name automatically propagates. For email address, type in your business email address (yourname@mysite.com). Select the “Next Step.”
  4. In the SMTP Server box, enter your URL: (mysite.com).
  5. Username, enter your business email address (yourname@mysite.com).
  6. Password, enter your generated email password from SiteGround.
  7. Port: 465
  8. Radio button: Secured connection using TLS or SSL (recommended)
  9. Select “Add Account” button.
  10. To validate this action, Gmail will send you an email at the business email you just added.
  11. Go to your email on SiteGround and click on the three vertical dots next to your email account (bottom of the page).
  12. Select Webmail. Your email account will open in a new window. There should be an email from Gmail with the link to verify. Click on it and that will validate.
  13. Send an email from Gmail, choosing your business email address from the dropdown list in “From”, to your personal email address to check if it works, or send it to someone you know who will reply, to check if you receive it via your business account.

Note: It took 12-24 hours after doing these steps for the confirmation email to be sent and received and for this to work. So expect to wait that long.

Starting My Own Business

Starting My Own Business

I’ve recently started my own business. Here are the steps I’ve had to take:

  • Identify my product/service
  • Identify my target clients
  • Create a brand with name, logo, colors, style
  • Design brand items with Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
  • Take photos, photoshop, and design background
  • Add photo and design to social media sites
  • Design website home page and other pages for website: Services, Portfolio, About, Blog
  • Translate design into code so it displays as desired in most browsers and screen sizes
  • Domain name
  • Hosting Service
  • Software Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, Grammarly, Visual Code, FileZilla, MAMP, CodeKit, WordPress
  • Register my business with my state
  • Register my business name with my state
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes
  • Track Income and Expenses (i.e. QuickBooks)
  • Forward business email to personal email
  • Create business alias in mail client to send business email from personal email

Learning how to do each of the above steps has taken me about eight months. I’ve kept field notes of my journey so I am now able to do them for my clients in much less time. I have repeated some of the steps at least three times so far – once for my own business and once for two other clients. The more I repeat the steps, the more proficient I will become in the process. The quality of my work may increase somewhat, but what will be most impacted is the time it takes me to complete them. So right now, I believe I can provide the same quality of work for my clients as I would in two years. The only difference is that it will take me more time to complete it.

Another factor that will improve over time is my ability to provide “wow-factor” items. Right now I can provide a solid, functional, and attractively designed website. But as I become familiar with little cool additions, I will be able to provide those as well. That said, I can provide my clients with any digital design they want. The only thing that stands between now and my delivering the desired product or service is time.

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

I’m pretty sure I’m already grown up. That said, I’m always learning and growing. What I hope to become in the next five years is an expert web designer/developer.

This is how I plan on obtaining that goal:

  • Learn WordPress
  • Create my Website in WordPress
  • Create CAPE Website in WordPress
  • Create Savage Automation Website in WordPress
  • Get an entry-level job or internship as a web designer/developer
  • Do websites and other designs for small businesses on the side
  • Learn Adobe Premiere, InDesign, XD, and AfterEffects
  • Learn JavaScript

Where am I at now?

I am presently on my first Module in WordPress DMDC 2820. After this class, I will begin JavaScript. I could create websites for CAPE and Savage Automation now, but I’d like to wait until I know WordPress. I have recently submitted five applications for job postings on UpWork and Indeed. I plan on submitting one or two a week until I am hired. I have started a business called Zade Balance. The website is online. As soon as I have time and feel confident enough to start, I will begin social media advertisements. I hope to learn the other Adobe apps and Javascript simultaneous to my first job.

I will update this post as I make further progress.

Change the World

If I could change one thing about the world, it would be to take down the walls that people have put up against knowing who Jesus Christ is and what he has to do with each person. I believe most of these walls have been put up because of prejudices and misconceptions. If we actually knew that he knows exactly who each of us is, what challenges we’ve been given in our lives, and what we want, I think we would be more interested in doing what it takes to get to know him better. He wants to help us overcome our obstacles and obtain our desires. He has the power to help us do it. His one rule is that we have to do it in his way. We will get what we desire. That is the promise. We will obtain Sustainable Joy. We will have no complaints. We will be astonishingly and eternally happy. We just have to be willing to do things in his way. And we need to understand that his way is his way because he gives this promise to everyone. There are certain rules that need to be followed so that the obtainment of our joy isn’t about squashing other people’s joy.

I’m not saying we will have eternal peace alone. I’m saying we will have eternal joy. I’m not talking about sitting on a cloud all day or even on a sandy beach. Eventually, we’d get bored and look for something more to do. I’m talking about developing compatible relationships in marriage, family, and community that return sustainable joy. I’m talking about doing what we love to do and having success, productivity, and prosperity forever. And I’m talking about learning new interests, growing, and becoming at a rate that is amazingly fun! I’m not saying this will be easy. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. The success will be out of this world.

I think if people knew that this was Jesus Christ’s plan and that this is his way of governing, more people would do what it takes to develop a personal relationship with him. With more people understanding how to tap into this unbelievable resource, there would be more people living in Sustainable Joy. And with that, the world would be a much better place.