37 ways to mess up a PayPal scam

Security & Privacy, Tips & Tricks

Night at Hellsö marinaI have a boat for sale. The sea is still one of my big passions, but I simply have too little time to use it. So I decided to let it go. I will buy a bigger one later, when and if I have more time. It’s still winter in Finland and all the small boats are on dry land covered by snow. But spring is approaching and the boating fever is spreading. It’s the right time to publish an ad on the net.

Soon I get a mail from a nice young lady. Let’s call her Mrs. Witney De Villiers, as that is what he or she called herself. (Probably a randomly picked false identity, any similarity to real existing persons is purely coincidental.) She was very keen on buying my boat and we had a nice conversation over a couple of days. I did unfortunately not sell the boat, but I got a nice story to tell instead. I will not bother you with all the details, so here’s a shortened version with all the important parts included.

– Hi, I’m in Mexico and I want to buy your boat. How long have you had it? What’s the final price? (Well, I’m in Finland and this is the point where I became more or less convinced that it is a scam.)
– I have had it for five years.
– OK, the price is fine. I want to buy it. Please take down the ad. What’s your PayPal account info so that I can make a payment? I’ll cover the PayPal charges. (Needless to say, the ad remained up.)
– Good news. I can accept wire-transfer which would be a lot cheaper for you than PayPal. (She can’t accept if this is a traditional PayPal scam.)
– Sorry, but I can’t do wire-transfers now. I only have access to PayPal because bla bla blaa …. (Yes, another scam-indicator.)
– OK, I created a PayPal account. Here’s the account info. But there’s some paperwork we need to handle before we proceed. Please fill in the buyer’s part of this attached contract and mail a scanned copy to me. I also need a picture of your photo ID. (The provided PayPal account info was false.)
– Great! I have made the payment. “Check your mail as there should be a confirmation mail from PayPal. I made an extra payment of 3650 € and I’am sure you noticed that, you’ll have to send the extra amount to the Shipping Company through Western Union right away, so that they can come ahead for the pick up and also you should send your address where they have to come for the pick up and also the necessary Western Union Payment Information.” (All the key elements in this very traditional scam becomes visible at this point. This is where you should realize what’s the name of the game, if you haven’t figured it out already. A faked mail from “PayPal” appears in my spam folder.)
– Hold your horses. We need to do the paperwork first. See my previous mail.
– “I want you to know that I have made an arrangement for you to receive the copy of my ID and my other necessary data for the boat. I want you to know that the courier representative coming over for the pick up has all he said documents in an enclosed confidential envelope with him which he will deliver to you in person.”
– Well, we really need to close the deal and have a legally binding agreement before we can arrange for transportation.
– “I understand your concern and certify that all sales is final. Your show of concern has given me a very good fact that you are indeed an honest seller hence, the reason why I am using this medium to confirm to you that all sales is final and I am satisfied with the present condition of the Boat.. so you can now proceed with the western union and get back to the paypal with the western union scan receipt so they can release all the fund into your account immediately..More so, send me a copy of the western union receipt… i look forward to read from you…” (Contract and passport files attached. Oh gosh what a poorly faked British passport!!!)
– Thanks, but you forgot to sign the contract.
– “Oh sorry, I write my name as the signature.. i hope to receive a copy of western union receipt from you today…” (That “signature” was typed, not handwritten.)
– Just want to let you know that I need the SIGNED contract before 3 PM. Otherwise I will not have time to go to the bank. And I’m traveling tomorrow so I will be unable to handle transactions. (To create urgency is a common scammer tactic. 😉 )
– “Have signed on the contract.. i wait to read from you with the western union receipt..” (Printed, handwritten and scanned this time. It’s 4 AM in Mexico when this part of the conversation takes place.)
– WTF!!! The bank refused the transaction. The recipient is on some kind of international blacklist, apparently suspected for criminal activities. (Well, I wasn’t completely honest here.)
– “How about you go there and split up the money in to 2 and send on two transaction.”
– I’m certainly NOT going to send any money to a blacklisted company!
– “here is another shipping company info [another private person in US] I wait your story again” (We enter the threatening phase. A while later a mail appears in my spam folder. “PayPal” will take “LEGALACTION” and hand me over to FBI if I don’t pay in 24 h.)
– What are those clowns at PayPal up to now? They talk about some legal action against me even if I haven’t entered into any legally binding agreement to transfer money. Do you have any clue, or maybe I should contact PayPal directly and ask what they think they are doing? (Let’s see how/if they react. Contacting PayPal would reveal the scam instantly.)

Next I got a long mail pointing out how honest this lady is and how keen she is to do business with nice and honest sellers like me. But she can’t unfortunately do anything about the PayPal actions as the purpose of all that is to protect both the seller and buyer. She points out that even a smaller sum would be enough to release the payment into my PayPal account (ok, we are in the bargaining phase). At this point I decided that this blog post is becoming far too long and chose to not respond at all. She didn’t get back to me either. They probably realized that they are not going to get 3650 € from me and gave up.

As you have noticed, I became wary at a pretty early stage. There were several details in this conversation that made me suspicious. 37 to be more precise:

  1. The boat is of a local brand made for the Finnish market and totally unknown pretty much everywhere else. Why did she want this particular brand and model? Boats are also different in Mexico and Finland. My boat would be a real oddity over there.
  2. The boat is far too cheap to make it feasible to ship across the Atlantic.
  3. Smaller boats are inexpensive and widely available in the US. Buying one from Europe would be madness even if shipping was free.
  4. Buyer showed very little interest in the object. A 10 years old boat is not a bulk item. Every such boat has a soul of its own. One would be mad to buy without seeing it.
  5. Only one question was asked about the price. And it was no problem to proceed even if I ignored that question. Well, price doesn’t matter if you have no intention to pay.
  6. The buyer paid a lot more interest in the payment process than in the object of the deal.
  7. The buyer was extremely keen to pay and close the deal, but not to make any official papers that would prove her ownership. It should really be the buyer who cares about the papers and the seller who cares about payment, and not the other way around.
  8. Messages in the beginning of the conversation were very generic boilerplates. They were designed to work for any kind of goods. It doesn’t sound very convincing when selling a boat and the other part insists on talking about “the merchandise”.
  9. No other method of payment worked except PayPal. Naturally, as their scamming technique is based on PayPal.
  10. I’m supposed to make a payment to a courier company, which indeed do exist. The address to receive the payment has however nothing to do with that company. Both courier companies seem to use private persons in US as their billing contacts. Strange.
  11. A common tactic throughout the conversation was to ignore questions and requests that were not part of the script. They were addressed only if they stalled the process.
  12. The buyer had no problem “sending the money” even if the provided PayPal account was false. “PayPal” also had no problem sending mails to this non-existing account holder.
  13. The scam includes sending a fake message from PayPal stating that the money is on hold until the shipping agent has been paid. This fake is obvious if you know how PayPal works or know how to check the sender’s true mail address.
  14. The whole scenario match the very common scam where the victim is lured to pay money to someone and is promised more money later. The Nigerian scams belong to the same group and use a logic that is quite similar.
  15. At one point they claim to be satisfied with the present condition of the boat. They have made no attempt to find out in what condition the boat is.
  16. This Mrs. Witney De Villiers seems to be a true cosmopolitan. She is using an address and phone number in Mexico for this deal but her passport is British. At one point she also mentioned a phone number located in the British Virgin Islands. A Google search revealed that young ladies with an identical picture are living in at least two different places in US, but are using different names.
  17. If the husband of Mrs. De Villiers is still around, then he should do some Googling too. Seems like at least two dating sites have profiles with the photo of his wife.
  18. If you look European and hold a British passport, one could assume that you know English. But I guess that means nothing, people are so sloppy with grammars nowadays …
  19. And the passport. Oh gosh! Where should I start? The name has apparently been replaced, very bluntly, I might add. The first thing that strikes the eye is that the new name is in a different font than the rest of the passport. The font isn’t even close. But they did at least get the color right. All text is black. That’s an achievement considering their overall Photoshop skills!
  20. The background behind the replaced name does not have surface structure that is coherent with the rest of the passport.
  21. They didn’t apparently know how to scale pictures in Photoshop as the passport’s photo is smaller than the place reserved for it. (The photo of “Mrs. De Villiers” can be found on the net with more than sufficient resolution to fill the whole space.)
  22. The empty space around the passport’s too small photo is very badly cloned.
  23. If replacing part of a text line, make sure the new text is vertically aligned with the old text. It looks funny otherwise. Using the same text size also helps. And yes, I mentioned the font already.
  24. The passport’s signature is readable. But wait a minute! It reads Gabriella B and not Witney De Villiers!
  25. The embedded metadata in the passport’s picture file reveals that it isn’t saved by a camera’s firmware. The file comes from Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Windows.
  26. The content of the optically readable bottom lines do not match the standard for passports.
  27. Got a contract with a typed signature instead of handwriting. The habit to handwrite signatures should be fairly well known globally.
  28. When I finally got a signed contract, the signature bears no similarity to the signature in the passport, even if both are supposed to be signed by the same person. They didn’t even try to mimic he signature in the passport.
  29. The signed contract seemed to be scanned with a Konica Minolta multifunction device. “Mrs. De Villiers” mentioned however earlier that one of the reasons why she couldn’t do wire transfers was that she was out boating. Well, she could of course be cruising with a well-equipped boat, but buying mine would be a big step down in that case.
  30.  “Mrs. De Villiers” is very keen to get the receipt of the transport agency payment herself. The faked mails from “PayPal” do however clearly state that it is PayPal who need the receipt to clear the transaction, and not the buyer.
  31. This young lady in Mexico seems to have unusual working hours or staff that works shifts to answer her mail. Replies are received promptly throughout the European working hours.
  32. When the payment is delayed they start to threaten the victim. “PayPal” claims that legal actions will be taken if the payment isn’t made, and the seller hasn’t fulfilled that part of the “agreement”. Interesting in a situation where the seller hasn’t made any legally binding commitments to relay money.
  33. When they enter the threatening phase, they try to use FBI to scare the victim. Finland is not part of the US, which the scammer may or may not know. Looking up the name of the local police, or even using Europol, could have increased the scare-factor. They do mention the “World Law Enforcement Agency”, but selecting an existing agency might have been more effective.
  34. The first threat mail arrive less than 48 h after the initial notification that “PayPal” has a pending transaction. No previous mails do however contain any information about a deadline for the payment or anything about legal consequences if no payment is made.
  35. At one point she started bargaining and suggested that I should send at least some money ASAP and the rest when I have got the money on my account. 20 minutes later I receive a mail form “PayPal” that clearly states that the full 3650 € must be paid before the funds are released. There were many more discrepancies between the messages from “Mrs. De Villiers” and “PayPal” even if both came from the same source.
  36. When the bargaining starts, she mentions that I can pay a smaller part first if I’m short on cash and need to borrow money. Well, a couple of days ago I claimed that I had tried to transfer the whole sum, so it should be clear that I have the money.
  37. Some of their boilerplates seem to have been in use for many years. Googling key phrases will reveal the scam immediately and point to discussions and warnings that are several years old.
Fake passport. Some parts blurred to protect victims of identity theft.
Fake passport. Some parts blurred to protect victims of identity theft.

Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it! The scam is so obvious when presented in this way. And forcing the scammer out of the ready-made script makes the act crack up even more. But the sad fact is that people are lured by these guys daily. A lot of this seems to be done in volume so they must be dealing with a significant number of victims every day. Their way to do business very quickly and easily may seem feasible for smaller bulk items, and may not ring the alarm bells in the same way as when dealing with bigger items. Big or small item, it’s always a good idea to take a critical look at the whole case and look for discrepancies like this. Many of the points listed above are on their own enough to spot the scam. Also make sure that they can’t orchestrate the show on their own. Think about what you need to be able to trust the other part, and be persistent about getting what you want. Reluctance to comply is a pretty strong sign that something is fishy.

The core point for anyone who runs into cases like this is however to understand how the scam works. That’s the key to recognizing it in practice. You are promised money but something must be paid before the transaction can be completed. Sounds familiar? Yes, this is basically the same scenario as in the Nigerian scams. The core of the scam is that the money you are to receive is just a promise, but the money you transfer to someone else is real. The PayPal-based scams may be somewhat more effective as many people trust PayPal. It’s not an official bank, but many people think of it as a bank. You may believe that this trusted party is holding the money and securing the transaction. In reality, all you have got is a faked mail. There is no PayPal transaction and the promised money is just numbers written in the mail.

If you fall for the scam and pay, the scammers will vanish like smoke in thin air. PayPal can’t help you as this has nothing with them to do. The scammers have just misused PayPal’s name. And the payment method used to collect your money is always irreversible and provides no security for the sender.

So to summarize. If you ever consider engaging in a transaction with strangers and where money is relayed through you, you should:

  • Validate the reasons for the transaction. Most proposals of this kind are scams.
  • Make sure that you really know who you are dealing with. Demand proof of identity.
  • Make sure that the money is under your own control before making any payments to others. Cash or a deposit in your own account is pretty safe. (Added: See the comments below for an issue with this.)
  • Make sure that you are not engaging in money laundering.

What really strikes me is how poorly this false buyer’s role is created. Some simple Google searches is all it takes to reveal the scam. And many discrepancies would have been so easy to fix. Are these guys really “America’s dumbest criminals”?

Maybe, maybe not. The point is probably that you need to be suspicious before you turn to Google. And once there you will find descriptions of this type of scam no matter how well the scammers have tried to eliminate discrepancies in their story. So once you get suspicious, it’s game over for the scammers anyway. The most profitable tactic for them is maybe to run the scam en masse without caring about the details, and just harvest those who won’t get suspicious until it’s too late. Or maybe they’re just stupid and can’t do any better? (Believing that anyone would fall for that fake passport would indicate the latter.)

Well, the boat is still for sale. Anyone interested?

Safe surfing,
Micke

Message from "PayPal". Note the sender's address and the scam warning. The warning is actually authentic and copied from real PayPal messages. This may be good advice against phishers, who just know the mail address but not the victims real name. All "PayPal" mails in this case had the correct name in the beginning.
Message from “PayPal”. Note the sender’s address and the scam warning. The warning is actually authentic and copied from real PayPal messages. This may be good advice against phishers, who just know the mail address but not the victims real name. All “PayPal” mails in this case had the correct name in the beginning.

93 Comments

This SCAM has taken a new twist. I posted an ad to craigslist and made my email address anonymous, but gave my cell phone number for contact info. Sure enough in the form of text messages, this exact same SCAM began to take form. So, I called the number from which the text messages came and it’s a “Google Voice” number. I cut it quick because I have nearly been burned before on a rental property (tried cashing the fake money orders at a check cashing store and got a nice interview w/ the local police dept. fraud division). So, I simply informed the, would be, buyer that I had a paypal account and I would send a payment request. When the payment cleared and I had cash in my hand, then and only then, would I release my RV to any shipping agent, to be received by a person whom I’ve never met and has never seen the RV, which she is buying. I haven’t heard back. No surprise.

Similar story here. Craigs List ad for a car in Canada with a California number texting me the same day. Cars are 30% cheaper in the US so that was a huge red flag, on top of the distance, courier fees etc. I just called him out after the second text – How will you be paying? – paypal only. I told him I sold it already to a Nigerian prince who sent me extra money to return. No further word from him!!

I also had a room for rent and the exact thing happened to me when I tried to cash the money order. The local PD showed up while the cashier stall on the “Check Verification”. I had a nice hour long conversation w/ the “Boys in “blue” (actually Black in Miami). After that learning lesson, I figured out how the verify the money orders. I just called the Bank on the check and asked them to verify them. Since I was a little pissed about the attempt to scam me and the visit w/ the Police, I continued to collect checks from the Fraudsters until I had about $80k in counterfeit checks.Of course the “scammers” made all sorts of threats to call the FBI and other authorities, of which I welcomed.Of course nothing ever happened except a few nasty emails.Other than wasting these Fraudsters time and I hope their eagerness and anticipation, I never really figured out how to get back at them. If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to play again and hopefully catch these A**Holes.

I just received the same text message asking for pay pal info to a add I posted to Craig’s list. After messing with them for awhile I replied to the person and said I don’t appreciated scams. I got no further replies. Said they were from Texas and I am in Kansas.

-Makes a person mad…

We got a similar response to our ad on kijiji except this one came as a text asking me to contact his dad who would buy this vehicle and have it shipped to Poland! Thought that was an odd arrangement so I googled PAYPAL scams and the conversation is now over!

ouh yeah, i am selling a car, and he yesterday written me, asked about the lowest price too..
today he write about pick up company and PayPal and extra pay, yes, he seems suspicious, so i used google and here we go, thank you ! 😉

Glad to hear that you spotted the scam and managed to avoid it. 🙂 Spread the word and make more people aware of this threat. That’s the most effective way to fight it.

I just had the EXACT same thing happen when selling my laptop on a local classifieds site. I picked up on it when the email wasn’t really from paypal and the fact my paypal account remained empty. Then the threatening email to go to the FBI, Online Fraud Comission, and Australian Police… Initially it wasn’t clear it was over this so I was like what the hell… went up and saw the fake email address and i just laughed. sent all the emails to paypal along with email addresses etc.
thought i’d google it to see how common this is and found this page.
I wonder how many people this actually works on 😦

Wow, this scammer has reached a new low. my husband has a motorcycle for sale on CL and a guy texted him saying that he is asking info for a friend (which already had my husbands alarm bells going off, but I thought maybe its for a guy who doesn’t really text-like my dad). so then after asking a few questions about the bike he gives my husband an email address to contact the buyer. the buyer says that he is in the military and is out of the country (he also uses the wrong rank, wrong spelling of rank and doesn’t write in correct English.) he says that he is buying the motorcycle for his son for his 21st birthday. he writes convoluted details and my husband ask him for some info about where he is stationed and where he wants the motorcycle to go. my husband just figured that this person was faking being in the military and he thought it was a case of just stolen valor or something. there was a picture in the CL email of the buyer so I did a reverse search (thank you Catfish) and found that the buyer died in 2004 in Iraq from an IED. sickening that someone can use a picture of a dead soldier for scams

> Make sure that the money is under your own control before making any payments to others. Cash or a deposit in your own account is pretty safe.

A small correction to this. If you cash a false cheque you may get the money, but the bank may later demand it back when the clearing cycle fails. So be extremely careful if you are paid by cheque.

With reference to the PayPal scams doing their rounds…..
I suspect that i have been contacted by the very same “PayPal scamming sindicate” about my Quad Bike which i have advertised on a SA website named “Junkmail”. The scammer uses an e-mail address: will_ann@rediffmail.com and claims to be staying in the USA. However upon receiving the very first e-mail from this person named Ann Williamson, i did a bit of “cyber” – investigation and have found that these e-mails are coming from a city by the name of Maharashtra (India, Mumbai)…
This person contacted me 2 days earlier, claiming to be very interested about the Bike i am selling, not very concerned about the price or condition, but much rather concerned about getting my PayPal account info and PayPal e-mail address (why an e-mail address…. i do not know) so that she could make the payment because the bike would make a perfect Birthday gift for her parents whom is staying in her house here in South Africa !! The rest of the story…. well, you know it.
I then decided to “toy around” with this person by sending a couple of e-mails back and forth and asking a lot of uninformed questions about how paypal works and if it is safe and so on and so on……. Then the responses stopped.
Yesterday i received another enquiry / reply regarding the bike for sale…. the very same scammer seems to have a short term memory loss ! Hahahaha….
This time i decided to confront the scammer and in reply to his e-mail gave hime a step by step reply on how his scam works AND i gave him exact feedabck on his wherabouts ! I could gather from his reply that he was very startled and the proper English from his previous e-mails turned into “slang” and abreviations which are commonly used by teens who use mix-it and chat rooms !
Since i have dealt with suspicious scam / phishing e-mails in the past due to unsolicited offers i have received from “unknown” e-mail users I have discovered a very useful website whereby you can actually track from where the e-mail user’s e-mail was sent by tracking the IP address…. however, it does not give you the exact wherabouts in terms of physicall address but gives you a proper summary of the country, city / region and which ISP (Internet service provider) this person is using. If you have the scammers ISP detail you can contact them and obtain the account users’ information such as contact details etc.
Well needless to say the e-mail enquiries has stopped now….and i think this scammer has realised…. IF YOU F**K WITH THE BULL, YOU WILL GET THE HORNS !

I’m currently being scammed. It all went down much like you outlined here. I gave the the local FBI office address for them to send their check to. FedEx has confirmed delivery to the FBI with the tracking number the scammer provided. Now I’m being pressured to wire them the over payment. I’m just playing with them to see how long they will hang in there before giving up. At some point I’ll tell the scammers they have been scamed and the FBI has their check.

Some aftermath,
PayPal has an address named spoof@paypal.com and they want to get a copy of fake PayPal messages. I had a pile of them so I sent a copy of each. Six days later I received a reply:

Hello,
Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You're right - it was a phishing attempt, and we're working on stopping the fraud. By reporting the problem, you've made a difference!
Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn more about online safety, click "Security Center" on any PayPal webpage.

Hey, that was a scam, not a phishing attempt! A phishing attempt is what they describe in the reply and an overpayment scam is something totally different. So I replied:

Great,
One correction. The mails I sent you are related to an overpayment scam. They are not phishing mails.

Now it took 7 days before they replied. And guess what:

Hello,
Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You're right - it was a phishing attempt, and we're working on stopping the fraud. By reporting the problem, you've made a difference!
Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn more about online safety, click "Security Center" on any PayPal webpage.

Ok, I give up. Good that they are working on it. I just wonder how big their chances are to actually stop the fraud if they don’t know the difference between phishing and overpayment scamming. Even when you point it out to them.
I also wonder how they are processing these mails? This smells automated reply. But they need more CPU and RAM badly if it takes about a week to autoreply to mails. I really don’t know what’s going on here.
Anyway, this reminds me of an old joke. One of the bank robbers to the other: I have good and bad news. The agents are after us, but it is the PayPal agents. 🙂

Thanks for this. I have had a pontoon on Craig’s list and someone tried to run a scam on me today. I knew right away something wasn’t right. You should never have to put money up front and get reimbursed . This was using western union and PayPal . I received a bunch of emails in my junk folder about this guy being trust worthy and verified.
Are people stupid? if you are selling an item you should be the one receiving the money NEVER giving it away!!!!!! I’m gonna send Paypal these emails, thanks for the link.

Greetings,
I recently experienced a bait and switch operation by two Chinese companies whose names are referenced by many company listing sites (Chinese) on the www. On each website it is stated PayPal is accepted. One website has a very high content volume and has credit card and PayPal logo’s. When it comes down to make a purchase they inform you they want the funds by TT payment and finally admit the company does not have any relationship with PayPal or credit card company. The possible scam here is to get you to make a TT to a bank account their own personal account. If I played it out all the way I have that sense on that is what it was leading to. One companies salesperson told to me to TT payment to their email address!. .

Hi,

I wonder, why Ms De villiers is so keen on boats; I too was selling my boat using the http://www.nettivene.fi web site, got the same (kind) of relpy than Micke did. I think they must have placed agent (HaHa) to nettivene, the first contact was: “Am interested in buying.How long have you owned it?? what’s your lowest price for it?”.

I sold my boat without considering her as a buyer candiate, and after sending boat sold -information to her, she replied: “Thanks for providing me with more information about the merchandise, I am Witney Devilliers from Maxico,Am really interested to buy the merchandise, I can confirm to you that i’m completely satisfied with cost…”. She did not take NO for an answer…

Thanks for replying. I guess they just pick some marketplaces for monitoring, and attack any seller that turns up. Doesn’t matter what kind of stuff you are selling. Your case is BTW interesting. It could indicate some kind of automated reply system. My replies where more ordinary and the (automated?) replies looked more plausible in my case.

Happened to me last night with my boat advertised on gumtree in the uk.Rang paypal for advice as it was way to dodgy to buy unseen. The email he was using was duecesbaby@btinternet.com, i informed paypal and gumtree who are aware of this email and i suppose thats all you can do.
Thanks for this feed it has really made me smile to see other savvy sellers.

I have a program that I have found works well in getting rid of the scammers/spam/other annoying email. It’s called Mailwasher and there is a free version.

Works with POP3 and Hotmail. Features programmable rules, server deletion of emails (useful versus mails with attachments, they never reach your computer), and a BOUNCE option that creates a bounce message. (“This email account does not exist.” etc.)

It isn’t my product. I have used it for years and I love it.

So it looks like some of the scammers from craigslist have made their way to facebook somehow so keep an eye out for text messages and PM’s from weird people and phone numbers – I don’t know the persons FB name but the phone # was 307-509-0124 He had to have gotten my information from FB because I hadn’t even listed these on Craigslist when he contacted me — Below is my conversation with him to give you an idea what one looks like… as you will see I couldn’t help but try and toy with him a little bit.
FWD:

(DumbShitScammer) – …still available for sale?? (3) Brand New and Like New iPhone 4’s For Sale – $250 (Sherrill)

(ME) Yes

(DumbShitScammer) – (1/2)Okay would you mind if i pay you $350 with shipping and handling fees to my son who just moved Down to west africa to finish his Art
(2/2)and Craft practical?let me know if you can help me out?

(ME) Yes I can help you out

(DumbShitScammer) – Okay do you have a paypal account??

(ME) I do but I generally don’t use it for things like this where do you live

(DumbShitScammer) – (1/3) Am From Sherrill, WI but am currently out of town at the moment and i don’t want any of my family member to know about this because i
(2/3)want this to get there a gift and surprise and so let me know if you have a PayPal account so that i can make the transfer to your
(3/3)account now

(ME) Why don’t you give me a call so we can take care of everything

(DumbShitScammer) – (1/3)I wish to give you a call at the first moment I texted you but I don’t have access to call at the moment that why I texted you so
(2/3)kindly let me have yóur paypal email address so that I can make
(3/3)the payment and you will get comfirmation mail about my payment in your email address inbox

(ME) You can send the money to PayPal & my email I can send to u momentarily
(ME) My email is smithj150@yahoo.com – if you could transfer the 350 I will ship the phone out as soon as I receive payment I would appreciate it if u can call when u get a minute tho

(DumbShitScammer) – Okay sounds great and i will let you know as soon as i send out the payment okay

(ME) When do u plan on sending it

(DumbShitScammer) – (1/2)Am planning on sending out the payment right now before i get to work so kindly keep your email address updated for the comfirmation
(2/2)mail about my payment okay

(DumbShitScammer) – Do you get that?

(ME) No not yet
(ME) Ok I got your email just have to wait for it to post in PayPal specifically and I will ship it right out to u

(DumbShitScammer) – (1/3)I just successfully sent out the payment Now so kindly check your Email address inbox\spam For the confirmation\notification Mail
(2/3)confirming you that the Payment has been sent and get back to me if you have gotten the mail so that i can send you my shipping address
(3/3)for shipment
(DumbShitScammer) – (1/2)last massage i received from PayPal is telling me that the money is on pending they need the shipment tracking number for verification
(2/2)in other for your money to reflect into your PayPal account

(ME) Oh for real …. Shit let me ship it right out to you then in that case … Do you want me to send you two iPhones I got extra to spare maybe you’d like a free one for yourself for bring such a quick payer and everything

(DumbShitScammer) – Here is the shipping address….Name;David Crag Address;43 Adedeji street City;Surulere Lagos country;Nigeria Zip code;23401

(ME) I live right next to the post office ill get right over there now … Do u want me to ship one to you too since this one is for your nephew

(DumbShitScammer) – Nope just kindly ship the Item i payed for and let me know as soon as you have it shipped out?

(ME) I can’t believe how generous u have been paying extra and everything do u have any friends that need phones

(ME) So tell me how long have you been trying to scam FBI agents for? Is this something you are new at and we just haven’t caught you yet or have you always known that you wanted to grow up to be some scamming Internet scum bag? I gotta tell you when you get out of prison you really should try to get into a new line of work because you FUCKIN SUCK at your work … You’ve gotta be the worst we have come along in quite some time your emails don’t come close to looking legitimate, they’re all wrong, Paypal has completely different practices from those you are trying to portray. On top of that you are so incredibly stupid that you can’t even fucking spell u dumb piece of shit! So once we have tracked your emails and now that we have all of your cellular information thanks to you being stupid enough to allow your voicemail to pick up, we’ll be seeing u soon douche bag. Can’t wait …. Maybe you should move to Nigeria because by the time we’re done with you your ASS is gonna be so hollowed out the Taliban could use it as a secret cave dwelling. DUMB MOTHERFUCKER! Lol

If it is at all helpful for you his phone number that was used to contact me is (307) 509-0124

I hope someone does something about this scum and can figure out any way at all to catch him.
Then after about 3 hours his friend the SGT MAJOR in the US ARMY contacted me and offered me $975!! I am gonna be so rich at this rate!! LOL

One telltale sign of a Nigerian scammer is their starting sentences with “Am…” instead of “I am…”

Micke, from the passport photo she looks kind of cute. Why didn’t you just meet her and take your boat out for a romantic evening? And of course throw her overboard.

One of my FAVORITE scams, because I had SO MUCH FUN messing with them, happened frequently here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. These vans would cruise the parking lots of stores guys would shop at, and then stop and ask if we’d like to buy a pair of speakers real cheap “because they were left behind on the loading dock/because we produced too many/because we couldn’t deliver them and my shift is over.”

“They’re $800 speakers but you can have them for $200.” I messed with these guys every time but one time was especially fun. I had some time to kill. I said “This is incredible. I’m opening a club next month and need about 8 speakers just like this. Do you have more?” The driver just about peed in his pants. (Somehow he’ll get more.)

I am an audiophile, so I know a lot of technical terms (and what some of them actually mean). I said, “We really need these to be loud without clipping. Do you know their efficiency rating? How about the total harmonic distortion?” After a moment of blank stare, he said “Look at these huge woofers. They’re loud, I guarantee it.” I allowed that, although it’s meaningless. “Well, what is the crossover frequency, and can these be bi-amped?” “Yes of course they can” he says not knowing a damn thing about what I’m talking about. I lead him on with several other foreign terms, keeping up my excitement of owning these babies. He’s practically unloading them from the van (hmmm…somehow he has 8 speakers in there. They were all left behind on the dock?) when I stop him and ask, “How much did you say these are worth?” “$200 but I’ll let you have all eight for $1500.” I said, “No, now how much are you trying to dump them for, but how much are they worth?” He said, “Like I said, $800, maybe $1000 each.” Then I said, “Any speaker for a club won’t hold up for a day if its list price is only $1000. It has to be at least $2500 per speaker, that would make these worth $20,000. And you’re giving them to me for $1500? Obviously you have no idea what clipping means, or harmonic distortion, or efficiency rating.” He’s starting to sweat. “And you say the woofers are big so they’re really loud? You are such an idiot. The size of the speakers means absolutely nothing. They could be 2 inches, probably like your dick, and sound better than these pieces of shit.” He’s getting pissed. I’m going on a bit more, but can hardly contain myself when he says “You mother fucker. You just wasted an hour of my time. You never meant to buy these in the first place. You just messed with me.” Duh. Like he doesn’t swindle people out of their money every single day. He drove off so mad, giving me the finger, it was priceless. And he probably sold another pair of “$800 speakers” within the next couple hours because he threw in terms like “clipping” and “dynamic range” and “total harmonic distortion” whatever that is.

So I have put my car up for sale and this guy called Steven Patrick emailed me straight away.
And to my excitement I responded immediately, it has been three days since we started talking
And so far he has my account (which I stupidly gave him). But as soon as I realised it was a scam I deleted the my account. Before doing this I made sure that my account history was $0.00
I emailed him saying that this deal can’t go further and he went on to say he had already sent the money to my account and that the money has been deducted from his account.(which freaks me out!!)
He continues on to say that he will contact the FBI etc and that obviously I need to give him the car now…
I am going to suspend my bank account for the following few days as soon as I can.
Can someone please give me some advice on what to do? And if I have been scammed and am liable to giving him a car or that I have “stolen” his money and not given him the car in return.

Relax. Knowing a account number is not alone enough to steal money from you. The scammer would need to know your login and password to PayPal or the on-line bank service too. This scam works by tricking *you* to make a wire-transfer, which you obviously are not going to do. You have no obligation whatsoever to sell the car or make that transfer. The talk about FBI etc. is just a scaring tactic with no legal ground. Just ignore them.

My family just went thru those scams and yes the warning is real story and be cautious about selling personal properties. “TOO GOOD TOO BE TRUE”. Better not to sell than sorry. As transaction is too good deal … fake pay pal acct, fake cashier check, fake cask.
the potential buyer would agree to have the money to be paid in the bank so the ownership doc can be notarized w/ in the bank or DMW

Yep, same thing in Finland may 25th 2013. A “man” that gave no telephone number or and an name that could not be tracked in Google tried to buy a boat made somewhere in the 1960’s with PayPal. A few bummers gave him away right in the start.

I have the same story. A British lady who is now working in the Bahamas wants to buy my two sofas to her son in London. A bit weird considering that I’m in Northern Sweden. She offered to pay the transport and so on. I am stupid and gave my paypal account email, address and phone number. This happened one hour ago. The only way to cut it off is to write back telling that I have already sold them and the deal is off, I think. Any advise? Please..

It is of course smarter to give as little personal info as possible to these criminals. But they should not be able to do any real harm with the info you have given them. Well, they could harass you by phone or mail, but that’s not the business of these guys. They earn more by spending that time on new victims. So just relax. Remember that the core of this scam is to trick you into making a payment. You are of no value to them as soon as you see through the scam.

Thanks Micke! I just reported their email address as phishing and I don’t think they will call me because that cost money and it is not for their benefit. Just in case, I switched my primary PayPal account to some other email address. Even if I barely use that PayPal account, still has info about my credit card. And no, I will never give my password of anything to anyone 😉

Never take Cash from the Buyer because the Cash can be COUNTERFEIT bill mixed w/ REAL bill.
Take payment as Cash and Cashier Check at the designated bank so the bank can validate them right before delivering the items to the Buyer. If the Buyer is a potential buyer they would NOT mind to be patient to go thru all the formal transactions since the transaction is not fishy (as we go to buy car from dealer, buy house, rent car, rent property, borrow $ from bank we were asked to have proper ID and sometimes verification of employment… those formal requests are usually getting denial from fishy buyer as they are scammers and they want to rob good people and they are not shameful, they can use their time to get a job and earn their own money instead search online for STEALING goods from others.

When dealing with Craig’s list scammers I tell them they are scammers, and I have turned them over to the big board alert system.

My dream is that an app is developed that will immediately track IP addresses and scam phone numbers to a specific location so that with one click we can forward the identifications to the FBI for an immediate sting and arrest! Scammers cast a broad net so inevitably if there were an app set up, a swarm of trigger taps from scam id-ers would bring attention an initiate an investigation! I deal with several scam seductions a month due to the frequent items I list and sell. Yes…cash payers are out there! I enjoyed reading everyone’d story here.

Sure that would help catch the scammers. But I can think of a bunch of side-effects that I don’t like. To implement that in a reliable way would require fundamental changes to the infrastructure and have a severe impact on privacy. I prefer a couple of scams now and then instead of Orwell’s Internet.

I’ve been toying with scammers for seven or eight years now and have amassed a good collection of trophy cheques made out to absurd names, but I’ve always ignored the paypal ones. Been thinking of getting into this amusement arena lately, but I had one question: what happens if I provide them someone else’s Paypal address, instead of my own? Obviously I’d never give them mine, but what happens if I give them, say, a person I dislike’s? Or is it safest just to make one up entirely?

thanks!

Hi. The PayPal address is like a user name. It’s enough if you want to send money, but you also need the password for that account if you want to take money. A criminal could make a more convincing phishing attack if he knows the PayPal ID, but otherwise it is of little to no use. But I still recommend fake IDs. First, it works fine as these guys just mention the ID in mails that are faked to look like they come from PayPal. And the owner of the real ID may have issues with you using it, even if there’s no concrete damage for him.

So my family is selling a truck, a very expensive truck. We’re contacted by some supposed U.S. Marine stationed at sea who’s buying the truck for his uncle. (That story makes me LOL). That story itself is ridiculous, but the thing that really got me was that he was willing to buy a $32,000 truck without even seeing it! Apparently the Marines are paid much better than I thought they were! The number this came from 214-785-8974, and I’ve already reported it to the FBI. The FBI needs to make a national registry of these scamming numbers.

I’m afraid a register of numbers would be of little use. First, you need to be suspicious before you check the number against the register. And if you are suspicious you can usually spot the scam anyway, like you did. Second, it’s easy for the scammers to use anonymous prepaid numbers that change often. Third, many of these scams operate purely by mail, no phone involved at all.

Same person just contacted me wanting to buy our truck for $18,500 – same phone number – glad I googled it. 214-785-8974

This is happening right now at our house….except we just cut off communication. Craigslist, desk, purchase as is, oops…now there is shipping costs…paypal….bad english grammar….hope these stupid criminals get caught soon! Great thing is, a real human called and wants to look at our desk …..:) Love real people!

After donating, this happened!
1. Do NOT donate to charities that use PayPal, even established, reputable ones.
2. Send a money order.
3. Check your bank accounts online at least every two days. WHY? No one has access to these accounts nor the Internet connection. A few years ago, someone stole debit card information to pay an $800 delinquent gas bill. The money was recovered. Just ten days ago, someone did the same thing again to buy computer equipment over $500 on eBay. When I saw the “pending transaction”, I contacted the bank fraud staff immediately, then PayPal. Again, a phony e-mail had been set up by a company we never heard of or used. That company was notified. The money was never paid out, nor was a “pending transaction” of $0 which could have been used I was told to wipe the account out. The name used was off somewhat from the account, so I cracked the bank’s knuckles about allowing pending transactions at al.
4. Be careful with paying by check too, because there is enough information for electronic checks to be used. Insist on thief prosecution!

could it be a scam? a buyer keep asking for paypal invoice before payment, Sent it so many times, he complen the link on the mail not clickable? too his email is not registered on paypal,can he still make payment?

Something glaringly obvious is if you get a text msg from a phone they obviously have phone service to call and talk to you too. I have managed to use this logic with the scammer and they actually did call me with very nice accents from afar. When I asked where are they they got real quiet then made up a distant location in the USA from where I am. Seattle Washington in this case. I said “oops you are too far away to walk in my front door with cash in hand!”. That was the end of that one.

Thanks to this website I was able to verify my gut feeling. The item at hand was a ship, worth over half a million Euro. To ensure it was a scam I gave complete bogus PayPal info, and sure enough I obtained a ‘paid, and added $4250 for shipping which you please repay’ message.

I played along, signing with different names after ‘regards’ – never noticed, changed item from ship to car – never noticed …

A real paypal scam with me :
After watching my product advertise on a B2B Portal, a guy contacted me on email stating that he want to buy it from me. he wanted delivery in UK while he was from Australia. I agreed and he paid $1400 to my Paypal Address. I dispatched product in UK and it was delivered successfully after 15 days. Meanwhile i withdrew amount from Paypal to my bank account, my paypal balance was ZERO . after few days he raised a dispute on paypal stating that – Product is not received.

I was not aware of paypal rules so i dispatched product at a shipping address other than his Paypal registered address, and i had no proof of delivery So paypal closed case in his favor, debited my paypal account with $1400 , it shows Nagative Balance now.

it has been almost 4 months now, paypal is sending me emails to bring my account balance to Zero. i am not going to pay back to paypal. I live in India where i think paypal has no any option to recover money from me. Please advice me , can paypal recover money from India ?

Sorry for the late reply, back from vacation now.

What you describe is a different kind of scam that is also well known and documented by PayPal. In short, never deliver to any other address than the buyer’s registered address on PayPal. When it comes to PayPal’s ability to recover the money from India, I have no clue. One idea might be to ask on discussion forums in India. Maybe someone else has a similar experience.

Have just been hit with a very authentic PayPal email stating I’d authorised a AU$86.00 to an eBay account. It further stated that should I have reason to question this transaction then to use the form attached to contact “paypal”. The attachment asks you to sign in which of course I didn’t instead I forwarded to spoof@paypal.com where they confirmed it as phishing.
Thought it worth publicising this scam as it is quite smart and very realistic right down to the from address showing as “service@paypal.com”.

Yes, sounds like phishing. But PayPal confirming it as phishing means nothing. See my comment above about my conversation with them.

A real nice “disabled Deacon in NJ” tried this one one me through craigs list too same paypal info you have above. I smelt that loser within the first couple texts. I called him in the number it was coming from got the same as above. This dude wanted me to send$600. to his shipper. The item I was selling was only $35. to ship overnight to NJ and little that he knew that the address for drop off is 1 1/2 hours from my location. When, I TOLD HIM THAT I WILL SAVE HIM MONEY AND DRIVE IT TO HIM, HE CUT ALL CONTACT. Later on that day I posted the ad again the same “douche bag” starts the same thing all over again. Come on! I just gave all the info and texts to my local State Police and let them deal with it. Hate people like that.

Here’s one from an ad i placed on a car site, they did not message me on the site, but to my email, i totally believe this to be a scam. the first is their first email to me, then my response, then their second email to me. i smell a scam! 😀

1989 mustang GT 5-speed, 1 owner, original

Hello, I just came across your AD and I’ll like to know the following questions regarding the car…
Q#1. How long have you owned the car?
Q#2. a) Have you owned the car from new?
b) If not how many previous owners?
Q#3. Why are you selling the car?
Q#4. In your opinion, what sort of condition is the car in?
Q#5. Any more available pictures of the car?
Q#6. How much is the lowest price you would take for the car?
Q#7. Do you accept PayPal as a mode of payment?
I’ll like to have the response to these questions as soon as possible…
Thank you, Regards
Ethan Mascarenhas

-my response-
Hi Ethan,
1. I’ve only owned the car a few weeks, i bought it from my high school teacher who bought it new in ’89 [2 years after i graduated], he showed up at car show with it new in ’89. That was the first time i ever saw it. He contacted me a couple weeks ago and wanted to know if i knew anyone interested in it. i was amazed he still had it, so i told him i was interested, i went and saw it and immediately bought it as you rarely see one this nice and completely unmolested…completely stock as it came from Ford.
2. i am now the 2nd owner.
3. only reason i’m selling it is to fund another project, i just couldn’t pass up this car once i saw it. though, honestly, the more i drive it, i’m really beginning to like it even more, but main fact is, i have another project that the sale of this car will help fund.
4. my opinion of the car’s condition is excellent. [ mint, being like brand new,] this one i’d rate as excellent. it has minor stone chips on the front ground effects, and minor ‘touch up’ that he had done where his keys scratched around the door handle over the years, very hard to see, but i can tell it had been done, but overall, the paint is an 8 out of 10 for a 25 year old car. interior is what i’d rate as near mint. totally perfect, even the carpet shows little to no wear. everything works [the air needs recharged], but all functions. i have seen many of these over the years, and they have been beat to hell, cut up, things added and taken off, and simply worn out, this car is none of that, it’s completely just as it was from the factory, clean and strong and well maintained.
5. i can take and send more pics if you’d like if you are a serious buyer, just left me know.
6. my asking price is fairly firm, i have a little wiggle room, but i think 7500$ would let you drive it home today.
7. cash is king with me, if paid by check, the car stays with me until the check clears, i’ve never been paid via pay pal, i have bought via pay pal. but i’d prefer cash.

i hope this answers your questions, if you have anymore, let me know, i’ll be glad to answer them.
-Adam

-their second email to me, notice no interest on any info on the car…just the paypal request.-

Thank you for your response, I am an oceanographer and I am currently on sea at the moment. I am buying the car as a surprise gift for my son because his birthday is close. He won’t know anything about it until it gets delivered to him on his birthday. I can only pay through PayPal as I don’t have access to my bank account online/internet banking, but I have my bank account attached to my PayPal account and this is why I insisted on paying you through PayPal. So please get back to me with your PayPal email address and phone number so I can proceed with the payment and after I have made the payment, I have a pick up agent that will come around for verification and to pick it up after you have received the funds.
Thank You, Regards
Ethan Mascarenhas

now, were i to continue with this, i’m sure there would be “a records mess up”, or a “shipping fee” before payment could be made therein needing me to wire money or something.
Does this look familiar to anyone???

Yes, I agree. It smells like a scam even if this guy is doing a better job in looking like an interested buyer. The first mail looks quite legit, but the second is already like from the scammers’ schoolbook. You could do the same thing as I did. Open a free webmail account and tell the scammer that you have opened a PayPal account with that mail as ID, which you naturally haven’t done. If you get the fake transaction mails from PayPal next, with the shipping fee added on top, then you can be 100% sure about it.

Same thing just happened to me today, trying to sell a lawn mower on Craigslist. I used anonymous email, with cell phone to contact… Received a text of interest. Called the number back, got the Google voice mail… NOT FALLING FOR IT!

I just had this happen to me today. Said he was at sea off of new york. when i sent him something back said his name was John Kody. When I commented that if his name was John Kody why was the email name Bilashilc Uman. He said oh sorry made a mistake. It pretty much went as you have said here ending with me telling him I sent the emails to the police and to paypal and him telling swearing and telling me he would sul (i am assuming sue in court) for what I don’t know.
Anyway it was an interesting time if nothing else.Maybe we should put local sales only on bigger items like cars or boats and the like.?

I got an email from “John Kody” this morning! Thanks for the warning. I was obviously suspicious and now I know why.
What should I do? Forward it to the police?

Involving the Police is the right thing to do as this clearly is criminal activity. But don’t hold your breath. These are fairly small crimes and may be hard to investigate. The police’s ability to investigate cybercrime is also varying a lot. But why not give it a try anyway.

I had a scammer attempt to steal $700.00 from me yesterday and this morning. It was the same CraigsList/Pay Pal Scam as mentioned above. Everything from being an oceanographer, father getting a gift travel trailer, can’t communicate direct, will have an agent pick up the trailer, etc….. The pressure was put on me this morning with the typical, “I’ll contact the FBI and you’ll be sorry” routine. I’ve been having a text message exchange with him this morning as the issue got rather heated. He’s gone silent ever since I told him the entire world would have his contact info within an hour…..and, here it is…..:

Email: drew.honderich@gmail.com
Phone: 732-893-0562
Agent in Seattle, WA that was to pick up the Western Union $$: PICK UP AGENT ADDRESS

Name: Nickolas barth…
City: Seattle,…
State: WA…
Zip Code: 98105…
Country: United States…

I contacted the FBI last night and they referred me to a website in order to report this fraud.
https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx?

Rather a long form to fill out.

Same shit here. some guy in ny calling about my car in ca, payment via paypal. these scammers need to die already.,…Down with fraud and these punks. Death and destruction is in there midst.

This person wants to pay “RIGHT NOW” by PayPal. It’s complete crap. He’s not the only one – there’s also 503-406-8412 and 251-824-0894. They refuse to pay in cash & say they’ll pay for shipping & have someone pick it up. It’s all just one lie after another to get your Paypal info. Do not tell them your name, address, or Paypal email / info. They’re English is broken.

Thanks a lot for your story, I’ve got very similar experience with some random guy from UK who desperately wanted to buy my old Macbook for ridiculously high price. Fake payment notifications, asking to ship the item without money etc.
When I stopped this nonsense, he started to beg using some funny arguments like god and all the situation became so clear 🙂

It seems the PayPal scam is alive and well. I posted an ad on CL for a truck I am selling. I got not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 different replies to my ad. Every one was a person wanting to pay my with PayPal. Every one of them wanted to know if “I” was honest. They all wanted me to sign up for PayPal on a link they sent to me. Some were quite lengthy with their requests. Several back and forth text messages. Quite annoying as I have an older flip phone. Takes a long time to send these messages. Once I tell them I don’t accept any sort of PayPal payments or Checks, Money orders, or personal checks I don’t hear back from them Go figure!!! I would NEVER use PayPal on anything other than a reliable online business. Just check out their web address and feed back from other customers. Any thing else is extremely suspect. I am going to check with the Postmaster in my local Post Office and find out more on Postal Money Orders. I was told that using a fake Postal Money Order is mail fraud. I want to verify that and find out if my local Post Office can easily verify whether a Money Order is real or not. That may be an alternative when buying something off of Craigslist (which I do quite often, so far with no problems). I just don’t buy anything real expensive. I look at it this way: If I can’t afford to lose the money—don’t send the money. I have been sending the Postal Money orders for some time now and no complaints from anyone. I don’t need to send a personal check with any of my information on it. FYI

Unfortunately for me I had the same situation happen, I didn’t catch it in time and mailed out a ring worth $3000. The email from “PayPal” told me that they are holding the money until I give them a tracking number, which I did. The guy I was dealing with was a Scott McDowell, kept texting and emailing asking “Did you get the message from PayPal?” I checked and now they wanted me to refund him the shipping money, he sent an extra $200 for shipping a simple ring, I used $44.15 to ship it. The email from PayPal said that I only used $44 and that I had to Western Union him the $156 (note: I hadn’t received any money, so at this time I was using my own) the address to Western Union him the money was a different state let alone a different address and name. That’s when I finally got the red flags and called PayPal and behold they had no money on hold for me!! So now I’m out $3044.15. I made reports to the police in my area and the police in the area I mailed my ring. The officer in the area that I sent the ring told me that a similar complaint was for the same address. WELL?! GO OVER THERE AND BUST DOWN THE DAMN DOOR!!! Of course, I’m pretty irrational right now about it and openly hope this guys balls explode one at a time so he feels the pain twice. I’m a pretty ignorant person when it comes to this fraud stuff and I was not smart about it. Is there another more effective way for people to understand that this happens quite often and to watch out for it, this is not a fun feeling to be taken advantage of and I would like to see the people who are good at heart not get taken advantage of.

It is perfectly up to us to choose from these apps and choose which one
to purchase and download. Get a bigger keyboard to make the most of the
i – Phone. Most people who just love i – Phone’s are notable for having an original style, as well as a type
which is sleek and clever.

Same thing happened to my husband…..he was selling his truck on CL……so he texted them back a few times without giving any info and after a few texts they REALLY WANTED his pay pal info so hubby texted back……here is my pay pal info GO F*^% YOURSELF!!!! Love that my hubby is so funny !!!! Just sad that some people fall for this stuff !!!!

Hello,

I still do not understand whether it is enough for scammers to have you PayPal email address in their hands in order to put up their scam, or whether more is needed like for instance you accepting a pending transfer?

I am having issues login into PayPal, as the account I have opened there, about 10 years ago or more was in a country different than the one I am in now (and there is no way for me to return there any time soon) – so whenever I try to reach their call center for help (which is the available option once you were unable to answer security questions) it gives me a number for that first country I was in, and which I cannot reach unless within that country. Any ideas anyone? I am worried because while I have not disclosed my PayPal e-mail to the scammer, I have replied to his B2B website message by e-mail. So is it sufficient for him to possess my e-mail address to put up any sort of scam? Thank you

I posted Car for Sale ad on OLX.com in India. Amongst several phone calls, i got this message from someone who looked so eager to transfer the money through Paypal, got me suspicious.

The guy said that he could not come on the phone because he is at sea and works as “Ocean photographer”, wanting to buy car for his dad. He offered that. his courier would come and collect the car and do the paperwork.

When asked him for his ID, name etc. and he took some time to respond, I got searching for such scams and came across this one!

I know this is not quite in line with the general trend of the whole conversation but it may be of interest to someone.

It seems to me that a lot of goods on Ebay are now sold by Ebay or Paypal staff.
They can manipulate the buyer until the buyer gives up in disgust.
If they can do this to the buyer then they can also screw the seller to the same extent.
I have now become super wary of Ebay – so many scams and so much skulduggery.

You are also delivering an indirect message to the readers that you are serious with blogging.
This is especially the case now that many of us are facing economic hardships that we may not have faced before.

And I would like to give out certainly precious knowledge which will
will most likely improve your lifestyle.

Received this email about a car I have listed on Craigslist with a new twist, a pilot in the Air Force, and surprise! They are “not allowed” to make or receive calls. The really poor English is another huge clue that this is a scam. Dirtbags! The phone number used is 715-952-0754.

Thanks for the mail. My name is Abigail Adams , i am okay with the condition Likewise your asking price is quite reasonable and affordable considering others I’ve seen lately, I’ll have it for the listed price. I’m interested and consider it sold as am buying it for my husband as a surprise birthday gift which i don’t want him to know about until is picked up. I am not in town at the moment because am in the (Air Force) and serve as a pilot which have been on deployment & also we are not allowed to make or receive calls frequently for security reasons but we have internet access and that is our major means of communication to the outside world. So can you assure me i will not be disappointed buying this from you ? I have a mover that will come for pickup once payment clears first. Kindly get back to me with an answer to the question below:

Whats its condition, any damages?
Do you have any offer’s yet ?
Can you send me more pictures & its inside pics ?
Does it has any mechanical issues or faulty ?
Are you the original owner and what is your reason for selling?
Whom do you purchased it from &How many miles on it ?
Do you have the title in hand ?
Do you have a verified account with PayPal ?

Looking forward to read back from you.

I’ve been using ad posting websites for 3 years to post my ads but I haven’t experienced this because I always assure that I’m doing a research about my customer so before i close a deal, I’ll feel confident and secured. By the help of this ad posting site – http://www.ikawna.com.ph , I can quickly make a research.

Mine is happening as we speak, a Chinese scamming operation wanting to buy a couple of items from me on Gumtree (Australian on-line market). They confirmed the price for one item and asked for a Paypal invoice. Then I received a fake funds transfer confirmation e-mail from Paypal, it looked good except for the spelling mistakes and bad grammar, included in the sale price was an additional $1300 for delivery. The buyer informed me the extra money was for delivery and could I transfer $1220 into a Western Union account as he is offshore and can’t pay the delivery company (wow). No money has been deposited into my Paypal account, he wants me to pay for delivery to a Chinese account. after that, I am stringing him along, just making him earn his pay. I have sent all the e-mails to Paypal’s Phishing department and the Australian federal government’s on-line fraud department, Acorn. I know they can’t do anything, these guys know it too. I would like to get Liam Neeson on the job and bust some heads but that’s not going to happen.

Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post
is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
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date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

Just want to ask, i work online so the product must be virtual and no tracking record, after they sending the money to me as payable for the work ive done, after 1 week he refunded the money and the paypal charge me so pay pal is negative balance. can you help me with this

As I am writing I am dealing with the same thing. BE AWARE and do not open any link from their PAyPAL confirmation email, if you dont you are safe.
I wonder how this people is still doing the same thing after years and PAyPal is not able to finish it.
The structure of the scam is the same I have a motorcycle for sale in Canada and the buyer is from the US and also asked me to send money upfront to the freight forwarder.

I wish someone catch them

Julian

Is there no way we can put a stop to these scammers, I have a dress for sale on Gumtree and have had three scam emails agreeing to buy the dress plus a ridiculous amount for postage to South Africa they are trying to use a scam PayPal address and Western Union and when I don’t agree that I have relieved the money they are threatening me with reporting me to the authorities. the government needs to set up a site to flush these guys out asap

It’s July 2016 already and they’re still at it. My first time to post an ad in Kijiji and they pounced on me right away. Thanks for all your stories, I am convinced that the “buyer” is a scammer: overpayment, fake paypal, courier in U.S., buyer from Yukon, Canada, etc. Your checklist matches many elements of the scam they’re doing on me.

This was my scammer on a car I posted to sell on CL:

Thanks for your response and appreciates it. Anyway am sorry for my late response its due to my crazy schedule, I have read through your advert and from what I have seen, it is priced favorably compared to others so I want you to consider it sold to me.

My name is Clark J Becker, I would like to make the purchase as fast as possible as I’ve fallen head over heels with the photos, condition and the price. I’m currently working offshore. I won’t be in town till the next few months as we are sailing through the oceans of Hawaiian Waikiki near Honolulu HI but I will buy it and arrange for pick up.

Nevertheless, I hope we can make the purchase as fast as possible as I am ready to seal the deal right away and pay you via my Pay Pal premium investment account that is attached to my bank account. I would be honored if you could consider my huge interest in this purchase and let’s do this via pay pal, all I need to make this happen overnight is just your pay pal email address and your full name along with your number I can contact you at as soon as the money has been sent and I will arrange for the pick up after you received money.

I will appreciate it if you consider it sold to me and take down the post from CL, I will add extra 40 for that.

Are you the first owner? What is the condition as of today ? Do you have extra key for it ? Do you have the title ?

My number is 213-263-7465
Please text only cause i can’t receive call while on duty unless am off duty.
Below is my Driving License to know who you are dealing with.

Good day everybody am Craig Wilson By name am from the United State Of America i want to give thanks and a great appreciation to Mr Larry Scott Loan Company for offering me loan for purchasing my house with a low interest rate. I want to give thanks to him for giving me this loan. My friends out there who needs loan for different purposes i advice you contact Mr Larry Scott Loan Company for loan instead of falling in to hands of Scammers online. Am happy today because of Mr Larry Scott Loan Company. So if you want to contact them for a loan you contact them on: (scottlarry918@gmail.com)

Craig Wilson

Mine come in by text or email almost daily… It’s constantly I need a DJ… for my …. Birthday Wedding etc… then quickly folloed by do you accept credit cards and after you say yes it quickly evolves to … I need you to do me a small favor though…. The Venue or the Photographer or the event coordinator cannot accept credit cards so we will pay you … such and such more then you can pay them… Blah Blah Blah… at which point I say “well I don’t do over payment, I will not pay anyone out of my own pocket… tell them they can easily sign up for SQUARE or Paypal to take credit card payments… trust me if they want to get paid they will find way…” then they disappear after that LOL

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