Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I might have been born at night, but it sure as hell wasn't last night!

I really think people think other people are stupid. Last night, I was the attempted "victim" of a internet scam. I wouldn't have fallen for it, but it is the first time someone has tried to pull one of these on me. (I'm sometimes gullible, but not that gullible).

I have decided that I would like a new laptop. My current laptop is in excellent condition, but it's time for something new and shiny. Best Buy and various other electronic stores have ridiculous deals right now on laptops. I found one that is smaller and has the power I want. However, I cannot afford to buy it, unless I sell my current one. (Which makes sense, I'm not going to get caught in the credit card trap anymore!!!)

So I posted my laptop on Craigslist. Had someone who was interested. And someone who wanted me to send it to their son, after paying extra for shipping. Both Chris and I thought it a bit strange, but as long as the money ended up in my PayPal account, I was indifferednt to who was the purchaser.

I created a PayPal Buy It Now button and emailed it to the customer. I was not alarmed by the customers misspelling, for the fact is that for my job, I communicate via email with many non-English speaking people, and the email looked for the most part normal.

scamemail1
scamemail2

My quick glance at the PayPal emails did not raise an alarm at first, only for the fact is that I saw something with PayPal and went to go look in my PayPal account right away. As soon as I saw no pending transactions, that's when it started to get fishy. I took a closer look at the email. As my boyfriend pointed out, there was the $625.00 for the laptop, but the total with shipping read $825.00. I didn't think much of it at first, and I dismissed that discrepancy at first. Then, after seeing the misspellings in the email, as well as lack of punctuation, or punctuation in the wrong spot, I remember that I had created the button as a straight $825 with the shipping combined, not separate.  I looked at the email address from which this PayPal email was sent from. It was definitely not a @paypal.com address. I looked closely at the subject line, the word "Verification" was spelled "Vrification."  Everything then screamed SCAM!!!!!!

scamemail4

I called PayPal right away, as I wasn't sure how to deal with this person. They informed me to forward the fraudulent emails to spoof@paypal.com. I asked how I was going to handle the person who wanted the laptop, they told me to ask them for a PayPal receipt number, as well as say in the email that I had been in contact with PayPal and that the emails had been identified as fraudulent. I think it scared them, as PayPal said it would.

scamemail3


I sent the email back to this person at around 11:00 PM last night, and I've yet to hear anything back. In the meantime, I have received 3 more emails from people interested in my laptop. They are all poorly misspelled, as well as with choppy English. I don't think I want to reply. I'll sell my laptop to someone in person.

It almost seems that Craigslist is just a harem of scammers. The majority of jobs posted are the get rich quick schemes. Albeit, some job postings are legit, but most are of the get rich quick persuasion.

But take this as a lesson, those who deal with buying and selling over the internet. Beware poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. Beware deals too good to be true. Do not ship until the money is in your bank account. And if you're buying, only use a trusted source to handle your money. Those escrow sites are scams. Use only PayPal or cash.

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