I’m writing this in the hope that others will not fall for these ridiculous scammers attempts at obtaining mobile phones by never paying the seller.
I listed my Nokia 6230 mobile phone on eBay – it was going well – and sold in the end for £80. I was happy with this, so I sent the invoice to the winning bidder. It was all going normally until I received the following email from my winning bidder.
I would like to pay for this item via british postal order,right now i’am presently in singapore, and i want to give it to my son whose birthday is coming up next week and who has traveled with is father to west africa nigeria on a business trip,i just want to use it as
a surprised birthday gift, so i will like to know if you can ship it
to him in Nigeria,i dont mind paying any amount for the shipping cost,please if you
can do this for me i will be very grateful.if you accept, kindly send your full name and address which am going to send the payment to.
Here’s the shipping address.
** Shifawu street
off cole st ojuelegba
and also i will like you to give me the full quote of it including the shipping cost to lagos nigeria, and also i will like you to give me your full name and address so i can made the paymant to you ASAP.
Hoping to hear back from you soonest.
Immediately alarm bells start to ring when you read “NIGERIA”. I am not intending to be racist here, but there are so many scams you hear about and they all seem to originate from Lagos, Nigeria. (Check out 419eater.com for some brilliant stories!)
I decided to give “Jones” (the winning bidder) the benefit of the doubt and replied positively saying that once I receive the postal order, I will ship the item out immediately. Nice and simple! I also offered to post the item insured, explaining as it was going such a long distance it may be wise (and it was only ?3.30 more!). Of course, Jones was not interested. They wanted the phone sending as quickly as possible. I soon received the following:
i will like to inform that the payment has been done.so hoping to hear from you.
Ooh payment’s been made! woo! I should hopefully be receiving the postal order in a couple of days. or so I thought! This email then arrived shortly after.
From: British Postal Order [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: ****POSTAL ORDER CONFIRMATION FOR EBAY ITEM # (6463500285)****
BRITISH POSTAL ORDER IN CONJUNCTION WITH
Dear Miles From
Thanks for using Postal Order?,well,this is the right Postal Order?, your money is ?86.00, for ebay item 6463500285 and the money is paid in by “Jones Daniel”, Due to the fact that most sellers don’t send the item despite the fact that buyers have paid for the item, so we made the policy that sellers must ship out items withing 24 hours of payment and send us the tracking number for verification.You are not expected in any circumstances to send the tracking number to the buyer.
Below is the address where the postal order will be sent to.if the address is not correct pls mail us back.
Attn. Sellers: The buyer of this item has informed us that the item will be sent to this address please DO send the item to the provided shipping address below.
** Shifawu Street
Off Cole Street
This is the sample of the postal order that will be deliver to you after we have receive the shipment tracking number from you.
If we did not hear from you the payment will be return back to the buyer,and we are waiting for you to ship the item and mail us the shipment tracking number so that we can send out your payment.
Thank you for using Postal Order?. We look forward to serving your online auction payment needs in the future.
BRITISH POSTAL ORDER ?
REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE BRITISHPOSTALORDER@FINANCIER.COM
Play 100s of games for FREE! http://games.mail.com/
O.K. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the most professional looking email I’ve ever received. In particular, the animated GIFs really made it look realistic. The fact that it was not even addressed to me – “Dear Miles From”. who’s Miles From?! I did the usual, and checked out the source code of the email – and all the images in the header were pulled from other sites!
Having emailed Jones back about how I go about getting the payment, I receive the following:
SORRY FOR THE LATE IN REPLY AND WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS THAT YOU SEND THE PARCEL NUMBER TO THE EMAIL OF THE POSTAL ORDER COMPANY AND THEY WILL PAY YOU YOUR MONEY AND AFTER YOU HAVE DONE THAT PLEASE KINDLY INFORM ME AS WELL AND HERE IS THE POSTAL ORDER’S COMPANY EMAIL ADDRESS…..
HOPING TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU SOONEST.
Seems obvious enough! At this point, I was 100% sure it was all a big scam – I mean, who’d honestly believe the above information! A quick google search showed that a number of people have fallen for these scams – but the winning bidders used PayPal, BidPay and other forms to send fake money. This is the first instance I could find of someone actually using a “British Postal Order” to pay for goods. All these scams promise to release payment once you send them the postal order tracking number. Of course, you will never receive anything.
Not wanting to leave things here, I decided to play along a little more. I replied:
Sorry for not replying earlier, I have been away on business.
Luckily I am home now and can get the phone in the post first thing tomorrow morning.
I will rush to get it in the first post so your son gets it as soon as possible.
I do not want to disappoint him! I am sure he will be happy with item.
So I will post the item – it will need to be registered post to receive a tracking number.
I then send this number to email@example.com?
Will they then send me the postal order?
Looking forward to your reply,
I received a reply confirming that once I send the item and reply to the “British Postal Order” email I will receive the money. Excellent! However, what I planning to send is not exactly what they bought. It’s pretty close. but not quite there.
|Here’s the original phone||..and the one Jones will be receiving..|
(click for larger)
(click for larger)
Nice hey? Looks almost identical!! Except the new one cost me only ?1.99 from the local newsagent. It’s got some very realistic ring tones and even has a “built in camera” which doesn’t appear to work – but it sounds nice.
So things are now ready to post. I’ve just received another email from Jones asking have I posted the item yet – he/she seems to be getting inpatient – I guess as it’s her son’s birthday coming up! I decided I had better check out the situation further, and mention the smell of a scam cooking..
I have not posted the item yet – my friend has advised me to check out the website where you sent the postal order information. He thinks this could be a scam of some kind. I don’t believe it is? I have read a few people’s stories on the internet of people not getting paid.
I just need some sort of reassurance that I will receive the money. I believe you are genuine, but I just need to be sure. I loved this mobile phone and I want to make sure it’s going to a safe home and I get the money for it.
I hope to hear from you soon,
Fond Wishes for the festive season,
PS) When I post the item, do I just press the “reply” button on my email program to the Postal Order company? Thank you in advance.
I love this. Wasting some scammers time is surprisingly entertaining. I await a response form this new contact.
…..watch this space!