First... If you'd legitimately like this dresser, it's BACK on Kijiji here. Now to the story.
I'm going to show you the trail of emails STEP BY STEP with the scammer's email address and contact information in it... so he doesn't get you too. And I promise you... it gets funny. So the dresser was on Kijiji for a listed price of $1200. Within 24hrs of posting... I received this email as the journey begins.
What I didn't notice right away but do now is that the buyer's email address changed from something obscure and phishy to a person's gmail address with a name attached.
I was very happy! A lot of work had gone into this dresser and it was going to be the funds we needed to further develop this business the ladies are calling REFRESHED.
Perfect. We went to bed happy. I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for church to a number of emails. One from my dear friend Ashley saying:
Okay... umm... Okay. Then there was another from "PayPal" saying:
So... now I'm getting ready for church and tweeted:
I was HOPING to wake up on a wintery Sunday morning and quickly get to figure out escrow accounts and international shipping regulations #fb
— Dave Carrol (@davecarrol) December 30, 2012
I was suspicious and unsettled at the idea of having to send money without any payment... but I'm far from an international trader and I had just set up my paypal account recently so I wasn't sure how this type thing actually goes down. Then I got another "PayPal" email
800 Bucks to Brian Morris who is CLEARLY a DARN good furniture shipper. I wanted to stall a bit and fish a bit for info from him and maybe play a sympathy card because it was clear I wasn't going ahead without research so I said:
Ashley was unmoved
I didn't like it. I was pretty sure it was a scam but I wanted conformation. It was Sunday and I was headed to a family Christmas celebration after church in the afternoon and planned on called PayPal myself on Monday morning. I began double-checking and looking for inconsistencies. And I found one when THIS was the response to my email query to "PayPal" using the link in their email.
Since I had been getting my PayPal account up to date, I had emails from their customer service department from the email address email@example.com BUT the "PayPal" emails I had begun to get after dealing with Ashley was from firstname.lastname@example.org. See the difference? It's very subtle but there is a period at the end of the fake address. And I CAUGHT IT!
I was both proud of the catch and mad at the nerve of this person who was trying to steal from our kids and business. So I decided to screw with him a bit.
No... there is no such thing as an "Illuminologist." My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and me came up with it as we together decided how to string this dude along.
It wasn't enough.
I thought the idea of there being more screening to come would be funny. It was. Mostly to me. So it got better. Again... mostly for me.
I was correct I believe. So Fake-PayPal upped the fake-anti. But when you know someone is bluffing... bluffing doesn't work very well.
Yep... The FBI was CLEARLY on their way to my humble dresser-makin' abode in Brantford to make me wire 800 bucks to London.
I did report all of this to PayPal for them to follow through with. The sad part is that since I've put back on Kijiji, I've received TWO emails asking the very same opening query of "Any additional about it or the ad say it all?"
I love that we're all able to access a global community. It's a wide open marketplace. But be careful as you do it. Pay attention as everything online is not what it seems. Don't "Not Trust" people in life as your default setting because that doesn't do a soul good in the long run. But do your "due diligence" and thorough research in each case.
And if you're up for it... we do have a VERY nice dresser for sale. Tweet