Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

3 January 2013

How someone tried to SCAM me, how I caught it and what I did about it

Let me tell you a story of a beautiful hand-painted and artistically-designed dresser that my wife and her friends are made and are now selling; and how someone tried to steal 800 dollars from us with it.

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 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 service@intl.paypal.com BUT the "PayPal" emails I had begun to get after dealing with Ashley was from service@intl.paypal.com.  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.


Anonymous said...

Great story Dave, my wife and I laughed all the way through it.

Señor Brew™ said...

Dave, I sent you an email about the use of my Jesus with beer photo you used in another blog post; I have yet to hear back. Maybe you were to busy emailing this "scammer". Please respond.

Anonymous said...

they are nigerians and they have tried to scam me 3 times today.... so when i got him mad, he sent me a text saying " are you trying to harras me for something i didn't do!!, or do you want to report you to the FBI? "

Anonymous said...

I am interested in your dresser, but I was wondering if any additional about it or the ad say it all?

Lee Brubacher said...

Excellent thread! Thanks. I'm working through almost the identical scam right now. One of the emails you received from your scam buyer is identical in wording to an email I received today.

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They’re trying to get me right now the idiots!

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