Recently, my good friend Chris Ho, got hit by old eBay scam. He advertised a laptop and was wishing to sell it before Christmas so he can upgrade to a new one.
Unfortunately, the item was won by a international buyer from USA. He received the following email:
From: Raymond Feliciano
Date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 6:27 AM
Subject: I WANT TO PAY NOW FOR #220XXXXXXXX, Sony Vaio Laptop PCG-R505AFT Great Working Order
To: Chris Ho
I will like to purchase these Item Sony Vaio Laptop PCG-R505AFT (220XXXXXXX) for a friend oversea as a Christmas gift.He works with British America Tobacco there in West Africa Due to my workload, i might not be able to be checking my mails often.So i will be offering AU $219.00 I want the item posted via Express Post International For Delivery to Him.hope the package will get to him in good condition.. What is the present condition of this item and does it comes in it's original box?.I will be paying you for the item via Bank Deposite, so get back to me with your full name and your bank details where payment will be deliverd to.
Well, I guess this is quite similar to the scam i researched couple of weeks ago on Drive.com - Scammers now targetting Classified websites.
In such scams, buyers send fraudulent checks or send payment by stolen payment accounts. Payment is cleared and sellers usually post the items to different address such as Africa, Kenya, Nigeria etc.
After couple of days or weeks, sellers finds out that payment was made in a fraudulent manner and he has to return the money back to the bank or payment. In this way, sellers looses his item as well as the money.
We can do couple of things to avoid such things:
1) Don't sell anything to international buyers at first place.
2) If you do, make sure safe payment method is accepted such as Western Union, Bank Draft, Bank check from the same country buyer belongs to.
3) Get payment verified by bank before shipping the goods.
4) Use little bit of common sense.
I know these are not the best solutions but at least it will help you out little bit.