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Old 10-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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Scam artists

Hey everyone! I thought I'd share a recent experience I had with quite an elaborate scam to get $. I have a '64 Globetrotter advertised in classifieds. A week ago I got an email from a guy supposedly in Texas working offshore. He wanted to buy the Globetrotter as a surprise for his brother. He was ok with the price and went on to detail how he could only do the transaction through PayPal because, being offshore, he couldn't access online banking. He also had to arrange and book a "transport or pick up agent" but the agent required full payment up front ($950). Anyway, it seemed a little "fishy" but I went along to see where it went. He then asked if I would be willing to take care of paying the pick up agent after he deposited the funds in PayPal again because he couldn't access online banking. So I said sure. After several back-and-forth emails he notified me that he'd deposited the agreed upon sum with an additional $950 to pay the pick up agent with the name and address of the agent. So, when I opened up my PayPal account it said that the funds had been deposited but were put on temporary hold because of some vague issue with the amount being over and above the selling price of the Globetrotter. Then in short order I received an "official" email from PayPal with cautions about fraud etc. and then came the kicker. PayPal would only release the entire amount of funds once the pick up agent had received a MoneyGram payment of $950. At this point I called "FOUL" and told the guy to F_Off. Needless to say, I never heard from him again.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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It is fun screwing with these fools. You did the right thing.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:14 PM   #3
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Nicely done! And thanks for sharing, hopefully will help others avoid that scam too!
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaikido View Post
Hey everyone! I thought I'd share a recent experience I had with quite an elaborate scam to get $. I have a '64 Globetrotter advertised in classifieds. A week ago I got an email from a guy supposedly in Texas working offshore. He wanted to buy the Globetrotter as a surprise for his brother. He was ok with the price and went on to detail how he could only do the transaction through PayPal because, being offshore, he couldn't access online banking. He also had to arrange and book a "transport or pick up agent" but the agent required full payment up front ($950). Anyway, it seemed a little "fishy" but I went along to see where it went. He then asked if I would be willing to take care of paying the pick up agent after he deposited the funds in PayPal again because he couldn't access online banking. So I said sure. After several back-and-forth emails he notified me that he'd deposited the agreed upon sum with an additional $950 to pay the pick up agent with the name and address of the agent. So, when I opened up my PayPal account it said that the funds had been deposited but were put on temporary hold because of some vague issue with the amount being over and above the selling price of the Globetrotter. Then in short order I received an "official" email from PayPal with cautions about fraud etc. and then came the kicker. PayPal would only release the entire amount of funds once the pick up agent had received a MoneyGram payment of $950. At this point I called "FOUL" and told the guy to F_Off. Needless to say, I never heard from him again.
You certainly did the right thing in ending this transaction. If the guy originally contacted you via the Classifieds, it would have his username and email address in the first email you received. If that's the case, please forward that message with a reference to this thread to classifieds@airforums.com and I'll deal with the account appropriately.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:24 AM   #5
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They are always from Texas. We get these calls every time we list a vehicle on one of the 'Traders' or CL. Which is more often than most since Hubs and Son #2 have a thing for anything with wheels and have expensive hobbies.

My sister's husband listed some things on CL recently and he came very close to falling for a scam. All the signs were there but he was a newbie. Texas, full price on the first day, broken English, no questions asked.

Luckily, he got the 'check' before he sent the item. It was from a hospital in the northeast. My sister called the number and was told that they had been getting the same call all day. Looks like this scammer was going for volume since not all would send the item before they got the check.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rsaikido View Post
Anyway, it seemed a little "fishy" but I went along to see where it went.
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
It is fun screwing with these fools. You did the right thing.
Actually that is not the right thing. If you suspect a scam, collect all of the emails or other correspondence and turn them over to your local FBI office. They are the agency responsible for investigating email fraud, so put your tax dollars to work and let them do their job.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:55 AM   #7
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Nah.... screw with them first, then send stuff to the FBI. They are pretty overworked and preoccupied with Hillary.

I had a similar fun time with "tech support" who called to tell me that my Windows operating system was having trouble. ( We use Ubuntu ) The guy wanted an IP address so he could link in to my PC to "fix" it. I gave him a bogus IP address, and he spent 30 minutes trying to get in to "my" computer. He finally gave up. Before we hung up, he and I "discussed" what he was doing.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:04 AM   #8
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There are scam artist like this all over sales sites. Sometimes if I have extra time I just mess with them and make them jump through hoops to waste their time. I keep streaming them along with more and more emails requesting information. At some point you can just tell for certain the situation is wacky and they are trying to scam you. I figure if enough people waste their time and they do not get any money from it then maybe it ceases to be profitable for them. I have forwarded emails to the FBI before, but never heard anything back. As a general rule I only do transactions in person these days. I also meet the person at their bank to verify any cashiers or bank checks. You just can not be too careful. I apologize to them for the lack of trust, but it just has to be done before I will sign anything over and release it.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #9
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FBI - true story. We have a mail receiving agency. We and about 26 other businesses along the east coast notified the FBI that we had new customers who were fishy - 2 years later the FBI picked up the records... 2 days after 9/11. YEP, if they'd have investigated in a timely manner and had real coordination between offices 9/11 might have been prevented. NOT by us so much as by the flying school that tried to report two men who wanted to learn how to fly a jet but had no interest in learning to land it.

One hopes that improvements have been made since then, but then look what happened at the Boston Marathon.

Paula
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:45 AM   #10
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I have forwarded emails to the FBI before, but never heard anything back.
You won't hear back even if they find the perp and prosecute, because you are not the plaintiff in an email fraud case, the US Government is. As soon as it becomes a Federal case, it ceases to be "(Insert name here) vs." and becomes "United States vs."

Of course one reason why email fraud is so popular is because it's so hard to find the perp, who may not even be in the US to begin with. But unless you really get your jollies by wasting time, why waste time trying to jerk around an email scammer? Worse, if he's a hacker phishing for information from you and not a scammer, the more time you spend in contact with him the more time he has to finagle information out of your email account that he can use later for identity theft or whatever.

I know because the one time I tried to screw with a scammer, he hacked my email and tried to steal my identity. It was a colossal pain changing my credit card and debit card numbers and email address, closing accounts and opening new ones for everyone I did business with electronically, and then putting a 90-day freeze on new cards through Experian. Even though the scammer didn't get any of my money, I lost a lot more time than he did.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #11
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One scammer asked me for more pictures of the Airstream I was selling. I sent them as attachments--along with a nasty virus... I don't recommend that for the average seller, though.
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