January 19, 2009

My Nigerian Scammer

I love craigslist, but some people on it are just plain wacky. Now that I upgraded my camera, I need to sell my old one. So I posted an ad. Here's what happened:

ROSE JOHNSON:

Hi,
hope all is well. I am interested in your
sales, Kindly get back to me if is still for sale.
Cheers.

ME:

Hi Rose,

Yes, the item is still for sale. I'm free to deliver anytime tonight or this weekend.

ROSE:

Thanks for the mail...i was introduced to this site by a friend at
work and i will like immediate purchase of this item for my Brother
who is away out of the state to study in western region and
been requesting for this item...i will offer you $400.00 including the
shipping charges to him.. there because he is in need of it as a
matter of urgency and due to my work i don't have time to handle the
shipping..i will want you to help me handle the shipping very well to
him..Get back to me with your confirmed PayPal email address so that i
can send the payment..... Get back to me asap...

ME:

Hi,

I prefer to sell in Austin and for cash only. Can you do that?

ROSE:

am assuring you this will be a legit,............

ME:


Okay. Paypal the money to <email address>. It'll take 3 - 5 days to clear -- once it does, I'll mail out the items. Just send me the address.

ROSE:

ok i will make the payment now and get back to you with the shipping
address thanks i trust in you..................

IN MY INBOX I get an email, seemingly from PayPal, that says money has been placed in an escrow (verification.intl@consultant.com -- a real confidence-inspiring email address if I ever saw one) until I have verified shipment of the item. I wasn't aware that PayPal did this sort of thing (I have had an account there since 2001 and have used them countless times), but what really tripped my alarm was when I saw the shipping address in fucking NIGERIA. Yeah, that just about did it. But I had to be sure. So I went to PayPal (being careful not to click any link in the email I was sent) and couldn't find any evidence, in my inbox there or my account history, that anyone had tried to send me money. We now return to your regularly scheduled email thread ...

ROSE:

Hi
By now you suppose to have received the paypal payment confirmation
because i have made the payment

for the item through paypal.You have to go ahead and ship the items to
the designated address below

by using USPS GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL:

Bashiru Ismaheel
30,IJEUN STREET,ITOKU,
ABEOKUTA,OGUN STATE.
NIGERIA.234-039


And kindly send the tracking number and the scanned receipt to me so
that i can Notify the Paypal

that you have shipped the item to the designated address.It's my
Pleasure doing Business wtih

you.Thanks and God Bless.I trust in you.
cheers

ME:

Hi Rose,

I will not ship to Nigeria. Please retract the payment.

ME:

Hi Rose,

I just want to be clear. I'm cancelling this sale and I'm going to offer the camera set to somebody else. I'll try and work with Paypal to send the money back to you; if that doesn't happen, you should retract the payment from your end.

NOTE that I'm pretty sure "Rose" never actually sent any money. Although the "pending payment" notification seemingly came from PayPal, the scammer probably spoofed the email's origins. So at this point, I'm not too worried about retracting a "payment". Also, from PayPal's point of view -- there's nothing to retract! No one's tried to send me money.

ROSE:

Hi
Well.. this is why PayPal holds money,...its all for our
security....OK? PayPal hold the money so that they can confirm that
you are a legitimate seller of your item......OK? but i will like you
to understand that the money is out of my account and i have already
sent you an additional payment for the shipping so i will be happy if
you can proceed with the transaction because ths is secure and
Legitimate.. so Kindly proceed and i can assure you that you are
secure and safe when dealing with PayPal Ok?Kindly Understand my view
and ship the item so that it can reach the destination on time... and
i shall appreciate all your great gestures by doing this....make sure
you go ahead and ship it then provide the shipping details to paypal
while your account will be credited accordinly.....
I really count on this transaction

ME:

Hi Rose,

I'm still cancelling the sale. Please contact Paypal to have your money returned.

ROSE:

Hello
Is like you are trying tO fraud me,i had made the payment to you but
you refused to ship the items

to the designated address after you have received the payment
confirmation from paypal which is

against the paypal rules and terms of conditions and in most the Laws
of United State.If you dont

want me to take a legal action against you as an UN diplomatic
officer,You have to ship the item to

the designated address within the next 12 hours.Again the item is to
be shipped to the beneficiary

in Nigeria and the address is as shown below:


Bashiru Ismaheel
30,IJEUN STREET,ITOKU,
ABEOKUTA,OGUN STATE.
NIGERIA.234-039

BE WARNED..................

ME:

Hi,

I have not taken any money from you. No money from you has been deposited in my Paypal account or bank account.

Please cancel your payment to me. This is the last email I will send.

* * *

Fun, huh? A Google search for "Bashiru Ismaheel" returns this page, which shows me I'm not the only one, lol. Even the name "Rose" is the same!

Ummm ...anyone wanna buy a camera?

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It is based in Panama with affiliates everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
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