Aug 28, 2006 - Comments
I got a free iPod Nano when I purchased my MacBook thanks to a back-to-school promotion by Apple. So, to recoup some of the cost of the MacBook, I put the Nano on eBay. The starting price was $149.99 with a "Buy it Now" price of $175. About two hours before the auction ended (no bids had been made) someone hit the "Buy it Now" button. I got the following cryptic email from them about an hour later:
Good Morning to you,how is business,family and all other things, hope all are in good condition. well I'm Bonner Goldbach from CA(Sebastopol),but Presently i'm leading a trade fair program in Austrialia.I saw your item above at ebay(150022885893)and i will like to buy it for my grandson that study in a Computer science school in University of Lagos at Nigeria Next week as a gift,i will like to informed you first of all that i will be handling the shipment on my own risk over to Nigeria.Do not worry about the shipping of the item,i have an account with FEDEX and will be sending you my FEDEX account number for the shipment, and if you decedided in sending the item to so that you can add the shipping cost to the cost of the product you can still do it and you will have to calculate the cost over to Ikeja,Lagos state,23401 Nigeria.Moreover i would have prefer to send you a cheque but due to the fact that i want you to ship the item first thing monday morning,i will be sending you the payment vai PAYPAL,and so make sure you get the package ready for monday shipment ok And kindly send me your paypal email address,so i can direct the payment to your account right away.
I immediately sent a reply giving him my PayPal email address and telling him that I didn't quite understand his email, but that I could only ship the iPod within the United States by USPS.
I didn't hear from him for two days, so I re-sent my PayPal email address and reminded him politely to please pay promptly. Well, finally after three more days, I got the following email from "PayPal" (pay attention to the grammar):
Pay With Pay Pal,
Pay Pal makes it easy to receive Dineen Villaruz money, to received this payment into your account,you will have to sent the shipment tracking number to our customer care department at the link below(email@example.com) for shipment verifications, then we can process and credit funds into your account. We are sorry for the inconveniences we might have caused you, as this is our new policy to protect both the Seller and the Buyer from fraudulent activities. And if there is any problem within you and the buyer you are to contact our customer care representative in the immediately. For more information please contact our customer care at the above link.
The terrible English and obviously falsified email address finally convinced me that this guy was just some moron trying to scam me out of a free iPod. This is the email that came right after the "PayPal" email:
I have made out my payment to you for this item purchase (150022885893),So check your mail for the comfirmation mail from paypal.Get back to me immediately if you receive the confirmation mail from paypal and don't forget to send me your physical contact address and your phone number so that i can arranged for the shipment okay,and the exact time you will be at home tomorrow.So that i can schedule Fedex to come and pick it up from you in other to reduce the stress of you driving down to their location to send it.Then i can send you my grandson's address and fedex account number.Hope to hear from you soon.
Well, I was furious that I had to waste a week waiting for this guy, just to find out that he was trying to commit fraud. I sent a pretty heavily-worded email back to the guy telling him what I thought of him and his scam.
I guess this should serve as a lesson to other people that this might happen too. Pay close attention to everything.