There are a lot of posts on this problem, so I don't profess to be the last word on it. Indeed, this is just another post on the burgeoning problem. In fact, there is a website devoted to the past addresses and fake names used by past Nigeria-based scams.
But this one deserves a little spotlight.
It began with an ad I posted in the L.A. Craigslist, as well as on Blujay, for some 18k Tiffany Fringe Earrings. I put the ad in because, like many other people, I need the money.
And that's when it began. So I wanted to prove that I had bought the earrings myself and because, like most normal people, I threw away the receipt, I put up an image of my bank account statement. It said I could prove that I bought them myself. Which I did. All $514.19 of it. Sheesh. What was I thinking?
At any rate, I was, and am, asking for a little over $100 less than I paid for them. $400 to be specific. And I got a response within a few hours.
It sounded too good to be true. Sound familiar? What is that adage they say about "If it sounds to good to be true, it is?" Well, as much as we would like to think that we are special, individually, there is a reason that is an adage. Because it is true.
So the buyer was named "Jerry Springer": beware of that name, right? Again, sounds unreal, so it probably is. The email address, and all subsequent ones, are gmail addresses: Springerfuture011@gmail.com.
This is the content of a series of emails over the past two days, from April 1 (so appropriate) through April 3:
IS THIS ITEM STIL FOR SALE GET BACK TO ME ASAP...........
4/0/09 12:18 pm: I am very glad to hear back from you,but i will just like to know if the item is really in good condition?cos i wanna get this for my partner who is on a company project inspector in abroad, and i will not be able to come and pick it up from your place,Because am out of state for a Business trip,so i will be glad if you can help me to handle the shipping and i prefer to paying you $100 for the shipping cost via USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL EMS AND YOU CAN GET THIS FROM YOUR POST OFFICE THERE....so get back to me with all details to proceed the payment and the total price including the shipping fee as well.....and i will like to pay you via paypal email account...ok.....so do get back to me now with your paypal email personal account for instant payment..ok....
4/1/09 11:57: YES..IT GREAT TO HAVE YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT EMAIL ID...I WILL MAKE THE PAYMENT INTO YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT NOW AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU AS SOON AS AM THROUGH WITH TRANSACTION PAYMENT.
And finally in response to a deadline I set of a payment by 8 am PST where I said, and did, cancel my Paypal bill, this is what I received, at 12:59 pm, 4/2/09, no less:
thanks for the propmt mail,i am very busy here and right now i just transfer the money into your account..i am sure that paypal will have get back to you through your paypal email address that you use to have the account with them ..and i have add the shipping fees with the money i sent to your account so as soon as you got the notify mail from paypal i want you to kndly get the package ship to this address ..
NAME: OWOLABI KAZEEM
ADDRESS: NO 11 ADEOLUYOYE STR OFF IMALEFALAFIA ROAD
ZIP CODE: 23402
and i want this to be ship through express mail international and you can get this done in your post office there and you get back to me with the tracking number so i can forward this to paypal for final verification ...hope to hear from you back soonest ..
After my husband checked our real paypal account, and saw that there was no deposit, I decided to check the email account associated with the Paypal account.
Four emails were in my box, from, supposedly, Paypal, though the return address was different:
firstname.lastname@example.org, "Hank Bonds" at --can you believe it??
And now we are getting emails from email@example.com that says
It is important we know the status of the item bought otherwise, legal action may be taken against you since you have not replied to the confirmation of payment made to your account by our client(Anita Morgan) via PayPal.We request for the Tracking Number to prove postage of the item in less than 24hours and we will fund the money into your account or face the consequences of LEGAL ACTION.
We believed you entered into bidding agreement by requesting money through Pay Pal , and by non response to the payment confirmation made to your account you have violate Pay Pal agreement. However the buyer has already contacted us in other to make report about your non response. We are ensuring to make PayPal a safer place, therefore we need to set confidence on our users.
Therefore, if your Money is credit into your Account before the shipment of the item, that means the item will not be shipped to the Buyer. From IC3 we give you 24hours (1days) to ship the package to the Delivery Address given to you by your buyer, and also send the Shipment Tracking Number immediately to us to verify the shipment.Immediately we confirm the shipping.You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your account has been credited.
Failure to respond to this means your Name and Address will be forward to the law enforcement Agency in your Country which may result to an Arrest, because you are practicing Scam, And your Account with PayPal will be BLOCKED, In order to free yourself from this'' Ship the package within 24hours and send the Shipment Tracking to PayPal for them to Verify. If you have any comment on this issue do not hesitate to contact us via our customer care email. Although we check our e-mail frequently, we do not consider it to be an alternative to telephonic contact in emergency situations.Feel free to contact us directly to this mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
New York Field Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Can you believe this?