eBay Sellers Beware Of This Scam
I’ve been a member of eBay for awhile now, mainly as a buyer and have gotten quite a number of great, terrific bargains. Always in the back of my mind, I wanted to sell my crafts there, but hadn’t done so until fairly recently, when an opportunity came up by e-Bay for first time sellers to take advantage of their special offer for a limited time, and that many of their fees would be waived. So rather boldly I took the plunge and posted up two of my craft items for sale. Well, maybe as my craft items weren’t in the “hot” list, that is items that are sure winners for sales, nothing much happened until almost the last few hours before my crafts items were to end in the auction. I received an e-mail through the e-Bay mailing system of a potential buyer interested in the Rune Symbol necklace I had to offer, and she asked me, if I’d be willing to send this item to her cousin in Russia! Now originally of course, I was only going to limit the shipping of my items to the continental United States, as I knew postage rates internationally would be enormous, but this person seemed to be genuine, and offered to pay full shipping fees in addition to the fees I would have charged for shipping had it been here in the US. I e-mailed the person back, telling her that perhaps arrangements could be made, and left my private e-mail in view status.
Much later that night, or I should say early in the morning, I was checking my e-mails, and sure enough an e-mail was from this person. When I read it, my jaw gaped open. This woman explained to me, and I feel the need to copy her e-mail exactly as it was, in case any of you get something similar, whether it’d be from an e-Bay buyer or a buyer from any other place wishing to purchase something you have for sale …
I quote from her e-mail:
“……Hi, thank you very much for your response! Let me tell you what I need exactly. My cousin is having a birthday soon and I would like to make a present for him. I want it to be something special. For example your item packed in gift wrap with a card inside for his wife.
Please let me know what you can offer. Also I want to send $500 via Western Union wire transfer as an additional money present for my cousin. The only problem is I want to make them surprised and don’t want them to know that the present is from me to let it remain a surprise.
I am looking for a seller who could help me with that. I will pay for item, packaging, express shipping and WU fees of course.
As I said they live in Russia. Please let me know if you could help me with that! I will send the money for everything via PAYPAL upfront of course. I could even pay you for a trouble let’s say $200 – please understand it’s very important for me! I hope to hear from you soon! GOD bless you! Have a nice day!!!….”
Now as I said, my jaw gaped open…like wow, this person was willing to pay me through PayPal up front and for $200 extra for all my trouble? The item I was selling was a total of $22.95 with priority/first class postage and certified to track the item. Now you can imagine at first I’m thinking gee, how can I resist that? It did after all, sound fairly legitimate to me. So I e-mailed back jokingly that like my goodness, you would pay so much extra for me to mail this to your relative in Russia?–BUT, I didn’t give her a yes or no. I did want to know more details, as lets face it, her e-mail to me was rather elusive to put it mildly, and why all this anonymity? Why didn’t she want anyone to know who was sending this “gift”? So I sent the e-mail to her, wanting to know more specifics. Not much later, maybe only a half hour later, I got another e-mail from her. As a by the way, I did know the woman’s name by doing a bit of tracking down at e-Bay and looked at her profile page, so her identity was at least known to me. And she was known only as a seller and had positive feedback on all her previous transactions.
So once again, allow me to indulge here and copy her second e-mail to me…like I said, you too, may find yourself in this kind of situation. Once more I quote:
“…”Ok, I want you to send item set gift via your local post to my cousin’s wife in Russia. Also I need you to send $500 via Western Union wire transfer to my cousin. I can’t sent it myself ’cause my local WU office said it should be sent from my name! It won’t be a surprise anymore if it is sent from my name right? So I’m looking for a seller who could process both
parts of my present: item set and a money transfer. Also I`ll cover all your fees!…”
Well all I can say is that if little red alert flags didn’t go up before, they sure did now big time. I mean the whole first proposal sounded off base to begin with, but now this? Now I was also expected to get a Western Union wire transfer for $500 as well? I mean from her prior e-mail to me, it did sound as all this would be upfront and she would send the total amount of money to me via my PayPal account. The thing I just didn’t like, to put it mildly, and made me squeamish was all this anonymity…the only person who would have a traceable accounting of this transaction would be me. My name would be on the package, and on the Western Union wire transfer.
So you better believe I high-tailed it over to e-Bay itself and made several reports about this person, and am still waiting to hear from them.
I guess the point here and the reason for this article, I just wanted to alert everyone out there of this “scheme” which has not all the makings of a full blown scam, but illegal to boot…don’t fall for it no matter how tempting it sounds. This person perhaps targeted me in particular, seeing that I was a first time seller and perhaps “green”. However, as the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and this definitely sounded just too good to be true.