I hate being spammed, scammed or generally lied to. I hate people who behave like this. I recently advertised a motorcycle for sale in a popular free online classifieds website, and within an hour the spam scams started arriving, presumably bots, though perhaps analogue losers.

My ad was brief but thorough in describing the condition and specification of the bike, with recent photos. Apart from more detailed questions, such as whether it had been crashed, raced or stolen, the only other question would normally be ‘when can I come and have a test ride?’

Except that it is not what I got. I got txt messages asking me to email details, then I received emails like these:

Thanks for the swift response, please  advice on  the present condition of the ad with the service history as well, am buying this as a surprise gift for my dad for his birthday so i wont let him know, until it been delivered to him.But due to the nature of my job and location…i will not be able to come for inspection,am a very busy type as i work long hours everyday off shore  oil rig department,i have gone through your advertisement and i am satisfied with it., i am sure he will be more than happy with it.I can only pay with PayPal here, i will need you to give me your PayPal email address so i can make the payments asap and please if you don’t have PayPal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to www.paypal.com.au and get it set up , after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail address you use for registration with PayPal so as to put the money through. note well: Pick up agent will come for the pick up as soon as i have made the payments, i would have  loved to talk to you on phone but I work mainly offshore, our phone is down on the rig right now due to bad weather, we can only communicate with our base for now.

‘Grant’

Oil rig department? Is this some kind of Paypal spam? You’re evidently not interested in motorbikes. Fuck off. Next:

Hi thanks for reply, i am a marine engineer, i am at sea right now. Can i pay you $6,000 for the cost of the item so as to out beat other offer?I am buying this for my son as a surprise gift. I can  only pay through paypal at the moment as i dont have access to my bank account online(i dont have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my paypal account, and this is why i insisted on using paypal to pay,all i will need is your paypal email address to make the payments, and if you dont have a paypal account yet, you can set one  it cant take you less than 3mins to do that, i will be expecting your paypal email so l can pay.  I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted,  l will be waiting for your reply asap..

‘Craig’

Two variations of the same lame story. Strangely, after I replied to say I don’t accept Paypal and payment would be required by EFT to my bank account, they stopped corresponding. Why would I want to use Paypal and pay over $100 in fees when I could get all the money paid directly to me? Losers.

creative synchronicity

10 thoughts on “creative synchronicity

  • 28 August 2012 at 2:12 am
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    Apparently there are a couple of different paypal scams that involve the scammer collecting the goods in person and then claiming non-delivery (and therefore getting a refund through paypal – paypal have very buyer-friendly refund policies). It’s also possible that they’ve hacked into someone else’s paypal account, which again, would result in the payment being reversed when the real owner of the account flags it as fraudulent.

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  • 28 August 2012 at 10:51 am
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    And to cover themselves PayPal don’t pay out an account unless $$$ has been sitting in it for more than 6 months so good luck on receiving your money from them!

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    • 4 October 2012 at 11:11 am
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      this is untrue you can transfer money out of your paypal account to your bank account at any time

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  • 28 August 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    I’ve heard of several different people recently trying to sell cars etc online and getting the ‘I’m on an oil rig’ (or similar) story, aparently a bit of a common scam at the moment.

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  • 29 August 2012 at 8:29 am
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    This exact thing happened to my parents when they tried to sell their ute.

    The next step was that they were instructed to pay the pick up agent $600 via western union. the buyer said they would pay them the $600 to their paypal over and above the purchase fee and that they would do this prior to them paying the collection agent.

    They rang me to ask what they should do, I said “RUN FOR THE HILLS!” haha.

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  • 29 August 2012 at 2:46 pm
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    Most people delete these emails, maybe you should forward it to Paypal, it may save someone in the future.

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  • 31 August 2012 at 10:39 pm
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    @hsg – read PayPal’s policy before claiming they refund money paid as part of a private sales contract.

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  • 1 September 2012 at 12:35 am
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    Sorry Steven – I don’t understand your comment.

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    • 3 September 2012 at 10:21 pm
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      PayPal’s buyer protection is bound to a series of stringent eligibility criteria. You are only covered if you pay via one of their key clients’ websites. Personal pick-up of purchased goods generally annuls the buyer protection. PayPal doesn’t offer any buyer protection under the scenario Brian described, or any other scenario commonly used by scammers.

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      • 4 October 2012 at 11:12 am
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        yeah you have to ‘prove’ delivery like via registered post/courier etc

        Reply

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