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Sellers Beware

This may serve as a cause of amusement for you, it may serve as a stark warning as to the level of fraud still prevalent in eBay culture, or it may just provide a good laugh, ..either way i could not let this one go under the public radar. logoEbay_x45

Last week I listed my Sony HD camcorder on eBay hoping for something around the £900 mark. Now personally i would not buy such a high value item from eBay, but mine is a warranty clause not one of trust.

However in search of the bargains people do, and i have sold many high value items in this manner with great success.

So this auction passed without incident, no requests to ship to Romania, Nigeria or would i accept payment twice the value of the item by Western Union.

However when the auction ended at the excellent sum of £931.87 I was a little concerned that the winning bidder had  0 feedback score.

Although alarm bells ring i am always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong and initially i thought all was well as the buyer immediately contacted with the following message:

“Am having problem making payment for the item, so get to me as soon as possible regarding the payment for the item.”

I responded accordingly, although a little confused as the buyers registered address was in the US and i had not given a postage amount yet, however i assumed this was the confusion and responded accordingly:

“…not sure what problem your having …or what you want to do about shipping so maybe best to give me a quick call on +44 7960 214407 anytime.”

No answer was the response, ..not that evening or the following day. I started to worry a little, but more at the delay in payment as i really wanted to complete the transaction.

I knew however, that even though posting to the states was not going to be ideal, this buyer had won the auction far and square and i could do nothing about it.

Well, ..not quite nothing, …assuming it all went wrong i quickly sent a second chance offer to the bidder below just to test the water.

the bidder below replied quickly and informatively as one would expect of someone who wishes to purchase a high value product, and informed me that although he was bidding on another item, i should keep him informed as he would still be interested. We agreed to talk agin in a few days.

However around 4 hours later i was suddenly pleasantly surprised to see a PayPal payment notification pop through my inbox, ..you can see it yourself below

Picture 1

The amount was correct, and furthermore he had given me £200 for postage costs that i had by this time calculated and invoiced at £73.

Now look a little closer, ..well at this paragraph in particular:

“This payment is pending because it was sent in a currency in which you do not currently hold a balance. Get back to us with the Shipment Tracking details so that we can verify that the item has been shipped and transfer the funds deducted from the buyer’s PayPal account to your account. If you have any question or you want to send the Shipment Tracking details to us at :customerdeskscentres@consultant.com You can also send the Shipment Tracking details to the buyer if you want.”

Does this look like the kind of paragraph that would be written by PayPal copywriting department, …me thinks not.

Oh wait, .and what is this, .look at the delivery address that has suddenly appeared:

“POSTAGE ADDRESS:
Lanre Hassan
27 Medical Road,
Ikeja, Lagos
Nigeria.
23401″

ALARM ALARM :) ….it appears although the display name of the email is service@paypal.co.uk, the actual sending address is customerdeskscentres@consultant.com !!

So i logged into my paypal accounts, ..both of them, ..surprise surprise, .no payments.

So i responded:

“oh dear, ..unfortunately i am a computer programmer and i know that the paypal receipt was not from paypal and you are having a laugh.

unless you phone me on number below i will not be continuing this transaction or conversation and will be reporting you to both paypal, ebay and the relevant legal authorities.”

Suddenly this arrived in my inbox:

“Thanks for your mail, i want you to know that i have sincerely made payment for the item, which i have received a receipt from paypal concerning the payment to your account, so i want you to get the item ready for postage first thing tomorrow morning and get back to me with the shipment details so i can confirm to my client that the item is on its way.”

So i sent this response:

“Look mate, ..i don’t mean to be rude BUT, your account address is in the US, you paypal address is in Nigeria, and your other postcode is in PO9

If you wish to continue with this transaction you will need to phone me as i will not be going any further until you can make some specific contact with me.

I know you made a paypal payment, …but it was not to my ebay paypal acount and quite simply i will not send the item until the money is clear.

You have 24 hours from my previous email to phone me before the item is sold elsewhere.”

Was i still being too nice, ..i really wanted him to phone, ..really i did.

I must tell you at this point the second chance offer was agreed with the new buyer, and this became more of a point of interest rather than a concern, …until the next day, ..this arrived in my inbox:

Picture 2

*nice choice of font for ebay :)

It would appear that as well as attempting to defraud me out of a camera, i was now being bullied into sending the item under the premise of an unposted item strike, ..a fake one at that (sending email was e.baysummarycentre@europe.com).

The funny thing was he was well within his rights to have issued me a REAL one :)

I responded accordingly:

“ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”

..and funnily enough have heard noting since.

Now i am a professional, if i didn’t spot this i would be very angry at myself, but for those of you out there that are a little worried, ..follow these key steps:

  • never ship an item to nigeria, ..it is officially the most corrupt country in the world, there is no REAL eBay market there.
  • always use a unique email address for your ebay account, ..i use ebay@mogmachine.com, which the buyers/sellers never see, …i then contact them from my personal email account, ..therefore when official(!) ebay emails arrive suddenly to my personal email address, i know it is a fake.
  • always encourage phone contact. a genuine buyer will greatly appreciate this. a fake will not.
  • never ever click on links in emails EVEN if they are official if the site in question holds any personal information or anything that can be used against you, ..facebook, myspace, banks, ebay, etc etc …always open a browser window and go to the site yourself.
  • always put immediate contact/payment terms in your adverts, ..a genuine buyer will have no problems paying within 24 hours, or at least contacting you in person, ..this gives you enough time should it fall though to offer a second chance offer before the second place bidder has moved on and forgotten about the item.

Help stop the illegal trafficking of our electronics to Nigeria ;)

Leave a comment...

19 comments

  1. Sandi says:

    I came across thsi blog whilst searching on a scammer. It was quite clear to me he was at it as my auction clearly stated I would not ship overseas. I went into my inbox and I swear, i have word for word exact same emails in my inbox as you have exampled above. Same email addresses, the lot.

    Swines!

  2. Sandra says:

    I just typed customerdeskscentres@consultant.com into google and found this blog. I have had exactly the same scam tried on me yesterday for an item of jewellery I was selling on Ebay. Same emails, same postal address etc. I have relisted my item so now I’ll wait for the fake ‘Unposted item strike’ against me. Thanks for the warning!

  3. mog says:

    Maybe i will start getting the blame if enough people find me after typing it into google :)
    Thanks for letting me know, the more people know the better, …shame eBay cannot do anything as the eBay accounts are changed and dumped per auction and the customerdeskscentres@consultant.com email address is never used for signup.

    Try offering a second chance offer on your auction to the bidder below, ..this saves you having to go through a re-list and having to claim your valuation fees back from eBay.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles, .. ..here is a little karmic quote to maintain the smile:

    “In business as in life, sometimes bad things happen to good people, and sometimes good things happen to bad people. But over time, if you play long enough, everybody gets what he deserves.. good and bad.”

    …and if that didn’t work ….

    “My Karma ran over your dogma” :)

  4. Pam Munch says:

    I have just had the exact same thing happen to me for a brand new Apple iphone.

    Not surprisingly, the buyer was the same Abram Moore and the same shipping address to Nigeria!!

    They make this look very official, but once I logged into my Ebay account I expected the see an alert for the Unposted item strike, but gues what, no alert, and how could Mr Moore send a strike if his account is no longer valid!!

    This was very useful.

    Thanks very much.

  5. ebyseller says:

    i got one too. but thie thing is for the item i sold ebay took about £30 in fees. So what do i do, he obviously will not pay

  6. mog says:

    To reclaim the fees you have to issue a non-paying bider strike against the buyer. Chances are they will have already cancelled their ebay account to clear their tracks, so it is usually quick to go through, …or, just give a second chance offer to the next winning bidder.

  7. Mac says:

    Hi All,

    Just been spoofed by the same guy. Won the bidding on 2 gold sovreigns but the alarm was raised very quickly so did a search on the postal address and found this blog. Saved me time in messing with the guy so thanks all – second chance offers have been sent to the pucka bidders.

    However, now I’ve put his address into Google earth, I know where he lives :-)

    Safe trading.
    Fran

  8. Sam says:

    Hi ya

    (01/10/09)

    Exactly the same has just happened to me!!! The cheek of it!! I didn’t get to the point of googling until I got the last email about not posting the item….it only sold yesterday so this would have been an extremely quick complaint…..I still wouldnt have sent it none the less!

    Still it concerned me enough to google it and thankfully this lovely blog took me through exactly what i had already received. I wonder how many people fall for this scam.

    My suspicion were raised when a phone worth about £300 was bid on and won at £2049…..in my dreams :-) Happy selling and thanks x

    Sam x

  9. David McCann says:

    Mr Abram is still busy – became a new Ebay member yesterday and ‘won’ the bidding for my gold bracelet and sovereign last night. Address given as: Street: Bronx, City: Bronx – just a tiny bit suspiscious!!

    This morning I got now one but four emails supposedly being bank transfers for Abram Moore from the same adress as above in Nigeria. Confirmed with Paypal that they were spoofs and sold very quickly to the top 2nd chance buyer. Have now requested that Ebay remove the ‘Abram Moore’ sale – David

  10. mog says:

    I now feel sorry for any genuine Abraham Moore’s out there :)
    I am just pleased to facilitate the quick 2nd chance offers as we all know the annoyance of having to re-list and re-claim fees. Glad it worked out for you.

  11. Rosco says:

    Just sold a gold coin collection for £1335 to a Abram Moore registered in the USA
    He joined ebay today and has 0 feedback

    I added him to my blocked list, but it didnt stop him bidding (must be a delay somewhere in ebays system)

    Despite 3 emails during the course of the morning, i have heard nothing from him
    Will keep you posted

  12. mog says:

    When you list your item you can state bidder preferences that prevent anyone with less than i think 2 feedback and a number of other parameters from bidding, …of course if it was buy it now then i am not sure, ..but if it is an auction i always watch the bids, if i get a dodgy bid i email the bidder immediately, ..anyone genuine will respond immediately, anyone not genuine will not and then you can just cancel their bid.
    I would imagine if you cancelled a genuine bid again the genuine buyer would contact you immediately.

    Perhaps ebay should start a ‘pay as you go’ scheme for people with less than a certain amount of feedback, where you have to credit your account with money that is held by ebay before you can bid, so they know the money is there, …but then we are going into another realm you shouldn’t get be started on, PayPal not being a legally recognised financial institution and therefore not being governed by the FSA and their regulations.

    …my advice to you, ..cancel the bid if you can.

  13. Howard says:

    We at incognito had a similar scam to Nigeria, an order for 2000 bottles, which had to be air freighted by DHL -alarm bell moment. The buyer seemed genuine enough & even gave a valid credit card number. What happens is the Mark flies in the goods once the cc has been authorised, then they reverse or query the transaction eg goods arrived faulty & one hasn’t got a leg to stand on. As a company we have wasted so much time on East Africans that I now find it very hard to take any quote seriously & so spend the minimum
    of time on quotes from that region. We still donate a net to Africa for everyone we sell & will continue to do so for the common good:) On one level I don’t blame them trying out these scams when some of them may be living in abject poverty!

  14. emmie says:

    i got one too. but thie thing is for the item i sold ebay took about £30 in fees. We at incognito had a similar scam to Nigeria, an order for 2000 bottles, which had to be air freighted by DHL -alarm bell moment.i would imagine if you cancelled a genuine bid again the genuine buyer would contact you immediately.well..its depend on time…what can i say more about it…emmie from safe home doors

  15. MR P DEVLIN says:

    WELL WELL WELL …I HAD ONE OF THESE AND MR ABRAM IS STILL VERY BUSY ..AND WELL I SPOTTED THE SCAM STRAIGHT AWAY AND I RANG EBAY …AFTER THE PRESS 1 FOR ?? PRESS 2 FOR ??? THEN PRESS 3 4 5 FOR ?? I FINALLY GOT THROUGH TO A WOMAN IN AMERICA ,AND TOLD HER THE SITUATION ,,,THEY CAN FIND OUT FROM ALL THE MESSAGES THAT GET SENT THROUGH EBAY AND THEY SAID THEY WILL LOOK INTO IT

  16. sasha redding says:

    moore is still on the scam. The lousy, disjointed grammar and punctuation on emails from paypal and ebay made me suspicious, but admittedly i very nearly posted the item until i had the nouse to ring paypal and google the rogue!!!

  17. wayhardcore says:

    Still doing it!! Going through the process wiith him at the minute. The amount of people that have had dealings with him, AND eBay have addresses/email addresses etc for him, and still probably won’t do a sodding thing about it. Just shows how protected we really are. Glad I found this site!!

  18. Nay says:

    “I’m glad to have bought the item you advertised on ebay.I actually wanna buy the item as a birthday gift for my boyfriend in Nigeria.I’m not home at the moment,that why am buying on ebay with my paypal account ,I want you post the item directly to my boyfriend in Nigeria.I’ll pay extra postage fee to Nigeria.Pls get back tome asap with the item’s present condition.I’ll make payment via paypal as soon as i read from you..
    Regards”

    Doesn´t that sound nice ??? Bullshit !!!! Whatch out people !!!!
    She got deleted from ebay, I called the customer-service, and they took care of it…