Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ah the joys of getting screwed over . . .

I'm an Ebay fan. I really am. Love it. Haven't had any experiences to make me want to stop hiting the Ebay. Well, what's going on at the moment could make me hate Ebay if my Ebay love wasn't so strong. (Yes, now is an appropriate time to be creeped out by how I'm talking about Ebay.)

I'm selling my computer on Ebay because it's loud and, I think, in retrospect, I was asking to much for it (Buy it now). Which is precisely why I was so surpised when someone bid on it. Let me digress . . .

If you are an Ebay buyer, have you ever seen a message like "Won't ship to Nigeria" at the end of someone's auction? I have and I thought to myself, how sad that one bad experience is turning everyone against Nigeria. Well, I'm starting to see what they're talking about. Let us return to the story . . .

So I was surpised that someone decided to "Buy it now" especially since there was the option to suggest a price. Shortly after the auction ended I got an e-mail from a "woman" in Canada who bought the computer for her step son in Nigeria. I'll have to admit, she seemed surprisingly well-informed. She knew she needed my BLZ (German bank code) and IBAN and SWIFT numbers and she knew that I should look at deutschepost.de for shipping costs to Nigeria. So I went to the website and the post office. I got the shipping estimates for her. I got all the silly international banking numbers for her. And today her "bank" called me, probably from their cell phone in Nigeria from the sounds of it.

"We sent you an e-mail"

The e-mail was from the woman's address, not a bank's.

"No no, just listen. We have the payment here and just need your shipping receipts in order to transfer your money to you. You will receive your money in three weeks."

I think he meant was "We'll be long gone in three weeks, living it up with your computer."

Also strange was the fact that the "woman's" name had changed in the third e-mail.

Alright, so it's prety obvious now that this is a scam and, because I'm not a moron, nothing will happen to me. I'll even be able to get my listing fees back from Ebay. Pretty much the only thing that will happen is that I may start writing "Won't ship to Nigeria" at the end of my listings.

4 comments:

Stefan said...

Hi Claire

If you had asked me before, I could have told you why they said "not to Nigeria" and not any other country.

Remember when I was working at this call center? Well, guess from which country 99% of our fraud cases came from? Right! Nigeria. Thousands of stolen credit card numbers, which were then used to top up one of our SIM cards used by someone in Nigeria.

Second example: Just two weeks ago, I got an email from a friend from Denmark. "Hi, I need your help! I'm in Nigera (alarm bells were already ringing) and I lost all my things. My phone, my credit card blablabla. Now I can't pay my hotel bill and the hotel manager Billy (!?) threatens me to put me into jail if I don't pay. Could you please wire me 400 Pounds to Western Union Laos, Nigera? But, don't send it to my name but to Jimmy, because I won't be able to pick up the 300 Dollars myself."

Right, I surely sent it right away... two days later she wrote another mail, saying that someone had hacked her (Gmail) email account. And if you thought I made a mistake, no, in the email it really said 400 Pounds once and than later 300 Dollars...

Well, now you know my story :-)

Take care
Stefan

Claire in Tuba-Town said...

Wowee!

Man, if nothing else, this experience has brought out some exciting stories!

I'll make sure to ask you in advance about countries in the future.

Stimey said...

I like ebay too. Although they keep sending me emails telling me I'm a "power seller" when I've never sold a damn thing there; I just buy. I'm thinking my security has been compromised. And it's surprisingly hard to close an ebay account.

Belinda said...

Hi Claire,

I just recently sold my old computer over eBay and it took 4 auctions before I actually had a real buyer. Every other auction was won by someone in Nigeria who would outbid everyone else by hundreds (my computer wasn't even one that worked) In the end however I did get a real buyer and still received more money for the broken computer than I thought I should have.

Belinda (friend of Katie's)