Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16, 2009
Seriously, why is nigeria such a scammer / spammer paradise? What is so special about that "one" country that the most notorious (and biggest F A I L) scammers originate from there? I honestly have no clue, but, allow me to relate a recent occurrence to you.

So, around the 2nd of January I got my new Dell PC delivered. Dell had a special action running that you got a "free" (yeah right) pocket cam along with it. (See picture on the right) Current market value around 80-100 euros. However... they sent me the pink one. Of all things! Why pink?! Retarded, but anyway...

So, after a while I decided to stick the thing on this country's equivalent of ebay. No bids, no interest. The camera is, to this day still in it's box, unopened. If anyone wants it, let me know and I can give you a sweet price for it. Now, I tried to put it on that site again a few days ago and suddenly it got a bid! 200 euros! o_O

Remember, If something seems too good to be true, it generally is. And such proved to be the case here as well. What sort of moron would honestly bid 200e on something worth 60-80e anyway? Smelling a fail I decided to accept his offer and see what he'd do, whether he'd actually try to scam me, or send money and then revert the offer. You'll have to be a pretty damn good scammer to outwit me. Turns out, you'd have to be an even bigger fail than this scammer to fall for a retarded trick like this.

There you have it, fail from the very first mail. I honestly doubt this guy is a professional scammer due to his lacking english. But I figured what the heck, let's throw the guy a bone and see his reaction. I told him the item was pristine as stated in the auction, without telling him the price again. Any proper bidder would have known what he bid, but this guy obviously goes around all day placing fake bids so it'd only logical his memory won't be too amazing regarding his own actions.

There you have it, suddenly he's offering 400 + 50 in shipping to send the item to Nigeria. Whatever happened to that original 200? If for whatever reason you weren't expecting a scam by this point, the fact that he wants it mailed to Nigeria should set off a hundred alarm bells in your head. He's also asking for my phone number, which I'm obviously NOT going to give him. Trying to see how much I can get him to offer, I tell him to pay for insurance 50e (heck, as long as we're throwing around fictional numbers anyway)

There you have it, his address, or his friend's address. I don't know. If any of you are ever going to Nigeria, please pay the guy a visit and let him know your feelings about people who try to pull jokes like this. At the same time, I got these two mails on my other email:

So, there we have it. A fake Paypal notification with a warning that the payment won't show up until I send him the item. 1/10 for effort since the originating address isn't even actually paypal. And, having logged in my paypal address from the regular bookmark shows that indeed there's no payment at all.

The first mail at least looks "somewhat" like he copy pasted it from an actual paypal mail. The second one, omg. He's just not even trying. I underlined in red the biggest mistakes.

I pity the fools stupid enough to fall for this kind of obvious scam. Aside that, he mailed the "same" thing to my hotmail address. Paypal doesn't even KNOW I have a hotmail. It's rather obvious he's trying to get me to send the item ASAP, and offering a load of money to get people to ignore the mistakes. Also, if you look up that site doesn't even exist.

By this point I was getting rather tired of the guy, and decided to let him know he had to pay 19% tax for shipping electronics across another country. As the FAIL scammer he was, he agreed easily.

And he messed up again, sending the paypal notification to my hotmail rather than the email address attached to my paypal account. /fail

I had seen enough by then, and forwarded the entire email conversation to yahoo and paypal.

Thus ends this story.

For now.


Ithiel said...

Please excuse me for a few minutes while I ROFL uncontrollably.

Whisperwolf said...

I had a similar sort of scam tried on me, except it was pre-"let's fake paypal emails."

I put a sony playstation 2 I'd got from a bankrupt auction up on Ebay. It was a good deal, with various optional bits; a dance mat, a light gun, an extra controller and a couple of memory cards.

Within 12 hours the scammer emailed me. He offered me THREE TIMES the buy it now price, if I would

A) Withdraw the lot from Ebay

B) Accept payment through Western Union

C) Ship the goods to Nigeria

Naturally there was an (incredibly weak) cover story, but it sounded alarm bells right away. I emailed him back saying I ONLY shipped to Paypal confirmed addresses and didn't use Western Union at all for Ebay. He tried several times to offer me more money, always without using Paypal...

Then someone legitimately closed the auction with BuyItNow.

But the scam works something like this:

They send the money in a fraudulent transaction through Western Union. Let's say for arguments sake the item is 150 euros. They send 450 euros, but stipulate you have to pay the postage and packing out of that. To get the Western Union money you have to show your passport, driving license or other ID by which Western Union can reverse the transaction if it turns out to be fraudulent.

Which of course it does. But by the time it shows up as fraudulent and Western Union start chasing you, you've legitimately packaged off the goods.

So you're out the goods, the postage and packing AND the entire Western Union amount.

Sadly, some people still fall for it, which is why these scams still exist. There is no protecting some people from their own greed.

As you rightly say, normally if something sounds too good to be true - it almost always is.

bbr said...

Indeed, sadly most people don't actually learn this until they run into it themselves or hear the story from others. Thus hopefully this will prevent some others from falling for it.

There's also a third, less easy to see scam which involves hacked paypal accounts. You'll get paid normally, but once the original owner gets back his/her paypal account the payment WILL be reverted.

Which is why I don't really bother using paypal for international transactions either. Too much ''buyer'' protections which end up completely screwing over the seller.

Anonymous said...

Was it really necessary to use the word retarded? I'm giving you the
benefit of the doubt here but certainly you know that the word
retarded used as slang is extremely hurtful to people living with
special needs. Before I had a child with a disability, I pretty much
was like you. I don't know if I used the word but I certainly didn't flinch when I heard it. What's the big deal, right? It is a huge deal to people who have cognitive challenges. They get what you are saying and they understand that you are mocking them, even if it's unintentional.
Anyway, thank you for hearing me out.

bbr said...

No offense intended toward the less cognitive people obviously. But yes, it's very common slang which I'm sure you understand.

Lea said...

You know pink is the best colour. It's a sign telling you to keep the pocket cam and use it with pride! ;)

Anonymous said...

These kind of posts hurt people like me that live in Nigeria...

Please send $500 to me immediately to make me feel better.

You might as well throw the pink camera in as well...

Nigeria... Australia... what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

Lol. I live in Australia, now my feelings are hurt too so please send me $500 so I can buy medicine.

I found your site via google since I was wondering why so many popular scams seem to come from Nigeria.

bbr said...

Sure, just give me your credit card number. ;P

mage leveling said...

Have you heard about the Nigeria-Connection yet?

It's just like scam, only bigger. You get a mail saying you can get a million dollar (because someone died and has no family or whatsoever) and end up paying a million dollar instead.

Anyway, just google nigeria connection and you'll find a lot of funny pictures ;)

Nigel said...

That was very informative and entertaining. Thank you for sharing, appreciated =)