Nigerian Scammers!!

So, as some of you know from a previous blog, I have stuff for sale on Ebay and Amazon.

(Running total: currently 6 sales, £535 in the bank so not doing too bad!)

But my god, selling online right now is an absolute minefield. Out of my 10 or so listings, I have had 6 -yes 6!- separate people try to scam me on 3 separate items, on both Ebay and Amazon!! I haven’t sold anything online in quite a while, and the atmosphere has completely changed. They tend to target smaller items – my Xperia Play, my Samsung tablet and my Sony camera have been the thing’s they’ve wanted.

The first one nearly got me too, clever bastards. I got an email from someone (with an english name and email address) asking to see photos of my Xperia. I had mentioned in the listing that a corner is scuffed, so assumed they just wanted more information. In our next email, he said he was getting the phone as a present for his father, and would I mind posting it to them directly, as he was a doctor and very busy. I said sure, of course… I don’t care where in the uk I send it or who receives it!

Then, I got an email from Amazon saying the item had been sold, and that a £50 international shipping charge (payed by the buyer) was added to the total amount. That meant my £160 phone earned me over £200. I also got an email from the buyer saying “please post the item as quickly as you can, as I don’t want to miss my father’s birthday and Amazon have just charged me an arm and a leg for postage.” (in perfect english I might add- I wonder if there are “British Slang” classes in Nigeria?) Which was fair enough.

Luckily, I was inexperienced with international shipping and decided to Google “how much to send a package to Nigeria” luckily, Google saved the day and pulled up an endless list of Nigerian scam reports. I had a read, and their stories sounded very familiar to mine. But I’d got an official email from Amazon saying I’d been paid, right? and at the end of the day as long as I get my money I don’t care where the item ends up.

Except I HADN’T got an email from Amazon. In fact, I logged onto my account and the phone hadn’t even been sold! It was still listed on the store! —– BASTARDS!!

Now yes, I’m a bit green, and a bit shit with geography, but I’m no internet n00b. That Amazon email looked LEGIT. If I hadn’t have checked the store, I might have been fooled!! So not only would I have lost the phone, I’d also have had to pay the bloody postage! I was half tempted to send a box with a steaming turd in it to the “buyer.” That would have been £40 postage well spent!

(Just to help you with the visual)

The next day, the same thing happened over on Ebay on my PSP – a buyer asking for photos and directing me to an email address, instead of using the messaging service built into Ebay. And the other emails followed. One particularly bad attempt was a message where the buyer got the model of my camera wrong, and used really bad broken english.  It is now more of an inconvenience than anything else but it is shocking that Ebay and Amazon don’t do more to try and stop it – 6 potential scams in under a week is pretty bad odds, isn’t it?

But aside from these hiccups, things are going well! I’m a lot more cautious, but I’ve been selling to some lovely legitimate sellers from good old lancashire, thankfully!

P.S. today is my birthday so happy birthday to me, you old old bastard!

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