Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I almost got scammed on eBay

I was looking for a case to buy for church in order to store all the microphones we use for worship service on Sunday. Right now, we have 15+ microphone scattered in plastic bins and some of them are pretty expensive (Shure SM81 = $350/ea). Anyway, I placed a bid on eBay for $80 and ended up not winning the auction.

Then I get this email from a Kelly Williams:
Hello, You have a bid on my auction from eBay. Are you still interested? I need to sell it and the winning bidder said that he is not interested anymore. So i am willing to sell it to you for your last bid price. Let me know if you want to purchase it. Respectfully yours

IMPORTANT: When you e-mail us please include this message.

Thank you!

The email looked official with eBay logos and everything. Being the cheap Chinese guy I am, I replied, "I'll take it!" I then asked about PayPal and giving the "seller" the church office address for shipping. The next day I get this in my inbox from "eBay":

Good news! The following eBay item on which you placed a bid, is now available for purchase! Per your request, we have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate. Please follow our instructions to complete the transaction safely.
...

Payment must be sent by Western Union Money Transfer to:
Seller verified name: Gheorghe Dumitru
Seller verified payment address:
Caras Severin nr.308
Moldova Noua
Romania

At first I thought eBay must be crazy to make a statement like that with words like: verified, accurate, and safely. If something goes bad with the transaction, it's lawsuit time. Then I saw the Western Union money transfer to Romania... Romania?! And who's Gheorghe? What happened to Kelly?! :)

At this point, I should have just stopped. Not wanting to pass up a bargain however, I email back and said that I can pay with PayPal. I was too lazy to go and find a Western Union to transfer money. Next email came quick (don't they sleep in Romania?):

Hi,

I send the item for you, Please make the payment.I can't use Pay Pal because my account was corrupted and I can't use it for another 2 or 3 weeks. Someone made payments with my account and now I must wait until Pay Pal will restore it to me. For the moment I can't make or receive payments. I waiting reply.

Best regards.

OK, that's pretty poor English for Ms. Kelly Williams. Now (finally) I'm thinking this may be a scam so I sent a message to the original seller through eBay and got this reply:

I didn't send that email. If you want to report this person to ebay or paypal buy all means. Thanks for the heads up.

Wow... and I thought that they were going to ship something that weighs 10 pounds to me from Romania for $7.50. Well, it looks like I'm not going to get the microphone case for $80 so I went ahead and ordered one from Jim's Music (ask for Tom) in Irvine for $123. :(

Oh well, it doesn't matter. I'm helping a Nigerian government official transfer $80M out of the country for a 10% commission.

2 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

closetmusician said...

Forget the Nigerian investment, I have a $10,000,000,000 opportunity for you, if you just forward this mail...