You get five gold points for every red flag you find.
It starts with a simple posting on Craigslist. I won a Zune at work and would like to sell it.
Wednesday morning, I got a biter:
Jennygray80@gmail.com: Hello, Is this item still up for sale???.
Me: It is indeed. Would you like to pick it up in gunbarell today?
One minute later I received a blank reply. Kind of odd.
Then, 32 minutes later, a real reply. I'll precede the rest of this correspondence with [sic], so I only have to write it once:
Jennygray80@gmail.com: Then a real reply: Thanks allot for the reply........actually i supposed to come and check the item out but im out of states right now so i wont be able to come over but i will pay $250 for the item and please note that am shipping the item to an overseas partner so i will include $150 shipping fee,i will arrange for the payment of the item via paypal,it is very secure and fast mode of making an online payment or transfer,to proceed with
the transaction asap send me your paypal email address so that i can proceed with the payment of the item.
Thank you very much hope to hear from you soon
Me: Where do you need me to ship the item exactly? I will ship the zune only when I see that you have posted sufficient funds in my PayPal account to cover the Zune and shippng.
My PayPal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennygray80@gmail.com: Thanks for the mail,by the time i send $400 to your account i am sure it will be enough for you to ship the item via USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTL,here is the shipping info
Address;block 11,academy road
i will email you once i have sent payment.
Within 45 minutes I received the following email from "PayPal." Click on the screen shot to read it.
Sure enough, "Jenny" was right on the ball, back in my inbox within minutes:
I just wish to notify you that i have sent payment from my PayPal account
(email@example.com) into your PayPal account (firstname.lastname@example.org) i also included shipping cost so that you will be able to ship to the address given below ...check your email under paypal.Hope you have gotten notification from PayPal regarding the payment and i want to believe that i have done everything right for you to ship out the item ASAP because as am talking to
you now the payment has been deducted from my account ,so i will be waiting
for the USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTL shipments tracking number, Here is the
shipping information you need.
Address;block 11,academy road
PLS SEND IT VIA USPS EXPRESS MAIL ONLY
Me: Hi "Jenny."
I will not consider sending "the item" (as you continually refer to it) until I see the funds posted to my PayPal account. You don't need to send $400 (as you originally offered), let alone $500 (as your supposedly real PayPal email claims.) I just need $150 + shipping, in confirmed funds.
Oh, and I need it to be real. I logged into my PayPal account to see if the $500 had been posted - or if it was even there as PENDING confirmed shipment of "the item". It was not. I am very familar with how PayPal works. And it does not work that way.
This is an obvious fraud. I will still sell you the zune in exchange for ACTUAL PAYMENT. If I receive actual payment in my US PayPal account, I will not report all the details of your scheme to the FTC and the PayPal International Fraud Prevention team - as no fraud will have taken place. Only attempted fraud.
Not even a very good attempt, although I'm sure you dupe countless victims every day, which is why PayPal would be very interested in seeing the details of your scheme.
If actual payment is not posted in my PayPal account by 2pm mountain time, I will take this entire chain and the fake paypal.co.uk email to the proper authorities.
You have a choice. Good luck.
Needless to say, I didn't hear back.