I thought I have seen or heard of all the nigerian scams. To protect myself I always use PayPal or else I deal in person with the customer. Basically PayPal is a good company for running transactions because they are really focused on security, it is fairly hard to scam someone on paypal. But today I posted something on craigslist, I specifically stated that I will only ship my item to people who pay with PayPal. Craigslist is a huge target for bad people and almost all checks are fraud.
So a few minutes after I posted the item I got emails from two people who were interested. They were both from free accounts. (Red Flag) Both were eager to buy at the full price with out asking for anything (Bigger Red Flag) Next they wanted it shipped to Africa (100% Fraud massive red flag). But I wanted to see how they would scam paypal. Paypal is very secure. So I told them to send me the money. This is how stupid they are, they just spoffed some emails from paypal. They took the normal one and made it seem that it came from paypal but when I logged in there was no money in my account. The email really came from email@example.com but they made the name say firstname.lastname@example.org the real address paypal sends from. They did a decent job of spoofing the email, it looked just like a real one if you did not look at the header. But then to try to ease any subspisions they sent a second email saying this.
This e-mail is sent to you as a confirmation of payment made to your PayPal account.We have rigorously examined the payment for Your Laptop by PayPal Member(monica0002) and the amount to be credited to your account by PayPal is $800.00 USD
This transaction is in order and legal.This fund will be credited to your paypal account once the shipment tracking number is sent to our verifying team
We encourage you to ship the item immediately (due to Paypal's policy) as your payment has been confirmed by us.Security is of critical importance to us at PayPal.
We use proprietary technology and constantly innovate to help ensure your transactions are safe. In addition, PayPal has over 20,000 staffs worldwide dedicated to keeping PayPal
accounts safe, and stopping online criminals. And we work with Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to shut off fraudulent websites as
soon as possible.
PayPal‘s Fraud Investigation Team is highly experienced in fraud prevention. Several members of the team were former law enforcement officials with extensive experience in fighting online fraud. PayPal‘s fraud investigation team focuses on: Identifying and preventing fraud before it occurs, Detecting fraud in process Mitigating loss, if fraud does occur, Delivering information to law enforcement around the world to help stop those committing online fraud.
I sent a message saying that I had not received the money when I checked my account. Of course cause it is totally fake. Four minutes later they sent another that was almost the same, but this time it said that my account would only be credited once they confirmed the tracking number with UPS (A total lie, PayPal never does this.) After 10 minutes I receive 5 more emails from the buyer who really wanted me to contact them ASAP (I guess their time at the Nigerian Cyber Cafe was almost up.)
I also receive another fake paypal message that is much more desperate
Dear Jason Dragon (email@example.com),
This is to notify you regarding Payment made by "Monica0002" to your account. The payment has been successfully made but on escrow due to security reasons we have to receive the shipment tracking number before your account will be credited.
This a new measure we are taking in order to protect both sellers and buyers against fraudulent activities. Immediately the Item has been ship, send the shipment tracking number to PayPal Customer Service Department: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com&composecc=&subject=&body=" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">and immediately the shipment tracking number is CONFIRMED. Your account will be credited immeditely.
PayPal, and Craigslist company Copyright 1999-2008 PayPal. All rights reserved.
PayPal (Europe) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United state as an electronic money institution.
PayPal FSA Register Number: 226056
I simply sent an email back saying I don’t ship to scammers. I wonder if that FSA number means anything? I also noted how they misspelled, and why would a PayPal message mention Craigslist? All odd.
Of course the reason that they do this is because it DOES WORK on some people who are too naive. I am sure they have received tons of free stuff. I bet at least one person who reads this blog has shipped an item out. If this is you, or if you even were sent this scam I would love to see a comment from you.