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How to spot a scam

by Richard Masoner

If you read my post of the ‘Dumb Ass Scammer’ , you may be wondering if it’s all true. If you have tried to sell something in MTBR.Com, Ebay or any type of classified ad site, you have probably been contacted by this people. Having bought and sold stuff thru MTBR.Com and Ebay, I have learned to spot these guys. They pretty much operate the same way. The first thing they do is send you an email that they are interested on what you are selling. Here’s an example of an email:

HELLO DEAR SELLER,
PLEASE I SAW YOUR ADVERT POSTED FOR SALE(Ibex Trophy 770 Disc First Impression) I AM JUST TRYING TO SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I AM INTRESTED IN BUYING IR ALSO I WILL LIKE TO KNOW YOUR LAST PRICE ON IT AND ALSO IF THERE IS ANY OTHER PHOTO AVAILABLE FOR IT OKAY I AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE CONCERNING THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

There are a few things that will tell you that this is a scammer right away. The email is written in poor English and tries to sound very formal. Another thing to look out for is that even though you have posted a million pictures of your bike and have specified the price, they will ask you for a final price and more pictures. They want to make it sound like they are really interested. Let’s say you respond to their email thinking that they are legit. Here’s a sample of what they write back:

‘Hello ,
Good to hear from you.Don’t bother about the shipping ,I will handle that myself.I’m definitely ok with theprice .But you will have to do me a favor. I’m currently not in the state, i’m in DUBLIN,UK on a business trips.My Client will send you a Cashier Cheque of $5500, then you cash the payment from the cashing outlet or your bank and you remove your $3,000 for the(Ibex Trophy 770 Disc First Impression).The remaining amount will be send to my shipper who will come for the pick up at your location by Next week.I hope you are ok with these arrangement.Also, you remove $100 for your running around and any expenses you make, like the charges from the cashing outlet and the charges to wire the balance through western union to my shipper.Let me know if you are ok with these arrangement so that the payment will be send to your location as soon as possible.Hope to hear from you with your full details such as your full name,addres and tel.number so that the payment can be send to you on time.
Regards

Again, the email is written in poor English and they try to sound very professional. 90% of the time they claim to be purchasing the bike for a ‘client’. They tell you that they will take care of all shipping and not to worry about anything. Now here’s the scam. They will tell you that they are going to send you a Cashiers Check over the amount that you requested and ask you to wire the difference. So you will get a fake check, deposit it, and wire the difference. The check will bounce, there will never be a pickup and you are out what ever the difference was. In the aforementioned example, it would be $2,500 bucks. Most of these scammers are overseas so you will never be able to track them back.

So what can you do? There’s not much that anyone can do but to be careful and remember if it’s too good to be true, it’s a scam.

 
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One Response to “How to spot a scam”

  1. [...] ike on MTBR.Com, EBAY or any other classified Ad website. [...]

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