Three days ago I received a phone call from one of my firends about his laptop ebay auction. His voice was excited but also a little bit anxious. Here is the the story. He bought his laptop (Sony VGN-A270B ) from Hongkong about half a year ago and brought it to UK for use. It is a good laptop and the original price was about £1100. Now he's leaving UK for Hongkong so he wanted to sell it on ebay. He's a novice to ebay with only one feedback. (I don't have many either but I know how ebay works.) In the first couple of days of the listing, everything looked ok. Some people bid on the laptop and price was raised to about £80. He was a little worried he's going to lose money on ebay. Things didn't change much in the next few days until the drama took place on the final day of the auction. The price of the laptop has been raised to £670 and my friend was pretty happy about it. His affordable price is £600, he said.
However, just before the auction was about to end. His laptop was suddenly bid to ￡2,340.00. The winning bidder sent him an email and asked him to send the laptop to Nigeria. Immediately he received another email from "Paypal" saying that he has a payment of ￡2,340.00 pending in Paypal however in order to protect the buyer he need to send the laptop to the buyer's address as soon as possible and email "Paypal" the shipping code to receive the pending moeny. It's TOO good to be true! At that time, he called me for my opinion. My first response was that's a con. To be sure, I asked him to forward the two emails to me. After I took a look, I laughed. They tried to put "Paypal" in the quotation marks but clearly gave a fake paypal email. After my explanation my friend realised his ebay bubble exploded, fortunately without a big loss.
Indeed, ebay is an amazing place. But when you find something is too good to be true, tackle it with caution. Especially when you are dealing with high-priced items, always get second opinion when you send off any goods. Report to ebay whenever you see anything suspicious.
Deal with international laptop buyers with CAUTION
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5 December 2006
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