If you have, say, a car for sale, you may find interest from overseas. They will be very polite and charming, and usually tell you a story something like this:-
'I see you want £3,000 for the car. My son/nephew/cousin is coming to work in the UK and it is very expensive and difficult to send money over to him for a deposit on renting a house/buying a car/student fees (etc., etc.,) -You could do me a big favour! You sound a genuine, trustworthy, honourable chap, and if I send you £10,000, could you please give my lad the car and the cash?'
This puts you, the seller, in a position of trust. YOU are the one HOLDING THEIR MONEY... What could go wrong?
This transfer business is very long-winded and complex, but the £10,000 gets transferred from an account which is empty! It comes through a stupid, unbelievable, loop-hole in the clearing system, looks to have entered your account, the guy turns up, you give him the keys, the car, log book and the cash.
Dont be surprised to be offered £100 for your trouble!
You think it's all gone well, and you've been the good guy here.
Next thing you know, a few days later, your bank tells you they got bounced for ten thou. They want you to pay it back in! Well, you have three thousand, but the car is gone, and so is £7,000.
I have been approached (who hasn't?) by e-mails from 'Mrs. LeLee Matsouki, widow of murdered Chief Tuutseeka Matsouki', who tells the story of how she managed to send US$22million to Amsterdam, and just needs a European citizen to help her withdraw some for her children, who fled the overthrow of the government with her... Blah, Blah, Blah... She seems unable to provide details of the political situation in her country, when pressed for them! Yet willing to offer 2% of the total funds needing transfer...
Until the banks get their international act together (and they've been using computers for forty years now, but still haven't) and close the door of oppourtunity on this scam, kind-hearted, genuine folk are going to get ripped off. The scammers will tell you how big their business is in their country, that they have political or ambassadorial influence, that they are minor royalty, are very keen to make 'good business contacts' with 'successful businesspeople' such as yourself, that they are coming to live in your area, and have a fortune to invest in the UK, and they want to stay in touch with you, for more help and advice from you in the future. In short, they will tell you what you'd like to hear, but are just after one thing. Your money.
Oh, and your car, if that's O.K. with you. Well, is it?
There's an old saying from the fraud squad - 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.'
Accept cash on collection, trust Paypal if you do, take a UK bank-issued cheque or bankers' draft, and ensure it has cleared BEEEE-FOOOUURR handing over the keys!