Nigerian scammers, my experience!

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I am a fairly new member of ebay. I have sold a drawing board in the past which went smoothly and was pretty impressed with the service. I decided to sell an unwanted upgrade Sony Ericsson walkman phone to get a bit of extra money towards my car insurance. I put it up there with a starting bid of £60 hoping to get about £80 for this. I was inundated with offers to sell this phone for £500 plus if I ended the listing early. I was very suspicious as this seemed like a huge amount of money, especially considering sites like amazon were selling these phones for £120. The emails also had Western sounding names but were written in extremely broken English. I responded saying that these people would have to bid for the item, just before the listing ended I had a few bids of around the 70 pound mark, when two came in just before the end for 400 pounds. One of these won the bid. I immediately had an email from ebay saying that this transaction was null and void as the person had hijacked an account.

Feeling rather frustrated I tried to claim my listing money back, however because this account is still active I am unable to do that until 10 days after the item has sold. Thinking "These things happen" I relisted the item with a "buy now" option, thinking that it would never go for that amount but naively thinking it was worth a go. A day before the listing ended it was purchased through buy it now. The person listed the item as paid for, however i had no money in my paypal account. I sent them an invoice and they responded saying that although they lived in Germany they wanted the item to be sent to their friend who works at the British Embassy in Nigeria and that they were going for emergency treatment in the US. Alarm bells rang very loudly at that point and also because they were asking for my paypal details, when they already had them. I suspected that they were trying to get me to send the phone before receiving payment and emailed back saying that I would not send the phone until they had paid for it.

I contacted ebay who looked into the account, informing me that it had been closed and therefore I was not committed to completing the sale. I have had no further emails from this person. Following this I read some similar stories and took their advice to change my password, set up preferences on my account so that buyers are blocked who have 0 feedback and are registered outside the uk. I have re-listed my phone again and just want to sell it to a legitimate buyer, I am sick of these people wasting my time. I would follow the mantra, "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!"

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