This guide is to help prevent fellow Ebay sellers being scammed by Nigerian bidders. I have myself just had an unpleasant encounter with one of these many scammers, and I do not wish it upon other people!
Here are a few pointers to help you easily spot a scam attempt:
Scammers tend to go for jewelery, electronic items/games consoles (generally expensive stuff).
You may have a bidder who has no feedback rating at all. This isn't a major warning bell, but just to be sure, check the date they signed up. My bidder had only just signed up the day the auction ended!
You will most likely receive an over-friendly email with very poor grammar explaining how the he/she does not live/dwell at the location on their account anymore (which is more than likely a UK or US address), and that they have a friend/relative in Nigeria or other third world country who they would like you to ship their item to.
If this happens, email them back saying that you are unable to ship there but you will gladly ship it to the address listed on their Ebay account. I did this, and the guy deleated his Ebay account, which allowed me to instantly get back my Ebay fees for the item.
ADVANCED WARNINGS (MAKE SURE YOU REPORT THEM AS SOON AS YOUR SUSPICIONS ARE AROUSED.)
After this has happened, you may recieve an email from "Ebay" saying that their account has been reactivated after a temporary ban, and
you are required to carry on the transaction. YOU ARE NOT! This is a lie and a fake email as Ebay clearly states that once an account has been deactivated, this is classed as an unpaid item strike. Make sure you forward this email to Ebay. It is important that you do so they can help prevent this. Also, these emails tend to have spelling errors and poor grammer (Ebay can spell properly, so this is warning enough)
Another possibility (he/she may not deactivate his account, that is just what happened to me) is that they will send you a fake Paypal payment, usually higher than what the item cost.
Big alarm bell.
THEY DON'T HAVE PAYPAL IN NIGERIA! How can they pay you without a paypal account?
Do NOT click on any links in this email, this is an easy way for them to gain access to your details. The official Paypal site ALWAYS starts with "https". Note the "s". This means secure. Anything else is surely a fake. Again, look for spelling errors and bad grammer.
If you do receive this email from them, they WILL ask you to ship the item FIRST, then give them the tracking number, then the fees will transfer into your account. This is the biggest alarm bell going! Trust me, Paypal does instant transfer so if a payment IS made, it will show immediately in your Paypal account. And if a tracking number is demanded on a Paypal email, this email is a big, fat fake! Paypal do not do tracking numbers. This is for the post office to handle.
Do NOT reply to any emails they send you, they may even say that they will report you to Ebay if you do not send the item. Hopefully, you have already reported THEM, so you got there first. They can't do anything to you now, don't worry. Just don't respond.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU LOSE?
If they try and pay you more than your item cost, and you send the item believing this email, they will later send you another email saying that they made a mistake in the transfer and accidentally sent too much money. They will ask you for the extra back.
So, say you sent an item worth £50 (sorry dollar users, imagine it's $50 :P), and they "sent" you a payment of £100, then ask for the extra £50 back (remember that they never paid you in the first place), you have lost £100 (£50 for the item and the £50 you owed them).
So, in effect they get a free item and spare cash while you are left with less money than you started!
Please, do look out for these things as they are EXTREMEMLY important.
Hope I helped! :)
Scamming- Be aware
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17 December 2015
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