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Taking Care of Business
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Old July 26th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #1
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WARNING: Potential Fraud Tactics

Hey guys,
Wanted to warn everyone of some potential fraud that is happening on this forum. I have sold things here before no problem, and recently I listed a DV crane for $270. I got an email from a "Betty Van" of Nigeria wishing to buy. I have shipped internationally before, so I figured no problem.

Once I agreed to sell, "Betty" told me that someone owed her money and she was going to send that to me. Fine I thought. Then she says not to worry about shipping-her carrier will pick it up. Alrighty, no biggie I thought. Then the clincher:

I begin receiving emails from her that the check is coming and that she wants me to IMMEDIATLY cash the check the same day at western union. The check arrives for the sum of $3,500. She wants me to cash it, take my $270, then split the remaining amount in two and send it to two addresses in Nigeria. As if this wasnt fishy enough--the check was from a Saudia-Arabian bank. She says once they receive the money, someone will come to pick up the crane. Whatever.

The strangest thing is that the check came from Oak Ridge, TN. Once I took all this in, I did what any sensible person would do...went to the police. They agreed that this was a fraud/scam of some sort. They told me to rip the thing up and forget about it. I did. They too were suprised that the check had come from TN, they said usually it comes from out of country.

The moral of the story is that while this forum is great and trustworthy-you cant let down you guard. First thing I should have done is check that she was a member--"Betty Van" is not. The worst part is, now they have my contact information. Who knows how they were planning to scam me, or maybe they were trying to transfer drug/terrorist money without having their name on it. Either way, lesson learned.

Take Care, Be Careful.
Jonathan Stanley

P.S.- My crane is still for sell :)
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Old July 26th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #2
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This is a common scam. Our local radio consumer advocate Clark Howard reports that this is done with cars, stereo equipment and furniture. Bottom line is if it smells fishy it almost always is.

Regards,

Mark
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Old July 26th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #3
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This sort of scam is common across the web. It is not particular to our forum.

Once again, I must state the obvious:

Whenever you deal with anyone, whether it's through our classifieds forum or Ebay or elsewhere, always be sure to contact them by telephone. If it's through our forum, make sure the other party is in fact a registered member here. Finally, anything regarding Western Union and Nigeria should send up two great big red flags.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 02:13 PM   #4
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wow thanks for the tip, do you have any pic's of the crane ?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 03:14 PM   #5
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Best Nigerian scam I came across was the one where they ask for assistance to get their astronaut home from the ISS. Maybe your crane can help?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #6
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You know that one REALLY common Nigerian scam - the one which is some sort of money laundering scheme? Well believe it or not but people do fall such victim to them that there is at least one recorded case of it leading to the victim's death.

Definitely don't fool around with multi-national ploys and schemes.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #7
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The other side of the scam:
That check is coming from some poor sap who thinks he is sending a cheque for a new laptop or something that they've also hooked. You cash the cheque, send the money off. Buddy who thinks he is buying the laptop tracks YOU down, since you cashed it, and then the sh!t really hits the fan, while the nigerians are laughing in their vodka bottles.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for announcing this scam, Jon. Hopefully it will save someone here or a friend of their's some pain

I'm stunned at the elabrate BS these people go through to rip people off.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:37 PM   #9
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Uggh this is just awful knowing they know where I live. They actually did call me--left a message to check whether or not I got the check. They sounded Nigerian. I swear I have the worst luck. I live right in the middle of town with good security and cops drive by my house every few minutes (main road), so that makes me feel a little better...I am hoping that since I did not cash the check they will let it drop. Here is a link to the crane: http://www.studio1productions.com/dv_jib.htm

Will sell for $230 now, and HEAR ME NOW, I WILL CHECK YOUR IDENTITY SO DONT TRY ANYTHING whoever you are. :)
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #10
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Kind of off topic, but there is a great website dedicated to exposing these Nigerian fraud scams. Check out this account below...

http://www.419eater.com/html/joe_eboh.htm

Rick
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Old July 29th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #11
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Rick,

Thanks for that link. I read it from beginning to end. Score one for the 'good guys'.

regards,
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:53 AM   #12
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Jonathan, I may be interested in buying your jib, if it's still for sale.

Feel free to emal me.

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Old July 30th, 2004, 03:01 AM   #13
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Re: WARNING: Potential Fraud On This Forum!!

Quote:
They told me to rip the thing up and forget about it. I did.
So police instructed you to destroy evidence?
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 09:56 AM   #14
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I was thinking the same thing indeed. Shouldn't they be
investigating this and bringing down these criminals?
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Old August 4th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #15
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Good question. Before they told me to do so, they checked with some investigators. The evidence (mostly emails), wont hold in court. They took a little information, but ultimately there is no use for the evidence/check. Welcome to the confusing American court system. Although I sort of wish I hadnt torn it up, because I realized that the check came from TN, making it an interstate case, thus would actually be in the realm of the FBI. Oh well to late....
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