Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 10:16 am:
So I'm selling our Sportster on Craigslist. A potential buyer sent me this email...
Hi thanks for reply, Am a petroleum engineer currently on a rig offshore i really want this to be a surprise gift for my Son . I can only pay through paypal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my paypal account, and this is why i insisted on using paypal to pay,all i will need is your paypal email address to make the payments, and if you don't have a paypal account yet, you can set one up at www.paypal.com it cant take you less than 3mins to do that, i will be expecting your paypal email so l can pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted, and also do get back to me with your best offer. l will be waiting for your reply asap.
It sounds plausible. Is there anyway he can stop the payment after the PayPal payment has cleared?
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 10:36 am:
Check directly on the PayPal site. There's a lot of information that might directly answer your concerns. Look on the site map and if you don't see something specific just contact them directly. I'm not sure about the part of giving someone "your" paypal address. I've only dealt with paypal with ebay transaction. I know there's a two or three day lag when you make a transaction and the pending money posts to your account. I think someone could cancel up until the funds actually post. Once the funds become actually available you can transfer them right to your bank account. Same lag time - a day or two or three before you can access your money. But again, I've never asked for or received someones Paypal account info to payment... either paid through ebay, or on some site that had the paypal option.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 10:56 am:
I'm not sure about the part of giving someone "your" paypal address. I've only dealt with paypal with ebay transaction. That's just an email address that your PayPal account is linked to. All they can do with that is send money to that account.
No question the bike & title would stay with me until funds have cleared.
tell him you would like to do a cash only sales or cashiers check only. i would think that paypal would take a good bit of that for their fees for one thing.
The PayPal fee would be about $200. The price would be adjusted accordingly. This guy is making the deal sound just a bit to easy, but I've known people to do legitimate purchases like this just as easily, sight unseen.
I'm really wondering if anyone knows of a way to scam the seller AFTER the funds have cleared.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 11:13 am:
I received the same reply to my Craigslist XB add a few months ago. Sounded fishy too so I never responded to it. I'm not sure how PayPal settles disputes but I imagined something like this: You give the Buyer your PayPal email address and he transfers the money to your PayPal account. An "agent" then comes to collect the bike and leaves with it. Sometime later, buyer reports to PayPal that he never received the bike. Maybe he say's the "agent" was not HIS agent and so someone else must have stolen the Seller's bike. Buyer has no bike and no money and wants his money back... PayPal obliges. Now the Seller has no bike and no money. Not sure if that's plausible or not.
Remember, while there are a lot of good folks out there, there are legions of people out there whose sole intent is to separate your money and possessions from you. Take care.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 11:26 am:
F_skinners link had this known scam...
i am buying this for my Cousin and i am a petroleum engineer currently on a rig offshore i really want this to be a surprise gift for my Cousin so i wont let him know anything about the this until it gets delivered to him , i am sure he will be more than happy with it.I can only pay with paypal here, i will need you to give me your paypal email address so i can make the payments asap and pls if you dont have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to www.paypal.com and get it set up , after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail address you use for registration with paypal so as to put the money through.for you and they will let you know how you will get the money,tell me more about the advert,the price is okay by me
PS:Pick up agent will come for the pick up as soon as i have made the payments, i would have loved to talk to you on phone but i am a petroleum engineer I work mainly offshore, our phone is down on the rig right now due to bad weather, we can only communicate with our base for now. Cheers. Torsten
Way too close to my buyer's email to ever start a transaction. Good to know BadWebers have each other's backs!
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 12:23 pm:
Whatever: The rugby fraternity in England, Australia , Hong Kong & New Zealand have all received what is in essence the same e-mail regarding a rugby player marooned abroad. Suffice to say, most have ignored it. Some have responded and led the sender on a merry dance until he/she twigged that they were having the P*** taken out of them. All the e-mails came from the real e-mail addresses of friends/players
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 01:15 pm:
Good luck with you sale Sifo. I sold Lynn's 95 Sporty on Craigslist but it took a while. I got many lowball offers, spam and a few tire kickers.
What I do these days is list my cellphone number and state that email is no good. That usually narrows the playing field to only people that are serious. If they want it they will call.
I am very careful about giving out my address and usually offer to meet the person at a neutral location like a dealership or store/mall parking lot.... That has dangers as well and that is when a concealed carry permit comes in handy.
I know I sound paranoid and most people are ok but there is that small percentage that are out to get something for nothing.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 01:41 pm:
Probably a scam. I see these ads from time to time, usually about $3900 for a nice bike. You make contact, and the seller is either in some far away place, or for some reason you can't see the bike. An example of a reply I have gotten more than once - something like:
"It was my husband/son/brother's bike. He was killed in Iraq and I have moved back to Atlanta (I live in UT) with the bike. Send the money and I will help ship, etc..."
The way I usually vet whether it's legit is to reply with something like:
"Hey that's great. My brother lives in Atlanta (or wherever). He can swing by cash in hand and take a look at the bike. If everything checks out, we can close the deal on the spot. Let me know when he can come by."
I have never gotten a reply when I make this offer..
I hate those guys and usually report them - ad comes down, reappears in some other form later... castration is probably not good enough IMO.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 02:34 pm:
If you really want to sell to this guy, tell him to send you a deposit (paypal) with cash on pickup. Then you have opened a small deal with him so you have some certain (however small) rights with Paypal and can start to make some inquiries. Do not under any circumstances allow that deposit to be transferred to your bank account, it MUST remain as your paypal balance, that way if it is a scam and the money needs to be returned, it just transfers back out and paypal won't lock your account. You should also send an email or phone call to paypal about the transaction and explain your concerns, maybe they will check and make sure it is a user in good standing and not a stolen account.
Or just tell them to use a credit card to send you the money western union and wait for that to clear. You can do that online just like sending an email.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 02:43 pm:
Never mind, I just reread it and noticed that the pronoun I is not capitalized when used in the middle of the sentence. This suggests that English is not a first language or the person is too dumb to use proper English. There are many applications that will see the period at the end of the previous sentence and automatically change the case of the first letter in the next sentence. Anyone who is a real engineer with English as their primary language would know they need to be more careful with details like this.
No disrespect for anyone who is using English as a second or third language, but this type of thing really suggests scam or child fooling around. If the person can't form complete sentences are are not clearly from a different country, then I rule them as scam and move on. Sorry for being this way but it has kept me out of trouble with internet purchases for for more than 10 years.
Also strange is that a petroleum engineer would be buying a bike in central USA since most eventually move to either the corporate headquarters or near the oil rigs. If your bike was located closer to offshore drilling, it might not be such a stretch.
At this point I would probably just politely refuse and see what happens.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 04:32 pm:
Looks like everyone agrees that it is a scam. I'd like to second that conclusion. I've seen versions of this one since paypal became widely known. Your common sense and gut feelings are one of the best defenses against a phishing scam like this. Computer security should be a big part of computer classes in school and better awareness should be spread throughout the public. You wouldn't believe how many "intelligent" people fall for stuff that is more obvious than this. Good catch Sifo, and thanks to everyone else that jumped on it.
Tbolt_pilot Certified Computer Forensics Examiner Certified Info Systems Security Professional
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 05:38 pm:
Just keep this in mind, Paypal is not a banking institution. So therefore they are not held to the same regulations and policies as a bank.
You are basically giving a third party your money in exchange for some one elses good or service. Kinda like letting the fat guy hold the bet money cause he is too slow to get away. But paypal has gotten smart. They are well known for holding transactions that are out of the ordinary for a member. Hell i had 3k held up for over 6 months because of them.
Nothing is guaranteed anymore. Id say cashiers check is still the safest way.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 06:12 pm:
I've been told by my bank that it's not all that uncommon nowadays for a cashier's check to be counterfeit.
Banks can put a hold on a cashier's check to give them time to check its authenticity. And if I were accepting one for payment I would encourage my bank to put a hold on it and I would not give up my motorcycle until my bank proved the check was authentic.
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010 - 07:27 pm:
SCAM! SCAM! SCAM! - I list quite a bit of stuff from time to time on Seattle CL and have gotten several VERY SIMILAR replies. I've NEVER took them up on any offer and always reply with a very smartass, No Thank You now go cram it! Never hear back from them. Cash is King and meet in person or NO Deal! Also, on all my smaller items (anything that can reasonably fit in truck) I always meet publically & locally - never at my residence. I even state that comment in the add.
I'm beginning to wish I had taken him up on his offer. Take the payment and give him a bogus address to go find the bike. It would only tie up his funds for a while, until he got reimbursed, but it would be funny to scam the scammer. I would of course never do that because some bureaucratic idiot would probably force me to give the bike to his agent and force me into the scam under penalty of law.