eBay used to be a reliable, safe place to buy and sell camera equipment. In fact, I began on eBay well over a decade ago buying and selling trumpets for my personal use. But like a lot of things, the bigger it gets the more dangerous it gets.
Yesterday, I listed my 1D Mark III for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1,330. Within minutes I received an email from eBay saying the camera had sold at that price.
Having just looked at ended sales of 1D Mark III bodies and knowing that my price was at the high end of the range that camera had been selling for, I was skeptical. When I saw that the buyer was in the UK and had no history of transactions with eBay I knew something was up.
My auction listed shipping only to the US so I notified the buyer that we would have to cancel the transaction. I communicated both through eBay and directly with my photo email which is not the same email I use with eBay and PayPal.
Here is the first response:
Hello, I am the buyer of your item...I am buying it as a birthday Gift for my son...Also should i made the payment to this PayPal email address (truland @yahoo.com)if not.please get back with your correct paypal email address,i want to be sure via payment...you can also send me paypal money request to my mail (waltervivian451 @yahoo.es)
First, that email, firstname.lastname@example.org is not an address I use or have set up. My reply was that no, I'm not shipping to the UK and would you please agree to cancel the transaction.
I then get this fake email purportedly from PayPal (click for full size):
It looks real but the email isn't from PayPal at all as the return address is a mail.ie domain. And it's not possible that money had been deposited in that account because that PayPal account doesn't exist. It's my email but not the one I use for PayPal.
The same time as the fake email arrived, I get an email from the fake purchaser as follows:
And this message through eBay:I want to notify you that payment for your item has already been made and the necessary funds have been deducted from my PAY PAL account.i want you to send the item to the address below,am buying it as a birthday gift for my Son,who is currently working with the UNICEF and he is on special duty in Nigeria at this moment.you can check your Spam box if you did not see the PayPal notification mail in your inbox.I have provided 150.00 USD available for the shipping USPS Express mail international sign for EB So endeavor to get the item in post ASAP,so that it can get to my Son on time for his birthday Gift.I want you to get the item to my Son as soon as you receive notification from the PayPal. Because I want my Son to receive the item before his birthday.Name.......Gabriel AbayomiAddress...17 Otun StreetCity.......Shomolu,Zip code...23401,Country....Lagos,Nigeria.Best Regards.
Payment as been made you can check your Spam box if you did not see the PayPal notification mail in your inbox.And yes, I did check my PayPal account via web browser since the actual account information was passed along to the purchaser by eBay. Of course there is no transaction.
I forwarded the fake email to PayPal and reported the issue to eBay. My problem is the sale of my camera, which already cost $12 in fees, has been ended with a fake purchase.
I also noted a transaction on eBay recently where a purported purchaser bid almost $8,000 for a used 5D Mark II body which would be worth, at most, around $1,500.
So, if anyone out there wants to buy a really nice 1D mark III for $1,300 let me know. It looks like I'll be holding on to it for a while.
Wow, my would be scammer doesn't give up easily. Here's an email I received this morning:
You do have to admire persistance, I suppose. By the way, the email address the scammer is using is email@example.com. And here is my email response:Dear seller, what is going on with the shipment to my son, payment as been made out and your funds as been deducted from my paypal account, and it will be credited into your paypal account once you get the item ship and get back to paypal with the shipment tracking number for confirmation...Check your Spam box if you did not see the paypal notification mail in your in box..
Another by the way, neither eBay nor PayPal have responded to any of my contacts to them over the past several days.Fake emails purporting to be from Paypal don't fool me you turkey. Your scam has been reported to eBay and PayPal.Here's where you screwed up. The PayPal account you pretended to deposit into doesn't exist so I couldn't have received an email from PayPal.My real PayPal account was sent to you by eBay but evidently you're too stupid to figure it out.And, it's easy to log in to PayPal and see if anything has been deposited.Do you really think people are stupid enough to ship something to Africa for a purchaser in the UK when the whole auction was limited to the US?