Thursday, September 21, 2006

Swarming With Dishonest Nigerians

Borders learned one of their favorite costly lessons again, and I say "again" because they really don't ever seem to learn that if you want to make a profit selling video games then you actually have to put effort behind your venture. For about the 3rd time since I've started working their, our pissant video game inventory is going half off in order to clear out stock and forget the whole idea ever existed until the over-paid folk in higher decision making jobs decide its time to try and fail again.

What's cool about it this time is that all of our video game systems are also half off, and while I missed out on the opportunity to buy an xbox 360 for half off, I did pick up a PSP. Not for my own enjoyment, since I can't really afford it right now and since only 3 games appeal to me (Lumines, Loco Roco, and the Gradius collection), but to try and sell it on ebay for at least enough profit to justify the purchase of something I actually want. Well, easy enough right? Well not if my friends in Nigeria have anything to say about it.

About 1 hour after I place the auction up, just after midnight, the item sells with the "buy it now" feature. I get an email from the buyer, an ebay account created minutes before buying the item:

Hello ,
Season's Greetings to you.I am Mark Smith from Orlando, Fl ,US.I'm contacting you concerning your item on Ebay which i eventually became the winning bidder for your item.Morever i'm presently serving our beloved nation here in with the United Nation and i intend sending this item to my son who works with the American Embassy in Nigeria as a visa Officer.So i will like you Ship the package via Global Express Guaranteed Non-Document or USPS 2-5 DAYS POSTAL SERVICE Shipping to Nigeria and I will like you to go know the Shipping cost and calculate the shipping cost and the item for Payment get back with the amount i will be paying immediately..I will be sending you my payment via PayPal,So kindly send me your (PAYPAL EMAIL ADDRESS) So as to immediately make out my payment.Make sure you get the package ready for immediate or next day shipment okay?.Expecting your reply so as to immediately make out my payment.
Mark Smith

The bad english, the strange too-much-info description of why he's buying it and who it's for (like I care), and of course, the fact that he wants me to send it to Nigeria (read: Nigeria and 419 scams). I was interested to see how he planned on using paypal in his scam, since paypal is pretty fool proof, and of course that simply turned out to mean that he would send me an email that looked like it was from paypal, which he did, telling me that the funds wouldn't be credited to my account until I provided proof of shipment. No such paypal policy, practice, or option exists.

Anyway, fun for all I'm sure. I figured no big deal since I can relist it once for free and have the final value fee refunded (although it's a minor hassle). I relist the auction, set an option that prevents people from bidding or buying if they have negative feedback or have no paypal account, and the next morning find that I have a question from another buyer, no doubt thwarted by the security measures I had placed but who, nonetheless, decided to go fishing anyway:

Dear seller,
My name is Ales Frank From Uk. I am interested in Buying your item on Ebay.I want the item urgently i can't wait till bid end So let me know the cost of the item. I need to send this item to my Son in west africa as their gifts. I will make my payments via MONEY ORDER CASH ON DELIVERY PAYMENT which as I was told is reliable and Secured.. SO to ship the package i will require USPS SERVICE for the shipment I will only need the Below information so as for me to make the payment.

I think, wow, it's more common that I had thought. Later that day, I find that my auction had been bought out again, this time by an ebay user with a positive rating of 3 out of 3, and (obviously) a paypal account. This is their email:

Dear Seller, I won this item above and I just want to inform you that I will like to buy this item for my friend's son who is studying in Africa and I will like to make an immediate payment for this item. Please do calculate the shipping cost, plus the money for the item and give me the total price so that I can send out your money, I would have love to hardly the shipping but due to my job, as I travel a lot to attend to medical calls. So please do get back to me ASAP for payment for this item.I will be making the payment through Stormpay Money Order or through my Paypal account.Do e-mail me your paypal ID if you want me to pay through paypal. Your urgent response will be highly appreciated.
Mr Carissa Heim.

So, what...did this guy go through 3 legitimate purchases before trying to scam me? Were those the positive feedbacks left by people before they had realized they had been scammed? Or had the account simply been hacked? I don't care either way, because at this point I'm getting pissed. As it stands I have ebay fees of $20 for two listing fees and two final value fees that I now have to get credited back to me. My auction is relisted again and now in its third run. This time, I've added the last possible measure against these douchebags, an option that forces people to pay immediately through paypal the moment they use the "Buy it Now" option. If they don't, my auction stays up.

Fuck Nigeria.

And something I'll add after I ran the spell checker, fuck their terrible spelling too. I should have pasted the emails after I ran spell check.


Blogger Zeroes said...

Some day when I'm dictator elect I'll let you be my Purges Administrator. You can start by hunting down and destroying internet scammers all over the world for being too annoying to live.

2:30 AM  

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