Recently, my roommate decided to sell his MacBook Pro, listing the laptop first on Craigslist and then on eBay. The item generated a good number of responses, some of which I immediately rooted out as scam attempts (bad grammar/spelling, international shipping, etc), but unfortunately I did not get a good look at the correspondence with a seemingly legitimate eBayer until the computer was already in the mail:
So, some guy on eBay (the_w00tmaster) contacts him through eBay, asking some reasonable questions, but requests that he reply directly through email and *not* eBay. First red flag!
After agreeing to the terms of sale through email (note that eBay warns you about off-site dealing like this), my roommate sends a Paypal money request and receives two payment notices - the first for $6000, and then a 'corrected' one for $1550
This dirtbag sent a fake payment! It's obvious in print-view that he attempted to mask the sender as "email@example.com", but unfortunately you don't see the real email address in Gmail unless you click "Show details" (edit: seting Gmail view to "Older Version" also does this). The real kicker is that the message states that Paypal is holding the funds until they can verify shipment, for the "security of the buyer". What a shock then, when my roommate calls Paypal to inquire about the status of the funds and discovers that there was no such transaction!
Alas, I did not inspect these messages in time. The results?
1. No payment and potential loss of the computer
2. Calling USPS to stop delivery, only to find out it was "after hours" (call again in the morning)
3. Contacting local police and NYPD, neither of which offered any help
3. Filing a "sold outside of eBay" report and Mail Fraud complaint with USPIS
To do: file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center ("IC3", an FBI partnership)
Hopefully, all that will be lost here are a few hours and the cost of shipping. I've seen my share of scam attempts, but this one takes the cake
Funny how it's not my problem, but I am equally wrapped up in this