An interesting scam

  • From: Neil Doane <caine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 02:32:21 -0700

Very clever (well, until they throw him in the slammer for 20 years.)



Neil

----- Forwarded message from Norman Shapiro <norm@xxxxxxx> -----

I almost fell prey to one of the latest on-line scams involving
digital cameras.

At the end of the description of a Sony D770 on the eBay auction
site, the seller stated that he was willing to deal direct, and that
his price for this brand-new, factory-sealed Sony D770 was $1,299. I
knew that the best price I could get for this model was
$1,700-$1,800, so I decided to check it out.

I e-mailed this fellow, whose eBay ID showed zero feedback--in other
words, he was a newly registered user. This set of a warning bell,
but I still wanted to check it out. The guy e-mailed me back, telling
me he could send me the camera, with no prepayment on my part. I
would have two days to examine the camera, and if satisfied, could
use the Western Union electronic pay system to send him my $1,299. He
even offered to pay the Western Union charges. I figure, how the heck
can I lose?

Next, I get a e-mail from the folks at OnSale/Egghead (they chase
down credit-card fraud), asking if I've been dealing with someone
about a Sony D770, and describing this guy's M.O. to a tee. Turns out
this is an elaborate but relatively simple high-tech scam that this
guy has used on eBay, Yahoo!Auction, and other places on-line. Here's
how it works.

This fellow asks for your shipping address, then goes to OnSale,
Amazon.com, Beyond.com, or one of the other large on-line vendors and
sets up a new account using a stolen credit card. Guess whose name
and address is on that new account? Yours. Then he orders a brand-new
Sony D770 for about $1,900, charges it with this stolen credit card,
and has it sent right to your doorstep. You get the brand-new camera,
and after a day or two you happily send him the $1,299 via Western
Union.

a week or so later, you're contacted by the vendor that shipped you
the camera and informed that the credit card used to buy it was
either stolen or declined. They now want you to give them $1,900 or
return the merchandise. You've already sent the scammer $1,299 that
you will never see again. Western Union electronic payments can be
picked up at any Western Union office in the world; all he needs is
the password info they give when you authorize the payment.

Luckily, I've been an OnSale user for over three years, and when this
guy created a new account in my name there, it cot cross-referenced
to my other account and set off some kind of warning. They canceled
the order and contacted me. I was not scammed out of my money like
other folks before me. They've been chasing this guy for several
months and still haven't caught him--he's still out there scamming
folks.

If a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Buyer,
beware--scammers are everywhere.

Phil Mistry via e-mail.

----- End forwarded message -----





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