This is just the story of a scam somebody tried to pull on me yesterday. It was too funny not to publish it.
The fact is that I’m selling my car so I put it up on Facebook Marketplace. After a few hours, I received a Facebook message from a Caroline McMillan asking for more details. I complied and she replied straight away telling me that she wanted it and was ready to pay for it through PayPal. Whoa! Wait! PayPal? A car paid through PayPal without having looked at it? All my alarms went off. After a quick Google search, I firmly attested that I was talking to a scammer so I continued to check what the scam was about…
I gave her (or probably him) my PayPal address to make the payment then it came… She tells me that she needs to wire money to the collection agency and that they don’t accept credit cards so she seeks my help by transferring 750 euros through Western Union. OK, this is the hook.
Of course, I’m not going to transfer money before getting any fund and I let her know. I need to have money on my account before I pay for the car to be picked up. Surprisingly, she said, “Ok… i will make the payment asap.”
A few minutes later, an email from PayPal arrives. Upon close examination, the email had plenty of holes, even typos. This is definitely not a native English speaker. Right after the bogus PayPal notification, another absurd email arrives from some “Williams” from PayPal telling me that they have the funds and that they’re waiting for me to send money through Western Union to the collection agency. At this point, I’m thinking, “Who’d fall for this?” So I ignore this last nonsensical email and replied to her, saying, “I’m waiting for the money to arrive. I’ll confirm when this happens. So far it’s not here yet.”
Desperate for the communication to continue, she replies by saying, “kindly read the mail sent to you very well.” That was really funny!
At this point, I can’t get out much more from this scammer so I just sent her a link to a website warning people about this scam. So the link won’t be conspicuous, I shortened it with bit.ly and, after 5 minutes, when I accessed the stats page, I saw that there was a single hit for the link. Guess from where? Nigeria!
The bottom line—far-fetched weird stories from the Internet are fine up until the point where scammers ask you to pay with money and more so through Western Union so beware.