Thursday, January 23, 2014

Avoiding a Scam, or Simply Being Heartless?

I just had an odd experience because of my Craigslist post for sale of a Nikon D100 camera body. A woman named Mrs. Tudor asked about the camera, seemed to like my reassurance that it was in good condition and offered me more than I asked for it. A pink flag went up.

She said the camera was for her son's birthday and that she wanted me to mail it directly to him, using her FedEx account number. She said she would send me the payment before I mailed it. I agreed. Then things started getting weird.

She said her FedEx account had run out. She wanted me to mail the camera to Nigeria. The pink flag turned red.

Here's some of the exchange (verbatum, no edits):

Thanks for getting back to me, i am located in commerce city in CO,I am a full-time paediatrist and i really need to buy this and send to my son Akin Tudor schooling outside the state as a Gift but i hope it's in a good condition as you have said. I will be paying cash through PAYPAL upfront because I have a verified account with since it's a safe way to exchange funds....Once payment clears,shipment will be handled by me through my personal FedEx account,so you don't have to pay for shipping. I am using paypal cos The last time I made a cash transaction, my money was stolen from me by the sellers so bear with me on this.. Kindly get back with your PayPal email address so i can make payment into your PayPal account but if you don't have one you can log to paypal at and easily set up your own personal account since it's free..Get back to me if my approval is granted.
I want your honesty in return to my faithfulness to you during this transaction...
My offer of $140 still stands.
Mrs. Christina Tudor

I responded that we had a deal; that I would ship out the camera, allow her to examine it and then send the money if she liked it. She could return the camera if she didn't. Then I got this:

OK then you have all my support,I really appreciate your trust just like I did to you too...Am a woman of impeccable character and I believe you are too...Well I told you where my son is and everything is going on fine with him I believe anyway...
.I will also like you to know that i am having some little problems with my FedEx account as i checked it online now and i was asked to reactivate it so i cant do that now as i have to sort one or two things out with them and also i would have loved you to mail it to me directly but my work won't allow that, So i am sorry as i wont be  able to handle the shipment through my FedEx account..So,pls get the postage cost to the verified address via Post office(USPS EXPRESS MAIL) and ship out the item via 
EMS SPEED POST asap cos i have told him to be expecting it.I will also included extra amount for the 
shipping in the check i'll send...i think that should be enough for you to ship
Name:Akin Tudor
Address:#80, Faith Missionary House
Zip Code:234039
Let me know how much it costs you to ship.After you ship get back to me
with the amount you used to ship. . my secretary will prepare the check as soon as you give me the proof of shipping(POST OFFICE tracking number).. I am really sorry for the inconveniences
Mrs Tudor
I'm working on a book about a scam based in Nigeria and have done quite a bit of research. This is not a country I want to have anything to do with. I said I  wouldn't go through with the transaction. I looked up Abeokuta and found it to be so remote that the Google Earth map was blurred around it. It is relatively close to the port city of Lagos, a hotbed for internet scams where some of my novel is based. I replied that this deal had taken a turn I didn't like, that it seemed suspicious and I couldn't go ahead with it, especially since Nigeria was involved. She sent this:
Thats why i opted the use of the post office OK?
its reliable and fast ..just 3days everything gets delivered OK..
shipping it back to the US is neither a problem too..i'll pay for everything OK?
so put your body and soul together and besides you are a man yeah....
get to the Post Office asap and get it shipped
thanks for your time

She may be honest, but there's a sense of undue desperation, demand, scam about this. And I'm not doing it.

1 comment:

  1. I once posted an amethyst set on Craiglist. I was contacted by a man, who, it turns out, was a Prince in Nigeria. He wanted his new wife to have the jewelry, please bill him. No way. Alise Stewart