Last week, I advertised an old 486 computer forsale. It is worth around 10$Cdn. I posted it to a Usenet newgroup local to the area that I live in.
A few days after it has been posted, I received the following email. Note that the Subject contains what I advertised, but the text of the message shows that it is a generic format that is sent to all potential victims, since he asks for the quantity and cost, although this is stated. Also a 10$ 486 is not a suitable birthday gift for someone who is doing a masters degree.
Obviously this leads to some scam involving bank accounts. I am not sure exactly what is supposed to happen. I replied to "Benson" asking which country and city he is in, and whether a 486 is suitable for his son. He never replied.
A colleague at work told me that his wife had an item for sale, and she received similar email messages. The buyer changed countries from one email to the other, and they offered more money than the item is worth.
Subject: Computer: 486DX2
From: Benson Raymond <email@example.com>
I am Interested in your product ,I want to buy the product for my
Son who is doing his masters degree,I will like to know if you still have the products on sale also how many quantity you are having for sale,and let me know the cost price,I will pay the exact amount you place on it.
I am buying this product for his birthday gift and i hope that we will have best transaction so that i will able to send to him before his birthday.
The payment will be made via bank transfer and i will like you to open account with Royal bank of canada so that the money will be wire into your account.
Kindly calculate the cost price of the product with the shipping via UPS and let me know the total cost so that i will make the payment altogether.
You can chat with me through my yahoo messenger ID (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let me hear from you asap.
Here is another scam attempt for the same computer. So someone who lives in London, but 'presently based' in Italy wants to buy from Canada a 486 computer worth no more than 10$.
From: garret kimberly
Date: Jun 6, 2005 9:48 PM
Subject: Computer: 486DX2/66
Saw your advert where you placed it and i think it
suit's my requirement's.I would like to buy for the
same qoute .I live
in london but am presently based in the
Italy.Pls get in touch with me through this
email addresss so that we may discuss payment
options.Also,attach pics of the
Initially, I thought that this is a money laundering scheme. However, upon further investigation, I found this to be a fake cashier cheque scam, as described on Craiglist scams page:
2. distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check in exchange for your item
- you receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
- cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else.
- value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
- banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR
- scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)