I recently sold my laptop on Craigslist (I just upgraded to the new unibody MacBook Pro). I got a flurry of emails, two of which I immediately recognized as scams. The one I tried to engage in a 'transaction', but went nowhere. The other one I was able to string along for 3 days, 39 emails and a Skype chat! I will post this purely for educational purpose, so you don't get scammed. Here's how it went down:
He contacts me claiming to be a Doctor (Dr. Martins), says he wants the laptop for his nephew in Nigeria and is willing to pay extra for shipping. He sends me an (almost) authentic looking PayPal receipt, then demands I ship it. I ask for proof he's a real doctor, he sends me a picture of a [white] Dr. Martin, retrieved from Google Images. I ask him to contact me on Skype, then let him have it.
The name on his email is "akolisa stanley", his email address is email@example.com and his skype ID is mamaglint86. Feel free to spam him!!!
Here's the whole thing, boring stuff taken out
Him: wats the firm price
Me: what's your offer?
thanks for getting back to me.I am a medical doctor Residing in richmond,i just got a call from my nephew at west africa that his birthday is coming up in two weeks and i need to buy a gift for him, pls i need your paypal e mail and your full name so that i will send the money to you through paypal. i would love to pick up local but i left for texas few days ago. i will pay extra $150 for the shipping and handling. pls get back to me asap.you will be shipping to west africa via canada post priority air mail.
Me: OK, thank you. I will need your nephew's name and full shipping address. With the $150 for shipping so the total is $xxx. You can send paypal funds to my email. I will send you a copy of the shipping confirmation.
Him: hi, i want to inform you that i ve sent the payment, pls ship via canada post express mail. check your paypal e mail for payment notification. thanks.
== I just received 2 fake transaction receipts from paypal ==
Me: I don't understand – I don't see the money in my paypal account. Am I not looking in the right place?
Him: hi, the money has been deducted from my account, maybe they are waiting for the shipping confirmation from you. please let me know as soon as you ship it. please use express mail or priority mail. thanks
Me: Can you please send me a screenshot of the money being taken out? I'm worried that maybe the funds went into the wrong account, because I don't see them. Maybe you could get a refund from paypal, and send the money another way?
Him: the funds will be processed as soon as you send the tracking number to paypal via e mail
Me: I don't really understand why that is the case. I'm starting to get a little skeptical here. How do I know that this is for real? How do I know you're really a Doctor?
I want to sell it to you, especially since it's a gift for your nephew, I think that's very kind of you. I just want some proof that you are a Doctor as you say you are, because we can't meet in person for me to verify it.
Him: i would ve loved to see you face to face but i am in states now. you can trace my ip to see if i am telling you the truth…lol.
i am in flourida now to see a friend of mine. please i have less than 10 days to the guys birthday and i need it shipped asap. please
== I trace his IP, no use, he's sending through Hotmail, it's in the States ==
Me: How do I do that? Is there any easier way? Like can you just send me a scan of your medical diploma, perhaps let me know which hospital you work at, and what type of doctor? Thanks
Him: i ll try and see if i can find somewhere to scan it.i am surgeon.
Him: hello, i want to know if you have shipped it, if you cant go on with this transaction, let me know so thet i will terminate the transaction today. reply asap
Me: I can ship the laptop this afternoon, but it would really comfort me to see your diploma. Perhaps you can find an internet cafe in the city where you're at your conference to scan it?
Him: hello, please i dont deserve the stress you are giving me, i would have picked it up my self but i am not around. pls send it to this address below. i am going for a meeting and will be back in next 4 to 5 hours. hope to hear from you. below is the shipping address.
Address: No 33 Ogui Road,
Zip Code:234 42
Me: I'm not trying to give you stress. You must understand that I don't see your money in my paypal account. So I need something to verify you are who you say you are. You can even take a picture with your digital camera, at least in your surgical outfit. Whatever it takes. This is a very good deal, this laptop is worth far more, I bought it for $XXXX, but I need the money now, that's why I'm selling it.
Him: I understand you, but i dont deserve this
Me: This is not about what you deserve or don't deserve. I don't know you, I've never met you. If anyone deserves anything at all, it's me that deserves some verification of who you are. I'm just asking you to send me a picture of your diploma or yourself in your doctor's outfit. As soon as I get that I'll go straight to the post office and ship the laptop priority mail.
Him: hello, i attach my picture here. hope you are satisfied with that . thank you. let me know as soon as you ship it.
== Here he sends me this picture, clearly taken from this site ==
Me: I'm really confused. You said your name was Dr. Martins. This guy's picture is Dr. Martin. Your nephew is in nigeria, the man in this picture is white, and is just wearing a suit, not a surgeon's outfit. I'm willing to accept that you are a white man with Nigerian relatives, but please, you must have a picture of yourself in a surgical outfit.
Him: i am not a nigga. i am tired of this transaction.
Me: That is a very racist comment. Why would you say that?
Him: you should know that i need this laptop, if you cant ship it, let me know so that i will know what next to do. i dont know what else to prove that i am wht i said that i am.
Me: And you should know that I need to sell it, as I need the money very badly. All I'm asking for is a picture of your diploma or you as a surgeon. You could even take the picture with your cell phone, I don't care.
Him: there is no way i will send you a as a surgeon cos i am not in richmond now. should i fake my self? why did you find it difficult to assist me on this?
Me: I find it difficult because I haven't met you. Do you have Skype? Can we chat on skype or on the phone so I can verify who you are?
== So then we get on Skype 🙂 ==
Me: i don't hear anything
Him: let me see if i am gonna get another headset
== yes, because often Doctors carry multiple headsets while traveling in the US ==
Me: you're sure your microphone is plugged in?
Him: i cant find another headset here. i dont think i can wait for this anymore
Me: sure you can, it's a great deal!
Him: i will have to cancel the payment and get from somewher else. the stress is too much for me
Me: I understand, you don't need the stress when away traveling, but imagine how stressful it must be for me
I can send it, after I pick up some stationary supplies
Me: Tomorrow morning. Just one thing I need you to know:
that your mother raised you badly
you are scum, and your english is terrible!!!
Him: i am disappointed
Me: you got that picture off a dentists site!! You are possibly the least intelligent Nigerian scammer I've met
Him: ive got to go
Me: your mother would be so proud of you if she knew what you do for 'work'
you're one pathetic loser
you are an absolute lowlife
Him: stop insulting me man
Anyways, it was quite enjoyable, I might see if I can get a few of these guys going.