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scammer from etsy

I have one of my sculptures up on etsy for $1000, so I was pretty happy to get this message in my etsy inbox:



Gray Fox Taxidermy Mount on Glowing Plaque, listing #50887635

by jjmaryy2

Hello
i saw you listing on etsy and am interested i want to know if you still have this item available for sale?i can only pay through pay pal and after payment has been made i will make the necessary arrangement for the item pick up.please get back to me on my private emailaddress..jjmary2@ymail.com...Thanks



Poor writing skills like this make me suspicious, but I've had customers write similarly because english wasn't their first language, so I sent a email:


Hi,

Yes he's still for sale for $1000. Paypal is fine. Where do you live? I'm south of DC, we could either arrange a pick up, or I'd be willing to drive and drop it off within a day's distance, or ship.

-Marisa



The reply:

 I really appreciate it, I am an oceanographer and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through paypal as i dont have access to my bank account online as i dont have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my paypal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through paypal,So  please kindly get back to me  with your  paypal details so i can proceed with  the payment and after the payment has been done, i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the item up after i have made the payments for the item.


At this point I was pretty skeptical, mostly because there was no reference to me or the sculpture, just "item". But I still had some small hope that this was just a really awesome strange sale. The use of paypal was reassuring. I noticed they had deleted the etsy account that they used to contact me in the first place. My reply, where I intentionally asked a specific question about the sculpture to see if they'd answer like a real person:


Hi,

Can you give me more information on who will pick the sculpture up? It is at my home address so I'm sure you understand me being careful about who shows up here. Would you like me to show them how to operate the plaque?

I have taken the sculpture down on my etsy so no one else purchases it, but you can still see it on my website,
www.marisarand.com

my paypal address is the same as this email address, (email address)
. Make sure when you send the payment you mark it as payment for "Goods".

Thanks,
Marisa



Their ridiculous reply:


I was just about to make the payments when i had this little problem with the picking up of the item , I am currently on sea and i am buying the item  for my Dad as i explained earlier on and i tried to book pick up with my pick up agent, but they asked me to pay first before they can make the booking, and they only accept western union money transfer for payments and they don't accept paypal or  bank transfer and I tried to send the money online but i couldn't and I am on sea and there is no way i can find a western union agent to make the transfer to my pick up agent, so i wanted to ask if it was ok for me to include my pick up agent's fees in the payments I am about to send through paypal, my pick up agent charged $400 plus insurance and all of that, please can i include their money in the payments I want to send then after i have made the payments you will help me forward the $400 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, this I would have done myself and not bother you but the for the fact that I am currently on sea, so after I have made the payments you will help me send $400 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, I just wanted to seek your consent before going ahead with the payments,I will more than appreciate if you mail me back, and I will be making the payments shortly.
 PS:the shipping company's Head quarters and any pick up fees to be paid is sent to their head quarters by the payee, so the money for pick up will be sent to their head quarters  through western union money transfer(this can be done from any post office)  at western union or money grams



TL;DR: I've never had a scammer come at me through etsy, nor use paypal in their methods. I kind of just wanted to put it out there, and see if anyone has had similar experiences.

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Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
connorgoodwolf
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
I've some information which may enlighten you.

Go ahead and make an attempt to sell, but this is what will most likely happen.

1) Buyer will "send money"
2) You'll receive an email from Paypal stating you're being sent money.

Okay I should explain at this point at #2, since I know another furry who was trying to sell a 1500USD camera lens came in to this situation. He checked the headers of the Paypal email and it was forged, he logged in to his Paypal only to see no payment was initiated.

Many people will see the email and ship the item without verifying in the paypal screen they were paid.

This is how people scam sellers off ebay.

If you want to continue with the transaction, make sure the paypal transfer is complete to your paypal, then also make sure you transfer the money from your paypal account to your bank account.

I should warn paypal has reversed payments before in the 3 month period in which they allow payments, so be warned.
wyngaed
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Because of the obvious set up in the last message from the "buyer" using western union and requesting money back, this is a scam, hands down. And I'm pretty sure the OP knows that and doesn't intend to proceed with the sale. Just sayin'.
(no subject) - connorgoodwolf - Dec. 15th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wyngaed - Dec. 15th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wyngaed - Dec. 15th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - breakspire - Dec. 15th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - connorgoodwolf - Dec. 15th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - teahound - Dec. 16th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cesarin - Dec. 15th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - connorgoodwolf - Dec. 15th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neolucky - Dec. 16th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - connorgoodwolf - Dec. 16th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alaitallon - Dec. 16th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - connorgoodwolf - Dec. 16th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kayla_la - Dec. 16th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
sunhawk
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
I got a similar Etsy message a while ago, I think they look up expensive items and then send these scam emails, though the "at sea" angle is new LOL Also I don't think they mentioned Paypal at the time, I believe I replied to say I only take paypal and I wonder if a bunch of people said that too so these scammers worked Paypal into their scam. Clearly they just included it to reassure before doing the ol' "bait and switch" and saying "Oh sorry, looks like you'll have to send me a money transfer!" heh heh.

Total, total scam.
snobahr
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
I've seen "at sea" - but one has to wonder, how can one initiate paypal transactions if one can't perform online banking?

The really big clue that screamed scam-a-lam-a-ding-dong was in the initial email, never referring to what "this item" was. Form letter. Big net thrown, to catch as many stupid fish as possible.

Good job on not being stupid, breakspire! :)

(no subject) - sunhawk - Dec. 16th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) - Expand
harliquinnraver
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
yep, scammer. they lure you in by offering to use paypal and then "oops, there was a change, i need to use Western Union!"

idiots. i hate scammers.
mandyseley
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Never heard of this on Etsy, but yeah, it's a very classic scam set-up.

Scammer wants to buy something and sends you "extra" money because they need you to send the extra to someone else via a bank transfer.

You get the money, make the bank transfer like a helpful little citizen, and suddenly, the scammer's check bounces, they chargeback on their credit card, or they open a PayPal complaint and PayPal almost always sides with the buyer -- so they have ALL their money back, including the "extra" they sent you.

You, however, are SOL because you can't get money back from a bank transfer.

The setup is slightly different, but the tactics are all the same. Thanks for the warning, it always bears repeating that people need to be wary of this kind of scam EVERYWHERE.
connorgoodwolf
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by "bank transfer"

If you're talking about a "wire transfer" which cost from 45USD to 65USD simply to initiate the transfer, once the transfer occurs the action can NOT be reversed.

Wire transfers are used in high risk situations.
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 15th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cesarin - Dec. 15th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Dec. 16th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Dec. 20th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
oceandezignz
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Any time the terms 'wire transfer' 'Western Union' or relative equivalents are used, I pretty much lol and move on. I had someone similar try to do this with me for a face painting gig. Its amusing and a little sad. But I'm glad you were able to see through the bs.
animecat
Dec. 15th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
*snerk* You'd think any "oceanographer" with a decent college education could type better than 15 year old with no knowledge of how to punctuate.

All in all, any sensible bidder/buyer would take care of their own pick up agency's fees. Those should not be YOUR responsibility as a seller. Pretty sure it's a scam at this point but if you want to be sure, tell them they're on their own dealing with the pick up agent and if they still want the item, they can pay you and have the pick up agent contact you once the arrangements have been made.

They ought to disappear really fast after that.

Plus, if their Paypal account isn't registered with an address and there is no option for seller protection, I'd back out anyway. I mean come on, seriously, you could just send the item in question to their "dad" and have it be just as much of a surprise, no "pick up gent" needed. Geez.
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Dec. 15th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
duster
Dec. 15th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
If the message contains "Western Union" and/or "wire transfer" and it involves sending more money than the original price, go the opposite direction and fast.

Classic scam that's been around since before the internet. You'll be out of your product and your money, in worst case scenarios you'll get in trouble for a bad check.
duster
Dec. 15th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I also have to say you have some fantastic taxidermy work. I've drooled over that same grey fox plaque and the fox with a starling on a stick on FHB before. :3
(no subject) - breakspire - Dec. 16th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
roadkillonrt3
Dec. 15th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
lamelobo over on DA just posted a journal like this. a person with a ymail.co email emailed her about a wolf rug shes selling. said they could only pay with paypal and that itd be picked up because the guy was at sea.
bonegrind
Dec. 15th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
i just linked her to this entry because of this too.
i wonder how many other people have gotten the same person.
stormslegacy
Dec. 15th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
On the subject of etsy scams:

I've had someone try to scam before (this was a little more specific though, it turned out to be a woman who was e-stalking me for some reason still unclear to me today) they sent the money through paypal and then requested it be shipped to a different address (and country) then listed. Thankfully their writing style was familiar and the fact they bought original arts was suspicious in itself so I was wary and refused the sale. Turned out my instincts were spot on.

That's a great way to not get covered by Paypal in any way, shape or form. Honestly, it's the thing I REALLY hate about Paypal. Since there's no way to know if the buyer has a confirmed address or not ahead of time I don't understand why the *shipper* is responsible for it, even when the buyer DEMANDS you send it elsewhere..
cissa
Dec. 20th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
You can set up your Paypal account so that it only automatically approves sales IF the address is confirmed; else you get the chance to accept or deny the payment.

And I will ONLY ship to the confirmed address on the Paypal account, and only via registered mail (for pricey stuff). If they want something else, they have to pay with a check or money order, and I'll wait a week to make sure it clears before sending it, and it's at their own risk.
nakoothetauren
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Know scam. This happened to my parents with a 3 cars they have been selling.
Same story. At see its for my dad, buying sight unseen. /shrug.
Just wanted to put that out there. This scam also came up on our local News, it was happening for our local sales in the paper to. Cars again.
nakoothetauren
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
:x Dam it. At Sea*
midnightfury
Dec. 16th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
It's sad they're going into Etsy for this kind of thing now. I'm used to getting weird contacts like this via email and even a couple times as notes or messages on Deviant Art. But so far, never on Etsy!

*sigh*
chenneoue
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
Don't do it. It's a scam. Anything involving Western Union, extra money, poor grammar, odd situation... Scam. Well, they could be sending a check, it would still be a scam...
(Deleted comment)
forceiswithyou
Dec. 22nd, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
LOL I know this is like a week old but LMAO LMAO
foxiii
Dec. 17th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
Beakspire was the best to work with shipped the way I needed it shipped buy from beakspire any time:)
This was a scam money in hand no funny stuff after being taken 2 times no money transfurs ever paypal or usps money order so i can get the fed,s on them
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )

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