Recently faced a fraud attempt when trying to sell my old Canon 5dsr body on a local Lithuanian sell/buy site skelbiu.lt.
After placing an ad I was contacted in whatsApp application by some stranger with foreign phone number (business type account):
The fraud scheme
To put it short – he (or she:) asked for discount. I said what 1200eur is a final price. Then he asked for shipment cost from my place to US – to his daughter.
Actually i already understood that it is a scam and fraud attempt – just a fact that these cameras are much cheaper in US 🙂 If you want one – it much simpler and cheaper just to order it in ebay 🙂 But it was interesting for me what these people will ask me to do – so i continued chatting.
For shipping i checked UPS and name shipment price as ~350 -450eur 🙂 – this didn’t scare them 😀
What happen next – they asked my bank account information and i gave them my bank account as it is not secret information. they informed me what they transferred money to my account, and i will receive mail from bank. The bank will ask me for shipment prove and after receiving one will continue transferring money to my account.
And indeed, soon i’ve received an email from “Smile Bank®-PERSONAL BANK” <email@example.com> (actually it is a first 100% proof it is a scam, none of a real banks would have an email account in some strange domain. So if it is, for example, https://www.smile.co.uk/ bank the email from this bank would look like firstname.lastname@example.org).
Email text was about they paused transaction of money to my account and will continue only after receiving shipment confirmation from me:
“As mentioned in the receipt of Payment and as per New Smile Bank Payment policy, we have fully debited the total amount (€1,650:00EUR) from Lambert Karen account which included the shipping Charges. In order to complete this transaction and get the funds approved in your account. We advice you go to nearest Express Courier, Post Office or EMS, and send the item to the address giving to you below and send us a Scanned Copy/Photograph of your shipment Receipt (in .JPG Format).:” 🙂
It was about tricking me into performing shipping of valuable camera without me actually receiving money.
How to protect from such scams?
Probably first suggestion is to remember TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) concept. If suggestion looks strange: someone want to buy for high price or sell for low price – with a big difference from market price – it is a scam. theoretically i shouldn’t have continued after first several chat sentences. Unknown foreign stranger who is monitoring local Lithuanian sell board to order some things to his daughter in US – good bye, block and report as spam. And yes, banks don’t check shipment status 🙂
Another check – sooner or later they will interact with you by an email or send you some links to perform some actions – look at the domain portion of an email or URL. So if the scammer inform you what bank he is using is smile.co.uk bank – all emails should in a form @smile.co.uk (sometimes it is possible to spoof email address so you will get an email in @smile.co.uk format, but then this email will have some links to pages what are not in smile.co.uk domain).