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Scammers Using Our Phone Number

12/20/09

  01:06:26 am, by Nimble   , 530 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Ethics, Spamming

Scammers Using Our Phone Number

We got a call from a person wanting to buy a Jeep from us a couple of days back. That seemed pretty odd, but hey, wrong numbers happen.

Then it kept happening.

No huge influx, but 3-4 calls per day.

I was home for one today, and decided to ask them where they found the ad, because someone has obviously screwed up.

They said it was in the Bargain Finder, and though they seemed a bit confused about my questions, they gave me enough to go on. I went to the root of buysell.com and entered our phone number.

Lo and behold, an ad came up:

2003 LAND ROVER DISCOVERY OU ARE MAKING YOUR BEST OFFER FOR A 2003 LANDROVER DISCOVERY THAT IS CLEAN INSIDE AND OUT! I AM STARTING OFF WITH $4,500 SO THAT I CAN DO A QUICK SALE PRIOR TO THE HOLIDAYS AND DUE TO MY RELOCATION TO THE SOUTHEAST WHERE THIS TYPE OF SUV W/ ALL TERRAIN FOR EITHER SNOW OR BEACH DRIVING IS NOT NECESSARY. YOU WILL BE GETTING A STEAL AT THIS PRICE! GOOD LUCK AND FEEL FREE TO email me. $4,500.00. obo. Tel: (our damned phone number!)

 

I thought it was an innocent mistake, so I sent them an e-mail, albeit with one of my throwaway e-mail addresses... just in case it was not an innocent mistake:

Just so you know - you put in the WRONG PHONE NUMBER! Namely, ours! So if you're wondering why you're not getting calls, that's why. Please change the number as soon as possible.

No reply before we went off to a friend's birthday party, but when I came back, I got an e-mail from them that did not really address the issue:

 

Hello,

 

My 2003 LAND ROVER  DISCOVERYis in great shape, no engine problems, damages or hidden defects.It was always garaged and never smoked in.The price is $4,500 and it has 83,989 kms.We will use eBay`s protection program for our safety.I just need your full name and address so i can open a case .(with no further obligation or fees).

Have a nice day!

 

Well, crap. Not only does this not address our complaint, but it smells fishy. Any time you see something come up about using some protection or escrow program, that's a bad smell.

Oh, look, there is a scam which matches this exactly:

 

Lately, scammers are posting with gmail addresses that almost always contain a first name. After a potential target responds to the ad, the gmail address is abandoned.

 

Sure enough, that's exactly where the e-mail is coming from, though it looks like they would probably hold on to that address until I responded with details.

Strangely, too, although there is an eBay Protection Program, it curiously does not provide protection outside of eBay.

So, basically, they just threw in the phone number at random. They don't care about the phone calls - they respond to the web-based inquiries only and follow up with throwaway e-mail boxes.

Assholes.

BuySell is undergoing maintenance right now, but I'm flagging abuse as soon as I can.

I wonder if I would feel peppy enough to phone people back who were asking about the Jeep and tell them it's a scam.

2 comments

Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

If there were any doubt that this was a scam…

Here’s what I further replied:

If only that had been the subject of my inquiry. No matter.

Personally, I would rather use escrow.com - I do not mind the extra
expense for a little peace of mind.

…and here’s the reply I got back:

Hi,
I want to tell you that we will use eBay in this transaction in order for both of
us to be 100% protected and insured by them.eBay will supervise this transaction so
there won`t be any problems.They will take care of the shipping and all the small
details.You will get the car and you will have 5 days of inspection in which you can
decide if you buy the car or not.If you won`t like my car(not your case)you announce
eBay and you send the car back on my cost,if you want to keep it you announce eBay
you send the money(payment method and all the details will be set up by eBay)and you
keep the car.eBay will send you an invoice at your email in which you will see how
to start the this transaction and in which you can see that this transaction is
legit.Please get back to me with your full name,full address and phone number so i
can forward your details to eBay in order for you to receive the invoice.Wait your
reply.

NOTE:

please understand me that I am passing through a difficult situation,after divorce i
have moved to my parents home in Detroit, MI for a while, because i think they are
only person who can help me to pass this difficult situation.
The car is in a container in Detroit, MI.

the car is sealed in a container because I paid the shipping fees, the shipping is
free for you

Have a nice day!

Hmmm, I think I want to play with them. Any ideas?

12/20/09 @ 13:15
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

Another fun volley:

I wrote back - I mean, why the hell not at this point?

Since eBay’s recommended escrow site IS escrow.com, I am glad to hear that you will be using that.
Detroit? Good. I can have somebody from SGS Automotive Service come down to inspect the car (my expense). They are just down on Mt Elliott St - your parents should know where that is.
This is not me, nor my contact information:

Brian Broadside
403-955-6700
1213 4th St. SW
Calgary, AB
T2R 0X7

You should check with eBay - they don’t usually ship cars across the border, but I know some people in Hamilton, Ontario who could drive down south and get things across customs. eBay should refund your shipping fee in that case, so you will have more money in your difficult situation
Thanks in Christ,
~Brian


need that sexual diseases hotline number at some point, I’m sure.

They wrote back:

The first step is to make the deposit of CAD4500$ and after i will received the
confirmation of the payment you made on the agents account then the shipping will
begin,
Shipping will be done by DAS and the car will arrive in about 3-5 days to your
door.You have 5 days to test my car and after the inspection period in case that
you don’t like the car,email ebay and request to get your money back,you send the
car back on my cost.(you will NOT loose any money)if you decide to keep the car,i
pick the money that you must to send at the ebay.
If you are realy interested to buy my car then please give me your full name and
shipping address and then i will contact eBay and they will send you all the
informations.Thank you and have a nice day.

12/21/09 @ 18:15