Saturday, May 25, 2013

I Didn't Just Fall Off a Turnip Truck. Really. I Should Not Have Fallen For It.

So, I have been selling things on Craigslist, and more recently I have chosen to use Amazon for several reasons:

The Scammers are alive and well on Craigslist. When I listed my camera for sale. I immediately got three texts..... very definitely recognizable as Scammers. Craigslist even warns you specifically not to ship things or to accept Cashier Checks or Money Orders from them. So I know that. I didn't just fall off a turnip truck. I have given presentations on Internet Security.

How was I so easily fooled on Amazon? Amazon is really secure and safe. In fact, there is a place in the settings where you can say, "Shipping only within the United States".  Like I told you before, I have successfully sold items on Amazon.

So, last night we are heading out to dinner with friends. I get an email which looks like an inquiry from a potential buyer through Amazon. He asks, "Send Pictures". He gives me his personal Yahoo email.
I don't think much of it. I sent him pictures. To his Yahoo email.

This morning I get an email which looks like the real thing telling me my item has been sold, Amazon has the payment, and I should ship my camera.

To an address in Lagos, Nigeria.

My stomach started to hurt. What had I done?  The good news is I still had my camera!

Well, I called Amazon Seller Central Customer Service. He showed me that the email was a scam, and reminded me I had it in my settings not to ship outside of the U.S. Also, he patiently walked me through several ways that I could check to see if, indeed, the item had been sold.

It was later that I realized my mistake. Rather than replying through Amazon to the potential buyer, I had fallen for his scam to get me to reply to his email, hence, opening the door to his fraudulent email. Both Craigslist and Amazon have a conduit in place to allow communication without revealing your identity.

I learned my lesson, and I will continue to sell on Amazon, and I hope you will give it a try as well, but always be careful.

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