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Sad reshipping scam story

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday November 2, 2006 )

It never ceases to amaze me the depths people will go to rip each other off. Fraud originating in developing countries is *somewhat* understandable (although not by any means condonable) as many of these fraudsters are not only impoverished, but have very distorted views of the West – that we’re all filthy rich and none of us would miss a few grand.

This story takes the cake though and it’s a timely reminder for all of us involved with ecommerce some of the various scams currently rampant on the web..

I received an email from a TTB reader recently where the writer stated that he met a very sweet lady from Nigeria on Yahoo Chat who claimed to work for a well known brand name computer accessories company. This gentleman is disabled and found her company to be a great comfort. After a period of communications they exchanged phone numbers. She even offered to buy him a webcam so they could see each other when they chatted. She then asked if he would mind receiving a package on her behalf and reshipping it to her in Nigeria. He told her at the start of this friendship that he was disabled, didnt have a job and had very little money. She said it didn’t matter and that reshipping wouldn’t cost him a cent.

Instead of shipping a single item to his address, she informed him that multiple items were on their way for reshipping. He then came across an article on Taming the Beast regarding 419 and reshipping scams and contacted me.

Given this person’s life situation, I found the story particularly saddening – he stated he was very lonely and thrilled that this person had taken what he believed to be a genuine interest in him. After reading over all of the details, it was apparent to me that this was definitely a scam. As always, I advised him to call his local FBI field office; which to his credit he did.

Unfortunately, often when I give this advice, the person becomes frightened at the prospect of involving the FBI. The FBI is familiar with these sorts of cases, so it’s the *perfect* time to contact them rather than ignoring the issue, having the products turn up, dumping them or whatever and *then* the FBI catching up.

Learn more about 419 and reshipping scams – they are still rampant and have a huge impact not only poor souls like this person, but many ecommerce merchants and cardholders.

May this particular scammer “live in interesting times” (Chinese curse) – pure and utter parasite.


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