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01 September 2009

I've Been Busy

Over the past few weeks I've been bit by the online sales bug. The majority of my friends have been selling books on Amazon so after our summer garage sale I decided to start getting rid of some the stuff that didn't go.

Turns out that means close to 100 books, a snowboard, electronic equipment, a laser printer, etc.

On the one had it amazes me the ease at which you can buy/sell on the Internet. Just another awesome thing about living in the land of the free market. I've sold 5 books already - some of which were close to $20 each - fun stuff!

But on the other hand, the Internet is a big bad place full of people that are up to no good.

Take it from me - there are those that don't want to do business with you - they simply want to take your money or goods without a fair trade.

It Happened to Me
Luckily we listened to that gut feeling and were able to see through the scam. But it was definitely slick.

Here's how it went down:

  • Put $1500 electronic device on
  • Received an email from someone that was interested ( who reported that he was living in California but was not there currently. He wanted to purchase the items and have them sent to his son (living in Nigeria) for his birthday. He then listed the sons address and offered to pay $1700 to cover the shipping
  • Went back and forth about PayPal, shipping specifics and the process that needed to occur in order to ship the items
  • Did a "request for payment" through PayPal to the email address provided
  • Received the following email describing that PayPal had approved the $1700 payment and would transfer the funds once the items had been shipped and the tracking number supplied to the purchaser (See email here)
  • I immediately questioned the validity of the email so I chatted with our Tech Ops team at Granger and they confirmed some things that I was feeling
  • Needless to say, we didn't ship the items...
Just thought I'd share so those of you in a similar situation will trust the gut before taking a leap of faith.

In case you were wondering, I sent him a kind email and thought I'd share it with you as well:
To Whom it May Concern,

First off, allow me to thank you for the time and energy you put into this scam. We gave you the benefit of the doubt at the beginning, but it became blatantly obvious that you are not who you say you are. Because of this there will be no transaction.

This is why we explained that the payment would be made through PayPal and we would transfer money into our checking account long before we shipped the item. It's our guarantee that the buyer is sincere.

As a Christian, I simply wish you the best in life. I hope that you come to your senses and realize the life you are living is SO far from the plan God has for you. Each of us is granted talents and abilities that we can choose to use for good or evil. Unfortunately you have chosen the dark path and are working against the good that God planned for you.

It just so happens that I work in the technology field. So to make things interesting I have turned all your information (email address, IP addresses, address in Nigeria, etc.) over to the FBI Internet Fraud Division ( and Filed an official complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (

I look forward to turning over all information to them and helping them in any way to stop your illegal activities.

If I were you, I’d seriously rethink the type of work you are doing.

Daryl McMullen