I received the email above after posting a listing for my iPad 2 on Craigslist a couple weeks ago. It was a simple "Hey...You still have it?" Seems harmless enough right? Wrong. What follows is the story of my battle with an online scammer. As a Bro Council member, please always remember to follow these two simple rules to prevent yourself from being scammed:
- Don't be stupid. It's that simple. If a "Nigerian prince", your great-aunt Ertha on your cousins side, or Lord Sir Stanley Greta Van Susteren want to give you any kind of fortune or inheritance through email, please realize that you're being scammed. Oh, and if Bravo's or any other fast food chain tells you to go to a blogspot.com address to sign up for a free $1,000 gift card don't write "it's probably fake but i'ze just figured id' try it lolol" on Facebook. That's just annoying to everyone.
- Annoy the Scammers. This is the fun part. If you're in the mood, screw with the people who are trying to screw you over. That's what I like to do. Here's what happened with the iPad scammer. These are the actual emails, and my notes are in bold text:
A nice simple response from me. I thought "Tricia" was a real person at this point.
Ahhh...here it goes. How "stressful" is it to buy an iPad on eBay? That's your first clue. Either she's manic, riddled with stress at her job, or a scammer. Then she goes on to make it as easy as possible for you. Here's extra money for you, will you grant my approval? That's another giveaway.
Plus, the pictures and condition were in the original posting. It should just end here with a trip to my spam box, but I decided to have a little fun with "her".
I just wanted to make sure I could make it as easy as possible on her to steal my credit card info. Why go through PayPal when you can steal direct?
Awww...she's so kind. Maybe she wanted to gain my trust there, or maybe she just never had a response to one of her scam emails and locked up. Either way, I needed to take it up a notch.
Surely the lure of my Social Security number would be great enough to make her cave and have a long worded response about how that would make things so much easier, and relieve stress from her.
Close. This girl is all about getting down to the business. She wants the "numder" with no needless talking. At this point, I realize it's probably a man running the email account.
So I sent her this email and didn't hear back. Maybe she realized I was scamming her, or maybe she really thought that Archibald was a real person. Either way, I won't be hearing back from her. It's sad. I really thought we had something special.
Don't be scammed people, don't be stupid.