How to avoid the Nigerian Scam on Ebay
In recent times a scam has been floating around on Ebay, with users signing up new accounts and bidding on your items, and winning, and attemting to have you ship the item to their "son" in Nigeria. It is important that you realise that this is in fact a scam, and that you do not send your item to the address provided.
The scammers will request your details to make a payment. They will then send you a fake email from a fake bank eg. you may receive an email from Citybank.
Please do not get confused, this is not a real bank. It is to try make you belive there has been a legitimate transaction. A typical email from this bank would be as follows:
we are here to inform you again that your payment have been send to us from this Miss yanju smith and it in good care with us, but it would be send out the same business day we receive the shipment tracking number from you and verify it, on a normal circumstances payment should be send out before the item is shipped, but we have hard some difficult problem with some of our client's after sending money to some seller's they will refuse do ship item out despite the fact that buyer have paid for, so we made the policy that after receiving payment from the buyer and will would ask the seller to ship the item out and mail us the shipment tracking number for verification.
our duity is to do what is wright, as soon as we receive the shipment tracking number from you and verify it your payment will be send out to you immediately, if we did not receive this information from you before 24hours the payment would send back to the buyer of your item.
you are not expected in any circumstances to send the shipment tracking number to the buyer we were the one to have it first for verification.
we look forward to hear from you as soon as possible.
There are many steps you can take to prevent these scammers to bid on your items:
Post only to Australia, NZ, USA, UK. Make it very clear you will only post to these countries.
Make sure you only accept bids from legitimate buyers. To do this, when listing your ad, make your selections regarding buyer preference. This is located under Payments and Postage. Select Buyer requirements which is located under Payment Instructions. You may select options such as
- Are registered in countries to which I don't post
- received 2 Unpaid Item strikes in the last 30 days
- Haven't gone through phone verification
Make Paypal your preferred method of receiving payments. It is important to state that Paypal is your only or preferred method. Non legitimate buyers cannot proceed with the purchase.
Do not under any circumastances send an item to the buyer until you have received the payment in full. If you do you will never see the money.
A user that has just signed on to ebay is not always a scam artist, but there are some things you can look out for to tell. Eg, should they purchase your item take a look at the buyers address. They usually have a fake address in Australia, and you can tell by the Postcode. The postcode in the email I received was 9087. There are no postcodes in Australia that begin with a 9.
The fake user will also have an obviously fake name. Someone from Nigeria does not have the Surname Smith. Please take a look at the following example of an email you may receive.
I would like to pay for this item via au postal money order or my bank transfer,right now i'am presently in aus,and i want to give it to my son, as a surprised birthday gift, so i will like to know if you can ship it to
nigeria,i dont mind paying any amount for the shipping cost,please if you
can do this for me i will be very grateful.if you accept, kindly send
your full name and address which am going to send the payment to. Here's
the shipping address.
Mr Agbeni Shina
29 ibukun street
Off western avenue
and also i will like you to give me
the full quote of it including the shipping cost to lagos nigeria, and
also i will like you to give me your full neme and address so i can
made the paymant to you ASAP.
Please Reply As Soon As Possible.
In conclusion, there certainly many scammers and con artists out there using ebay, and as a victim of one of them, I can tell you first hand how easy it is for them to get you too. Its important to identify them, give them negative feedback and report them to Ebay. Do not ever send any item until you have received the money. Take the necessary steps to prevent them from bidding on your items, and use Paypal.