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Author Topic: Buyer Beware EBAY stories!  (Read 6105 times)

David Kulka

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Re: Buyer Beware EBAY stories!
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2005, 09:12:42 pm »

I had been advertising a piece of video gear in a local online listing and a prospective overseas buyer emailed me wanting to buy it. Right off the bat he explained that his "agent" who owed him money would pay for the item ($1000). Since overseas shipping costs were hard to estimate, he suggested mailing me a cashier's check for more than my charge, and I would later refund the difference.

Obviously the Nigerian Scam (If you're not familiar, http://www.justiceonline.org/consum/nigerian.html), so I decided to have a little fun. We exchanged a few emails, time went by, and I almost forgot about it until one day a Fedex envelope showed up from guess where, Nigeria! Inside was a cashier's check payable to me for $3005. It was drawn on Citibank and needless to say, counterfeit. (No watermarks, no numeral amount, and the ink looked fake.)

A week or so went by and increasingly nervous emails started coming from Nigeria. Here's one:

HELLO DAVID,
I CALLED MY CLIENT THIS MORNING AND HE INFORMED ME THAT YOU HAVE RECIEVED THE CHECK.I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AND WHY YOU HAVENT SENT THE PAYMENT TO MY SHIPPER. PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP IN CASE YOU DIDNT GET THE SHIPPER'S INFORMATION THAT I SENT TO YOU EARLIER,HERE IT IS AGAIN.  I WOULD LIKE YOU TO CASH THE CHECK AND WIRE THE MONEY THROUGH WESTERN UNION TO MY SHIPPER'S ADDRESS THAT I HAVE PROVIDED:
MR PAUL PHILIPS
20 OYETOLA IDOWU AVENUE ,
OFF ADETOKUNBO ADEMOLA STREET.
VICTORIA ISLAND,LAGOS
LAGOS ,NIGERIA 23401
ONCE THE TRANSFER HAS BEEN MADE I WOULD NEED THE TRANSFER DETAILS LIKE THE REFERENCE NUMBER(MTCN) AND USE THIS FOR THE SECRET QUESTION(HOW ARE YOU DOING) ANSWER (FINE)

THANK YOU, HAVE A NICE DAY.

The "secret question" was a nice touch. Enjoying his apparent nervousness I wrote back:

Regarding your order for the Time Base Corrector, before shipping the unit to you I wish to confirm some technical details.

The TBC is a NTSC standard unit (US FCC adopted c,, 1941) and may not be compatible with formats (PAL, SECAM) used in other parts of the world. So, please provide the following details about your usage of the TBC so that I can select a unit that corrects your particular problems at minimum cost to you and your client.

1. Horizontal sweep rate.
2. Vertical sweep rate
3. Frame rate, interlacing, scan wavelength
4. Drop frame rate, color interpolation, bit depth, etc.
5. Most importantly, veeblefeltzer coefficient for your local TV system.
6. If your client intends to broadcast or convert syndicated episodes of US TV programs (I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Soul Train, The Jeffersons, Leave it to Beaver, Sopranos, etc.) please specify any relevant programs, networks, and episode titles so that I can choose a configuration with the optimum DIP switch settings. (If there is any question about individual episode titles you may consult back issues of TV Guide.)

I look forward to your reply, please get back to me ASAP with your answers to the above points so that we can proceed with this transaction.

He soon replied: Thank you for your mail.i am very well versed with the adjusting so i should be able to take care of that. honestly,i was planning to use it for a while in texas before shipping it to africa.but now,i guess it will be staying in the states beaause i have tried to contact the company engineer but could not reach him for the details. anyway,please still go ahead with the procedure as arranged earlier. thank you for your concern.i really appreciate it.

I answered: I think the best solution would be if I fit your TBC with a universal flux board. This will allow it to be used with all the major broadcast formats. As you probably know, the universal flux board and requisite programming will add to the cost of the unit.  Please Fedex one more cashier's check to me to cover the additional costs. Once I receive your payment, we can complete the transaction, and any monies owed you will be forwarded by Western Union. Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience.

Well, we exchanged a couple more silly emails, I began to think he was starting to see the humor in the exchange.  He actually phoned me from Nigeria one night but after a few seconds I hung up.  He never contacted me again and I never got that second money order, but the one is a great souvenir!
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compasspnt

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Re: Buyer Beware EBAY stories!
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2005, 11:09:51 pm »

FANTASTIC David!

I promise I will not divulge the secret question (or the answer either).

However, the mix I'm doing right now could sure use some veeblefeltzment!
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pipelineaudio

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Re: Buyer Beware EBAY stories!
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2005, 11:26:47 pm »

Brendan Thompson

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Re: Buyer Beware EBAY stories!
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2005, 04:59:06 am »

A site specifically about the various "Nigerian" scams:

http://www.419eater.com/
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