I've been meaning to write something up about this new scam that is incredibly weak... nothing compared to the amazing counterfeit checks sent from Nigeria that looked absolutely real and would deposit in your checking account only to come back ten days later as counterfeit (including the removal of the funds from your bank account - I know - I gave it a try, accepting the $20 fee the bank charged me just to see how things worked). You can see my write up of that scam and the $65,000 in checks I got on my original scam write up page here: Click Here
To see how the new scam is done, read on... The emails between me and today's scammer (firstname.lastname@example.org). She/He hit up about 30 TSN ads and I know from people who were advertising Saabs on Craigslist & TSN that she/he's there too. One thing I'd like to know is, is she targeting Saab owners specifically or other makes too... The basic idea is a fake paypal payment email and then the scammer will tell you that you are required to pay the shipping fees but will be reimbursed. The scammer is just trying to get those shipping fees - no payment was ever actually made to your PayPal account - you just get the 'official' looking PayPal payment emails. Always check your actual PayPal account online to verify that a payment was made and that you didn't just receive a fake payment email.
From: Scott Paterson
Hi, I am very glad to finally have someone interested in the Saab. I've lowered the price to $1200 and the car is in fantastic, drive-away shape. Are you interested?
I am very eager to make the sale.
To: Scott Paterson
Thanks for your prompt response and also i really appreciate the vehicle, am an Naval officer engineer and am currently on a boat cruise at the moment and am buying the vehicle as a gift for my dad,i want to make it a surprise vehicle for him and he won't know anything about the gift until they get delivered to him......So i want you to reassure me that the vehicle his in good condition as you have described. I can only pay through PayPal. So please kindly get back to me immediately so i can proceed with the payment and after the payment has been done,i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the vehicle up immediately after payments.......Please send me a PayPal Money Request now so that i can make payment immediately.
Looking forward to hear from you soon
3rd Email: (After I agree to do everything and send a paypal money request for $1200)
To: Scott Paterson
Thanks for your mail and i was about to make the payments when i had this little problem with the picking up of the vehicle, I think you remember what i said in my previous mail that I'm working presently on the cruise and i am buying the vehicle for my dad so i tried to secure booking with my pick up agent, but they asked me to pay first before they can make the booking, and they only accept Money Gram Transfer for payments and they don't accept PayPal or bank transfer.
So I tried to send the money on line but it's not going through and I am on the sea there is no way i can find a money gram agent to make the transfer to my pick up agent, so i wanted to ask if it will be OK for me to include my pick up agent's fees together with your payments through Pay Pal, So you will help me wire the pick up fee to them via Money Gram Transfer immediately i pay you. I don't mean to bother you I'm sure you understand that I'm presently on the sea and there is nothing i can do to that. The bottom line is after I have made the payments via PayPal, you
will help me wire my pick up agent fee to them through money gram transfer, I just wanted to seek your consent before going ahead with the payments, I will be very happy if my offer is given a favorable consideration.
4th Email (After I agree to do everything...)
To: Scott Paterson
I have just made the payments and PayPal emailed me confirming this. So please check your PayPal email address for the Pay Pal confirmation email. PayPal said that they would be holding the money i sent because of the excess payments that i made which was the money for pick up, i will need you to proceed and Wire the excess which is $750.00 to my pick up agent to enable them make a booking for the picked up of the vehicle. Remember that you will wire the agent fee to them via Money Gram transfer as that is there method of payment.
So please do send the $700 through Money Gram transfer and use the remaining change of $50.00 as Money Gram charges..After you have sent the money please get back to me asap with the money gram details, the MTRN number which you will be given byMoney Gram after you have sent the money as well as the sender's name and address so i can forward it back to PayPal for your money to be put through or you can email it to PayPal directly,that is alright as well. And please do check your junk or spam folder for the confirmation email of payment from Paypal, cause i got mine there.
Here is my pick up agent's info that you will need to send the money to through money Money Gram:
Name: John Lounsbury
Country: United State.
I will need the address where the item will be picked up,as my pick up agent will contact you to book a pick up time after they have received payments but they will have to book a time that is convenient for you.
5th Email (After I tell her no twice that no payment email has come through and that PayPal does not show that my PayPal money request has been paid (a "Pending" money request means it is NOT PAID). She sends me this graphic of a FAKE PayPal payment. I've never seen a paypal payment look like this in all the years I have been accepting paypal payments... Also, PayPal transaction IDs are MUCH MUCH longer than is show in the subject line below.
Note: You should send copies of these fake PayPal email to email@example.com so they are aware of these scammers.
To: Scott Paterson
Subject: Angie Cole has paid you $1,950.00 USD for an item through PayPal Transaction ID (PP19307)
NOTE: This is to inform you that you are required to send a sum of $750.00 to the address below via Money Gram and e-mail the relevant information which you will be provided with after the money has been sent. You are required to email us the Reference Number,sender's name and address used in making the transfer, after which we will then credit a sum of $1,950.00 into your PayPal account. Below is the address where the money is to be sent via Money Gram .
Name: John Lounsbury
Zip code: 54751
Country: United State.
Address Status: Confirmed
Please note: We wish to inform you that Angie Cole has made his intentions known to PayPal that she will like $750.00 to be sent to the recipient's address above via Money Gram
Note: As this transaction was done via our e-mail payments service, any inquiries and necessary information should be sent to us by directly replying to this message, because of the status of this transaction, it has not been passed on to our customer care phone service section,and all inquiries should be directed to this e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org as it is the one monitored for your transaction.
This payment has been deducted from the buyer's account and has been " APPROVED" but will not be credited into your account until the Money Gram Reference Number is sent to us email@example.com for verification so as to secure both the buyer and seller.
All you have to do is reply to this e-mail directly with the Money Gram Reference Number and the sender's name and address used when sending the money. Once it has been verified and the details above sent to us, you will receive a "CONFIRMATION E-MAIL" from PayPal® Service informing you that your account has been credited with $1,950.00
Please, understand that this is a security measure to help protect both the buyer and the seller. Therefore, we apologize for the inconvenience that we may
VisaMasterCardAmerican ExpressSwitch and MaestroVisa DeltaVisa Electron
Help Center | Security Center
You can reply to this email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. And you will get a response via your PayPal email address.
Copyright © 2015 PayPal, Inc. All rights reserved. PayPal is located at 2211 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95131.
PayPal Email ID PP19308.
With PayPal, you always shop without sharing your financial information...
After I complained that no payment emails had been received, she/he followed up with these two forwarded emails.
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 21:54:44 +0100
Subject: Re: A TEMPORARY HOLD ON YOUR TRANSACTION
To: Scott Paterson
Hello The Saab Network,
You have received a PayPal Payment of $1,950.00 USD from Angie Cole,
A temporary hold has been placed on this transaction!
As mentioned in the receipt of Payment and as per New PayPal Payment policy, we have fully debited the total amount (above) from the buyer's account which includes the buyer's shipper's pick up fees and we can schedule pick for the milk.
In order to complete this transaction and get the funds approved in your account. We advice you go to nearest Money Gram Ofice and send the $750.00 USD to the Agent and send us a Scanned Copy/Photograph of your Money Gram Transaction Receipt (in .JPG Format) with the Reference Number in details.
NOTE: This is important as a security measure to ensure safety of this transaction.
This one even included the PayPal Verified graphic.
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 21:56:03 +0100
Subject: ****Payment holds and Reserves****
To: Scott Paterson
Dear Scott Paterson
We're committed to providing the fastest, safest payment service on the planet. To keep ourselves on track, we occasionally hold back payment from certain sellers to ensure that their buyers are completely satisfied. We know this can be a frustrating experience and apologize for the inconvenience, however by doing this, we can keep our prices low by repelling fraudsters who aim to spoil the PayPal service. Your money is ready to be credited into your PayPal account.
A payment hold is when we take a single payment that you've received and set it aside while we make sure that your customers are satisfied. The funds for payment received are held temporarily as a pending balance in your account, and released at the end of days. The funds may be released early if PayPal determines that the transaction has been fulfilled and your customers are satisfied.
At the same time we want to let you know that your transaction was done via our e-mail payment service, any inquiries and necessary information should be sent to us by directly reply to this message, because of the status of this transaction. It has not been passed on to our customer care phone service section and all inquires should be directed to this e-mail address as it is the one monitored for your transaction.
This is to reduce the high rate of fraudulent activities going on and to ensure that both buyers and sellers are satisfied. Please follow the protocol of the payment so that the money initiated to your account by Angie Cole will be credited into your PayPal account. Respond to this mail within 24 hrs and get back to us with the Money Transfer Control Number so as to credit your Paypal account immediately.
ATTENTION! Only PayPal is eligible to information on Western Union Details after the shippers fee has been sent, do not send the Details to the buyer after payment has been made until you have your account credited. This terms is to secure and to assure you a better safe transaction with the Buyer and the seller, please email the wiring details to email@example.com
Sadoun.com is PayPal Verified since July 2000
Do not hesitate to reply to this email. This mailbox is monitored and you will receive response as soon as we receive your message.
Thank you for using PayPal ® ................. We look forward serving your online auction payment needs in the future..
PayPal Customer Care
PayPal Email ID PP206
Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
Here is an image of a check one of my users just received from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's another variation on the scam where the scammer (in this case email@example.com) sends a fake email from PayPal indicating that your funds are on HOLD until you make payment to the fake shipper.
They are trying to get the funds sent to:
100 OBSERVATORY ST
INTERLOCHEN MICHIGAN 49643
Hopefully Google will pick up this post shortly and people can search on his/her email and the other pertinent info and become aware of the scam. However, it is so pathetic, I can't believe anyone would fall for it.
Update: firstname.lastname@example.org is also running this scam.
Update: email@example.com is running a combo of this scam and the counterfeit check scam. He's sending checks out of Jersey City NJ.
Update: firstname.lastname@example.org is also running this scam.
Update: email@example.com is also running this scam.
Update: firstname.lastname@example.org is running the counterfeit check scam with a variation in that he wants bank account details to send check directly to bank... not sure how this one works, but I'm not giving my bank account details in order to find out.
Update email@example.com is running a bank transfer scam.
Update firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified scam.
Update email@example.com is running the fake paypal payment scam.
Update firstname.lastname@example.org is running the fake paypal payment scam.
Update email@example.com is running the fake paypal payment scam.
Update Freeman Dan - firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified response scam.
Update jennifer - email@example.com is running a classified response scam.
Update David Joseph - firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified response scam.
Update Linda John - email@example.com is running a classified response scam.
Update James Patterson - firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified response scam.
Update Don Brandy - email@example.com is running a classified response scam.
Update Collin Roesler - firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified response and fake paypal payment email scam.
Update Collin Roesler - email@example.com is running a classified response and fake paypal payment email scam.
UPDATE FOR ADMINS: The above two were using IP 22.214.171.124 = magicalsubmitter.eu. It has no website to look it. Seems like some kind of spam submission tool to me.
Update - a little different but I got a call today from 931-555-0161 from a scammer who is trying to pull the "I'm from Microsoft and your computer is infected with a virus/malware and you need to update your software/let me have full access to your computer." I led him on and when he figured out I had a Mac and not a Windows machine, he tried to charge me $249 to update my maintenance contract. He asked for a Visa or MasterCard and I told him I only had American Express. He asked for the number so I said, "1-2-3-4" and tried to tell him it was a one-in-a-million Amex number but he got pissed I had wasted so much of his time that he called me an a-hole and hung up. I post this because I know that Google is indexing this message as people find previous scammers in it and tell me about it plus my Mom got this call yesterday and she successfully identified it as a scam and said no, but my in-laws did fall for this a couple years ago and ended up having to wipe their computer clean.
Update Robert McKnight - firstname.lastname@example.org is running the fake cashier's check scam.
Update email@example.com is running the fake PayPal payment scam (out of country).
Update Patrick Bruce is running the fake PayPal payment scam using just text messaging from phone number: 571-210-3483 (Block this number). He is using the
following shipper payment address info to get you to send payment by MoneyGram there:
Name : Gerald Smith
City : Elkland
State : Missouri
Zip code : 65644
Country : USA
Update: firstname.lastname@example.org (Roger Bensey) 202-858-5179 is running the counterfeit cashier's check scam.
Check comes via USPS and is from All Access Telecom, Inc. 771 E. US Highway 80, Suite 201, Forney, TX 75126 and is drawn from Texas Capital Bank, One Riverway, Suite 2100, Houston, TX 77056 as shown below. The USPS Priority mail envelope has the following from address: Landstar System, 13410 Sutton Park CT, South Jacksonvi FL 32224 (South Jacksonville FL)
Update: Kim Serim (email@example.com) is running the fake paypal payment scam with the following shipper info:
Accountant Name : JW Bray
Address: 1405 Northwood Parkway
Thousand Oaks, California 91360
Update: Carlos Hernand (firstname.lastname@example.org) is running one of these classified scams (not sure which one yet) - probably counterfeit check scam.
Update: Ray Stewart (email@example.com) is running the counterfeit check scam. Texting from 931-422-8614.
Update: There is a new scam in town! It's being run by (347) 980-4482. It is essentially the same "over-pay" scam that is described in my original scam page (fun read - Click Here) - but this time the scammer says he cannot come to look at the car but will send a check or $1000 and have an inspector come to check out the car. Nobody is going to come look at the car and he'll want the $1000 back. Alas, you'll have deposited it and it will have cleared but not come back yet as counterfeit so he's hoping to catch you in that amount of time and get you to wire the $1,000. Don't fall for this scam - it's old, but I know of one dealership that fell for this one to the tune of $70,000 and I have nearly $100,000 in souvenir fake checks! So read that link I posted earlier.
Update: AUTOMATED SERVICES LLC (firstname.lastname@example.org) is running the counterfeit check scam.
Update: Ollie Twitty (email@example.com) is running the counterfeit/transport company scam.
Updated: Jamie Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org) running the idiotic inheritance scam from more than a decade ago. Do these guys actually pay for a class to learn this junk?
Updated: Another idiot with the "I'm deployed on a ship" scam (email@example.com).
Latest check for $9,750 from Southwest Organizing Project, 2557 West 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60629-1619
Updated: Both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (Charae Parks) are the same person running the counterfeit check scam also from 516-246-5186.
Updated: Brian Marvin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is running the counterfeit check scam. 720-442-9964 - College Boulevard Activity Centre
Updated: Looks like Michael Grant (email@example.com) using Todd Settengail gmail account and 302-402-3899 phone number is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: Looks like phone number 510-340-7307 is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: Kevin Jackson - firstname.lastname@example.org is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: Waly Opon - email@example.com is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: John at 405-771-0912 is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: John at 281-817-8750 is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: Daniel Harriet - firstname.lastname@example.org - 817-935-9641 (texting people) is running the counterfeit check scam.
Updated: Chloe Graham - 573-483-8492 - email@example.com - One of those scammer who asks you to run a VIN on vin-precision or elite-vin-reports, not sure why... also see next entry.
Updated: Chloe Graham is also using this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. See the entry right above this one.
Updated: Brian Wolfe
Updated: Virginia Kerr (email@example.com) 781-485-9319 is running the vin check scam. Someone just asked me what the VIN check scam is... The way this looks is someone contacts you about your car and asks you to get a VIN report and gives a link. The link redirects to another VIN check web address and I think they are just trying to get you to buy a VIN report so they get a commission. I need to investigate further. This is not to be confused with someone asking you for a CarFax or other report you might already have... This is also not to be confused with someone asking for your Saab's VIN. Many people post their VIN in their classified. I would feel free to give someone your VIN so they can run their own (and pay for them) vehicle history reports.
Updated: firstname.lastname@example.org is running the vin check scam.
Updated: 857-425-7586 running the vin check scam.
Updated: email@example.com is running the fake PayPal payment scam.
Updated: firstname.lastname@example.org is running a classified scam.
Updated: email@example.com is running the counterfeit certified check scam.
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