I recently wanted to get rid of some electronic I wasn’t using anymore and thought that Google Trader would be a good place to advertise it. The first response I got was from some individual called Feona Vadim email@example.com. She said she was very interested in buying the item and would send me money as soon as I responded to the email. Now I have a tendency of doing background checks on people online. And in a transaction like this, a background check is of utmost importance. Her name didn’t show up anywhere on the search engine result but her email address led me to an online dating website profile. The profile said she is Russian, even though she told me she is in Canada. Well, it is possible that she might have travelled but that started to make me suspicious.
The email was also very suspicious because she mentioned she wanted to donate the item to a Christian Mission. Online scammers always use religion so that potential victims can think they are honest people. Ok, first of all am an atheist so I don’t give a shit, second of all this is one of the oldest tricks in the scamming industry so joke’s on her. What’s more suspicious is that the shipping address is in Nigeria. Nigeria? Comeon!
Name – Mr Julious Mathew .O
Address No 21 Faith Lord Highway Ministry
state- Oyo state
At this point I was just having fun with her(or him I don’t know). So she requested I send her my banking details to make the payment. I thought that would be too risky instead I asked her to use Western Union. She said that would be impossible and opted for Paypal. I gave her my paypal email address and about an hour later I got a “payment confirmation” from “paypal”.
It’s almost like this guy didn’t invest any thought into pulling off this scam.
Below are some of the things that make it easy to tell it’s a scam:
1. The email subject . Upper case letters and a million asterisks. Lame. Looks like most of the emails in my spam folder.
2. Email address. This is very important. It is possible to send an email and make it look like it is coming from a certain address. But Gmail is likely to know that and may alert you that it’s a fake sender. However the email address used here could never be from paypal. The domain officeemail.net doesn’t even load. A quick lookup on WHOIS doesn’t reveal anything.
3. The sender of the money is called Yuliya Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org). ??
4. Grammar. Grammatical mistakes are one of the easiest ways to identify scammers. Most scam emails originate from countries like Nigeria where English is not the native language. They are bound to make mistakes and that’s how you catch them. I have circled in the image some of the mistakes I identified.
5. The lamest part of this attempted scam is that I need to send the shipment tracking number for my paypal account to be credited even though the payment has already been made?! Paypal doesn’t work like that. If a payment is made to your account it reflects automatically.