Monday, 21 March 2011

New 419 scam hitting Etsy traders.

Last week, I received a message on my Etsy shop account from someone using jansen_jane2@yahoo.com email account asking if a particular painting was still available and do I accept Paypal as a payment method. They also asked that I email back direct to that email address rather than replying to the Etsy store messaging system. So I replied through Yahoo, saying that the painting is available and Etsy accept Paypal as a payment method.

Jansen_Jane2 insisted that I provide my Paypal account details directly as “I am an oceanographer and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through PayPal as i don't have access to my bank account online as i don't have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my PayPal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through PayPal,So please kindly get back to me with your PayPal details 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 item up after i have made the payments for the item.”

So I replied back very politely saying that (s)he can select Paypal as a payment method on Etsy and buy the product directly through the shop. I even took off the delivery charge so they would pay slightly less and asked them to tell me who to contact for collection. (S)he then told me last Thursday that they’d pay the full amount shortly and said they would pay the extra postal/shipping costs anyway. As of last Sunday, I’d still not had any payment, so I added the shipping costs back on and emailed him/her back to say that the postal costs had been added if they still wanted to go ahead.

I then got the email below allegedly from Paypal regarding “New Funds”.
Dear Andrea Mcneill ,
This email confirm that Jansen Jane has paid you US $650.00 for an etsy item through PayPal.
Payment Details, Seller Email: Andrea’s , Amount: US $250.00 , Western Union US $400.00 , charges: us $400.00, Total Amount:US $650.00

NOTE: This is to inform you that you are required to send a sum of $400.00 to the address below via western union money transfer and e-mail the relevant information which you will be provided with after the money has been sent. You are requested to email to us, the Mtcn (Money Transfer Control Number) and the sender's name and address used to make the transfer, after which we will then credit a sum of $650.00 into your PayPal account. Below is the address where the money is to be sent using western union money transfer.

Agent’s Info: NAME.............Biobaku Hamilton, ADDRESS........4 Bakare Lane, CITY............Agege, STATE.............Lagos, COUNTRY............Nigeria, POSTAL CODE...........23401
Address status Confirmed

Please note: We wish to inform you that Jansen Jane has made his intentions known to PayPal that he will like $400.00 to be sent to the recipient's address above via Western Union Money Transfer.

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 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 MTCN is sent to us for verification so as to secure both the buyer and the seller.

All you have to do is reply to this e-mail directly with the MTCN 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 $650.00Please, 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 have caused. PayPal (Canada) Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the USA as an electronic money institution.PayPal Email ID PP304

Addendum: I also got a final email from the scammer saying "Thanks for your mail...am really happy to read from you..i want you to know that i have made the payment exactly as instructed by ETSY so now i will like you to kindly send the shipping agent fee and get back to PayPal with the money transfer control number so that they can complete the payment....Regards"
A $400 SHIPPING AGENTS FEE???? FOR ME TO SEND HIM MY PAINTING?????


Now….. does that look like a Nigerian 419 scam?? Bearing in mind that the cost for the painting on Etsy now stands at US$260 with the postage costs included, AND they want me to send some guy I’ve never head of in Lagos another $400 which I’m allegedly getting back……?? And the painting on Etsy is still listed as “for sale” (I did say to purchase it through the Etsy site, didn’t I?) and my actual Paypal website account says nothing about having a deposit placed in it even though it’s a “withheld amount until” deposit…? If you read that highlighted part in the message, it says that Paypal don’t actually know anything about this payment anyway, which is another flashing red light!!!

So…. if you know other etsy traders, please either cut/paste this post to your own blog OR make a new post that links to this one and pass the information on. Also, if you know of any relevant authorities, whether Police, Etsy or Paypal, that would be interested in this, please either let them or me know.

8 comments:

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Thanks for letting me know- freaky! My instant warning light is complications. etsy and Paypal are easy to use- anything other than the basic sale is dubious. Why always Nigeria???

Found art blog said...

Well, exactly!! I was suspicious as soon as they asked for my paypal details. They don't need 'em!! Just click on "Add to cart" for god's sake!!

Ro Bruhn said...

Thanks for letting me know too. Some people need to get a life, preferably their own.

Seth said...

Thanks for the warning. Seems like there are more and more scams lately, as I have heard about several from different Etsy sellers.

Alex said...

Just became of a victim of this myself. If they suggest getting of Etsy.com, fucke em. It was my first item posted as well so they are definately sharks, be on the look out fellow creators, mine was being supposedly shipped to Paris...

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Started falling for this. Remembered this post! Thanks so much.

728 said...

Funny I am going through the same situation and thank God I have felt that there is something fishy. I have received the same scripted message, here it is (" I really appreciate it, I am an oceanographer and am currently at
sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my dad, i
want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the
item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through PayPal
as i don't have access to my bank account online as i don't
have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my
PayPal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through
PayPal,So please kindly get back to me with your PayPal
details 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 item up after i have made the payments for the item" )now how stupid is that I live in the united states and his agent located in Nigeria is coming to pick up the item.Here is the second message that they sent me (" I was just about to make the payments when i had this little
problem with the picking up of the item , I am currently on sea and
i am buying the item for my Dad as i explained earlier on and
i tried to book pick up with my pick up agent, but they asked
me to pay first before they can make the booking, and they only
accept western union money transfer for payments and they don't
accept paypal or bank transfer and I tried to send the money
online but i couldn't and I am on sea and there is no way i can
find a western union agent to make the transfer to my pick up
agent, so i wanted to ask if it was ok for me to include my pick up
agent's fees in the payments I am about to send through paypal,
my pick up agent charged $800 plus insurance and all of that,
please can i include their money in the payments I want to send
then after i have made the payments you will help me forward the
$800 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, this
I would have done myself and not bother you but the for the fact
that I am currently on sea, so after I have made the payments you
will help me send $800 to my pick up agent through western union
money transfer, I just wanted to seek your consent before
going ahead with the payments,I will more than appreciate if you
mail me back, and I will be making the payments shortly.
PS:the shipping company's Head quarters and any pick up fees to
be paid is sent to their head quarters by the payee, so the money
for pick up will be sent to their head quarters through
western union money transfer(this can be done from any post office)
at westernunion.com or money grams" ) So they want me to send them $800.00 out of my pocket and there is no money yet in my PayPal account.I am playing along with them hoping to get them

Ma.Diwata Dyosa Engkantada Milagrosa said...

I am in the sam esituation right now. What set off the alarm bells was when I received another email with a similar story. The guy just emailed me that he sent me the money via paypal already. Checked my pal and i only have my own paypal credits there. I was excited already that the paintings are going to be sold in just 1 week but oh well...too bad it's a bogus.