Is this a scam?

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Bach5G
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Is this a scam?

Post by Bach5G »

I listed a guitar for sale on FB Messenger and got this response:

1. The buyer is buying the guitar for his cousin for Christmas.

2. The buyer is out of town (hasn’t said where he lives) and would like me to ship the guitar to Calgary.

3. The buyer has offered to pay about $80 more than I’ve asked (over and above shipping).

4. The buyer would pay by PayPal.

There’s something that doesn’t feel right about this.

Thoughts?
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ithinknot
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:40 pm

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by ithinknot »

1 and 2 aren't necessarily unreasonable, but no one sane offers in excess, assuming the instrument doesn't have a fragment of the holy grail stuck under a humbucker. PayPal protects them more than you, depending on the options, but that's neither here nor there.

Trust your gut and move on; life's too short.
OneTon
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:44 am

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by OneTon »

I don’t know about scam. The guitar has a real good chance of getting hung up in customs. Canadian winter weather can turn a guitar finish into cracked ice on lake surface or crack the top all the way through. Customs facilities are unheated trailers or containers outside. Everything seems to be backed up. Better insure it, back off the strings, and put two humidifiers in it. Or pass.

See twoodfrd on YouTube.
Richard Smith
Wichita, Kansas
Bach5G
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by Bach5G »

Oneton: I’m in Canada so customs is not an issue.
OneTon
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Re: Is this a scam?

Post by OneTon »

It is usually best to only ship to the address that the PayPal account is under. If he has stolen an identity he can take off with the guitar. The real PayPal account holder will refuse the bill and you will have no guitar and no money. If he is willing to overnight it to the correct account address, then your problem is solved. He gets to ship it to Calgary before Xmas. Stay warm, eh.
Richard Smith
Wichita, Kansas
sungfw
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:15 am

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by sungfw »

Absolutely, it's a scam. It's simply the latest variant of the Craigslist cashier's check scam using Paypal instead of a cashier's check.

From Paypal's Helping you avoid fraudulent orders:
A customers overpay. Here’s a common scam: a fraudster will overpay for an order and then ask for the extra money to be returned through a wire transfer, or to their preferred shipping company. Don’t fall for it. If someone overpays you, send the extra money back through PayPal.

An order has a suspicious shipping address. Before shipping an expensive order, make sure you know where it’s being shipped. Criminals may ship orders to freight forwarders, shipping companies, P.O. boxes, or vacant properties to remain anonymous.
The twist here is that the buyer files a dispute. Paypal freezes the funds in your account and refunds the buyer the full amount (including the overpayment) while they investigate. Meanwhile the buyer withdraws the money and closes the account, leaving you no money and no guitar.
Bach5G
Posts: 1870
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by Bach5G »

sungfw wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:24 pm Absolutely, it's a scam. It's simply the latest variant of the Craigslist cashier's check scam using Paypal instead of a cashier's check.

From Paypal's Helping you avoid fraudulent orders:
A customers overpay. Here’s a common scam: a fraudster will overpay for an order and then ask for the extra money to be returned through a wire transfer, or to their preferred shipping company. Don’t fall for it. If someone overpays you, send the extra money back through PayPal.

An order has a suspicious shipping address. Before shipping an expensive order, make sure you know where it’s being shipped. Criminals may ship orders to freight forwarders, shipping companies, P.O. boxes, or vacant properties to remain anonymous.
The twist here is that the buyer files a dispute. Paypal freezes the funds in your account and refunds the buyer the full amount (including the overpayment) while they investigate. Meanwhile the buyer withdraws the money and closes the account, leaving you no money and no guitar.
Thanks. Now it makes more sense.

The story got scammier - cancer treatments, favourite cousin blah blah -and after I offered to meet to do the cash/guitar exchange, I heard nothing further (so far anyway).
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greenbean
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Re: Is this a scam?

Post by greenbean »

sungfw wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:24 pm ...
The twist here is that the buyer files a dispute. Paypal freezes the funds in your account and refunds the buyer the full amount (including the overpayment) while they investigate. Meanwhile the buyer withdraws the money and closes the account, leaving you no money and no guitar.
PayPal does not immediately issue a refund. Perhaps with a $5 purchase, they do. But with biggish purchases, you file a dispute and will get your refund in 2-3 weeks, in my experience.
Tom Rice
San Francisco
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BrassedOn
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by BrassedOn »

Bach5G wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 9:39 am I listed a guitar for sale on FB Messenger and got this response:

1. The buyer is buying the guitar for his cousin for Christmas.

2. The buyer is out of town (hasn’t said where he lives) and would like me to ship the guitar to Calgary.

3. The buyer has offered to pay about $80 more than I’ve asked (over and above shipping).

4. The buyer would pay by PayPal.

There’s something that doesn’t feel right about this.

Thoughts?
LTTP:

1. Unnecessary information, to seem like a person? As a baseline, online, I don’t need a story, and buying for a cousin is sketchy. When a seller, I’m pretty much only chatty and sympathetic to a parent buyer who knows little trying to get something for a school kid. So it’s me as a seller making sure they’re not buying something that is not right for the kid, like a mouthpiece with that wrong shank.

2. Different or unknown location? I ship to the person’s payment location, I ask for that, and I google their name to confirm there is a person with that addy in that locale. I also search FB to see if looks like a person, and messenger to see if multiple accounts similar names and images.

3. What? We’re practically done before we start. Without a reason, why? Why? Would you pay beyond shipping? In person, I might pay more than asking if someone is very light in the price, like clearly lacking in knowledge. But someone selling on FB or otherwise online and willing to ship across country, seller should have an idea of value. Should be savvy enough to search prices online.

4. Not an issue, locally if I meet then okay to do “friends an family”, otherwise across distance like a commercial sale and I price expecting to pay that % fee. Ask for their email to check their PP and request payment. Shipping address should be that same.

If any doubt, chit chat on the phone. Generally I don’t need to talk to people on the phone , not usually necessary among educated real buyers. But a phone call tell a lot about who you’re dealing with.

Real buyers typically…
Don’t just auto send “still available?”
Ask relevant questions. Up front without being prodded.
Want more pictures.
Haggle, unless you’ve really got it priced to move. Pay asking price or below, not above. Certainly not $ above agreement, tho’ some will add in a bit to help cover PP fee.
Offer contact info about themselves.
Have shipping questions.
"Do less, better."
1971 King 3B Silver Sonic
1976 Fender Precision Bass
2016 Strunal double bass
martinfan
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2021 9:25 am
Location: Lawrence, KS & previously Beloit, KS

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by martinfan »

Indeed it is. As a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in Kansas, these type of scams are nothing new; hardly a day would go by that a "profession oriented" request of this nature didn't present itself.
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baBposaune
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Re: Is this a scam?

Post by baBposaune »

My best guess it yes, it is.

I had a similar situation when I had a bass trombone for sale on Facebook. Interested party was an older woman, in Canada who wanted to buy it for her daughter. No problem on the face of it but I asked her certain questions that she would've needed to ask the daughter. My Spidey Sense told me something wasn't right so it was kind of a test to see if the college student daughter was for real. Didn't hear back so I guess it turned out for the best.

Just this week I had ANOTHER older woman, a spiritual healer, new age type asking about a rather expensive horn I'm selling, a Kanstul 1662i. After checking out her Facebook profile I blocked her. Sometimes it's a gut feeling but a little poking around can verify that something is fishy.
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Cotboneman
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Re: Is this a scam?

Post by Cotboneman »

baBposaune wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2022 4:34 pm My best guess it yes, it is.

I had a similar situation when I had a bass trombone for sale on Facebook. Interested party was an older woman, in Canada who wanted to buy it for her daughter. No problem on the face of it but I asked her certain questions that she would've needed to ask the daughter. My Spidey Sense told me something wasn't right so it was kind of a test to see if the college student daughter was for real. Didn't hear back so I guess it turned out for the best.

Just this week I had ANOTHER older woman, a spiritual healer, new age type asking about a rather expensive horn I'm selling, a Kanstul 1662i. After checking out her Facebook profile I blocked her. Sometimes it's a gut feeling but a little poking around can verify that something is fishy.
Most often I think our Spidey Sense is what we really should be listening to. I've sold some guitars and amps on Facebook Marketplace a few times before, but I have always required local sales only and in a public place, cash only. If they want a receipt, I'm happy to supply that. Anybody offering more than list, when there are not other offers on the table is a red flag for me. You were wise :clever:
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baBposaune
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Location: North San Diego County

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by baBposaune »

Anyone ever get contacted on Facebook Trombone Marketplace by someone calling themselves, "Rofiqui Islam" ?
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baBposaune
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Location: North San Diego County

Re: Is this a scam?

Post by baBposaune »

Just had another inquiry on FB from a so-called "Niktia Rusi." Both of these fake users slightly misspell their names and their profiles show that they are into new age healing. I only mention this because if others on this list see anything similar I'm pretty confident that it's a scammer. Plus, it's a tip-off if they have NO PROFILE.
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