My friend Ted Verril has just posted the following message over at the BMW MOA forum, and I felt that it would be very useful for others to see, and to understand how to use some tools to get an idea about who you may be dealing with on the internet.
A while back I caught wind of someone being scammed from an advertisement he placed on the BMW MOA online Flea Market, so I decided to take a closer look.
I placed a "Want to Buy" ad on the MOA online Flea Market (and only on the MOA online Flea Market...) The ad is here.
A few days later I got an e-mail that was eerily similar to the one the fellow who reported being scammed received:
From: Andrew Morgan [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 6:56 AM
Subject: Hi Folks, Looking for a new/mint condition BMW OEM Bulb kit for a K75/K100/K1100 - please let me know if you have one for sale. Thanks!
This is Andrew Morgan from the United Kingdom.You placed a wanted Ad over the internet and i still have for sale in good and perfect condition.
My Mobile Number is +447024074843
Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester, M21 8AE
The "You placed a wanted Ad over the internet and i still have for sale in good and perfect condition" sounded a bit choppy so I decided to look further.
In the header information of the e-mail I found the originating IP (ie, the location of the Internet provider he was using when he sent the e-mail)
Resolving this IP I found this: "184.108.40.206 is from Nigeria(NG) in region Southern Africa"
OK, the guy is in Nigeria, but what about the +44 British phone number?
A further look reveals that +44 numbers followed by "70", as in the "+447024074843" given, belong to a British call forwarding service that transparently forwards calls anywhere in the world and is used almost exclusively by scammers.
I replied and am awaiting response - no doubt the following e-mail will direct me to use Western Union or MoneyGram to send money. Why Western Union or MoneyGram? Because regardless of where and to whom the money is intended to be sent, it can be picked up quite anonymously anywhere in the world simply by having the wire confirmation number.
Personally I find the requirement to use Western Union or MoneyGram to be a dead giveaway of a scam - I have been involved in moderating sites with online marketplaces for many years and I have never heard of a legitimate deal using Western Union, and have heard almost exclusively of its use for scams.
I hope this information is useful and helpful to you.
Thanks for posting this.
I don't want to sound like a know it all but this scam has been around for years and is very obvious to anyone that's been on Craigslist. Always starts with someone from the UK or some other country wanting to send you money.
i used to get the same thing a few years back from SAAB parts
that I listed for sale on a saab network site
the 'country' and 'grammer' is a sure tip to DELETE instantly!