Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scam Artists

Who is this victim?

Aside from a couple of nasty, lazy, inconsiderate people who attempted to copy my work and sell the poor 'replicas' on eBay (one of whom even emailed my customers saying he was selling 'the same things' for cheaper), I've had very few problems selling online. Those copycats were not much of an issue: anyone could see from the pictures that their work was vastly inferior. No contest.

Back in the early days, when I was a little green, I did also have maybe two or three people rip me off. Back then, I was shipping before payment, and just asking for trouble.

Aside from that, no problems.

But that's changed.

Lately I have been doing some advertising and selling on Craigslist. It's been worthwhile, but, welcome to the wonderful world of scam artist! Craigslist has a lot of information on these guys, so I guess the problem is widespread.

Here is a typical email from one of these goofballs:

"You will receive the money order next week but i (sic) have a shipper who is coming for the pick up as soon as you receive the payment (sic) okay,all you need to do is that (sic) deduct your asking price and send the rest to the shipper through western union (sic) money transfer the same day you receive the payment so that they can come for the pickup the next day(sic) okay."(sic)

They actually swindle people with this nonsense? Hard to believe, but apparently they do. I mean, first of all, this scam has been running for so long, and has been so widely posted about, I should think you would have had to have been living in a cave for the past few years not to have heard about it, especially if you sell online. Secondly, don't alarm bells go off in anyone's head, when someone sends them three thousand dollars for a one hundred dollar item, insist they cash the check immediately and use Western Union to send back the extra $2900? "Gosh, can't I just send you cash back?"

Since these scammers persists, I guess they must have some success. I find it very difficult to conjure up any sympathy for those taken in by such a transparent scheme. A fool and his money are soon.... How does it go?

Gotta run... heading down to the Western Union office to send back a large overpayment. Yeah, right.

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