Check Scams, Debt Collection scams and other financial scams.
#162326 by Dotti Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:09 am
I see we've had several newer members post in this thread. Welcome all!

For the sake of anyone who is unsure how this scam works, here's the overview.

Most often, this particular scam format is used by African scammers. There are many scammers using the exact same process. The English in the emails posted in this thread is consistent with Africans. Though he could be anywhere, (regardless of whether he is using a male or female name, it is more likely a male) the scammer is most likely physically located in a Western African country (e.g. Nigeria or Ghana) or Malaysia, where a large cell of Nigerian scammers is based. If he gives you a phone number, it will not trace directly to him, and may not even trace to the country he is in-it will be a cellphone, redirect number, VOIP, or magic jack number registered using false (or another person's) information.

-The scammer will reply to dozens, if not hundreds, of new ads posted. Sometimes he won't even pay attention to the item in the ad. Once, we even encountered a scammer who tried to buy a cemetery plot, claiming his shipper would send it to him!
-He will send the exact same email to all of the advertisers. Some scammers will put the name of the item in, while others won't even go to that trouble, or will simply refer to "the item" or "it" (which is a definite sign of scammer.)
-The scammer will claim to be out of town--often he will use the "at sea" story but he may claim to be on a volunteer mission or something else. But there's always a reason he cannot physically come to see the item you are selling.
-He will try to direct you to paypal, and if you try to direct him back to cash, he will either drop you or argue that it is not possible.
-He will then send you a fake paypal email that says he paid for the item, plus extra for "shipping." In all of these scams, paypal is not involved in any way and has no control over what he does.
-The email will tell you that the money has been transferred, but is on hold. There are two distinct paths at this point:
Option A: The email will say that the money will be released once you have paid the "shipper" or "agent" or something similar. It will contain instructions for Western Union, Moneygram, or bank transfer. In reality, the person receiving the money will be the scammer or a mule whose job is to pick up and forward the money in exchange for a small percentage. In this scenario, the scammer is not after the item you are selling, he is simply after this "shipping money"--so ultimately nobody will show up to pick up your item.
Option B: The email will instruct you to ship the item through a real shipping service (post office, fedex, etc.) and will state that the money will be released once you provide a tracking number. This is when the scammer actually wants what you are selling--most often when it it is a computer, cellphone or other small electronic item, real human hair, or jewelry.

In either case, if you send the money or the item, you will soon find that the money does not appear in your paypal account--because the scammer never sent any money! You will have lost either the "shipping costs" or the item itself.

It is important to know a few things about paypal:
-Paypal does not hold money pending some kind of action from you. If you go to and log into your account and the money is not there, it was not sent.
-Paypal will never direct you to WU, Moneygram, or any other transfer service. These services compete with paypal. Paypal wants you to use their own service, not their competition!
-If/when paypal does put money on hold (for example, in a dispute); the money will still show in your account--you just won't be able to withdraw it.

When you receive these kinds of offers, the best response is to
a) post the scammer's information to warn others, and
b) just ignore the scammer.

If you don't send the money or the item, some scammers will follow up with threatening emails--from themselves, from the fake "paypal," sometimes even from "the FBI." It is best to just ignore these.

Need to post photos?
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.

#162435 by Ingamajig Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:35 am
Yep, this has just happened to me, with an ad I posted on gumtree in Perth, Western Australia for a $500 guitar.

The scammer used the name of a real musician, "Jenny Gray", and sent a text within a day of me posting the ad from a hidden number that I think actually came from the email "[email protected]. The text came through about 4am, which was warning sign number 1.

The text said "I saw your AD and am interested in it Kindly reply me directly to my email jennygray230(at)

The following email exchange then took place:
Hi Jenny,

Thanks for your message.

I think I will be home this afternoon if you wanted to come and look at the bass - but will text you around lunch time / early afternoon to confirm.


Alright Mate,

I am very keen. How i wish i could come for viewing and inspection as am currently out of the country ATM and i want it picked up before i get back. I would like to pay you using paypal due to my inability to make a bank deposit which is safer for me. Kindly send me a paypal payment invoice or create an account with paypal on if you dont have one. I will make a solid pick up arrangement with my transport agent who will be coming over for pick up once you receive full payment into your paypal account. Have a nice day. Few more photos will be appreciated as well.

Hi Jenny,

Glad to hear you are keen. It is a lovely bass and just sitting around looking at me dolefully, so glad to hear it would be used and appreciated.
I do have a paypal account - I will send you an invoice later today.

I'm not sure how your agent is placed for pick-ups on Wednesdays, but I work from home that day, which makes it easier. Otherwise we may be able to arrange pick up from work at Nedlands.

Happy to take more pics - what in particular would you like to see?


Hello Ingrid,
I am waiting for the invoice so I can send payment. Also the pick up agent will contact you to schedule pick up

(At this stage I was starting to get quite suspicious.....)

Hi Jenny,
I have sent the invoice. Just let me know what sort of photos you would like.
Then came a new email chain:

just completed the payment via paypal just now and i hope you will have been notified that i issue out the payment already as i got a deduction message here also. I made the total of $850 and $350 for the shipping fee pick up and the western union charges. So kindly forward the sum of $300 to the shipping company via western union as i hope they should have contacted you also and email paypal once transfer is done with the information required as they said they won't release the funds until they get the western union information from you due to the fact that i emailed them about the excess payment i made. I will need you to send the $300 to the pick up shipping company Headquarters where they normally confirm any commission payment to via western union money transfer
Here is the pick up shipping company info needed to get the money sent through western union money transfer

First Name: Yi
Surname: Huang
Address: Nan Hai Ave,Peng Du Bldg.
City: Beijing State:
Zip: 120058

Please kindly email the necessary details to paypal :the mtcn which you will be given at the western union after the $300 has been sent. Will be waiting for your soonest response.



Haven't received notification yet from PayPal, and I won't be doing any transfers until that money is in.

I'm sure you understand!



Final reply from scammers was: Check all email folder for paypal email

Naturally, I had already checked my paypal account and no money had been transferred in.

The foreign address, gramatical errors and lack of normal courtesies / pleasantries when making these kind of exchanges, all put me on alert, as did the fact that the time on the emails coming in did not make sense (in some cases it predated the emails I had just sent them, to which they were supposedly replying!

When I checked my junk mail I found the following:

1. FROM [email protected]® <[email protected]>
TO: Me, Bcc

Hello Ingrid (Surname)

This email confirms that you have received an Instant payment of $850.00 AUD from Jenny Gray ([email protected]) via PayPal ,MERCHANDISE Payment Service.

Reversals : This method of payment can not be reversed.

Status : Pending - Transport Company Awaiting Payment.

View the "NOTE" of this pending transaction below

Payment Details

Merchandise Amount: $500.00 AUD
Transport Charges:
Taxes and Insurance:

$350.00 AUD

$850.00 AUD
Transaction: 0TR88725KA368321T
Quantity: 1
MERCHANDISE Title: Merchandise

Address: Yi Huang
Nan Hai Ave,Peng Du Bldg
City: Beijing
State: Beijing,
Zip Code: 120058
Country: China.

Address Status: Confirmed

NOTE: This is to confirm to you that the said amount has been successfully transferred by the sender and been deducted from his Account which is ready to be credited into your account, been that this Payment has been subjected to be a Payment for an MERCHANDISE purchased from you, we reserve the right to make sure this transaction is safe and secured also to verify the legitimacy level on this transaction because of the high sum of funds involved.

The above sum has Included the transport charges and taxes as we and the Transport Company quoted for the buyer (as per PayPal MERCHANDISE PAYMENT POLICY). You will receive a Message from the PayPal Customer Verification Department Shortly informing you on how to send the Transport fares and taxes to the transport company with the above details as soon as possible.

You may contact PayPal customer service by Clicking Here or reply directly to this email by using the reply button in your Mail Box and Quote the Above Transaction ID for quick recognition of this transaction.

The PayPal Team.

Please, understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect both the Buyer and Seller. We apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused you.

Because of the inconvenience this causes we are giving you the next two incoming transfers for free!
" You will pay no fees for your next two incoming transfers* ".

PayPal. Safer. Simpler. Smarter.

For more information, read our Product Disclosure Statement, User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

Copyright © 1999-2013 PayPal, Inc.

All rights reserved.

PayPal Australia Pty Limited ASB 93 111 195 389 (AFSL 304962).

Any general financial product advice provided in this site has not taken into account your objectives, financial situations or needs.

PayPal Email ID PP122
And this one:

2. Subject: Information on how to complete this transaction (actually got picked up as a scamming email by my gmail service:)
Dear Ingrid (Surname),

You have received a PayPal Payment of $850.00 AUD from Jenny Gray ([email protected]).

A temporary hold has been placed on this transaction!

As mentioned in the receipt of Payment and as per New PayPal Payment policy, we have fully debited the total amount (above) from the buyer's account which includes the buyer's shipper's pick up fees.

In order to complete this transaction and get the funds approved in your account. We advice you go to nearest Western Union Office, and send the $300.00 AUD to the Agent and send us a Scanned Copy/Photograph of your Western Union Transaction Receipt (in .JPG Format).

NOTE: This is important as a security measure to ensure safety of this transaction.

Please, find below the name and address of the Transport Agent where the Funds would be sent via Western Union Money Transfer.

Click Here Locate Nearest Western Union

Transport Company "Auto Shipper International"

Address: Yi Huang
Nan Hai Ave,Peng Du Bldg,
City: Beijing
State: Beijing,
Zip Code: 120058
Country: China.

Address Status: Confirmed

Your Account will be credited accordingly upon the receipt of details requested. It should either be sent in JPG format or send type details as:
Sender's Name; Receiver's Name; MTCN; Amount Sent;

You may Click Here or reply to this message directly using the reply button in your email to submit the required information or to contact the PayPal Customer Verification Department and include either transaction ID or reference number (PP307) quick recognition of this transaction.

And this one:

3. Message from Auto Shippers International:
We are the shipping company from AUTO SHIPPERS INT'L, we wish to inform you that Jenny Gray contacted us as regards the shipping of the Merchandise she bought from you and paid for accordingly.

Sequel to this, we sincerely request that you should forward to us your contact details so that we can come to your home and pick up the Merchandise she paid for. We are also informed that you need to send the sum of $300.00 AUD to us via Western Union Money Transfer which is to cover the shipping fee, kindly send the money to us at our address below:

First Name: Yi
Surname: Huang
Address: Nan Hai Ave,Peng Du Bldg.
City: Beijing State:
Zip: 120058

We expect you to get back to us with the information below:

1.Senders Name and Address
2.Amount Sent
3.Reference Number

Send the scanned copy of the receipt to us for proper verification and confirmation.

We will serve you right ...
Get back to us at : [email protected].


And finally, this one:

4. Subject: "Clarification and guidance about your transaction with us" from [email protected]® <[email protected]>

Dear Ingrid (Surname - got of course from the paypal invoice, which I had by now cancelled),

This message is in further clarification to the PayPal payment made to your account by Jenny Gray ([email protected]) and guidance on how to make the western union payment. My name is Michel Brandy from PayPal and I have been assigned to help you through with the transaction.

After much investigation, we have been able to pull out the following details:

Your Transaction ID: ***985674***325467**
Payment From: Jenny Gray
Routine Code: Q348- 548- PP89209
Payment processed under: PayPal International
Transaction Status: Funds deducted from buyer's account and now in escrow with PayPal, we are awaiting requested details from seller in order to credit your instant payment to your account.

According to the confirmation of payment message issued out to you by PayPal, we'd like to confirm that your funds have been successfully charged from the buyer's account and the funds are presently being held invisible on your account as we are taking security measures to ensure a safe transaction. We are using this medium to get you informed that you have to send the shipping bills upfront (out of your pocket) due to PayPal's security measures and also if you go through the confirmation email we sent to you, a total sum of $850.00 AUD has been fully deducted from the buyer's account and as you can see, it is a huge amount and we are trying to protect both you and the buyer because the money paid by the buyer cannot be retracted as we will not refund any money into the buyer's account and this is due to security reasons. This were the reasons we requested that you have to send the $300.00 AUD upfront. You are to go to any Western Union Outlet or Post Office around you with the fees and send it out to the shipping agent's information via Western Union Money Transfer. The information you will send the fees to is the address included in the payment confirmation and it is stated below again for your verification:

Name: Yi Huang
Address: Nan Hai Ave,Peng Du Bldg.
City: Beijing State:
Zip: 120058

In order to send the funds as requested by PayPal, you have to go to any western union location with the cash in hand (out of your pocket) and send it to the shipper's details above which has already been sent to you also in the payment notification receipt issued to you.

You also have to go to the western union office with a valid identity card (either your driver's license or your traveling passport) as it will be requested for by the western union agent just to prove your legitimacy. Once the funds has been sent, a receipt of transfer will be given to you, you have to check on the western union receipt for the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) which you have to email directly to us. Once we receive the MTCN from you, we will verify the details with western union and once we have confirmed that you have truly sent the funds, we will immediately deposit your funds into your account.

Your quick response will be very much appreciated once the money has been sent and our response to your messages will be timely as PayPal deals with time. We are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this might have bestowed on you and we want you to be aware that PayPal will be responsible for any additional charges incurred during the course of sending the shipper's funds at the western union office.

Please note that you have 24hours to complete this request so that we can complete the process of the transaction and have your funds in escrow with us credited into your account immediately so we expect to read from you once the transfer has been initiated. This is because we normally start legal actions after 24-48hours of non response from our customers, this is done however to curb the rate of dubious acts by customers.

I hope i have been able to clarify you on the details of the transaction and we hope to read from you soon for a speedy accreditation of your funds into your account.

Thank you for using PayPal!

Kind Regards,
The PayPal Team.

I have not sent them any further correspondence, but thought I would post all this in case it helps catch them, or at least warn people of the format they are currently using!!!

Good luck!!!!
Last edited by Ingamajig on Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
#162797 by Is Rodney Likeable Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:04 am
Yep, same here. Though thankfully it didn't get too much further but annoyed at the time that was wasted in conversing back and forth for the last week about the room and the area we live not to mention extra photos etc etc!

It initially came from a txt message response to our room that is currently available for rent that we have advertised on gumtree requesting us to email "Vivian" ([email protected]), which we did. We received the following email:

From: Vivian Williams
Sent: Sunday, 14 April 2013 11:27 PM
To: "US" (names removed for privacy)
Subject: Re: Room for rent
Thanks for getting back to me,i will like to know the nearest university to you location before i proceed with the rent,so kindly get back to me with the nearest university to your vacancy,i will reply you with my full details.wish to hear from you soon.

On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 9:35 PM, "WE" wrote:
Hi Vivian,
The nearest university to us is the University of the Sunshine Coast which is 5mins down the road by car.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2013 22:19:18 +0800
Subject: Re: Room for rent
From: [email protected]
To: "US"
Hi ,
I am Vivian Williams and I am interested in the vacancy you have for rent.I am presently in Malaysia that is where i stay and school with my parent. i will be attending USC, i just want to be sure of my search cause am a international student,I'm 23yrs old,female,i was born and grew up in Uk, but i later relocated after my first degree, I am really a sincere and honest person.a caring,kind,friendly very easy to get along with am intelligent cool headed adaptive have a big heart and i do believe in the truth and honesty..Cause honesty is the only key to human success and with honest you can easily archive your aims. and my hobbies are reading,making friends,cooking and singing,i like playing piano, I don't attend late night parties,i don't smoke and i will not be coming with a pet...i am easy going and friendly.i am quiet and clean and i will love to stay in a clean environment.. I would like to make an inquiry if the room is still available for rent and the duration in which you want to lease the unit.i will like to secure the place before my arrival and i will like to know how to secure it cos my father will be responsible for the payment and he said he will like to make all arrangement for me before coming to Australia.
pls let me have more details about you and the vacancy.
Here are the details i need
1- Security deposit fee ?
2- Monthly rent fees ?
3- Utilities if applicable ?
4- Dimension/measurement of the unit {s} ?
5- Crime rate of the area where the apt is located ?
6- Park lots if any ?
7- If the unit is Furnished or Unfurnished ?
8- Total Move in fees ?
9-How long will you rent the room?
Wish to hear from you soon

***Needless to say I responded with lengthy emails describing us, the room, the house, the neighborhood giving honest information and even detailing the bus routes and timetables to the uni! I KNOW! Looking back over the emails now I feel completely had!! But, here is the rest...

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:09:43 +0800
Subject: Re: Room for rent
From: [email protected]
To: "US"
Thanks for your response,am planning to arrive on the 26th of April,i will appreciate it if you can send me some picture of the room, just to see how it look like.

***Photos were sent

Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:55:59 +0800
Subject: Re: Room for rent
From: [email protected]
To: "US"
Thanks for the reply ,i think am OK with the room and the price,i will get your Email Address forward to my dad,so you can discuss about the payment cause he will be responsible for the payment.Here is my dad email([email protected])you can also give him a mail,my dad will get back to you as soon as my mail deliver to him,wish to see you soon.

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:04:31 +0800
Subject: Re: Room for rent
From: [email protected]
To: "US"

Thank you for mail. i will be responsible for her accommodation payment,am presently at the sea i am a marine engineer and due to the nature of my work, phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check mail and reply you,Vivian make me understand she is Ok with your rent and am ready to make the payment now,please kindly help me to assist my daughter in anyway cause she is my only child,i lost her mother last year November in a car crash,and i promised to take care of Vivian till my last day on earth,so i want you to see her as your family,friend and sister.i hope to place you a visit soon.
About the payment,I insist on paypal and i can also make a transfer from my paypal to your bank,i don't have internet banking,but i can make the payment from my paypal account cause is link to my bank.
i will need you to give me your paypal account email and the total amount i will need to send to cover the rent for two month in advance,i will make the payment immediately you get back to me with the details and please if you don't have paypal account yet,it is very easy to set up,go to and get it set up,after you have set it up,i will only need your paypal email address you use to register for your account to make the payment.
i will be waiting to hear from you soon.

***Yes, yes, I know. If alarm bells weren't ringing before, they certainly were now! But, being the polite person I am, I replied back nicely. It wasn't until I got home and googled the crap out of him that my suspicions were confirmed. And boy, did I give it to them! (I wont paste that email!)

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:35:54 +0000
Subject: Re: Room for rent
From: "US"
To: [email protected]
Sorry Mr Williams,
We will only accept direct deposit into an account.
You will have to find alternate arrangements for Vivian if it cannot be done this way.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

As I mentioned earlier, thankfully they didnt get too far with me. But I filled out a complaint with ACCC, posting to any threads I can see with this persons contact information and will then write lengthy emails to PayPal and Western Union. I know they probably wont be able to do much but every little bit helps I suppose to try and help stop them and to try and help stop them praying on the next person. Bunch of <insert a string of profanity here) low life scum!
#162835 by TerranceBoyce Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:10 pm
Welcome to Scamwarners Is Rodney Likeable.

It's part of the scammer's tactic to waste your time, firstly to make themselves appear serious and to make it appear that they are respectable (very often it's a pre-prepared script they'll re-use over and over again) and secondly because it makes you keener to carry through with the transaction, in spite of any misgivings, having invested time in it.

Make them give you their contact phone number and speak to them on the phone. If you get bull poop excuses about being marooned on an oil rig - dump them immediately - it's a scammer. If he can e-mail you he can take a call. Apart from hiding his country code, he'll also want to avoid you hearing his accent as West African scammers are very obvious and usually unintelligible. Watch out for 044 (0)70 numbers which are UK re-directs indicative you're dealing with a scammer.

Do this and it will allow you to dispose of the majority of scammers quickly and efficiently. You're not turning away clients if they're scammers and someone wanting to rent from you won't be uncontactable. The world is full of scammers working as marine engineers, oceanographers and oil rig workers, so you'd believe.

CAR ADVERTS - If a car seller mentions escrow - he's scamming you Never ever for any reason pay anything until you have seen and inspected the vehicle
#162837 by began steele Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:33 pm
It only became USC because you told him the nearest one. He should have known that anyway so did not need to ask. Had you told him University of Ben Becula or some non existent forsaken rat hole thats where he would be moving to. Very often they make vague references to places such as "your country ", "your area" because in the process of sending out hundreds of trash mails they do not need to do more than press send buttons

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. ~~ George Orwell.
#162967 by Shazz162 Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:39 am
hey I nearly got done by John Lewis was very Unsure so typed his name and suburb in and it led me here thanks it was all the same

I am currently selling my boat on gumtree and I get a text from +61 2 4036 3188
Saying: I am contacting you for my boss, he's not too text so just send him an email on if you still have the boat.

So I email the below:
G'day, i still have the boat,if you have any questions about it give me a call on 04&* 2>? 382 (sorry just wana protect my privacy, the real email had my actual number) thank you Dean.

The person never rang but replyed with this email:

From: John Lewis ([email protected])
Sent: Monday, 8 April 2013 2:39:49 PM
To: dean deano
Okay. one of my staff's saw the ADS and would like me to see it. Letme know if the price is negotiable. I am from Broken Hill NSW. If youwere local then I would come down to pick it up. But since you are notlocal, I will have to arrange with a pick up driver that has a truckto come and pick it up once payment is cleared. My only option rightnow will be paypal. because I prefer to use paypal for most onlinetransactions, You can easily get money in your paypal and transfer itinto your bank account let me know and keep me posted asap. John

So alarm bells start ringing, wtf would someone in Broken hill want a 14ft boat. FYI it is advertised and sold with a trailor, which my hilux pulls just fine. So more alarms bells start ringing why does he need a truck and hows he planing on getting the boat on the truck.
So i'm like ok idiot i'll play your stupid game.

dean deano 7:03 PM To: John Lewis

From: dean deano
Sent: Monday, 8 April 2013 7:03:13 PM
To: John Lewis

Sorry the price is not negotiable, happy to go through paypal let me know as i have someone wanting to look at it on the weekend.Thanks Dean

Quick as lightning I get this reply:
John Lewis ([email protected])Add to contacts7:12 PM To: dean deano

From: John Lewis
Sent: Monday, 8 April 2013 7:12:34 PM
To: dean deano

That's fine. I contacted the mover and I just got an email from him,He said the pick up and delivery will cost $750, and it has to bescheduled with their company headquarters in China before they cancome for pick up.. I will include the shipping cost with the money Iam sending you and once you receive the payment I want you to maketheir money available so that they can come for pick up. If that isclear then you can login to your paypal account and send me paymentrequest for the $8,800 My paypal account is [email protected] you John

Now i'm like, what kind of idiot gets a shipping company from china. I reply with the following:

From: dean deano
Sent: Monday, 8 April 2013 7:25:08 PM
To: John Lewis ([email protected])

So I am 100% clear. You want me to pay the shipping company? Thats what the extra money you will be paying me is for. If this is the case, Who is the shipping company? and how am I ment to pay them?


No reply as yet ill keep you posted on all my progress with JOHN LEWIS, From Broken Hill (desert country), buying my 14ft boat and trailer hes never seen, Putting it all on a truck from china, & paying by paypal.
My names Dean not Dumb
#163186 by Dave Davey Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:10 am
Hey Dean, yeah thanks for sharing your experience with john Lewis at [email protected]. I also heard Alarm bells ringing for me as well when this guy made contact with me less than 24 hours after putting my Jetski up for sale on gumtree. The same tactic used as you experience. I also offered to deliver it to him but he insisted on the mover company as he called it. Come on john Lewis how and why would you purchase something that cost over $20,000 without viewing it yourself or getting someone to view it for you and also not asking any info about the item other than price. So basically guys if you can't make physical contact with a buyer and they want to use a shipping or mover company to pick the item up. it's a SCAM. One other thing I would to add is that my pay pal account I can access through my phone and deck top. When I log in through my phone I see a payment pending which I can't remove or cancel as this is the devise I used when dealing with this knob but when I log in to my Paypal acc through my deck top there is no activity at all. Funny that. I finally got rid of this guy after numerous emails back and forth advising him I sold it but I recommend don't go to the trouble wasting your time just ignore and they will go away. Thanks again dean for sharing
Cheers :
#202991 by melbournegal Sun May 25, 2014 8:07 pm
Hi Seagerlin,

Thanks so much for posting this info up. I was a bit unsure about a transaction through Gumtree but after reading your email from the shipping company I realise it must be a scam. Here is a copy:

We are the shipping company from Swire Shipping INT'L, we wish to inform you that Mr Frank Buckley contacted us as regards the shipping of the merchandise he bought from you and paid for accordingly.

Sequel to this, we sincerely request that you should forward to us your contact details so that we can come to your home and pick up the merchandise he paid for. We are also informed that you need to send the sum of $350.00 AUD to us via Western Union Money Transfer which is to cover the shipping fee, kindly send the money to us at our address below:

First Name: Aiqiang
Last Name: Wang
Address: 41, Liangmaqiao Road
City: Chaoyang District
State: Beijing
Zip Code: 100600
Country: P.R. China.

We expect you to get back to us with the information below:

1. Senders Name and Address
2. Amount Sent
3. Reference Number
4. House Address
5. Telephone Number

Send the scanned copy of the receipt to us for proper verification and confirmation.

We will serve you right,
Get back to us at : [email protected]

Thank you for using us,
Swire Shipper.

**I was also originally contacted via an Australian mobile number by SMS and asked to email back with further information. I know what a supreme waste of time this all is. He asked me to take more images of the product to email, I've spent a couple of hours on this already, ugh!! He is supposedly paying me through a paypal account, has my name and account details but haven't given him street address for pick up...
#214301 by wstcwp Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:04 am
Thank you for the share of your experience. I was just coming across a similar circumstance when I saw this page. It really helped me.

I was renting my room through Gumtree when a female named Yi Wang contacted me. She said she was an officer of marine and she needed to work in Australia for over one year. She was willing to rent my room and she could pay for the first three months' rent immediately including the bond. That's more than $5000!! She even provided her passport copy (but I guess it's fake). We were chatting through emails quite well until she said she was willing to pay the money through paypal BUT there was some item transportation fees that I needed to pay for her. She said I would receive a receipt from paypal stating she had made the transaction. The email is as following:
Hi ,
I received the paypal email but i need a kind favor from you and i will be happy if you can sort it out for me. I was just about to pay when i received an email from my shipping company, my shipping agent says i will need to pay for the moving before they can ship my items, they charge me $890.00 for pick up and delivery and payment must be made to the corporate international headquarters in Thailand. The payment will be made via western union transfer. I will add $890.00 to my rent deposit making $6,420.00 AUD in total which you will kindly help me to send the excess $890 to their corporate headquarters in Thailand, i will send the funds through PayPal and email you to let you know when i am done with the transfer. This can be done by visiting any post office cos there is always western union agent there, i will also include $90.00 for the western union money transfer charges.. I would have done it myself but i can't for some circumstances regarding my work schedule and no western union here at sea, I will appreciate your kindness regarding this. You will get a payment notification from PayPal immediately i transfer the funds.

I will appreciate your help... Awaiting your reply asap.

Thanks and God Bless You.


Now that I have seen this website, I would expect to receive an email from "paypal team" saying Yi Wang has transfered a huge amount of money to my account but it is "invisible" until I paid the item transportation fee for her. Thank you guys! The info you shared really helps!
#231880 by Georgehb Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:20 am
Exactly the same story,

In this case the scammer was somehow able to place a pending transaction in the paypal account - initially the rent and then a subsequent payment of $980 for 'moving expenses', which I was asked to transfer to her moving company via Western Union. Needless to say, nothing has cleared.

Don't know if anyone has experienced this - a seemingly legit pending payment status for the amount discussed in a Paypal account? Either way, something to watch out for. I also received an email confirming the payment, though it went straight to spam (She warned this would happen) and was obviously not Paypal. I've included some of the emails and scammer's details below. Once it became clear that I wasn't willing to transfer any money prior to receiving her deposit in my bank account she became a bit "emotional blackmaily', asking why I didn't trust her when she had so readily trusted me with such a large amount of her own funds. She hasn't yet gone as far as to threaten consequences from Paypal, or the FBI, though I have seen on this thread that it's something that can happen.

Yi Wang, [email protected].

Thanks for your response. I am 28 year old non smoker lady coming to Australia from Singapore. I am outgoing and friendly I takes pride of my home, I am clean/tidy and trustworthy person. I work with Northern Marine Management in Singapore,am at sea at the moment and i have limited time to surf the internet and also phone calls is also strictly limited due to nature of my work. I will like you to make the arrangement for the total cost covering my first three months rent together with bond. I will also like you to get back to me with the full home address so that i can forward it to my remover company in other to calculate the total cost of moving my little stuffs to Australia . I will be looking forward to read back from you..God Bless.


Hello ,
I would like to inform you that I have completed the payment for the rent and the funds has been deducted from my account, kindly check your paypal email address Inbox or spam for payment notification from PayPal, (Please note: Some messages pass through spam folder in case you don't find the paypal notification in your inbox, so check your spam box carefully).. Please help me send out the mover agent fee today because payment must be confirmed on before the pick up date. My items are expected to be picked up by 23th December which is Tuesday and i do not want to reschedule the date to avoid being charged more. Below is the details of my mover agent where the sum of $890 is to be sent cos you only need the Name and Address for western union money transfer. I added extra $90 to cover western union charges, $3,400 for rent deposit , making $4,380.00 AUD in total. All you need to do is to go to the post office with cash,you will see western union outlet there, ask for money transfer form and then fill the form accordingly.

Mover Agent Info:

Name- Kotchanuch Wattanapiboondilok
Address- 145 Phayathai Road, Pathumwan,
Bangkok Country Thailand 10330.

[email protected]
Dec 22 (2 days ago)

to me
I trust you that is why I transfered my huge amount to your bank account. The money transfer is in pending and you confirm it, you can't help me out with the mover fees and deduct it when arrive in your account.
#236003 by Jackrocks Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:09 pm
Just been caught up in this to. Thought it sounded fishy but didn't reasesrch until after we agreed to participate. Have since emailed them to let them know we know it's a scam but not sure whether we are also going to be hounded. Have gumtree posted any warnings? What are the authorities doing about it?
#236005 by Bryon Williams Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:17 pm
Gumtree is aware of scams.

Can you please post the emails the scammer sent you and the email address used. This will help others avoid the scam.

Please contacta moferatorstor if you have a question or information about this post.

Please do not tell the scammer he is posted here.

Please remember the fallen.
#281271 by ThuyLe Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:47 pm
I just gotten into this too. Should have looked up earlier. But lucky I only ended up with exposing my full name and address. I was caught off guards as the scammer sent picture of 'herself' or someone's else that looks really alike to an Facebook account with the same name Felice Chan. I guess over the year this scam has gotten trickier. The picture of the girl they sent me looks so much like the real person with same name on FB. Now I looked into it carefully, the different is just a mole and the eyebrows :laugh-s:

the email address it used is [email protected]
Below is the conversation. The bell rings to me when she asked me to go to western union to transfer money her shipping agent. I mean really!!! Western union now can do transfer online don't need to go to office lol So I looked up here. Thanks so much for the info guys. But I am not sure what they could do with my full name and addresses now :(

Preview attachment pic.jpg
Preview attachment pic1.jpg Felice Chan
AttachmentsJan 12 (2 days ago)

to me
Hi Jacqui,
Many thanks for your response let me introduce myself. I am Felice 30 year young nonsmoker Singaporean lady coming to Australia. I work as medical doctor on a cruise ship and I have limited time to surf the internet. I will like you to kindly calculate the total cost covering my first three months’ rent together with deposit but I will be staying long as soon as your room is available. I will also like you to kindly get back to me with some pictures of the room and your address for me to forward it to my mover to calculate the total cost of moving my stuffs to Australia. I had attached two pictures of myself for you to know me. I will be waiting to read back from you.


2 Attachments

Felice Chan
Jan 12 (2 days ago)

to me
Hi Jacqui,
Many thanks for getting back to me again, I prefer the double room. I am very social person that respect humanity and this make it so easy for me to get along with whoever that comes my way in life. I am arriving on 21st of Jan and start working in Australia. I will be securing the room by transferring the rent to you through PayPal and if you do not have a paypal account kindly set up an account with them in less than 5 minutes on I would have requested for your bank details but for the safety of you and me with giving bank details online, I prefer going through PayPal. I will be so happy to secure the room as soon as you get back to me with the PayPal money request. All you need to do is to log into your PayPal and click request money, you will then send the money request of total 3 months rent to my email address for me to transfer the money. I will like to pay in advance through PayPal and my reason is that, I will be presenting the proof of my rent payment to my employer and also to the immigration at the port of entry into Australia.

Felice Chan
2:14 PM (19 hours ago)

to me
Hi Jacqui,
Thanks for getting back to me with the rental terms, I had gone through it and I am fine with it. Kindly get back to me in meantime with the PayPal money request for me to proceed with the payment for the room. I hope to read back from you again in meantime.

Hi Jacquie,
Thanks so much for your responses but I was just about to transfer the rent payment now when something came up. I need a kind favor from you and I will be happy if you can sort it out for me. I was just about to pay when I received an email from my shipping company, my shipping agent says I will need to pay for the moving before they can ship my items, they charge me $949.00 for pickup and delivery and payment for pick up will be made to the corporate international headquarters. The payment will be made via western union money transfer. I will add $949.00 to my rent deposit making $3,149.00 in total which you will kindly help me to send the excess $949 to the shipping company. I will send the funds through PayPal and email you to let you know when I am done with the transfer. The money transfer to the shipping agent can be done by visiting any of the Western Union office closest to you; I have also included $100.00 for the western union money transfer charges. I would have done it myself but I can't for some circumstances regarding my work schedule, I will appreciate your kindness regarding this. You will get a payment notification from PayPal immediately I transfer the funds.

#289328 by georgia Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:13 am
im so thankful,that ive looked this up and found your forum,this exact thing is on going,well it was until this morning when i sent them this link.And have not receveied anymore.But this was a women who was in a wheel chair,so she said,and this morning when i checked my emails for a deposit of £500 in my paypal acc,obviously there was nothing.But a email from Sarah Clob,telling me shes posted £790 to cover shipping aswel hahaha i new it was suspect then.Also an email from paypal assist 2mail,saying i needed to pay £250 to some person in france through moneygram.Who do i report this to please,everything you have said Dotti,they,ve been doing,to even 10 emails in correspondance

thanks Georgia

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