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|Scam Reporter||Scam Tips Received|
Lowell, MA, United States
Classified Ads Scam
| Purportedly buying your boat for his Dad, sight unseen - but really only wants your Paypal details |
Your paypal email address
Your full name and home address
Whether your Paypal account has been verified.
Your phone number
Suspect the perp is selling this information to a third party for nefarious purposes - third party will use these details to attempt to hijack your Paypal account and use it to drain your attached bank account / credit cards at some later time when you are not expecting it.
Here's how the scam goes.
1. You post something for sale on autotrader.
2. Perp sends you a text (SMS) message in broken english asking your to provide more details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. SMS phone number appears to be a disposable 'burner' phone and is not traceable.
4. You reply back via text SMS and they ignore and so you reply back again to their email.
5. They claim that they are 'Sean Lee' and they want your boat/car to buy, sight unseen, as a 'present' for their 'Dad' but cannot be contacted by any means except email because they are on vacation. This even though they just sent you an SMS only about 10 minutes ago.
6. They may ask for a better price. You reply with whatever (your suspicious at this point).
7. They immediately switch gears and ask - even demand - your paypal account details.
8. You confront them with this - 'wait a minute, this is about a boat, not a paypal account' and the conversation drops like a lead balloon.
9. Two days later you get a response to your initial SMS reply from someone named Darlee. Her(?) english is worse. You ask if she lives in your country and the conversation again ends abruptly.
This seems to be a fairly well-honed scheme, but the people actually executing it seem to be only semi-competent which makes me think that they are just just minions, and that this is a large-scale off-shore operation and that harvesting paypal account details is only the first step in the process.
Things that are important to note -
* by responding via SMS they avoid any blocking or filtering that autotrader might do, which saves
them from needing to create so many bogus email accounts
* if they want to buy your car/boat without even seeing it, that's a big red flag!