Every sale on internet implies certain level of risk. We, as sellers, want to ensure that we are paid, but at the same time, the buyer wants exactly the same for the bits that he's purchasing.
There are mechanisms out there to reduce those kind of risks, but there are also other risks, not so evident, hence we have to be more vigilant. Let me tell you a story that has happened tome recently
Some days ago I inserted an adv in another second hand forum to sell one of my models. The price was 180£ (keep this in mind). The next day I received an email of a potential buyer, asking for some pics. I sent them, and the same day he confirmed that he wanted the plane. When we discussed the payment method, he proposed this: he said he was collecting other bits in my area, so he proposed to send me a cheque for a quantity "slightly" higher that my price. I should cash the cheque, takemy money, and let him knows. He then would arrange the shipping, and I should give the carrier the remaining pounds. Sounds odd, but somehow acceptable...
Some days later, I received the cheque, inan envelop with UK stamps and no sender details. Remeber my price (180£ ). The cheque was in €, was from a foreing bank, and the amount was 2.000€.
Obviously, I sent him an email saying that I was in shock with the amount, and also with the fact that it was in €. Five minutes later he called me...from a Nigerian mobile number. I'm not English, but I can identify the English accent. His accent wasn't Engish,or Spanish, French, German or Italian, so I can only guess he's from Nigeria. He insisted that I should cash the cheque as soon as possible, becuase he needed the stuff. After that call,I tracked his IP, and it was registered in US, in California.
Obviously, at that moment I was almost sure that he had no interest at all on the plane, but in any case I reported to the police and asked for their opinion. They confirmed what I though: it looks like a "low level" money laundry,and they said that I could be involved if I went ahead with it.
But the final confirmation came when I send an email saying that my dog had broken the plane, destroying it completely, and asking him for an address to send the cheque back. His reply basically was: "oh! bad luck, but never mind, send it as it is..." He would buy the model as it is, AND FOR THE SAME PRICE!!!.
Obviously, I'm not selling him absolutely anything, and I have already destroyed the cheque, straight after making a fotocopy and report the incident to Action Fraud.
I hope this story could be useful to all of us selling stuff on internet, to keep an eye on the buyer and ensure that no criminal will use us for their purposes.
Edited By Alejandro Valle Carrillo on 27/09/2013 17:28:23
Edited By Alejandro Valle Carrillo on 27/09/2013 17:28:56
Edited By Alejandro Valle Carrillo on 27/09/2013 17:31:48