Hello everyone! Now where to begin? I really thought since I haven’t written in a while and I’m just starting to write more frequently that I would start my blog out with something very pleasant, something interesting that we’ve recently seen, or at least cheerful! But, something that we’ve dealt with recently made me very angry, a Nigerian PayPal Scheme, and I thought it might be helpful for some of you out there.

When we recently went home to Iowa, our transmission went out on our Jeep Liberty (in Wyoming) on our way home. We were in the middle of nowhere; but, thanks to insurance we were able to get towed to the nearest town and a safe place for the night. Still, it was in the middle of nowhere so there were not any rental agencies nearby and we had no other choice but to take a moving truck the rest of the way home! It was not a pleasant ride and didn’t do my back any justice! Anyway, we have two vehicles and once we made it home, we had access to our other vehicle. We found a transmission and brought it back to our Jeep Liberty in Wyoming and towed it where our RV was in Utah. Frank fixed our 2004 Jeep Liberty and now it runs as good as new. Needless to say, we can’t tow two vehicles on the road behind our RV (as much as our children wish we could) so we either needed to store or sell one. I really wish we were close enough to Iowa that we could store the Jeep while driving our Town and Country; however, it would cost so much to get it back to Iowa that if we stored it, it would make more sense to store it here in Utah. Frank decided to go ahead and sell his Jeep and that’s where this story begins!

So, once Frank decided to sell it (his 2004 Jeep Liberty), VERY NICE by the way, he listed it on the two free local sites in Utah, Craig’s List and KSL. We had some bites right off the bat. One tried to negotiate a lower price by phone; while two others, merely communicated via email. I want to show you the back and forth emails so you can understand how this came about. Right off, our instincts told us something was wrong, they were too interested, didn’t try to negotiate down, and even the grammatical and spelling errors throughout their emails. Still we thought, no one is perfect, give them a chance. But, there were other errors too; like, in almost every place there should have been periods there were commas. Still, I thought, give them a chance. I WILL NEVER THINK THIS WAY AGAIN! I just need to say that if your instinct is telling you NO or if it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is and LISTEN to your conscious! A lot of other people have written about how they were taken and they were not as lucky as we were.

Once I received that last email stating that they would ONLY pay through PayPal and no other way, I knew something was going on that I wasn’t going to like too much! I have heard of other scams; but, I knew PayPal was secure and I was running different scenarios in my mind and I just couldn’t figure out how they were going to scam us without paying in my PayPal account. So, I figured I’d at least Google PayPal scheme and up popped a Nigerian PayPal scheme. It basically stated that they would go through all the lengths that the emails have so far (many used the exact wording that mine did) and then when we’d give them my PayPal email address, then they would send me an email that said I’d been paid through PayPal when I really hadn’t. It would come from the scammer even though it would look like it came from PayPal. This would not have gotten by me because I would have gone via a separate internet browser to check my PayPal account directly.

None the less, I decided to do a little more research. So, I knew you could find out more information about a person if you look at the full header of the email; however, I didn’t know how to check the header when I was in web email like Yahoo. So, I did a search and learned how to do so. Next, I looked at the full header and looked for the “received from” IP address. It is normally a set of numbers like: 41.155.86.107. Then, you take this number, and enter it into an internet site to see where it came from. The above IP address number is from Nigeria! Not a good sign when you are trying to sell a vehicle or anything else for that matter! After I wrote an angry letter back to the scammer (*smile*), I wrote to the IC3, an internet security organization that stands for The Internet Crime Complaint Center which partners with the FBI. So, here are the internet addresses that helped me in my research.

Blog: http://the-colloquium.blogspot.com/2009/04/nigerian-scams-buying-items-using-fake.html (This one had a list of others that have been scammed along with some of what was said and email addresses that have been used.)
See full headers in various email accounts: http://www.fraudaid.com/find_headers.htm
Find out who the IP address is from: http://whatismyipaddress.com/

I hope this blog entry helps some people avoid a losing money and/or property!

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Here are the emails back and forth because I wanted to give you an idea of what the emails may sound like. Although they use different email addresses or tactics, many people have said that they use the same types of words over and over and they may have even copied and pasted text. Here are the emails: (I just noticed that his “name” is spelled correctly for the email address but he spelled HIS OWN name WRONG on his “from” name his emails (since this is filled out by the person sending the email)! LOL!!!
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From: Micheal Don <michealdon80@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 6:11 AM
Subject: 2004 Jeep Liberty – VERY NICE!

What is the con dition of the vehicle…Any mechanical Fault.

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On Thu Oct 13th, 2011 11:23 AM PDT Frank wrote:

Sorry, your email went in my spam folder – will check there more frequently.
There isn’t any mechanical fault. It has a hardly noticeable slight front pull to the left; I believe it needs a new alignment. That’s it! If you’d like to look at it, feel free to call me. 515-778-4069    Frank

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From: Micheal Don <michealdon80@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty – VERY NICE!

Alright i just wanted to make sure nothing is been left out….Payment will be sent using paypal cos am a paypal verified and i will handle the paypal surcharge as well.I will arrange with the shipping company agent to have this picked up at your location once have paid for the Merchandise as i am out of town at the moment.Inthe meantime due to nature of my job,can you send me more pictures (if available)? Regards.

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From: Frank
To: Micheal Don <michealdon80@yahoo.com>
<michealdon80@yahoo.com>Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:38 PM
<michealdon80@yahoo.com>Subject: Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty – VERY NICE!

I am sorry but I will only deal with cash in person. Not being disrespectful, it’s just that I have been burned before. So if you have someone who will come and get it, your shipping agent as you said, they can also bring the cash. Otherwise, I do have others that are interested. Please let me know right away. Thank you, Frank

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From: Micheal Don <michealdon80@yahoo.com>
<michealdon80@yahoo.com>S<michealdon80@yahoo.com>ent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:57 PM
<michealdon80@yahoo.com>Subject: Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty – VERY NICE!

Hello, i can only pay through paypal for now as i have no access to my bank account online but i have it linked to my paypal.you can set up a pay pal account by logging on to www.paypal.com and register with your email address or use any email address of your choice and get back to me with the email address used in setting it up,they also called it paypal email address.you can get back to me with the email used so i can make the payment.,,no problem at all Thanks wait to hear from you soon. Micheal.

 

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From: Frank <frankls_2000@yahoo.com>
<michealdon80@yahoo.com>To: Micheal Don <michealdon80@yahoo.com>
<michealdon80@yahoo.com><michealdon80@yahoo.com>Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:13 PM
<michealdon80@yahoo.com><michealdon80@yahoo.com>Subject: Re: 2004 Jeep Liberty – VERY NICE! – $7200 (North Salt Lake City)

Why are you writing to me from Nigeria? I easily checked the IP address and it said you are in Nigeria. How did you expect to get the vehicle to Nigeria once you took me for a fool? You are such a gape. Now if you would like to pay cash… in PERSON then we’ll talk. I’m not a stupid American. Have fun in Lagos. This is your exact location. I will be notifying the IC3 and other authorities. You are between Massey Street and Omi-didun Street… very close to the lagoon!

<michealdon80@yahoo.com><michealdon80@yahoo.com>Latitude: 6.4531
<michealdon80@yahoo.com><michealdon80@yahoo.com>Longitude: 3.3958