Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Advisories and Urgent Information > Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road

Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree7Likes
  • 4 Post By 2fortheroad.co.uk
  • 1 Post By markharf
  • 1 Post By Walkabout
  • 1 Post By 2fortheroad.co.uk

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28 Oct 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 56
SCAM Buyer - A Real Example (in S.America, but could be anywhere...)

Hi folks, (hope this is appropriately categorized)

I encountered a scam during sale of my (Chilean) motorbike in South America and I wanted to post the details in case it helps anyone else recognize the same:

In summary, the "buyer" expresses willingness to purchase using PayPal, no questions asked about condition nor price. But I would never actually meet the "buyer", only his shipping agent, who would arrive once I had made a Western Union transfer to them, supposedly with the cash the "buyer" has already sent me. Here are the details...

1. I placed an add on the Chilean Mercadolibre.cl site to sell my bike.

2. Through Mercadolibre's system the potential buyer contacted me expressing interest and offering his email address and name:

Hello,I saw your advert on Mercadolibre,Get back to me at eric.donald19@hotmail.com,If available for sale.Thanks.
Nombre: Eric
E-mail: eric.donladxx22xa@outlook.com
Teléfono: -97383183

3. I responded saying the bike was still for sale, upon which I received an email reply with some basic inquiries:

From: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)
Sent: 21 October 2013 19:32:32
To: me (----------@-----------.com)

Thanks for the response.Am interested in buying. How long have you owned it and when last was it serviced?..What's your asking price for it in us dollars.

4. I replied answering the above questions. Then I was asked to take my add off the web, because he would like to buy immediately. No questions, no negotiations, too good to be true?

From: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)
Sent: 23 October 2013 15:44:48
To: me (----------@-----------.com)

Okay Good..I'm quite satisfied with the condition and price,and I need you to understand that i am willing and ready to purchase it right away, end the advert, consider me as your favorite buyer.I will be paying the PayPal charges from my account and i will be paying directly into your PayPal account without any delay, and i hope you have a paypal account. If you have one already, just send me the address to send it to, which is the email address you use for it or you can send me a paypal money request, so once i receive the details i will go ahead with the payment through PayPal and then i will contact my shipping company after you get the payment. I will need your home address for it to be Picked Up by the Shipping Company..

5. In my reply I send my PayPal handle (after all, what can I lose). I do not give a physical address saying I wil be in a hotel, and inquire how the "buyer" intends to deal with the legal procedure of transferring the deeds (which requires his and my presence normally). In rapid succession, I receive messages stating he has gone through with the PayPal payment including additional 700USD which he requests that I use to pay the agent through Western Union.

From: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)
Sent: 24 October 2013 03:19:38
To: me (----------@-----------.com)

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and make sure you end the advert immediately.I will be sending the payment shortly and i will email you when am done with it.More so you will be notify by PayPal in your email address after i make the payment,so just make sure you check your email often and often to confirm payment when it is completed


From: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)
Sent: 24 October 2013 03:49:29
To: me (----------@-----------.com)

Hello,Once again,thanks so much for everything...I have just completed the payment for the Item and you should have received a confirmation email from paypal in regards to the payment.As you may have noticed I have made an additional payment on top of all the other charges,The sum of $700 and this needs to be sent to the Mediterranean Shipping Company in charge of the pickup,which can easily be done through Western Union Money Transfer. This is their requested form of payment when it comes to dealing with international exchanges.Upon receiving the payment they will arrange to pick up the (NX4 Falcon) within the next 48 hours.They will probably contact you and choose the date the pick up will be made,Which reminds me if you could also send me your contact number and home address again and i will forward it on to them so they can arrange a convenient pick up time.

The amount that I have just transferred to you is on hold through paypal as they need the Western Union receipt to confirm the pickup company has been paid.. Once they received that then the payment will be cleared into your paypal account. Just to reassure you that he amount has already left my account and simply being held by Paypal until the transaction is completed successfully.

The information you need in order to complete the payment to Western Union Money Transfer is listed below:

Name:Tando Lubuzo
Address:90 Steve Biko road.
State:Arcadia, Pretoria.
Country: South Africa

Thanks for the understanding and co-operating in the matter.All the other paperwork will be completed by the pick-up agent.Please transfer the money as soon as possible so that we can arrange everything without delay.(dont forget I need the pick-up address and also if you could provide me with your phone number too that will be great).

Nice doing business with you. Look forward to hearing from you soon and completing the transaction.

Kind regards

6. In my junk mail I receive an apparent PayPal receipt from SERVICE@INTL.PAYPAL.COM titled "Receipt of Payment from Eric Donald (Transaction ID #4WR6072127779652U)". Strange, because PayPal notices go straight into my inbox as they're marked safe. Logging into my PayPal account shows no activity. Checking carefully in the header, the email has really been sent ON BEHALF of this PayPal address. A number the lines of text are clickable links but I don't touch them fearing they may contain phishing code.

From: alex.james001@gmail.com on behalf of service@intl.paypal.com (customerhelp.service@secureroot.com)
Sent: 24 October 2013 03:44:44
To: ederken@hotmail.com
I trust customerhelp.service@secureroot.com. Always show content.

Powered by [PayPal logo image here]

You've received an instant payment

Dear PayPal User (----------@-----------.com),

This e-Mail confirms that you have received an Instant payment of $5,500.00 USD from Eric Donald via PayPal MERCHANDISE Payment Service.

Reversals : This method of payment can not be reversed.

Status : Pending - Transport Company Awaiting Payment.

View the details of this pending transaction below

Summary of this transaction
Sent From Eric Donald eric.donald19@hotmail.com
Sent to ----------@-----------.com
Transaction ID 4WR6072127779652U
Merchandise Amount $4,800.00 USD
Transport Charges $700.00 USD
Total Amount $5,500.00 USD
Merchandise Title NX4 Falcon - Purchased

Transport Company: " Mediterranean Shipping Company "

Courier Details: Name:Tando Lubuzo
Address:90 Steve Biko road.
State:Arcadia, Pretoria.
Country: South Africa

Address Status: Confirmed

NOTE: This is to confirm to you that the mentioned amount has been successfully transferred by the Sender and been deducted from his Account which is ready to be credited into your account and this Payment has been subjected to be a Payment for a MERCHANDISE purchased from you, we reserve the right to make sure this transaction is 100% Safe and Secured also to verify the legitimacy level on this transaction.

The above sum includes 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 Courier 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 e-Mail Box and Quote the Above Transaction ID for quick recognition of this transaction.

Copyright © 2013 PayPal, Inc. All rights reserved.

PayPal Email ID PP307

7. I reply that I lack faith in PayPal and prefer not to get involved with Western Union, but I suggest an alternative (thanks markharf for the sound advice):
a. When I arrive in Santiago, Chile I will confirm my address to you.
b. Please wire or PayPal all the money to your shipping agent.
c. Your shipping agent will deliver the money to me, cash USD, and he and I can proceed with the necessary paperwork to transfer deeds on the same day.
d. Upon receipt of cash and completion of paperwork, I will hand over the bike, keys and documents to your agent.

His reply is quite sweet:

From: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)
Sent: 25 October 2013 09:05:02
To: me (----------@-----------.com)

Thanks so much for the mail..I really understand you so much about this,Well i would like you to know that the funds is already pending into your account right now and PayPal is only waiting to get the western union information from you for verification,And once they have confirmed it,All your money will get updated into your account in the next couple of 30Mins,and all your money will 100% get into your account..

You do not have to be scared about this Ok,Just go to the western union office and send the money to my agent,I am granting you that you will get all your money into your account once you have sent the money to my agent pick up receiver and send the western union info for verification.Check your mail and i am sure you will see the confirmation in your mail box ok.

Moreover,you do not know if you risk today will become your happiness tomorrow.

Thanks so much and God Bless.

8. So since I don't have any money from him, I guess his next move is to pressure me into paying the 700USD using Western Union from my own account. That's the end of the line for this scam, but for my own amusement I continue the conversation as follows... never know, I may get lucky.

From: me (----------@-----------.com)
Sent: 25 October 2013 12:22:18
To: Eric Donald (eric.donald19@hotmail.com)

Hi Eric,

I see the email that I received a payment from you, but I don't see the cash in my PayPal account - maybe because it is on hold. And I do not have 700USD cash in my bank to send to Western Union. Can you pay me the 700USD prepayment in PayPal directly to use for Western Union?


Well I hope this is useful to someone. Or at least you enjoy the read
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Oct 2013
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,968
Originally Posted by 2fortheroad.co.uk View Post
His reply is quite sweet:
"Sweet" is not the word I'd have chosen. Glad you stayed clear.

Reply With Quote
Old 29 Oct 2013
lynch180's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ireland.
Posts: 115
They tried the same scam on me in Ireland on a native website on which I was selling a bike.................. I backed out when he started talking about shipping agents.
Was puzzled as to when the scam would kick in
Thanks for clearing that one fo me
Obviously a worldwide scam........... Sellers beware
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Oct 2013
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 321
This scam is very common world wide, at least twice in the last year I had similar email threads with scammers. I guess if they are lucky once in a thousand times. They still do ok.

posted from Foxy Fone
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Oct 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Originally Posted by Fantastic Mister Fox View Post
This scam is very common world wide,

Probably ever since Paypal/Ebay swung their system heavily in favour of the buyer to the potential disadvantage of sellers.
The posts number 35 and 38 in this thread explain how the paypal system can be used to deny a seller their cash:-
Reply With Quote
Old 4 Nov 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 56
LOL! I can't believe it, I just got the exact same scam contact for my mercadolibre ad today, but in Spanish! Exactly the same! Scam in a box. - Just no quality any more...
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Real world mpg l/100km for expedition prepared 4x4's TheAfricaSchoolRun 4WD Overland Tech 16 2 Jun 2014 06:11
Real Russia visa agency. Beware, be very aware... chris Trip Paperwork 13 12 Apr 2014 16:12
Real de catorce route from the south green_devil Central America and Mexico 4 17 May 2013 17:44
Two up around S.America with not much cash... 7055 Which Bike? 4 19 Oct 2012 01:33
A bit of extra real estate..... Stormboy Bodger Fix 2 8 Apr 2012 12:13


Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.

Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:54.