Monday, September 29, 2008

Internet Scams

I recently nearly fell victim to a scathing internet scam. In an attempt to sell my Spinet Upright Piano, I posted an add on Craiglist for $400. Not long after, I received a long and somewhat poorly written e-mail from "Francis" who seemed very interested. After some correspondence, I found that Francis in fact wanted the piano so badly that he/she would pay me $70 extra, but would not be able to pay in cash. Several days later, I receved a letter from the United Kingdom with a check for $3500. Frances wanted me to quickly deposit the check, and then transfer $3,030 via Western Union Money transfer to pay for the shipment of the piano to a UK address. After I e-mailed Frances saying that this was something I would not be doing, and that in fact I planned to destroy the check, his until then polite e-mails become somewhat more threating; he wrote, "Don't ever do that, cos if you try it you going to pay for it"

(I considered responding to Frances to ask him if he meant that I would pay in Pounds, or in US currency, until I relized that this point was irrelevant.)

The important lessons that I learned from this expereince are obviously 1) to stay away from people named Frances and 2) to never, ever, try to sell a piano to someone from the UK.

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