Quick note about eBay fraud

March 31, 2003

I sometimes notice that as I'm looking through new electronic gadgets on eBay, it says that the seller will not ship to Indonesia. Though I'd seen a couple of news articles in the past regarding the abundance of credit-card fraud coming from Indonesia, I never payed it much mind as I was yet to run across this problem with any of my auctions, until now. In less than 48 hours I got nine e-mails from people wanting me to send the device to Indonesia and accept payment directly through a 'merchant' account. It should be noted that I was quite explicit on the auction page: I would only accept payment through PayPal and would only ship to a PayPal confirmed address within the US. Below is an example of one of the e-mails I received, complete with the powerful disregard for grammar intact and a great Indonesian name to boot.

Hello,Let me introduce to you about my self my name is David from Indonesia and after I've seen your item listed in your auction of course I'll buy it. So if you don't mind I'll pay your item with my card directly so have got credit card machine or merchant account to proccessing my card directly or you can ask to your friends about that who have specilalies on that, So if you can do that as payment i'd love to hear that cause at this time I've already send you my card details trough e-mail. Also please calculate shipping cost to my country use Global Express Mail service and to futher please don't hasitate if you've more questions. And I'll be waiting froward to hearing from you as soon as posibble casue I'm trully want make a deal with you and I hope we can countinue in the future.Best Regards Keep In touch David

That e-mail actually deviated from the norm somewhat as they usually revolve around the buyer wanting to get the item for a friend who lives in Indonesia (or some variation thereof). I'll admit that I rather liked reading the e-mails; the stories they came up with provided me a certain enjoyment that sadly outweighed the pain that always seems to come when I see such an abomination of the English language.

Life goes on. Back to work.

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