Scam Technique Revealed!

This article is posted as a follow up of our original post “No Scam, Please“.

With all the helps and feedbacks gathered from our users and visitors (especially Jason one of our visitors who shared us some really precious feedback), we have managed to consolidate to which we believe is the close to the true technique scammers used in the recent scam cases.

The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the public and some preventive actions from us which ones may take to prevent from falling into these scams.

How the SCAM starts

Scammers signed up with fake identities and then sent out bulk sms to thousands of numbers (potential victims) with messages like below;

“<Sender Name>: Hi, am interested in your car. Pls confirm the price & availability to my email address: <email> email only. ”

“<Sender Name>: Am interested in your antique whats the present condition and your firm price? Kindly reply me direct to my <Email>.”

“<Sender Name>: I saw this ad on gumtree, Is it still available? what’s your firm price? kindly get back to me at <Email>.”

When the user walks closer into the trap 

When the end mobile user have items for sale on auction sites, like ebay, gumtree, etc.; the sellers will become excited when they received “potential businesses” and replied to the email listed in the SMS.

Once you replied to the email, the scammers will now have 2 of your personal details verified; your phone number and your email address.

Now, you are thinking…alright they have my email and number what can they do about them?

Still safe, nothing yet.

The magical trick happens

If you are a personal seller using payment services like Paypal and your payment email address is the one you replied to the SMS.

Image source and more details at http://botcrawl.com/fake-paypal-receipt-for-your-paypal-payment-email-scam/ 

This is what you may get after the reply; a Fake Paypal payment receipt email like below will come to your mail box.

Then you may receive another SMS or email from the scammer telling you that the money has been paid.

By instinct and with those 2 information received  (paypal email, sms from scammer urging you to ship product), you will ship your items to those shipping addresses without further checking.

That’s it! Your product is gone, without getting the payment!

What can you do (Proposed Preventive Actions)

– Always Login and Check. Paypal payment receipt email for notification not for product fulfillment, do another checking by logging into your Paypal account and check the transactions.

– Use 2 separate emails for your paypal email and your communication email. For example, paypal payment email is “pay_yourname@gmail.com” and your communication email is “yourname@gmail.com”

– Drop us a note when you receive SMS content similar to above with message content, time and date. We will start the investigation with first priority. Once verified a scam, we will suspend those accounts and submit the profiles to local authorities for legal actions.

We will not tolerate our services of being used as a tool for SCAM.

 

More resources about fake paypal receipt

https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/helpcenter/article/?articleID=94034&m=SRE

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/helpcenter/article/?solutionId=12600&m=SRE