where 419 UK scam artists meet their match where 419 UK scam artists meet their match



The Scambusts

The General Practitioner

The Aristocrat II

The Massage Parlour Proprietor

The Football Club Manager

The Vicar V

The Astrologer

The Worm Sanctuary Owner

The Signwriter

The Brewer

The Member of Parliament II

The Door Furniture Specialist

The Inventor IV

The Retired Wing Commander IV

The Baker

The Farmer

The Hotelier

The Veterinary Surgeon

The Vicar IV

The Psychosexual Therapist

The Orphanage Director II

The Cess Pit Cleaner

The Dating Agency Proprietor

The Adult Video Director

The Retired Wing Commander III

The Inventor III

The Poultry Magnate III

The Poultry Magnate II

The Vicar III

The Miller

The Member of Parliament

The Lottery Winner

The Inventor II

The Circus Ringmaster

The Undertaker

The Retired Wing Commander II

The Butcher

The Vicar II

The Vicar

The Doctor of Economics

The Rubber Duck Manufacturer

The Orphanage Director

The Aristocrat

The Poet

The Poultry Magnate

The Retired Wing Commander

The Professor of Economics

The Inventor

Mapping Gilbert’s activities

Map of Gypping in the Marsh

The Global Scamming Community

Internet Fraud Information

Classified Advertisement Scams

Investment Scams

Job Vacancies in the Scamming Business

Internet Resources

Scambusting Advice

Scambusting Tips

Gilbert’s Guide to Sending Money to Scammers

Blank Western Union and MoneyGram Receipts

Reactions and Feedback

The Scammers’ Reactions

Feedback from Fans

Contact Details

Copyright Notice

Classified Advertisement Scams

Scams related to classified advertisements are becoming increasingly more common nowadays. Although these scams differ from the 419 scams that this website concentrates on, they are becoming so widespread that it is worth describing how they work, to try and prevent people from falling victim to them.

In a classified advertisement scam, a scammer responds to an advertisement that has been placed on the web or in a classified magazine. The advertisement can be for anything: a car, a motorbike, a boat, a computer... anything that is being advertised at a reasonably high price. Typical targets for the scammers are items that are advertised for sale on Ebay or on classified advertisement websites. More recently, scammers have been targeting different types of classified advertisements as well, including ones offering property for rent.

The scammer will express an interest in buying the item that is for sale. However, the scammer tells the vendor that he lives abroad, and that he would like to send the vendor a cheque to cover the cost of the item, plus an additional amount to cover the cost of shipping the item overseas.

If the vendor agrees to this, the scammer sends them a cheque or a banker’s draft for the total amount. The vendor pays the cheque or draft into their bank account, and the bank clears it immediately, making the funds available in the vendor’s bank account.

The scammer then asks the vendor to get in touch with the shipping agent immediately in order to arrange the shipment overseas. The vendor does so, and the shipping agent (another scammer) asks for their fee up front. They usually ask for the fee to be sent via Western Union to enable them to collect it immediately. As the scammer’s cheque or bank draft has been cleared by the bank as soon as it was paid in, the vendor agrees to this, and sends the shipping agent their money.

The vendor is usually then contacted by the scammer, who asks the vendor to send the rest of the money back as he no longer wants to purchase the item. There is usually a hard-luck story attached: one common story is that the scammer’s son or daughter has been involved in an accident or is seriously ill, and the scammer needs the money to pay for their hospital treatment. If the vendor agrees, they transfer the rest of the money back to the scammer, again probably via Western Union.

At this point, the vendor is still unaware that they have been scammed. They remain unaware of this until the scammer’s cheque or bank draft completes the bank clearing process – which can take days or even weeks – and the bank finally finds out that it is a forgery. At this point the bank withdraws the money back from the vendor’s bank account, leaving the vendor out of pocket, sometimes to the tune of thousands of pounds.

In summary, you should be extremely suspicious if:

  • Someone responds to a classified advertisement you have placed and wants you to ship the item abroad, without even having seen the item.
  • They offer to pay you the amount of the item, plus the shipping costs, and ask you to arrange the shipping and pay the shipping agent yourself.

Do not be reassured if you receive a cheque or a banker’s draft and your bank clears it as soon as you pay it into your account; it may still be a forgery, and if so, you will lose out.

I have been contacted by a number of people who have fallen victim to this scam. Make sure you don’t end up becoming a victim yourself.

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