Monday, February 8, 2010

beware of Etsy scammers!

A friend who needs money got the following and almost fell for it, but asked me for a second opinion:
Dear Seller,
I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item and will be make payment via cashier check/money order, my private shipping company will handle the shipping, but before payment will be made i need to be sure of who i am dealing with if you are going to be honest and sincere throughout the transaction. A certified cashiers check is cash-able the same day,there is going to be an excess fund on the check ,the excess fund is meant for the private shipping company who will come to your place for pick up of the item, so shipping is not a problem,will you be able to transfer the excess fund to the shipping company the same day you receive the check?. check would be sent to you so when you get payment you can easily cash it at any cashing point near you or deposit in your bank. You'll be sending excess fund to my shipper , which would be meant for shipping arrangement.if you agree, signify your interest by forwarding to me your Final Asking Price, Full Name & Contact Address and Tel #. I await your response me to....xxxx
Best and kind regards,
I've deleted the name, not to protect the writer in the unlikely chance I'm wrong, but because scammers spam under one name, then another. I listed reasons to my friend why this sounded wrong:

1. It's impersonal and generic. You could send this form to a million etsy accounts in the hope that one out of ten thousand will fall for it.

2. It's arrogant. This writer's a control freak.

There are more reasons, but I really don't want to teach scammers how to do a better scam.

I googled "etsy scam" and one of the first hits was here. The quoted letter is different, but the gist is the same. The third commenter has one explanation:
Yes this is a scam, don't do it. there was something on this I read just last night. They said the check/money order they send to you is bad and by the time you find that out they already have your item. I will look for it and post here for you.
And, as I told my friend, there may be other ways to manipulate someone once they've stepped into their web.