Amazon Marketplace scam

The ongoing house moving debacle, which is now into its third month, has made me realise I have too many things that I do not use and do not need. In order to save up some money to purchase a new 1080p HDTV I decided to sell some of these things on Amazon Marketplace. I find Amazon Marketplace to be more efficient than eBay. Yes, their fees are a little excessive but I can create a listing with one click instead of the drawn out process on eBay. I have recently heard some nightmare stories from eBay users having problems transferring money from their PayPal account to their bank account. This can be avoided by using the secure system provided by Amazon. Another reason to sell on on Amazon Marketplace is that people are willing to spend more money on a particular item that could easily be found cheaper on eBay.

So after selling some books and DVDs I decided to list my old JVC camcorder. Initially I received a lot of interest from people asking to see pictures of the item. Then a few days later I received an email titled “Sold Dispacth now:JVC GR-D20 Digital Camcorder [Mini-DV 16xOptical DV-out] [Electronics]“. When I opened the email I had all the buyers details and the usual information Amazon provide when a Marketplace item has been sold. But after careful review I noticed the spelling mistake in the subject field “Dispacth“. I somehow how doubt that a major e-tailer such as Amazon would spell the word dispatch wrong, after all they must write it often enough! I read through the email carefully and noticed similar spelling mistakes. A flawed, but nevertheless clever attempt at a scam. Just look at these seller instructions:

You have agreed to ship the item not later than 1 to 2 business days and make sure you send us the Shipment Refrence Number as soon as you ship the item to buyer. This item will not be remove from web-pages and the FUNDS will not be TRANSFER into your Amazon account not until you post the item. Here is your buyer’s shipping address (use your own address as the return address, and enclose the packing slip in this e-mail for your buyer’s reference

Exactly who would fall for this con?

I also received another email from the supposed buyer telling me to send the camera as soon as possible. I sent them an email stating that they would have to do much better to fool me and that I would be reporting them to Amazon. Thankfully I sold the camcorder a few weeks later to a reputable buyer. So for those that think Amazon Marketplace is safer than eBay think again. Apparently, after some Google searching, there are a number of other elaborate Marketplace scams that buyers and sellers should be aware of. So if you are selling a high priced piece of electrical equipment and get an email from a potential speller with very poor English asking to purchase the item and have it sent to Nigeria be very wary.

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