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New Auction Scam Tricks People Into Sending Money

from the oh,-those-con-artists dept

Most people know enough these days not to just send off large sums of money to the person who they bought something from in an online auction. People use all sorts of escrow services to verify that the goods exist. However, con artists have gotten a little trickier, and the latest trend is for them to convince users their money isn’t touchable when that’s not true at all. The way it works is the scammer gives very detailed instructions (which make it seem even more legit) to the buyer (usually of a plasma TV or some other high end electronics product) telling them to wire money via Western Union – but in a made up name. They claim that the seller won’t be able to pick up the money, since it’s not in their name – but they can confirm that the money is there. This, of course, isn’t true. Then, they say once they’ve confirmed the money is there, they send the merchandise, and the buyer calls Western Union and changes the name of the recipient. Except, none of that actually happens because the scammer has already walked off with the money well before it gets to that stage. It’s apparently fooling plenty of people.

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