Online seller gets scammed
The internet is a great way to buy and sell almost anything, even a car bumper. That's what Muhammad Ikbal thought. "I sold him the bumper and two or three days later, he opened a PayPal claim stating bumper was missing a front grill."
The problem, Muhammad's ad never said the grill was included. The $3,000 price tag was just for the bumper. But, Muhammad was prepared to make it right. "Send me the bumper back," Muhammad said. "And once I receive the bumper I'll send you the money back."
Nine days later Muhammad received a tracking number and a notice the package arrived. But when he got to the post office he said, "A box was 2x2 and weighed one pound."
Clearly, not a car bumper. Muhammad knew something was not right…so he contacted postal inspectors. Investigator Tom Oullette handled the case. "It was basically a race. What the scammer was hoping is he could deceive Muhammad into returning the money before he realized there was no bumper in route."
The scam was working too. Oullette explained, "He picked a random priority box, filled it with a huge stack of newspapers and presented it to the post office to get a tracking number."
In fact, Paypal returned the money to the buyer based on the bogus tracking number showing the boxes arrived. "The buyer had no intention of sending the bumper back," Oullette said. "What he was really hoping to do is keep the bumper and get his money back."
Postal Inspectors learned the scam artist had been involved in similar schemes. The victim in this story eventually got all of his money back via Paypal. Paypal offers advice on spotting common scams and protecting yourself. To read those, just click here for the link.
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