Playing with a cheater – Moneyweb

The first response to my ad on Gumtree was dubious – no one in the US would buy a 60-year-old piano in the SA for several thousand rand. Although the very beautiful little Monington & Weston is upright, it has little value in rarity, and its weight of 200 kg would guarantee a significant transport bill.

In addition, similar pianos are on offer in America for as little as $ 300.

Although I used to get questionable responses to advertisements, I never played around to see how the scam worked. Well, it was a holiday and I had time to waste.

The wording of the messages and the usual spelling mistakes betrayed the “customer”, as well as the complicated story.

“Thank you for contacting me, I am from the USA and I am really interested in buying the item so I am satisfied with the price and conditions, I will not be able to come and inspect the goods because of my work. 2nd Shipping Company.

“I request that this transaction be done through PayPal, I will be responsible for all PayPal costs for this transaction and if you do not have a PayPal account, it is quite easy to register and open it safely. Just log in at and easily get your account with your email address Ok. ”, He wrote, identifying himself as Thomas A Blair and asking for some of my personal information.

Read: Someone just spent R4m on a (near) new piano

Spelling and grammatical errors are obviously part of the modus operandi. According to an article published in Time magazine a few decades ago, spelling mistakes serve as the first filter of a scammer, in order to expel intelligent people who will be too difficult to deceive.

I also included a few mistakes in my answers, to show Blair that I have a viable perspective: “I have a PayPal account, but I have never used it. I’m not sure how it works. I have now checked and updated all my data on this and it should work.

“I don’t know how to find a PayPal account number or email address. The amount is $ 600.

I see that there is an invoice function on Paypal and I can fill it in, which should have all the details? ”

I also included my phone number to facilitate communication between us.

The messages that followed were another proof that someone had been sitting at a computer all day and throwing out more messages and might lose track of the messages he was receiving. He repeated himself and, interestingly, did not talk about the piano anymore, but only about “goods” or “objects”.

“My shipping company will be responsible for issuing my details, transferring the ownership name and signing all the necessary paperwork will be done by the download agent so you don’t have to worry about it., And to prevent damage.

Read: Perhaps the worst attempt to deceive people ever

“Note: You can easily register a PayPal account at to have your own PayPal account, so please contact me with your PayPal details like the ones below so you can proceed with your payment immediately,” he wrote. Once you get looking for your home address and phone number.

Within an hour, I received what was supposed to be a screenshot of a $ 1,000 payment from Paypal. Needless to say, nothing showed up on my Paypal account.

Blair sent a message to Whatsapp the next day:

“According to the email you received, which is similar to your payment confirmation, you need to follow the steps and read the email carefully and complete the transaction Ok.

“To see if I can explain what you need to do now, I paid a total payment of $ 1,000.00, $ 600.00 is for the purchase and $ 350.00 is the cost of transport to my house. I included a shipping fee for a payment I made for you because I don’t have access because I work as an ocean oceanographer and the only online payment my operator accepts is via Bitcoin CORE (BTC) wallet transfer so I included $ 350.00 for a fee for transport to your payment so you can help me with that, so what you need to do is go to all the Bitcoin CORE (BTC) you know with the sum of 350.00 USD and send it to the address of the transport agent below

“I want you to know that it is PayPal’s policy to send money on your part for security reasons and they are doing it to protect us both.

“Note; You must visit the website on your mobile phone or laptop and select BTC CORE and enter the amount in EUR and paste the address of BTC CORE wallet (3Ce41ckc7wQBZzS3FLrCUaBJz9vw4V59Ku), then enter your email code and account and proceed with confirmation of your data and credit card immediately OK.

“After the payment is made, you will be sent a receipt and scan the required information / receipt for Bitcoin CORE (BTC) and attach it to the confirmation email you received from PayPal and then send it to them for verification, which as soon as Bitcoin CORE is confirmed BTC) account, which is worth a total of $ 1,000.00 USD, will be immediately credited to your PayPal account, PayPal does this only for your security so you have no reason to worry.

“I want you to know that it is PayPal’s policy to send money on your part for security reasons and they are doing it to protect us both. I hope you understand now …. ”

I immediately realized and was seriously disappointed that it was just a replay of an old advance scam, not something original.

Read: Alternative investments to consider

I told Blair that I had not received any money and that I would not pay. He was of great help and understanding.

“I understand you, but you have to understand that this is the only way a transaction can be completed, and you have to find a way to get the required $ 350.00 if you don’t have it, you can borrow / borrow from you colleagues, friends or relatives or take a bank loan and you can return them immediately paypal releases the total amount to your PayPal account, I assure you that this is a risk free transaction and that everything is 100% protected by PayPal this is just Paypal policy and we have to follow their policy because it is the only way to complete the transaction, ”he replied.

He got the last word when I called him and told him I wouldn’t fall for his scam.

“If you don’t answer me today about the transfer, I’m sorry you left me an option other than contacting Paypal about a possible legal process because the money is still pending. It’s up to you to act quickly since I’ve already made the full payment. via Paypal.

“There is nothing I can do to influence PayPal’s rules. It is better to act on PayPal’s request or to send PayPal an e-mail to suspend the transaction and perform LEGAL WORK “, Blair wrote.

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