While I was on placement I witnessed… well overheard, a conversation about how someone had just lost a lot of money shopping on the internet. No, they didn’t just unleash the credit card on ASOS, or start collecting expensive things from ebay… they had become another ‘victim’ of a ‘Nigerian Internet Scam’. Here is the thing… this is the type of story that I have watched on the news (ok… maybe more like a current affair) and thought to myself… how dumb can you be… money is NEVER free. In fact, I had put it in the box of things that don’t really happen, but it turns out this does… it really does… real life people actually fall for this… seriously they do… let me tell you the story…
In this case, the person in the story had attempted to sell a computer on eBay, the buyer… in Canada… (why you wouldn’t select Australia only I don’t know… but there are a number of issues with this whole thing so let’s move on)… asked her to wire some cash to them so that they new the deal was legit before they sent her the cash for the computer. Now as if that wasn’t dodgy enough… the buyer asked her to deposit money… lots of money into an account that was from an ‘international’ bank as well as a fee for customs as the computer needed to go through ‘Nigeria’. Anyway, despite the fact that this should have sent alarm bells, she did all of this and then was shocked when she had suddenly lost the money and couldn’t get it back. Now we aren’t just talking a couple of hundred dollars (which would still be annoying and very inconvenient), no this person lost $4500… So because it clearly isn’t already clear enough, these are a few tips for buying and selling things on the internet…
If you are buying or selling things on the internet…
DO NOT offer to send large expensive things overseas… it’s just not worth it. Especially electronic goods… seriously think about it, how will you package it and send it without getting broken, how many adapters is the person going to need, and if you don’t get your money it’s much harder to chase.
DO NOT send them money as well… seriously they are buying from you, the either want it or they don’t, you should be able to call the shots, if they don’t trust you they can go somewhere else… seriously why would you ever give a stranger money so that they can give you some back… it’s not only a waste of time but just a little bit stupid.
DO NOT continue if there is anything that says ‘Nigerian Customs’. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against Nigeria, but common sense would say that on the internet they don’t have a great reputation. Firstly go back to the first suggestion…. but if you must… just have a think about what you are being asked to do… why would you need to pay Nigerian Customs for Canada… If you are actually sending something to Nigeria… maybe… but Canada… or any other country for that matter… no.
Internet shopping is fun… please use your brain… or you too will lose a lot of money!
Here endith another community announcement.
One thought on “A Public Announcement Regarding Internet Shopping”
It is pretty stupid, I thought it was fake too, but evidently it catches the odd ‘science technician’ off guard now and then. The question I raise is…’Do you really trust these people to prepare your chemical experiments for you and the students?’.