Almost Victims of a Scam – Updated

I mentioned on Friday that we bought a DVD player. Well, it was a planned purchase that still ended up being a frugal flop because we decided this is not what we wanted. So now we need to sell it to get the item we want.

Since we bought the DVD player via Amazon my husband decided to re-list it there first. Then we decided to pull the listing and try selling it via classified ad or Ebay. However, it seems he never pulled the listing from Amazon, as I started getting an email from someone asking for more information about the player.

Imagine my surprise Monday morning when I get an email from Amazon telling me that the item has been sold and providing an order number and shipping information. I also received an email from the buyer asking to confirm shipment. Since I thought the listing had been pulled I contacted my husband and asked him to follow up. He looked up the email we received and contacted Amazon about it. It turns out it was a fake confirmation email, complete with fake order number and everything. The order number belonged to another sale and the sale of our player never occurred.

How to spot a suspicious email?

  1. When you get an email that seems suspicious to you, make sure to select a full header view of the email message. It is very easy to include a deceptive email address or website address in the regular body of an email. By selecting the full header view of the email it is easier to recognize spoof web addresses.
  2. Be suspicious of emails that prompt quick action from you. In our case the “buyer” wanted us to ship the item as soon as possible and to send him the tracking number as quickly as we could.

How can you protect yourself?

  1. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox have Phishing filters to help you star protected from these scams. Make sure it is enabled on your browser.
  2. Contact the spoofed company and make them aware of the scam. My husband was quick to contact Amazon to verify that this was an actual sale and also to let them know of this scam. The more they know the better they can prevent thieves like this guy from using the name of their company in their schemes.

This is not the first time something like this happens to us. I mentioned before that my credit card information was once stolen a few years ago. Different scheme, same potential loss. It really comes down to being very careful about our internet activity and what personal information is floating out there.
Check out Kacie’s encounter with identity theft here.

Update: These people must think we are really stupid. I checked my email this morning and there is an email from someone else trying to do the same scam.

Comments

  1. Chief Family Officer says:

    Yikes! I sell stuff on Amazon so this is really disturbing. One thing I almost always do (occasionally I forget) is immediately transfer the funds from my Amazon seller account to my bank account. It appears that this would protect me since I would be verifying that I had been paid before I sent anything out. So I would add this as a step to take if you are suspicious, or even just as a matter of course when selling stuff on Amazon.

  2. MoneyCommonSense says:

    I don’t want to speak badly about Amazon, but I guess it may be due to the volume of business they see. But our previous experience also involved amazon. I think my CC number was stolen when I bought from a third vendor.
    It seems sometimes no matter what you do things like this happen.

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