Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Playing With an Internet Scammer

Josh is presently on the hunt for a car.
He has been busy searching the internet for just the right vehicle:
*not too old
*good condition
*at least 22mpg
*big enough to carry a canoe on top
*kinda sporty
and, of course,
*low cost.

And one evening last week...He thought he'd found it.
A 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee; 92,400 miles; body looked great in the photo; $2,500

It almost seemed too good to be true.
Brian began a conversation with him about that very real possibility. You know, perhaps the side of the vehicle NOT shown in the picture had a big dent in it. Or maybe the brakes were shot. Perhaps it had been totaled in an accident and given a cheap make-over. Matthew asked, "Are you sure it has an engine?"
So, Josh contacted the seller, and this is the response he received:
I'm emailing you about my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited I have for sale. It has all books, complete set of tools and keys and 92,400 miles. The price was reduced at $2,500 as I need to sell it before October 25th, when I'll be leaving with my unit back to Baghdad replacing the troops scheduled to come home...
The message went on to explain that the seller did not need to be present to complete the sale, the vehicle was located in Memphis, TN, it would be shipped to Josh in 2-3 days - at no additional charge, and everything would take place through Google wallet.
Needless to say, we saw lots and lots of red flags, but before he deleted the email, Josh decided to have some fun with it. This was his reply:
That sounds great! I'm 30 minutes away from Memphis right now. Give me an address please and I'd love to see it.
By the way, my dad was also in Baghdad. He unfortunately was declared missing in action. October 25 will be the one year anniversary. He had a jeep almost identical to this one and it would make me so happy to have this one!
When I saw your message I knew it was meant to be. Please respond as soon as possible, and thank you so much for serving our country. It shows I can really trust you. Best of luck in Baghdad, my prayers will be with you.
So, even though Josh was extremely disappointed (and a bit angry) that this deal of a lifetime was just a scam, we all had a good laugh as he constructed his response.
And his writer-mom was super proud of his creativity! *wink*



Sara K. said...

I love it! -- that was a really clever response! :)

Deborah Sommerlot said...

I am so very thankful that you didn't get scammed. While working at the bank I have seen so many people taken on this. It breaks my heart.

Karen Hossink said...

Sara - I'm glad you enjoyed it, too. :)

Deborah - So am I.
Though I tend to be a very trusting person, the internet has taught me to be overly cautious.