EOS 5D - Royal Mail Scam

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Nicolas Alary

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Oct 31, 2007
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Hi guys !

Just wanted to share with you a scam experience.

I had found an EOS 5D in mint condition + vertical grip for 1300$ on Craig's List. I contacted the seller, asking him a lots of questions to be sure everything is as mint as he said it was, well, so far everything was good, i was convinced that I was doing an excellent deal ! Then I received an invoice from the Liverpool Royal Mail post office saying that the package was ready to be shipped and that now I had to make the payment so that it can be shipped. The payment had to be done thanks to Wester Union to the account of a pretented employe of the Post Office. The invoice can be found here. You can actualy try the tracking number, it's working.

Then Jim (the scammer) E-mailed me to tell me that he went to the post office and that every thing was ok, that I just had to make the payment. He gave me the same tracking number than the one in the invoice and a link to the traking page : http://www.liverpool-royalmail.com/transactions/trackpackage.html

Something was tickling me because the adress of the tracking page started by LIVERPOOL which sounded a bit akward to me. So I tried the same serial number on the Royal Mail website, the one you find on Google and there my tracking number was not working it had to star with 2 letters and mine was starting with a number. So I decided to call Royal Mail, trying to explain my problem with my lame Frenchy English and the guy on the phone told me that my tracking number was not valid and that they was no other website than http://www.royalmail.com.

Then I made a quick research on google and found that this liverpool website was a fake one hosted in germany created in nomvember of this year. (http://escrow-fraud.com/fraud_data.php?id=5350)

I contacted Jim Howe to let him know that I was aware of the scam and I never heard about him again...

I just wanted to warn you so that you can dodge the trap :)

I hate to hear of someone being scammed. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true........
Merci bien, Nicolas! Thanks for the heads-up on this scammer!
Thanks for letting us all know!
I hate scammers and asif your not gunna make sure everything is legit with that amount of money.
Yep, I've ran into several of these actually. The 1st one was actually pretty close I almost sent the money but a few things seemed iffy. 1st off it was Western Union and also I did the same thing. Instead of Royal Mail it was TNT and when I went to TNT's official website the tracking number didn't work.
Here are the camera's/prices and my responses :D

1st was a EOS 1D Mark II for $650. I found out about the scam but the person didn't know I knew about it so I played along. I ended up sending them monopoly money. Twice as much actually, stating the extra money was for 2nd day air delivery (inside joke, some scammers have sent me this)

2nd was a Nikon D2x for $610 and as soon as he told me he was in London for a business trip I replied, jokingly, "are you scamming me?"

3rd was a 30D with 28-135 IS lens for $500. Same thing he told me he was in London so I replied something along the lines of: "That's perfect! I am going to London next weekend on a business trip myself. Perhaps we can meet and deal in person."

Of course I've got no replies from any of these to this point :p
wow, that scammer uses my proivider ;)
Never pay for anything through Western Union...it is always a scam. Western Union should only be used by family members. There is unfortunately no insurance or way to track the money through Western Union.

i wish i could have stumbled across this yesterday. i completely fell for this 1,300$ 5d junk.

do you guys think there is anything i might be able to do?
Oh man I'm sorry ! Maybe you should contact Wester Union to ask them to block the money transfer. If you need a hand to prove that is a scam maybe the fact that the same thing almost happened to me could be a piece of evidence. Just let me know.
yeah, i try to shy away from doing international purchases... you HAVE to keep your eyes open
I'm a bit surprised anyone got scammed on CraigsList. As the purpose of CraigsList.org is like a free local newspaper advertisment. To do business face-to-face where you get to handle the merchandise and fondle the cash plus avoid shipping and packing fees plus the wait.

I've made some large purchases (over $1000) through CL. Having to drive an hour or less makes the whole purchase/sale exercise safe for both parties. On occasion we have met in a parking lot halfway between us to lessen driving distance. But scam on CL? No more than getting scammed in a retail store do to a lack of product knowledge.
I couldn't agree more and I'm not criticizing Craig List at all ! It's an excellent thing if you use it just like you said : face to face. I'm 100% responsible in the fact that someone tried to scam me because I've been attracted by the price and I neglected the rule number one of Craig List. If France sucked a little be less I wouldn't have to look aboard ! Here everything is so freaking expensive ... anyway ... just wanted to say that I agree with you !

i wish i could have stumbled across this yesterday. i completely fell for this 1,300$ 5d junk.

do you guys think there is anything i might be able to do?

I was very close today to buying a Canon 5D package for a ridiculously low price but something didn't seem right. The guy selling it says he is now located in Liverpool, UK but his ad was listed on Craigslist only on the Edmonton, Alberta Canada page. It seems odd that it wasn't listed anywhere else, and that he wasn't selling it locally.

Now that I've found this thread, I won't be ordering. I emailed the guy back with some prying questions just now to see if he continues trying.

Just curious, rutherfordmills, what happened with your purchase? Did it work out or did you get scammed?

Thanks for any info you can share with us to prevent others from making the same mistake.
Here a few things from
Craig List's Avoiding Scams and Fraud Page

"You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

* DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.

* NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.


* CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"

* NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)


Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

* FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
* FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
* Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
* Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/)
* Non-emergency number for your local police department.

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to "[email protected]". Be sure to include the URL (or eight-digit post ID number) in your message.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

* inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
* Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
* inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consumating transaction"
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