I think this guy is trying to scam me ... but what's the angle?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 22, 2008
Reaction score
True North Cold and Freezing
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
OK, so, long story short, I was browsing some online classifieds and found a used-only-once D700 for about $800 Canadian (!!!). It included some genuine-enough looking pictures of it (though, I'm sure they could have easily been taken from an eBay auction or something) a short, poorly-worded description.

This has got to be too good to be true, but I figure there's no harm in asking about it.

My email correspondence with the "seller" is as follows...

For what reason are you selling this camera?

Hi, The unit is still available.

Let me tell you a few things about it: I am the original owner and I bought it a few months ago, along with warranty and receipt. It's in perfect condition, no scratches, dings or laid down.

I have decided to sell it because as you already know we are dealing with a crisis and i need more money fast and this is the reason because i sell it with such a low price. Currently i`m out of town, I am in London - England. We’ve tried to develop a family business but unfortunately the things didn’t work the way we’ve expected and now I am at one step from losing my market.

Anyway, there shouldn't be any problem. I hope you are still interested and we can make the deal happen right away. I guess you could be the owner of it if everything turns out all right and you are serious about buying.

Let me know and i will send you more details.

Can you confirm for me that $790 is not a typo?

Yes, the price is correct. I appreciate your interest of my unit. We need a safe way to complete this deal because it is here with me and I will come back in December. I don't have who to ship it there... I had all my family moved here.

I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely and fast, if you move fast as well. I think this is the best and safest way for the two of us. You will be able to check it before I receive the payment. There's a return policy so you will have the chance to test and inspect it before final decision. This is a 100% safe method.

If you will take this price, I am willing to pay for shipping and insurance to your location. It usually takes 2 - 3 days till the unit arrives to your door. I can assure you that you will be satisfied!

If you are interested in it mail me back and we will discuss about delivery and I am sure that we will find a good way to conduct this deal.

Seller claims to be a "Martin Smith". Talk about your generic names.

RED FLAG #2: Poor spelling and grammar.

RED FLAG #3: This guy is living in a different continent from where the camera was advertised.

RED FLAG #4: Doesn't answer my question directly and is way too eager to give me way more information than I asked for.

RED FLAG #5: Gives me some lame-crap BS excuse about the economy.

RED FLAG #6: Gives me some sob-story about losing his family business.

RED FLAG #7: Wants to deal with online money transfers and shipping ... no face-to-face communication.

I'm not entirely sure I've deciphered his pathetic English correctly, but it sounds like he's actually willing to ship it to me before payment, so what's the deal on this one? Maybe it's hot?
Seems fishy. I would resist the temptation of the good price and move along.
Fishy? That's an outright scam I fear. It doesn't hurt to listen to him. But I seriously doubt this is legit.
It makes no sense. If he moved his entire family to London, why is he advertising in Canada? They do take pictures in England. :)

He is going to lose his family business? Which one? The one he abandon in Canada or the one he started in London (the "market")? Doesn't make sense.
Next step is that the seller will suggest an Escrow site, you Western Union the money to this escrow site and he will then ship you the camera, if you are satisfied you inform the escrow site and it releases the money to him. If you are not satisfied you ship the camera back to him and the escrow site refunds the money to you.

In the meantime there will be some kind of problem and you will be asked to Western Union some more money, probably to Nigeria.

Naturally Martin Smith owns the escrow site, any money sent to it is gone forever.

Google Martin Smith London, this name has been used a lot, it may or may not be the same person, but a friend was scammed out of $700 by Martin Smith of London for some classic car parts a couple of weeks ago.
LOL lame-crap BS excuse about economy? You should turn on the TV more :p

Yes this is a scam. "I have found a safe way to " is the real catch line here. He will suggest using an escrow service which may look reputable but ultimately they will collect your money and not your camera for you. Btw D700s are fetching $3000 new. It doesn't matter how bad the economy is, no one will sacrifice $1500 that quickly.

I am willing to bet that if you suggest using an ebay certified escrow service the guy will stop talking to you.
I agree, this is fishier than Northern Pike, but what I want to know is: how do you scam someone if you ship the item before receiving payment?

LOL lame-crap BS excuse about economy? You should turn on the TV more
I meant that he was using it as a "buzzword" excuse.
Last edited:
I would ask to meet up with someone to see the camera and, tell him you will only do the deal that way. You probably wont get a return reply to that.
I've had a couple of scammers try to deal with me from Craigs List recently. It was a similar spiel. Bad grammer, want to pay me extra to ship to Africa and a payment method I never heard of. They are out there trolling the clasifieds, especially electronic ones.
This Camera is $3200 in Canada.
Have you never herd the expression "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"

You found this ad on a local site like craigs list or kijiji, right. They place these adds all over the Country. If you sent them any money you will never see it again or the camera.
here is how to approach any of those ads on kijiji or craigslist: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but if you want to find out for sure, just ask. If they won't meet you in person and let you see it before buying then it's a scam. These ones want you to send them money with the promise of them sending you the unit you'll never see.

Most reactions