Protecting Yourself Against Internet Scams
Protecting yourself online
There are many scams on the Internet. Education, awareness and diligence are your best weapons of defence. It is important to be particularly careful of overseas 'buyers'. Some "red flags" to look out for are:
- Immediate requests for PayPal information or bank account details
- Requests to send the boat overseas
- Requests for personal information
- Offers that sound too good to be true.
- Scammers are bold - they may even speak with you over the phone! This DOES NOT mean they are legitimate.
If you suspect a scam:
Do not correspond with the person/s (either via phone or email).
Do not send them any personal information or financial details.
Do Email us and report your suspicions.
Do Check this page for updates and scam alerts
Do check the ACCC SCAMwatch website for more detailed information on scams and protecting yourself online.
Some of their recommendations are:
- Never send your personal, credit card or banking details over the phone in response to unsolicited emails or enter it on any website if you are not certain it is genuine.
- If you receive unsolicited emails delete them immediately!
- Don't open any attachments, click on any links or reply to these emails.
- If in doubt, always contact the business, government agency or bank to verify that the request is genuine. Never rely on contact details provided in unsolicited emails. Instead, find these contact details independently.
- If you provided your banking details as a result of this email, report the incident to your banking institution immediately.
You can also report a scam via the SCAMwatch Government website as well as find very helpful information on general internet and junk mail scams that you may find very helpful. Additionally, you may like to check out the ASIC Fido website for information on financial tips and safety checks.
There is an excellent publication available on the ACCC website called "The Little Black Book of Scams" and other free downloads for Australian consumers.
Some examples of recent scam emails are:
Many recent ones start off as (seemingly) harmless. Something as simple as,
OR even this...
"Hi, is the boat still available for sale?
However, once responded to, the following email usually suggests some sort of PayPal arrangement. ANY mention of PayPal is best ignored.
Some recently identified email addresses along these lines have been:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|Cathy Parris wrote:
Just viewed your listing and will like to purchase it outrightly,I am willing to offer you $49,500 for it and i will be paying you via my PayPal account,I will also like you to send me your paypal details(PayPal e-mail address) including your phone # so i can effect payment to you right away and make sure you get back to me so that we can arrange for pick up as i will like the item to be picked,so no
shipping included.I await your reply.
|Paul Allison wrote:
i will like to make an offer $20,000 for this boat, and i can only pay by using pay pal and when the payment as been sorted and i will arrange for the pick up of the boat, i will be looking forward hearing from you.
|Pete Hogkins wrote:
Hi thanks for mailing back,
i am an oceanographer, i am at sea right now,i am buying this for my dad as a surprise gift and I will be happy if you can let me know the last price you are selling, i am unable to come and inspect right now,as i wont be back for a while and i want it at Dad's latest in a week's time, and thanks for the pics,I can only pay through paypal at the moment as i dont have access to my bank account online(i dont have internet banking with it),but i have it attached to my paypal account, and this is why i insisted on using paypal to pay,all i will need is your paypal email address to make the payments,and if you dont have a paypal account yet,its pretty easy to set one up at www.paypal.com.au,i will be expecting your email.I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted
Hi thanks for mailing back,
i am an oceanist and i am buying this boat for my dad,i am at work right now,and I am glad to take your offer.I can only pay through paypal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online,but i have it attached to my paypal account,and this is why i insisted on using paypal to pay,all i will need is your paypal email address to make the payments,and if you don't have a paypal account yet,its pretty easy to set up at www.paypal.com.au and i will be expecting your email.I have a pick up agent that will come for the
pick up after payments has been issued.
i hope to read from you soon.
Mr Jean Yves Lapaulmier....
Can I trust you ? I saw your contact in internet and decided to contact you for benefit transaction.
Gary John Andy...
Good day, I am intrested in your boat, When was the last time you drove it? when was the last time it was serviced and oil changed? What is the condition and the diffrences from the advertised state. let me know the current mechanical condition. what is you last ask price and what is your last price,Reply me soon Thanks for your Co-operation. Garry John Andy
Captain Brian Marbury writes...
Hello Friend,after thoroughly going through the pictures posted on the net for the boat,i would like to know how you can be reached and if the boat is still available.
Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you.
He then goes on to request personal details and banking information, along with a similar 'story' to Captain Redmond Manchester
Rose Forster writes...
Just viewed your listing and will like to purchase it outrightly,I am willing to offer you $(insert amount slightly above the asking price) for it and i will be paying you via my PayPal account,I will also like you to send me your paypal details(PayPal e-mail address) including your phone # so i can effect payment to you right away and make sure you get back to me so that we can arrange for pick up as i will like the item to be picked,so no shipping included.I await your reply.
A 'Captain' Redmond Manchester writes....I want to inform you that i really want to buy your boat for my private use but i have a business proposal for you. I am a captain with the United Nations troop in Iraq,on war against terrorism.Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from Iraq come this year and i will retire from active duty as soon as i go home. On the other hand i want to inform you that I have in my possession the sum of 16.2million USD. which was recovered from one of our raids on terrorists here in Iraq because they keep most of their money at home for evil activities which they normally get through illegal deals on crude oil.
Based on the suffering we undergo here some of us do meet such luck.It happened that i went for this raid with the men in my unit and i decided to take it as my share for my stress here in this evil land filled with suicide bombers.I deposited this money with a red cross agent informing him that we are making contact for the real owner of the money.Base on WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS that has eating up the hole world now and people loosing their jobs,i wish to use this money for charity purposes and It is under my power to approve whoever comes forth for this money.
I cannot move this money to the United states because i will be in Austria to live the rest of my life as soon as i return back to United State and retire from active duty,so i need someone i could deal with.If you accept,i will transfer the money to you through a red cross Jet.Every week a red cross relief jet flies to London from Baghdad to go and collect reliefs from donors in London.If we come to a concrete agreement,i will send this money to you where you will be the beneficiary because i am a uniformed person and i cannot be parading such an amount so i need to present someone as the beneficiary.I am an American and an intelligence officer so i have a 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service .I just need your acceptance and all is done.
Please if you are interested in this transaction i will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully.I decided to find someone that is real and not imaginary and that is why i went to a secured a good site where i can be sure that the person is real. I believe i can trust you. where we are now we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which is secured so nobody can monitor our emails,then i can explain in details to you.I will only reach you through email,because our calls might be monitored,I just have to be sure whom i am dealing with. If you are interested please send me your personal mobile number so i can call you for further inquiries when i am out of our military network.If you are not interested do not reply to this email and please delete this message,if no response after 3days i will then search for someone else.I am doing this on trust,you should understand and you should know that as a trained military expert i will always play safe in case you are the bad type,but i pray you are not.16.2million USD is a lot of money which is the dream of anyone.
I wait for your contact details so we can go on.In less than 7days the money should have been noted on your account and i will come over for my money.I will give to you 20% of the sum and 80% is for my dream.I hope i am been fair on this deal.
Captain Remond Manchester.
A credit card fraudster operating as a one "Schmidt Charles" saying:
i want to make an offer on this boat.
He then offers to pay via credit card and add an extra $10,000 to the sale price for freight. He then asks for the 10,000 to be sent off in cash to a nominated account.
|I am Prince Ture Saga from ABIDJAN I am very interested in your Boat. I ask you to send me 2 or 4 pictures inside & outside.
In the meantime, I want you to understand that I will not be coming to your country to have a look of the boat but after you and I concluded the transaction by payment then my forwarding agent who resides in UNITED KINGDOM will comes to your country after you might have confirm the payment into you account.
Prince Ture Saga
waiting to hear from you.
I'm interested in your posted advert for sale. Kindly reply back to me with the last price & the condition of it. Nevertheless,I will want you to send me the picture of it,if you have it available with you.
|Thanks for your response to my inquiry, my customer has instructed me to carry on with the transaction at the price of $36,000.00 without futher negotiations, he said due to the nature of his work which does not give him chance, that he will rest virtually all the transaction on my shoulder and assign a shipper like wise that i will work with and that payment will get to you in a cashier check of $42,000,00 which was an earlier cancelled order made by him, this amount is expected to cover both the shipping and any other expences that might accrue in the course of this transaction since he would be travelling out of town for business soon, So you are required to deduct the cost of your BOAT $36,000.00 when payment is received and the check will clears You bank before sending the balance of $6,000 to the shippers for him to be able to offset shipping, tax / other charges and cosmetic repair costs.
Upon receiving your payment and balance sent down to the shipper immediately the shipper's agent will come for pick up (of BOAT & signing of title papers), some cosmetic touches and drive to the prepaid shipper. Confirm this and forward your
LEGAL NAMES,ADDRESS,PHONE NUMBER.today for payment to be made out. Please get back to me within fews hours of receiving my mail to confirm this. All other information needed in completion of this transaction will be given to you in due time...
Your honesty, understanding and co-operation will be highly appreciated and I await your favourable response with the required information for payment delivery asap.
Thanks in anticipation of your understanding.
I am intrested in your advertised, When was the last time you drove it?.when was the last time it was serviced and oil changed, condition and the diffrences from the advertised statelet me know the current mechanical condition. what is you last ask price.
|HELLO Mr / Ms
I am Mr Van from ABIDJAN am very interested in your advertisement of your Boat. Given the urgency, I ask you to send me as soon as possible, 02 or 04 pictures inside outside of the boat by attached file to view and for more information. I do like to know what is the mode of payment in which you choose, and how much is the boat.
In the meantime, if you agree kindly give me sign so that we can process and if it pleases you gave me your exact address so that upon conclusion of our market my forwarder agency who resides in London will joined with you for more information
My best regards
I just need to tell you that this is a very lovely boat you have gotten here and I am interested in buying it outrightly. For a quick sale, I will pay you 20000.00aud for it. I was planning going on physically to purchase it but could not due to the nature of my work as i am always on the move cos I am a marine engineer and I work with an International shipping company.
it will be picked up at your location by my pick up agent I will be paying with my paypal account.so please do reply me asap with your paypal account or send me a payment request from your paypal account so i can effect payment to you rightaway.
I await your reply
NB:Honestly, I do not know the actual worth of this item because I'm always busy sailing. If my offer is not ok, Let me know so i can shoot up abit or
Hope to hear from you soon.