Today I’ll tell you about a scammer. Internet scam is innovating: they’re using any media possible, and they behave more and more “human-like” to take your data (and eventually – money).
It started with my ad about selling my 2nd-hand 17″ wheels with tires. One honestly boring ad, probably not in sync with the market, as I got almost no interest at this price. But a few days ago, I got a Viber message from Jo, with Viber number +61437992626. Following the phone number reverse lookup, any number +61 437 XXXXXX comes from Australia. Weird, eh?
Jo claimed he (she?) is interested in the wheels and would like to buy them. Also, Jo claimed they live in the Czech Republic, and there’s a person who would come by my house to pick up the wheels that they reach Jo.
Jo also asked me for a bank account number, name, address, etc. In short: all the necessary prerequisites for a SEPA bank transfer. That was fine: I have no problem sharing the info needed for incoming bank transfers.
And today was the big day: the day when the scammer was supposed to cash in from me, e.g., to finish the transaction, to finalize the scam. Jo wrote me this morning, “I sent the money, I forwarded the e-mail, please follow-up on the action inside.” Whoa!
I went to my Gmail, and I saw Jo’s e-mail, with e-mail “firstname.lastname@example.org,” payee e-mail “email@example.com”, and person name “Kotýnek Martin.” The e-mail contained an “action link,” which required me to “finalize the transaction.” So obvious and yet so clever. The scammer orchestrated the whole show so well, and with such due diligence, if it was not for the extensive evidence for this scammer, one might get hooked completely.
Well, I dropped a few messages to “Jo” and told them (him? her?) that I have enough experience with scammers, and I’m not falling for this. But I still gave them the benefit of the doubt: if my €230 comes into my bank account in the next few days, we can still proceed with the transaction.
Of course, I’m confident that nothing will come, so I decided to share this story with you. Just in case.
And maybe one day, I will write here about how many times the scammers tried to trick us last year while Angel was looking for a place in Breda, Netherlands. But I’ll do that some other time.