But what I will re-iterate is this: Don’t send large amounts of money via the Internet to people you don’t know, even if there’s a supposed password system in place.I nominate a password and when I’ve seen the goods I tell her brother in law what it is (or email her with it). I even chatted to my husband about it and we agreed that Western Union sounded like they had a good system in place. They have posts about consumer protection and how you should never send money to someone who you don’t know in real life.I very nearly went ahead with this, until I had a moment to stop and think about it. But despite all these warnings for consumers, they haven’t actually prevented this from reoccurring. And with that in mind, they may not even need the code.For instance, if they are transferring to a country that is not their own, this would be a good time to remind the customer that this password system is ineffective and that they shouldn’t transfer to someone that they don’t know. Actually, come to think of it, this whole thing sounds dodgy.The problem with scammers is that they have perfected the art of sounding harmless. Subsequently, the offer to deliver to my house, then the elaborate payment system and the brother-in-law. And why is this person ringing from a private number? I might just wait to see if this guy turns up with a Thermomix for me and pay him in cash if he does. I say again, the only reason this looked half-believable is because all of the red flags came at different times.All of the red flags were released drip-by-drip so that they didn’t look altogether dodgy at a glance. When she sent the email with the payment details I realised she wanted me to send the payment to Benin. And when looking at this from the perspective of a regular sale of goods locally, these things didn’t seem that odd.When your brain thinks you are transferring money to someone local, you almost forget about that tiny change of country (she said she was travelling), and that the country you are sending to might not hold clerks to the same standards of trust as they do nearby. I am still the owner of my 350€ and I’ve gained a scary tale to tell.
Now, that’s a bloody good deal as those things usually go for 900€. She tells me she bought the item a few months ago, but now has to travel for work. People round here like cheques, but if I were selling, I’d prefer to be paid in cash. She says she’d prefer a Western Union transfer, which I can do via the post office or online.
A woman posted to a local buy-sell group with a Thermomix for 350€. I check the woman’s profile out and she looks legit: she has a long-standing profile, some public photos and is a part of some other groups in the local area. Her message says to contact an email address, which is doubly odd because the email address doesn’t match her name, but whatever.