They think they nearly got me …


For some years now I have been an avid follower of a person on Instagram. It’s a person from Belgium whom I find interesting. Today I commented on a post that this person made as I have often done in the past. About an hour later, I got a message sent via Instagram saying ‘Hello’. There’s no harm in saying ‘Hello’ back I thought, but then asked who they were. Their response was to send me 2 pictures of the person I am following. I explained that I needed more information on who they were. The reply came back that I had commented on their latest post. I was still not convinced, and then alarm bells started to ring.

I decided to ask for proof of who they were. I asked them to reply to my original message on their main site. The person answered that they never send private messages from that account. They then asked me to ‘add them’ on WhatsApp and even provided their number. I Googled the number and it advised me that the mobile number was Canadian. Told them that the number was not a European number and they asked me for mine. By now the alarm bells were getting much louder.

I told them I needed more proof and that they should post a certain on their main account. Leave it for 10 minutes then delete it. They refused and began to get a bit defensive. This went on for a couple of messages back and forth. Finally, I asked them to follow me back on their main site. Another refusal. I was now convinced that they were not genuine and that they were a scammer. Not entirely sure what they were after, but I’m a bit too long in the tooth to get caught out.

Won’t get fooled again …


No, this post has nothing to do with the early 1970’s song by The Who, but to the bad practices by some on eBay. You may remember a previous post last week when I got caught by a fake seller. My, I suppose it’s greed, led me to purchase an item that turned out to be from a compromised site. The good news is that I got a refund more or less the following day.

Well, today was something different. I am nearly ready for some more ink for my printer. I tend to buy it from the same seller each time. It’s a competitive price and the seller send me an envelope so that the empty cartridges can be recycled. So I was checking to see if his price was indeed a good bargain and looked at the ‘suggestions’ at the bottom of the page. They all seemed to be in roughly the same price bracket of between £18.00 and £20.00. Then I spotted one at £5.00! It was being sold, supposedly by a well renowned and respected seller called Car****ge K**G. The stupid thing was that at the side of, what I knew to be a fake, was cartridges sold by the genuine Car***ge K**G selling at £19.49. After about 10 minutes hunting around the site and a quick search on Google, I was able to locate the method of reporting the seller.

This difference this time was that the seller had set-up a fake profile and used images from the genuine seller. Whereas the previous time, the genuine account had been compromised. I’m told that both methods are so easy to do. For a compromised site, it is usually a site that has not been used for a while. Maybe set-up to make a single private sale and never used again. The second method, anyone can do. You simply set-up an account and start conning people.

Note to eBay: maybe have a look at some price comparisons. You may be surprised.

Caught … after all I have said!


The number of times I have warned people about the dangers of Internet shopping, I go and get caught myself. I’m forever saying that ‘…if it looks to good to be true, then it is…’ I can’t remember how many times  I have told family and friends that the cheapest is not the best option as ‘…it’s usually cheap for a reason…’ That and advising people to look at the reviews and feedback, and then I go and ignore it all.

It was basically down to greed at the end of the day. I need a new, cordless hammer drill. The one I have is a cheapish one and I bought it about three years ago. The battery pack has started to lose it’s charge very quickly even if not in use. I can put it on charge one day and the charge will be lost without even using the thing. So when I had to use my corded drill to complete a simple job, I thought it was time to get an updated one. I did the usual trawl of the internet (or should I say eBay) to get the best price for what I wanted, and my results were coming up at between £35.00 and £50.00. So you can imagine my surprise when one showed up at £41.99 with ‘free’ accessory pack. What I wanted at the price I was willing to pay! Without any further research, I went through my cash-back site and purchased it, via PayPal.

It was a few hours later that I got an email from eBay advising me that “Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account”. It also went on to explain, that “The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled“. I checked my bank account, and of course the payment had gone through to PayPal. I then checked PayPal and found that the payment to the seller was pending. I quickly cancelled the payment and PayPal showed that my back account will be re-credited with the amount. There was a small caveat though, PayPal said it could take up to 30 days for the transaction to credit.

After wiping the egg off my face, I realised that this kind of thing can happen to anyone. I just took my eye off the ball and was caught. Massive lesson learned here.

Watch out !! Scammer about !!


I’m always up for a bargain, so when I decided that I needed to buy some ink for my printer, I turned as usual to the internet.  To be exact, I nearly always go though EBay and this occasion was no different. I ran a search and the price for a twin-pack (colour and black) seemed to be between £17.00 an £20.00, with the average price falling in at £18.49. A little more than I expected, so I sorted the list by price. Amazingly the price of £7.99 was listed for the same twin-pack size. A ‘bargain’ I thought and delved a little deeper into the product and seller. That is when I began to smell a rat!

A quick look at the seven reviews of the ink, showed that they were reviews for ink sold by a different seller. The reviews also had been made within 10 minutes of each other. Unusual to say the least. I then had a quick look at the sellers profile, which stated that they had been a member of EBay since August 7th 2017. The same day that I was looking. That rat smell was getting stronger. How could a seller have seven reviews (all showing 100%) for sales on the same day that they had started trading?

Unusually for me, I reported it to EBay, and was pleased to see that the following day, the listing had been removed. But what’s this? Further down the search was a new listing, from another new seller, selling the same pack at the same price, with even the same reviews! Another reporting to EBay. I look the next day (today) and once again the fraudulent listing has been removed, only to be replaced by two new listings for the same product, this time at £10.49. I will leave you to guess what I did next.

Now I would say that I’m quite a savvy shopper, so I wasn’t really taken in by this confidence trick, but there are many people that would see this is a real bargain. What seems to happening here is one of four things:

  1. they are selling fakes – possible
  2. they are selling stolen goods – more likely or
  3. they are just stealing peoples money – which is my favourite
  4. they are genuine

If number 4 was correct, and I have been mistaken, then why does EBay remove the listings?

The old adage seems to apply here – “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”