Victim of Fraud

Victim of Fraud

I’m selling my couch. It’s a beautiful couch. I posted it on craigslist. For $2000. Although we got it on sale, the original price for the custom order from Italy was $7000.

Still for sale.

Same day as the post went up I get an email. (who would probably love to hear from you – such a friendly and generous person) wants to buy my couch. Sight unseen. Coool.

And weird.

I concoct a few scenarios in my head based on the minimal clues: I want a couch, I live out of town. Maybe Carey lives far away and is moving to my area and would like to have some furniture already moved in upon arrival. In fact, living in a part of the world where there are a lot of young students from outside the country it is plausible to imagine a parent outfitting a student apartment with high quality second-hand furniture. But Carey Seagal is not a typical last name for those on a student visa. Not impossible, I suppose.

Without much foreplay and zero negotiation Carey suggests payment through PayPal which I consider an excellent solution to moving a lot of money securely. However, naively, I think, Carey wants me to send my paypal account number – or set one up if I don’t already have one – so the payment can be deposited. Since I understand the way PayPal works I don’t do that. I log into my PayPal account and send an invoice to Carey. That way he, or she, can click on the invoice and securely deposit the money without me knowing her account info – or her knowing mine.

Before long I get an email from PayPal confirming the money is in my account and telling me to “click here”. I don’t. I go to the PayPal website myself and log into my account. SURPRISE! No money – in spite of the email that itemized the $2700 that had been deposited. $2000 for the couch and $600 to be forwarded to the shipping company in Atlanta, Georgia (thousands of miles away) plus $100 to cover the fees associated with wiring the money to the shipping company. Hmmm. Don’t remember that part of the agreement.

Here’s how the scam works:

I’m supposed to click on the bogus email from PayPal (the return address is almost the same as the real PayPal but not quite.) When I get to the log in page it will be bogus but very effectively collect my user name and password. Whatever I type in the password box, I will be directed to the bogus PayPal account showing a balance of $2700.

At this point, if I follow the script, I am elated and immediately look up ways to wire money to the address in Georgia. An address that, undoubtedly, exists – maybe they would like a Christmas card or something:


258 Spring st,NE




Not only do they get my $600, and access to my PayPal account, but they might get my couch, too, if they are organized about it.

Instead, I have reported the fraud to the police, craigslist, and PayPal – all of whom appreciated the information.

Meanwhile, I continue to correspond with Carey. She is still trying to convince me that the money has come out of her account and that PayPal would have sent me confirmation by now. Seems to me that any time she “plays” with me keeps others a tiny bit safer.

Any ideas for what fantastic emails I should send out next?

Maybe some large KB photos of my couch in her inbox?

201 comments to Victim of Fraud

  • Hi,
    It seems Carey is still up to her old tricks trying to scam unsuspecting sellers, she has offered to buy my qulaity leather armchairs and wanted my address and PayPal details, I smelt a rat and googled her name and found this site, thank god I did. Thank you for the warning.

    • admin

      Now, if only Carey were legitimate, he/she would have a nicely furnished room with my high-end leather couch and your high-end leather armchairs! Glad you found us and glad you posted. Keeps it current for others to find. Good luck with the true sale of your chairs!

  • Eva

    Thank you for high lightening the activities of the “delightful” “Carey Seagal”. The same scenario happened to me (fraudulent paypal account set up whereby “she” “deposited” an amount of “money” into my false paypal account PLUS an amount of £100 for shipping costs asking me to pay that via Western Union) to a person whose address is in Nigeria. I smelt a rat of course and played her at her own game saying that the payment I had tried to make via Western Union did not go through due to suspected fraudulent activity and that I was very disappointed with her as the agreement was for the item only (not to arrange shipping). I then asked for “her” bank account details to pay for the shipping. No answer! But surprisingly, yesterday “she” sent a sarcastic email stating that I “obviously” did not want to sell the item and that she would commence legal action for the amount “pending” in the (fraudulent) paypal account! “Take me on” is what I say!. I do think Paypal should high lighten this however even though they do describe the types of fraudulent activities in a section of their website – but I think it should be brought to paypal members immediate attention. Thank you for keeping us all informed.

    • admin


      Nicely done on the annoying “Carey”.

      I’m amazed they would use a Nigerian address with all the international attention on Nigerian scams.

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