is a scammer…

I don’t normally “narq” on people, but I’m a little ticked off. As you may remember, I was selling Kristin’s old 12-inch PowerBook on ebay. The auction had about 3 buyers bidding on it, things were looking good and at the last minute won the auction. She then emailed me and asked if it would be okay if I shipped the PowerBook to a friend of hers in Nigeria. Even though I had the item listed as U.S.-only, I calculated what the shipping would cost and agreed. She then said she would pay me via PayPal as soon as she got home from work. The next morning she sent me an email saying that she had paid me and to ship the item. I checked my PayPal account and had a big fat $0.00 sitting there. I emailed her back and told her such. She replied again:

But they have deducate the amount frommy account

pls what is going on

get back to me asap.thanks

Shortly after receiving this email, I received another email, supposedly from PayPal:

Subject: Requesting For Tracking Number:Email ID PP305
Dear C.K. Sample, III,

A payment has been made to your paypal [TKTKTK] by ANNA COLE for an eBay item #270017200440 in which it will get into your account as soon as we verify and confirm that the item has been shipped in 24hours after confirmation due to the standard paypal method used by the buyer. We Request that you should send the item today to the buyer’s shipping address since he/she has made payment to your PayPal account otherwise the payment will not be credited to the account specified. We need the item shipping tracking number to verify the shippment of the item to the buyer’s shipping address provided. Shipping tracking numbers should be send to this Email: check your email addressn we have send you payment confirmation. This is to reduce the high rate of fraudulent act going on and to ensure that both buyers and sellers are satisfied.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team .

You can also confirm your email address by logging into your PayPal account at Click on the “Confirm email” link in the Activate Account box and then enter this confirmation number: 0912-7467-0344-5123-3308
Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot beanswered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the “Help” link in the footer of any page.To receive email notifications in plain text instead of HTML, update your preferences here.PayPal Email ID PP305

Notice how poorly written the entire email is. The subject alone is a huge red flag: “Requesting for Tracking Number.” Also, there are numerous other odd clues to this being a total scam (the most notable being that if you go to PayPal’s site, there is no mention of any such program. Neither is it mentioned on eBay’s site. I confronted “Anna Cole” with this info via another email, and suddenly her account at eBay had been closed. I’ve filed through eBay to relist the item. I will also be contacting Yahoo about

I hate scumbags.

If you are interested in this PowerBook, it has been relisted here.

About C.K. Sample III

I am a father, a husband, a blogger, a parrot owner, a pug owner, and the Chief Product Officer for YouEarnedIt. This site has no comments. If you want to talk to me, send me an @cksample on Twitter. If you like this post, feel free to buy me something off of my wishlist.
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7 Responses to is a scammer…

  1. Brian Jepson says:

    I wouldn’t even consider sending it overseas. Even if the money had been deposited, you’d almost certainly be shipping to something other than the confirmed address, and Paypal’s meager seller protection wouldn’t cover you there (transactions can be reversed well after the fact if the buyer complains to Paypal that you didn’t ship it or if they claim if was broken, etc.).

    The first time I sold a PowerBook, PayPal deposited the money, and just as I was shipping the PowerBook, they put a hold on the transaction. Each time I called, they gave a different answer to whether the transaction was protected, whether I should recall the shipment, etc.

    In the end, it worked out fine, but I had decided to ask Fedex to hold it at the destination facility for a few days while I sorted things out with the buyer.

    So even with a confirmed address, things can go bad. My general advice is to ship only to a confirmed address, but to also wait three business days after the payment posts to actually ship the item, just in case Paypal decides to do something funny.

  2. I had the same problem occur twice when I sold my PowerBook 12” on eBay here in England a month or so ago. The first attempt I was bombarded by requests to ship to Holland and Nigeria even though I had a U.K. only shipment on the auction. It was finally won by a gentleman in the U.K. but upon winning I never heard from him again – he disappeared completely. I followed eBay’s guidance and emailed him a reminder and then eBay sent an automated reminder – nothing. After having to wait fourteen days I had the item relisted. The next bid was won by our Nigerian friends, so again another two and fro of emails with eBay relisting again. The third bid was won by a genuine buyer and he paid a fair price so all ended well, despite taking almost a month to sell. The problem I have now is emails as per the example below. Fact being it was my PowerBook that was being sold, and wow, a brand new PowerBook with the same accessories for £200!


    Dear eBay member,
    I saw that you were bidding on this product: (Apple Mac iBook G4 12 1.2GHz 60Gb 768Mb wifi BT & case Item number: 110022130477),and I thought that I can make you a better offer.I can sell you the same item brand new with the same accesories for this price: 200,00 GBP.
    If you are interested we can work out with a price cause i want to sell it and I am ready to NEGOCIATE it.
    If you are interested in my product e Mail me at:( If you want to spare some money this is your lucky day. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested in my offer. You will recive more informations.


    I’m becoming very reluctant to sell on eBay as I have had nothing but bad experiences and time wasters. I think eBay really need to address this growing problem.

    Dylan Gardner

  3. Mike says:

    Between people like that and eBay/PayPal’s not-great protection against scams, it can be a minefield. I don’t buy anything too expensive on eBay anymore. I agree with Dylan that a little more involvement should probably be taken on eBay’s part.

    There was a pretty funny thing a few years ago relating to powerbooks and ebay, and someone taking matters into their own hands. It’s a bit of a read, but funny (



  5. Chris Halliday says:

    Hi there.
    I had exactly the same problem as you described. A gentleman calling himself Jack Jerry (jackjerry_2029) tried to buy a Nokia N70 for £90. Ebay sent me an email warning that the bid made by ‘jackjerry_2029’ should be considered null and void. He then bombarded me with emails requesting that I shipped the item to his daughter in Nigeria. The main email said ‘your account will be credited as soon as you send a shipping verification and a tracking number’. I emailed him saying I have received no payment and therefore will not be sending the item. In the end I gave the second highest bidder a Second Chance Offer.

  6. A. T. Pinto says:

    The same person did this to me using the same scheme but under the name

    The problem is that I sent the item to Nigeria :(

    Did you complain to anyone?

  7. Stephanie says:

    I was just scammed by an Anna Cole!! She told me that Paypal couldn’t process the payment ($9000 no less!) until I entered a tracking number for the item. This Anna Cole also bid on another item of mine using a different buyer name but the same email. Luckily I contacted eBay and everything turned out fine on my end. Be a smart and discerning seller when using eBay!

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