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  • FIRST POST
    • flicks
    • By flicks 3rd Jul 18, 6:51 PM
    • 170Posts
    • 120Thanks
    flicks
    Daughter scammed on Gumtree. How does this work?
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 18, 6:51 PM
    Daughter scammed on Gumtree. How does this work? 3rd Jul 18 at 6:51 PM
    Not sure if this is the correct section but my daughter has just fell victim to a scam on Gumtree.

    She is well aware of what she shouldn't have done but she got her fingers burnt and she's accepted it for what it is. Lesson learned.

    What I want to know is how is it not possible to trace the scammer?

    She offered an item for sale on Gumtree and found a buyer, (or so she thought). She insisted on receiving the payment by Paypal due to the protection offered.

    She received the scam email from Paypal (allegedly), saying the funds were in her account but she needed to provide the tracking information before the funds would be released. Unfortunately being rather trusting, (and certainly a little foolish), she posted the item in order to get her tracking number which she sent to Paypal, (or so she thought).

    So the long and the short of this is she has no item or no money.

    What I am curious about is she received the fake Paypal email which stated the item purchased, the price paid and the name and address to send it to. She posted the item by registered post to the address provided and it has been signed for.


    With this information how come the culprit can't be brought to book? The Police have logged it, as have Paypal and Gumtree but in all cases they have said nothing can be done.

    As I said we have all accepted the loss but surely if this item has been delivered, given the trail of emails etc it could be proved that the scammer has the item.

    Many thanks for any replies.
Page 1
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 3rd Jul 18, 7:29 PM
    • 12,572 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:29 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 7:29 PM
    Not sure if this is the correct section but my daughter has just fell victim to a scam on Gumtree.

    She is well aware of what she shouldn't have done but she got her fingers burnt and she's accepted it for what it is. Lesson learned.

    What I want to know is how is it not possible to trace the scammer?

    She offered an item for sale on Gumtree and found a buyer, (or so she thought). She insisted on receiving the payment by Paypal due to the protection offered.

    She received the scam email from Paypal (allegedly), saying the funds were in her account but she needed to provide the tracking information before the funds would be released. Unfortunately being rather trusting, (and certainly a little foolish), she posted the item in order to get her tracking number which she sent to Paypal, (or so she thought).

    So the long and the short of this is she has no item or no money.

    What I am curious about is she received the fake Paypal email which stated the item purchased, the price paid and the name and address to send it to. She posted the item by registered post to the address provided and it has been signed for.


    With this information how come the culprit can't be brought to book? The Police have logged it, as have Paypal and Gumtree but in all cases they have said nothing can be done.

    As I said we have all accepted the loss but surely if this item has been delivered, given the trail of emails etc it could be proved that the scammer has the item.

    Many thanks for any replies.
    Originally posted by flicks
    It's a hard and horrid lesson learned.

    Paypal protection - offered the same as for buyer and seller - is weighted heavily in the buyer's favour.

    Not that this would have helped your daughter as from your OP, she has fallen for the "fake email" rather than checking her Paypal transaction.

    Gumtree is a cash on collection website (although other payments methods are offered) and it is designed for buyer to meet seller, shake hands and exchange cash. Job done.

    Scammers usually offer (via email) a decent (not ridiculous) but tempting offer. As they have now got an email trail, they use that to send a fake email purporting to be a payment confirmation from Paypal (it isn't). The PayPal account they purport to use is never used and is usually unconnected and innocent.

    Seller falls for said email, sends item, uploads tracking (feeling they are covered) and never checks the Paypal account directly.

    No consolation but in future NEVER accept Paypal for a Gumtree sale - cash or nothing. Insisting on Paypal was her first mistake.

    Paypal is fine for online auctions etc but you need to understand the seller/buyer protections. You need to LOG into the PayPal account, check the status of the payment and add any tracking directly to the Paypal transaction. NONE of this is done by email. Paypal merely send transaction confirmation by email but even then, they should be disregarded unless you've logged in and seen the payment.

    Scammers rely on the honesty of people like your daughter. To quickly upload tracking and post.

    Sadly, she has lost her money and the redress is nil. She has no protection from Paypal as she didn't use them in terms of seller protection (her account never received funds).
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 3rd Jul 18, 9:11 PM
    • 1,143 Posts
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    seashore22
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 9:11 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 9:11 PM
    I've had more success on Gumtree than Ebay recently, but they do need to be treated as different beasts. It is definitely more like the old "card in the newsagents window" type of transaction ie cash on collection.

    Paypal won't do anything because they were never involved in the so called sale. I imagine that it is very low priority for the police.

    I'm sorry your daughter was scammed like this. Hope it wasn't too much money.
    Last edited by seashore22; 03-07-2018 at 9:13 PM.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 3rd Jul 18, 11:25 PM
    • 60,835 Posts
    • 43,408 Thanks
    soolin
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 11:25 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 11:25 PM
    It's a hard and horrid lesson learned.

    Paypal protection - offered the same as for buyer and seller - is weighted heavily in the buyer's favour.

    Not that this would have helped your daughter as from your OP, she has fallen for the "fake email" rather than checking her Paypal transaction.

    Gumtree is a cash on collection website (although other payments methods are offered) and it is designed for buyer to meet seller, shake hands and exchange cash. Job done.

    Scammers usually offer (via email) a decent (not ridiculous) but tempting offer. As they have now got an email trail, they use that to send a fake email purporting to be a payment confirmation from Paypal (it isn't). The PayPal account they purport to use is never used and is usually unconnected and innocent.

    Seller falls for said email, sends item, uploads tracking (feeling they are covered) and never checks the Paypal account directly.

    No consolation but in future NEVER accept Paypal for a Gumtree sale - cash or nothing. Insisting on Paypal was her first mistake.

    Paypal is fine for online auctions etc but you need to understand the seller/buyer protections. You need to LOG into the PayPal account, check the status of the payment and add any tracking directly to the Paypal transaction. NONE of this is done by email. Paypal merely send transaction confirmation by email but even then, they should be disregarded unless you've logged in and seen the payment.

    Scammers rely on the honesty of people like your daughter. To quickly upload tracking and post.

    Sadly, she has lost her money and the redress is nil. She has no protection from Paypal as she didn't use them in terms of seller protection (her account never received funds).
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    PayPal are not interested as they have absolutely no involvement in the transaction. This used to be the Western union scam and now it's the same but with apaypal twist. Unfortunately OP ha sfallen for the most common of scams and as they almost certainly don't have any contact details for the 'buyer' have no chance of ever seeing their money again.

    The easiest way to avoid this, apart from seeing an obvious scam is to always check the PayPal account before sending anything.

    I used to attempt to sell on Gumtree but now use Shpock and accept PayPal, but use the same rules for seller protection as I do on any site.
    Last edited by soolin; 03-07-2018 at 11:30 PM.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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    • flicks
    • By flicks 4th Jul 18, 5:53 AM
    • 170 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    flicks
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 5:53 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 5:53 AM
    Thanks for the relies. Very much appreciated.

    We are aware of where it all went wrong and if my daughter had spoken to me first this wouldn't have happened.

    What I want to know is though how come everybody knows where the item was delivered yet nobody can do anything about it?

    I'm sure if I done this to somebody my doorbell would be ringing before I could get the item out of it's box.

    Thanks again
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 4th Jul 18, 6:05 AM
    • 12,572 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:05 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 6:05 AM
    Thanks for the relies. Very much appreciated.

    We are aware of where it all went wrong and if my daughter had spoken to me first this wouldn't have happened.

    What I want to know is though how come everybody knows where the item was delivered yet nobody can do anything about it?

    I'm sure if I done this to somebody my doorbell would be ringing before I could get the item out of it's box.

    Thanks again
    Originally posted by flicks
    It can be a number of things. Address with someone sat outside who "arrives home" just as the parcel is delivered and claims to be the addressee, forwarding address, unoccupied (other than at the time of parcel delivery), bonafide address and occupant but item collected later by scammer claiming mis-delivery etc etc.
    • ballisticbrian
    • By ballisticbrian 4th Jul 18, 8:37 AM
    • 3,451 Posts
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    ballisticbrian
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 8:37 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 8:37 AM
    I would say also high occupancy buildings are high risk addresses (bedsits in converted building), anyone has access to deliveries. However any address could be used. I know a young lady who is on the dating sites and the guy proposed to "go back for coffee" to his house and when they got there it was the show home on a half completed building site. It doesn't take too much to work out what was going on there.
    Warning: any unnecessary disclaimers appearing under my posts do not bear any connection with reality, either intended, accidental or otherwise. Your statutory rights are not affected.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 4th Jul 18, 9:07 AM
    • 60,835 Posts
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    soolin
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:07 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:07 AM
    Thanks for the relies. Very much appreciated.

    We are aware of where it all went wrong and if my daughter had spoken to me first this wouldn't have happened.

    What I want to know is though how come everybody knows where the item was delivered yet nobody can do anything about it?

    I'm sure if I done this to somebody my doorbell would be ringing before I could get the item out of it's box.

    Thanks again
    Originally posted by flicks
    As you have an address where it was delivered there is nothing to stop you doing some research about it, perhaps a google look up , or as you say above, turn up at the doorstep and see who answers.

    Start by doing a google street view search and see whether it looks residential or whether it is commercial. It probably won't help getting money back, but at least you are doing something.

    With regard to your daughter, a brief reminder might be In order about PayPal seller protection, just in case. There is a sticky thread here on this forum which is worth a read, the important bit, and the one that would have saved all this grief, is a reminder that if a payment for goods is received to ONLY send to the PayPal registered address shown on the transaction. If you get in the habit of checking that address for all payments received that don't involve eBay, then any attempt to defraud with a fake email will be obvious as payment will not be there.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • flicks
    • By flicks 4th Jul 18, 9:08 AM
    • 170 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    flicks
    • #9
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:08 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:08 AM
    Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks again for the replies. The address was in fact a flat so I guess that makes sense.

    Some real low life around. The only consolation is my daughter is a better person than that piece of dirt will ever be.

    Soolin, thanks. Will certainly investigate this and try to find out more. Not sure if I'd go as far as to turn up on the doorstep though, especially if the person who lives there is blissfully unaware of what's actually happened.

    Thanks again folks.
    Last edited by flicks; 04-07-2018 at 9:11 AM.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 4th Jul 18, 9:11 AM
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    soolin
    Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks again for the replies. The address was in fact a flat so I guess that makes sense.

    Some real low life around. The on my consolation is my daughter is a better person than that piece of dirt will ever be.

    Thanks again folks.
    Originally posted by flicks
    I am a great believer in karma, yes the scammer has a free phone but no doubt it will be sold on for drugs or drink to make their nasty little lives fractionally better.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • JessyRM
    • By JessyRM 4th Jul 18, 10:37 AM
    • 44 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    JessyRM
    As others have said it could be a decoy address. Organised fraudsters like this use very sophisticated methods to con people out of money, often they are conducted overseas and use a network of people and systems. The local police don't have much involvement and it is generally processed through Action fraud who in turn will pass it on to the NFIB if it's deemed worth investigating.

    Unfortunately anyone can be a victim of fraud and It's important to let your daughter know that. She is probably kicking herself for not checking the paypal account and already feeling foolish so be kind to her
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Jul 18, 10:58 AM
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    motorguy
    Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks again for the replies. The address was in fact a flat so I guess that makes sense.

    Some real low life around. The only consolation is my daughter is a better person than that piece of dirt will ever be.

    Soolin, thanks. Will certainly investigate this and try to find out more. Not sure if I'd go as far as to turn up on the doorstep though, especially if the person who lives there is blissfully unaware of what's actually happened.

    Thanks again folks.
    Originally posted by flicks
    Sadly its a common scam and does prey on the honesty of the seller.

    I'd one guy contact me via a scam like this so i played him along for a while with item had been posted but my wife had left the tracking number in work, etc, etc. He then got really shirty and started accusing me of wasting his time!! To which i replied that was the whole point as i knew he was a low life scammer.

    Next time i get one i might actually post something via recorded delivery to them even if its just an empty envelope or something just so they have to waste their time being available at that address when the postman comes. I can then imagine the outrage in their sad lives as they twig they havent got the better of someone on this occasion.

    Police wont be interested for all the reasons already given. Too little reward for a lot of effort on their part.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • ballisticbrian
    • By ballisticbrian 4th Jul 18, 11:57 AM
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    ballisticbrian
    motorguy, there's several scam the scammers stories going round on t'internet about sending them a cardboard laptop:


    Warning: any unnecessary disclaimers appearing under my posts do not bear any connection with reality, either intended, accidental or otherwise. Your statutory rights are not affected.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Jul 18, 12:06 PM
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    motorguy
    motorguy, there's several scam the scammers stories going round on t'internet about sending them a cardboard laptop:


    Originally posted by ballisticbrian


    I might just do that. Would be worth the few pounds postage.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • flicks
    • By flicks 4th Jul 18, 4:27 PM
    • 170 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    flicks
    JessyRM, we certainly wouldn't ever make her feel bad about this. As you say she is already sick as can be.

    I have seen the emails now and to be honest if it wasn't for being reasonably aware of these scams I could have easily fell for it myself. Looked very authentic.

    The item was an ipad and we said she'll just need to look at it as if she'd dropped and smashed it.

    I guess putting it into perspective, people have lost life savings to scammers so as tough a lesson as this was provided she has learned from it some good could come of this.
    Last edited by flicks; 04-07-2018 at 4:30 PM.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 4th Jul 18, 5:54 PM
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    Brynsam
    Does she have the phone's IMEI number by any happy chance? If so, get it blocked - at least then the scammer won't be able to use it.
    • flicks
    • By flicks 4th Jul 18, 8:47 PM
    • 170 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    flicks
    Brynsam, this was not a phone it was a wifi only ipad. Frustratingly they provide an activation lock which apparently renders the device useless even after a factory reset but this has to be done through "find my iphone". Unfortunately this was deleted when she factory reset the device before sending it away.

    Appreciate the suggestion though.
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