This happened in 2004 & I took no part in it. A recent conversation remind me of the tale, and when I looked for the website, it had been scattered into numerous pieces. Here it is, in entirety: (warning, it’s very long, and may take a little longer than normal to load)
It all started with an eBay auction for a new PowerBook G4. My friend redacted wanted me to sell it for him just a few days after he bought it. Probably because he realized, aside from looking cool, he had no real use for it.
For the sake of an easy sale, I just pretended to sell it as my own, with a starting price of $1700, and the buy it now option for $2100.
You are bidding on my 19 year old G4 Powerbook. This was purchased for a project that fell through. When I tried to return it, I was informed of a 10 day limit for returns!
Your new laptop comes with it’s original box, all of it’s documentation, all of it’s original accessories, and the blue tooth mouse.
Laptop Details: (screen size, RAM, HD space, blah blah blah) Free shipping, yadda yadda yadda
Days went by with no sign of interest, when I received this email from an interested eBay member…
Hello I am very interested in your unit.
I would like to know your best price to buy it now and if you ship international. I am in London UK right now.
I would also want to know the condition of the unit. Please let me know I am very interested. Thank you in advance.
To view the item, go to: link redacted
Thank you, msalamon
Ok, I went over all of this in the auction. Assuming he doesn’t know how to read, I respond:
Well, I will ship it to you in London, but I will not do it for free. I’m sorry, but that is too much out of my own pocket. Please give me you address and I will go get a price for the shipping to London. As for the condition, it is pristine. I’ve only had it for 21 days now, only being used at my office. (although I’ve stopped using it now) If you would like, I can take more close up, high resolution pictures. The buy it now price is $2,100 (US currency) + the shipping to London. Please let me know if you are interested!
Thank you! Jeff
Seems like a smooth sale so far, right? Then I get this:
Hello, I’m very very interested for this item and I’m ready to pay you the best price $2100+ overnight or 2 days shipping charges (UPS DHL FEDEX OR FEDEX OR PARCEL FORCE) if we will use an escrow service to handle this transaction. As for the escrow service , I am already registered with http://www.set-ltd.netand my uzername is the same with my email address. I will pay the express shipping and also , the escrow fee . The escrow service will release you the money as soon as I will let them know that the item passed the inspection and is 100% ok. The escrow fee is on my charge , don’t worry. Please let me know if my offer is good enough for you . If it does , I will initiate the transaction with the escrow service as soon as I will have your confirmation. If is ok please register in order to make the deal and start the payment procedures. Hope that everything will be ok and close the deal in the best conditions. Kind regards
OK. I watch King 5 News. I’ve seen this on CNN. Welcome to your textbook eBay scam.
At first, I was just going to reply with a 72pt font, FUCK OFF, or perhaps a disgusting picture, but I decided to see what the upstanding members of the forums thought. And of course, right away, it’s all picked apart…
Almost right away, forum user, posted this:
After forum user discovers the site is registered to:
Domain Name: set-ltd.net Creation Date: 2004-04-16 Registration Date: 2004-04-16 Expiry Date: 2005-04-16 Organisation Name: Saral Surakul 851 Foxcrest Court Terre, 47803 US
Almost right away forum user discovers Saral is a college professor!
Forum user wrote:
Could it be this Saral Surakul? http://www.indstate.edu/f … rakul.html Indiana State university is in Terra Haute.
Of course we all dig up a bunch of this information on this guy, and his office contact information. I draft an email to send him with all of the info we dug up, when we get a better idea. Why don’t we string him along? Lets see how far I can take it. . .
Jeff, seller, wrote:
Well that sounds ok to me! I was able to log onto your internet web site. (Which I must say looks very nice to me!) I just had a few questions. . . What should I use for a user name and password? I like to use the same thing for everything. Ebay, paypal, email. . . is that ok? In your FAQ, I noticed that you can use the set-ltd.net services, and it does not have to be an online purchase. But if its not online, how do they get to your website?
Thank you! Jeff
While we wait for our response, I post his email address and we go to town on his eBay account. Almost everything is in German, and the feedback isn’t that bad. Translators come in to help with some of his feedback entries, but pretty much prove useless.
Our next email is pretty short and sweet:
Please retry to enter http://www.set-ltd.net and let me know your user name there. OK. Thank you.
So, I register on the site, and let him know:
From: MyNameIsJeff email@example.com. Sent: Saturday, April 24 To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ Subject: What is the next step?
I have just finished creating my account on the escrow site that you suggested. My escrow username is MyNameIsJeffHarris. Before we continue, I wanted to ask; do you know if this site had a strong digital defense. I read that escrow services who do not utilize a strong digital defense can often be attacked, and the buyer and or seller can lose money or their item. I really don’t want this to happen! I’m sure you don’t either!
I don’t mean to ask so many questions; as you can see, I am new at ebay. By doing it this way, will I get to skip the extra ebay fees? That would be really great. I don’t want to pay them extra money. What is the next step? I have never really used escrow.
Thank you! Jeff
Here is where our friend gets excited…
From: Gianluca email@example.com. Sent: Sunday, April 25 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: What is the next step? HELLO First of all I want ot tell you that you will not pay anything because I pay the escrow, UPS and other fees. Ok? I started the transaction with the nr. 6813088950. Now please enter www.set-ltd.net, acces your account with the uzername that you have and if the transaction is Ok with you please accept it. Ok? Once you do that I will send the funds =2100$ plus shipping $180. Ok? Please send the unit express UPS or Fedex. I will send them money and they will let you know as soon as they get the amount. Then you can send the unit at my address. Ok? Do not worry I know a lot of people that used this service and it is OK. Please let me know. THANKS
After encouraging everyone to create more transfers, I sent this:
Hello sir! Please let me thank you again for being so patient with me! It is too bad we are settling outside of ebay, because I was going to leave you “EXCELENT EBAYER!!!!!11 A++++++++== WOULD SELL TO ANYTIME” I guess it is ok though becaue I would have to give them an extra $300 when the auction was over. I logged onto your preferred escrow site and saw our transaction. I did not see any place to accept it though! Did I just not see it? Sorry I am new at this. Where do I go to say OK? Where on the site does it say where to ship it to! I am very eager to get this thing shipped so I can hurry up and start the process to get my money! Once I ok our transaction does it tell me where to ship the laptop? I am very positive you will be satisfied with the laptop. One other thing, You seemed to confident about this escrow service, that I think I am going to use it myself for my other transactions. Is that ok? I will be buying and selling other laptops and would like the security. I will be buying many things and will need a escrow service with a strong digital defense to send my money to so I don’t get ripped off. Thanks again! Jeff
Here are some more details of my new escrow transactions:
Seller username: mynameisjeffharri Buyer username: Mayor Wilkins shipping with Captain Eddie’s cargo ship Who pays fee: Buyer Who pays shipping: Buyer Inspection period: 7 Item price: 34500 USD Quantity: 17250 Escrow fee: 0 from 7141500 USD Shipping cost: 1200 Total cost to Seller: 0 Total cost to Buyer: 602267700 Description: A lot of bear kidneys from various bears, including (but not limited to) polar, grizzly, brown, Yogi, black, panda, and Care
A lot of these were listed, and pretty funny, but we decided to stop with them, because we didn’t want our little scammer to grow wise.While waiting for his response, I decided, that because it was my original sale, I would report the account to eBay. I went through all the hoops, filled out all the forms.
To sum it up, I let them know what we discovered, and asked them to take some action. This is what I get:
Hello, Thank you for writing to eBay’s Customer Support with your concerns. My name is John and I appreciate the chance to answer your question. I’m happy to assist you further. An Escrow service allows the buyer to send their money to the Escrow Company, and the Seller then ships the item to the Buyer. Once the Buyer approves the item the Escrow service then pays the Seller. eBay recommends escrow for transactions over $500.00. The Escrow service affiliated with eBay is called http://www.Escrow.com. eBay encourages members to take advantage of the assurance that escrow services can provide. For more information on escrow, please see the following eBay page: http://pages.ebay.com/hel … scrow.html I wish you the best with your future transactions. Regards, John W. S. eBay Customer Support
Well thank you john! My cup runneth over!Let’s see. Someone is reporting an obvious scam and fake escrow site. Obviously he has no idea what escrow is. Better school him!
This pissed me off. Can this be eBay’s response to other scams? Perhaps my follow-up e-mail was a little too angry:
Hi John, Not to be rude, but I know quite well what escrow is. I also happen to know that this is an obvious scam attempt. Had you actually read the form I filled out on your site, and not replied with the canned response: Escrow 101, you would notice that I did not ask what escrow was. I was reporting someone wants to settle the sale outside of ebay, through an escrow site he referred me to. A site that claims to be a VeriSign secure site, but then you click the logo, he is hosting the VeriSign page -the page that should take you to the verisign site. This is a text book rip off. This can’t be your answer to everyone who reports these types of things can it? I really think you should take some action against this person. Jeff
It isn’t long before we have a new e-mail from the scammer:
From: Gianluca firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Monday, April 26 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: Ready to ship laptop OK I talk with escrow services and now is ok he have a litle problem with website. The money is sent express to escrow. Please email me when you will receive the confirmation.
And when he says express, he means express! Hours later I get my confirmation!
Fake Escrow Site Writes:
From: Set-Ltd Customer Service Sent: Monday, April 26 To: email@example.com Subject: Payment received for transaction #6813088950
Dear customer, Your partner “scont06” has completed the payment for transaction ID 6813088950 Item name: PowerBook G4 Item price:2100.00 USD Shipping cost: 180.00 USD Quantity: 1 Inspection period: 1 day Escrow fee: 25.20 USD Total cost to buyer:2305.20 USD
Your action is required now. The next step of the transaction is to ship the merchandise to the buyer. Please send the shipping details to your partner “scont06”.
As soon as your partner receives the merchandise and the inspection period ends we will contact you to complete payment.
Billing Support Team www.set-ltd.net
But wait? What is also sitting in my inbox right next to this?
From: Gianluca firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 3:44 PM To: MyNameIsJeff
Subject: I’m waiting the track#
Hello I receive the confirmation from escrow services about the money is received. Please send it as we agreed: fedex ups or dhl tnt express and please put a small value on the package so I will pay less taxes. Here the duty taxes are 27,5% from the total amount wrote on the package so please do your best and send it as a family gift and with a low value. This is my address: GIANLUCA SESSAREGO 9B VARLEY PARADE COLINDALE,LONDON,UK zip code: NW9 6RR Please email me when you will send the package and give me the tracking number. Regards
And now we have his address. Everyone had a lot of ideas on how to mess with this guy.
Forum user writes:
Holy shit!! The next course of action is WICKED obvious, he even said it himself: “Here the duty taxes are 27,5% from the total amount wrote on the package.” Put like $8000 on the package and make the fucker pay $2200 for it.
This was perfect! Obviously, $8000 was high, but marking it $2200 and having him pay the 27% is genius. I wanted to send him something, but couldn’t think of anything. It had to be something worth paying for, and worth the effort. But what?
Forum user writes:
Send a three ring binder with a hand drawn keyboard taped to the inside of the bottom flap, and a hand drawn screen taped to the inside of the top flap. Crayon preferred.
YES! This was perfect! Trick the scammer into paying a few hundred dollars for a fake laptop! Genius! But I wanted to take it a step further. While I thought about it, I sent another email, and posted my plan [sic: to the forums]
Jeff writes to the scammer:
Well, it looks like I am ready to ship! I got my email from the escrow site too. I also have your email with your address so I will be sending your laptop today or the next day.
I told my friend about you and she said that she would like to sell you more if you are interested! Would you like to buy more of the ultra powerful G4 powerbooks? She has them at her work to sell because people only know how to use them for AOL Instant Messenger and flash versions of Asteroid. So please respond as soon as you can. I would like to tell her that you would like to purchase more laptops. You seem pretty cool and trust worthy. So let me know fast. If you want more, send the money to the escrow and let me know.
Once I get the email and know that everything is set up I will then send them all at the same time. I save money on shipping this way! Thanks again for all your help with this sale. I only wish I could leave you feedback on ebay because I wanted to leave EXCELENT SELLAR A+++ W@W LQQK OMGBBQ or something like that. I think feedback is so cool! I like to come up with new and exciting ways to leave it! I was thinking. Since you basically helped me save $250 from ebay fees, I wanted to share some of that with you. So go ahead and tell the Digitally Defended Escrow site that I want to refund you $100 for helping me. They can do that right? That is my gift to you.
I eagerly await your response!!!!! Jeff
Even if he says he wants more and has sent the money for them, all I will say is I am sending the one first. Then the others.
Yes, I want to mail him something. I don’t really have any laptop to smash up. So I will construct one.
Crayons, 3 ring binder, glitter, failed cd burns, which I will label as various programs. I will glue keys from broken keyboards. Or should I just draw them?
A print out of this story will be included.
The package will be valued at $2100 and will weigh the same as a real G4.
The P-P-P-PowerBook was a huge success. Here are a few comments:
Not long after I finished my PowerBook, I received an email from eBay regarding the account our scammer used to contact me:
Thank you for writing with your concern. The recent bids placed with this account were the result of an unauthorized account takeover. Unfortunately, we were not aware of this activity until some time after the bids were placed. Once we became aware of this activity, immediate action was taken. We are now in the process of restoring the account to its owner. I have reported the escrow site to the appropriate department to have it looked at. Since the account holder did not initiate this sale, you may consider the transaction null and void if you have not already shipped the item. We are concerned about violations on the site and have taken the liberty of investigating this member’s account. Please be assured that we have taken appropriate action in accordance with our site policies. As you may know, we are unable to provide specific information regarding the result of our investigation to third party members. Please understand that this is for the protection of all eBay users. However, we can tell you that our records indicate that the user you are reporting is currently not a registered eBay user. I appreciate your interest in the well being of our site. It is assuring to know that we have members who are concerned about the safety of our other users. I encourage you to continue to report all questionable behavior to eBay. This will give us the chance to look into the situation and take action where warranted. Thanks again for writing, and thank you for being part of the eBay community. Regards, Cyan Fraud Prevention Group
Well, that explains the mystery of the strange German account! I Just add the hacked account to the list of evidence.
Deviating from his usual e-mail schedule, our scammer responds:
From: Gianluca email@example.com. Sent: Tuesday, April 27 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: One question before I ship!
OK What configuration have the apple? Please send me today the package becouse I need soon. Please email me the track number.
It seems he is so excited his scam is going to work, he can’t even type correctly! The next step was to send it. As much as I wanted to send this, I couldn’t afford to do it on my own. Here is my post where I posted the shipping costs and asked for donations. (image missing) The donations came flooding in. Shortly after this post, I went home from work to find my power was off. After a couple hours in the dark, I logged on to find just over $100 in donations! I couldn’t believe it! Thanks to all of you who donated! (image of those who donated was here, but image is missing) It wasn’t long before I received another e-mail from our scammer who was growing more and more impatient:
From: Gianluca firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Tuesday, April 27 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: One question before I ship!
Please email me with all infoo soon
Someone is getting a little pushy! I replied with this:
Hello! I am sorry for the delay! I was not able to send your new G4 Powerbook to you yesterday! But I am able to send it today! I am going to be taking it down the the united states post office to fedex it to you. I am told it will take 2-3 days. I apologize, but that is the fastest I can send! I will send another email with your tracking number when I get back!!! Chao! Jeff
Off to the post office I went. I have to admit that this is where I started to get very nervous. Would he look me up through the return address? Would customs come bring the smackdown for the over-pricing? What if? What if? What if? I managed to choke down my fear, though I’m sure I looked very nervous. As I filled out the form, I could feel my face turning red and my body temperature rising. When the lady at the counter asked me the value of the package, I replied, “Um, $2000 will do.” (I was trying to hold it, but I was smiling from ear to ear.)
She looked at me, confused. “You know they will have to pay a lot for tax on customs.”
My smile grew even wider. “I know.”
Roadblock: It turns out, when you send something to London from the U.S. through FedEx, they want a phone number.
No big deal. I said I would go email him, and call them to ship it off.
From: MyNameIsJeff email@example.com. Sent: Wednesday, April 28 To: ‘Gianluca’ Subject: Problem with shipping
Hello, I took the package to the post office, but FedEx requires a phone number for the recipient if the package is being sent internationally. As soon as you reply with that I will call them and tell them so they can send it. Thanks! Jeff
I began to wonder at this point. Obviously this guy wasn’t going to give me a legitimate number.
I got my receipt and they told me it would send after I called with his phone number.
For those who can’t make it out, the tracking number is 846563452310. Again, it’s not going anywhere until I get a phone number. It too way too long to find an angle where that shit all showed up! In the mean time, a forum member named (redacted) makes history. He becomes our first undercover agent in London, and makes the first recon mission to the scammers address.
Before he could get home, I received another e-mail from the scammer:
From: Gianluca firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Wednesday, April 28 To: MyNameIsJeffSubject: Re: Problem with shipping OK no problem, this is my phone number 00447940667511. Please email me soon.Please send the package gift or small value and send EXPRESS SHIPPING. Regards
I immediately called and had it sent. Once I posted the number, I think everyone on the site called.
And of course, it was a false number. Just in case, I later removed it from the post, in case he somehow noticed the hundreds of calls.
We didn’t want to scare him off now do we?
Once I had his number, I sent his tracking number:
Here is your tracking number. 846563452310. The package ID is 17913. The lady at the post office said that FedEx comes at 4:00pm to take shipments. So in about 2 hours it will be scanned in the fedex thing I guess and you can start tracking it. I shipped it express, so it should be there in 2 to 3 days. Also, the post office lady asked what it was, and I didn’t want to lie, so I said laptop computer. When she said how much it is worth, I said, it is a family gift, but she said I couldn’t do that. She said I had to tell her how much I paid for it. I don’t want to get in trouble for mail fraud, or evading taxes or anything so I told her $2000. I am sorry if that means you have to pay more. Since I screwed up, I will share the cost with you. Please let me know how much it was, and just have the escrow service refund you half of the amount. Can they do that? If not I will gladly send you how ever much you spent on it. You can even have the escrow hold my payment until I send you money for what you pay. I hope this doesn’t make you want to cancel. As I’m sure you noticed, no one ever bid on it and it didn’t sell. I really need the money, so I am willing to work with you how ever to complete the transaction. Thank you my friend! Jeff
As soon as Pipski got back from the drop site. He posted the details of his finding. This gave us all a really good idea of the shop:
OK, so, the shop itself. Two barber chairs, four or five very cramped terminals downstairs and, I think, some upstairs too. Big window, easy visibility inside from without. Under the window (on the outside) is a mailbox for ‘9B’ but there is no way on Earth our man is going to get a laptop-sized package in it. Were I the delivery guy I would take one look at that and then go into the shop and ask. Oh, the shop also sells toy guns for some inadequately explored reason. The owner, or at least the guy in charge while I was there, is a black guy in his mid-20s (estimate). Credit where it’s due, the haircut he gave me was of a pretty good standard (not a bad barnet, for Barnet). Not the sharpest knife in the box and he has some odd ideas relating to the police. I am a notoriously bad judge of character but I have my doubts that this is our man. He doesn’t strike me as a scammer, for all his other faults. That isn’t to say that I couldn’t well imagine him taking a cut (no pun intended), but I don’t think he’s the real culprit. No-one else turned up there for a haircut. When I arrived (and when I left) a big black guy (who looks just like the cook who has a heart attack in Crimson Tide) was listening to banging choons on one of the PCs and a pasty, ginger sort was on one of the others. While I was there a rather skanky looking Kappa-slapper came down from upstairs – she was clearly a regular btw, a bunch of schoolkids arrived and went straight upstairs – also well known to the owner. In fact, now I come to think about it, everyone there but me seemed to be a regular. Oh, and a dude in a red t-shirt (photo’d – badly) also came d’stairs and left the place. The street itself is – well, it’s the Edgeware Rd. Rub-a-tug shops, takeaways, pool halls, minicab firms and dodgy boozers. There is a Wetherspoons pub right next door to the shop. The scenario that presents itself as plausible – although it is arguably pointless to try and predict these things – is that UPS man (or whomever) will end up going into the barbernet cafe, with his delivery. If I was our scamboy, I would make a point of heading for the place – assuming I didn’t own it – when tracking suggests delivery is imminent. That would be ideal for our purposes because a goon watching the front, one watching the back and one inside, all with mobile ‘phones, could pretty much sow that location up.
Pipski also posted his photos. A little blurry, but excellent work none the less.
There are some movies, but I’ve been unable to locate them.
While we waited for our ringer to be delivered, we had to keep busy. So we started to look at the internet headers of his e-mails.
Return-path: Envelope-to: email@example.com Delivery-date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:32:01 -0400 Received: from [18.104.22.168] (helo=web41411.mail.yahoo.com) by h-2.properhosting.com with smtp (Exim 4.24; FreeBSD 4.8) id 1BIweu-000CLR-WC for firstname.lastname@example.org; Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:32:01 -0400 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Received: from [22.214.171.124] by web41411.mail.yahoo.com via HTTP; Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:31:58 PDT Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:31:58 -0700 (PDT) From: Gianluca Subject: RE: Problem with shipping To: MyNameIsJeff In-Reply-To: <001001c42d64$3186e4c0$70c9a8c0@STEALTHBOOK> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”0-770428758-1083187918=:17958″
12 90 ms 121 ms 90 ms ge-2-1.hsa4.sanjose1.level3.net [126.96.36.199] 13 30 ms 40 ms 31 ms so-2-1-0.bbr2.sanjose1.level3.net [188.8.131.52] 14 90 ms 100 ms 101 ms so-0-1-0.bbr1.newyork1.level3.net [184.108.40.206] 15 160 ms 171 ms 160 ms as-0-0.mp2.london1.level3.net [220.127.116.11] 16 * 180 ms 180 ms so-2-0-0.mp1.frankfurt1.level3.net [18.104.22.168] 17 180 ms 170 ms 180 ms so-10-0.hsa2.frankfurt1.level3.net [22.214.171.124] 18 170 ms 171 ms 170 ms fra2-cr2-p6-1.rdsnet.ro [126.96.36.199] 19 200 ms 201 ms 190 ms buh1-gsr1-p6-1.rdsnet.ro [188.8.131.52] 20 190 ms 201 ms 190 ms buh1-htb-ge0.rdsnet.ro [184.108.40.206] 21 370 ms 311 ms 280 ms buh1-cr1-vlan4.rdsnet.ro [220.127.116.11]
E-mails wewre sent from a hijacked connection/proxy in Romania: http://dnsstuff.com/tools/whois.ch?ip=18.104.22.168
We noticed, as soon as he had confirmation, that obviously trustworthy escrow site went down. But not before Sejanus archived it. While we sat and waited for the delivery of the P-P-P-PowerBook, we all just posted different ideas and other funny things that would be funny to do. Nothing was really relative to this. The time was ticking, and we were getting closer and closer to our delivery. At this point, Starbucks and Rhig joined the stealth recon with Pipski. They were going to be at the shop during the time of the original delivery. Starbucks took his USB key with several tools to gather even more intel. As soon as they all posted to let us know when they were going, and their plans, we had a problem:
April 30, 2004 3:19 am
Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay
Not knowing what this means at the time, I began to panic. Not posted is a picture of MyNameIsJeff breathing into a paper bag. Not posted for privacy reasons, since this post is so old. With our operatives already on the way, we had to just hope that it changed fast, and got delivered while they were there. Starbucks was our first man to post from the shop:
It was not long before Starbucks saw a FedEx truck and posted this:
Basically, everyone in the thread went fucking ballisitic. We had all thought that FedEx had sent it out for delivery and just didn’t update the site.
After we thought it arrived, our men left. Before Starbucks left, he set the screen savers on the computers upstairs to scroll “P-P-P-POWERBOOK!”
As I was unsure, and grew impatient, another email was sent.
Hello! Today is the 3rd day so you should be getting your new laptop! I saw on the FedEx site and it is delayed! Does that mean it is still waiting to be delivered? I don’t know what time it is there, but I hope it gets there today. Or did you get it and FedEx just didn’t update their web page? Did you pay for the taxes? How much did you end up paying? I am sorry again for that. I didn’t mean to cost you extra money. But like I said in my other email, we can work it out. How long will the ‘ok’ process take? I am eager to receive payment! Thank you! Jeff
The thread grew very fast with posts of everyone’s excitement and praise of it finally being delivered. But as it turns out, it had not been delivered. Cue despair and sense of let down. Oh well, the mission was not a total failure. Gizmo_Gun did an awesome thing by calling and seeing what was up.
Thanks for doing that. My dear wife.
So it came down to, FedEx could not deliver it. Because the number they are trying to call him on is fake.
They can’t have him pay the taxes if they can’t find him, right?
At this point, we sat down, and so began, the many days of Regulatory Agency CLearance Delay. For about 7 days, right about the same time in the morning, the FedEx tracking page was updated with Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay. With no emails from the scammer, we thought it was over. Our ringer was to sit in the purgatory of FedEx customs forever.
Sometime around this point my title was even changed to Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay.
With this information in mind, a new e-mail was in order:
From: MyNameIsJeff firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Tuesday, May 04 To: ‘email@example.com’ Subject: Package cannot be delivered! Hello! I received a call from FedEx saying that they are unable to get a hold of you to deliver the package. I really need payment for my laptop, so the sooner you get it and approve of it, the sooner the escrow can release my money to me. They said that they will have to charge me to hold it if they cannot deliver it. If that is the case, I will just pay to have it sent back. Do you have another phone number? I was going to try to look you up by address maybe, but I don’t think that will work, so I thought I’d ask you first! Please respond as soon as you can! I am very eager to complete the transaction! Thank you! Jeff
I had hoped this would do it. And it did. The next day he replied:
From: Gianluca firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Wednesday, May 05 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: Package cannot be delivered! Hello I call to fedex and he tell me tomorow or of friday will send me the package to my address. The money is ready in my hand to pay the taxes. What insurance do you put for this? I will email you when I will pick up the laptop. Thank you and sorry for this incovenience. Gianluca
There were lots of posts from a lot of excited people. The thread had come back to life.
Not too long after our last email, I received this:
From: Gianluca email@example.com. Sent:: Thursday, May 06 To: MyNameIsJeff Subject: Re: Package cannot be delivered! Dear sir, Today I have made the payment for the duty taxes. I went personal to Fedex and made the payment. Everything now is ok and they told me that they will deliver it to me tomorrow or latest at 10 o’clock in the morning on Monday.Sorry for this delay but Fedex told me that this is the best they can do.Anyway they will deliver it till Monday aftrenoon and will be fine. Next week we can finalize the deal. Thank you for your patience and hope to be ok now.
FedEX tracking page is updated again on the 10th, about 4 am with…? Yes, you guessed it. Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay.
May 10 6:10 pm Package status STANSTED GB Released for Delivery 6:10 pm Package status STANSTED GB Package available for clearance
IT WAS PAID FOR! HAHAHAHAHA! The scammer paid $550 for our P-P-P-PowerBook! And then as fast as it was released. It was delivered. Rhig was there and was able to get even more pictures which are on the site (pictures missing)
Eager to hear from our scammer, I drafted an e-mail and sent it. When I returned to to the thread to post it, the thread was closed!
I think I had a fucking heart attack. But OMGWTFBBQ re-opened it, because we are not finished yet.
From: MyNameIsJeff firstname.lastname@example.org. Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 9:56 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Ready to complete transaction Hello friend! It sure took a long time, but it got there! I was worried for a while! I thought I had lost my powerbook for good in some kind of scam. I wish I didn’t pay for such fast shipping, now that I see how long FedEx takes. Please let me know when you are done checking everything and making sure it works. I packed it pretty well. I hope shipping didn’t bang it up. You will see I included some extra books. I didn’t really need them now that I got rid of the powerbook. Anyways, I still cannot log onto the escrow site. Will payment still be sent even though they are having connection problems? I realized I never gave my address or any bank account information for payment. If I were to give that to you, would you be able to get it to them so they can send the payment? That would be great. I need this money to pay my rent. I am curious … What did you end up paying for the taxes? I wanted to know because I still want to refund some of the money to you. Thanks! Jeff
I haven’t heard from the scammer since he paid for it. And if he’s reading this. I win you f*cker!