This is a follow up post to my Important Scam Alert: Octavius Shotwell
Last week I posted the blog about Octavius Shotwell and have received overwhelming response from Twitter and google search. It seems as if I am not the only one who has come across this person while trying to sell something on Craigslist. I wanted to pass along some of the cover stories he has been telling me in hopes to stop the scams from happening.
The first email I got was from Bob Amy Afdahl email@example.com asking if my couches were still for sale. But the responding email was from Rose Mary firstname.lastname@example.org saying:
Thanks for the response on the item but my work schedule is keeping me too busy as i work as an air Hostess for Delta Airline.I would have loved to come in person,but due to the nature of my work. I won't be able to. I wish to let you know that I'm satisfied with the condition. Like I said there's no doubt I'm gonna purchase it. Therefore I want you to consider it sold by withdrawing the advert from Craigslist.org
Note: That you will not be responsible for shipping and handling. The shipment will be arrange by my private transporters and mechanic after you receive your payment. Kindly provide me your name and full address where item will be pick up, so i can forward it to the shipping company to calculate the cost of pick up and delivery to my address and also send me your paypal money request. do get back to me as soon as possible so i can make the payment via paypal. thanks...
The shipping and handling part is what caught my attention. It made me wonder where my couches were being shipped to, and why? Why not buy something local?
I was just about to make the payment when i had this little problem with the picking up. I got an email from my agent, He said he won't come and pick it up unless i pay him the agent commission fee first in order to be able to schedule a pick up time. So i have to ask you to help me with the pick up fees, i will include the $800 USD they charged to pick them up (1st class Service) to the payments i will send through PayPal. After i have made the payments and it has been confirmed by PayPal. I will need you to help me send the $800 USD to my pick up agent through Western Union Money Transfer.The western union money transfer can be made at a post office near to you and there is always a western union at www.westernunion.com.I will be making the payments shortly and will email you as soon as it has been done..
Name: Octavius Shotwell (what kind of shipping company name is that? This is actually the scammers name!)
Address: 1158 W. Taylor,
Country: United State.
Through this whole process, I wondered why I had to pay the shipping company. If you are able to pay me via paypal, you certainly are more then able to pay a shipping company through paypal. Thank goodness for google, besides the fact that everything seems a little fishy, google confirmed that this was in fact a scam!
I received another email from my craigslist post (this guy just doesn't quit) asking if the couches were still for sale from a Deane Peters email@example.com, but the responding email came from John Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org saying:
I wish to let you know that I'm satisfied with the condition. Like I said there's no doubt I'm gonna purchase it, Note that you will not be responsible for shipping and handling. The shipment will be arrange by my private transporters after you receive your payment. Kindly provide me your name and full address, so i can forward it to the shipping company to calculate the cost of pick up and delivery to my address thanks
Again, why not purchase somewhere local?
I received yet another email, this time from Laura Laine email@example.com, and the email was signed off Rose? The email went on to say something about being an offshore oil worker and he was unable to come look at the couches. My favorite part, "the phone lines are down right now so I can't call you, but I can check my email. I want to buy these for my son as a surprise," same line in the email as the last few, you will not be responsible for shipping and handling. I didn't even respond. I received another email from Giovanni Gonzalez firstname.lastname@example.org saying:
I will be buying this for the price you have listed it for Payment will be sent using PayPal and i will handle the PayPal surcharge as well.I will arrange with someone to have this picked up for your location once i have paid as i am out of town at the moment.In the meantime,can you send me more photos (if available)?
His story seems to be the same every time, conveniently out of town but wants to buy the product sight-unseen, using PayPal for paying, and always an agent or shipping company ("my people will handle the shipping").
If I could say just one thing to this guy it would be SPELL CHECK! After this experience, I got to thinking ... this guy went through a lot of effort to make up fake names and create many fake email addresses, why not use his emails for couponing :) hopefully that will teach him a lesson, maybe even sign him up for some newsletters and spam while I am at it.
Just to wrap things up here, if you are contacted buy a buyer who is not local and talks about shipping charges and asks you to pay for them, don't! And most importantly, it should never cost you money when you are selling something! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.