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GumTree – A scammer’s wet dream

htc-one-scam-gumtree

I’m writing this as I’ve recently been scammed out of 235 pounds.

I’m of course now going through that stage where I’m thinking I could have handled things better.

I basically looked on GumTree for a HTC One smart phone and came across a great deal. In fact, a deal so great, that it sounded like it was too good to be true. That is something that I’ll never make the same mistake on again. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably bloody well is.

What actually happened?

I sent an email to the person who listed the HTC One smart phone on GumTree and he responded to me fairly quickly. He asked for my mobile number so he could speak to me. I obliged and gave it to him. In no time he gave me a call and we discussed what would be happening. Apparently the guy I was dealing with is from Luton, so it’s quite a fair while away from where I live.

He seemed trustworthy as he actually wanted me to visit Luton to pick up the phone and make the transaction. I told him that Luton was quite far away and asked if he could send the smart phone to my address via post. He said okay, and said it would cost around 5 pounds. He then went on about how this was the first time that he had done something like this and that didn’t want to get scammed. (Heh!)

Note: the only reason I went through with this is because he originally wanted me to go to his house to pick the phone up and make the payment in cash.

I asked if he could send me some form of ID and he did via email. (I have his home address, ID card and bank details; if that means anything)

I then sent him the payment after he sent me a text with his bank details.

Payment sent and then he was supposedly off to the post office to post my newly purchased phone. I kept sending him texts and he said he had made it to the post office and sent it all off. He was likely just at the bank withdrawing all the money I had just deposited into his account. Contact ended at around 5:40pm. He didn’t answer my calls or texts anymore. At around 7:00pm, when I tried calling him it was just going straight through to his voicemail. I was trying to believe that he had simply run out of battery, but I knew I had ultimately been done.

It’s 11:44pm as I type this up now, and I still can’t get in contact with this guy and he’s not responding to anything I throw at him; not even his email.

I’ve been had. That’s all. I’ll never make a purchase like that again and if I do, I’ll use PayPal, as I’ll be able to take action much faster than you can with banks. If I can, I’ll try and do a chargeback, but that might not even work if he’s withdrawn the funds already.

Takeaways…

  • Ask to speak to them on their home phone. (SIM cards can be too easily obtained and thrown away)
  • If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably god damn well is.
  • Ask for more than ID. Ask for a picture of a utility bill, or more than one form of ID with address on it.
  • Pay via PayPal. Direct bank transfer payments are not as protected as PayPal payments. Especially if you’re purchasing goods that are actually tangible.
  • Don’t be a moron like me.
  • Use Ebay. Ebay has tracking setup so that you’re protected if you don’t receive your goods, plus PayPal is quite secure.  (Probably something I should have told this asshole, or no deal)

2 Comments

  1. Just FYI, Ebay owns Paypal.

    I’m sorry you got scammed.

    • Whoops. You’re right. I’ve updated this post.

      Also: Lesson learned.

      Won’t be using GumTree again for purchases like this. 🙁

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