Got an online profile? Careful how you scam people

7 September 2009

Bitterwallet - Flickr logoIf a website doesn't offer you profiles, contacts and some means of arranging extra-marital affairs, it's not worth the photons that illuminate your screen. Of course, as wonderful as all this social interaction is, there are downsides; there's the temptation to post messages that should only be said in private and there's the ease of accidentally registering the same profile name you also use for shady scams that involve sending empty camera boxes to unsuspecting victims.

Bitterwallet reader Ben pointed us in the direction of a blog called A PayPal Scam; it tells the story of a guy who went looking to buy a second-hand camera. Reading through the posts, he's reasonably savvy; he's bought plenty of items from private sellers before and is aware of the scams. After figuring out how much he should be paying, he found a camera for sale online and arranged the deal, sending payment via PayPal.

Several days passed and no item arrived. The buyer then found this discussion on the Dyxum forums. The seller - username oldcodger - is also associated with another username - jabba1966 - and both names had been allegedly involved in scamming several buyers out of a camera that never existed.

A PayPal Scam goes one step further, and puts a possible face to the person responsible, after discovering the email address registered for PayPal matches a username on Flickr, and that the PayPal and Flickr real names also match up, as do the geographical locations of the two profiles. Instead of using multiple accounts to keep victims on their toes, the alleged conman seems to have done what we all do and registered similar details with every site they use. The blog also points to some serious past credentials by somebody of the same name.

As it stands, the individual on Flickr may be entirely innocent and the victim of identity theft; regardless, there's a small group of determined users in the Dyxum forums who are gunning for the person responsible for conning them - several have already registered complaints with Surrey Police.

TOPICS:   Scams

4 comments

  • RobC
    Easy to say after the fact but the (alleged) guy was posting a camera for sale with his second post on the forum , if you using Ebay or any forum , would you buy something off someone in that way ............er...no . If you are using Paypal though , it links to a confirmed bank account , this must be easily stoppable ..............even if we live in the UK , scam monkeys (alleged) should probably unable to hide behind the data protection act .
  • F888
    Now any scammers who read this now will know to change their usernames etc. well done
  • charitynjw
    Anyone want to buy a motor? - lovely condition, owned by a little old lady who only used it to go to church,,,,,,,,,,,cor blimey, she's left her bible on the back seat......................... anyone want to buy a bible?................................
  • charitynjw
    @ RobC (for information) Re Data protection Act 3rd party disclosure The Data Controller (bank, paypal or whoever) is obliged to comply with a subject access request (ie about yourself) which may identify a third party (ie someone else) without the third party's permission where it is reasonable in all the circumstances to do so. (Hope you're reading this, scammy scumbag!)

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