Consumer Fraud Reporting
Rev MiKe ToNy
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

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AV product:

eBay and Classified Ad Scams:
Scammers Posing as Buyers
picture frames

Scams and scammers using these names: Rev MiKe ToNy,, Africa
"And please do include GST to the price quote."

Are you looking to sell picture frames? Did "Rev MiKe ToNy" claiming to be from Africa contact you? Note that he says:

"And please do include GST to the price quote.". 

That's a clue to a scam right there!

Here are the clues that this is a scam:

  1. The buyer claims that he or she is not currently in your country.
  2. They want to pay by check or money order - or by credit card over the phone
  3. They want to include extra money in the payment
  4. The buyer wants you to send the extra money by Western Union to someone else.  Western Union wires and Moneygrams are not only untraceable, they're irretrievable.  Once the recipient picks them up (which can be done at ANY Western Union office in the world), the money is gone, gone, gone!
  5. The buyer is willing to buy the item sight unseen.
  6. Often, the writing is poor, also.  Often, is it not pathetically bad, it's just plain strange. It looks like it was written by someone who is not a native English-speaker, and writes very rarely in English. This is very typical of scammers, who largely are in Nigeria and have little formal education and probably none in English.

The single biggest clue is location: Africa.  To make a poor pun, why on god's green earth, would a "Rev" in Africa want to order picture frames from a business in America?  The shipping costs alone would be more than the cost of something similar available from a local source.  Africa is not as backwards (in this respect) as you think.  They have an ample supply and selection of picture frames there!

An actual email that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:

Any highlighted passages below are to draw your attention to typical scam clues:

Email 1 - from the victim:

After sending a quote by email he called me to complete the transaction. He wanted to order a quantity of 40 frames. He asked if it could be done as a rush job. He said he was at a conference in Georgia, but wanted to order these frames which his shipping company would pick up for delivery to his new church being built in Africa. I  told him that I Was unable to accept a credit card over the phone and suggested that he could send a check or money order. He insisted that he could only pay by MasterCard and eventually hung up on me because I would not accept it over the phone.

Email 2 - from the scammer:

Hello sir,

    Good morning,am Rev MiKe and i am writing to make an enquiry on picture frames,i would like to place an order on picture frames for my church,i would like to know if you can assit me on this,i would be very much happier if you could,the details of the frames that i need is below:

30 x 40 gold metal with backing and glass

i would like you to get back to me via my email and then let me know if you could get me this and then  quote a price for me and how soon you think you could get them in and ready for picl-up,and let me know your forms  of payment.And please do include GST to the price quote.Thank You Rev MiKe ToNy email :

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Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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