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SCAMMER images

By Lisa Cirieco-Ohlman

I'm going to share a horrible experience I had on 10 July this year, in the hopes that it helps any of our readers to avoid this. This is the email I sent to my friends right after it happened:

I had such a trauma this afternoon. I had someone try to scam me. I have something on FB to sell (a closet, see top left in photo) through a FaceBook group I have not used before called Genève Petit Annonces. This person (Stephanie Dumont, see bottom left Messenger insert) contacted me to say they want it. They asked if they could pick up tomorrow so I said yes and gave all my home details and phone number and email.

They were in France and I didn't see all the 'red flags' until after the whole ordeal was over. They said they were using a courier service and that the money would be sent to be via them first and then they would also pick up the article. (I didn't give bank details fortunately.) So I said, "OK you can send me the money first" (right? sounds ok).

So I get 3 suspiciously written emails from servicedpdexpress28 @gmail.com asking me to pay for the insurance (suspicious... why would dpd have a gmail email address?). Stephanie told me that she would reimburse the insurance by adding it to the total so I wouldn't have to pay anything extra. Insurance would have been €100. I said that the emails were suspicious and they didn't look legit and I was calling off the transaction and didn't want to deal with her anymore.

She told me that she had already sent the money through and they wouldn't reimburse her and if I didn't click on the link in the email to pay the money that she would take me to court!

She sent a lot of nasty messages after that and I ignored her except telling her that I had called the real courier company that I found online. They had no record of anything as there was no reference number in the emails; nor address or client service number. There were spelling mistakes and it looked like this email had been forwarded many times (see photo on right).

I told her that I had reported her to www.internet-signalisation.gouv.fr

She said that if I don't pay by 10h the next day that she would move forward with sueing me. I know it is a scam and am ignoring it. When I returned to take a screen shot of the Messenger conversation, her messages all read: This message has been temporarily removed because the sender's account requires verification.

The whole thing doesn't add up and I realize that this Stephanie Dumont is a made up name and is probably a gang of cybercriminals that do this all day long. So sorry to any real Stephanie Dumont's that are having their identity stolen for this reason.

Of course... I can see how people would be scammed easily and bullied into this.

I sent this record of what happened to the Geneva Police Cybercrime by email with the subject entitled "dénoncer un escroquerie, transcripte et prises d'ecrans" and they called me 45 minutes later. They explained that this is a very common scam and a lot of people get bullied into it. They were glad I sent the photos, records, emails, etc. to them immediately and that I could lodge a complaint within the next 3 months. I told them I would leave it alone unless it continued... it has now been 3 months since it happened and I never heard a peep out of these scammers since.

Red Flags:

🚩 1) Why did she contact me by private message and not through the actual ad?

🚩 2) Why did she not want to give me her phone number or company number after several requests?

🚩 3) Email was aggressive and had spelling mistakes.

🚩 4) No-one should ask ME to pay for something.

🚩 5) The email had been forwarded as there were 4 vertical lines on the left side.

🚩 6) They sent 3 emails very quickly and the third one was asking why I hadn't yet responded to clicking the link for a code in the previous emails and I had to click on it in the next 25 minutes.

🚩 7) The company email was from @gmail.com and not the actual company’s website address.

🚩 8) There was no information about how to contact the company (no phone number nor address).

🚩 9) If she had paid, they would normally give her the right to take back... saying she would be fined! Ridiculous.

🚩 10) The last email is the scariest they took my profile photo off my fb page and one of police dragging people during a demo in Paris! Harassment and scamming. See right photo above.

Since this happened to me, I have heard of it happening to others... I hope you will be vigilant and stand up to these nasty people.