Amazingly, my #1 most popular post is still the eBay Motors/Western Union scam. And, sadly, people are still falling for it!
Here is an email I just received from Kathy.
I believe we have fallen for one of the scams you describe on your blog. Is there any recourse we may try to get our money back?My response:
If you sent the scammer money using Western Union/Moneygram, and they picked it up, then I am afraid you are basically screwed. You can file a report, however, you are unlikely to see a penny back. If they did not yet pick the money up, call WU right away and see if they can cancel the money order.
Take this as a very expensive, harsh lesson: never buy ANYTHING using non-reversible payments (e.g. Western Union money transfers).
We made the call to Western Union etc and the money was picked up. We are filing a report with the FBI and State Attorney General in case we have a chance of getting anything back. Painful lesson for our 21 year old son! Thank you for your response.
The sad truth is, Kathy's son is basically out of whatever money he sent, probably several thousand dollars. The FBI is unlikely to recover a penny.
Remember some ironclad rules of internet commerce:
- If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is
- NEVER pay ANYONE using non-traceable money transfers such as Western Union or Moneygram
- NEVER buy goods from ANYONE on Craigslist who isn't local to you.