Photographers, beware of this online scam when selling your gear

Jan 26, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Photographers, beware of this online scam when selling your gear

Jan 26, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Along with online shopping getting more popular than ever, it seems that online scammers are also getting more widespread. Photographer Scott Kelby nearly had his $1,450 Canon EOS-R stolen due to an online scam. So, he shared his story as a cautionary tale to help you avoid these kinds of frauds.

The story begins when Scott listed his EOS R on eBay with the “Buy It Now” choice available. Within a few days, he has a buyer who paid in full. However, PayPal put a hold on the funds to protect the buyer. PayPal’s policy reads that when selling “high-risk items” such as consumer electronics, the seller’s funds will temporarily be on hold. So, there was nothing strange about this.

However, when the buyer messaged Scott, he said that the shipping address on his PayPal account was outdated. He said that he lived in Delaware now and asked Scott to ship the camera to his new address. Scott agreed, and almost printed the shipping label and sent the gear.

Thankfully, he got another message from the buyer about the PayPal funds that were on hold. Scott called Pay pal support to make sure it was ok to ship the gear, and they assured him that he was good to go. He was writing back and forth the buyer and asked: “That’s going to the Delaware address, right?” The response he got was unexpected: “What Delaware address? I live in Tennessee.” Wait, what?!

As it turned out, the person who wrote the first few messages was impersonating the real buyer. He saw his name on Scott’s Facebook page as he contacted him there, so he made a new eBay account with that name. If Scott had sent the camera, he would have lost $1,450, plus the actual buyer would get hosed. Luckily, it all ended well, and Scott noticed that the impersonator closed his account immediately after he told him that he was going to ship the camera.

So, first of all, do not ever ship anything you sell to an address that’s different from the one on your buyer’s account. This is an old trick scammers use, but it’s worth reminding ourselves never to fall for it. Also, if you’ve bought new gear, make sure to contact the seller privately, from your own account. Don’t write comments about the purchase on Facebook or anywhere where they can be seen publicly. I’m always surprised to see what people are capable of and how rotten they can be… But sadly, that’s reality, and we need to stay safe and cautious when buying and selling stuff over the internet.

[via Scott Kelby]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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5 responses to “Photographers, beware of this online scam when selling your gear”

  1. Camera operator Hong Kong Avatar
    Camera operator Hong Kong

    “do not ever ship anything you sell to an address that’s different from the one on your buyer’s account.”
    That’s the first red flag if you have such request. 100% no go

  2. JeffreyAble Avatar
    JeffreyAble

    with Covid, a lot of people are at different addresses these days – myself included – I had the above issue but it was more of an inconvenience than a scam

    1. Justin Case Avatar
      Justin Case

      You can easily add new/alternative addresses to your Paypal account, and if you’re buying on ebay, you almost certainly have one of those.

  3. JW Avatar
    JW

    Also, don’t “sign in with Facebook” anywhere except Facebook/IG/Whatsapp.

  4. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    Why on earth would you post the details of an eBay transaction on your Facebook page?