Friday, December 30, 2016

I have (almost) been scammed!

Yes, I have! And I survived to tell the tale...

The Baiting Stage

Like all scams, it began with greed. I posted an advertisement on Mudah to sell my used camera. The price I fixed was RM600, equivalent to USD133.75. It's amazing such a low price can attract scammers. I'm officially amazed.

Anyway, I received a WhatsApp message the next day, from a +234 number, a Nigerian country code. If you type "mudah nige" into Google search bar, these are the first things that come up.

Haven't even complete the word "nigerian", Google search bar tells it all.

The seemingly interested buyer, refer henceforth as "the Nigerian", told me he was from UK and wanted to buy the camera for his cousin in Sabah. He asked me to check the postage fee to Sabah, which I did. It was about RM16 via PosLaju.

Without much questions, the Nigerian asked for my banking details and immediately transferred RM1050 to my account. And all these, were confirmed by his bank, the First Direct Bank. The payable amount was only RM616 including postage, but he paid in excess of RM434. Now, this is the bait.

The Pre-Scamming Stage

According to the email from First Direct Bank, I needed to provide proof of postage before they would credit the money into my bank account, apparently to avoid money laundering.

First email from the bank. My bank account number is the number of times I died and reincarnated.

I was again amazed by how badly-written and unprofessional the email sounded, not the mention the grammatical errors. Can't I be impressed by a more skilled scammer? How can these scammers survive in such a challenging and harsh environment? How do they even compete with the better scammers?

So the Nigerian insisted that I post him the camera today, right away. Since I was bored, and have all the time in the world (don't ask why), so I played along.

Conversation with the Nigerian Part 1. The tracking number is a lottery number I trust will be announced this week.

He then asked for the PosLaju receipt, but of course I didn't have it. I just forged some Maybank2U online payment slip, took a picture and sent to him. It was a photo after all so I guess he couldn't tell that it was a fake. I even forged a PosLaju consignment note (don't ask how) and sent back to his First Direct Bank.

The Real Scam Stage 1

Now this was when the real thing came. He made a payment in excess of RM400! So, how? He asked me. F***ing call your bank and make changes, I suggested. But the problem was, the bank said no, apparently for security reasons. Wow, such customer service. And such high security.

Okay fine, I would refund the money after the transaction had been done successfully. Bank said no again, they needed to see the refund before they could credit my account. I repeatedly demanded reasoning behind this, as I wanted to see how clever they could get and what excuses they could come up with to get around with this. But the Nigerian guy kept saying it could not be done, I had to refund the money first etc. He just kept repeating the same thing, like a retard.

Conversation with the Nigerian Part 2. He wanted to delay my suspicion before the camera could reach him.

Conversation with the Nigerian Part 3. I made him believe that I will refund RM250 to him.

So I gave him what he wanted. I refunded the money to him. Of course I forged a Maybank2U online transfer slip again, which made me realized how easily it could be done. Something to note for future reference - be it a scam or anything at all.

The Real Scam Stage 2

So what happens when you successfully cheated someone of RM250? The answer is simple. The more the merrier!

Of course the amount RM1050 is too little to be transferred. Nobody transfer that kind of money okay. Of course you need a minimum of RM2000. What is anything below RM2000? The bank was very regret to inform me that the transaction had failed, because apparently their valued customer, the Nigerian, had never had a transfer less than MYR2000.00 with them!

Second email from the bank. Transaction had failed. 

Seriously... How can anyone fall for this? And that was not all. In order to be able to transfer the money, he had made an additional transfer of RM950 into my account, so now I had to refund him this very amount as well. It's so fun right! We love transferring money from one to another!

By that time I was bored beyond hope. These scammers, they are just not creative enough. I felt lazy to entertain the Nigerian anymore so blocked that +234 number on WhatsApp. He then sent another message from another number saying that I was trying to scam him. LOL. Nice try, Nigerian.

Well that was the end of the scam and yes I had a good laugh. I had two names and a RHB account number, which I thought belong to the scammer, or at least to someone linked to him. I had thought of filing a police report but then, this amateur scammer, why had he not been caught? His skills were stupid and he gave out bank account numbers. Those who got scammed (if any) surely had reported to the police. The only reason he was still out there, either because the PDRM didn't bother, or because he was some insider with PDRM or had linkage with them. If I were to report him, and I had played him that way, would he track me down and come for revenge?

Anyway, I figured I should still provide the information here, on my blog, for the sake of all mankind. Whether or not I file a report is another story. Without further ado, let me introduce the cast:
Mr. D***head Aizad Razi (it only appeared in emails hence it could be a fake name)
Mr. F***face Mohd Afzan Afiq, owner of RHB account 15211200049444