UPDATE: Very fast action from the auction site who closed the fraudster account instantly. Well done!
Attempt fraud at online auction with passport pictures from my website. I always follow the collectors market closely and was astonished when I saw pictures of a rare German Ministerialpass at a online auction platform. I wrote once an article about this travel document and it changed hands in 2016 into a collection of a European collector. Randomly, I knew also the buyer who bought this document online. I told him it was once in my possession etc…
He then told me the seller asked to pay via Western Union Only then I looked closer to the case. The seller opened his online account just at the same day he listed the passport. The seller is located in Belgium, according his profile, but my fellow collector had Tunisian contact details.
Furthermore, the fraudster screenshot the pictures from my website and clipped out my copyright note. That was evidence enough. I recommended my fellow collector to stop Western Union, which he did, as luckily the fraudster didn’t withdraw the money yet.
Here some tips to spot possible fraudsters…
- New online account (always be careful, in combination with “attractive” offers)
- NEVER accept Western Union (money can’t be traced, no protection)
- Be careful when the registered address and the real address are in two different countries
- Take a close look on the pictures of the online offer
- Fraudsters usually deny to accept PayPal as they know the buyer is protected