My other half just won an auction on the yahoo.com.tw bidding site yesterday (Taiwan’s most popular auction site). The winning bid was NT$5,100 and we met the seller last night. Everything was kosher, the goods were as described and we agreed a delivery date plus payment on delivery. It was only when she checked her email this morning that she discovered this:
這項商品，因為個人因素在兩天後即將出國去，短時間不會回國。我希望可以在出國前完成交易，因要出國啦所以沒時間面交。如果可以接受先付款後寄貨者一律免運費，請您在 明天早上10點 前完成匯款， 這樣我可以給你一個優惠價， 金額為: 4600 。
如果超過優惠時間才收到 mail接受此交易方式者請速將此信內容回傳至這個信箱 告知益免物品被轉賣出去。
☆郵 遞 區 號：
☆寄 件 地 址：
☆聯 絡 電 話：
☆轉 帳 金 額：
☆轉 帳 時 間：
本人在YAHOO賣場信用量好，請不用擔心收不到貨的問題， 物品收到有問題請在3天內依寄貨單上連絡電話提出，我會立即使用網路ATM退款處理，預祝我們有個愉快的交易謝謝 !^^!
I can’t be bothered to translate all of this, but the cheek of what is contained within is quite eye-opening (to mix my biological metaphors). First, it states that the seller is moving abroad and so therefore wishes to close the deal quickly. To this end, the seller is willing to offer a discount (NT$500) plus free delivery, provided that we deposit NT$4,600 in their account before 10am today (damn, already missed the deadline!). It then goes on to warn us not to contact Yahoo directly, as this is an under-the-table offer :shh: which contravenes their policy (!). The next piece of advice is “not to worry if you get no response from his Yahoo Sellers account” (he’s moving house, give the guy a break!) and that if there is a problem he will refund the money instantly. Due to the amount of personal information he is asking us to volunteer, I can only presume this is a phishing scam as well as a cash scam. Oh, and the kicker - it closes by saying that if you do not accept the terms offered within, the seller will sell to another party (also contrary to Yahoo Auctions rules).
Yahoo Taiwan seems to enforce using your Yahoo email address as your username in the auction site. This is phenomenally daft - it allows any spammers and scamsters access to your email address. OK, so you use one designed as a spam receptacle, but obviously you’re also going to get legitimate communication from Yahoo and the seller in this account too. The fact that they do not allow you to choose a username effectively means that your email address is on display to all and sundry, inviting scams like this. :loco:
Anyway, this post serves a dual purpose - firstly to warn people who use the service to be alert for this kind of scam and secondly to ask what we should do next? We have informed Yahoo, but in the UK this would be a criminal matter and we would therefore inform the cops too. Is it worth doing that here? How much information can be discovered from the scammer’s bank account number (visible in the email above)?