from an auction into fraud
Pop quiz: If you are on an auction site and you get an e-mail
from someone who offers to sell you the same item you were
just bidding on for less, do you take their offer?
If you said yes, you are Grade-A-prime scam
Why shouldn't you take the offer? Because of
Michael D. Hoffert of Florence, Ky.
Hoffert would contact people who were bidding
for items on auction sites. He claimed he had the same items,
but was willing to sell them at a lower price. The victims
wired cash to Hoffert or sent him money orders. In return,
Hoffert sent nothing.
Hoffert was arrested in November of 2003 --
but that doesn't mean there aren't many more like him who
are still getting away with it.
In a variation on this scam, auction losers
are sent an e-mail with a link that offers the same product
they were bidding on -- but at a better price. Once they visit
the site, they are asked to "register" by providing
their name, bank account information and passwords.
Then the victim "wins" the auction
and is told to send the payment to a (fake) escrow site. The
victim has now lost his cash and his identity has been stolen.
The United States Secret Service together
with the Romanian General Directorate for Combating Organized
Crime recently arrested a scammer in Alba, Romania, who used
this method to bilk online victims out of $500,000.
about more scams.