Internet fraud, up close and personal

Alicia and I are in the market for a Sony PD170 kit, so I did a little lookie-loo over on eBay and found this too good to be true deal. So I began email correspondence with one Jake Roper in Greece. He suggested we use a 3rd party for the transaction and recommended eBay partner, Square Trade. An hour or so later, I received this email.

It’s a nice email and certainly looks legit. However, as I’ve written before, the message headers had been altered, so I knew it was bogus — meaning it didn’t come from Square Trade. Moreover, it you examine the html, you’ll notice that the author linked to tiny spacing graphics from If this was actually an html email from Square Trade, they would have called for such graphics from their own server. I called Square Trade, and they said the tip-off is that the seller wanted to do the deal outside eBay’s payment system. When the email said Western Union, that was an automatic red flag.

So I notified eBay and sent a little note to Jake. It said simply:

“You, sir, are a fraud. Shame on you.”

Whereupon he wrote back:

“So Terry, this is the big new thing you can come up with?

You can say you just don’t want to close the deal in my terms not say that..

Good bye!”

Goodbye, indeed! The really sad thing here is that this could easily have snared someone less Internet savvy than yours truly. I should also note that $6,000 worth of gear for $2,500 should’ve been my first clue. *sigh*


  1. Matt C. Wilson says

    Man, two thwarted internet liars in one week! You’re on a roll Terry.

    Someone may want to contact Ms. Jo Ann Laird of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Seems she’s responsible for Although, since the domain was only registered on August 24, I suppose she hasn’t had time to get the site up.

    Seriously though, Terry — I trust you contacted the eBay fraud department. Scum like these guys deserve what they get.

  2. Shame on you, for not getting a Canon…

    But seriously, never send money via Western Union, is that the rule?

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