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“I think I have been scammed!” Woman selling computer targeted in Paypal scam

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Cameras, tablets, phones and laptops — for a price you can buy almost anything online and that includes a scam.

Lauren Seaman decided to sell her MacBook for $800 on Craigslist to get some extra cash.

"I got a call from a random guy — he could barely speak English — telling me he was going to give me $950 for it," Seaman said.

She was thrilled.

He explained she would need to open a Paypal account because he lived out of the country and sent her a link to show her how to do it.

"I went on PayPal it said. I didn't even think to call Customer Service or anything.  So, I went on there and it said plus $950," explained Seaman.

Seaman prepared the package to send to Nigeria and headed to the post office where the clerk questioned its destination.

"The guy said, 'You're sending this to Nigeria?" Seaman said.

Seaman said 'yes' and then left with a sinking feeling.

"Something is not right here. That guy didn't have to say this. Just the tone of his voice — the attitude he was giving me," Seaman recalled.

When she got home, Seaman called Paypal and was told there was no money in her account. Seaman went back to the post office and told her story.

"I think I have been scammed…They were able to stop the package from going out of the country," Seaman said.

Seaman met with postal inspectors. Turns out, the Paypal link she was sent was bogus.

"…Spoof some kind of communication with Lauren, making her believe that Paypal received payment from the buyer in Nigeria," explained U.S. Postal Inspector David Frederick.

Seaman says she will never sell anything online again.

"Be careful when dealing online, especially overseas buyers. Once a package leaves the United States there is very little the postal service or inspection service can do to help," Frederick said.

You should approach all online transactions with caution.

If you are sent money orders or checks, be sure they clear your bank before you turn over the item you're selling.


  • Mike

    I can’t understand how people are still falling for these scams especially with so much about them in the media. Greed perhaps? Nigeria? How does that not set off the red flags?


    People are not properly educated street wise these days. Their circle of knowledge is limited to their machines and facebook. I bet more than 99% of these folks don’t know what latitude their city is located and what continent.

  • Peoplearedumb

    Nigerian scams have been going on for decades. This is why they need to give women like this intelligence tests prior to letting her use the computer in the first place. Would have served her right for losing money for being so stupid.

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