Marianne cheated out of 'start up' cash by scam
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 January 2011
A WESTON woman has a word of warning for people selling unwanted items over the internet, after being left out of pocket by a PayPal scam.
Marianne Rustad, aged 35, hoped to raise money to start a course to become a silversmith by selling her unused motorbike.
But after finding an overseas buyer, she lost £300 after agreeing to cover half of the shipping costs and depositing the money in a PayPal holding account which turned out to be fake.
Former Home Office contractor Miss Rustad, from South Road, decided to sell her Kawazaki Z2R on online marketplace eBay in order to fund a course at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design in London.
Having found an overseas buyer who was willing to pay £400 for the bike, she contacted him to arrange shipping.
She said: “He replied that he was profoundly deaf, and so needed to communicate by email, and that he was currently working on a ship in the Mediterranean.
“After an email exchange we discussed shipping methods, and we agreed that a courier in Italy would be responsible, so I agreed, as the seller to pay the £300 in shipping costs.
“There didn’t seem to be anything unusual in that, but then the buyer said that I should deposit the money in a PayPal holding account for the courier.”
Miss Rustad said she realised there was something suspicious when the buyer contacted her to ask her to pay a further £300 into the holding account as the previous payment had gone missing.
She said: “I then realised that there was something fishy going on, so I contacted the police and sent them all of my correspondences with the buyer.
“It was only when I looked into it then and realised that PayPal don’t have holding accounts, and that I’d been conned.
“The police said that it was a scam that they had seen before, coming from Nigeria.
“Obviously being conned like that makes you feel silly, and you feel cheated that someone has done something like that to you.
“It makes you realise that you really need to be on your guard at all times. The main thing that I can get out of this experience is that I can warn other people of what can happen if you fall foul of one of these scams.”