Bundy couple caught in online scam
A YOUNG Bundaberg man who lost his job two weeks before Christmas fell victim to an online scammer as he tried to get some quick money to pay the bills.
Zac Schneider and partner Monique Walker, both 25, decided to sell some electronic items on the online auction site eBay as they struggled to stay afloat financially.
They were soon contacted by a buyer who said he was from England.
However, he told the couple, that rather than buy the items through eBay he wanted to pay through PayPal, an e-commerce business that allows payments and money transfers over the internet.
When they agreed, the scam was on.
The buyer sent the couple emails purportedly from PayPal that confirmed the money had been placed in their account.
“The email from PayPal was the spitting image of a real one, at first sight,” Ms Walker said.
“It had the right logo and everything.
“It was only later when I did some research I spotted the differences.”
Then the couple received an email asking them to set up a Western Union account and pay the buyer $300 to cover postage and transport for the items, because he said he was out of town and did not have his credit cards with him to pay it himself.
He promised to reimburse the money.
Later he asked them to pay $350 to insure the items against damage in transit.
Both times they sent him the money through Western Union, and received what looked like PayPal emails confirming the money had been reimbursed.
But, when they became suspicious and contacted PayPal directly, they were told there was no money deposited in their account.
The couple estimated with the fees involved they had lost $750.
“This was particularly upsetting because it was just before Christmas and I had just lost my job as a chef,” Mr Schneider said.
The couple have reported the matter to a police unit that investigates internet scams.
“We just wanted to let other people know that these scams are out there,” Ms Walker said.