Playing with a scammer – Moneyweb

The very first response to my advertisement on Gumtree was suspicious – nobody from the US will buy a sixty year old piano in SA for a few thousand rand. While it is a very nice little Monington & Weston upright, it has little rarity value and its weight of 200kg would guarantee a sizeable transport bill.

In addition, similar pianos are on offer in America for as little as $300.

Although I received suspicious replies to advertisements before, I never played along to see how the scam works. Well, it was holiday and I had time to waste.

The wording of the messages and the usual spelling mistakes gave the “buyer” away, as well as the complicated story.

“Thanks for getting back to me, I’m from USA and really interested in buying the Item so am satisfied with the price and the conditions, I wont be able to come and inspect the goods due to my work right now my private courier will be coming for the pickup which is Parcel 2go Shipping Company.

“I’m requesting this transaction to be done via PayPal, i will be responsible for all the PayPal charges on this transaction and if you don’t have an account with PayPal, its pretty easy to register safe and secured to open one. Just log on to and get your account easily with your email address Ok.,” he wrote, identifying himself as Thomas A Blair and asking for some of my personal details.

Read: Someone just spent R4m on a (nearly) new piano

The spelling and grammar mistakes are…

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