On 14th December, I was interested to see on Facebook Market, a site advertising parts for the early era Mercedes W123 and W124 series. I have owned a 1981 W123 200D since 2003 which I have maintained and run ever since. Old cars like this do need constant attention one way or another (like ourselves of course) and mine is no exception. I am currently renovating the interior of my car and this merchant was offering some pretty good looking sets of seats in the right colour.
My professional background in the anti-fraud arena leaves me very aware of the presence of on-line scammers so I contacted this seller with the usual caution. His Facebook page was simple yet impressive. His history was sparse but he did name his workplace and photos seemed to back a business in the motor trade with the seller himself clearly portrayed as involved in that line of business and also with an interest in motor sport. My initial contact with the seller was made on 14th December and ended on 23rd December. What follows is a transcript of our Facebook Messenger conversations between those dates. I have removed uneccesary dates personal information but the conversations themselves are exactly as posted. Enjoy a salutary tale of my experience with someone who is clearly articulate and pretty clever frauster. His big mistake was to try and get me to pay with PayPal’s Friends and Family facility rather than providing me with an invoice using its recommended Goods and Services method. The former gives no protection to the buyer should anything go wrong whereas the latter gives one guranteed protection for reimbursement.
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