How I fell into victim of a car scam in Nigeria

10/08/2018

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This is a true story from one of Naijauto reader. He clearly describes how he got scammed in the first place with all the details, where, when and how. Check it for your own reference!

I hope that you all get out of this learning something about spending our money and how we could do to protect ourselves.

This all starts with the company named OLX. It's a company located in NYC and also Buenos Aires in Argentina and their business model is similar to that of eBay, meaning people can go there and sell or buy goods online. And if you don't know about eBay, it's where you can browse the goods, choose the one you prefer and contact that vendor to make the buying decision. The process applies to selling process too. All in all, the platform itself is truly a good site. Some people online, sadly Nigerians in this case, however, are not as that good. They make a living by scamming others, setting up traps and waiting for the "human prey" to fall in.

Toyota Rav 4 2006

N1 million for a Toyota Rav4 2006 has tempted me to take the deal

So I was scrolling down all the listings, and suddenly I came across a Toyota Rav 4 2006. It was relatively new and sold for only N1,000,000. The car and its price are so tempting but there's only one downside that it is not really near me, at the Seme Border. In fact, that didn't stop me from calling the owner James and expressed my interest to purchase his car.

a happy black man

I was so excited that I call him immediately 

He said that there're 2 ways to seal the deal. The first option, I have to go all the way to the border and inspect the car myself. The other option is let him bring the car here with the fuel cost of N25,000, which will be counted in the total cost if I bought the vehicle or he will take N5,000 in case I didn't like the thing. I thought it was a reasonable request since he has to pay for the fuel and other fees, not to mention that I might refuse to buy it and he has to go home without the contract. But still, I tried to lower the amount a little bit to N10,000 because I didn't know the guy. Finally, he agreed with that and we'll talk again on Thursday.

I gave it some thoughts on the way to my workplace the next morning. I tried to rationalize the decision by weighing both its pros and cons. At worst, he could take my N10,000 and never contact me back. At best, I take home a Rav 4 with only N1,000,000, that would be a dream comes true for me. 

I called him on Thursday to finish our deal. I immediately sent a N10,000 amount when receiving his bank details. I was a little suspicious because the bank details show that the owner was a woman, but then I stopped when seeing his email address: "nigeriacustomservice423@gmail.com", which suggests that he is a custom officer. I felt a bit more confident, especially with the form he sent to proceed the deal. I didn't forget to call him and confirm that whether he's a real custom officer. Of course, he said yes. What was I thinking then?

a document made by scammers

The false document that car scammer sent me

He went on to tell me that the fee for paper process needed for him to drive the car all the way to me would cost N135,000 and told me not to worry since this fee is included in the price tag of the car.

I was ecstatic to interpret that the real cost of the car is only N865,000. Too good to be true! He then said he had to leave for the paper process and would call back later when it's done. Hours later, my phone rang and I picked up the phone couldn't be more excited, expecting to hear some road noises as he's driving the car to my place.

Well, he's not. He said that his boss didn't allow the deal to come through and that he had to pay the fee of N135,000 before driving the car out of the customs facilities. In short, he was asking for an additional N125,000.

a confused black man

At this point, I sensed that something is not right...

I smelled something fishy here but was still confident in the deal. I told him to pay the fee by himself and he could come here to reimburse that money from later. He said that he didn't have enough money at the moment. I fought back and point to our deal the previous night, saying that how can he changed the condition of our deal so abruptly and still had the courage to ask me for more money? He attempted to say he's giving me his words and went on to ask about the additional fee.

I refused and cut him off by saying I'm not doing this deal anymore and he should give my N10,000 back today. I sent him my bank account and he hesitated to send the money back but eventually agreed. 

To tell you the truth, I didn't expect the money back at the point. The scam was too obvious, How couldn't I think this through. What he would do to me, or to many people before me, is not to rob me of the whole N1,000,000 but to scam a little by little through minor fees like fuel cost or warehousing charge.

I was right. I called him in the morning after the day he asked for my bank account and he made me wait till noon. One more time, I made a phone call at 2 p.m only to hear insultings words from 3 more guys.

a desparate black man

I finally had to give in and stop pursuing the case because I know there was no hope

What I'm trying to say here is not to turn in the guy, because what's done is done. I just want to forewarn you about the possibility to be scammed is not as low as you'd think. If possible, get the seller to your place, and if you have to come to theirs, don't put down any kind of money before you have totally inspected the car and the situation. Fortunately for me, I didn't lose a fortune for my mistake, but other people might not be that lucky.

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