Online shopping warning - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Online shopping warning

By Diane Walker - bio | email                                      

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A 12 On Your Side scam alert: Be careful when shopping online. Scammers have targeted a new company and are working to rip people off. A local mother called 12, to warn others, after she received a suspicious e-mail, phishing for information.

Here's what we know: money bookers dot com is based in the United Kingdom. It offers a service, similar to Paypal. Money bookers dot com is legitimate, but, scammers have hi-jacked the company's name, to steal from unsuspecting shoppers online.

"See the mileage is only 77 thousand miles, for a Honda Accord and they're only asking 29 hundred," said Barbara Blagg. "It's a dream come true."

It would have been a nightmare, had Barbara Blagg followed through. She was looking to buy a car for her son, on the website, "sell my car dot com".

She spotted the Honda, immediately emailed the seller, and got a response email the next day purporting to be from moneybookers dot com.

It instructs her to use moneybookers' shipping department as a third party service, to handle the transaction. All Barbara had to do was, send her full name, address and number, and an account would be opened.

"It acted like nothing could go wrong. You send in the money. They don't release the money until you receive the merchandise," she said.

The car is in Raleigh, North Carolina, even though Barbara indicated she was in Virginia, and the woman selling the Honda is in Scotland. She claimed using moneybookers would protect them both.

Back away, says the Better Business Bureau, whenever there are that many red flags, it's a scam.

"It's brand new. It just came to BBB's attention in March of this year, so we have very little information. We have no background on these folks," said Tom Gallagher of the Better Buisness Bureau. 

NBC12 called London. The real moneybookers' is big in Europe, like Paypal. It says, it deals with online money transactions. Moneybookers never gets involved in escrow or shipping in the U.S.A. It thanked us for raising awareness about the internet scam, and said online fraud, and using other companies names, is widespread and unfortunate.

Barbara didn't take the bait. She called 12 instead, and plans to buy a car, from a seller she can talk with, face to face.

"I think I would have lost my $2,900," said Barbara.

Again, moneybookers' does not get involved in shipping or escrow accounts. It's strictly money transactions. If the seller wants your credit card information, or other personal data, it's a scam.

The company also says, for full details on its services, go to: www.moneybookers.com. Do not click on links, from other websites.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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