I was selling a low value item (a tv stand) on a local Craig's List equivalent, and received a couple of scam attempts.
One of such asked for me to reserve the item and said they would do "a direct bank transfer".
You don't have to tell me it's a scam. Of course it is.
There were a number of clues.
- They were repeating either the name of the item exactly as I used it in the ad, or would just call it "the item".
- They gave their address in the first reply, unprompted.
- They were not local (still in The Netherlands, but about 200km away) while using a very local site (even more local than Marktplaats; typically about a 50km radius).
- They used the term "direct bank transfer", translated too literally to Dutch, which sounds awkward.
I just answered "no" and moved on, but I do wonder what their angle was. I was only asking €10 (roughly equal to $10), so it was not about the stand itself.
A bank transfer (and I've confirmed this with my bank) is pretty definitive in The Netherlands. They wouldn't be able to get the money onto my account for it to dissolve again. If it's in my account, that's it.
Would it have been an overpayment scam, perhaps from a stolen account? Would they have pivoted to another scam? Would they have tried to convince me the money had in fact transferred, even though I wouldn't have been able to see it on my account? Would they have asked transfer a cent to them first, to prove I'm trustworthy, with a false link?
Has anyone ever encountered this type of scam?
Note that this is in The Netherlands; assumptions about US banking may not hold. Also Venmo or Zelle are unavailable here.