I have listed my bike on sale on Polish site (so expected audience are Poles only). One guy contacted me that he wants to buy bike and I should send it to Nigeria. At this point, I have instantly thought that this is scam. However, one thing is disturbing me: he offered to pay with bank transfer (I expected scam to offer payment with PayPal or Western Union). Happens, that I have prepaid card, so I wanted to give him bank account of this card, then take money (so at this point I believe I am unable to lose anything, right?) and then send bike. When I was talking with friends, they suggested, that if this money will happen to be stolen or something, then bank may want it back from me. One of my friends suggested, that I should get BitCoin trader as middleman for safety. So provide Nigerian guy with BitCoin trader's bank account number.

If Nigerian guy is honest and everything will be okay, then he will send money to BitCoin trader, and this one will send BitCoins to me, I will send bike to Nigeria and everyone is happy.

However, if later money will happen to be stolen or something, then looks like, it won't be my problem, is that correct? I have shipped bike, so it cannot be retrieved, however same goes with BitCoins I have received.

  • 11
    Ask yourself a question about this potential "buyer" - if it weren't a scam, why would s/he be reading a Polish-oriented classified-type site trying to buy a bike? Why would anyone buy a bike without looking at it in person? This person takes on a massive risk by paying you money before you've even shipped it, and s/he has no clue whether it will even arrive, let alone quality / condition. If you believe someone might be a scammer, just walk away. Trying to engage and 'scam the scammer' is only going to open you up to the possibility of becoming a target. Walking away will cost you nothing. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 13:30
  • 6
    Be careful with your friend asking you to use BitCoin. You go from one scam to another scam(pun intended)
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 13:33
  • Also - see Aganju's answer below, which outlines how this particular scam might work. But keep in mind that even if you 'figure out' what you think the scam is, it is always safer to just not engage. They have tricks up their sleeve that you may not be aware of. The specifics are less important than just knowing something is off, and being wary. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 13:40
  • At first, it seemed highly suspicious to me that someone would order a bike from a remote location, outside of Europe, because I expect high shipping cost for it. But it could make sense. It is not a cheap, simple bike that would be available locally. It could be a high end bike that is not easily available locally - that's still suspicious. But it makes perfect sense if it is about a specific type of bike, or a type that is only available in Europe anyway. Even more so if it is about a unique bike like one that won a contest. Commented May 17, 2019 at 2:08
  • 4
    Why in the world was a Nigerian looking to buy a used bike from Poland?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


The typical scam is that they overpay you - 'accidentially', or for some obscure reason they claim, and they ask you to wire the extra money either back or to someone else. Because you wire it, that money is gone for sure. Then they undo the original transaction (or it turns out it was fake anyway), and you end up with a loss.

Maybe he claims that he wants to buy some more stuff, and the fees are high, so he sends you all the payments in one amount, and you pay the other sellers from it, something like that.

There are honest nigerians though, actually most of them.

Either way, the real problem is that the original payment is fake. Whichever way it comes to you, you need to make sure that it cannot be reversed or declared invalid after you think you have it. Wire transfer is the only way I know that is not reversible. Bank transfers are reversible; don't think you have it just because it arrives in your bank account. Talk to your bank about what all can happen.

If you make the deal, when you send the bike, think about insuring it (and make him pay for that too). That way, you are out of any loss risk.

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