The Tale of Fortune Jimmy: A PayPal scam

Our friend Jimmy Fortune is a country singer from the United States.

However, Fortune Jimmy is not our friend, nor his alter-ego, but is a scammer from Nigeria.

I haven’t posted anything in about a week, but that’s just to say I’ve been too tired to write about the funny things that have happened… A couple of weeks ago, though, I made a pretty bad impulse buy. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note. I thought I’d be in love with it. I thought it would be amazing. I was pretty much wrong, of course. It’s about the size of my little red notebook that I carry around daily, and way too big for my tiny hands. Sure, it comes with a stylus, and it’s a super fast, awesome phone, but it’s just not practical for me especially when I still adore writing in a traditional notebook. Gorgeous, gorgeous phone, but just not fitted for me. It sticks out of my pocket.

I decided to sell it on eBay. With a day left to go, someone purchased my phone. I was pretty surprised. The person requested an invoice for payment, so I sent one a few hours later, when I was on the train on the way home. They requested I send an email as well, so I sent them an email letting them know I had sent the invoice. They had mentioned that they were in New Caledonia at the moment and wanted the item shipped to Western Australia. Fair enough – I just sat and waited for the payment.

That night – well, it was past midnight and I was doing that silly thing where I spent a couple of hours on eBay just shopping (bad, bad Georgie, someone needs to stop me)… I got an email from eBay saying that my listing had been removed because the buyer’s account was hacked. I thought it was suspicious, and I assumed that the person who had agreed to purchase the phone probably changed their mind. Immediately, I hit up eBay and told them my side of the story, and how I believe the person was just trying to get out paying for the item.

I didn’t hear from them 24 hours later, and now I know why.

About two days later, I received an email from the person who had agreed to buy my item on eBay, named Kayla.

I apologize for not contacting you immediately i won your auction item on eBay. I am very happy about the purchase . My daughter had to log on to my eBay account to view the purchase, she was also happy with it. But eBay had thought it was a third party due to their over zealousness. they decided to protect us both.

The issues with my account have now been resolved and confirmed by eBay.

I precisely purchased the item on behalf of a folk of mine in Nigeria who has been transferred to serve as a missionary in Nigeria.I will be leaving for New Zealand for a program I’m seeking your help in getting the item posted to him in Nigeria.

I have sorted out the postage costs on the Fed ex website and i will be adding it accordingly to the costs of the item and i want it posted via Fed ex courier service.

Here Is the postage address

Fortune Jimmy
8 Joel Dunmade Street,
Lawanson
Surulere
23401
Nigeria

I will pay immediately.

Cheers.

I also received an email from PayPal that notified me about receiving $780 in my PayPal account. I didn’t receive any response from eBay. I checked my email and logged into my eBay account but I hadn’t received any messages regarding the matter. I didn’t really think much of it, but thought about how crazy it was that the person wanted to buy this phone and have it shipped there. I also found it strange that this woman was going to be in New Zealand when she said that she was in New Caledonia. Regardless, I decided to check my PayPal account and see the glorious sum that I had just earned.

It wasn’t there.

I flicked back to the email and looked at the sender address.

paypal@spoofpay.com.

I forwarded the email to PayPal to let them deal with it, and responded to Kayla with a blunt “I will post the item when the money arrives in my PayPal account”. Of course, I counterbalanced it with an appropriate greeting (addressing her name) and farewell.

I was on the train to work at this point and James and I were peering over the situation with the help of my iPad. A quick Google search informed us that PayPal does not accept Nigerian addresses, and that someone else had been in a similar situation, but had fell victim to another one of Fortune Jimmy’s evil team. This person had posted a question on Yahoo Answers asking how Fedex would be able to pick up an iPhone to send to Nigeria. A top contributor posted a warning about PayPal not accepting Nigerian addresses, and the popularity of such a scam – and was dubiously ignored.

It wasn’t until later that I discovered a series of emails from eBay that had landed in my spam box, and realised these were sent from a fake eBay email address. They outlined that my issue with my eBay listing was resolved, and the usual “Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay” was also included. My name was nowhere to be found, and the obvious “Dear (Seller)” in one email prompted me to cough up my lungs in an attempt to laugh. I must say, the sore throat I’ve developed over the past two days has just been horrible to deal with.

Thankfully, today James boiled up a lovely (or maybe not that great-tasting) concoction of tomato juice, garlic, lemon juice, and chili. A mug swirling with vitamin C and exceptionally good nutrients that would clear up my throat. We sat on the sofa in my office and laughed over the more recent spoof emails I received.

One was from PayPal, riddled with atrocious grammar, obviously as a result of my email to “Kayla”:

Dear Merchant

This is a message from PayPal to further confirm to you that payment for the item purchased on eBay has been received and confirmed by eBay. The buyer of your eBay Item have therefore completed her part of the transaction since transferring payment for the item.

This payment is currently reflecting on our database and is yet to be credited into your account due to security reasons. You will therefore be required to post the item off to the address indicated on the PayPal receipt as outlined by the buyer:

Fortune Jimmy
8 Joel Dunmade
Street, Lawanson Surulere,
Lagos
23401
Nigeria

Please note that the above address have been PayPal Verified and eBay Verified. Ship out the item today and email us with the shipment reference number for verification of shipment after which we will credit your account instantly after completion of the shipment verification.

I also received the following from our spoof friend eBay:

We would like you to understand that we had been contacted by PayPal confirming payment has been deducted from the buyer account and they await the shipping tracking number or the shipment receipt before remittance of payment is EFFECTIVE. We would also like to re-assure with the safety of this transaction that your payment will be transferred into your PayPal account after verification of payment and confirmation that the item has been posted to given address in Nigeria.

Therefore, We mail to instruct you to kindly make the postage of the item to its recipient and get back to PayPal with the shipment tracking number or the shipment receipt for an immediate remittance of your payment into your PayPal account as soon as the shipment has been verified.

Make sure the item is sent out today and the shipment tracking details to PayPal for confirmation. Item should be shipped using Australia Seamail Or Airmail.

The shipment tracking number or reference number can be found of the receipt you will be issued by the Australia Seamail Or Airmail after posting out the item. If there’s no shipment reference number on the receipt, you will be required to email a scanned copy of the receipt to PayPal or a digital camera snapshot of the receipt.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation in this matter. Please don’t hesitate to reply to this email if you have further queries or require assistance.

None of these were personally addressed to me, and were sent from email addresses such as endofitemss@representative.com – definitely not associated with eBay at all. With legitimate subject lines such as Payment Assurance – Payment Verified and Item no.261047364975 -Notification Of an instant payment received from chergenta1105, it would be so easy for anyone to fall victim to such a scam. eBay and PayPal both address you by your full name when they send you emails, and their emails will come from an address like name@paypal.com or name@paypal.com.au. Those two things, together, are not able to be received from anyone but PayPal or eBay.

I sent my new batch of emails to eBay and PayPal for review, knowing that they would take matters from there. Not feeling my part was complete, I could not help but respond to the spoof email address with the following, after considering the ridiculous statements claimed by the scammer in their fake emails:

I will post the item once I receive payment in my PayPal account – not after shipment verification. The rules of my listing said that I would ship once payment was cleared. If there was a security problem and it has been cleared, the money should be in my account.

Is there an alternate address to ship to? I have just discovered that no Nigerian addresses are verified by PayPal.

I wonder how far they’ll go. I’m not your average Jill who isn’t familiar with the internet… heck, I totally am familiar with the internet.

Sorry Fortune Jimmy, but you’re not getting me now.

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Comments on this post

Ah, sell the Note on my acc. I have a decent rating so scammers will hopefully fuggof

Good ol’ Jimmy. I like to think he’s out there, being a douche for the rest of us. Helps me sleep easy at night, y’know?

Glad the soup/drink was nice :3 I sure like drinking it in cold weather! πŸ€“
for a Vitamin C boost

wuw πŸ‘

It’s shocking how many fall victims to the scams. Whenever I sell on eBay I always wait for the little payment on the eBay summary screen to be highlighted before shipping anything. I also double check my PayPal account as well. It’s pretty =( that many will fall for these scams especially if they’re new to selling on eBay. Many will probably just check their email and believe what the email says without doubling checking payment.

Hope eBay and PayPal will do their best to shout out these scammers. Just relist your Note on James account and sell it to someone else. In the mean time you can have fun replying to them and see what this Jimmy character has to say. Keep us updated on their comebacks πŸ˜„

It’s probably good this happened to someone like you because there’s no way you would fall for such a thing and hopefully anyone reading this will be doubly careful in the future.

Fortune Jimmy is a hilarious name, ftr. I wonder if it’s his real name.

D: eBay scam? Oh my god. It is just a miracle. You don’t send your note right? And. why should you buy note? Instead of buying HTC One X or Galaxy S3? Hahaha πŸ˜„

Beware of those scammers Georgie! πŸ˜„

I’m not a fan of HTC – as I mentioned, I chose the Note because I thought it suited me with its features. I still have it, I definitely would not have mailed it if I didn’t receive the money.

I thought Note can fit everyone? Hmm. You shall buy Galaxy S3 though. Note is so big to fit inside a pocket. But, you shall try the new Galaxy S3!

Those emails are very well-written! Most of the spam emails that I get are filled with grammatical errors and don’t look like anything elegant.

I feel sorry for Nigeria as a country because someday, it’s going to get on its feet and have legitimate business on the Internet. However, due to the number of scams that have come out of it, nobody will trust them for a long, long time.

I hope that you sell your phone eventually! It’s a pity that the phones are getting bigger and bigger again and just no longer fit in a girl’s pocket.

Hahahaha good thing you didn’t fall for that scam. It does look mysteriously wrong to ask a seller to send the item to a diff address. I wasn’t able to try to buy and sell anything from ebay, and I’m sure I’ll be addicted as well if I did. πŸ˜† πŸ™‚ You’re pretty clever still, maybe if I’ll be in that situation – I would have believed fortune Jimmy. Of course, after I verify the payment on my paypal account that is. πŸ™‚

James for the save<3 Hahaha

so you are still stuck with the Note?
Didn’t u like your Galaxy Ace? I’m not particularly fond of Samsung phones but then Galaxy S3 does look appealing to me πŸ˜‹!

I find it absolutely adorable that James comments you. πŸ˜› JS.

As for the scam, that’s really scary. P: I mean, I seriously didn’t think people would actually go so far…

I have had Avon scams, though. They seriously make it seem SO real. They even offer to mail you a check and everything, but they also require you to have a confirmation number to send the package to them OR they want you to drive it all the way to [enter major metroplex nearby here] because it’s such an exclusive event. I always just mailed them to my Avon leader to check, and they make them seem so real that it even has to go to the team leader for a double check. It’s very crazy. P:

I am glad you didn’t fall for it to the point that it was too late to go back, though! 😊

Wow, that’s some crazy shite! I can’t believe people these days will resort to such dishonesty and scam! 😞 That’s why I don’t bother with eBay LOL. I don’t have the patience to deal with sellers/buyers who would give me such stress. I just stick with Amazon or something for me.

Wow! Fortunately you were able to see it was a scam! 😧 eBay and Paypal probably are familiar with that group. I wish there was a way to stop these scams. There are so many who don’t realise it’s a scam. (tbh I don’t think I would have noticed it 😰 )

I hope they’ll stop sending you emails now. πŸ™‚

I hate crap like that. I am quite well versed with teh intarwebs as well, and wouldn’t fall for this bullshit, but I feel bad for the people who do!

Wow, those scammers are really persistent to keep sending you fake emails! That’s good that you didn’t fall for it at all. I guess I can see how people fall for those. The wording is pretty convincing if you don’t notice the email address it’s from. I would never mail an item out without receiving payment first though =/

this could happen to anyone. my sister didnt go with her gut feeling and she gave her laptop without getting any money in return, the guy was very clever, gave her a receipt and everything proving that he had paid and she she gave him the laptop and checked her account, there was nothing. glad you didnt fall for it

Very nice! It’s really great you know everything with regards to that…. and this is really helpful for everyone πŸ™‚ thank you for posting!

blog hopper here anyway πŸ™‚

Oh. My. God.

First off, thank goodness that you’re a savvy Internet user unlike some eBayers out there, ack! X_X; It sucks that such a basic and obvious ploy to get a free item would actually trick certain sellers …. 😰 Sigh.

I think the most hilarious part about all of this, though, is the name Fortune Jimmy. I mean, it’s bad enough that these guys are trying to scam you out of an item you’re selling, do they also have to go by such an ironic and obviously sarcastic name?! Do they really need to laugh at the people they’re scamming?! Damn.

Actually, now that I think of it, I doubt they’re stealing things to get by, so of COURSE they’d be laughing at those they scammed. Still, though, the name is just a step too far, IMO. πŸ˜†

Oh, PayPal and eBay. Always an adventure.

I can’t believe you had to deal with all that scamming crap. I’ve heard about those Nigerian scams before and I think it’s just silly people still fall for it. -__- Well, I suppose some people can be very clever/tricky about it, especially when it’s over the internet. People can fall for anything these days.

This is to funny. This happened to me christmas eve a few years back. I giggled at the moron and kept replying to the emails … I had a ball with it for a month or more. Screw them, they were getting nothing from me. And this was a Sony Ericcson phone … To Nigeria also 😀 πŸ‘

Good on us I say!!!

This has just happened to me yesterday funny thing was i was on the ball. they sent exact same email to me as to you and i went onto Fedex website when i typed in the Nigerian address it didnt come up to i typed it into google and this page come up. Thank Goodness. I had my item on ebay so i contacted ebay and made them aware of the situation. I then relisted my item last night and low and behold i had it bought again straight away by a different name and address but the same email wording.
Well so so sorry fortune jimmy didnt catch me with his scam lol

First off, thanks for the comment. I read some really scary stuff online, but one of my friends told me to stay off forums and whatnot, because I will just needlessly worry myself.

Now in regards to your blog, I cannot believe people would go that far to scam someone. πŸ˜“ I feel bad that some people actually fall victim to things like that because they really just don’t know any better, and are not well versed in looking closely for things like that.

LOLLLLLLLLLLL i love this post! haha it’s so funny but at the same time, it’s kinda scary how far scammers go! you’re actually the first person i know who’s be sent a scam like this. it’s really unfortunate that some people actually fall for these scams…

but the emails they sent you are hilarious! i love how they sent you the first email posing as if they were genuinely good people or something…”I precisely purchased the item on behalf of a folk of mine in Nigeria who has been transferred to serve as a missionary in Nigeria.” ….far from a missionary, lol!

and sorry that the phone didn’t work out for you! i hope you sell it soon (to a real person!)

Luckily you didn’t get scammed! Many people get cheated by these scammers every day and it’s pretty unfortunate. I receive similar emails in my inbox EVERY DAY telling me i’ve won millions or that i’m the random inheritor of a sum of money. If I was really SO BLESSED I would really be the richest woman on earth now. I cannot understand why these scammers won’t grow some brains. Did they seriously think that they are the only ones sending out such stupid emails? Sometimes I’m in a bad mood so I reply those emails for fun and I say some pretty rude stuff hahaha.

Aww thanks for the comment πŸ˜„ most people give like one or two sentences πŸ™‚ I appreciate the few paragraphs! πŸ˜„

I’ve recently been addicted to eBay too! Luckily, I’ve never sold anything, only bought. However, if I’m honest, I have been one of those people who’ve thought about scamming people eeek πŸ’£ but thank god i never did!! I’m too happy with my 100% positive feedback now πŸ˜›

Yeah,you have to be careful when dealing with that stuff especially on eBay or even Craigslist (which I do a lot of my transactions). I always make sure to meet in somewhere public just in case etc; if I intend to buy or sell something. I’m glad you didn’t exactly fall for it.

Yeah, I was considering getting the Galaxy Note but it’s too big and not practical for me either.

I saw that on the news here in America. It’s bad enough people always stereotype Nigerians as online scammers even when there are others worse than them. And if you meet one in real life, especially at work, school, or even your neighborhood, they’re not what the news media portrays them. They just mind their own business and that’s it.

Well, am I glad I came across this!
The same thing just happened to me as I am trying (for the second time – I was scammed initially aswell!) to sell my HTC Sensation smartphone. I also received the same e-mail about the daughter , and sending it to old mate Fortune Jimmy.
So I have just re-listed my item. Third time lucky?

Hey Gabrielle! Thanks for your comment – I’m glad you came across my blog post! I’m sure the scammers have many other ways of luring people in, but I’m glad I managed to inform someone else about the now-notorious Fortune Jimmy one.

Be sure to report that seller to eBay and best of luck selling your phone. πŸ™‚

Hahahaha I just recently experienced the same situation, I checked the fed ex website: to post my item to Nigeria I would have cost $437 + $280 for the Xbox he had purchased and I got the exact same
Emails. I found it bazaar that they where willing to pay around $700 for a used xbox.
Pathetic ha

Omg exact same thing happened to me and luckely my partner looked into it for me other wise I probably would have fallen for it!
They tried doing it to 2 items i put on ebay.
Bloody scammers!!

Get a job and work to buy things like the rest of us in this world!

I got the exact same emails today when I tried to sell my wedding dress on ebay.

I got suspicious from the very first email from ebay saying that it was sold. It was only about 30mins after I listed it and the ebay account was a man. Thought it was a bit weird a man buying a wedding dress πŸ˜†

Hi there,

Thanks a lot for posting this. I just had exactly the same thing happen to me and it just didn’t seem to add up so I googled Fortune Jimmy and found your comments. This is really helpful and hopefully this will help spread the word around this scam!

Thanks,

Georgina

Hi Georgina! You’re welcome. I knew I had to voice this out on my blog as soon as it happened – definitely don’t want others to get caught in such a mess.

Also, my actual first name is Georgina as well. πŸ˜‰ Nice to meet you.

This has just happened to me, when I put my debutante dress up for sale. I’m quite the novice at selling items on eBay but found something strange about the emails- the fact about him being in New Caledonia, going to New Zealand but wanting it sent to Nigeria…it just didn’t make ANY sense, so I happened to google “Fortune Jimmy” (the name on the postage address) and found this. Thanks for spreading the word, I probably would have fell for it! Not a good start to starting to sell items on ebay…I think I will stay clear of it for a while now……!

XD
he is in the middle of trying to buy my bridal set saying he is a guy named Mark

I apologize for not contacting you immediately i won your auction item on eBay. I am very happy about the purchase . My daughter had to log on to my eBay account to view the purchase, she was also happy with it. But eBay had thought it was a third party due to their over zealousness. they decided to protect us both.

The issues with my account have now been resolved and confirmed by eBay.

I precisely purchased the item on behalf of a folk of mine in Nigeria who has been transferred to serve as a missionary to Nigeria.I will be leaving for New Zealand for a program I’m seeking your help in getting the item posted to him in Nigeria.

I have sorted out the postage costs on the Australia post website and i will be adding it accordingly to the costs of the item and i want the posted via Express Courier International Post.

Here Is the postage address

Fortune Jimmy

8 Joel Dunmade

Street, Lawanson Surulere,

Lagos

23401

Nigeria

I will pay immediately.

Mark

I can’t believe they’re still trying to use the same template, name and address to fool people! Thank you for commenting on my post though. πŸ™‚

Just a small note of thanks. It was just tried on with me. Thank you for confirming my thoughts. He’s now Anthony Philips and using an American ladies account. How annoying. Always some scum bucket around.

Hi πŸ™‚ I was selling my engagement ring on eBay and didn’t get a buyer after the time had run out so I left it off for a couple of days then put it back on in the morning and it was sold that day by a person called Susan Weller or Sandra Spalding. I found it very suspicious when eBay had put a stop on the item for further investigation thinking it was a third party involved. They didn’t get back to me straight away about this situation and then I started receiving emails from this person which r exactly the same as all the ones I’ve read here,word for word. Being that it was the first time I had sold anything on eBay I was excited when it got sold and ended up sending the item which was changed from Western Australia to go to Nigeria. Well I didn’t think much of it and ended up sending it there. I started wondering why I had not received any payment in my Paypal acct so I decided to call them directly to find out why. They told me that they had never received any payment to go in my acct and that they don’t hold payments at all. So long story short I am now without an engagement ring and have lost money in the process and am now getting emails from the Nigerian Police and a Barrister named Tunde Williams from the Anti-Fraud Department saying that the Nigerian Police have arrested Fortune Jimmy and have him in their custody and will b going to b going to court for fraud charges . So I am needing to know weather this is also a scam happening and how it can b resolved.
Please help if u can as I would like my item returned to me if its not to late.
Jason

Hi Jason

It is a scam; bunch of guys (or guy) in Surulere has been doing this for quite some time now using dummy eBay accounts and the like. It is highly unlikely you’d get your item back; he or they would most probably have someone who buys these items off them for further redistribution, or he just sells them outright himself.

Sorry to hear about what happened to you, but I hope it doesn’t turn you off eBay (I don’t work there but it’s pretty damn good).

Also, Googling the phrase ‘barrister tunde williams’ seems to indicate he is a fraud too. Best thing you can do is just cut your losses.

James

Thank you James for your prompt reply. πŸ™‚ Can you also please let me know if these are also scam emails;
npfoperrations@mail2police.com
and
b.tundewilliams@yahoo.com

These are the two emails I have been receiving from about a court case for Fortune jimmy. I need to know weather these are legit or a crock.

Thanks James πŸ™‚

Jason

Hi Jason,

I’m Georgie, the writer of this blog post. I got my friend James to reply to you earlier. I’m sorry to hear about your loss as well.

Those two email addresses – if you do a quick Google search, have shown up in various forums discussing spam and scams. You can also tell from the domains those are hosted on – mail2police.com and yahoo.com – that the email addresses are by no means professional, and any regular person could have created those addresses. You’ll find that the names “Fortune Jimmy” and “Tunde Williams” are taken and derived from the names of famous people, in order to fool unknowing people.

Be careful next time you do receive such emails – it’s a good idea to check the email address and where it comes from. Also, it’s very unlikely that a real court would manage to get a hold of your email address and know of your situation.

Thanks for sharing your story! I have had a similar experience (very similar wording and context as well) involving Nigeria. It went as far as sending money to Nigeria customs and now the “Nigerian Police” are after me for my money! Unfortunately, I only realized after losing about $1200 (including cost of the phone I was selling on eBay) before a friend disclosed the fraud. I’ve reported to everyone – the local police, RCMP, eBay, Paypal and even Canada Post. No one can help or even attempt to get some money back. I hope everyone can learn from the lessons of others! Don’t fall for it – and if you’re suspicious then do some research first!

Cheers πŸ™‚