After posting my car for sale online, I received a text message from what appeared to be an interested buyer with an out of state phone number. The text message asked if the car was still available and what it's present condition was and asked that I get back to them asap. I responded and told them it was available and gave them some details and then referred to the ad I posted online.
A little while later I received another message from them, and a surprisingly long one that read:
"Its my pleasure reading from you, How was your night?.. You can send me some pictures here is my email address ( *their email* ), but i really want to say i am ok with your car and the details you gave plus the firm/advert price. Well, This transaction will be done via paypal, dont know if you have an account with them as i want this transaction to be as quick as possible. (if you don't have an account, its easy, safe and secured just log on to (www.paypal.com) to get one and get back to me with the email used with your name and address. I will arrange for the pickup as my mover will come for the pickup at your location, all you have to do is get back to me with the date and time you will be available for the pickup at your location after you must have confirm the payment in your account. I want you to get back to me as soon as possible if this is ok by you so that i can proceed to the payment at ones.. Await your prompt response. Thanks and have a lovely weekend."
After reading it, I immediately became suspicious because he seemed really eager to buy it and he hasn't seen it or anything. He also insists on paying with PayPal and asked that I send pictures to him by email (the ad has pictures posted already). It is also really odd that someone would want to buy my car when they can buy one near them for around the same price (my car is pretty common).
Not sure how to respond, I did some research to see if there is a scam like this, and found mention of similiar scenarios but by email.
The scam apparently works like this - they send you a payment confirmation to your email address, and then tell you that in order to release it they need you to send payment to the shipping company by Western Union, and once that's done they'll release the money to you. The payment confirmation email you receive is supposedly from PayPal, but even if it is they can do what's called a "chargeback" to reverse the transaction with their credit card company.
I told him that I only accept cash because of the high number of scams going on. After that he never wrote back.
Beware if you are selling anything online! Scammers will not only contact you by email but will text message you too! Also, do not click on any links inside the emails they send you or that appear to be from PayPal.