Wanted: Virus. Short-term Use Only~

We have decided to list our classic 1976 GMC motor home for sale. Now that we live in Costa Rica full time there is really no need to keep it. It’s hard to let go of, as they are rare and ours is in immaculate condition. But time marches on. At 9 MPG it’s a fossil fuel hog, and we pay for its monthly storage making it less valuable to us every year. So I listed it with three Web sites that specialize in GMC’s.

I have been getting emails enquiring about it on a regular basis. I said in the ad that the motor home was in storage in Woodland WA and we lived in Costa Rica but for “serious buyers” I could work something out.

I have had a couple of bites. One couple looked at it, helped by the generous time of the storage unit owners. That couple felt the price was too high and would continue to look. Another couple is supposed to be looking at it today.

A few days ago I got an email from one Peter Cole asking for more detail about the coach, which I sent to him. I got this answer yesterday:

Thank you for your response,after discussing
with my client who really commended your GMC Royale Motorhome
instructed to move on with the deal at the price of
($20,000),he said he will be going on a vacation soon
and will rest virtually all the transaction on my
shoulder and assign a shipper like wise that i will
work with and stressed that he will be issuing out a
cashier check of ($28,000) which was a refund payment
of a cancelled order earlier made by him but
will be filed in your name,you are only required to
deduct the cost of your GMC Royale Motorhome($20,000) and
send the differece ($8,000) when payment gets to you to a
shipping agent whoose information will be given to
you as at when due, he will be needing the fund to
offset shipping charges, taxes and other c osme tic
repairs/touches,the agent will be responsible for
signing and transfering of title paper and also pickup.
So i require of you to send me your
PHONE NUMBER for payment to be delivered to you via
fedex courier services All other information needed
in completion of this transaction will be given to
you in due time.

Something about the font made me suspicious, not to mention the multiple issues for the certified check and the syntax of the whole email. Anyway, I came to full attention. I sent an email back asking for his phone number so I might call. No answer as of yet.

I have done some research on the Internet and finally found the scam. According to one site here is how it works:

*The scam appears to send you “real” money—usually a cashier’s check or certified check drawn on a U.S. bank (sometimes even a postal money order)—before asking you to wire or express part or all of that money to the scammer or some third party. The scam relies on our belief that real cashier’s and certified checks and postal money orders are more trustworthy than personal checks. However, the counterfeit checks or money orders that the scammers send are very good and tough to identify as fake.

*The scam is initiated in response to a legitimate activity that you are pursuing—for instance, on a website or in a classified ad, you are selling an item such as car, bike, boat or jewelry, offering a service such as renting an apartment, seeking employment or signing up for a chat room, dating service or other recreational activity. In the original versions of the Nigerian scam, the “offer” arrives unsolicited—in a letter, an email, a fax—and some of the new versions, particularly the “you’ve-won-a-sweepstakes” ploy, still arrive unsolicited.

*Once the scammer is in touch with you, they often chat via email or phone, talking about the item or service you have for sale. They appear friendly, sincere, and aboveboard. Also, they don’t want you to send any money in advance, only after you have their “money” deposited in your account. They work hard to win your trust—but appearing trustworthy is the con artist’s primary tool in getting you to act.


I have kept a couple of Nigerian scam emails in my files because of the language they use. The ones I’m familiar with offer $1.5 million in a bank account of a person–as well as his entire extended family–who has tragically died in a plane crash. They even offer links to the news story. I have kept them because no writer could ever imitate the way they are written. I find them humorous. I never expected one to crop up from a motor home listing.

I’m now glad I’ve read some of these Nigerian investment emails because the writing in the email I got about the motor home was very similar in nature. My daddy always told me, you never get something for nothing.

So beware fellow shoppers or sellers, the world is a nasty place for the uninitiated and naive.

There is another one from one Kamantha Els in my inbox this morning. I note that they all have yahoo accounts. If I were a PC user and actually had things like viruses, I would send them one in a zip file telling them my bank account information was enclosed.

Evil lurks within us all.

Published by SC Morgan

I grew up in Oregon and learned not everything is black and white. Now I live in the jungles of Costa Rica where the shades of gray cover the full spectrum. I shoot my mouth off on my blog, social media sites, and sometimes I get published. You can find my blog here: https://scmorgancom.wordpress.com/

3 thoughts on “Wanted: Virus. Short-term Use Only~

  1. Good for you, Sarah, for spotting the scam. Although I must say, sending such a wretched piece of writing to you who are so fluent was not going to work. Even if you didn’t spot the actually scam, you would have seen the red flags and said, Nope! Will you report this?


  2. Hi Ruth- I called the FBI and they said that unless I had actually lost money they could do nothing. So I sent this letter to the scammer (please note the initials of my “father”):KamanthaI am so happy you have decided that the original price is okay. The motor home is really in good shape. It may be old but it’s a very good one. I know you will be happy with it.I have been in contact with my father who will handle the transaction. You can send a certified check in his name to the address below:Fred B Ingersol*Suite 400, Crown Plaza Building1500 Southwest 1st AvenuePortland, Oregon 97201-5828(503) 224-4181He will be expecting your check, and please feel free to contact him by phone if you have any questions.*This is the Portland oregon field office of the FBIEvil lurks in the hearts of the nicest people.


  3. This was AMAZING to read! The past couple of days I have been emailnig back and forth with someone named “Vivian Rowland” from Geneva. She had emailed me in regards to a posting I had made on craigslist a couple months back. She claimed to be looking for an English tutor for her son who was visiting Toronto for the next couple of months. Long story short, she charmed her way in the first few emails “I’m going through a tough divorce” and then got strange by asking for my full name, address, and phone number. And then eventually asking for my bank name “it’s for paperwork” and stated that I would be sent a certified check from her “associate,” and then would have to wire or send a check to the “nanny in the UK” HA! Your post was PERFECT. You have inspired me to keep all the emails that I get from Nigeria, start a fake email address, and email them all back! Keep up the great work!


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