Saddlebone scam: Bend’s shipping store manager warns of latest scam tactics


He should know – he was the victim of another email scam

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Most people are now familiar with the classic signs of a con artist: robocalls regarding people’s auto insurance and requests for wire transfers or gift cards, for example. However, in some cases scams are not so easy to recognize anymore. A shipping store manager in Bend saw it with his own eyes.

It has been an unusual week for Nick Pierce. The director of Postal Connections in southeast Bend saw two separate cases of the same scam, two days in a row.

“I mean, it felt real to me at first,” Pierce told NewsChannel 21 Thursday. “It took a while before it started clicking, you know that might be a scam.”

On Tuesday, Pierce said, an elderly woman walked in trying to ship a horse saddle. It was an item she was trying to sell on Facebook Marketplace, which sparked the interest of a buyer who claimed to live in Hanceville, Alabama.

This buyer said she wanted to buy the saddle, but never confirmed the purchase through Marketplace, which is what people are supposed to do.

Either way, the seller received a follow-up email from what appeared to be PayPal, and that’s when Pierce started asking questions.

“They wanted (the seller) to send the tracking number first and pay for the shipping, then (the buyer) said they would send the money soon after, which is not how it works. PayPal, ”Pierce said.

Pierce and the customer agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea to trust this buyer. Then, barely 24 hours later, it happened again, to another client.

“I walked over and thought to myself, ‘Who are you sending this saddle to? “” Pierce said. “It was exactly the same person as (Tuesday). They had the exact same PayPal email asking for the exact same thing. “

Once again, Pierce put a stop to the expedition, saving two people from losing what he estimates to be a few thousand dollars each.

Yet even Pierce himself has been duped in the past, sending $ 300 in Google Play gift cards to someone who emailed the store, pretending to be a friend.

“They know the name of a close family friend, and they pose as themselves and their email address,” Pierce said. “We didn’t think about it. We thought they just needed a favor.”

He said looking back he should have admitted it was a scam. However, it allowed her to prevent others from falling in love with something similar.

These examples show that no one is safe from being targeted, but everyone should know the signs. Scammers usually contact people out of the blue, and in many cases, as Pierce experienced, there is an emergency or they need a favor.

Above all, as the old saying goes: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Bend / Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / Deschutes County / Local News / News / Videos

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