One of my first published articles (back in 1983 or 4) was called Look Before You Leap. I was duped by a few scams, in part because I was young and lacking in experience, and in part because we did no have hardly any money and were borderline desperate. THIS IS WHAT IS MOST EVIL about these people. They prey on people who can least afford to be ripped off.
It’s amazing how many ways they deceive. As P T Barnum once said, “A sucker is born every minute.”
Your article implies that some of those phone calls could be legitimate and I would suggest that none have legitimacy.
Anyways… good to be out there reminding people.
On one occasion I recognized a scam and contacted the State attorney general for Texas. They sent me some forms to fill out… 10 pages single spaced. No way did I have that much free time to fill out all that paperwork.
When eBay first started, they had huge problems with scam sellers who would sell “new laptops” for $500 and not send the laptop after receiving the money. I called the attorney general for California to address a related issue and when I mentioned these scammers, he said, “Look, we have five people in the office and thousands of scams to follow up on.”
Things are better on eBay because of ratings but there’s probably still shady stuff going on.