Online scam: caravan sale didn't fit the Bill

ON THE BALL: Millthorpe Post Office and Pharmacy employees Stacey Lochrin, Jade Jones, Linda Krogh and Helen Foran have saved several people who were caught in an online scam. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0926sgscam1

ON THE BALL: Millthorpe Post Office and Pharmacy employees Stacey Lochrin, Jade Jones, Linda Krogh and Helen Foran have saved several people who were caught in an online scam. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0926sgscam1

STAFF at the Millthorpe Post office and Pharmacy saved Forest Reefs resident Bill Sovdat from being ripped off $1350 when he almost fell victim to an overseas scam. 

Mr Sovdat had advertised his caravan for sale online and was excited when he received an email from an interested buyer.

He said he should have listened to his instincts but he had been attempting to sell the caravan for two months and was blindsided.

“I should have known something was off because he said I couldn’t call him because he had no service but then how could he send the emails?” Mr Sovdat said. 

Several emails were exchanged between Mr Sovdat and the buyer who said he was working on an oil rig in New Zealand and he had an agent in China who would arrange pick up of the caravan. 

Trouble was the agent required $1350 up front. 

The buyer told Mr Sovdat he would send him the full purchase price, the $1350 and another $100 for any charges he would face at the post office. 

Thankfully for Mr Sovdat, post office employee Stacey Lochrin served him.

“He was only lucky that we’d just had two people come in with the same thing,” Ms Lochrin said.

“We had a young woman come in trying to sell a motorbike ... since then we’re now aware.”

For a short time Mr Sovdat was convinced the deal was legitimate because the email contained what appeared to be official Paypal letterheads and logos but Ms Lochrin asked him to phone Paypal to check.

“Sure enough it was fake,” Mr Sovdat said. 

Mr Sovdat said he wanted people to be made aware of the scam because he had checked in with his bank to make sure nothing had gone awry and upon telling the cashier about the scam, he was told multiple people had been in about the same issue. 

“If it weren’t for those ladies at the post office I’ve paid it and I’d be out of pocket,” he said. 

“I’m very thankful, they’re great people.”

nicole.kuter@fiarfaxmedia.com.au

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