Thursday 26 May 2011


It's a refreshing change to get an email alert from a company that you are selling some of your property through. In this case the email was about the possibility that we were being set-up for an Internet scam. Now, that's what I call a real "heads up" customer service.

Black Betty
The backgound to this is that the Memsahib has just placed an advert on Motor Cycle News as she is selling her Honda CBF250 bike (Black Betty).  We were going to use the bike from the boat. But we found a better solution in the shape (and smaller size) of a Monkey bike.

The bike has now been sold on MCN to a ex-Police Officer who will be using it with their RV camper van.

Soon after placing the advert, we had an email from someone called "Damian Urbach" who was showing some interest in purchasing the bike from us.

A short time later, we had another email from "Paul Harrington" of MCN. The email was to alert us that the email reply to our advert was possibly bogus and someone might just be trying to set us up for a scam.

The email from Paul said "Unfortunately scammers do go through all internet for sale sites, including our bikes for sale marketplace. As such we have automated and manual procedures in place to try and stop these, and have unfortunately noticed that scammers are using any combination of the following email addresses:

Long list of email addresses....

Damian Urbach ( has recently contacted you.

If you've responded to this person, I'm sure you've realised it for what it is (a scam) but if not please simply ignore this email and do not respond to it. The sender is trying to pull a scam is a whereby they'll send you a cheque for substantially more than the amount of the bike and ask you to forward the remainder to their 'shipper'. If you cash the cheque, your bank will show it as cleared before it is, so that you would be inclined to pay the remainder to the 'shipper'. The cheque will then bounce or be declared stolen, leaving you out of pocket (and possibly charged for a bounced cheque to add insult to injury!)

There is an alternative scam that uses PayPal because it's 'safe', again this scam is fraudulent (Paypal accounts can be faked, and transferred funds withdrawn). For more information on scams, please see: The best advice still remains that if the person want to buy a bike unseen, and with no haggling, and doesn't want to meet in person it is extremly likely to be a scam.

For your information we can and do forward these to trading standards, but as the scammers invariably live outside of the UK they are very limited in their actions. I'd again like to assure you that we actively monitor and police responses, and manage to block the majority of scammers, although from time-to-time emails like this will creep through. I apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

I wish you luck with your sale and hope that you sell your bike to a legitimate buyer soon, if you haven't done so already. 

No further action is recommended, please simply ignore further correspondence.
Kind regards,
Paul Harrington


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