Beware of eBay iPhone Scammers: True Story

So I listed my iPhone on eBay this past Monday hoping to sell it and buy the new iPhone 3G S. I went to bed that night and when I woke up, I checked my email to find that someone had committed to “Buy it Now” for $450.

The buyer, whose alias was kammanns828287, had a 0 feedback score on eBay. After contacting this person all day and receiving no reply, I received an email the next day from a so-called “Stella Jones” claiming to have paid me via PayPal and asking me to ship the iPhone to her son in Nigeria:

Greetings to you. I am Stella Jones from US. I’m contacting you concerning your item on EBay, I’m presently in London on a business trip and intend sending this item to my son who works with the United Kingdom Embassy in Nigeria as a gift, I checked through USPS ( website and found out that the postage cost to Nigeria is $100, so i have just made a swift payment to you via PayPal.

Read the full iPhone scam e-mail here.

After that, I received a fake PayPal email, with subject PAYPAL PAYMENT CONFIRMATION ID#30688737FG3075722, claiming “You have an Instant Payment of US $550.00 from Stella Jones to your account for an eBay item through PayPal.”

There was, in fact, no money in my PayPal account. So I have relisted the iPhone and reported the user who scammed me so that eBay doesn’t charge me the fees I have been billed.

It concerns me that on my current iPhone auction on eBay, there are a couple of persistent bidders with 0 feedback scores. I want to sell this iPhone already, because I’m leaving on a trip tomorrow for a week, but I have little confidence that I won’t be scammed again.

A search on Twitter confirms that I’m not the only one who has been scammed on eBay trying to sell/buy an iPhone.

Has anyone else been scammed on eBay when trying to sell OR buy an iPhone? Please share if you have had a similar experience.

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hi everybody i just wanted to say that i got scammed 1800 dollars. this is a message for ignorant people. went on ebay to see the cheapest iphone and i saw a seller saying that hes selling 50 iphones. and he only wanted me to contact him at his email and finnaly got me to use money gram to send it to him .yes 1800 dollars. nNEVER EVER CONTACT THEM OUT OF EBAY. NEVER PAY WITH MONEY GRAM OR WESTERN UNION. WHENEVERE THEY SAY CONTACT ME ONLY ON MY EMAIL DONT EVEN LOOK AT IT. NOW GUYS I GOT SCAMMED… Read more »


I was also scammed in a very similliar way on ebay when trying to sell an iphone. I had set the exceptions on the auction to exclude anything other than the 48 States. Someone clicked my ‘buy it now’ and I received an invoice request with this message- “Dear Seller, I Am… from TX USA, Right now am in Holland for a business trip and i bought this item for my son as a birthday gift which i want you to ship it to him,Have contacted the USPS EMS International Mail and they told me it will cost me $50.15… Read more »


Just had the same problem. Member registers today, chooses “Buy it Now” and ends my auction – has a UK address on file but requests shipping to Nigeria, and I receive the same fraudulent PayPal email without any real funds having been transferred to my account.

There are scams going on all over the place, on our sister company website we get individuals trying to steal identities.


I was also targeted on craigs list I was not aware of the scams that were going on but I was told the same way on the email please send it out to my corporate office overseas to nigeria I almost sent it to find out I did not have funds in my account I called Paypal to ask why was I getting email saying that I have funds when in fact I did not have any she then told me that I was getting scammed I then stopped all shipping I still have my Ipod touch but almost fell… Read more »


jessica !

i am so happy for you i got scammed but thank god you didnt.

dont buy iphones on ebay from uk or romania beucase allot of gipsys are scamming from there.

and if you want to buy from them buy through ebay paypal.


I was caught hook, line and sinker this past week. Same idea, except it was for a grandson in Nigeria. I swear the money was in my Paypal (maybe I read it wrong), but then the buyer claimed fraudulent activity on their account and the bank pulled their payment. This was just a few hours after I dropped it off at USPS.

Still trying to get the package back. Last I heard it was in NJ. If it leaves the country it’s gone for good.


I am not going to sell anything to anyone that claims they have anything to do with Nigeria.


earl i love your opinion.

dont buy or sell from romania uk or nigeria and i am saying this cause i wish well for you cause i got scammed before


Same thing happened to me, they sent me a fake pay pal form and an address to the “UK Embassy in Nigeria”. Of course I immediately went to and found no funds, like I expected.

Andrew Boeger

I sold my 1st gen BROKEN iphone on eBay recently. A 0-feedback bidder in Thailand closed it out at $220. I was very wary at first, but payment came via Paypal, with a hold on it mind you. They held the funds for 21 days to give the bidder time to recv and verify the product. Since I was very clear in my auction that the product was not functioning, I figured I was safe, so I sent it.

Bidder left positive feedback and I got my $220, it all worked out great.

Greetings. As an eBay powereseller for many years I’d like to offer up a few points relavent to scams. As a buyer using paypal you are covered. As a seller using papal you are also covered if you follow paypal terms. I have sold upper end jewelry all over the globe under one of my accounts without incident by practicing common sense. If you are listing the iPhone as an auction you can set buyer requirements preventing 0 feedback buyers from bidding or requiring all potential buyers to contact you before being allowed to bid on your item. You can… Read more »

Lori Attack

I was scammed buying a computer but after a few eeks ebay gave me back my money. Unfortuneltly not everyone who was scammed got theirs back.

I saw your phone on ebay as I was goign to buy it for my husband but I dont like ebay since being scammed.

Pepe Silvia

Alright your story checks out.
Good work identifying the scam.