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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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3,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently saw a horn on Craigslist that looked like a pretty good deal- the seller states that he is currently in the UK, but sends 11 pictures for me to look at, and a flurry of emails about how to get it to me, payment options, how recently it was serviced, etc. etc. etc. Seems pretty knowledgeable about the horn for a scammer... except why did he post it on Craigslist if he isn't in the area at the moment if he isn't a scammer?

Now, as a matter of course, I don't do Craigslist unless it is a local pickup cash transaction. But just for kicks...

I checked his IP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ip_address) that was in the email and found that the emails were coming from Chicago. My next email asked him how the weather was in Chi-town- it is now 12 hours later, and no response from the formerly chatty seller.

You can help protect yourself from scams by learning how to check the originating location of an email by checking the IP address. Not just against scenarios like mine, but for instance a seller claiming to be in your city asking to meet you- only he isn't in your city, and is sending you somewhere for an unknown purpose- perhaps to get mugged.

CAVEATS: Sometimes it doesn't work for one reason or another- perhaps the computer is off now and thus the IP is dormant. Maybe they were 1337 Hax0rs and redirected their email spoofing the correct IP. However, sometimes it does work, and today it saved me a lot of grief.


For more detailed information about headers and guides to tracing IPs, go here:

http://www.johnru.com/active-whois/trace-email.html

http://www.visualware.com/resources/tutorials/email.html#ipaddress

http://www.usus.org/elements/tracing.htm


The locater I use for IPs is here:

http://www.geobytes.com/IpLocator.htm
 

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Just be sure you're looking at the senders IP address in the header and not the IP address of the sending server.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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3,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The guides above are pretty detailed in making sure you've actually got the senders IP address. In my case it was pretty easy- he was sending from a computer with a static IP through AOL, so every step of the way was there to see.
 

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Locating IP addresses is not an exact or reliable science. I'll agree that you've probably caught out a scammer (because he went quiet when you called him on his location).

Here, at work, Geobytes says I am in Texas, I've never been to Texas in my life, I'm in Scotland.
If I put my home IP address in, it says I'm in Kent, I couldn't be much further from Kent in the UK without falling in the sea!
 

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Regarding this scammer-Same scenario as you had ABADCLICHE. I thought it was a scam with that pricetag, but he was local to me--so i thought, until his followup email supposedly placed him in UK with some story about his wedding. Then came the talk of shipping and payment blah blah. Mark 6s tenor for $2300-- not likely. Or maybe he was just being a super nice fella, trying to share the holiday spirit. by the way his email was [email protected] , went by the name of ronny & marius d.
 
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