While out shopping these days one has to keep their wits about them. Never more so than online. In my recent search for a new camera body, I came across an almost too good to be true listing on buy & sell for a Canon 5D. Now the rough price online for a 5D is up around the €2,500 mark, lots higher than that in Ireland. So I was elated, if suspicious, to see that there was a 5D for sale in Sligo for the amazing sum of €1,400. Hmm, could it be too good to be true? I emailed for further info…

Hello. It was bought in London last september, warranty until september 2008. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.It works 100% perfectly and looks near perfect cosmetically. It is absolutely flawless. the plain reason i’m selling is that i don’t need it anymore.. it was my sons expensive hobby, he quit on it and now we don’t need it.

What will you get ; Original box, The Canon EOS 5D camera itself, Original Canon genuine battery pack, Canon standard battery charger, A/V Cable, USB connector cable, Canon Warranty Card,Original manual (English), Canon software CD’s, Canon neck strap

If you need any other info, write me back.

So it’s only a year old, still in warranty, works perfeclty and has taken little abuse? Wow… Now this has to be too good to be true. I was left wondering if this ‘Anna’ was insane or didn’t actually know the real value of the camera. To add to that, I also got the following enticing images;

5D Scam 2

5D Scam 1

Yup, that’s definately a Canon 5D! My interest piqued but remaining somewhat suspicious, I decided to probe for further info.


Thanks very much for the email, I’m interested in coming to take a look at the camera but wont be available to do so until Monday 28th. Are you actually in Sligo town or the suburbs? I hope to be around the town until at least 4 or 5pm so anytime up to that would suit perfectly. If you want to tell me where you are I can come to you, or we can arrange to meet somewhere.

Also, given that you say it looks near perfect cosmeticaly, I have to ask if there are any marks or other damage on it? If so, could you forward photos of them. Thanks

Standard “I am interested in what you have to sell” response. A bit over enthusiastic perhaps, but understandable given the apparent amazing deal. Ah but hold on. My plans to convey myself to Yeats county fell short on receipt of the following;

Hello. No marks, no scratches, it was very well taken care of..
But, I’m affraid I can’t wait till 28th because i have a dozen men asking me about it and I will surely sell it. For the moment i am in London, trying to solve some probs.
If you know someone here, who might take a look at it, and is ready to close the deal on your behalf, maybe we can still close the deal. Otherwise, i think you should be looking for another camera.
All the best.

So you’re living in Sligo, you’ve got an expensive camera in an awkward shaped box and what’s the first thing you think to pack for a trip to London? Yeah… Now it’s starting to smell of the wacky tabacky. So I know people in London that would no doubt check out this camera for me and if need be, accept a cash transfer for the hand over. A couple of emails went back and forth, I informed ‘Anna’ that I would arrange to meet her upon her return to Sligo as I was eager to see and test the camera. But wait, then I got a reply that knocked me off my feet.

All right, this sounds good, but i realy can’t promise something 100% because i have someother people interested and if i will find someone till then, i will probably sell it.
If not, i will surely call/e-mail you as soon as i’ll be back.
Or, i can just ship it from here and you will have a couple of days to see if its what you want..

Yeah, you’ve read it correctly. You’ve been emailing some guy for a few hours that got your email address off a free ad’s website and now you’re offering to send him a €2,500 camera to test it out for a couple of days. With no further doubt in my mind that this was a scam, I waved bye bye to my bargain 5D and bit down on the bait. I emailed back indicating in no uncertain terms that shipping the camera to me to ‘test out for a few days’ would be the most favorable option. So then the scammers favorite two words came up. Try and guess what they are…

Hello Ryan. I can ship it, and i will do it Monday, you’ll get it 2 days later, and check it/test it until Friday to see if it suits. But, without any disrespect, it is a valuable camera and i can’t afford to waste my time and money.. I will not ask for any advance or something like this, but i will still need a proof you have the money and this is not a joke..
So look what i suggest : you can send the money for the camera through Western Union, to one of your friend’s name and address here in London, i will call Western here and ask them to confirm the transfer, and if they will confirm it, i will ship the camera within 4 hours. Then, you will get it, see it and if you agree to buy it, you will resend the money on my name.. If not, you’ll just send it back, and that will be all.
What do you think about this method?

That’s right, Western Union. What a great name they’ve managed to get themselves from all the worldwide scammers in operation. It’s like the worldwide money transfer service of choice for the discerning scammer. What I was unsure about is, was she expecting me to say “eh, I don’t have any friends in London, can I send the money directly to you?”. Not too sure how she expected this one to work. If I send €1,400 to a friend in London, she shipped the empty box to me and went to collect the money, I’d have already instructed my friend to claw her eyes out. Anyone want to explain this one to me?

So that was that. I wasn’t prepared to waste any more time on this nonsense so the last email I sent back was something along the lines of

“Dear Scumbag,

I’d rather itch my nuts with a rusty cheese grater than send that much money to anyone. It’s perfectly obvious that you are attempting (albeit in a hugely incompetent and comical fashion) to scam me out of €1,400. Please crawl back under your putrid stone and die like a upside down turtle, baking slowly in the midday sun. Also, I’m passing your email address onto everyone I can think of in the hope they may spam you until the day your head is somehow removed from your shoulders, in some kind of comical monty python-esque fashion. I dearly hope I’m present to witness that event.

Good day, you waste of genetic material.”

So, ‘Anna’, who’s email address is Preabeat@aol.com, pray that I never learn your true identity. For if I do, I may hound you with bogus correspondence, fake deliveries and eventually; A horrid, 6 hour long kneecapping. That is all. Guess I’ll have to get a 30D as a second (first) body instead.