Published: December 3, 2019
By Greg Smith
UNITED STATES — Two New England antiques dealers are reporting that their identity is being used in a scam that attempts to buy antiques over the internet from sellers located in the United States and Europe.
The unknown suspect is using a slight variant of the dealers’ email addresses to proposition shipping quotes and best prices on objects listed for sale online. The suspect has created email addresses that look similar to the dealers’ known email addresses — as listed on their websites and various dealer directories — though typically with one additional letter added.
To the dealers’ knowledge, the suspect has not been successful in purchasing anything and it is not clear how they intend to pass payment.
According to emails sent to us, the suspect sometimes sends dealers a “OneDrive” file and asks that they open it to see a list of things they are interested in purchasing. This is the tell-tale sign of a “phishing” scam, and it is recommended that dealers do not open that file or click on that link as it may contain a virus.
The suspect has sought shipping quotes to Newark, N.J.; Hungary; Los Angeles; the United Kingdom and more.
One dealer received more than ten inquiries to verify interest from individual sellers after the suspect began making propositions to purchase with them. The sellers were reportedly apprehensive after the suspect used slightly improper English and decided to follow up with the email address listed on the dealer’s website.
One dealer has made a police report and the other is in the process of doing so.
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