How A Nigerian Steals Your Laptop

Molly’s laptop was stolen, and the thief didn’t even break into her house, or snag it from her at a coffeeshop, or hold a knife to her neck in a darkened alley. No, her laptop was stolen via email. In fact, she mailed it to thief, in Africa. OMG, you’re probably saying to yourself right now with your hands up by your face, how could this be? Discover the horrifying true story, inside…

Molly writes:

1. I posted my laptop for sale on Craigslist for $550.

2. emailed me and said he’d send an extra $150 through Paypal for shipping to his cousin, a student in Nigeria.

3. Paypal sent me an email saying they needed the tracking # before they could post the $700 to my account, to protect the buyer and be fair to both parties. (I’ve since found out this email was a SCAM!)

4. I emailed the tracking # to the Paypal address they had provided and waited day in and day out. I’d paid $76.05 to ship the laptop.

5. Finally, I got frustrated enough today to call Paypal and demand the money. They said the buyer account did not exist and there was no $700. The only thing they had a record of was my request for $700 from the buyer.

6. So! Paypal couldn’t do shit. They told me to call USPS and recall the laptop.

7. USPS said the laptop left the US on September 22nd and cannot be recalled once it leaves. The insurance I’d put on the item was for lost or damaged goods. It does not protect against fraud.

8. So! USPS couldn’t do jack.

9. I reported this to the FTC, but what’s that gonna do? NOTHING!

10. I’m so livid that I am currently in an emotionless state.

That’s right, Molly, you’re fucked. Here’s a few things to remember so you don’t end up like Molly:

  • Don’t mail anything to Africa and expect to get money back. Any email based around some kind of transaction wanting to have you do something involving Africa is probably a scam.
  • Someone offering to buy something from you, then give you extra money over the sale price so you will ship it to a third party, is probably scamming you.
  • If Paypal were really stepping in to mediate between you and the other party, a record of it would appear in your resolution center on


Edit Your Comment

  1. LoganAdams says:

    You have a story about someone in Africa who stole a laptop, so you pick a photo of some random black man (stock photography, I assume) holding a box and consider this story ready to go.

    Are you sure that’s a wise art choice?

    • Segador says:

      @LoganAdams: I was just thinking the same thing.

      • Mr. Guy says:

        without sharing your assumption that the consumerist editors just plucked a picture of any random black person, rather than entering the term “Nigerian” into the search field of their stock-art library…

        so what if this person isn’t nigerian. consumerist uses stock art all the time. what if they did a story about some white criminal in maine but somehow ended up using a nondescript picture of a white person that was taken in Sweden? is that an outrage?

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          @Mr. Guy: I see no problem with it.

          When there is an article about a corrupt DEO (and their actuall pic is not used), I’ve seen generic “old fat white guy in a shirt and tie”.

          Then again, we could avoid all this if pics of cats were used (such as a cat with a laptop).

    • CFinWV says:

      @LoganAdams: I hadn’t noticed that at first, but you have a point.

      • SpitfireM1 says:


        You’re not alone. I’d bet that quite a few here didn’t even see a picture of an African American person – I saw a guy holding a box. Only when people stop viewing people as belonging to specific races and simply see them as people will we make genuine progress.

    • Piedmont says:

      @LoganAdams: yikes, ditto

    • Ben Popken says:

      @LoganAdams: If you have a problem with it, email me. Comments area is not for backseat post-editing.

    • AI says:

      @LoganAdams: Oh please, Africans are black, and the scam is about Africa. Please learn what racism is before you complain about it. It’s not like they spelled Nigeria with two g’s or something.

      • rdm says:

        @AirIntake: Um, not all Africans are black. ???

        • jodark says:

          @rdm: Holy fucking shit. Not all Koreans are Asian either. Not all Europeans are white.

          Would you prefer he show a white, Dutch African who got pushed off his land? Go back to your sterile, politically correct utopia.

          Oh, and it is more pollitically correct to call Black people African-American, so either Africans are black, or ‘African-American’ is the wrong term for black people in America. You can’t have it both ways.

          • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

            @jodark: I’m not ethno-centric, but I prefer to be called black. Actually, I prefer to be called American. African-American is so for the media, it also sounds like an airline.

            BTW, there’s a $25 surcharge for reading this comment in it’s entirety. Thanks….I accept paypal.

          • jdhuck says:

            @jodark: I have a friend from South Africa that is white. He is my African-American friend (that is how I refer to him). People freak out when a big white guy walks in the door.

            Some people are so racist!
            I am an Irish-Scottish-Native American.
            That means I drink a lot and when I am wasted, I sell everything for a trunk of beads. This happens quite often.

      • ManiacDan says:

        @rntk: Nt qt ccrt n “frcns r blck.” Chrlz Thrn s frcn.

    • jodark says:

      @LoganAdams: Would you outrage manufacturers prefer something like this??

    • malefactor says:

      He’s right. Clearly you should have a picture of a Korean. The scammer MIGHT BE KOREAN for all you know, YOU RACIST PIG.

      Good grief, people. A story about a Nigerian stealing a laptop illustrated with a black guy holding a box is “racist”? Ugh. I can’t even see how it is (no pun intended) off color. What next?

      Maybe we should just not have stories about anything but white men, to avoid all controversy.

      • Gonkette says:

        @Mr. Guy: While I don’t think it’s inherently racist to use a stock photo that more or less describes the act, I think it misrepresents the model and doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the issue.

        I’d find it much more appropriate to use a photo from the p-p-p-powerbook incident, where someone scammed a scammer with hilarious results.

        Link: []

    • cjones27 says:

      @LoganAdams: Get off your high horse. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that picture.

      Except that the box he’s holding might not be a laptop box. So the box may find it offensive. If that’s the case, I stand corrected.

    • Adisharr says:


      Who the hell are we kidding here – the last time I watched the Amazing Race and they went to Africa, the place was completely black. It was also a shithole but big surprise there. Most third world countries are.

      I’m amazed people are questioning the choices of this picture. Come on people – enough PC already.

    • Megladon says:


      Yea, lets get a white person on the pic, because its all the white nigerians that are stealing laptops and sending those letters about how their dad stole all this money you can help them get out of their country. Its not about race idiots, facts are black people are stealing things from nigeria. Its not like its a slam against all black people, there just dont happen to be many people of other races there. Its like having something about china, you’d expect a picture of a chinese person right?

    • jinnrice says:

      stf i would post the same pic or another pic witha black guy holding a box!poeple like you thats so anal about everything,that comes up with these retarded lawsuits…if this ad was talking about a chinese person taking the laptop i would us an asian baby working in a sweetshop hacking away on the comp and have ups deliver it right to him….go do something else with your life.@LoganAdams:

    • joel. says:

      @LoganAdams: yep. That was my first thought. Even before I read the story.

    • Ben Popken says:

      @LoganAdams: Ok everybody, I think we’ve thoroughly exhausted this topic, I don’t think we need to drill it any further, and even if you don’t agree with him, we really don’t need all the stfus careening around.

    • DH405 says:

      @LoganAdams: Do you suggest a picture of a white man? You know they’re mostly black there, right?

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @LoganAdams: Stuff White People Like #101: Being Offended.


      To be offended is usually a rather unpleasant experience…white people, blessed with both time and energy, are not these kind of people. In fact there are few things white people love more than being offended.

    • tbone13 says:

      h lks ngrn t m.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @tbone13: There are a lot of people out there believe all africans are black. I had a WHITE south african friend who always got funny looks when he told people he was from africa. They thought he was joking.

        • thirday413 says:

          @dragonfire81: Was his name Dave? And did he happen to play in a multi-platinum selling band?

        • MostlyHarmless says:

          @dragonfire81: Infact, i remember, for a long time, South African, Zimbabwean and Nigerian cricket teams were mostly white. That was before Mugabe went off his rocker. There are way more Indians and Whites in Africa than people on the either side of the continent realize.

        • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

          @dragonfire81: I dated a white south african girl about 10 years ago, damn was she hot. I mean like really hot.

    • Darkkeyboard says:

      @LoganAdams: Don’t worry. I brought it up at the black man’s meetings, and we’re cool with it.

    • justdan says:

      @LoganAdams: Would it be any more appropriate if it were some random white man?

    • Ayo says:


      You just turned this article conversation from phising… to a lame ass race issue. stfu and read the article. Maybe its a black person preparing to ship the item???? Maybe that is an actually picture of Molly’s husband holding said laptop.

      I’m dying laughing at the “wanna get away southwest post”

    • shufflemoomin says:

      @LoganAdams: I think the worst thing about the article that they make the generalisation that anyone from Africa trying to do any kind of business deal with you is scamming you. That’s pretty strong and pretty unfair.

  2. William Mize says:

    When I was preparing to sell my ThinkPad 600x, I was hearing these stories left and right. I finally decided that eBay was the way to go, that I’d only accept PayPal, and I would not ship outside the Continental 48 states.

    • floraposte says:

      @William Mize: Checking email headers is also a useful skill.

    • Anonymous says:

      @William Mize:
      There are 49 Continental United States.
      There are 48 Contiguous United States

    • skc15 says:

      @William Mize: By the way, isn’t the 600x a great machine? I’ve had mine for what seems like forever, and and the old man just keeps chugging along….

      • William Mize says:

        @skc15: It was a great machine! I joked in my eBay ad that it was neigh indestructible, that it would take a gun to kill it.
        I sold it because I have heard the sirens call of the new Netbooks.

    • MoreFunThanToast says:

      @William Mize: my roommate sold a paid of shoes on ebay. Buyer recieveds the shoes and left a positive feedback.

      4 months later the buyer filed for a claim through paypal and took the money back. Paypal asked my roommate to provide proof of shipping, which she had, but the tracking number no longer work when you enter it in the usps website. She went to USPS and they said the number lasts 1 month.

      Paypal wouldn’t do anything and the jackass took the money and the shoes.

      • William Mize says:

        @MoreFunThanToast: I’ve heard of that happening before. It stuns me into disbelief that Paypal/eBay does this sort of thing. Half-a**sed investigations + ??? = Scammer Profit!

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @MoreFunThanToast: It’s like Paypal is set up to resolve the disputes in favor of whoever is the scammer, I swear. I got scammed the other direction, dude never sent the product, told paypal he did, they told me since he SAID he did (no tracking #s!), I was SOL and he got to keep my money. I friggin’ hate paypal.

        • bwcbwc says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: Maybe Paypal is scamming both sides of the dispute? Tell the seller they are refunding the money to the buyer because of insufficient proof, tell the buyer they can’t get a refund because of insufficient proof.

    • TreyWaters says:

      @William Mize: Ummm…aren’t there 49 Continental states? Or did California finally fall into the Pacific and I missed that story?

      Maybe you meant 48 CONTIGUOUS states?

  3. chris101d says:

    Personally I think the best resolution would be to send a followup email to the scammer saying you forgot to send the powercord, or laptop case and pretend you have noticed nothing wrong…get some more info that way which could be usable

    • Gopher bond says:

      @chris101d: And then what? The Nigerian Fraud Squad will team up with the Wonder Twins to track down the hucksters? Wonder Twin Power Activate!

      • chris101d says:

        @testsicles: No, then they will get more information for whatever reports they have filed. There is no need for sarcastic derogatory replies on this site.

        More information can only help…not to mention these scammers are usually gullible enough to give more. In the long run if there is a report with the FTC or a fraud report to the bank then it can only help…

        • econobiker says:

          @chris101d: Or she could game him via another email address to pay for shipping on a far more valuable (and heavier) shipment of goods. And then provide a concrete block, etc.

          Best one was the guy who sent a broken washing machine with concrete chunks in it and mocking printouts of the scammer taped to the outside of the machine. The scammer thought he was getting a load of brand new in box laptops…

  4. NefariousNewt says:

    “If it sounds too good to be true…”

    – Old Craigslist proverb.

    • Anonymous says:

      @NefariousNewt, Democratic Poll Challenger: The proverb is true enough, but how does it apply here? The guy just offered to pay a bit more for the trouble (and extra cost) of shipping it further. If the buyer were actually legit, the offer would probably be about the same. It’s not like the guy offered to pay double and then send a jar of the prince’s penis enlargement pills on top of that. The arrangement as it stood wasn’t really “too good” to warrant suspicion–it was the 3 bulleted items listed that were the indication instead.

  5. bonzombiekitty says:
  6. TheFuzz53 says:

    So Africa = theft?

    Hmm, interesting…

    • humphrmi says:

      @TheFuzz53: Nigeria has a law against scams like this, it’s where we get the term “419 scammers”. However, it’s enforced very little because officials within the Nigerian government believes that if people are gullible enough to fall for this stuff, then they deserve it.

      If that is there position, then my position is, Nigeria = theft, and they can go pound sand as far as I am concerned. Yeah, I hope they feel bad about being generalized that way. Good for them, they deserve it.

      On the other hand, I do see your point about correlating theft to the entire continent.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @TheFuzz53: Unfortuately, that’s almost right.

      I would suggest: Email + Africa + Money = Theft

    • strathmeyer says:

      @TheFuzz53: No, just most thefts like these come from Africa. Try not to switch it around.

  7. dorrdon says:

    Remember the ppppower book prank here:

  8. Anonymous says:

    While I agree, most of these scams originate from various countries in Africa, those are some stereotypical words to deem an entire continent a scam…

    Posting items on Craigslist, I’ve had just as many people try to scam me into sending the item to the UK or even the US. Perhaps you should have acknowledged that you should not mail anything period and expect to get money back.

  9. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

    My alarms went off when they said they would pay more than the amount.

  10. pete7919 says:

    Remember this next time:

    Craigslist = meet me with cash

    • TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

      @pete7919: Actually in at least one instance recently it was “Craigslist = Meet me with gun/knife, and I will rob the item from you”

      • m4ximusprim3 says:

        @TakingItSeriously: And in the other 59 million, it was “here’s cash, here’s item, thanks neighbor!”.

        Quit that fearmongering shit. Craigslist is the fastest, safest way to sell your old crap and get actual useable currency for it.

        • Landru says:

          Wow, what are you talking about? It’s not the safest way to sell, by a long shot.

          Not long ago a good friend of mine had a gun put to his head by someone pretending to sell a powerbook on craigslist.

          You might lose your money on eBay, but your life won’t be threatened.

          TakingItSeriously is not fearmongering at all. Btw, I use craiglist all the time, but I’m not stupid about it.

    • Traveshamockery says:


      Remember this next time:

      Craigslist = meet me with cash

      Let’s make that:

      Craigslist = meet me IN PUBLIC with cash.

    • wesrubix says:

      @pete7919: yes exactly! I sold some laptops on craigslist recently, and every time you get a reply on craigslist, or even look at a post, there’s tons of warnings to NOT SHIP, and to do business LOCALLY to avoid SCAMs.

      I have no sympathy for this haddock. Financial Darwinism.

  11. EBounding says:

    So, did the OP send the package before the funds arrived? Did she ship it just so she could get a tracking # to give to “Paypal”?

    • Darascon says:

      @EBounding: really. Who ships stuff before monies have been collected?

      I’ll gladly pay you tuesday for a laptop today…

    • floraposte says:

      @EBounding: She thought PayPal had the funds but wouldn’t release them without a tracking number. So she believed that she had confirmation that the “customer” had sent the funds, but that PayPal was hanging onto them until she provided confirmation of shipment.

      Though it’s true that she could have sent a tracking number without actually shipping the laptop, I suspect she would then have been scammed by a forged “PayPal” email that said her money had been released to her anyway.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        @floraposte: STILL, until I had the cash in my hand, the laptop stays in my possession. Period. Legit customers want to complain about that, fine with me. Let them complain. Let them send me neg feedback. I’ll retaliate in kind.

        “Item shipped same day I had money. Questions? Email me.”


    • Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

      @EBounding: @floraposte: She used the USPS, and in all my experience, they will only give you a tracking number when you send the package, unlike FedEx/UPS, which will issue a number, and when you track it, it will say “Expecting/Notified of package waiting to be shipped”. USPS isn’t like that. Probably why they wanted USPS.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:


      Actually, Paypal/eBay in all their wisdom now have a policy for certain sellers wherein you don’t get your money unlocked until delivery confirmation or buyer leaves + feedback.

  12. xkaluv says:

    You should spend more money… Get on an airplane and track them down. Then when you find them beat them to a pulp. Then get your laptop and fly back. When you get here, I will be happy to drive over and beat you to a pulp because you make BAD DECISIONS.

    If you have ever watched Judge Judy you would know that making bad decisions won’t get you rewarded.

  13. twritersf says:

    Also, craigslist is LOCAL. If someone responds to your craigslist post from out of the area, Just Say No.

  14. midwestkel says:

    If you have the address go visit them at their house and beat the shit out of them. Well maybe not since most of these scams are run by people that are in gangs and heavily armed…

    Sorry, another thing to remember is call PayPal to verify and not just believe the person that wants the item.

  15. Atticka says:

    Use Fedex or UPS next time, you can cut a tracking number/label online before you even ship the product. provide the tracking number and get payment before you actually ship the product.

    Granted, ANYTHING going to or coming from Nigeria should be considered a scam.

  16. maztec says:

    You can get a shipping number before shipping… You can even do that with USPS.

  17. LawyerontheDL says:

    Is it illegal to send dog poop overseas? Yes, it would be more money, but you do have an address…….

    • cordeduroi says:


      I have often wondered the legality of sending feces. Seriously, I’m not kidding. I would have done it A FEW times if I wasn’t worried about breaking a law.

      Does anyone know if this is legal via USPS or UPS/FedEx?

    • layton59 says:

      @LawyerontheDL: “Is it illegal to send dog poop overseas? Yes, it would be more money, but you do have an address” Be sure to include a note saying “Dear Dr. Vet please analyze this stuff.” That should make it perfectly legal. (If enough people did this, Africa scammers would leave us alone.)

  18. figz says:

    Ebay seller rule number 1: Never ship until you have the money.

  19. Finine says:

    Ouch. :(

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Can’t you get a tracking number prior to actually shipping the item? I believe with USPS you can do that. Not that it matters, but the thought just came to mind. That way she could have sent the tracking number, and awaited the payment.

  21. Anonymous says:

    @Atticka offers the ability to print labels/obtain tracking numbers just like FedEx and UPS. You don’t have to just pop your valuables in the mail on the spot. A tracking number could have been generated and held until the money cleared

  22. _NARC_ says:

    Craigslist has warnings when you submit your item for exactly what is described here.

  23. tundey says:

    Good advice to follow. But amend to say: don’t mail anything to anywhere until you’ve been paid. If Amazon doesn’t ship until payment, why should you be different?

    Oh yeah, more negative publicity for Nigeria.

  24. youbastid says:

    So she’s smart enough to know about the consumerist, but still thinks it’s ok to send ANYTHING to Nigeria?

    I know it was kind of posted above, but it cannot be repeated enough: Unless it’s a family member or someone you personally know, do not conduct ANY business with ANYONE in Nigeria.

  25. ryaninc says:

    Almost every single time I sell something worth more than $200 or $300 on eBay or Craigslist I get these emails. They offer way more than the price if I’ll send it to a relative in Africa. They’re so frequent that I just laugh and delete them.

  26. anker says:

    Ben, please remove this post if it’s improper. I apologize in advance.

    This is the what I got out of job hunting on craigslist.

    Micneal Mollen to me

    show details Oct 27 (3 days ago) Reply

    Good day ……….,hope you doing great right there,got your response regarding the driving job

    Am mike mollen,My Boss(Mr James Walker) will be visiting the state next month on an assignment in your area,he’s very new to your area in the state and am in position to arrange a good driver that will take him around the places where those assignment are to be carried out

    He will be staying for two week, and you are required to take him around the places where those assignment be carried out

    You service needed from Wednesday to Friday (10:30am to 3:30pm) for the first and second week.

    You are offered $1200,($500 per week,$100 for gas)an advance payment of $600 will be send to you as soon you agreed on this contract.

    Also I’ve arrange for a hired Mercedes Benz to be used for this process , the first payment to be sent to you will include your advance payment and the payment fro the will have to forward this fund to the Agent in care of the car ,so he can deliver the car to your place before Mr James arrival.All other info will be supply as needed,such as the date and the hotel for accommodation

    My Boss will be paying you the balance after satisfactory completion of your service.if you are OK and satisfy with this,do get back asap and include this detail.

    First Name:

    Last Name:



    Marital Status;

    CDL Serial #/group/type




    Zip Code:

    Cell phone;

    best time to call;

    present work at hand;

    Work ID #

    Education Status;

    I inquire for this information to secure this deal,i hope you agree with me that there are some unreal people out there,be rest assure that any personal information receive are reserved.

    I will appreciate a prompt response from you as the payment will only be sent out to you after i receive this info,so you can work things out this week asap


    A paycheck will be forwarded to you as soon as possible so once you get the payment,you remove $600 as agreed and send remain part to the car hire representative,so he can deliver the vehicle at your place.

    NOTE,they will also come for the pick up of the car after the completion of the contract.

    • econobiker says:

      @anker: An unemployed family friend got the same deal in Indiana and even got the fake money orders sent to his home. I was able to work with him to understand it was a scam and he reported it to the local authorities. Supposedly the money orders came from within the US (I did not see the envelope as I do not live by the friend) so somebody might be charged though I figure the money orders were sent via a person who had been duped into the “reshipper” business…

    • am84 says:

      @anker: HAHAHA. Wow, that sure sounds like a great opportunity! You should definitely take the job. ;)

    • ameyer says:

      @anker: SCAM.
      I’m guessing:
      1) Send person fake check or money order
      2) Get person to send money back to you
      3) ???
      4) Profit!

  27. jsbaker99 says:

    What an Idiot. If she can’t read the warnings on Craigs list and is “smart” enough to ship before receiving payment then she did not deserve to have the laptop in the first place.

    These scams did not just pop up yesterday.

  28. tmlfan81 says:

    Two things about Craig’s List:

    a) Never, ever use your daily use e-mail address. (Let alone your work e-mail address) It is so nice having a service like akapost around that I can just shut off an account when the spam gets to be too much.

    b) I got a little peeved off at a guy for sticking his two cents about my “conditions of sale” tag that I attached at the end of my paltry $35 listing. I didn’t want to deal with any bullcrap. Lately, CL (at least in St. Louis) has just become a haven of those seeking “something for nothing”. I want within 75% of my asking price if I’m forced to haggle – which is already a decent drop from the retail price I paid.

    If someone offers to pay more than your listing = fraud.

    If someone offers methods of payment other than cash = fraud.

    Cash only, local only, meet in public places.

    • rhobite says:

      @tmlfan81: Absolutely. Craigslist haggling is getting silly. I listed a very small ticket electronic item and after a few no-shows, I agreed to sell it to a guy who offered a little less than my asking price. Fine, but he had even less cash when he showed up and said “it’s the only money I have right now!”

      He also asked if I’d take a check… yeah, i’ll get right on that.

  29. wary_consumer says:

    Is “The Consumerist” on the way down the tubes?

    I’ve always gritted my teeth and remained silent when I see your misleading headlines e.g., “Man Jailed After Letting His Girlfriend Eat Off Of His Plate” that SHOULD have read “Man Jailed After Stealing (Even Though He Was Given the Opportunity To Pay Up Before The Cops Were Called”)

    Now, I’m seeing race-baiting (You assume the scammer is a black man since Africa is part of the story?)

    And now, the editor (I assume Mr Popkin is the author of the sage advice following the post?) is flinging the f-word as part of The Consumerist’s reply


    Time to go back and review the Journalism 101 textbooks!

    • anker says:


      Have you not seen the voting ad that has been placed in the middle of this site for weeks? It explains that we would really feel like and a**hole if we didn’t vote. I emailed Ben, and the advertising person, I think his name was chris. I explained that I let my kids read this site and I was truely offended.

      I recieved no reply or acknowledgement of my letter.

      Sadly, I think the young people of today consider this to be the norm. I think it’s sick.

    • LatherRinseRepeat says:


      Blogging is not journalism.

      • wary_consumer says:

        Really? Check out Mr. Popkins 11/10 article “Goldman Rips Off Non-Profits, Endowments, Foundations, And Charities” and ask yourself why he did not reveal the name of the employee.

        If you ask Mr Popkin, I’ll bet $5 he’ll say “I need to protect my sources”.

        This is something only a “journalist” would say, and being a “journalist” cuts both ways: he can protect his sources, but he also needs to report objectively and strive to tell nothing but the truth.

        Instead, he has begun to resort to sensationalistic headlines that distort the truth and has begun to use profanity in an attempt (I assume) to appeal to the younger, non-discriminating audience (read: crank up the advertising hits)

        The Consumerists credibility is heading toward the cliff

    • cordeduroi says:


      Start your own blog. It can be a HAVEN of political correctness. Let’s see how many unique hits you have after a year compared to

  30. AuntNi says:

    Did anyone hear the story on This American Life about the guys who out-scammed the Nigerian scamster? [] I have never laughed so hard!

  31. katiat325 says:

    wow, wow…umm, yeah. 1) its Nigeria, 2) they offer to pay over the price stated 3) they demand tracking # before payment. I may be young and a recent college grad, but come on! THis is too obvious.

    There’s nothing really that she can do now, and Nigeria will probably sue her if she tries to file claims there (since they believe people who fall for these scams are criminals themselves), so tough luck, suck it up, and deal.

    Also, hopefully you just formatted your computer so that no single piece of personal information on it at all.

  32. VidaBlueBalls says: emailed me and said he’d send an extra $150 through Paypal for shipping to his cousin, a student in Nigeria

    [face palm]

  33. Canino says:

    Molly must be new to this planet.

  34. putch says:

    doesnt craigslist have giant disclaimers about foreign buyers and money transfers?

  35. seeker1321 says:

    whenever you sell something online it pays to be careful, I recently tried to sell an ipod on Craigslist, the first two emails I got were scammers. I was selling it for $350.
    Here is the first one:
    “Hi Do you still have it for sale l wanna buy it for a friend am payingyou $450 and l will also include the shipping cost so get back to me
    with your paypal email account so l pay asap.
    waiting for response asap”

    The other one I got:

    I am interested in buying the item and i want you to know that i am located in Oklahoma,But am buying the item for a friend of mine in the USA,So i will want you to get back to me with your full name and addrres where payment should be mailed to….and i will offer you $400 for the item including packaging ..but i will be responsible for the shipment of the item…i will like to proceed with the payment via USPS United State Postal Money Order which is very reliable, fast,safe and secure way of making payment online…payment will be brought to your address for delivery so kindly get back to me with your full name and residential address in order to proceed with the payment…Thanks”

    Needless to say I ignored both of these emails, but I might have to tempted to respond, before I became a Comsumerist reader a year ago.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Craigslist has an entire section/page that warns people about scams like this. Seriously… people still fall for these scams? Yeah just mail the laptop to his cousin, a student in Nigeria. That sounds like a fantastic idea!

    Craigslist = come pick it up, cash only.

  37. chwebb1 says:

    The OP should have sent it via a courier where you CAN recall the package, such as FedEx or DHL. The USPS will not allow you to recall packages. Also, the OP, as stated before, should have waited to receive the money before shipping! This was simply a stupid mistake.

  38. wickedpixel says:

    Not to blame the OP, but these scams rely on the greed of the seller by offering more than the asking price. If the “buyer” hadn’t offered to pay twice as much to ship the item than it cost, it’s not as likely she would have jumped at the opportunity. This would happen much less frequently if folks would just follow the old mantra, “If it’s too good to be true…”

  39. Anonymous says:

    People don’t think to use an escrow service. Use and they will get the money before you ship the laptop. That said, I would never deal with anyone out of Africa.

    With my business, people made online purchases using stolen credit cards. We reported it to the police, but they said that until everything was complete, they couldn’t do anything about it. We contacted the credit card owner and alerted them to the fraud and never charged the order.

    Be proactive and make sure to use common sense. That will save you time, money, and sanity.

  40. GMFish says:

    I hate to blame the victim, but… “a student in Nigeria.” Come on!

  41. mpaquette says:

    Hello?!? Isn’t this one of the oldest scams flying around the internets?

  42. jdhuck says:

    I love it. “That’s right, Molly, you’re fucked!”

    I laughed out loud at that one. I feel bad for Molly, but I thought everyone knew about this scam.

  43. tedyc03 says:

    I got the same email. Told them to pound sand.

    This is a sad story but sadly too common.

  44. ? graffiksguru says:

    My roommate just got hit for kind of the same thing. Except it was a $12,000 ring. He put his ring up on Craigslist and he sent it to Texas by UPS COD, they verified the ID (turns out its fake) got the check from the guy, and got it back to my roommate. He deposited it, and low and behold, bank calls back 2 days later saying they were fake. He can’t say he wasn’t forewarned though, because I told him that scammers do this, and the check looks so good that the bank will even accept it. But he didn’t listen to me, and got fucked.

  45. RAREBREED says:

    People from other countries must think Americans are so easy to scam! How often do you hear of someone from Spain being scammed by an American??

  46. timmus says:

    I can’t blame the poster much… this is actually a pretty clever ruse. It’s a classic authentication failure; a good reminder to NOT TRUST EMAIL. Always check back for confirmation on anything financial, using YOUR OWN bookmarks and phone numbers.

  47. TrevorYYC says:

    Computers and consumer electronics are abundant in Nigeria, look up “Computer Village” in Lagos, there is no legitimate reason somebody would goto the trouble of seeking out a computer from some guy in North America, pay extra, pay shipping and then on top of that pay the fairly high Nigerian import taxes and brokerage fees due on delivery.

  48. lifestar says:

    I never shipped anything out until the check cleared or the money has been transferred from my paypal account into my checking account. I’ve been cheated before, but in that case I was a buyer and it turned out I was frauded by a teen who was using his dad’s account. Eventually paypal gave me 75% of the cash I sent back since they charge 25% for the trouble.

  49. kenblakely says:

    You deserve it for being stupid. Darwinism in action….

  50. Starfury says:

    I’ve sold a bunch of stuff off of CL including 2 old computers, one was $50 and one $75. Both times I had e-mails come in wanting me to ship them to Africa. I was smart enough to decline the sale to the scammers and sold them locally to people who needed a working computer and didn’t have a lot of $$.

  51. unpolloloco says:

    Never ship without payment. Then you can never get ripped off. Works for retailers, it’ll work for you.

  52. blackmage439 says:

    Gee, no wonder the only response from putting up my laptop on Craigslist and Ebay was from a Nigerian scammer… With Paypal being the only douchebag middleman of choice on Ebay, it’s next to impossible to easily sell anything online anymore.

  53. GregGates says:

    Unfortunately this is an expensive lesson for the victim, but it may still be relatively cheap if in all future dealings she now behaves properly.

    And as for the excessively PC comments, sit down. Stereotypes exist for a reason and acknowledging them along with profiling help to keep you from being Darwin’d. Africans have dark skin. Nigerians are particularly famous for scamming Americans. If I got an African request to mail something I was selling on eBay? No way in hell. Sorry Africa, but that’s the way it’s gonna be for now.

  54. bdgbill says:

    These stories are so numerous and make it seem so easy to scam the dumb and greedy that I’m considering becoming a scammer myself.

    How can there still be people with access to the internet that do not know that as soon as you see the word “Nigeria” you should run?


    I’m surprised Craigslist doesn’t just block all African I.P.’s from their sites.

  55. EmeryAquila says:

    I do not have the technical proficiency to let African-American men f*ck me.

  56. econobiker says:

    I tell any scam-o-lets that I only accept “INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE IN US DOLLARS” and that I will wait 30 days for the funds to be verified.

    Also for the car sales scammers (I will send my agent to pick up your car) I always tell them to send me the “agents” name,phone number, address etc so that I may verify they have the correct dealer license to transfer the vehicle. That also throws the scammers for a loop.



    Some of the pictures received during scam baits are true classics…

  57. quagmire0 says:

    Duh. Oldest scam in the book.

  58. komodork says:

    I can 100% assure you that she only checked her email to see that the payment was received. There are people out there that make accounts like or gmail or what not. Always check your PayPal account to confirm payment. NEVER EVER rely on just emails.

    This is not PayPal’s fault in any shape or form. Blame yourself for not checking and understanding stuff. The Nigerian Scam has been around for a very very long time and if you are that stupid to send something like that, then it is your fault. PayPal does not cover any non-ebay transaction so you are out of luck

  59. Phillip M. Vector says:
  60. Trencher93 says:

    Is paypal or nigeria the scam? I can’t tell…

  61. NYYSI says:

    Craigs List warns people REPEATEDLY about this scam. I don’t feel bad for ANYONE this stupid.

  62. bobpence says:

    Nigeria does have legitimate businesses. Unfortunately the amount of fraud even within the country is beyond the tipping point. A large percentage of prescription drugs in the country are counterfeit, for instance, which lends credence to clerics who opposed western medicine and vaccination. It is quite sad, and hopefully increasing world trade ties can help the people who suffer because of such fraud.

    That said, if you are just selling an old laptop online, repairing those wounds is not your problem. When you ship something outside the U.S. (or outside your domestic market), you are not just shipping, you are EXPORTING. That is a major step for an expanding business, maybe including eBayers with thousands or tens of thousands of ratings after their screen name, not someone selling their old laptop.

  63. chemicalx9 says:

    “That’s right, Molly, you’re fucked” The consumerist doesnt pull any punches. :)

  64. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Folks, Ben has already noted to discard the racism chat, which has been played out. This is the second and last warning that’s going to be issued – please heed it – stop posting on this off-topic hijack.

    Further, again, remember the comment code. Do not insult the victim, e.g. calling them an idiot, stupid, etc. Helpful and constructive suggestions are fine. Let’s tone it down and keep the comments civil.

  65. cmdrsass says:

    The #1 rule of internet commerce is “Don’t do business with Africa”

  66. WBrink says:

    I realize that this person may be new, but jesus- this scam is older than the internet… if that’s possible.

  67. caknuck says:

    It’s worth it to read through the P-p-p-powerbook story, whereby a bunch of SA goons sniffed out and then mocked an elaborate eBay laptop theft scam.

  68. Mr.Purple says:

    On another note, in the 70s Nigeria made some AWESOME music…

  69. Xerloq says:

    I’m waiting for the major carriers to offer some kind of escrow service. The seller ships the package, buyer pays the carrier for shipping and the cost of the item. The item isn’t delivered until the buyer’s payment clears, and the shipper gets the package back if the buyer doesn’t pay. I’d pay a couple of bucks for something like that when selling.

    Take it a step further – the seller takes the items sold list and items to be shipped to the carrier, who packs and ships the items. The buyer get’s an email with a filled packing list from the carrier so they know the box isn’t empty. Then follow the process above and everyone’s happy. Seller pays the fee.

    • Xerloq says:

      @Xerloq: Add in there that the seller get’s a check (or refund on their card) when the buyer’s payment clears for the amount of the sale minus shipping.

  70. kanderson321 says:

    Best sanity check I’ve ever read (from a Banker’s Forum) to protect yourself against this sort of fraud is to ask one question: “Why is my item for sale SO precious that the person can’t pick one up for himself in his home country?”

    (The question was more along the lines of, “Explain to me again why some guy in Nigeria just HAD to have your ’73 Volkswagon Beetle?”)

  71. post_break says:

    Well you have the mailing address so you could ship some questionable goods somewhere with that return address.

  72. XianZhuXuande says:

    How can someone become proficient enough with the intarwebz to use Craigslist and not know to avoid each and every anything that involves the word ‘Nigeria’?

  73. Corporate-Shill says:

    Craigslist? Check.

    Email? Check.

    More Money? Check.

    Paypal? Check.

    Africa? Check.

    Yep, sure did hit all of the scam requirements.

  74. rickatnight11 says:

    I have put computers on craigslist a couple times, and every time I get an email from these guys. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a scam, so it’s fun stringing them along for as long as possible. It’s very unfortunate that Molly didn’t notice until afterwards, but, like the article says, anyone that wants you to ship to Africa is a scam.

  75. donjumpsuit says:

    This is social engineering. I love Molly, but Molly has too much money and possessions. Natural selection has provided Molly with a cure for those things.

  76. PølάrβǽЯ says:


    * DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
    * NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
    * CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification”
    * NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

    I simply CANNOT feel any sympathy for Molly. She broke nearly all of these guidelines.

  77. Pherias says:


    I did not know people actually fell for these scams. Shows why they’re still doing it after so long.

  78. NigerianScammer says:

    I resent this story.

  79. new2this says:

    It baffles me that people STILL fall for these scams every single day. It’s been a known fact that anything monetarily Nigerian related is a scam. It’s so sad, but true. Wires, cashiers checks, mail. People need to really be more cautious of this. Especially in these economic times, I’m sure there’s plenty of new and scary scams created each day to prey on the guillible.

  80. elmuchachos says:

    If the item was shipped thru usps then they do give a shit. Since it was shipped thru usps it is a felony. If it was shipped thru fedex, ups, dhl etc. then you would be fucked but since its usps go higher up and it make take a long while but things will get better. A long time ago I got n’sync tickets for my sister with a backstage pass, well turns out the tickets were fake(this was like 10 years ago). Well since the guy used usps they caught him and turns out he had being doing this alot. The postal inspectors take this stuff seriously and I have since recovered 800 of the initial 1600 I forked over. And that fucker is in jail for mail fraud.

  81. Anonymous says:

    These things happen everywhere, not only in Africa. I have received scam emails from England, Australia, China, USA etc. So I do not think its an African issue. To me, I believe that things should be done the right way. Let everyone of us be careful and not want to reap where we didi not sow.

  82. SecureLocation says:

    USPS blows. PayPal blows more. Nigerian scam artists blow most

  83. xthexlanternx says:

    Paypal is such a terrible company. There is so much fraud that goes on with Paypal. I’ve had so many bad experiences selling stuff on Ebay with it, that I just sell everything on Amazon so I can take credit cards and not have to deal with all the garbage. Paypal is the most scam-friendly company there is out there. Any time you dispute anything, they freeze your account until the dispute is resolved. Most of the stuff they don’t resolve, so your money is frozen permanently. Paypal actually still has a lot of money frozen of mine.

  84. iluvhatemail says:

    i’m guessing Molly just awoke from her coma, it’s the only excuse i can make up for her mistake.

  85. ninjatoddler says:

    When you get emails from PayPal or any website, ALWAYS go directly to that website (ie. and then proceed to look up the message after logging in.

    Either that or when you place your cursor over the link from whatever website, check to see where it’s leading if you’re comfortable reading urls.

    • floraposte says:

      @ninjatoddler: That’s mostly for phishing, though. Forgeries for something like this are often perfectly happy to include genuine PayPal links copied from genuine PayPal email, because they’re not using the website to perform the fraud.

  86. Meathamper says:

    It almost happened when I was selling GTA: Liberty City Stories on Craigslist. But I knew better.

  87. cartagenero says:

    ll gt t sy s ldy y r mrn!!

  88. Decaye says:

    I didn’t know people actually fell for this.

    If you get an email saying they put money in your account, go to [] and CHECK. Paypal has pretty expansive documentation on how they operate on their website, and demanding proof that you shipped the item is definitely not on any of it.

    Do some research, take simple precautions. There’s no reason for this to ever happen.

  89. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I wouldn’t ship anything anywhere before having money-in-hand (nevermind overseas), and louder alarm bells would have gone off in my head as soon as the buyer offered me an extra $150 to ship it to a strange place (be that an address in Africa or a PO Box in Jersey).

    It’s a tough way to learn a lesson, I’ll give it that.

    Sadly, Craigslist become a real haven for scammers and con artists.

  90. ZzFDKzZ says:

    LMAO I can’t believe people fall for this.

  91. a_pink_poodle says:

    I very nearly fell for this exact scam too. I even got fake Paypal email notifications saying that money had been put in, despite that I saw no money deposited. Thinking it was something that would show up a few days later, I decided to ship my Gamecube to Lagos anyway.

    Thankfully, the people at the FedEx store let me know about shady stuff going on in Lagos and decided at the last moment to back away.

  92. JemimaSheep says:

    “Don’t mail anything to Africa and expect to get money back. Any email based around some kind of transaction wanting to have you do something involving Africa is probably a scam.”

    Well… that’s awkward. Yes, I realise that a lot of emails like this are scams. But there are also a lot of honest, non-scammers who live in Africa and like to buy stuff on the net (since we don’t get the same products you guys do in the US). To say “don’t sell to anyone in Africa” is somewhat unfair to an entire continent. Be careful, yes, but don’t just write us all off.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Its a shame that people in Nigeria still give us a hard time to do legitimate business online. If there is a tracking number and name used to send the laptop to Nigeria, please write a petition laying your complaint to, you might be lucky to get your item back. Next time please until you clear your funds do not send items and do not send over paid money back.

  94. bitplayer says:

    I’m sorry for the lady’s loss but she was dumb as a bag of rocks. It clearly says on the craigslist page when you try to sell something to NEVER ship things out of the country. Only do cash meetings in public places with lots of people, mall or supermarket parking lots for one. Also I only do cash and I bring a counterfeit pen.

  95. SKURRY says:

    UPS can do an intercept even once it is on a truck about to be delivered. I had to one the other week and was able to get it forwarded to my other office. Although this may be because of our corporate account but I would think any shipper could do this.

  96. trevelyn says:

    Yeah, this happened to me, well almost. I sold an Asus eeepc on ebay and someone won the auction.
    Then i got a seperate email from them asking me to send it to nigeria. psh, yeah right!
    Then i got a spoofed email saying the $ was posted to my paypal acct. When i checked paypal it said $0. I waited and waited, then checked the header of the spoofed email and saw it wasnt from paypal at all it was from an APNIC IP (asian). So, i contacted paypal and they said someone tried to scam me and to relist the item on ebay. – seriously, don’t be scammed by just a spoofed email. :)

  97. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    There’s a reason craigslist has that warning on the top about taking wire transfers and the like. This isn’t ebay, there’s no guarantees.

  98. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’m guessing Molly is new to the internet. I think most of us spotted the warning signs.

  99. grandzu says:

    When listing on Craigslist, always make it CASH AND CARRY!
    There’s a reason why it was created for local sellers and buyers.

  100. El_Fez says:

    I’m not jumping on the bandwagon of blaming the consumer (or the scam-ee, in this case), but holy smokes – can this transaction have any more red flags on it?

    For starters – ANYTHING going to, coming from, or dealing with Nigeria should have killed the deal stone cold dead. While I’m sure there are plenty of legitimate transactions coming from the country every day, there’s a reason that every prince than needs getting his money laundered comes from there.

    Second – paypal gets it’s dirty little hands in the deal. Call me a luddite, but I prefer the old school way where you got a check or money order or cash and had the money in hand before you even thought about sending a package. With Paypal’s propensity to screw the end user at every chance they get, it’s no wonder that they can’t help here. It’s not a question of if you’ll be fucked by pay-pal, but when.

  101. Anonymous says:

    I wondered why we always assume and repeat wrongs over and over. Someone just scamed Molly of her laptop. Though she was probably asked to ship it to Nigeria. How do you know he is a nigerian or even lives in nigeria? We all must learn that scam syndicates abound virtually everywhere now and in particular many of those nigerian scammers are not in nigeria. They are in those big cities where they learn and connive with people of different nationals who aid them in their nefarious act. We all must be vigilant and be careful and not tie scam to nigeria alone else even d man next door to you will be the one to target you next time. All must be alert to collectively fight the war against scam wherever it is perceived from and not to foolishly be shouting nigeria everywhere while the one who scammed you is just at your next door.

  102. Skankingmike says:

    Working for a shipper, wont’ name them since they read this site.

    They won’t let us package or send things to Nigeria or most places in Africa without us asking a million questions of the person shipping. I actually saved one guy this nightmare 3 years ago when he sold his Laptop online and used their account number.

    I warned that this person sounded illegitimate he shipped it anyway, then came in 3 hours later saying how I was right about the guy and he checked his Paypal Account and there was no money. He reported the guy as a scammer. I reported the account number stolen. Guess what, it was stolen from a guy living in las Vegas who also got scammed.


    ALWAYS LOG INTO PAYPAL.. I do not understand people at all that do not understand this concept.

  103. cordeduroi says:

    New headline: “USPS jacks, PayPal shits”

    I ended up receiving MANY fake “Ship now!” emails when recently listed my used iPod on Amazon. There is always something that doesn’t look right about them (formatting, email address), plus you should never ship anything until you see the money sitting in your account. If you don’t trust email, you’re fine.

    These emails piss me off. I replied to every single one of them with some comments that even made ME a bit ill.

  104. morganlh85 says:

    Craigslist has warnings for this ALL OVER THEIR WEBSITE. In the emails you get from the buyers, on the webpage itself, etc. I really didn’t think people would still fall for this.

  105. Petra says:

    Could she honestly expect either Paypal or USPS to make good on a stranger’s promise when they had nothing to do with the situation? That’d be like someone telling you that your grandma will pay you a million bucks on their behalf if you give them your car first, only to find out the next day that granny knew nothing of it, and then still expecting the old gal to pay up.

    It’s common sense. This is why I always urge people to always read the FAQ on any and every site they use to transfer goods or money if they have never used it before.

    I know we all took a sacred vow to not blame the victim, and I apologize Consumerist, but I simply must in this case! :/

  106. Anonymous says:

    I work in a specialized portion of Fraud for a large Credit Card company and most CC companies have specific strategies targeting most of Africa and especially Nigeria for Fraud or scams… that right there should tell you that it may sound like stereo-typing, but its just a fact of life.

    The person involved in this story is obviously naive and needs to think a little bit more before making the sale to someone outside of the country, even if they are paying with MO’s or Cashier’s Checks as these are easy to fake as well and you will be left with no money and probably owing your bank for fees and you also have no product…

    Just to sum this up… NEVER sell anything to anyone from Nigeria, The Ivory Coast, Nieves & St Kitts just to name a few even if they give what appears to be guaranteed funds up front. It’s probably a scam unless you know them.

  107. calloused says:

    Why does the Nigerian in the picture have to be black?!?!

  108. Anonymous says:

    the same thing happened to me via craigslist with my PSP but with England, not Nigeria!
    I took all the same steps that you did, but they weren’t able to help me either. However, after 3+ months my package came back! I think it’s because i asked for confirmation/signerature. Good luck!

  109. Onouris says:

    Nice racist statement against Africa there.

  110. AgentTuttle says:

    I’ve NEVER blamed the OP before, but hello dumb ass. Where have you been for the last ten years?

  111. Anonymous says:

    Salutations Nigerian scammer!

    I am shocked that you”masterminded”
    -anything. It would mean that you were able to have an
    “original thought”, which for people with less than a
    1st grade education is highly impossible.

    As a friendly Internet billionaire I feel for you and
    would like to give you 1/2 billion $USD as you are a
    charity case, But to trust you, you will need to give
    me 2 billion as a security deposit, mostly because you
    are a……


    I can not even use your child or you , or your entire
    extended family as collateral ….That is because you
    are worthless- since niggers no longer have any value
    under USA law,
    because in the USA we can no longer use them for God’s
    only intended purpose as slaves.

    So contact me when you have an extra 2 billion, which
    you can make doing the ONLY thing Ivory Coast men and women can do to earn money- anally fucking diseased truck
    drivers for fifty cents apiece. So if you slept with
    100 diseased truckers per day (16 per hour non stop
    every day for 12 hours a day) you’ll have 2 billion in
    a little over 100 years.


    you will die of AIDS like ALmighty God intended for
    you stupid walking talking monkeys long before the
    decade is out. (Be happy he designed AIDS just for

    Keep scratching your infected puss oozing cock like
    a monkey with a dirty shit caked asshole. Then sniff
    your fingers to see what we intelligent rich white
    people smell everytime a nigger enters the room.

    Have fun starving!

  112. Anonymous says:

    how are we sure the story is even true and not a typical stereotype about africans and nigerians in particular,held by most westerners?americans and europeans pay bribes to our government officials to corner juicy contracts and our general welfare and no one gives a damn about that.well serves the person right,just karma.thought you guys were too smart,but you are not.

  113. Ben-Oni Jean-Pierre says:

    (Chris Tucker’s Voice) NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER… Ship without have the money in hand

  114. Anonymous says:

    Excellent point, LoganAdams.

    That’s Getty image #57421614, entitled “Portrait of a delivery man”. Humm, time to rename it as “African swindler who steals laptops from stupid people on-line, according to an article written by a white dood.”

    Oh, pop-up window at Getty came up inviting me for a chat while I was typing! So, I asked if the release rights for Getty purchases include portraying models as thieves. They said *NO* and that the model in question can sue if they feel their image was used in a defamatory way. (sorry, wish I copied and pasted the transcript, good stuff!)

    Wellllll, big large red letters that say “How A Nigerian Steals Your Laptop” above his image… black delivery person in the US becomes Nigerian swindler, apparently!

    BTW- I’m white and StumbleUpon’ed this page and found it interesting.