Why Did A Stranger Send Me A Fake Rolex Watch?

Image courtesy of CBS 5

It’s not every day that you get a package out of the blue from someone you’ve never met, containing an expensive (looking) watch. So when that exact situation happened to a California woman recently, she had a sneaking suspicion that something was fishy — and she was right.

The Bay Area woman tells CBS 5 that she was a bit confused to find she had a package waiting for her at the post office from an unknown sender. Inside, a Rolex watch in a Rolex box, and nothing else to explain who it came from or why it was there.

“No user manual, no note card, no invoice, nothing at all,” she said. The only clues? A return address in Indiana and an eBay tracking number.

Even stranger, she says she’s never had an account on eBay or bought anything on the site. That tipped her off that maybe this watch was fake, and she might be involved in something bigger, so she called the police.

She was right — the watch was a counterfeit, and the news station was able to track down the man who’d mailed it to her in the first place. He said he bought it on eBay but when he realized it was fake, he mailed it back to the address provided by the seller. eBay then confirmed that the seller used the woman’s address instead of his own.

This “name and address” scam is a growing form of ID theft, one expert tells CBS 5, wherein criminals use a stranger’s address instead of their own to avoid getting caught.

“It’s simple to get a list of people, could be a voter list, a phone list, this info is quite readily available,” author and professor Steve Weisman told the station.

eBay has now suspended the seller who used her address, and says it will reimburse the buyer. As for the fake Rolex, the company told her to chuck it, noting that “these types of scams are very rare when put into the context of millions of transactions being conducted each day.”

Bay Area Woman Receives Mystery Rolex In The Mail [CBS 5]

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