When Jeanny Davenport went to the Crossville, TN, Post Office to mail a smartphone to a buyer in Nigeria, she didn’t suspect it was a scam.
“The [retail associate] alerted me to it,” Davenport told a WATE-TV. “He said over the past two months several people had sent cellphones and various electronics … to the same gentleman.”
Davenport had posted the smartphone on a classified advertising website. The buyer in Nigeria responded and asked her to set up a PayPal account to send her $200.
“I know now that I never would have received the payment,” Davenport said.
Scams take many forms, Postal Inspector Wendy Boles said.
“The lottery scam is really prevalent,” she said. Victims often believe they’ve won a jackpot and need to send a hefty fee to collect it.
“It is kind of a predicament for us because it’s the customer’s mail. All we can do is try to convince them not to do it,” Boles said.
Scammers often target people who are lonely, trusting and older, Boles said, but “anyone can easily fall for this.”