I am very embarrassed that I have fallen for this but feel I must share to ensure as many people as possible are aware.
I am fairly new to living in France. still learning the language and and getting to grips with the French way of doing things. A couple of weeks ago I posted some items for sale on Leboncoin and had an email from a lovely women wanting to buy an outfit. She asked if I could post the item as she is in Le Mans and I am in the Lot, she would transfer the money including p&p using Paypal.....quite safe, I thought !!!!
She emailed to say she had transferred the money to my account, soon afterwards an email from Paypal confirms she had transferred funds to my account and once proof of postage had been sent the funds would appear in my account. duly done
Now...this lovely lady told me she is married with 3 children, lives in Switzerland but works in France so commutes spending lonely days in her apartment in Le Mans.
Paypal then write to say that I must send them 600Euros in the form of PCS Mastercard vouchers from the Tabac in order that my account can accept foreign currency...security measure, money laundering etc. The money would be credited to my account for me to withdraw immediately...alarm bell!!! then I get an email from this lovely lady saying she has to do the same and she is so sorry, had not realized that her Swiss currency would be an issue, she later confirmed she had done this. even providing photographs of the vouchers......Well, I thought, this is Paypal, it must be OK and I have already sent an outfit off in the post worth £400...so I bought the vouchers and emailed them photos.
Paypal then have a serious technical issue with their server and are unable to credit my account, it may take a few hours or days....now I know I have done something really silly.
I realise the email address used to send me messages is a gmail.com address (can't be seen on main message, have to search for actual address). The outfit was retuned....no person by this name at the address. I have a received a personal cheque from the Director General of PayPal France (supposedly) for almost 4000 euros, I can take a 550 euro bonus + what they owe (yes that old chestnut) and must send them immediately 2500 euros worth of PCS Mastercard vouchers....obviously I havent and I'm advised by my bank that the cheque is most likely stolen. Paypal confirm the messages are not from them. Yet everyday I am receiving messages threatening legal action quoting the Gendarmerie and Intepol if I don't send them the vouchers by the end of the day.......
I am such a muppet