An Australian woman was scammed out of $1,500 last week when she tried to buy two iPhones through Gumtree, a Craigslist-style online classifieds website, the Herald Sun reports. The unnamed 21-year old woman posted the ad herself, and says she quickly received a response from another women who called to say she had two iPhones for sale.
The two women then arranged to meet at a local McDonalds, where the exchange took place, but when the buyer got home she opened up the iPhone boxes to find two apples—as in pieces of fruit. Based on the Herald Sun’s report, the scam artist has not been found, but the victim appears to have learned a valuable lesson, saying, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Despite her traumatic experience, the woman doesn’t think people should avoid classifieds websites at all costs, noting that “most people are doing the right thing.” However, if you plan to purchase something from a stranger you met online you should definitely inspect whatever you’re buying before you let them leave. If possible, also make sure to get a working phone number so you can contact them later if there are any issues.