Nowadays scammers have all sorts of devious ways of trying to trick you out of your hard-earned cash.
While you’d be forgiven for automatically ignoring them, if you’ve got the time, then take a leaf from Anthony Cooper’s book.
Recently Anthony put his nearly new Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which he was selling for £550, on Facebook marketplace.
He was contacted by someone keen to buy, who claimed they were the daughter of an elderly pensioner.
Excellent news, except it, was in fact rubbish.
So Anthony decided to fight fire with fire, reports North Wales Live.
He sent them a “cheap and nasty” teabag and two Custard Cream biscuits – which they could sit down and enjoy while thinking about their life choices.
Anthony realised something didn’t add up after discovering that the number used to contact him had been linked to other scans.
So he sent a parcel containing a rather cheeky message, along with the unusual contents for the scammers.
The message said: “Here’s a s**t teabag. Have a drink on me.
“I’m also posting this all over Facebook to make you famous.”
Anthony, 36, of Flint, signed his message with a smiley face – just to make things more painful.
The phone, which had cost him almost £1,000 new, was advertised on Facebook North Wales Marketplace for almost half the price.
He was swiftly contacted by someone who claimed they were the daughter of a pensioner called Joan, who lives in County Durham.
“Initially the messages seemed genuine,” said Anthony, who runs MG Mobile Mechanics in Rhyl, Denbighshire.
“But then certain things started to sound strange and I grew suspicious it was some kind of scam.
“I thought I’d play along with it for a lark.”
When they started conversing on WhatsApp, his suspicions were confirmed – as it turned out the buyer was a man based in London.
And a quick Google search showed that the phone number was linked with a number of other Facebook scams.
But Anthony hatched a cunning revenge plan to take on the scammers and win.
He said: “They insisted I video myself wrapping up and packaging the phone.
“Ironically, they were concerned about getting scammed and wanted to make sure I wasn’t sending a fake phone or something.
“So I filmed myself packaging the phone, then made up a separate box for the teabag.
“I added in a couple of biscuits to make the package feel heavier.”
After receiving a message the money had been paid – £550 plus £10 postage – Anthony dispatched his parcel.
Later on, that day, he received a spam email saying the transaction had failed and he needed to purchase £400 worth of Amazon vouchers.
The email, purporting to be from NatWest, claimed a technical difficulty meant the funds couldn’t be released.
“Apparently the transaction was 99.9% complete but first I had to send £400 in Amazon vouchers to the buyer,” he said.
“The email looked genuine – it had the logo and everything.
“But it landed in my junk folder and by now I knew what they were up to.”
Happily, Anthony chalks up the £3.20 sending the fake parcel to the scammers as “money well spent.”
He added: “A lot of people on Facebook said I should have sent dog poo, as that’s what these people deserve,” he said.
“But I wouldn’t do that because it wouldn’t be fair on the posties who have to deliver it.
“If only there had been a camera in the box – I would loved to have been a fly on the wall when they opened it.”
Anthony hopes his ruse will highlight the issue and prevent others falling prey to the same scam.
“If by doing this I can stop one elderly lady from being scammed, it will have been worth it,” he said.