Analysis of an attempted Facebook Scam

I have an “extra” iPhone that’s completely new, and still in its unopened original box.
I posted it for sale on the Facebook marketplace.
I soon got a request someone wanted to send me a message which I approved
The “lady” then engaged me as follows via FB messenger:

Friday last week:
Bonnie Monalisa: Hi. Iā€™d like to purchase the Apple iPhone XS Max 64GB space gray$720

Monday this week:
Me: Hi. Ok. no shipping though. Would have to exchange it for cash or venmo at any convenient location in the neighborhood. I can go up as far as SLC or south as far as Provo if necessary.

Bonnie Monalisa: do you still have the purchase receipt and for how long have you had it ? I Hope it is in good condition and can I ask you why you selling it?
Bonnie Monalisa: What is your username and email

Today (Friday this week):
Me: Yeah. I should have it somewhere. Never opened it. I mistakenly purchased a second phone while waiting for another to arrive. itaba—

Bonnie Monalisa: Sending now
Bonnie Monalisa: Payment sent, let me know when you get it

Me: Ha ha. Payment sent to where?

Bonnie Monalisa: Here: itaba—

Me: got an email that you sent me money by Venmo, but no money in Venmo. If you are attempting to scam me, you have to try harder! šŸ˜…šŸ¤£

PS: I knew it was likely a scam once she said she sent me money. But I went ahead and checked my email (got an email) and Venmo before my final response above. From the screenshot, you can see she/he has seen my last message, but no reaction.

Her profile on IG (I guess since FB owns IG now, you don’t need an FB profile for the FB marketplace) has only 4x posts, all of them of 4x different women.

Look closely at the email which looks very official and is supposedly from Venmo:
– But the sender is
– It is addressed to @Reilyn-Miguel who supposedly received a Business payment of $720.00 (same amount I listed the iPhone for)
– The signature says “The Venmo Team”
– I called the listed number “+1 (702) 660-5409” and it showed up as a Las Vegas (Nevada) number even though the address in the email says “The Venmo Team” is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
– the first time it connected, it appeared someone cut the call, so I tried again
– the second time I got the automated message “The party you are trying to reach is unavailable, please leave a message and someone will get back to you later.” (I didn’t bother to leave a message)
– By the way, Venmo’s contact page (obviously) lists a different number: +1 (855) 812-4430

BVN scam

BVM Scam

I got an SMS today with the text below from +234-812-273-9332.

“Dear Customer, Due to the BVN validation in compliance with CBN bank directives, your ATM card has been De_activated call our help line on 08109310498 now.”

So I called the number. Listened briefly to some Nigerian artiste belting out a popular track before some fellow came on the line. Completely unprofessional sounding greeting.

“Afternoon. I got an SMS that my ATM card has been de-activated and I am to call this number.” I said.

“Oh. Are you one of those who got that message. We are sorry. We are working on that now.
Do you have your card there with you so we can re-activate it immediately?”

“Yes” I replied.

“Is it Mastercard or VISA?”


“There’s a 16 digit number on the front. Can you call it out?”

I guess I hesitated a little too long while thinking of an appropriate response (something about how he should get a life instead of running a 419 scam was on my mind) because he dropped the call.

It’s funny how he didn’t mention any bank’s name throughout the conversation.
I ran the number that sent the original SMS through Truecaller and got the entry: “Destiny E1”
I ran the number 08109310498 through Truecaller and not the single entry: “Scam Lacasera Ibrahim”