Note to Self: Don’t Ship Dresses to Cotonou, Benin

This red marker is Cotonou, Benin in Africa. Don't ship your dresses there.

I’m rarely a man of disgust, but if there is anything I hate more, its a good scammer trying to pick apart honest, trusting people. However, sometimes us Texans and our sweet, Southern disposition make for the best targets.

It’s quite the tale, so make the jump.

According to Highland Park offense reports, a victim in the 4500 block of Bordeaux Avenue reported that her $1,040 Peter Bondesio prom dress was taken in a scam involving online sales, a fake dress shop owner, and the continent of Africa.

The dress — a turquoise, floor-length number with various features — caught the eye of man who identified himself as Ken Joe, a dress shop owner who wanted to be the proprietor for a customer who wanted her dress in Cotonou, Benin. Yes, a country within Africa — it’s in the western crescent right next to Nigeria.

Granted, the dress was made in South Africa so a perspective buyer within the continent isn’t too far off.

But according to the report, the owner sent the woman a check for $2,000 to cover the cost of the dress and the $615 shipping and asked her to refund the remainder of $340 via Western Union.

She did it all. I have been at the forefront of these tactics — my wife and I were almost led astray by a home owner looking to rent out his house while he was away as a missionary —they’re relentlessly assuring and their backstories make you feel comfortable. So for anyone to fall victim is terrible, but deals like this do require some foresight outside of blind trust.

Long story short, the woman mails the dress, sends the money order, check then bounces, and, in turn, she loses all of it.

It’s a reminder that sometimes a deal can sound just too good.

4 thoughts on “Note to Self: Don’t Ship Dresses to Cotonou, Benin

  • August 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Did I miss where we traveled back in time to the year 2000 where not everyone in the world was aware of how these scams work?

  • August 4, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Mr. Plock, I don’t want to be cruel; you really did a pretty good job for someone whose first language is not English. But from the way this post reads, I surmise it originally was written in Yoruba and then run through Google translator.

  • August 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    @TB I can only assume from your use of a semicolon, the context of your post, and reference to the Yoruban language that you are making a slight nudge at my writing. In any light, I’ll keep it tighter for you. Thanks for reading!

  • August 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Prom dresses go for over $1000 now?


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