First, I'm aware that the next time the name used will probably not be the same. But I feel obliged to leave the warning anyway. Second, I admit I may be the most innocent person (not to say stupid), if not in the world, at least almost guaranteed in my homeland. Given these confessions, let's begin the story.

There once was a girl named Zara (could use the disguise "happened to a friend," but I think it is so old that no one would believe it. It was really to me that it happened), innocent 27 year-old young woman, who wanted to sell a camcorder she never used anymore.

Spare change is always welcomed, so I decided to put an ad in various shopping and selling goods and services sites. When I get a message of interest from a Kimberly Thompson, I was ecstatic - and never having sold anything practically I proceed to do whatever she/he asked. Again, I admit my innocence is bordering on stupidity - but I was taught to trust my peers. What I think will change from now on!

Now, I will keep going by publishing the best moments of the 79 emails exchanged between my gmail and - so that you can appreciate with rigor the development of the scheme. "Hello there. My name is Kimberly. I am interested in buying the item as a New Year gift for my son".

I answer in english (because I know, even being portuguese) - and to my answer comes the response with the information "I'm buying from Nigeria". Here enters my innocence, not suspecting anything - despite the existence of a known Nigerian fraud! And behold, I get an email from Royal Bank of Canada confirming a money transaction and I send the item.

Days later I get the alarm: "There is a problem with the transfer I did...". Followed by an explanation that confused me: "They told me at the bank you'd receive 500 euros today because of an upgrade of its international database - and I do not have 360 euros to add at the moment. Can you go to the Post Office and transfer the 360 euros?".

When asked by me for a more valid explanation, the value was lowered to 50 euros. "If you transfer 50 euros, I can get the rest". And yes, ladies and gentlemen, I transferred the 50 euros!!! Shocking, I know. After telling me that everything was handled and that I would have the money in my account until Monday, and on Wednesday, February 4th, my account is still empty, I ask for explanations. And interestingly, she/he fails to answer me. So I have a camera and 50 euros less than last week.

I decided to write this warning to alert the world to such a Kimberly Thompson, Ibadan (Nigeria). Again, I doubt that such schemes repeat the same name and contact, but it never hurts to bring attention.

More importantly, I leave a list of precautions to take (which I read after, but should be read before selling something!) in this type of online exchanges. If one or more of these situations happens to you, run away:

- When the buyer offers you more than the price you ask;

- When the buyer writes in (bad) english and uses email addresses as,,;

- When the buyer is abroad!;

- When a seller proposes to use a payment method that is not appropriate for Internet transactions;

- When the buyer demonstrates being hurry in completing the deal.

Having notion that things could have been much worse and that were already much worse for many people, I want to take my experience to bring attention to the Nigerian fraud again - which is somewhat forgotten lately, but still alive and well.