I was curious about this scammer's approach, however, because even if they use stolen credit card numbers (their tactic is to use numbers stolen but not yet reported as stolen and so will result in a chargeback) to pay via paypal, they would have to be able to enter an address and the seccurity code on the back of the card. And to my knowledge, their access to stolen credit card numbers doesn't include all this.
My guess is they start out offering to pay this way, so that they sound more legitimate, and then switch it up with some story back to what they know works - sending a fake check.
Someone asked me the other night at a party, "So how can I know then if it is a scam?" I told them, at least in this scam, there are always two thing present: (1) the arrangement always involves the use of their third-party something - a shipping company or courier service, and (2) they will always pay for more that what they owe and ask you to forward the difference to their third-party service via Western Union. The shipping company or courier service doesn't exist. The check they pay with is fake. Or the credit card number stolen. The only real money in the equation is yours - the amount you end up forwarding back to them via Western Union which is untraceable once the money is collected.
Anyway, here is the email an artist forwarded to me this morning:
I saw your posted Ad on _Etsy and I'll like to
purchase it for a friend
I am presently out of USA due to the nature of my job and i only make
confidential calls for now.I am okay with the condition and the price,I will be
very glad to make the payment asap through my PayPal account as I am
currently offshore.As to the shipment My agent will come over to your location
for pick up.
Do get back to me with your PAY PAL ID so that i can remit the
payment into your account,and your full contact address so that I can
forward it to the agent's
company.I will be very glad to conclude this as soon as possible.
Get back to me via my personal email address [firstname.lastname@example.org]