I want to thank the OP for his courage sharing this story.
And frankly, some of the responses on this thread only enable more scammers.
So before you post something like:
"You should have known better, there were plenty of red flags, blah blah blah..."
First: Re-read his post. It's painfully obvious he saw every red flag AND he fully accepted his lapse in judgement. He's not blaming pinside, Google, the banks, PayPal, FBI, Trump, Obama, or aliens for this mistake.
He fully owned it. And at the risk of looking stupid, he honestly shared his experience and should be applauded.
He's not asking for a trophy, he wants to turn his pain into something we can learn from. Well done.
We ALL learn by this terrible story. Many of us were brought up to believe that most people are decent.
But there is ZERO justification to laud it over the OP.
Why? Because the more times these stories are shared, the more everyone understands how easily any of us can be taken.
We can also learn how they are evolving their tactics. They are not stupid.
Being AWARE of red flags is one thing, and the OP was aware. BUT he was willing to ignore them because the seller seemed legitimate.
And if you really want something you will unconsciously ignore or justify away red flags ("I'm just being paranoid").
THAT is the reason we need to avoid mocking or critiquing the OP. Because we need the next scam victim to feel comfortable sharing their horror story. There will be more. Their tactics will change. Their English will improve; their photos will get more legit looking, their photoshop skills will improve.
But if we're going to "shame" the OP, YOU HELP THE SCAMMERS by discouraging the next victim from sharing their story.
So let's stop with the "tisks risks" and moralizing. By all means share links to prevention guides, share links or clues or tips on other ways to uncover a scammer, but please refrain from unnecessary criticism.
Your just making it easier for scammers.