Identifying a Scam on Craigslist...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sean7512, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    #1
    I put my laptop up for sale on Craigslist the other day and I got an email asking if it was still available. I respond and tell her that it is available, and here is the email response that I received today. For some reason, something smells fishy, what do you guys think...

    "Hi,
    I am really glad you replied,Actually i haven't bought anything from this site before this is my first time buying things here i only buy things on Ebay buy i was introduced to this site by a friend of mine,I live in <address inserted here>,But i am buying this for my son (Williams),He's in Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Tucker North Georgia,I have promised him i will always respond to all his need since his father passed away last year even though i have been passing through hard times since i lost my husband i promise my son i am still able to perform my roles as a mother and i don't want him to feel the lost of his father.
    And concerning my payment method i will pay via Standard United States Postal Money Order because i believe it is very easy and convenient for both of us since we are not very nearer to eachother i could have love to handle the payment to you in cash.I have heard a lot of fraudulent stories about this site but i believe i am not in the wrong hand.Anyway i will offer you $600 for the (Gateway M250X Laptop ) Just for you to know that i'am really in need of this item to make my kid happy. So all i needed to make the payment completed is your Name,Address,City,State,Zipcode &Phone number where i can reach you at and i will also like you to attach the pictureeof the item for me if you can... And concerning the shipping i will handle that myself Via fedEx Courier or Ups cos those are the best delivering courier within North Georgia.I just want to use the best shipping company to make sure the shippment is delivered to the right address.

    N.B : I am expecting a reply from you as soon as possible so that i can be sure if we should continue this transaction."

    Any thoughts about this? This is my first time selling anything on craigslist.
     
  2. lancestraz macrumors 6502a

    lancestraz

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    RI
    #2
    And the scam-o-meter says....
    SCAM! SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!

    We have a winner here ladies'n gents.
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #3
    If she can do email, she can do Paypal.

    In this day & age, she's almost asking to be labeled fraudulent with that email.
     
  4. Fuzzy Orange macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
  5. Sean7512 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    #5
    Thanks guys....That is exactly what what I was thinking. I will respond saying that I can only accept paypal.
     
  6. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #6
    I don't think grammer is reason alone to suspect scam, she hasen't asked for anything un resonable or odd sounding. She may be someone that doesn't speak perfect english that doesn't trust the internet (PayPal) with her financial information. Unless your in a huge rush it can't hurt to have her send you the money order, bring it to the Post Office, and make sures it's legit, then send her the Laptop.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    Good instincts: It is a Scam - no question.

    Here's some factors to watch for

    1) Out of town or any overseas person, whether asking you to ship within your country or export. WTF are they doing shopping on your local classified?

    2) Long involved story, death in family, needs for college etc. Why do you need to know all that, other than to distract you from the obvious?

    3) Immediately offering to use their own FedEx account for shipping. As the shipper this allows them to change the shipping address without you knowing where it is actually being sent. If it is lost, then they can claim the insurance, not you.

    4) Paying above-market pricing, or exorbitant shipping, not bargaining or displaying prudent buyer behaviour.

    5) Bad English grammar, esp. if they pretend to be a native english speaker or have a generic name like Michael Smith (even better if they get the phony name wrong, like Brown Michael). Misspelling names of their city or state (or country). I'm sorry that this will flag some honest non-native English speaking buyers, but the fact is that the majority of scams are overseas criminals impersonating someone, and this is one of the flags in combination with the other factors.

    6) Different ad responses with similar language. Do a Google search, become familiar with the scammer's templates. They all sing from the same couple of song sheets.

    7) Sense of urgency in the purchase; pushing you to commit to it quickly without having time to do your due diligence.

    8) Repeated or unsolicited assurances about how safe the payment / shipping method is.

    9) Shipping to a third party, for whatever reason

    10) Money order or certified cheque or corporate cheques are easily forged or if genuine, stolen and altered.

    11) Correspondent uses a free webmail account like outblaze or hotmail or yahoo which is untraceable, has no ID requirement for signup and is disposable.

    Sean: Don't even reply. Cut and run.

    Todd: Way too gullible, grasshopper. These scammers do this for a living. The money order will be a convincing fake, or a real money ordered altered from $6.00 to $600.00. The first you hear of it is when your bank charges you back $625 for tendering a phony deposit, six to eight weeks from now when THEY get it back from the institution that issued it. The clerk at the Post Office isn't gonna pony up a refund, either, just 'cause they told you wrong.

    I have seen maybe 100 of these, almost identical.
     
  8. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #8
    Typos are always the first clue, yes people have bad spelling sometimes, but look at how some sentences do not run very well, there are a lot of strange breaks and some run on. People always want a break if you sell something for $500 they want it for $450, If their going to give you a sob story they will not want to pay $600.

    The easiest thing to do would be to give them the email you use for paypal or bidpay, or just let her know that you really need to have it sold locally.
     
  9. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #9
    People like you are exactly why these scammers keep at it. You can make fake Post Office money orders (it's done all the time), and once you've sent off your package, you're SOL.

    To the OP, please don't be a sucker. Insist on Paypal, or tell them you have a friend near their town who'd be happy to come by and take the cash. See how long they stick around.
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    Geez, guys, you don't get it, do you.

    PayPal gives you NO protection from a scammer. Seller protection only exists for buyers who are qualified. Read the fine print - PayPal has loopholes you can drive a car through.

    If the buyer uses a stolen charge card to fund the PayPal purchase you WILL be charged back. PayPal will go after your account as if YOU were the fraud.

    Sean: Don't answer. If you want to do something useful, report it to the ISP the scammer used as a suspected fraud, THEY can see that the scumbag send 300 of the same solicitations and they have 10 other complaints, and at least they can close the mail account. Which will slow down the scammer for 10 minutes or so. Lemme guess, it came from a free webmail account, right? I should have added that as #11.
     
  11. macjay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    #11
    If you are selling on Craigslist, then you meet the buyer in person and take payment in cash.

    End of story.
     
  12. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #12
    Don't do it. Everyone has explained so I can't add anything new but to say don't do it. I don't know if I would buy anything off Craigslist other than an item that I could go see first hand. You have not protection as a seller so if something goes wrong you are SOL.
     
  13. Sean7512 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    #13
    Thanks, I have already responded by insisting on Paypal, but when the response comes back saying no, then I am going to stop replying. Yes, it came from a Yahoo account. As soon as I read the email, I immediately thought scam.

    Anyone have any suggestions on where to sell a laptop, what about ebay? If I use ebay and paypal, does ebay have protection of some sort?
     
  14. macjay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    #14
    There's nothing wrong with selling on Craigslist. Just do local only for cash and it'll be fine.

    eBay/PayPal does have protection. I suggest googling "eBay seller protection" and going from there.
     
  15. southpaw17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #15
    Paypal definitely protects users. I bought an iPod and got screwed out of $350. Thankfully paypal's buyer protection got me my money back within a month. I bought the ipod from a website called pricegrabber. I paid by credit card, but entered it into paypal. I had an account with a different credit card, so they cancelled it and I opened a new one with my other card and they got me my money back. They were very helpful the whole time and actually did not try to get out of refunding my money at all.
     
  16. cmccarten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #16
    With ebay, you're somewhat safer, but they will massacre you with fees. Stick with craigslist and see if someone local will pick up. Its way easier.
    I've had a horrific paypal experience where someone bought a laptop from me through ebay, but didn't provide the funds in their bank account when Paypal tried to withdraw it. This occured <i>after</i> the funds had apparently cleared in my Paypal account and I withdrew them. Paypal then put the honus on <i>me</i> to return to the money and deal with the buyer's NSF. Their customer service is stupifyingly terrible.

    Even on ebay, you will generally get some scam offers. Having sold a number of fairly expensive items on both ebay and craigslist, my advice is this:
    if you even smell a hint of scam, then it is a scam
    and
    always look for the sob story about some tragic thing and how the item will be sent to someone else. It happens in virtually every scam attempt.
     
  17. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #17
    I was just reading this and I think this is the same person. Here is what was in the body of the email. Here is her email address Sister Roselin <sisterroselin_newyorkbase8@yahoo.com


    Dear Seller,
    Thank you so much for your reply,I am currently in North (Georgia)because my husband is from North Georgia,well I am still interested in buying your Items,I am willing to pay $950.00 CASH for the unit,I will be making payment with usps. I will also be handling the shipping with my FedEx account...If you agree to sale the unit to me,please get back to me with your full names and address,zip code, city, state , country, phone number and where you want to receive payment so that I will proceed with the payment and as soon as payment is done and confirmed I will send you a prepaid FedEx shipment document for onward shipment.
    Thank You
     
  18. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #18
    Just so y'all know, there ain't no north Georgia... it's all South.;)
     
  19. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #19
    Yup, that was my flag as this buyer was trying to scam me. Plus she offered me more than what I was asking :eek:
     
  20. Sean7512 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    #20
    She also offered $600 when I only listed it as $500. Funny thing, I didn't even notice until reading your post :p It does sound to be the same person, but different email address...
     
  21. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/PHL
    #21
    Nice, and I was starting to really think about selling this to her. I really thought twice about this. Glad to see that she didn't get both of us :D
     
  22. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #22
    <snipped>

    Outstanding advice! This should be sticky'd at the top of the thread parent.
     
  23. Gallick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    #23
    I got a very, very similar response when I was trying to sell my PSP and Gameboy Advance. Exact same type of long-winded response, except this person wanted me to ship to South Africa, which was ridiculous. Same idea though--bunch of family info and stuff I didn't need to know, and then they wanted to pay via money order. It was "a christmas present for their son" who "really wanted it"

    Tis a scam, though the people posting before me have already identified it as such.
     
  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #24
    Do you understand that this is no way comparable to the OP's situation?

    You were a buyer. Sean is a seller. You had your credit card company to threaten PayPal with, Sean doesn't. Sean's scam buyer undoubtedly would use a freshly set up PayPal account that doesn't qualify for any seller's protection at all. Paypal generally only gives you money back if they can recover it from the other party; who will have closed their account within minutes of the machine being dropped off at FedEx.

    It is not the same situation at all.

    Edit: see cmccarten 's post right after yours

    #12: Scammers rely on you THINKING you are protected when you are really not.
     
  25. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #25
    Im not a moron, I would NEVER ship anything until I brought the MO to the Post Office, and verified it was legit, and got the cash.
     

Share This Page