2011 MBA Craigslist/Venmo Story

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ag21, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. ag21 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    First, this is just to warn people, and I understand it was ENTIRELY my own fault. That being said, any advice will be gladly taken if there's something I'm missing.

    I listed an excellent condition 2011 MBA on Craiglist early last week for $600. Someone texted me from a local number and asked if I could meet her roommate locally and use Venmo to accept payment ($550). My first and biggest mistake was not doing the requisite research on Venmo. I am a long time paypal user and have done tons of local meet ups for cash only on CL. I should have stuck with those options. Anyhow, she said she worked long shifts until 3am and would send her roommate, but they were both small females not comfortable carrying that kind of cash. I wiped the laptop last week and reinstalled the provided software. Thus, I don't think any of the Find My Mac features for (lock/wipe/notify) will work for me. She sent the $550 before I met her friend, and I immediately transferred to my bank account. I didn't see the cancellation by Venmo until the next day, and they didn't even email me about it. It just shows up in my account as "bank transfer cancelled". My reply from them this morning was a quick and easy reminder of my biggest error:
    "Business transactions are not currently permitted on Venmo - this is why your account is frozen and you're seeing what you're seeing. We don’t offer any buyer/seller protections or merchant dispute resolution services at this point.
    In this case, it appears that the user posing as Brittney-Hawkins was using stolen payment information to pay for your Macbook."

    Hopefully no one else gets caught in this kind of scheme. Both of the cell phones I spoke to both of the girls on are now going straight to voicemail.
  2. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011
    not a lot you can do mate - Take it on the chin lesson learned.
  3. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    I would report it to the police. You already met one of the girls and you have the cell phone numbers.
    Don't just let it go. Hopefully the police will bother to help you.
  4. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    First, I'm really sorry to hear this. Second; if you have phone numbers, even if they go to voice mail, can't you contact law enforcement? I don't think it'll hurt if you do, and perhaps there's something more they can determine.

    (eta: Jinx, z31; we posted at the same time!)
  5. ag21 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Thanks y'all. Will give some law enforcement friends a call...
  6. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    It's always good to file a police report anyway, and keep a copy. I've done so in a very different kind of situation, and having a copy of the report ended up being useful. Good luck. It's a terrible feeling.
  7. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    East of Eden
    The Venmo website could be a lot clearer about that. I found their policy, but only by using a Google search on their website content. Sympathies and good luck.
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I would also report this to the police.

    But I wouldn't be too optimistic--the cell phones could have been burners.

    I've done a million transactions on Craigslist and I love it. But I almost always insist on meeting at a busy Starbucks that I'm familiar with, during the day, and payment in cash. Doing transactions like this should also put buyers at ease, if they are worried about being ripped off.
  9. grockk macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2006
    File the police report. They stole from you. Do you know the serial number? you'll need it to get the computer back. This may be a pattern. Maybe the police will get it back.

    Some credit cards or homeowners/renters policies may cover the loss. They will need the police report. Contact credit company first.

    Learn your lesson but don't just get rolled over.
  10. Sully macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2007
    If you have a renters or homeowners insurance policy, this will most likely be covered less any deductible. You'll need a police report to make the claim.

    If you have the cell phone number, LE can get the names and addresses of the owners. If they were using anonymous throwaways, it's tougher and likely not something LE will pursue.

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9 July 6, 2015