Craigslist: Can I get scammed?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by timsutcliffe, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. timsutcliffe macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007

    I'm fairly sure this is a scam, but what I want to know is how. I've posted my MacBook Pro on there (, and have had few emails from the same person asking me to send it to West Africa.

    However, all she wants is a PayPal money request so she can put the money in and then I can send the item. Is there anyway that she can scam me if I wait until the money is in there before posting the item?

  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    dont do it

    africa, paypal, send it to her all big tip offs its a scam

    of course you can get scammed even if you get a confirmation from the bank saying the money is in your account.

    error on the side of caution

    use craigslist as a face to face transaction only. and when you do it face to face, do it in a very public place
  3. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    You're on the edge of deep whirlpool. What starts off sounding like a good offer will slowly spiral out of control as you get sucked into the vortex. On example might be that just as the party is getting ready to send you money, they will suddenly come up with a good excuse to use another means of paying. The absolute only way I would sell anything to another country (especially Africa), is if I could somehow have a bank (not my bank) hand me the cash without having me use my bank account BEFORE I send the computer. Once I have money, I could care less what happens. Another thing you need to be careful of is them sending forged money orders or bank checks. Even if you cash the check and receive the money, you are still liable if the check turns out fraudulent. If I were you, I'd back away fast. It's not worth the hassle or risk.
  4. timsutcliffe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    I've got no problem with the fact that this is a scam, I'm 99.9% sure that it is, but i'm wondering how.

    With just the PayPal money request, what can they do?
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    They will hijack someone's PP account to pay you, you ship the computer and PP hits you with a chargeback.
  6. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    As THX has indicated, Paypal is just the hook to get you into a transaction. They are counting on the fact that you will want to complete the deal once you start a process with them. Guaranteed they will get a sick grandmother, delay, need to get a friend to help, they can only do it a certain way. They will try to look accommodating, but in actual fact you will not receive any money. Use Craigslist and Kijiji what they were designed for: face to face cash for goods exchange.
  7. maceleven macrumors 6502

    watch out for counterfit money also

    they bleach real 5 dollar bills and print them into $100 or $50 bills, they mark like real money even have the line line across but water will wash away the ink. The line across if you hold it to light will read 5 dollars not 100 or 50:cool:
  8. 01jamcon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2006
    Yes, unfortunately as others have pointed out, paypal is no guarantee of real money, even the money being in your bank account is no guarantee. Bit of a shame really.
  9. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    This is interesting. I thought once the money was paid into PayPal it was guaranteed. Isn't this the point of the service?
  10. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    They gain your confidence by saying they are willing to use paypal. The likelihood of that being the service that they end up saying they can use is not very high.
  11. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Never respond to a message on craigslist that doesn't explicitly identify your auction. Spammers collect emails by sending vague "interested in the product" messages to the redirect addresses craigslist provides. Better yet, disable the direct email link altogether and use a primitive CAPTCHA system:

    "Put the following words into a logical order: send spam me not do [at] example [dot] com."
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I have had problems when listing anything computer related of value. If you tell them yes, then they will send you a bogus email saying from PayPal and that they paid you. It will tell you to send the computer, and once you ship it, provide them a copy of the shipping receipt and they will "release" the funds. Of course PayPal doesn't do that, it's all part of the scam.

    Do NOT EVER ship anything to anyone on Craig's list. If you think ok buyer, encourage them to buy it from you via a private sale on eBay. Then you can get seller protection from PayPal through a legitimate sale.

    Best to just wait for a local buyer and ignore the other emails. If you reply to a scammer, they will probably use your email for future spamming.

    Good luck selling.
  13. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Why are you wasting your time even deliberating this? (unless, of course, you want to appear on the next Dateline episode)
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    they can send you a fake email that's supposedly from paypal showing the money is now in your account and saying you need to immediately send the computer in order for your account to remain in good standing.....people fall for that one all the time

    or they can use a stolen credit card to fund the paypal payment. Money will show up in your Paypal account and you'll send off the computer. Paypal will withdraw the money from your account when it discovers the payment was a fraud and you'll be the one to take the financial hit

    or they'll say they're having problems with Paypal and want to send you a money time your bank will discover the money order they sent is counterfeit and take back the money they credited into your account when you depsoited'll have sent off the computer by then of course

    or.....well, there are lots of ways to scam you
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
  16. Andyee85 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    I've bought and sold a lot of items on CL. NEVER trust anyone using a third party!!!
  17. jayman99 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    If you are selling on Craigslist, ONLY meet in person! I have done this many times, ONLY meet in person. Additionally, you can let the buyer know you ONLY accept cash. Bring a counterfeit marker with you to check the bills. Bring someone with you as a witness. Meet in a PUBLIC place where there are other people around. Do not go to someone's house, do not meet at the buyer's house. You can meet at a fast-food restaurant, college, public library, etc. I have heard some pretty scary stories about selling on craigslist, so just be careful. Best of luck!
  18. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2008
    Send him a P-P-PowerBook!

    (if you don't know look up P-P-PowerBook!)
  19. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Don't need to! ;) rdowns linked that story just above (great story!)
  20. leishan macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    I definitely agree with the poster above--only meet in person if doing transactions on Craigslist!
  21. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah. That was a great story. However, they actually have your real e-mail address- so that could get kinda risky.

    I've heard from people that claim to buy my PowerBook and pay me with PayPal. However, one other thing is that even if they pay with PayPal, it is still possible for you to get scammed. They can state that they got a bad item, that never even turned on. Then, PayPal would have to pay them back, and you would have lost a nice MacBook Pro.
    Definitley don't do it.
    About the PPPowerBook thing-it's your choice.
  22. MacsArePimp macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009

    Hey, if you want to know what most of them do, here it is - They tell you they will use paypal. You get an email from a fake paypal server like service@ebay.paypal (FAAAAKE) that says they have received your payment but need your approval to process, and you have to log in through that email, in which they take your paypal password. Or they say in the "paypal" email that you have to have a shipping receipt before getting your money, that doesnt exist. So yeah. FAKE. Anything from Africa - usually Nigeria specifically - IS FAKE. Only use face to face, and always take people with you to the meeting, lol.
  23. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Pardon my language - SCREW ANYONE WHO IS OUT OF STATE wanting to buy your stuff. Even more so from out of country. Your safest bet is to post locally and agree to meet the person in a public place and demo the system for them and ultimately, take cash only.

    I have sold items this way and given that I am honest, I tell them everything about the item(s) so they are happy and I have my money.

    - Phrehdd

Share This Page