How does the Craigslist PayPal scam work? Flooded w/requests asking to ship overseas.

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by msp1518, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. msp1518 macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    NYC or thereabouts
    It's amazing, but within minuts of posting a Macbook Air on Craigslist here in NYC I was flooded with emails asking for me to sell it to them at $100 higher than I was advertising if I would ship overseas. None asked to pay via a money order. They said they could use Pay-Pal.

    I asked all exactly where to ship the item and eventually, after much prodding, all stated Nigeria. HA! What a shocker! :p

    Of course I won't do such a thing. But how does the Pay-Pal scam work? If they send money to Pay-pal and it clears, how can they then get the money back if the item is sent via Express mail with signature confirmation?

    Do they claim the item was not delivered and then Pay-Pal stupidly says OK and pulls the money from my bank account? Would Pay-pal be insane enough to do that?

    I have tried googling about this, but all the results end up being about eBay and money orders, etc.

  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    My guess is that these paypal accounts have been stolen or hacked. When the person who owns it reports it to paypal, they will then take the money back from you.

    The only way I sell on Craigslist is always in cash, meet in person and in a public place.
  3. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    They have a fake paypal website and send emails pretending to be from paypal with some interesting terms that someone not familiar with paypal could be fooled by such as claiming that paypal will only release the funds once you send them a tracking number.
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    There are different variations on the scheme. One might be the fake spoof PayPal website. Or, as someone says, they used a hacked PayPal account to pay you, and when the owner finds out, they pull the money back. Or they claim the item arrived broken, or you scammed them with a box of rocks, anything. PayPal refunds them by pulling the money back from your account.

    I sold something once to a guy who paid by PayPal and wrote positive feedback saying "it works great, thanks!" and all the rest. Then two months later he tried to file a dispute claiming that the item arrived broken and never worked. Luckily PayPal took my side.

    For something as big as a laptop, I prefer to sell locally, and meet the buyer in person.
  5. msp1518 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    NYC or thereabouts
    Some interesting variations on this scam. A few I never would have thought of. Amazing. Since updating my post I have not had any issues. No more BS requests.

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