Scammed on Craigslist, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nospleen, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. nospleen, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002

    I must first admit I am a total moron. Now that we have that out of the way, let me explain my situation.

    I had my iPad Pro listed for sale on Craigslist. I received a few texts and a call from a guy yesterday and we met last night at Wendy's so he could pick it up. It was later in the evening and we pulled up at the same time. He was sitting in the passenger side of the car with the door open checking out the iPad. He then counted the money from inside the car, I was standing right next to the car and watched him count. I shook his hand, put the money in my pocket and began to walk inside to buy my daughter some ice cream.

    As I was walking, I pulled the money out of my pocket and begin to organize it to put it in my wallet. I noticed the money was fake. I turn around and the guy is gone and I could not get his license plate.

    I called the cops, they are treating it as a forgery case which is a felony. I have given them the fraudulent money and they said they will get the camera from the Wendy's and see if they can get his license plate. Something in my gut told me the cop was going to blow it off, but I hope I am wrong.

    I reverse searched the phone number and got a hit. I went to the address this morning to attempt to get my iPad back. Yes, I know I am a moron, but I live in Texas and that's just how we do things down here, lol. Anyways, the guy at the house was a 54 year old Veteran and did not know the phone number, the car wasn't there, and he was white. The two guys who met me were high school / College age African-Americans.

    I know I was way too trusting and would do a million things differently if I were to meet someone again. But, any thoughts on anything I can do on my end besides waiting for the cops?

  2. Babu Life macrumors member

    Babu Life

    Sep 8, 2016
    Do you still have the serial number or something? maybe you can ask apple or the cops to track it from that way.
  3. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
  4. jeremysteele, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    jeremysteele macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    Crap, that really sucks. You could try reporting to Apple if you have the serial # - they should mark it as stolen on their end to make future device usage impossible/harder. They won't "track" it for you though. Chances are it has already been sold off. Either way - you probably won't get it back :(

    Here's a few things to try:

    1) Contact any/all local pawn shops and alert them with the serial # - if you have it. If you are lucky - it hasn't been sold off yet.

    2) I would highly recommend removing the phone # from your post. Despite the fact the guys scammed you - posting their info could come back to haunt you. For instance, if someone on this forum found out who they were and begun harassing them (Internet "vigilantes") - you could be implicated as well if it led to legal complaints. Something to be cautious about!

    3) If you don't hear any updates from the police in the next week or two - contact the secret service - they handle counterfeit money complaints in the US. If the police actually did their job - a complaint should already be filed with them. Let them know you already filed a local complaint and turned over the currency, but you were concerned that the local office wasn't taking it seriously. They will then look into it. Forgery in the US is an incredibly serious crime - if the guys did in fact give you fake bills they will be in a load of trouble.

    If the police did not report it to the ss, they will be on the end of a serious beating stick. Had a similar thing happen when I worked retail back in the day (someone passed off counterfeit bills, we called corporate and the local cops, they didn't report it - so corporate let ss know and the cop we reported it to was reprimanded for dropping the ball).

    4) Always meet in front of a police station for craigslist/internet transactions. 9/10 times if they are scamming you they won't show up. Bonus points if you find a bored cop who wants to stand out with you during the exchange.

    Bolded the last point for a reason - it would have helped avoid this whole mess. If someone is cautious about exchanging money/goods near a station - they are up to no good.
  5. nospleen thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    Thanks for the feedback everyone, lots of good advice. I do have the serial and will call Apple in the a.m. I am hopeful the cops take it serious, but couldn't shake the feeling I was getting that they have more important things to work on. But, based on how they are posted up near my house looking for speeders, maybe not, lol.

    I am usually very cautious, but this time I was not. I usually break out the counterfeit pen to be safe, especially on large bills. But, when they showed up and wanted to check it out. He looked at me and said, "I am not going to take off, you can trust me". They were two African-American young men. I immediately felt some empathy and thought, they must be thinking this 6'4" white dude with Cowboy boots doesn't trust them based on their ethnicity. I did not want them to think I was stereotyping in any way, so I kind of threw my standard protocol away. I am surprised I let that impact me in that way. My wife is Hispanic and my entire family if multi-cultural, but I almost felt as if I was too cautious, I was playing into a stereotype. Truth is, if it was a young white guy, I would have made him meet me inside the Wendy's and brought in my counterfeit pen. In hindsight, I was simply played.

    I can't help but shake the thought of him saying that. In the end, he did just take off. The fact that he handed me counterfeit money did not change the act at all.

    In the end, I am glad I am safe, but it still stings. But, I learned a lesson and hopefully my experience will keep others from making the same mistake.
  6. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I know hindsight is 20/20, but my "worry radar" would be pinging if the person didn't want to get out of the car. Feels too much like "getaway" mode.

    My local police encourage residents to do Craigslist transactions in the Police Department's lobby, but the lobby is only open when I'm at work anyway. So I generally transact inside a Starbucks and have a coffee too.

    One guy once suggested meeting in the parking lot of an abandoned school house at night. The parking lot is behind the school house, away from the public and is surrounded by woods. As soon as he said it, before I could even protest, he laughed and took it back as he realized what a terrible idea that was for both of us.

    My biggest problem with Craigslist are the no-shows that waste my time.
  7. nospleen thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    He did get out of the car, but wanted to sit down when he reviewed it. I assumed it was to make sure he didn't drop it. But, I assumed waaaaay too much that night. Lol
  8. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    I usually have people come to my home because I don't want to waste my time and gas going places. Especially for "no shows".

    But I also have a lot of neighbors. A lot of eyes watching things all the time (we're all just generally social and nosey and in each other's business by nature anyway lol). I also have a camera watching my place at all times (that I set up because of a bad ex that wouldn't leave me alone). So it all works for me.

    I've dealt with my share of scammers. But, I also don't take any crap. So I am quick to tell them I won't sell to them.

    In my situation, I would have had face pictures, car pictures, a license number, and probably even the man power to stop their car lol.

    But, I can easily sympathize with your situation. And I understand how things go in this crazy world.

    The police are usually pretty good about offering support. When I used to have to meet my ex (yes unfortunately there were reasons I'd have to meet her, despite the problems), I'd try to get it somewhere that we'd be on camera (which she would try to avoid). Naturally she refused my home because I had numerous witnesses and a camera (that had previously busted her and testified against her).

    The police told me exactly the best place to park to have their cameras see me.

    When my ex refused that as a safe meeting place, I called around to find other seemingly unmonitored places (so she'd think it was good for her), and I'd ask them if they had cameras, and if they'd tell me exactly where the best place was to be seen on them.

    Home Depot was skeptical. They thought I was planning a heist lol. I explained my purpose, and then they were more accommodating.

    In the end, I managed to come up with a seemingly unmonitored location that was in a parking lot with 4 businesses. And each had well hidden cameras. They told me where their best camera angles were, and I put myself and my car directly in that spot that each business had the best view of for each meeting. And I made sure I never walked away from that spot until after she was gone. And, I made sure that whichever way she left, that the cameras saw me go the opposite direction.

    So, businesses will help if you are clear about your purpose.

    Never ask where you can't be seen. Always ask where they can best see you. And explain clearly the reason you're asking.
  9. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Hahaha ...

    "Can you meet me Friday at 2am, by yourself, at the abandoned camp ground? You know, the one where all the campers were killed."
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I wouldn't sell anything on Craigslist. Heard too many stories and I simply don't trust people enough. Had you checked the money at the car and saw it was phoney, you probably would've had a gun stuck in your face and been lucky to walk away with your life.
  11. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    If you're an infrequent seller, you can "forget" do disable Find My iPad (Activation Lock). That way you get the cash and can verify it's real. By that time, they'll realize it's locked and contact you to meet up again to disable activation lock. It's a little inconvenient, but at least you can track it in the event that it's stolen and could possibly give you a lead. Just a thought.

    Personally, I usually meet in a very public place. Starbucks in a mall. Seat in the back, with my back to the wall. I get the cash, count it, and make sure it's real before handing over the device.
  12. ItsNotaTumor macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2016
    Oh damn, sorry to hear about this. Thanks for sharing, I'm about to sell my old iPad and will probably avoid craigslist because I'm wary of everyone when selling technology.
  13. nospleen thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    I have had pretty good luck on Swappa. Their fees are reasonable too. Best of luck!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 6, 2017 ---
    Quick update. I have not heard back from SAPD. I have called multiple times and the Forgery department never answers and they do not have a voicemail. I am going to give it a few more days and try back again.

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