Too good to be true, scam?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gala, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Gala macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2012
    Just looking to get some sense talked in to me. I posted my ipad 2 on Craigslist for 350 with accessories (stand, extra USB, extra charger, case). First email I got was from someone asking the condition and if its still available. I respond yes, excellent condition, they respond that they'll add 150 to my price bringing it to 500 if I mail it to them and do transaction over Paypal.

    I told them I want the transaction to clear first. They said fine what's your Paypal.

    I don't use PayPal too much so what's the deal here, how is this person trying to scam me?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    This seems obvious to me. It's a scam.
    Why would anyone pay more for something if they do not have to? Why would you ship something you have listed on CL, a site dedicated to local peer to peer sales, and why would you not think this is a scam?

    I think you're seeing dollar signs. Don't get fooled.
  3. Gala thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2012
    I do think it is a scam. I just dont know why or how someone could still scam me if they transfer the money first? Are they able to contact Paypal and refund their own payments? Like I said I don't use Paypal much, only for transactions between people I already know.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would google eBay iPhone fraud. There will be some posts here as well as other sites where you will get a very good picture of how you can be scammed if someone buys something from you and pays via PP.

    I will buy your iPad, pay you, you can even take the money from your PP account, ship the iPad, I come back and file a claim. PP takes money from your account. If you have none, you go negative. They will get their money. The claim processes begins. It may fair on your side, it may not. It depends upon how crafty I am.

    Again, why would anyone pay more for something if they do not have to?

    Please, look at that.
  5. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    I would be weary if this deal. Is there anyway for the seller to fully protect themselves?

    What's the amount of time the buyer has to file a claim? 45 days? Tell they buyer you will wait however many days it takes for the claim period to pass then ship the item.
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
  7. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    tell them you will only accept a money order from the USPS and will ship after it clears.

    then see how eager they are to deal with you.
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    There are several ways this could play out.

    If you didn't choose PayPal they could have sent you a forged/fraudulent check or money order, or directed you to use a fradulent/fake money wire or escrow service.

    They could be using a hacked/phished PayPal account or stolen credit card to pay you. You get the money, but it could be yanked back if the rightful owner disputes the charge.

    Or, they could file a complaint with PayPal claiming what you sent them was misrepresented (it was broken, empty box, etc.) PayPal tends to side with the buyer and if they reverse the transaction, the money is gone from your account.

    Someone tried to do this to me years ago. I sold a piece of equipment and the buyer left positive feedback saying thanks, it worked great, etc. I thought everything was fine. Then some time later PayPal notified me that a claim had been opened against the transaction, with the buyer stating the item was completely broken and had never worked in the first place. Luckily, the guy took too long to do it, and PayPal essentially told me "don't worry, since the 30-day window has already expired, we won't be looking into this any further."
  9. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010

    I recently bought some stuff from a guy on a car forum and paid him through PayPal. One of the items went missing, we had UPS open a claim and the guy got the check, but never sent me my money to cover the missing part. Since this was a direct peer to peer transaction, and not through a merchant, there isn't any real recourse for me through PayPal and we were over the 45 day limit anyway. PP told me to call my bank. I called the bank, explained the situation, and they said they could open a dispute for fraud. I had all my money back within 2 days of opening it. Of course, the guy finally got back to me and claims he was out of the country... In any case I will be returning the funds to him, less the amount he owed me.
  10. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    OP asks
    Then 1 responder: scam
    Op then denies.

    It's an obvious scam, and the first responder said that you are focused on the dollars, which would be first sign of being scammed.

    150 $ extra, why would you do that if you found something cheap ? "Gas 1$/gallon ? wowee, I'm so happy it's that cheap that I will pay you 1,5/gallon !!"

    It does not happen...

    best share of "gotten cheap" is that you get your item very cheap, then you buy yours friends a round of beers...not give the "bonus" to the guy you are getting it cheap from...

    just sayin'
  11. wjlafrance macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2009
    Madison, WI
    It's a scam.

    What they do is dispute the payment with their bank. Paypal will not take your side on this, generally. Sometimes they will, if you have a tracking number, but it's not worth your time generally.

    But you might be able to drag this out a bit, depending on how much you want the money. If you open a new bank account and create a new paypal account with it, you can give that to him, and withdraw the money as soon as it clears and close the bank account. If you have the cash-in-hand with no bank trail back to Paypal (making it difficult for Paypal to try to take your money without going through an actual process), and you mail him the actual goods immediately, then it's no foul play on your part, plus you got him to overpay for trying to scam you. +1 Karma!

    If you go that route though, be sure to get a tracking number for the package just in case.
  12. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Additional thoughts ....

    I actually have had people contact me about items I put on Craigslist, who wanted to buy it despite living in other parts of the country. So that alone isn't necessarily a sign of a scam.

    I sold a guitar amplifier that way one time, shipping it out to the guy in Wisconsin (when I lived in Missouri), and sold an Ibanez electric guitar one like that too.

    Sometimes people do Google searches looking for specific items and your local Craigslist ads will come up in the search results, no matter where they're located.

    But in each of these cases, I actually talked with the buyer on the phone before doing the transaction, too. I think both of us wanted that extra sense of knowing who we were dealing with that comes from an actual conversation. And I *never* had someone legitimately offer to pay me more than my asking price unless we specifically agreed on it as the cost of postage.

    To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I'd rather someone paid me in bitcoin or litecoin than PayPal. It may be a big pain in the butt dealing with these new "e-currencies" (have to install special "wallet" software and copy/paste a big, long address for them to use to send you the payment, etc. etc.) -- but at least it's like cash where the transaction is final. There's no middle man taking a cut like PayPal does, who can decide to allow charge-backs or suspend your whole account on a whim.
  13. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Its a scam.. He using another someone else paypal

    He is adding $150? really I could see $15 for shipping and paypal fees
  14. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008

    He'll tell paypal it's lost in transit, claim his money back and you lose.
    He'll tell Paypal the box was empty, claim his money back and send you back an empty box and you lose.
    etc etc...

    Pick one, Paypal's resolution process favors these scumbag scammers so watch out.
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Also too the seller may not have a verified paypal address and hopes that you won't notice.
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    That's a common scam.

    If you're smart, you'll walk away.
  17. Akuratyde macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    YES. They can file a dispute with their CC company and since PayPal is the middle man between the CC company and you they really have no choice but to refund the money to the CC company/buyer. I've had this happen to me, don't fall for it.

    I would discourage anyone from selling high-priced electronics on Craigslist. eBay is the much safer route as you have eBay's buyer/seller protection, the PayPal transaction is logged by eBay, and you can ship the item with signature confirmation and insurance, thus covering all of your bases. After being burned on Craigslist I turned to eBay and using the above method haven't encountered any problems.
  18. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    People have attempted to scam me

    Look people complaining about paypal, Paypal is fine. Let me tell you how this scam works.

    Copying from gmail:
    Buying it for For My Cousin,I'll pay you $400 including mailing fees to my cousin and I'll be paying Through My PayPal Account,So Please Get Back To Me With your PayPal Email Address

    PayPal email is

    Sent from my iPad

    If you look at the screenshots, you'll notice the Nigerian scammer created a fake email called, which is the actual paypal email address. If you forward the fake paypal email to, then you'll usually get a email from paypal telling you the "FAKE BUYER" was a scammer pretending to be paypal. Scammers will rarely do through the trouble of chargebacks etc. Believe me, if you say "we have a deal". The scammer even had a local area phone number, 832 Houston area code, and he received texts, and sounded like the average white male. He probably used a phone spoofing service, like spoofcard.

    Attached Files:

  19. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    one way this scam works; stolen credit card used to pay paypal........and then paypal will want the money back from your account so you'll be out the cash and your iPad

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