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Craigslist Scammer, A Close Call

Craigslist Scammer, A Close Call

Since I write about selling unused stuff on Craigslist and eBay, I just want to share my recent experience with you. Basically, you have to be careful with who you are dealing with when you are selling in these online markets. There are a lot of scammers in these marketplaces and you don’t want to end up as a victim.

scam

Photo by Jepoirrier via Flickr

My close call with a Craigslist scammer

After listing an item on Craigslist for about a day, I received the following email:

Thanks for the response.I am willing to pay your asking price. I will pay by money order as its the only way i can pay you at the moment. I will make arrangement for the pick-up after payment have been received by you. I dont mind adding an extra twenty dollars so you can keep it in my favor. Reply with your full name, cell phone number, and address where payment should be sent. Please take the posting off craigslist today and consider it sold to me.

Expecting to hear from you soon.

It seems fine when I read it, but in the back of my mind I was wondering why the buyer didn’t simply offer to pay when he picks up the item. Why send money order first then arrange a pick up later?

Then a few days later, I got this email:

I have given my assistant the go ahead to mail payment to you. You should receive payment within the coming week (6-7days time). Once payment is received we can proceed with the pickup. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

I thought, okay this guy must be a big shot because he’s having his assistant making arrangement for his personal purchases on Craigslist.

And a few days later, I received this email:

I hope you are fine and alright. I have been busy myself but doing great. There is something i think i must bring to your notice. After a reconciliation of my account, i discovered that somehow my assistant must have over paid you. The payment that was meant for another transaction was sent to you and the one meant for you was sent to another, however i want to believe i wont have a problem with you. Please once you receive your payment, i would like you to deduct your money and send the remaining via money gram to my daughter so she can settle some of her pressing needs and also reactivate my Fed ex account. I will provide the info you need to complete the money gram transfer once you receive payment. Thanks once again for your understanding.

Okay, at this point, red flags were going up everywhere — overpayment, subtle threat, money gram to someone else, etc. I doubt I will see the money order, and it’s will be fake if I do get one. If you do receive a check or money order from these scammers, do not try to cash it. When the bank finds out, it will hold you responsible. For example, here’s a news story of a man who was arrested and jailed for trying to cash one of these checks.

How to avoid scams and fraud

Here’s a good article from Craigslist on avoiding scams and fraud:

  • Deal locally with folks you can meet in person – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on Craigslist.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • Fake cashier checks & money orders are common, and banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • Never give out financial information (bank account number, social security number, eBay/Paypal info, etc.)
  • Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and know that only a scammer will “guarantee” your transaction.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

It’s unfortunate that these lowlifes are everywhere. However, I still believe in using eBay and Craigslist to buy and sell used items. It’s up to you to learn how to detect these scams and to defend yourself.

74 thoughts on “Craigslist Scammer, A Close Call”

  1. As a word of caution I would also set up a separate email account on craigslist. I get spammed now on my main email account thanks to craigslist. Spammers are constantly looking for email addresses through sites like this one.

  2. Great post, and the earlier poster’s comment about using a separate email account is great advice as well.

    when i initially posted a few things for sale on craigs list, i got a few people asking me to ship the item to them. I refused, and now i state at the end of every posting that “You must live locally to pick up.” That sentence has totally eliminated potential scams involving shipment, although i’ve still had 1 or 2 no-shows.

  3. Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve gotten the same type of e-mails when listing things for sale on Craigslist. Most are obviously scams (odd language, strange requests) but this guy’s first e-mail to you, and even the second, seem somewhat legit. Especially because there aren’t any typos. It can be hard to tell with the good scammers, but I definitely think Craigslist has set aside some good guidelines. Avoid the money orders — just deal with locals who can pay in cash. Also, meet in public places if you can.

  4. I recently posted something on Craigslist and got no offers. I wasn’t overpriced (I think), but had to get ride of the item because I was moving and needed it out of the apartment. About how long does it normally take for you to get something sold on Craigslist?

  5. I would add that you might want to meet them somewhere besides your home for smaller items. You don’t want these people knowing where you live.

  6. This is a classic scam where you’re overpaid, asked to cash, return the difference, and -you’re right- you’re left with fraud/bad check. Frequently, sadly, there’s some reference to Nigeria (or at least somewhere far away), involves an assistant, language in the email perhaps indicates a non-native English speaker, etc. As you said, you can unfortunately end up being accused of check fraud if you cash such a check or MO. Sad but LOTs of folks have fallen for this ruse.

    Report this emailer to Craigslist. They can involve the FBI and catch the group–it IS an organized scam!

  7. I am selling junk on craigslist, including a large piece of furniture. I have received one of these offers each week that I renew my high priced item. I always write back and tell them to take a flying leap and go try to scam someone else, because I’m not dealing with them. Craigslist = cash and carry.

  8. @Tom – Great idea. I should have thought of that.

    @Fern – Yeah, looks like cash and local pick up is the best policy. It’s a shame that the net is plagued by these scammers.

    @Emily — That’s another good tip…meet in public location. This way they don’t know where you live.

    @Steward — It has been hit or miss for me. I use it secondary to eBay because it’s free.

    @Jake — I can forward the email to Craigslist. I am not sure it will do much.

  9. It always amazes me how many people try to get away with things like this. I worked in a retail store where customers would come in to cash money orders that were fake, and they didn’t even know it! They would then explain how they got a letter to cash the money order, keep a portion and then send the rest to another address. Classic. But some people don’t know any better and free money sounds too good to pass up.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  10. One of my friends works in a bank and she gets a number of people who come in with the fake money orders. In many cases they haven’t yet sent goods or cash or anything, so the scammer hasn’t gotten anything from them. And she explains the scam to them. Depends on the variant, I guess.

  11. Check out http://www.scamorama.com for lots of very, very detailed information on scam artists and how to avoid them. Some people actually engage in long correspondence with these people in hopes of protecting potential victims by wasting enormous amounts of the scammers’ time. Not my cup of tea, personally, but very enlightening.

  12. @Tiffanie — Thank you for sharing your story. Yeah, it’s ashame that these scammers are running rampant.

    @Dawn — I believe there are scammers on eBay as well. Although I haven’t run into one yet.

    @Mrs. Micah — At least your friend understand the situation and doesn’t simply call security to have the customer arrested.

    @Frugal Zeitgeist — Wow, a blog dedicated to the art of scamming.

  13. I just got this exact set of emails for a drum set

    “On Aug 18, 2008, at 4:32 PM, “Mr.John Smithson” wrote:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the response.I am willing to pay your asking price.I will pay
    by money order as its the only way i can pay you at the moment.I will make
    arrangement for the pick-up after payment have been received by you. I dont
    mind adding an extra twenty dollars so you can keep it in my favor.Reply with
    your full name,cell phone number,and address where payment should be
    sent.Please take the posting off craigslist today and consider it sold to me.
    Expecting to hear from you soon.
    Regards”

  14. Pinyo,

    I have a transaction in progress on Craigslist that it pretty much identical. Even the emails you received are word for word matches for the emails I got from this “buyer”

    Even though I answered one of the emails telling him bluntly that I felt he was a scammer, he sent the money orders. Three $850 MOs on a $300 purchase.

    I googled the return address from the envelope, and it appears to be a home that is for sale.

    I intend to take the MOs to the bank and ask them to help me verify that they are fakes. I will also be alerting the local Police Department.

    The email address he used is a Yahoo.com account, and so it probably can’t be traced. I may not be able to nail this guy, but I’ going to give it my best shot.

    DB

  15. I fell for this one =( but im gonna do what DB Smith did. The scammer said exactly what you had posted i havent gotten the third one to wire transfer it to his daughter he went by the name Jeff Turner.

  16. @KK — As long as you didn’t ship the item, cash the fake MO, or wire the money to him, then there’s no harm done yet. Just report his email to Craigslist and step away.

  17. We recently had a person respond to one of our ads, posted on Craigslist. Although we specified this was a cash transaction only and the item was sold to a local buyer. The guy had the nerve to send a “scam” form e-mail, asking questions on where to mail and make out the Cashier’s check for.
    I felt it was odd and I will admit that I got a little annoyed, with the fact that the person responding failed to read that we only accepted cash.

    When the other e-mail came, regarding his secretary had made the Cashier’s Check including the shipping amount, that’s when the ‘Red Flags’ went off.

    First off, a Cashier’s check is obtain from a bank or other financial institute. We never discussed shipping and to know how much an item would cost to have shipped, you would need to know the weight. He (I am assuming was a he), stated that he would have his movers come pick up the bed. Also, he had included with the e-mail, regarding the error his secretary made when issuing the “Cashier’s” check, he also stated that he would send instructions to us, once we cash the “Cheque”, as he later spells it, on how to get the additional funds needed, to us.

    We responded with this:

    It has come to my attention that you are trying to commit fraud. See the below link featuring the text of your first correspondence word for word that someone received in 2005.

    http://forums.somethingawful.c.....id=2978035

    Further, this type of scam is well documented online. For further details check out the following link on Cashier Check Fraud.

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/cashier.asp

    Please discontinue any future contact.

    He has not responded since the last scheme e-mail. Feel free to copy and paste my response of catching him in a scam.

  18. I have a friend who wa also arrested sellling something on craigslist and going thru the same hassle.. arrested, name in paper with article making them look HORRIBLE.. never been in trouble in her life.. It cost her her job and nearly her family.. The thing that really irritates me, this has bene going on for SOOOOO long now and they are no closer to catching/stopping this than they were on day one.. what the heck are they REALLY doing to stop this? cause with today’s technology, this should have bene busted looong ago..

  19. We’re trying to sell a car locally through Craig’s List. First time we have ever tried to do this. With all of these scams, I’m trying to figure out how we should take payment should someone want to buy our car. I find it hard to believe someone would bring $10,000 in cash … how do we protect ourselves and yet sell our car?

  20. I responded to two of these scam mails this week, and we’ll see how it goes. I used the name and address of the local Sheriff rather than my own. So the local law enforcement will receive the checks directly, presumably. Should make for an interesting little investigation. Maybe I’m crazy…

  21. @Ruth – I don’t know if that’s a good idea. This could get you in trouble with misusing law enforcement officer’s contact information.

  22. Pinyo – I thought about that as I did it, however I simply directed it to the sheriff in the county in which I ran the ad, with the business address of the police department headquarters. It’s certainly public information, and would not be an unusual thing to have mail delivered to the headquarters to the attention of the current sheriff. I asked each of the scammers to note on the check that it was for the purchase of the item on Craigslist, and I do intend to pass the information on to both law enforcement offices should the two scammers advise me that they are going to mail or send the checks. So far no follow ups indicating this. Having worked in law enforcement for over ten years, I’m pretty comfortable doing what I did. I know the detectives got a big kick out of it when I brought in a cashiers check my son received as a “close call” victim of a Craigslist scam back in the early 2000’s. Thanks for the concern. 🙂

  23. I was asked to accept my price plus $70, and a currier would come and pick up the merchandise. I was instructed to give my full name, my full address, city, state and zip code and phone number. After the information was received, his “secretary”would proceed with the issuance of a check. He goes on to say to remove the ad from craigslist, as he added $70.00 to the price to assure he would be the one to get it as a surprise to his in-laws.

  24. I was also scammed, my husband and I had just moved here from Japan and unfortunately we had run in to many legal problems and could not get a lawyer for many reasons but we were very desperate, I had never used the internet but my husband had wrote about our story asking if any one knew what we could do? and about a year had gone by when i got an email from this guy saying he could help that he worked for a company called, prepaid lawyer & they were were based out of Florida, we talked online a few times then exchanged #s and address i was excited we talked many times and he even mailed me contract papers & business cards with the with the company’s information on it to be honest he completely had me so excited i never even thought of it being a scam i sent him a money order for $500.00 that was my first payment and was to send many more that was just to assure me that i will always have a lawyer on hand any reason needless to say when i tried to call for one it was all a lie. but what really got me was he kept calling many times for 2nd 3rd payments or my contracts a void .all i can say about him what a lowlife to use people that way.

  25. Thanks for the tip. I received the EXACT same e-mail from someone about something I was selling word for word! Luckily, I was smart enough to ask the person to give me their cell phone # or contact # and I didn’t give out any of my information. Obviously, never heard back from them. Craigs list is great as long as your are careful and only deal with people locally. You just have to be careful and consider what you do before you respond.

  26. can you help me?

    i just recd an email from a guy this week wanting to buy my used furniture, my first craigslist sale ever.

    he wanted my name and address (to pick up the item) and for me to “remove my ad and consider is sold” then, he says his “boss will need my full name to write a check” i gave him my husbands name and our address, like a moron, and now he sends this disturbing email saying “i know what you are up to so you better not contact me again or i will call the authorities.” i should have just left him alone, but now it was a little threatening so i did not want to tick off a guy who has my address,so i said that “ben” was my husband and i was not up to anything, then he says, “ok consider it sold…my shipping co will contact you”

    which they did, will misspelled words and bad grammar, i emailed him asking him questions about this transaction and of course he does not respond, i email the shipping co as they asked me for the weight of the items etc. with questions, they do not respond either.

    i email him back asking him that unless he answers my questions, i am canceling this sale, all he says is “too late, i already sent the check”

    no check has arrived, its been 1-2days.

    i do not plan to do anything with this check. am i safe? did they use my husbands name and address for anything? is that what they wanted? help:(

    • @Michelle – just forget it ever happened and let life goes on. I doubt he’s even in the States. If the check arrive, destroy it or take it to the police if you want to. Sell your furniture to someone else.

  27. I just rec’d one of these letters that everyone is talking about. I didn’t know anything about the scamming. I responded giving address, name, and phone number, but something just didn’t sound or feel right about it. So I found the fraud and scamming warning on craigslist, and the same letter almost word for word was in there sample letters. I then wrote back to the person saying I want cash and I am willing to meet them to exchange the item for cash only. Do I have a problem with giving the info that I already gave?

  28. You mean if I received a check or moneyorder and cashed it or cleared it in my checking account it still could be no good and my bank or where I cashed it could get (me!!!) in trouble? I guess I’m waiting for a fraud check from a Mr. Robin Lee wanting to buy all my stuff on craigslist for $415.00. what should I do.

  29. Ok this just happened to me about 4 hours ago. Read all this please. Also, it’s a response from craigslist.

    Good day

    Let me know if you are capable of repairing computers in volumes

    Steve

    Ok he just wants to know if I repair computers in volumes. Harmless so far.

    I got pentium IV dell laptops for repair and am located in Utah, installation and upgrade . Below are the things needed to be done one on each laptops.

    1 Format Hard Drive
    2 Instal Win Xp with Service Pack 2
    3 Microsoft Office Package
    4 AVG Virus Software (Free Lifetime Updates)
    5 Adobe Acrobat
    6 Laptop Cleaning of the keyboard, screen and other case.
    7 Diagnostics of the entire system after to check hard, cdrom, floppy, etc.

    Get back to me with your total cost for the services of 7 units. I will pay you with a certified check.I await your urgent response so that i can make Moving arrangements and payment as soon as possible.

    Hmmm, alot of words and grammar are wrong.

    Thanks for the reply.I have all the necessary softwares needed for the service installations…Let me know the final asking price of my jobs.. I will instruct my secretary to prepare a check for you on your name and address . Do send me details below
    Full Name:
    Address:
    City:
    State:
    Zipcode:
    Cell phone #:
    so as to prepare the check and shipping of the laptops to your address.Once the check has been deliver to you,deduct your actual price and send the remaining balance to my shipper. i have a reliable shipper that will pickup the computers when you are done with the repairs. Let me know if you are confortable with it .I will be looking forward to hear from you,so we can have the payment mail out asap.

    Thanks

    Steve

    Ok I responded with asking him for his information and received this:

    Steve Johnson
    3530 N.W. 213th Street
    Miami Gardens, Fl 33056
    615 866 2462

    Ok let’s look at this.
    1. He said he was from Utah.
    2. Gave me a Florida address.
    3. 615 is in Tennessee.

    Wow. This scammer is a really dumb one. I guess he doesn’t think about people looking up his info and maybe alot don’t. But I did and caught him in his scam

  30. I get emails from these scammers all the time and I always play with them. I accept their offer and they send me the fake check (at their expense); I make up a 10 digit Western Union number and tell them I’ve sent their “excess” money to a Western Union office about 50 miles from the one they asked for (sorry my mistake, I must have transposed your zip code!). They make the drive to find out there is no money waiting for them so they email me again very confused and insistent (exactly what I wanted). I tell them I’ll try again and send it to another office. I do this until they get pissed off then I send them a degrading email about how stupid their scam is. Yes, this is juvenile but it brings me pleasure and if I can inconvenience these people and cause them to waste some of their time and money then fantastic.

  31. I FELL IN THIS SCAM!!!! I RECENTLY COMPLETED A TRANSACTION WORTH $4500 FOR A 2008 BMW 330XI THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY OWNED BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE LT. ANDREW BARNES OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. I DID AS I WAS INSTRUCTED FROM AN EBAY WEBSITE AND I SEND $4500 TO SO CALLED EBAY AGENT AND NOW I HAVEN’T SEEN A CAR AND “LT. BARNES” IS NOT ANSWERING TO ANY OF MY EMAILS. I’M COP AND I WAS SCAMED BY THIS PUNKS! I MADE SOME SEARCH AND I TRACKED HIM. I NEED TO GET 50 COMPLIANTS AND THIS WAY I CAN START AN INVESTIGATION! FOR ANYBODY WHO WAS SCAMMED AND SENT MONEY IN US USING WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM SERVICES PLEASE SEND ME YOUR STORY AND PROOVE THAT YOU WAS SCAMED BY SENDING ME THE CUSTOMER RECEIPT STATED THAT YOU SEND MONEY TO THIS BASTARDS. I’M SURE THAT ALL GUYS WHO WILL HELP ME START THE INVESTIGATION WILL GET ALL MONEY LOOSED!!!
    MY PERSONAL E-MAIL IS: [email protected] hotmail.com

  32. I have a question. I recently sold a camera to a guy. Last week I sold him a camera for $2,100. He met me and gave me a check. I deposited the check and gave him the camera. The next day I was notified he put a stop payment on the check. Is there anything I can do? Is this even illegal?

    • @Mandy — I’m sorry to hear this. I assume you did this via Craigslist. In this case, you have the listing, the email records, and the check (request a copy from your bank along with any other records). Gather everything up, print it out, and report this to the police. Also contact Craigslist — they may have additional information that they can provide you. Good luck.

  33. This week I posted a Wurlitzer Organ for sale and got an immediate reply to pay full price plus $20 to “keep it in their favor” and not sell to anyone else. The alleged buyer was leaving for London on vacation, lived several states away and would have their assistant send me a check or money order and their moving company would come to pick up the item. I was to furnish all my personal information, but none was forthcoming from this “buyer”. I asked for particulars and have not gotten any further reply. I have their email address, no more and all they have is my email address and name. This is the second time something like this has happened, the last involving a vehicle I was selling. I have now lost all faith in Craigslist.

  34. Okay so i got the email from the guy who said he was leaving for london and he would send me a check with an extra 20 in it. I just accidently sent him my name and address. What do i do please help me

  35. Take a look at my story. I put an ad about subleasing my room and the next day received this.

    Hello ,

    Thanks for writing me back soon,

    I’m absolutely okay with the breakdown details of the place. I will be making a payment for month rent to move in before my arrival. I’ll be so happy if you can reserve the place for me because i’m so much interested in renting the place.My organization will be responsible for all the fees and the payment will be by United State money order or US Check , paying my rent would not be a burden to me.I will need the following information so that the payment can be sent out to you soon.

    – Your full name as it will appear on the US check ,
    – Your address to ensure delivery in your hands through regular
    mails or a courier service this week,
    – Your phone number to keep contact close and avoid package missing in
    transit.

    Kindly get back to me with this requested information so that the money order or check can be made to you on time. Well, I’m coming for a research on reducing poverty ,achieving fair globalization and advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.It works with governments, employers and workers’ organizations to promote Social protection Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all.Social dialogue Bringing together representatives of governments, employers and workers to foster cooperation and to deliver “real world” knowledge about employment and works.

    I’m real fun person &hard working clean and quite person and easy going and respected My laugh is soft and contagious. I eat breakfast 24/7 and i cook very well .My addiction is to taking photographs of people,Places and things has re-surfaced and put into Art work. I love traveling, sporting and enjoy meeting people. I don’t smoke or drink but i do not mind people who do being around me.. Am cool headed and easy going person I have no boyfriend because i am a very busy lady only dedicated to my work. I like honest,trustworthy and hardworking people while i dislike laziness,messy. Okay.

    Anxiously waiting for your response.
    Have a pleasant day.

    Mary

  36. And this!!!

    I am realy interested in your place, and I would love to move in ASAP. My boss is going to arrange for the payment, I am going to contact them shortly for the payment to be made out immediately, the payment is going to be in form of a cashiers check or money order. All you’ve got to do after receipts is to deduct your rent from it. I will like you to know that I’m a very straight forward and honest person. I will like to pay for a month before my arrival, which I know will be important for me, as soon as I arrive, every other important thing will be taken care of before I move into the place. The first month payment will be made in full Via certified Bank Cashier’s Check or Money Order and that will stand as a surety prior my arrival. so, I will contact him immediately to proceed with the payment as soon as possible. Please I will need you to send me your Full Name, Contact Address (were the payment can be picked up easily), and phone number, so that i can forward it to my boss who is going to issue the check out. As soon as I receive your contact info, I will forward it to him immediately.

    As soon as you recieve the check you will deduct the first month plus deposit out from it, and you will help me forward the remaning balance to my Travel Agent so that he can use it to book for my flight back to the states, when I get to the states I will pay the rest. I just want to make sure I get the room before I get back to the state.

    I love travelling, sport and I enjoy meeting people. I don’t smoke or drink but I do not mind people who do being around me. I am cool headed and easy going person with no criminal record and I like to have a roommmate or neighbor who is very responsible and understanding, someone I can really get a long with easily. I do have a job lined up for me when I arrive there. As soon as you get this mail please get back to me with the info I requested for so that every thing can be done fast. Take care and I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks and have a good time.

  37. I sent a scammer my cell phone number and now I am getting phone calls for University of Phoenix, free cruises, and health insurance…ugh.

  38. Nice tactics you got there bbb. They got a real dose of their own medicine. As for me I just ignore their hopeless schemes. It’s just so sad that too many good people have suffered in these scams. They only want to save more money by decluttering and yet these low lifes get the better of them. I do hope that these scams will be put into a stop so that there will be no more victims. Thank you so much for this information. This will really be a great help to those people new to Craigslist.

  39. I got this one, recently, while trying to sell a sectional:

    This is the second item am chosen from your posting. the first one is Round chair – $600 (Harker heights) while the second one is this. add
    the 2 together, and am ready to compensate you with $50. everything will be $1075.. Let me have your name and your full address, am contacting my secretary now. am instructing him to mail a Certified Check across to you. I’ll be picking the item from you with the aid of my Mover. My Mover will be coming to pick it from you once the Certified Check has been cashed. Now, I will need both your full name and physical address along with your phone number to issue out the payment

    Dora

    Damnedest thing is, I wasn’t selling a chair at all. That was a dead giveaway and pretty useless on their part. Terrible grammar is another good clue. I don’t expect that everyone types perfectly or with the best of grammar. Theirs is just so…obviously wrong though. I’ve gotten so many spams and scams that sound very similar in writing or phrasing of words. I don’t see how people can do something like this just for a quick buck. Shameful is what it is.

    It’s funny BBB, I just read a post on Craigslist about someone doing that exact thing. What’s even funnier is that they did it to someone named “Love_Sandra” Just thought you getting a comment back from someone named Sandra was just weird lol.

    Best thing really is to put in that you’re knowledgeable on how to avoid these things. You still get people just phishing for Emails (like the IM message on I for a porn site…didn’t click on the link but entered the address in the URL box up there) bt it really cuts back.

  40. Oh sureeeee I’ll wire you money!!!!! Idiot. GET A FREAKING JOB!

    “My assistant has sent your payment already but there is something i must bring to your notice. After a reconciliation of my account, I discovered that My assistant had over paid you. I placed for 2 payment to me sent out. Payment for you and shipment but she mistakely wrote both payment to your informations already sent out.. However I want to believe that I won’t have any problem with you on this. Please once you received the payment, I want you to proceed to the BANK and cash the Money order, deduct your money and Wire the remaning balance Via Western Union Money Transfer to the moving company representative agent headquater that will effect pick-up. I will provide you the moving company informations on where you need to complete the western union transfer once you receive payment. Please Bear With Me because that is the only way we can complete this transaction…
    Awaiting your Urgent Response on this.
    Thanks for your honest and understanding.”

  41. I was trying to sell a puppy on ebayclassified and some guy emailed me ack saying

    I live at 4543 Buckleridge houston tx. 77053,I have a big compound in my house that the Dog could play around, And i am blessed with 2 kids,My daughter{Rose} birthday will be by early this very week{Wednesday},I really appreciate your prompt response to my email and i must tell you I’m very much interested in buying the male Puppy,So kindly reserve the puppy for me.I also want you to know that payment will be by money order.Moreover am ready to give you an extra $100 for you holding the puppy for me,Concerning the shipping,i have a Private shipping company in mind that will come pick up the puppy  from your home he is very reliable and will handle the puppy with care because he has always helped me on different consignments,So in view of the above, Here are the details I will need from you for the Issuance of the money order.
     
    {1} Your Full Name
    {2} Mailing address, no p.o.box please
    {3} home and cell Phone number
    {4} Acceptance of my offer
    {5} Final asking price
     
    Once you get back to me with all the above information, the money order will be issued
    unfailingly by early this week,and it Shall be sent to you via FEDEX Courier Service ,i will be looking forward to hearing from you,Thanks and God Bless.
     
    Regards,
    Mr Gary Clarke.

    Stupidly I sent him my first and last name my cell number and my address!!
    Now I’m really freeking out!! Do you think he will show up at my house or use my information for something ? Should I tell someone? What should I do??

  42. I got this exact same email this week!! Here’s what mine said…

    The initial email was pretty standard…
    “Just wanting to know if the item is still available.”

    Then this: Thanks for the response. I’m buying this item for my Sister In-Law as New Year gift. I am willing to pay your asking price. I am paying by Money Order as it’s the only way i can pay you at this moment. I will make arrangement for the pickup after payment have been received by you. I don’t mind adding an extra $30 so you can keep it in my favor. I would have loved to come take a look at it but am still on vacation and i want to complete this transaction before Friday on 21st of January, 2011… Reply with your Full Name, Address not P.O.BOX, City, States, Zip/Postal Code, Cell Phone number : (Home or Office and Cell) where payment will be sent. I will let you know how i intend to pick it up. Please take the posting off craigslist today and consider it sold to me. Expecting to hear from you soon.
    Warm Regards.
    Thanks.
    Daniel.

    Luckily I was already suspicious and didn’t give him any information!

  43. HERE IS ANOTHER SCAM!

    I’m absolutely okay with the breakdown details of the room.I will be making a payment of $500 for month
    rent to move in. I’ll be so happy if you can reserve the room for me additional $50 would be paid for removing the advert from
    the site because i’m so much interested in renting the room.

    My organization will be responsible for all the fees and the payment will be by bank certified check , so paying my rent would not be a burden for me.

    I will need the following information so that my organization will send the payment out to you soon.
    (1) Full name as it will appear on the payment.
    (2) Contact address
    (3) phone number

  44. Unfortunately this article does not explain what happens to a buyer who purchases something on Craigslist and pays cash but does not get a real receipt. The cash is gone. The property which the buyer has will be confiscated by the police.So the buyer looses the cash and the item. A cashier’s check drawn on site and cashed on site protects the buyer from being accused of receiving stolen property! Don’t hand over cash to anyone unwilling to show you a real store receipt for the item. How else can you be sure its not stolen? Wake up people and realize not all the theives are in Nigeria!

  45. Hi, I put a laptop for sale on craigslist and all the emails (5 of them so far) have been scammers. this is just crazy to me. This is one of them I received and I did not even get a first one asking if it was available:

    “Thanks for the prompt response to my mail. I will be buying it from you so please kindly withdraw the advert . Please to be informed that i will pay you with a Cashier Check and once you have the check cashed at your bank then i will arrange for the pick up at your place..I will need the following details to mail the payment as soon
    as possible.

    Name to be on the check____
    Home address____
    City____
    State____
    Zip Code_____
    Cell phone #______

    Thanks.

    All of the other ones I just emailed back and told them cash only pick up.

  46. This scam is happening right now to me is there anything I can do to catch him? Who can I call the guy does not know that I know yet?

  47. Hi Julie:

    What exactly is happening to you? Maybe if you explain, I can think of how to halt a transaction, or think of recourse. But I would need to know where you are in the process first.

  48. Unreal. This scam is STILL going on. I just got a scam response to a craigslist posting that is identical in language to this one. Realized it was fishy pretty early on, terminated the transaction, reported it to craigslist and filed a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

  49. I am having a similar situation occurring right now. I had someone from Ohio wanting to order AVON from me–in South Carolina. I thought it weird getting me so far away but proceeded to be nice–and always skeptical.

    I then got an email last night that read very similar to your response. The payment was sent to me for too much and can I forward the remainder of the payment to her daughter for her wedding expenses. The other thing is the extreme poor grammer this person has.

    I called her on it and told her I was very suspicious and I plan to cut ties with her.

    Thanks for the post of this to help me have double assurance that someone is TRYING to scam me. Not today SISTA!!!!!!

  50. “Hi,
    Am glad it’s available. I’m going on a vacation to London but I will instruct my assistant to prepare and mail your payment which I’m sure you will get in about 4 – 6 business days. I’ll add $20 extra for the delay. I’ll pay by M O or cashier check so send me your info (i.e full name, mailing address and your phone number) so payment can be mailed out immediately. I will also make arrangement for pick-up which will be after you must have received and cashed the payment. Awaiting your info.
    Thanks”

    I actually responded and after multiple emails, I received two MO of 955$ each two days later! I fell for it but not all the way through. I DID NOT CASH IT IN. THE MO’S WERE OBVIOUSLY FAKE and I am going to report it to the police (maybe). Wow, I feel stupid but not enough to fall for it completely.

    Emails were: [email protected] and [email protected].

    Aliases were: Matthew Reberry, Matthew Rubbery, Wilson Bishop

    BEWARE.

  51. yeah i got one today as well this was just not right didnt feel the need for someone living out of state to be looking for goods on craigslist in orange county california.

    “Hello Alexandria.
    I got your email, and thanks so much for getting back to me.

    I’m happy that the item is still up available for sale.

    I think I have considered the price of your (HTC Sensation) okay for me.

    But I would love to purchase it for my son who is right in Africa for his international studies as a surprise package for I know it will be of a WONDERFUL XMAS SURPRISE PACKAGE to him.

    However,I reside in #16 Harvard Street Nashua,New Hampshire.

    Please I would love to see the package locally and pay for it BUT due to distance and the nature of my work as a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT,I have a tight job schedule as an accountant,am always busy all day doing so many office work.

    But if you can send me the picture personally to me through e-mail,I would really appreciate it.

    Please remove your ad of the item from craigslist and consider it already sold to me.

    I would be sending you a total of $440 to cover for the package and for the shipment cost/insurance to him through USPS EXPRESS MAIL.

    Please I would not like to make mistake when sending the money order payment to you at your residence/address.

    Just Send me correctly:

    Full Name
    Contact Address
    City
    State
    Zip/Postal Code

    Immediately,I will send you a money order payment that will be delivered to you at your house/residence.
    I assure you that once I receive your information for the payment,I will send out the payment to you quickly.

    OR WOULD YOU PREFER PAYPAL?SEND ME YOUR PAYPAL REQUEST.

    I await to hear from you as soon as possible so that I can make the payment as fast as I can.

    Thanks.
    Sarah.”

  52. Just received similar email for my item on Craigslist.

    1st email from “g k ”

    The person responded with this:

    “matthew Ribery [email protected] to me
    show details 4:22 PM (24 minutes ago)
    Hi,
    Am glad it’s available. I’m going on a vacation to London but I will instruct my assistant to prepare and mail your payment which I’m sure you will get in about 4 – 6 business days. I’ll add $20 extra for the delay. I’ll pay by M O or cashier check so send me your info (i.e full name, mailing address and your phone number) so payment can be mailed out immediately. I will also make arrangement for pick-up which will be after you must have received and cashed the payment. Awaiting your info.
    Thanks”

  53. I just had the same experience- this guy posted a response to a Chicago Craigslist posting. I am glad I found this thread!

    matthew Ribery

    Hi,
    Am glad it’s available. I’m going on a vacation to London but I will instruct my assistant to prepare and mail your payment which I’m sure you will get in about 4 – 6 business days. I’ll add $20 extra for the delay. I’ll pay by M O or cashier check so send me your info (i.e full name, mailing address and your phone number) so payment can be mailed out immediately. I will also make arrangement for pick-up which will be after you must have received and cashed the payment. Awaiting your info.
    Thanks

  54. Just adding some email/names to the mix since I got the SAME email for my craiglist item.

    1st contact
    Original name = t i, email= [email protected]. When I replied, the email chgd to: name = JOHN BISHOP, email = [email protected].

    2nd contact
    Original name – Desiree Sherle, email – [email protected], BUT she signs with the name Eva Bedford and it’s sent via an iPhone.
    I replied, and the email chgd to: Name – Annabel Adamek, email – [email protected].

    3rd Contact
    original name – Holly Kemp, email: [email protected]
    Signs with Cheyenne Mcneil in the email body. This time, it just gives you a link to “make money.”

    So, beware!

  55. Thank you Pinyo! I got the very same message. I wondered why someone who can vacation in London and who has their assistant write check for them wants to buy my used bed. It’s a great high-end mechanica bed, but used….

  56. here are some more emails from another scumbag

    Maxwell Morgan [email protected]

    9:14 PM (0 minutes ago)

    to me:

    Hi,

    Your payment has been sent but there is something i think i must bring to your notice. I just found out that my Assistant overpaid you. The payment meant for another item was made out in your name and sent to you. However I want to believe I wont have a problem with you on this. Once you receive the payment, Please proceed to the bank and cash the payment, deduct your money and send back the Balance to me through western union. So I can proceed with arrangement for pick-up. Once more, I hope I can fully trust you with this? I will await your response on this so my mind can be at ease.

    Thanks.

    Thanks for putting my mind at rest. I am sure you will get payment very soon. Please let me know as soon as you have received it so i can tell you where to send my balance and also schedule pick-up. You can deduct the western union fees from my money

  57. Pretty funny – the original post is from late 2008. Today I did receive an e-mail for a craigslist item and the guy did not even bother to change the above mentioned e-mail text in a single word (almost, the 20 additional $ changed to 30 – must be inflation). More than 4 years later and they have not come up with new ideas – but then, I also still get the $20 Million e-mail out of Nigeria ….

  58. I just got a weird email from [email protected] myself, and my search led me to this site. I thought it seemed phishy!

    Here’s the email “he” sent me:

    still up for sale please reply me with your email address to my email [email protected] make sure you get back to me asap please make sure you reply me to the email i give to you thanks

  59. I had a vehicle listed on craigslist for sale. After reducing the price, I received a text from 832-432-1994, local for me, asking if the vehicle as still available. I returned, yes it is. this guy claimed to be working out of town and had to send a check. I returned to him that I’d rather a money gram or western union found in any town USA. He replied that he had to send check with advanced money so as I could send a money gram to his hauler for immediate dispatch. When I replied that I would wait until he could get to a WU or money gram, he discontinued texting. This was obviously a scammer. I wanted his number posted so as others may recognize it and be aware not to indulge this action. They send you a fake check, you go to your bank and cash it, immediately send money order elsewhere and then your bank notifies you that you’re liable for a fake check and you get prosecuted, no thanks. Some tips that this wasn’t legit: He never asked for a price reduction, he asked not one question of the vehicle he was purchasing and he was purchasing site unseen. 3 red flags when combined together.

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