Scammers on Craigslist

ScamOh, there’s nothing new about scammers on CL, but what is the point of having a blog if I cannot post about them.  I am trying to sell a basically new MacBook Pro because my stolen computer got returned to me several weeks after I got a replacement.  I got an e-mail from someone asking me to ship it to West Africa — they would pay through PayPal in advance.  So, West Africa sets off alarm, but PayPal in advance makes sense.  But the e-mail also mentioned that the guy was out of town (trawling Columbia, SC CL of all places) AND he was going to pay me way more than I asked for.

So, I asked Emmett who said it was a scam, though it wasn’t clear how, and then I googled the message and got some hits.   For your enjoyment, here is the scam e-mail I received:

It’s OK, I will go with your price, Actually i am from Salt Lake city in Utah and am currently on a field trip, but want to purchase it for my daughter that is currently in West Africa working with American Embassy,her wedding is coming up next 3 weeks, I promised her a surprise gift and this happened to be what I want.

I have a PayPal account and can pay you right away, it’s secure and protects two parties in a transaction. Please if you do have paypal account,send me your Payment request of $1380 which will cover the cost price, shipping and insurance to ship to my daughter’s destination. Once you send the request i will proceed with the payment.

My verified paypal account @ [email protected]. I will forward my daughter’s residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment gets to you…

Sincerely Waiting.
Ryan (801) 513-3035

Apparently, from what I can get from other sources, they wait for you to ship and then dispute the payment on Paypal.  Or they send payment to a similar address to yours that they create, hoping you don’t notice the difference.

For your researching purposes, here are a bunch of other examples along the same lines.  Thanks Google.

Same e-mail with someone who followed up.

Hello Shelby,
I got your mail.
Actually i am from Salt Lake city in Utah but want to purchase for my daughter that is currently in West Africa working with American Embassy,her birthday is coming up so i want to buy a surprise gift for her.Please if you do have a PayPal account,provide it to me so that I will Make the payment to you. It’s secure and protects two parties in a transaction.
I will be paying you the total of $280 for both the cost price and the shipping.
Please i need the information fast so that your payment will reach you before the
day runs out to enable you ship the Packages fast.
Thanks for anticipation.
Rita….

Blackhat forum post with similar email.

I will go with your price, Actually i am from Altanta GA and am currently on a field trip, but want to purchase it for my daughter that is currently working with America Embassy in West Africa, her birthday is coming up next Friday, I promised her a surprise gift and this happened to be what I want. I have a PayPal account and can pay you right away, it’s secure and protects two parties in a transaction. if you do have paypal account,send me a Payment request of $427 which will cover the cost price, shipping and insurance to ship to my daughter’s destination. Once you send the request i will proceed with the payment. My verified paypal account @ xxxxxxxxxgmail.com I will forward my daughter’s residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment gets to you. Sincerely Waiting. Hxxxxxxd Lxxxxxxxxe

Echeng with lots of comments about CL Scams.

From: larry Linda [email protected]
Date: August 18, 2009 4:58:35 AM PDT
Subject: Re: Blackberry Bold 9000, original box – $270 (SOMA / south beach)

Hello, Nice to here back from you, I don’t have pick up arrangements due to the fact that I’m out of the Country to Athens Greece for a Conference meeting,so you will be shipping the item to my Son in West Africa.I’m buying the item for him as a Gift because he win a scholarship in two days ago and i we be offering you $275 for the item and $100 to cover up the shipping fee down to him at oversea,I will be paying you via PayPal.So kindly get back to me with your Confirmed PayPal e-mail address so that i can transfer the funds into your Account,so you will be shipping the item via the USPS Express Mail Service(EMS) after payment has been done.i will be waiting to here back from you with your paypal account info so that i can send that to paypal online for the instant money transfer.get back to me ASAP…