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Apr 24 2013

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…

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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    I know a guy who got hit with one of these scams, involving payment for a car he sold on Ebay. The buyer was going to fedex him a check and got “delayed” so that the truck came to pick up the car the same day the “check” arrived. The scammer was cutting back on the time for the check to clear, of course. Worse, the car carrier company was paid by my friend – essentially delivering his car to a loading dock somewhere in NJ, he paid to have his own car stolen and parted out.

  2. 2
    hoary puccoon

    West Africa? What does that mean? The American Embassy in West Africa?? Surely, if the story were true, they’d say the American Embassy in Senegal or Gambia, or some other real country in the Western part of Africa.

  3. 3
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    Scammers on Craigslist? I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

    Yes, they pay via PayPal and dispute the arrival. Sell LOCALLY for cash.

    If you want to play with their minds … accept the certified check and submit it for deposit, then tellthem you are waiting for it to clear before you send on the money they overpaid.

    They are out the cost of the FEDEX delivery or the courier.

  4. 4
    Persephone

    “West Africa? What does that mean? The American Embassy in West Africa?? Surely, if the story were true, they’d say the American Embassy in Senegal or Gambia, or some other real country in the Western part of Africa.”

    The scammers deliberately include a bit of stupidity in their initial message to weed out people who are intelligent. They want suckers who are not especially intelligent or observant.

  5. 5
    hoary puccoon

    Wow, they really weeded me out fast!

  6. 6
    deltamachina

    The Culture Industry – The Ideology of Death

    ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-961596

    .,,.,,..

  7. 7
    Kevin Schelley

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  8. 8
    ACN

    Side comment: It’s always wonderful to hear when stolen things get returned! Hopefully you had a good back-up plan so you didn’t lose any data in the intermediary. And if you did, hopefully this will be the impetus for creating one so that it never happens again.

  9. 9
    oblib2345

    Another one that might be more common but I ran into when trying to sell my truck is the scammer sends a check for more than the agreed amount and asks you to wire the extra back. The check is fake but you don’t find out til a few weeks later when the bank denies the check and now you are overdrawn and out the money you wired (plus whatever else you spent). The guy who tried it on me was odd. He emailed and said he would be coming to look at the truck on a Friday and then Saturday a check arrived for more than the amount the truck was listed for. That’s when he tried the scam ( it didn’t work)

  10. 10
    Jay

    The guy from the SAME number in your blog text me on a Craigslist listing I have in Dallas,Tx.
    From 801-513-3035

    “Am buying this for my daughter as a birthday gift present.I believe it will make a wonderful birthday gift.
    Right now am in the Hospital for my kidney Surgery.. i will be back in 2weeks time
    (1/2)All you will do for me is to write a short not inside the package(HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM MOM)..Please if you do have a PayPal account,provide it to me so that (2/2)I will Make the payment and i will add extra dollar for the shipping and handling”

    I sent him the link to this blog and let him know how much of a low life he is. :)

  11. 11
    Melanie Krueger

    I too had a scammer trying to purchase a vehicle we had on Craigslist. He never asked to see the car nor any other details other than what was on the ad. He kept asking for my paypal email and I wouldn’t give it to him. Finally got an email address from him and sent him an invoice from paypal. He then got back to me that “your email address is …..”, which it was and sent me a fake email from paypal saying the money would be transferred when I sent the shipping money to the shipping company. Well, I have been reading these posts and others and knew it was all bogus and told him so. The phone number of this phony is 909-742-0451 and he called himself Lucas. I want to put his information on as many sites as I can to get the word out!!

  12. 12
    George

    I had a scammer trying to get a PS3 for me in the same way via West Africa;
    name: Aliya Mohamed
    phone # 424 226 8105

    take care

  13. 13
    Harry Wtite

    hello Avery one we will arrange donor and transplantation
    so don’t h agitate call and mail
    We will arrange the kidney donor and hospital with all legal procedure
    if anybody need the transplantation and donor or you want to sell, then contact us on our mail id [email protected], any person who want to donate or you want to sell his/her kidney mail to me my mail id is …. reply as soon as possible my no. is 94681228467

  14. 14
  1. 15
    Cyber Dangers | noraagia

    […] ” title=”Example of a cyber scam”>http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2013/04/24/scammers-on-craigslist/ […]

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