Craigslist and I have a love/hate relationship. I love finding things I want for great prices, but I hate dealing with the hassle of meeting strangers and exchanging money in parking lots. Plus, every now and then you come across a complete jerk. (I’m looking at you guy who left me sitting in the parking lot for 30 minutes a few days ago and decided to no longer answer my calls or texts. Real thoughtful man.) Most of the time I’ve had good experiences, but there have been other times when I’ve been contacted by scammers or just shady characters in general. Today’s post is a guest post by one of our favorite long-time followers, Deborah, and her latest experience with Craigslist.
I wanted to post something new I have come across regarding Craig’s List and what appears to be a new twist. I am unfortunately short on time today to write a post ready synopsis but instead would like to provide the details and copies of the two emails.
I generally turn to eBay twice a year when cleaning out my place and especially during December to have some extra money for the holidays.
Being slow on eBay this year I turned to Craig’s List with several expensive items–one a red fox fur and the other a diamond necklace.
Last week I received this email:
In a message dated 12/11/2009 8:48:38 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
Thanks for your reply,Concerning my inquiry,Am quite comfortable with
the condition of the item since I won’t be making any repairs on it,i
will add $30 to it for keeping it for me.
I am paying by Money Order.As perpick-up, I will make arrange for the
pick-up after payment has been received by you.I hope it is in good
kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:
Address not P.O.BOX:
Zip/Postal Code :
Phone number :
I will let you know how i intend to pick it up immediately you
recieve the payment and i know it is in good condition.
I would appreciate it if you take the posting off CRAIGSLIST today and
consider it sold to me.As for the pick-up,it would be handled after
you receive your payment.
OK–I will bite–but sent him this reply:
I appreciate the offer and will add the $30.00 as suggested and remove it from Craig’s List upon telephone confirmation from you so that details of completion of this transaction may be confirmed.
I would also appreciate your details before I remove this listing:
I am working at home this morning and live in Cities Center in Newport News.
My background is in law and therefor I am very cautious about providing my personal information which is why I would appreciate your contacting me about a time frame for paying for this fur jacket and payment type. I do not accept Western Union money orders. Post Office or AmEx are acceptable, cashiers checks from local banks or cash.
My home phone is xxx-xxx-xxxx. I look forward to your call.
I had removed my number from Google so he could not tract my address and needless to say after this email I heard nothing further.
Then I listed yesterday an expensive diamond necklace and again another creative email:
Good Day, I am happy to read from you that the item is still available
for sales and to let you know that presently am not in state am in
paris on business trip and,I will like to purchase it from you as soon
as possible for a friend as a gift present.My mode of payment will be
via (Alertpay).Read more about Alertpay via (www.alertpay.com ) I will
add $100 to your asking price to cover the cost of Shipment to my
friend via (Express Mail Service Us Post Office)Get back to me with
your full Name,Address,City,State,Country,Code and PhoneNumber.So that
i will proceed to send the fund to you immediately and better of you
can sign up with alertpay via www.alertpay.com and get back to me with
the email used…
So I checked up on AlertPay.com which is also a MLM so I assumed this person just wanted to get me to sign up and never hear from him again.
This is my reply to him:
In my capacity as legal consultant I am naturally cautious of these transactions and yours is the third one I have received regarding items I have listed on Craig’s List.
If you are in Paris I have a very good friend who lives at rue de la Porte de Triva
Clamart outside of Paris. She would be glad to accept your cash and then forward the funds to me via PayPal which is the best protection for a transaction like this and then I would be more than glad to send the necklace by USPS express mail.
I am not comfortable with AlertPay and see that it is a MLM and if I sign up you get a bonus c’est vrais?
Before I disclose my details I would expect the following from you if you are in fact serious about purchasing this necklace:
Recipient and address
You may call me for a confirmation phone call or provide me with our number so I can confirm these details. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
If in fact this is a scam then you picked the wrong person. If not a scam then you should have no problem complying with my request. This is just business in 2009.
Thank you for your interest in my necklace.
I just wanted to forward this on as due to economic times and the holiday season these could both be tempting to a legitimate seller needing and hoping to sell to a person who sounds legitimate.
Please note also that I did not correct any errors in spelling, language or capitalization in the emails that were sent to me.
Luckily, Deborah was savvy enough to simply avoid dealing with these guys. I’ve had to deal with something similar quite recently. My mom had started listing things on Craigslist and she called me a few weeks ago telling me how someone wanted to buy an old DVD player for “over twice what I listed it for! I just have to send it to somewhere foreign.”
It took me a good 20 minutes to convince my mom that Craigslist doesn’t work like that and no one will ever offer to pay more than the price listed. I finally broke through to her when I made her sit down and read Craigslist’s page on how to avoid being scammed. For the non-savvy Craiglist user fallen on hard times, the offer put forth by the buyer may seem like a God send, but it will be nothing but trouble when you lose both your item and the money promised to you.
The best advice to follow when buying or selling anything on Craigslist is to meet the person face-to-face in a public area with another person to accompany you. You can avoid all of the dangers and scams that follow Craigslist by following that one simple rule.
Always stay fully alert when dealing with Craigslist.