Always Stay Fully Alert When Dealing With Craigslist

22 Comments

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, johnsonfeg6@gmail.com writes:
Good day,
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
condition.
kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:

Full Name:
Address not P.O.BOX:
City :
States :
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.
NOTE:
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.
Thanks,
Johnson

OK–I will bite–but sent him this reply:

Hi Johnson,

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:

Full Name:
Full Address:
Telephone Number:

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.

Deborah

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…
Thanks…

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:

Mr Kelly,

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:

Name:
Address:
Phone number:
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.

Deborah

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.

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22 Comments

  1. I just got the same email from “Mr. Johnson” , i googled this email address and found this site. thanks all for the information. i will report it to Craigslist now.

    Hello, �
    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 $50 to it for keeping it for me.
    �I am paying by Money Order.As per pick-up, I will make arrange for the pick-up after payment has been received by you.I hope it is in good condition.
    �kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:

    �Full Name:
    �Address not P.O.BOX:
    �City :
    �States :
    �Zip/Postal Code :
    �Phone number :

    �I will look forward to the requested information as soon as possible so that the payment can be sent out to you immediately and i will let you know how i intend to pick it up immediately you receive the payment and i� know it is in good condition.
    �NOTE:
    �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.
    �Thank you..
    Johnson

    Reply
  2. me too! I just got a scammy looking email from garcjenbz@gmail.com but the initial email of simply, “Is this still available?” came from kandyscot23@gmail.com

    The scammy part was this (I’m selling large furniture), so I decided to Google the email addresses:
    Hi,

    This is Jenny.thanks for getting back to me i want to buy this but the only way i can pay you is via a Bank Certified Check that i would mail to you using the FedEx overnight delivery,

    To make sure that everything goes smoothly i would wait for the check to clear before the pickup is done, I would be responsible for the pickup and it would be done by the movers and their payment would be included in the check i mail to you and this is all due to my disability (am deaf) and it makes it hard for me deal with this and it makes the transaction better and quicker.

    I know you were not expecting this and I would have loved to come for the viewing but i cant I really want it and am offering an extra $50 for you to delete the posting to show i want it as i am just settling into my new house i want good deals to furnish the apartment i stay in.

    if you are okay with this please send me pictures and get back to me with the following

    Your Full name
    Your Physical address (as FedEx does not deliver to P.oboxes)

    Await your email
    Thanks
    Jen

    Reply
  3. garcjenbz@gmail.com

    I just got one from this person who claims to be deaf. I’ve reported it to Craigslist.

    Reply
  4. I received an email from evarechm2@globomail.com. It sounded too good to be true. Glad I googled and found this site.
    “Hello, iam happy that you still have it available,i really like the picture i saw on craigslist and i think the price is okay, but i will be paying you via cashier check because iam a very busy person therefore i will not be able to come and pick it up myself but there is a shipping company that has been handling my shipment since that i will ask to come for the pickup. But i will need your name that will be on the check and your address where you can receive the check through courier service. Also the payment i will send will include the shipper money this you will help me send to them through western union money transfer so that they can contact you as soon as possible for the pick up.The western union charges you will incure in sending it will also be deducted from the payment i will send to you. Get back to me with your information if you are okay with this so that i can mail out the payment to you asap.”

    Reply
  5. Reply
  6. I’ve had three scammers email me this week. These people are idiots !

    STAY AWAY FROM THE FOLLOWING EMAILS:

    johnsonfeg6@gmail.com
    jssjohnsmith21@gmail.com
    garcjenbz@gmail.com
    henryiscooper21@gmail.com

    Reply
  7. thanks for this, i actually received this exact email from the same person today (i’m selling some furniture) and it just sounded fishy.. so i googled his email and came up with this site.

    Reply
  8. If it’s too good to be true then it isn’t

    I was selling furniture too and got the same info as others. I received the FED EX package address listed as Mr Johnson 22 AKMAR ST, Indianapolis IN. Using Craig’s list is like going down a dark cyber alley. Trusting is out of the question. I’m glad I don’t have anything else to sell.

    johnsonfeg6@gmail.co​m

    Reply
  9. Just received the same type of email on Craigslist. Thanks for the posting confirmed my suspicions.

    Reply
  10. I recieved the same email from Johnsonfeg6@gmail.com but when he inquired as to if I still had the item, he used linksonsmith100@gmail.com

    Reply
  11. He’s still at it. Trying to sell some furniture on Craigslist and got an exact response to the inquire.

    He also uses this email address jjjsmithever123@gmail.com

    Reply
  12. Here’s a new one to add to the list: “Mr. Peter James”, email came from mrjames.peter111@gmail.com. Same proposal, same strategy. I googled his email and it came up on the “Nigerian money scams” list and also on the ATM scams list.

    Reply
  13. Allison Weller says:

    I have just received this exact email. Good thing I checked the email address first. Thank you so much. I replied that I only take cash. HAve not herd anything back. Good thing I didnt put my real city information. I would be scared!!!

    Reply
  14. the same person also uses the following email address: johnsonsmithmr00110@gmail.com

    Reply
  15. I agree. Make sure someone’s with you and that it is in a populated environment in the daylight hours. If you have received money, consult a professional how to get out of the deal. Check if this is a legal contract. If you deposited a check, wait for several weeks before handing the merchandise so to make sure it won’t bounce, because if it bounces, the bank will hold you liable if it was a fake check and the issuer/payor cannot be traced down. If you did not receive money and have not collected any payment, you might not have a legal obligation to hand the merchandise over, but check with a consumer affairs bureau or a legal expert.

    Reply
  16. I would recommend not being alone when “they” come.

    If you have a friend on the police force, now might be a good time to invite him or her over for a visit. Seriously, why don’t you call your local police and ask them the best way to handle it?

    Reply
  17. OMG I fell for Johnson’s trap, people are coming over tomorrow to pick up the item. What should I do?

    Reply
  18. Re: “Mr. Johnson” – johnsonfeg6@gmail.com
    I just received the following email from “Mr. Johnson” and am glad I looked it up and googled it!

    From: “Mr. Johnson”

    Hello,
    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 $50 to it for keeping it for me.
    I am paying by Money Order.As per pick-up, I will make arrange forthe pick-up after payment has been received by you.I hope it is ingood condition.
    kindly get back to me with your full information for payment:

    Full Name:
    Address not P.O.BOX:
    City :
    States :
    Zip/Postal Code :
    Phone number :

    I will look forward to the requested information as soon as possible so that the payment can be sent out to you immediately and i will let
    you know how i intend to pick it up immediately you receive the payment and i know it is in good condition.
    NOTE:
    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.
    Thank you,
    Johnson

    Reply
  19. Hey! Look at me I am a dumbass. I wanted so badly to sell my item I responded to him like a idiot. What does he do with the info??

    Reply
  20. Same thing as Kae! This Johnson guy is terrible – i hate bad ppl

    Reply
  21. I just received a letter from “Johnson”, as well. My, my, but he/she does get around! It sounded fishy so I googled the email address, which led me to this site. Thanks for the warning, Deborah!

    Reply
  22. Thank you for posting this and confirming my suspicions about a response to my Craigslist ad. I received a casual email first asking if I was still selling my item and then when I responded yes the fellow sent another email that was almost a carbon copy of the response he sent to you.

    Reply

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