Wednesday, August 31, 2005

craigslist | scams and fraud

I started using Craigslist with good success to sell some items -
But as always - seller beware -
CraigsList warns us about different types of scams (and what follows is an edited email without all the threads that I received from a guy in Africa attempting to be scammed - shame, shame)


  • Distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check in exchange for your item
    you receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
  • Cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else.
  • Value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
  • Banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR
  • Scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

On 8/16/05, mark wrote:

email #1
Hello, Thanks for the mail,The price you are selling for is $225 dollars am
ok with the price and still interested in buying from you,I am ok with the price,
I will like you to withdraw the advert on net cause i am buying from you,I will be paying with a cheque in us dollars,Is that ok by you,As for the shippement
my shipper will be coming for the pick-up.If this is ok with you get me the following informations 1,Your full name to be on the us postal money order. 2,Your postal address. 3,Your phone number both land and mobile. 4,Your postal code. Get me this as soonas possible.Regards

email #2
Hi ,How are you doing.Hope everything is going fine on your side.As a matter fact the deal is on and according to my secretary,he has already sent the cheque out to you(it will arrive by mail).So the payment should arrive in a short while from now.And once you get it,i guess you know how to handle everything.And please dont bother about any other buyer for the , {ITEM}.But there was a little problem which i guess we can handle with understanding.When i contacted my secretary to know may be the cheque as already been sent ,i got to know that there was a misinterpretation while sending the cheque.According to the instruction i gave him,he was suppose to have send you a cheque of 300 dollars for the {ITEM}out of the money he was oweing me .But instead,he sent a cheque of (Dollars 300).It was a terrible mistake and the money order is already out for delivery to your location.He claimed that he thougth i said he should send you a cheque of 2000 dollars.But i know i very well told him to send just dollars 300 ,but i guess he didnt get it straigth. But that should not disturb how own transaction.the deal is on and we will get through it.what will happen is that ,once you get the cheque you will take it to the nearest cashing outlet and cash it immediately,You will deduct a 100 dollars cashing outlet fees and also a 100 dollars for your running around in making the check cashed you will then send the excess fund to my shipper via western union money transfer that sameday.But since,its now coming to you now,i guess i can be assured in you that you can handle it with trust and have it sent to me.hope all is well.mail me back immediately,to let me know that i can trust you to handle everything well.I will be expecting your mailasap.Best Regards and Stay Blessed .

Want to read more?

You've seen them before. They're one of the many spam letters you delete every day. These e-mails, pecked out in choppy English, purporting some remarkably disastrous story of loss and hate and death and chaos and, of course, most importantly, money. The writer is from Africa. He heard about you from somewhere. He thinks you can help him retrieve an obscene amount of money, for which he'll reimburse you handsomely. He wants your bank account information. He wants to call you on the phone.

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