News & Updates
Craigslist Deceptions and dangers
Article # 625 April 24th, 2013
Recently, I’ve posted a couple items for sale on the ‘dangerous’ craigslist.org website. Namely, a riding mower and a chandelier that we replaced in the living room.
The advertisement clearly displays the specifications, and images of the mower, as well as the technical attributes, and price. It also displays in clear instructions that cash is only accepted, but PayPal and Visa/Master card are welcome. Seems simple enough, right?
Just a day or so after posting the advertisement, I began to receive e-mails regarding the advertisement, seemed innocent and genuine enough that simply read:
Is this item still for sale?
A valid, and un-obtrusive question from a seemingly reliable gmail.com email author, with a real name and seemingly un-alarming and somewhat personable human being. So, no reason to suspect anything.
I replied to the email:
Yes, this is still for sale.
Just MINUTES (if not seconds) after I sent my reply, (which is most likely a BOT which sent the email originally) I received a reply from the same author which sent it, and thus my suspicious self discovered the true nature of their contacting me.
Thanks for responding, i would like you to remove the advert from the list cos i want to make the purchase asap and i dont mind adding extra $20 to delete the ads from the list..Please let me know if a certified check is ok.? After the payment clears, my shipper will come and pick it up at your location. I would have loved to come and take a look but I can't. My shipper will though. If you can get back to me with your details I'll get the check sent out asap. Need your full name and address, and your cellphone number, the description of the item and the actual amount you want to sell.. Thanks
Ok, so what part of the advertisement is this person missing here? CASH, Visa/MasterCard and Paypal are clearly printed on the advertisement as accepted payment.
Also, I became really suspicious of the last request for all my personal information, which tipped me off that this is a deceitful attempt to obtain my info for a grab at my identity!
So, I visited craigslist scam listings and you should to by going to their website: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams
After I edited my ad, I placed a SCAM alert notice in the body of the advertisement, warning potential scam artists that I would pursue their identities, and pass it along to the authorities for charges if I discovered that they were trying to deceive me. The emails from the scammers abruptly stopped, and I have since sold all my items to real people interested in buying what I wanted to sell, and met some really nice folks in the process.
Morale of the story: Be careful when dealing with emails and people who appear to be something they are not!