Once again I'm trying to sell some items via Craigslist and the scams are pouring in. Since my last post on this has really seemed to help people, I thought I would make an updated list with some tips, the scammers email addresses, and a few sample emails.
- The grammar is usually terrible.
- They are buying your product as a "gift".
- They use the word "item" - scams usually use an email template.
- They want your Paypal info.
- They want to pay you more than you're asking, to "cover" shipping costs.
- They ask you to sign up for a different site. - They are trying to collect your personal information.
Tips I follow for using Craigslist safely:
- Only deal with people locally. If you want a bigger audience, I suggest using ebay.
- Only accept cash.
- Meet in a neutral place (not at your home!) where other people will be around.
- If it seems too good to be true, it is!!!
- The only personal information you need to give them is the color of your shirt, and possibly your phone number when you decide to meet in person.
Scammer email addresses:
Sample emails I've recieved:
letter from email@example.com writes - SCAM!!!
Good to hear back from you I'm in San Diego right now but I'll be leaving for London for a soccer coaching job in a 2days time.I want to buy this item for my son that is studying photography at a university in africa. .I'll have to add $120 for you to send the item to him as soon as possible through the USPS express mail international(ems)..I'll be paying you through paypal as soon as you make your decision i will pay you $750 for the item and shipments fee; it's secure and protects two parties in a transaction. Get back with the following information so that your payment will be delivered as soon as possible.Full Name:Full Contact Address:Tel Number:All this information should be provided correctly please to avoid wrong payment. I will forward my son's residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment reaches you. I will be very grateful to hear from you soon.Best Regard
firstname.lastname@example.org - SCAM!!!
Hello I got your mail, I agreed with the fixed price, I am willing to offer you extra $50 for you to take the advert downso that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the item. Concerning payment, i will issue out a Personal checkor a Cashier Check. I have a liable shipping company who'd be responsible to come pick up the item at your place. Once you cash the check and get the money, the shipping company will come to your address to pick it up. If the condition is okay by you, please get back to me with the details as it will appear on the check, your full name, address, city/location, phone number and zipcode.Will be expecting your reply.
email@example.com - SCAM!!!
Thanks for your reply and am glad to know that it is still availablefor sale.However i have few questions on the product you are selling.1,I would like to know the reason you are selling it?2,What is the current condition of the item ?3,What is your firm price, though am okay with the listing price ?4,Do you have the original box and the receipt for it ?5,Do you mind if i pay you through paypal even though i would coverthe shipping because am currently not local at the moment,I am out oftown to visit my sick grandma and i would like to purchase this itemon behalf of my colleague as a replacement for her crashed computerbecause she did the same when i lost mine too.If you do not have a PayPal account, you can do so by going tohttp://www.paypal.com/ and set up your account it is free,easy and guaranteestransaction safety.Once you send me your paypal email account, I willsend you the payment for your item as well as $100 USD to covershipping via USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTL.I would be glad if my request is favorably considered.Thanks
and the latest:
firstname.lastname@example.org - SCAM!!!
Thanks for the mail...I will appreciate more pictures..I am ready to buy it now for my son as a surprise promise gift,And due to the nature of my work,phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it.i would be glad to pay for it as soon as possible though i will not be available to come for an inspection due to my tight schedule.Kindly get back to me with the following questions below to this email address email@example.com
1) What is the condition?
2) Are you the Owner?
3) Pick up Location?
4) Your Registered PayPal Name and Registered PayPal Email Address For Me To Proceed With The Payment?
I would be glad to make the payment immediately through PayPal so kindly get back to me with your Registered PayPal Name and Registered PayPal Email Address For Me To Proceed With The Payment. You need not to worry yourself about title transfer and shipment,i will instruct the shipping company to handle that therefore in order to complete the transaction do get back to me with your Registered PayPal Name and Registered PayPal Email Address and total cost so that I can make the payment asap. I will be waiting for your reply!
Thanks and God bless!!!
A new type of Craigslist scam that I have come across is pennyhunters.com. Below is the email I was sent from ShauntaMccally7857@hotmail.com :
Just sold this to someone else, but I can tell you where I got it from.
I just picked up 3 of these from pennyhunters.com and I resold them for some extra money.
The trick is to watch for bidding to slow down and then put in a bid. That's what I do and I win most of the time.
Sent from my iPhone
After some research I found out that pennyhunters.com is hosted in Somalia and that they collect your information when you sign up for the site. The number one clue for me was that they included a link in the email. NEVER click links in emails even if you think you know the source (like your bank) - just type it in a new tab yourself.
Be safe everyone!