It started because we, in an effort to pare down, are trying to sell our exercise machine. It cost us a few hundred bucks, so we're trying to sell it for about that. You can imagine how excited we were to get the following email:
"Hello, I saw your posting and i seems to have found what i am looking for, I
will be purchasing this from you if its still available for sale, kindly let me
Sure, the guy's English is bad, but he seems to pretty assuredly want it. Right on! I wrote him back to tell him we'd be home all day Sunday so he could come back and pick it up whenever suited him. This was his response:
"Thank for the prompt response my secretary will process and mail
acertified draft to cover the cost as am completely satisfied with it.I
will need the details of whom & where to mail the payment
1.Name to be on the check
Please note 'United Parcel Service' do not deliver to P.O.Boxaddresses and i will not be mailing a draft to one. My mover will becoming over for the pick up right only after the payment as beendelivered and cleared. Kindly delete the posting as am totallycommitted to buyingfrom you to save cost,.. Here is my relay phone # is (210) 209-8524drop message, i will receive your phone messages via email, regards."
Hmm. This is definitely a little off-putting. However, I was still pretty stoked to unload the exercise machine. I didn't really want to send him my address, but I figured he was going to need it if his "mover" was going to come pick it up, so I sent it to him and awaited a response. Please note that Craigslist advises you never to accept checks or money orders in that they can usually be faked pretty easily, so I should have called it off right here, but I suspended my disbelief in the hopes of paring down.
Nevertheless, the guy could have probably gotten me pretty easily had he not gotten too greedy in his next email:
"I since receive the confirmation from my Secretary,that the paymentas been
issued out and was mailed by the United Parcel Service. itwill be
delivered to your address one business day from now accordingto the courier ,but
to my greatest surprise the draft was issued outfor the sum of $2425 instead of
the actual cost of my purchase .Sheclaimed that i requested for that amount to
be issued out to you butam very sure i only made a request for just the cost of
mypurchase.This is a terrible mistake and i was just informed about thisso
please once the check is delivered please take it to your Bank andhave it
You will then deduct the cost of my purchase plus an extra $100
tooffset the cost of your run around expenses.The rest of the fundshould be sent
to my mover via western union the same day youreceive the payment so that
my mover can make the trip over for thepick up at once.
**I will need you immediate response via email assuring me that i
cantrust you to handle this with utmost care and have the remaining
fundreturned appropriately as requested and will hope that your
intentionsremains noble though out the duration of this transaction**"
Sounds pretty sweet right? Not only do I get to sell my machine, but I get an extra hundred bucks for my trouble?
As you can imagine, the alarms were really going off at this point in my head, so I headed over to the Craigslist scams page, where I was informed not to accept checks, avoid doing business through the mail, and to NEVER use Western Union, all of which he had advised me to do. So I wrote him back and told him that I would mail his check back to him, and, if he still really wanted it, he could have his "mover" come and pay me in cash.
1) When seling on Craigslist, beware of things that seem too good to be true.
2) If the language the prospective buyer is writing in sounds the same as a spam email, it's probably not reputable.
3) If the buyer doesn't even mention the item by name in the body of his emails, it's probably some sort of form letter used to scam lots of people.
In retrospect, I should have caught on earlier, but I really wanted to get rid of the darn thing. Also, I left his phone number in this post in case anybody googles it, and here's his email address and the name on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org and jeff sandsnow (it is uncapitalized).
This is a different sort of post than I usually do, but I hope it proves useful for someone.