I am trying to sell a couple of used cameras using Craigslist. I posted accurate descriptions for the cameras, lens, and Grip that I was offering…hoping to get enough to upgrade to a new camera…

I have gotten several responses asking if the cameras are still available. I replied to each saying they were, and asked for a telephone number to call to discuss the transaction. None of the replies have given me their phone number. None of them asked at all about the camera equipment. That threw up a huge red flag for me. Why would someone be willing to pay full price without even asking a single question about the equipment.

I think all are scams and am not going to participate in any transaction — preferring to sell locally to avoid these scams, but I wanted to pass along the info for information and input.

First Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Thanks for the message,I am from Canada but i am posting the item to my son living in this address below:

Son’s Name
Address
Nigeria
+234 (Phone number)

The shipping cost via USPS Global Express Mail (EMS), is 150 $, kindly log to your paypal account and send me the paypal money request now. Once i receive the request i will log in to my paypal account to made the payment asap.

MY THOUGHTS:

  • At least the country code is in Nigeria. But why would he send his sons phone number instead of his own?
  • Sender is an gmail user – nothing to give an idea of where the user might be emailing from
  • The english is wrong. Now that might be a reflection of the Canadian School systems, but I don’t think so.
  • I did a little research and apparently the scam is to send a phishing email back that spoofs paypal saying that you have received payment so you go ahead and send the item.
  • I did forward the item to spoof@paypal.com for review

Second Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Am serious about buying the item from you i will want you to remove the advert from net I will like to buy this for my son schooling in abroad i will pay you $1,600 for your item ,please don’t offer it to any buyer again…i will be paying you $150 for shipping through USPS GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL (EMS) and i will be making the payment through my Paypal account ,get me your name and paypal email address also your telephone number,looking forward to hearing from you soon.

MY THOUGHTS:

  • Son is at school abroad? Seems a lot like the last email, whose son is in Nigeria
  • Sender is an gmail user – nothing to give an idea of where the user might be emailing from
  • The english is wrong. Now that might be a reflection of the US School systems, but I haven’t gotten a response back when I asked for a phone number to discuss
  • This seems like the Phishing expedition of the previous email…
  • I did forward the item to spoof@paypal.com for review

Here is the response to the second email when I asked for her telephone number:

Thanks for the mail, i would have love to call you but due to my traveling my phone is not in use for now, and since this transaction is going to involve paypal,so kindly give me your paypal email address so that i can pay you up

Third Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

2 separate email replies to my Craigslist ads from the same user (hotmail account) within the same minute asking if my cameras were still available.

MY THOUGHTS:

  • Why not combine the email asking if both cameras are still available instead of replying to two different emails?
  • Sender is a hotmail user – That rounds out the top 3 free email accounts (Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail)

Here is the response that I got to the emails requesting a telephone number. Exactly the same response to both emails – word for word.

I will like to buy it for my brother and will need your assistance in shipping it to him because i am not in the country right now but i hope it’s in a good condition.I will pay you through PayPal and will be adding an extra of $150 which i am sure will cover the shipping expenses.If you have an account with Paypal, just send me a money request of the total amount to my paypal email,{emailaddress}@gmail.com so i can make your payment.If you don’t have one,you can go to www.paypal.com and easily sign up for a personal account since it’s free,need your reply soon.Thanks.

It is interesting that the first email is a hotmail account but the Paypal account is a gmail account – not completely unreasonable, but interesting…

Fourth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Another thread that was sent to me. The interesting thing is that the exact same email was sent by different names and email addresses, but they contained the same content word for word. This scammer even results to trying to play the missionary card for his Pastor’s son. Where is the respect?

hey friend,
please am a lawyer of a state and due to my work i travel from one country to another for a case so am stoke here in china and my phone don’t have access to work here that is why i can not call you and I’m highly interested in the immediate purchase of this item for my Pastor’s son who went to west Africa for his Missionary courses as birthday gift.I will be glad if you can let me know the total cost of shipping added to the price of the item and do get back to me with your final amount including your PayPal email address so to transfer the payment via PayPal asap. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. NOTE IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE FAKE ITEM POSTER OR SCAMPER NEVER GET BACK TO ME …………. bye

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Fifth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Nice hearing from you,My name is Miss Kate Bash from Califonia,am a business lady,am very happy to came accross your craigslist item.,and i like the condition of the item,so if is still available,i will like to buy it from you,am shipping this international to my fiance, and please do know that you will help me to do that, am ready to pay you the total amount of $1,800,for the item including the shipping fees ,via USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL(EMS) and i will pay you via paypal,and if paypal is accepted,so kindly get back to me with your paypal e-mail address for the payment.so when i made the payment i will give you the full address.
Thanks and hope to hear from you.

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Sixth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Hello Seller,
Thanks for the swift reply,I offer you $1,750.00 and i want you to end the auction as
soon as possible.Could you please send me your paypal request so that i can make payment for you asap.Also let me know the shipping cost through USPS Internationally Express Mail because am purchasing this for my son.Immediately i received your Pay-Pal request,i will go ahead with the payment without any delay.Awaiting your quick response with this transaction as am serious about..
Regards.

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Seventh Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

I am glad you replied to my mail and am sorry for the late reply.
Like i said earlier,i am really interested in purchasing this item for my cousin and i will also
want you to delete this item from post because i am serious about
purchasing and i would not want anybody to bother you any more on this item.Though it
has to be shipped to her internationally. i will pay you $1550
including the shipping and handling.If you are interested,get back to
me with the following:
(1)your full name
(2)Home address
(3)Pay pal email id.
so that i can make the payment as soon as possible.

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Eighth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Am serious about buying the item from you i will want you to remove the advert from net I will like to buy this for my son schooling in abroad i will pay you $1,600 for your item,please don’t offer it to any buyer again…i will be paying you $150 for shipping through USPS GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL (EMS) and i will be making the payment through my Paypal account,get me your name and paypal email address also your telephone number,looking forward to hearing from you soon

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Ninth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Thanks for your prompt mail. I’m interested in buying your item but firstly,i will love to know the condition of the item. There is a little problem,i will not be able to look at the item or pick it up from your place because i am currently out of the state,so you will be shipping the item to my Son in Oversea because i want to buy the item for him and i will prefer the shipment to go through USPS Global Express Mail International,i will offer you $200 to cover the shipping charges. And about the payment, i will prefer PayPal because it is secure and easy to send money online and these is because i don’t want to get ripped off. So get back to me with your PayPal email address for the payment. I will be very happy if you could get back to me now.

Thanks for your understanding and hope to read back from you soon.
Regards
Kristi

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Tenth Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Am serious about buying the item from you i will want you to remove the advert from net I will like to buy this for my son schooling in abroad i will pay you $1,600 for your item,please don’t offer it to any buyer again…i will be paying you $150 for shipping through USPS GLOBAL EXPRESS MAIL (EMS) and i will be making the payment through my Paypal account,get me your name and paypal email address also your telephone number,looking forward to hearing from you soon

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Eleventh Craigslist and Paypal Scam Email Thread

Hello Seller,
Thanks for the swift reply,I offer you $1,800.00 and i want you to end the auction as
soon as possible.Could you please send me your paypal request so that i can make payment for you asap.Also let me know the shipping cost through USPS Internationally
Express Mail because am purchasing this for my son.Immediately i received your Pay-Pal request,i will go ahead with the payment without any delay.Awaiting your quick response with this transaction as am serious about.
Regards.

I forwarded this email to abuse@craigslist.com.

Response from Craigslist

Thanks for passing this along, it’s definitely related to the scams we’ve seen in recent months. We generally encourage folks to ignore these inquiries altogether, focus on local transactions and interactions, and avoid wiring funds or handing out personal financial details.

If you are in contact with one of these “buyers” already, our best advice is to break off all current communication and ignore any follow-up inquiries. If you have received a fake cashier’s check or money order, it’s usually best to destroy it. And we haven’t received any reports of significant trouble from people who unwittingly gave out their name, address and phone number, so there’s probably no cause for concern if that has happened.

We’re working on ways to prevent these guys from getting through to folks who use craigslist, but it’s not easy — they’re very persistent. If you’re interested in finding out more about how these scams work, Wikipedia has some pretty good descriptions of the various types:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud

And more information is available on craigslist’s “scams & fraud” page:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/about/scams.html

Summary

Why can’t people just be honest? This stinks, that I suspect every response that I get is from a scammer.

What do you think – would you deal with them?


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