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Old 05-12-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Craigslist scam question

I see a lot of ads on craigslist that get flagged for removal and the similarities I've noticed are: sound too good to be true, tend to be around $3,000 and most importantly the only contact info is a personal email account. There is no phone number to contact or craigslist email.

How does someone scam you if all they get is an email from you in response to an ad on craigslist?

Caveat emptor, I've always believed that 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,' but now I'm wondering how the scam works.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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Probably the ad is just the first point of contact. Once they have a likely mark on the line, they reel them in.

Consider this: every 'Nigerian 419' scam is initiated via email and they manage to take people for thousands.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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Wait.. there are people dumb enough to fall for the Nigerian deal? No. It can't be.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:16 PM   #4
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You are all missing out, the Nigerian deal worked for me. I'm a millionaire ten times over, but just choose to live below my means.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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Yep. There sure are. Not all of them are as transparent as the all bold, misspelled word, terrible back story scams. Some of the perpetrators are really convincing and find just the right person to sucker in.

Some very intelligent people have been suckered by this and other confidence games.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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A guy at work posted a stove for sale. Someone responded and said they will buy sight unseen. They wanted to send him a check for $300.00 and asked for his address. Then the buyer sent an email saying he was given a check from the bank for $3,000 by accident. If my co worker would cash the check and send him back $2,000 they would both profit. Just a scam based on ones greed. The check would be bogus but probaly clear the first week.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob View Post
Probably the ad is just the first point of contact. Once they have a likely mark on the line, they reel them in.

Consider this: every 'Nigerian 419' scam is initiated via email and they manage to take people for thousands.
So it's not a computer trick that gets you with the first email, it's just meant to get you on the hook--got it.

For the record, I'm too paranoid to reveal information on the 'net unless I'm fairly certain it's secure.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhouse View Post
A guy at work posted a stove for sale. Someone responded and said they will buy sight unseen. They wanted to send him a check for $300.00 and asked for his address. Then the buyer sent an email saying he was given a check from the bank for $3,000 by accident. If my co worker would cash the check and send him back $2,000 they would both profit. Just a scam based on ones greed. The check would be bogus but probaly clear the first week.
That is a very common type of scam that uses the current bank 'lag' to the advantage of the scammer as once the check is discovered to be bogus, the person who cashed it will be out the money.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
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I responded to one, once when looking for a used car (price was low enough to wonder but not so low as to be way off) Anyway I sent the email, and the person claimed to be from out of state and the car was also a couple of states over and wanted a western union / cashers check / money order sent and then they'd ship the car, completely ignoring that I said I'd drive the 300 miles to inspect and drive it back.

My guess is they were waiting on someone to send the money and then never ship the vehicle.

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Old 05-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick73 View Post
I responded to one, once when looking for a used car (price was low enough to wonder but not so low as to be way off) Anyway I sent the email, and the person claimed to be from out of state and the car was also a couple of states over and wanted a western union / cashers check / money order sent and then they'd ship the car, completely ignoring that I said I'd drive the 300 miles to inspect and drive it back.

My guess is they were waiting on someone to send the money and then never ship the vehicle.
This speaks to one of the core aspects of Craigslist, it's intentional focus on local transactions (to the point of actively discouraging those who try and create tools to post or search across different regions). If you're dealing with someone on Craigslist, it should be someone local - if someone's claiming that they'll ship you something, they *should* be selling it though eBay.
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