I'm selling a couple of things on Craigslist. I've done this a few times before and always, the first interested parties I hear from are scammers.
This time in my listing I specified that I will not take money orders and asked that scammers not contact me.
Here's the first interested party that I heard from:
mr robins firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it still available for sale...
Yes it is.
Here's the second contact from the first interested party. Note that the name of the sender and the email of the sender are different than the ones from the first contact:
Clyde Wright email@example.com
Hello, Thanks for the swift response, just to let you know that am okay with the condition and price of the item, am ready for its purchase and my form of payment will be by sending you Check via UPS next day delivery.
I'll be responsible for the pick-up and the pick up money will be included in your payment to avoid delay and to enable pick up company to schedule an appropriate time for he pick-up at your location after check has been cashed,as i have other properties to be moved alongside with yours.
I would have really love to come for the viewing but due to my work frame that might not be possible,but if you have the pics,might want to have a good look. Please do get back to me with your full name and address including your cell and land number so i can make out payment.
-- *I pledge allegiance to the flag of the the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under G O D, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."*
I replied with this:
Nope. Listing said no scammers. Go away.
And I haven't heard back. Probably won't, although I wouldn't be surprised if I suddenly started getting lots of spam.
Okay, let's take a closer look at this interaction and how I knew that it was someone trying to scam me.
They never mention what it is that I'm selling
They email in the middle of the night. This first one came at 5:00 A.M.
The two emails were sent from different names and email addresses
They said they'd send a check vis UPS (this is a pick-up only, cash only item)
They are going to pay me MORE than the asking price for the item
They'll pick up the item after the check has been cashed
You really don't have to be Nancy Drew in order to figure this out. Just be alert to anything that's a little weird. The world is full of people who are trying to make an easy buck, don't be the person to give it to them.
Here's a story about a Baltimore woman who lost $8,000 from a scam just like this.
This is a very common practice and it's not only happening to people who are trying to get rid of some unwanted items online but it's happening to people who are trying to earn some extra money. The latest is a mystery shopping check scam. You get an email (sometimes unsolicited) from a "company" that tells you they want to send you $200 in advance to do a mystery shopping job at a company. You should be so lucky for it to only be $200 read this from the USPS to see what they warn about. I know three people who've received such emails this year. Thankfully they all checked them out before they got burned.
Keep alert! Unscrupulous people want to rip you off. Don't be a victim.