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Friend got a Craig's List scam.

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Friend got a Craig's List scam.

Old 09-29-16, 07:30 PM
  #1  
CuttersRidge
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Friend got a Craig's List scam.

I'm just throwing out this topic for comment, I see ebay threads come up from time to time but not on this topic. Also, to mods, I hope this is okay to post. I also think this could be of use to some parties here.

Some CL sellers seem to have real problems with scammers and say it in their ads.

Okay, this is what happened to my friend, my friend was selling a camping trailer; it sat on CL for 6 weeks say, with a few interested parties.

Then a scammer contacts the seller and says he wants the trailer; he says he's going to send a certified cashier's check to purchase and then pick it up. The camping trailer is probably worth in the range of $5000 ball park figure. In comes the official looking certified check but for $6,100. It is deposited but it is rejected by the bank.

Seller contacts this "buyer" and asks what happened and now the "scammer" is saying something like, "well, if you pay $1800 to transport it, we'll buy it"; well, the seller just said, I don't need this, this is a scam and broke the deal off immediately and rightfully in my view.

Okay, I hope that is understandable. Does anyone have any experiences, pointers or otherwise comments on matters like this? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-29-16, 07:35 PM
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I get people trying to tell me they will send a cashiers check and then send a friend to pick up the bike after it clears. I tell them to send the check to their friend, let him cash it, then bring me the cash when he picks the bike up. They never seem to answer me back after that.
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Old 09-29-16, 07:44 PM
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Thank you for your reply and thanks to everyone in advance for any responses.
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Old 09-29-16, 07:49 PM
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Craigslist recommends to buy and sell local. If it is a big ticket item like in this case, the sale could be consummated at a bank, with appropriate title transfer after the bank approves the form of payment.
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Old 09-29-16, 07:56 PM
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I've received offers for such advances multiple times via Craigslist. It's a well advertised form of scam and has been plaguing the site for perhaps a decade... Craigslist is primarily meant as a way to connect people for local transactions - hence the requirement to post advertisements within a region. Simply don't reply to any "buyer" who wants to do anything like this... It's almost always fake, and it's frequent as well! Wait for someone who wants to seal the deal in person, or at least talk to you on the phone and chat about the transaction.

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 09-29-16 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:10 PM
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Yup, it's a CL standard. Probably has happened on about 20% of the bikes I've sold on CL. You'd have to be pretty naive or awfully gullible to fall for it.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Yup, it's a CL standard. Probably has happened on about 20% of the bikes I've sold on CL. You'd have to be pretty naive or awfully gullible to fall for it.
In this case, the seller really had no experience at Craig's List to talk about being naive or gullible, they just wanted to sell their trailer and I'd gather, if someone waved some large amount of money, a few thousand, it might be a different situation than someone wanting a bike for $300 or even $600. Yes, some people are naive in that manner.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:46 PM
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As stated previously, it's a pretty common thing. I learned how to spot it pretty quickly and don't even respond.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:48 PM
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Scammers are hoping people confuse "cashed" with "cleared". It is not that hard to discern scammers with legitimate buyers.

That said, some people I see on CL are strung way too highly to be on CL with their warnings to scammers and time wasters, too. Part of the deal when you are using an absolutely free advertising service.
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Old 09-29-16, 09:23 PM
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I personally think all these CL scammers have kind of f'd things up for well meaning Buyers like myself who are just trying to make a purchase out of their local area. There are ways to make both parties feel comfortable with the transaction. What people don't seem to acknowledge is that the Buyer is taking a risk also, often more so than the Seller. (by putting money up front!)

This is not Nigeria here we are adults trying to come to terms for the sale of a bike and I am well meaning interested party, so lets try to hammer out a deal ok?? And yes I am paying extra shipping so lets try to work that into the deal, but at least there are no FeeBay middle man charges for the Seller.

I am a handshake kind of guy and like to have a first impression conversation with the Seller to sort of feel each other out. If I feel ok about the Seller and like the bike I will offer up a free and clear deposit via PayPal, USPS Gold standard Money order or even Wallmart Money gram where they just get the funds clear at local Wallmart. For the rest of transaction If it is a complete bike I will say drop it off at LBS for boxing and shipping location and then soon as I have conformation of that I will transfer balance. The LBS is the neutral go between and hey really, if funds haven't cleared the bike is still at the shop, usually for a few days getting ready to be shipped off.

I also ask the Buyer to Invoice me. PayPal does offer some Buyer /Seller Protection

Yeah so I don't like that I have to wag my tail so much and take extra financial risk as a Buyer, especially when I am a real honest straight up guy just shopping out of my area, but thats what all these S#it head CL scammers have done.

Last edited by WolfRyder; 09-29-16 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 09-29-16, 09:30 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by CuttersRidge View Post
In this case, the seller really had no experience at Craig's List to talk about being naive or gullible, they just wanted to sell their trailer and I'd gather, if someone waved some large amount of money, a few thousand, it might be a different situation than someone wanting a bike for $300 or even $600. Yes, some people are naive in that manner.
And you're in denial. Your friend is naive and gullible. Value or amount has nothing to do with it.
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Old 09-29-16, 09:41 PM
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Any time I've ever sold something of value on CL (especially a motorcycle or a car) I get offers like this.

They also frequently ask you to email them at some other address to defeat the CL anonymizer.
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Old 09-29-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
And you're in denial. Your friend is naive and gullible. Value or amount has nothing to do with it.
Oh the drama!

My friend, for whom I am writing this situation about, is a 73 year old grand mother who would take her grand kids camping every summer. If you have higher expectations of people, that's you. That's not everyone. Seems to be a pretty gratuitous put-down of other people.

Some of this talk almost quells conversation of the issue. Some of us don't know what it's like from the seller's point of view, not all of us are bike flippers.

This stuff is just rude dude. Too bad simple questions don't work, and we've got to say the whole real situation. Are you a moderator who sets rules for the forum or forum owner?

Last edited by CuttersRidge; 09-29-16 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 09-30-16, 04:56 AM
  #14  
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Craigslist at one point had a header at the top of every page with a warning to beware of scammers and a link describing exactly the scam you describe, did they take that down?

Personally, I got the same scam back in '05 or so while selling some car parts (don't sell a lot there, otherwise I'm sure I'd have other stories) but we played with them a bit. The money order sent was obviously fake, never even tried to cash it.
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Old 09-30-16, 05:09 AM
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I'm depressed! It seems from reading this thread that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't. Bummer
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Old 09-30-16, 05:11 AM
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Some scams can be quickly spotted if you think objectively. Take for instance an ad for a $10 wheelbarrow. A realistic reply might be "Still available? Tire hold air? Not rusted out? When can I see it?". A scam reply might be " I am a highle successful international business man, and very busy. I will arrange to have one of my assistants make arrangements for payment and shipment of your wheelbarrow." If it sounds dicey, at least question it in your mind. You don't have an obligation to respond to possible scammers in these cases. Most likely, though, responders to a wheelbarrow ad will be folks who actually need a wheelbarrow.

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Old 09-30-16, 05:59 AM
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Yesterday I bought a car muffler listed on Chicago CL. Although traffic was a bear, I met the seller in front of his apartment building, gave him his asking price, and I got my muffler.

Had a brief conversation with him. He spoke well, dressed well, was corgial, all the things I have come NOT to expect from well, just about anyone I meet CL seller or not.

Gives me hope there are some good people out there.

On the other hand I responded to a car ad on CL recently. Emailed the seller, asked about a few specifics. He emails back "Call me". That's it. But NO phone number. Figured it wasn't worth pursueing.
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Old 09-30-16, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
You'd have to be pretty naive or awfully gullible to fall for it.
^Exactly.

Besides being obviously fishy sounding, it's a well known scam that has been around in one form or another for a long time. I'm always amazed when you see the occasional news story of someone who got sucked in and lost money and/or merchandise.
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Old 09-30-16, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
^Exactly.

Besides being obviously fishy sounding, it's a well known scam that has been around in one form or another for a long time. I'm always amazed when you see the occasional news story of someone who got sucked in and lost money and/or merchandise.
Well clearly it works or the scammers wouldn't keep doing it. It's especially effective on the elderly.
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Old 09-30-16, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
I get people trying to tell me they will send a cashiers check and then send a friend to pick up the bike after it clears. I tell them to send the check to their friend, let him cash it, then bring me the cash when he picks the bike up. They never seem to answer me back after that.
best one yet!
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Old 09-30-16, 08:13 AM
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I've gotten the same scam on virtually every "high price" item I've had on craigslist. I've even had people try to continue their scam (via text) after I told them that they were scamming and go do things unmentionable in polite conversation.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:31 AM
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As obvious as this scam is, I wonder how often it actually works out for the scammer. It must work out some of the time otherwise they wouldn't still be doing it.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:36 AM
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When you are smart enough to use free services like Craigslist, you have to be smart enough to stay ahead of the scammers and thieves. Some people will come to your house, see you item for sale just to come back later and steal it.
These scams must payoff otherwise people would stop using them.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:52 AM
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This seems to be a fairly common scam. I've had nearly the same initial contact on numerous occasions. Buyer out of town, sending a certified check, friend will pick up item, etc. On any out of town purchase, I always state that funds must clear the bank plus a week cooling off period before I will ship the item. Otherwise, it's cash and in person only.
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Old 09-30-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Craigslist recommends to buy and sell local. If it is a big ticket item like in this case, the sale could be consummated at a bank, with appropriate title transfer after the bank approves the form of payment.
Here's a nutty CL story.

So my brother in law has this old Rogers floor tom and puts it up on CL. He gets an email from a guy, he's out of state, but wants to put down some money to hold the drum- his band is swinging thru Milwaukee in a month or so. We can't figure out the scam angle- so my BIL responds back to the guy.

Short story long, it's Marco, the drummer from Robert Plant's Band of Joy.

He threw in tickets to the show and the after show thing.

I like to think I've been doing this rock and roll thing for 30 years, I've met plenty of (to my mind) rock stars. I have a respect for famous people, but not an overly starstruck kind of person.

At the aftershow- I was like 50 feet from Robert Plant and I totally turned into a 14 year old girl. Totally.
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