Daily Archives: June 29, 2014

Don’t Have Much Time Around Me


CraigslistI received the following email in response to an ad I have running on Craigslist:

“Hi , is this the owner ? i need more information from you please because i bought one of this last week and it was a flop so i am very careful about purchasing another one. What is your final asking Price?. Please feel free to get back to me at mrkpeterson78@gmail.com

I wonder who he thought he was sending the email to besides the owner.  Wow, this dude bought a PWC (Personal Water Craft) last week and it was a “flop.”  Well, he bought one of “this”.  So I was curious about what flop he bought so I responded.  Not always a good idea.  The original email is clearly not intended for any valid interest in an advertised $15,500 worth of PWCs.

“To mrkpeterson78@gmail.com
Jun 28 at 5:47 PM
I am the original owner of the two SeaDoo RXTs.  What additional information do you need?
What did you buy last week that was a flop?
 I’m real close to average retail on NADA for the boats and I’m not willing to negotiate much.”

 I  signed it.

The response the next morning didn’t come, logically, from a Mark Peterson, but from Amanda whose email address is alex5p@gmail.com.  Go figure.  Other than the dead giveaway regarding the different email addresses, I have highlighted the main gotchas in the response email:

“Thanks for your mail. I’m satisfied with the condition of it as advertised in the listing,i will like to add $US200 to your final price for you to keep off from all offer,and consider it sold to me alone as i am serious with this.I will like you to know that i am really interested in buying this for my father,payment will be through PayPal and the pick up will be arranged by me as i will have my agent come down to pick it up…i will be waiting to hear from you,and i will like you to send me the name and email address on the PayPal account to send the payment and send me more pics of this item if availablesince it will not be seen in person so i can pay it right away I am a busy at work and do not have much time around me.Make sure you get back to me so that we can arrange for pick up as i will like the item to be picked at your residence,so no shipping

 Thanks and reply asap.

 Regards”

Okay, they can’t spell very well, and their command of the English language is obviously weak, but Amanda, Alex, whomever, is buying this for their father?  And its two PWCs not just one as all the emails seem to reference only one item.  There are 24 pictures in the ad on craigslist, showing every angle.  I don’t think they need anymore.  Since they “don’t have much time around me” when are they going to look at them anyway?  The final clue is that they need a reply as soon as possible.  The scammers will always indicate some form of immediacy. 

scammedSo I’m pissed now and I want to report them, because this has now happened on almost every ad I place on Craigslist.  But Craigslist doesn’t want to know.  They care, or so it’s assumed, but they can’t do anything except warn you.  There are a lot of FAQs on their site, and they have some very similar examples.  They give you a link to the FTC.  You can make an online complaint if you’ve been defrauded.  At this point I haven’t, just been aggravated.  So the FTC wants me to provide a lot of information, that I’m not sure I want to give out online to file a complaint.  Some of the information I clearly don’t have since they are obviously hacking into email accounts and sending auto responding emails.  The FTC wants “the name, address, telephone number and Web address, if available of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.”

Well, that’s not going to happen, and so I’m done with it.  I still sell a lot of things on Craigslist and I’m not going to stop using it because of some low IQ Nigerian that clearly thinks I’m stupid.  Why Nigerian?  Because the majority of craigslist scams are being tracked there and if you were to fall for it, you will discover that is where the final emails will originate.  Why Nigeria, I’m not sure, but they really have to think we Americans are stupid.

Bottom line is always, always, look at the URL where the email came from, especially if the email is of a financial nature.  It’s easy to get an authentic web page from PayPal.  Watch for a buyer who shows little interest in the actual object.  Questions the price and then later it’s perfectly okay and they want to add some extra US$ for your trouble.  They’re anxious to close the deal quickly and the buyer seems to have a lot more interest in the method of payment than the actual item you’re selling.  And you will always be asked to deal with PayPal because that is what the scam is all about.

As I said, the country of origin is predominantly Nigeria, and they most often use the US Military as the reason they can’t handle the transaction any other way.  My alleged buyer used the USAF.  The US has no bases in Nigeria, and there are none planned, so my alleged buyer could hardly be stationed there as he implies.  I was originally sent a text message, which worried me right away because I did not put my cell phone number in the craigslist ad, but it’s pretty easy to get my cell phone number I imagine.  The emails that followed did not have any reference to the military, and some of them ended up in my Spam folder.

Well, I didn’t fall for it.  I’m a little more computer savvy than that, but then these guys are so far from savvy it wouldn’t take much to figure them out.  WTF.  The boats are still for sale if anyone is interested.  

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