Common Craigslist Scams

Common Craigslist Scams

Recently, I’ve been listing various items on Craigslist. I’ve been getting a lot of these replies:

From: craigslist reply
Re: item for sale

Is the item still available? Email me at some-phoney-email-address@gmail.com

Sent from my iphone

One even went as far as far as including

Sent from my HTC One(TM) X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

In the signature.

Funny, eh? The idea that “sending” the request from a smartphone would lend some sort of credibility to their scamming ways.

I decided to do an experiment by browsing to the item on my Iphone and sent myself a similar message. I wasn’t sure if the Craigslist email relay would strip the signature line. To my surprise it did not. Score 1/2 point for the scammer (he loses 1/2 point because my Iphone used a capital “I” and the spammer did not).

Miscellany

However, a major miss by the scammer (and one I’m certain has to do with him wanting to avoid the hassle of copy and paste) is that the email I received included the original Craigslist ad URL embedded in it. Take a full point away for that one.

Then, there is the way too obvious attempt to take the whole conversation “outside” of Craigslist by including the dummy email address. Every legitimate user of Craigslist has been presented with (and hopefully does not ignore) multiple warnings about avoiding scams. And, one of those warnings includes keeping the conversation within the protective umbrella of the Craigslist system. Take another point away for that.

Final score: Scammer (-1 1/2 points).

As it is, I assume the idea behind the scam is to harvest real email addresses for some nefarious purpose. What comes next is anyone’s guess. I am tempted to create my own dummy email address and respond to see what the scheme is. Maybe I will...

This reminds me of a similar experience I had 2? Years ago when selling a car. I listed it on Craigslist and received numerous different emails from “someone in Texas”. At that time the scammers were posing as either wealthy students or military personnel stationed overseas.

That scam was always the same. “I love the vehicle and the price – it’s exactly what I was looking for to give to my dad/uncle/other relative. Since I am (somewhere else), I’ll have to have someone pick it up for me. Can you take Paypal or a certified check?”.

Of course, the Paypal account they would send money from would be stolen from somebody else, and eventually any transactions would be deemed fraudulent. Or, the certified check would bounce higher than a three story bullding.

Of course, the scammers wouldn’t reveal that fact :))

I guess the moral of this story is “watch out when you’re doing anything on Craigslist”.

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Comments

    • Bazoo
    • December 14, 2013
    Reply

    What Is The Safest Method Of Payment To Accept On A Large Craigslist Sale? I have a vehicle listed on Craigslist and have received several offers. What is the best form of payment to avoid accepting a fraudulent payment?

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • December 14, 2013
      Reply

      We sold a car on Craigslist – the buyer brought cash to pay when he picked it up.

      And btw, a cashiers check or money order can be a forgery.

      View Comment
    • I like Australians
    • December 26, 2013
    Reply

    How Do I Start Making Money With Craigslist Or Ebay? Hey I was just wondering what kind of steps I could take to begin buying and selling items on craigslist or ebay to make a profit. Like an entrepreneur.Keep in mind that i am only 15 and i am looking to get familiar with the economy. I already have used craigslist to buy and sell things so i am a little familiar with that.

    Any comments would be appreciated

    P.S: Davit, suck my balls if you answer this question.

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • December 26, 2013
      Reply

      There isn’t much good money left in craigslist or ebay for beginners. you’ll just get marked as spam on craigslist and ebay is filled with spammers. if you want a good way to make money online, you should probably try starting an online business. my sister has a crafts business that she started with a site called “wimzy.info”

      they send you information on how to get started for free and will call you and help directly if you confirm your phone number (i just asked her, lol)

      hope i helped. :]

      View Comment
    • Moonscape
    • December 28, 2013
    Reply

    How Do I Get The Craigslist Scammers Into My Spam Folder? I have people replying to my craigslist ad to email me but I’m getting so much scam and spam from craigslist in my inbox. How do I get the garbage to go to spam, and honest people to my inbox?

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • December 28, 2013
      Reply

      Set your spam filters to the most commonly used words in the scammer’s emails. Words such as courier, paypal, check/cheque and address are frequently used in scammer’s copy-paste emails they send to all craigslist postings. They usually want you to send them your address so they can send you a fake check/cheque to cash and send the ‘excess’ to their made-up courier company. Other times they want you to accept a fake paypal email and send the item via UPS or FedEx to their door.

      Look through some of the most obvious scammer emails and see what words are frequently used. Bet the most common word used is “item”.

      View Comment
    • BarbaraS S
    • January 1, 2014
    Reply

    How Do You Get A Listing Removed From Craigslist? I Have Tried Flagging It Repeatedly With Out Success? We have a competitor writing untrue statements about our business on Craigslist. I can not get the slanderous listings removed. I tried repeatedly to flag it (at least 20 times) but it will not delete. Do I need set up numerous accounts? Flag from different computers? Please, help me get these untrue statements off!

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      If you set up numerous accounts, that will simply get them deleted/banned and may result in I.P. Banning. The best thing to do is contact Craigslist. Their contact info can be found here:
      http://www.contacthelp.com/directory/Internet/Web+Sites/Craigslist?ListingID=332

      View Comment
    • Stephanie
    • January 17, 2014
    Reply

    How Do I Know If A Craigslist Sale Is A Scam? I have been finding a lot of cars on Craigslist that seem too good to be true. It will be a newer car, with low miles, at a decent price but when I email the seller, I get a response that says they’re not local and will ship me the car and that I can pay through PayPal or Google Checkout. How do I know if this is legitimate?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      DON’T EVER believe any such advertising. Craigslist tells warns about this sort of scam. Read the full advice on their website (http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams) or read it here:

      HOW TO RECOGNIZE A VEHICLE SCAM ATTEMPT ON CRAIGSLIST:

      * Shipping a vehicle to you is suggested by seller
      * eBay Motors or another intermediary is specified by seller
      * Payment by Western Union or a money wire is requested
      * Price is unusually low (fraction of blue book value)

      If you see these tell-tale signs, flag ad as “prohibited” and avoid

      Offers to ship a vehicle are virtually 100% fraudulent

      eBay has no involvment in craigslist for sale ads, and any eBay or similar emails or web pages you receive are fake

      Never use Western Union or wire transfer to pay for goods – only a scammer will ask for this, and any funds sent will be lost

      Do not buy vehicles sight-unseen, regardless of low price. The vehicle does not exist, and any money you send will be lost.

      Stories about divorcees or departing servicemen needing to sell quickly at a low price are generally fraudulent

      If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

      View Comment
    • Moonscape
    • January 20, 2014
    Reply

    How Do I Get The Craigslist Scammers Into My Spam Folder? I have people replying to my craigslist ad to email me but I’m getting so much scam and spam from craigslist in my inbox. How do I get the garbage to go to spam, and honest people to my inbox?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Set your spam filters to the most commonly used words in the scammer’s emails. Words such as courier, paypal, check/cheque and address are frequently used in scammer’s copy-paste emails they send to all craigslist postings. They usually want you to send them your address so they can send you a fake check/cheque to cash and send the ‘excess’ to their made-up courier company. Other times they want you to accept a fake paypal email and send the item via UPS or FedEx to their door.

      Look through some of the most obvious scammer emails and see what words are frequently used. Bet the most common word used is “item”.

      View Comment
    • Lars
    • February 5, 2014
    Reply

    Cost To Advertise On Craigslist? How much does it cost to advertise an item (specifically a TV) for sale on Craigslist?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist is a free service. Unlike a pay service (i.e. Ebay) where you often have to pay both a posting fee and another fee once you’ve completed the transaction, there is no charge to use Craigslist.

      View Comment
    • Dustin.palenshus
    • February 24, 2014
    Reply

    Continuous Emails In Craigslist Personals Help? Ok, so I added a post on craigslist personals along time ago and after I deleted the post I continue to get emails. How do I stop this. Please help.

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • February 24, 2014
      Reply

      You can’t. A spammer contacted you, and instead of deleting the email you replied back. And they got your email address. If you posted the ad in the last few months, after the double-anon setup, then you responded back using your own email to their email (usually the scammers request that, but CL warns against it).

      Now the scammer got your email, they sold it to a bunch of other spammers, and it’s going to be spammed. Set up your filters to mark any email containing “craigslist” as spam. IF you somehow get one that’s forwarded through CL from a previous contact, use the link at the bottom to report it as spam to craigslist staff.

      But when you responded to a spammer, and gave them your address, they, well, spam you. Keep marking the ones NOT through craigslist as spam, keep using the link at the bottom of any craigslist ones to report them, and next time you post an ad on craigslist, DO NOT use your main email address. Get one that you use just for craigslist. If you make a mistake and give your address to a spammer, it doesn’t cause problems with the real address.

      View Comment
    • Geniumsoloa
    • March 10, 2014
    Reply

    Craigslist? Is the services free?..

    im trying to sell of my used digital camera. i was just wondering if i can post on craigslist and whether or not they will charge me.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist is totally free.

      When listing merchandise, include a picture of the item you are selling and the specifications on the item.

      Always list a price as OBO (or best offer) to encourage buyers.

      Before setting your price, search Craigslist for other listings of similar products so that you are not overcharging for the item you are trying to sell.

      Do not take checks or money orders from Craigslist buyers. Cash only is the only way to make sure you actually got paid for your item. Also, invest in one of those counterfit pens (you can find them at any office supply store) to make sure you are getting paid in real money and not fake. There are a lot of scam artists out there.

      View Comment
    • Keaton
    • March 14, 2014
    Reply

    Successful Sale With Craigslist? Has anyone ever bought a game console new or used from craigslist and it worked properly without breaking?
    im trying to be on the optimistic side because im about to buy a console ( my first and last craigslist purchase). the pictures seem pretty legit (i.e pictures of him operating the console) im gonna take precaution 1st by talking and asking questions about it over the phone then ask him not to pack it up yet so that when i arrive, i can watch it full operational, then as he packs it. i’ll make sure he doesn’t miss anything. after i get the receipt then i’ll pay him in full.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist is more risky for that kind of thing. Probably better if you go to GameStop, they do a fair job of checking for defects before re-selling used consoles.

      View Comment
    • Moody_starrs107
    • March 14, 2014
    Reply

    Craigslist? Does any one know any sites like http://www.craigslist.org. But sites where all the cars don’t need work and that are cheap.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist does not only have crappy cars, set you search for a more expensive car if you dont want a cheap one.

      View Comment
    • Kelsiekasie h
    • March 30, 2014
    Reply

    Craigslist? Its like ebay but is it better and how do you enter in the address just craigslist.com craig’slist.com what which one help me please

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist is nothing like eBay. Craigslist is an online classified site, eBay is an online auction site. The two are totally different.

      The only similarity (and it is a stretch) is that you can sell stuff on both, but one you are using like a classified ad in the newpaper where you advertise something and is someone wants it they contact you and you sell it. EBay is an auction site so that means you put something up for sale and you have people name their price and who ever is the highest bid will get it for the second highest price. You have no real control over what the price of something is going to be on eBay as a seller, and as a buyer you have no guarentte that you will get what you paid for on craigslist (at least on eBay you get some insurance and claim disputing).

      Also on craigslist you are going to find more than just things to buy. Community listings, appartments, prositutes (yeah … prositiutes — they charge by the “flower”), personals, etc etc … the two sites are not similar in the least bit.

      View Comment
    • Lars
    • March 31, 2014
    Reply

    Cost To Advertise On Craigslist? How much does it cost to advertise an item (specifically a TV) for sale on Craigslist?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist is a free service. Unlike a pay service (i.e. Ebay) where you often have to pay both a posting fee and another fee once you’ve completed the transaction, there is no charge to use Craigslist.

      View Comment
    • Aaron
    • April 12, 2014
    Reply

    Why Wont Craigslist Email Me? I keep trying to put up a craigslist ad selling a car and Ive used different emails but on all my emails I never recieve a confirmation email after it says I should recieve one. My ads arent going up and its pissing me off. Why wont I recieve a confirmation email to post my listing

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist staff usually don’t provide any support for free ads

      other users of the site will offer fast help if you compose a new thread about your issue in cl-help desk discussion forum found here:
      https://forums.craigslist.org/?forumID=9

      posting in that forum requires being logged-in to a craigslist account:
      http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/user_accounts

      and having a registered forums handle:
      https://accounts.craigslist.org/forum/newhdl?rt=F

      your issue is fairly common – check spam mail folder, email filters & blocked senders lists – and add ‘robot@craigslist.org’ to your address book/contacts list

      View Comment
    • Rocky R
    • April 27, 2014
    Reply

    Why I Can’t Email From Craigslist? I am in craigslist. I hit addy to write to person in ad. I get popup that says yahoo won’t let me email from there?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Craigslist uses a bad procedure in their pages called “mailto:”. It uses the default email program to send email. Many people using Yahoo mail have the default set to an email program (Outlook Express, etc) that they do not use. By installing Yahoo Toolbar you can set the default to Yahoo Mail.

      The work around is to copy the link in Craigslist and paste it into the TO address in Yahoo Mail. Be sure to edit the address and remove “mailto:” and everything beginning at the “?subject=”.

      For example:
      mailto:sale-123456789@craigslist.org?subject=blahblah
      change to:
      sale-123456789@craigslist.org

      ? ??l???q ?

      View Comment
    • OR
    • April 30, 2014
    Reply

    Roommate From Craigslist ? Has anyone ever taken up a roommate from Craigslist?

    What was the experience like? Good or bad!

    Would you recommend using the site to find a roommate?

    What are the chances that we would end up with a psycho criminal or a super flaky roommate? Or worse!?

    If you have had a wonderful experience please tell?

    Feel free to post all opinions from your own Craigslist experience.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      So I will be up front about having never used craigslist to find a roommate…but I have rented (many) apartments, and roomshares, used craigslist to find an apartment for myself, bought tons of stuff from craigslist sellers, and have sold loads in turn, involving a 350k house using craigslist. So even though I have never used the wonderful site to find a roommate (as I am married with kids), I think I have some pretty thorough craigslist experience.

      Having said that, I think anyone is a fool to NOT use craigslist in any situation involving rent. It is simply a powerful marketing tool.

      The chance of getting a psycho is the same as with any other medium of advertising… However, the chance of having no response goes down dramatically using a good marketing tool like craigslist.

      Now, if you are worried about ending up with psycho’s or criminals or people who won’t pay then that should be addressed in your screening plans. I have certainly had a load of renters who didn’t pay on time (or ever), but that has always been because I went against my better judgment or was too lazy to run their credit or check references.

      So the short version is that craigslist is a good website. When discussing craigslist with regards to marketing for rentals it is (in my opinion) the best. (seriously, if I had to rent my apartment with $500 in conventional advertising or just craigslist, I would take craigslist in a heartbeat)

      View Comment
    • OR
    • May 17, 2014
    Reply

    Roommate From Craigslist ? Has anyone ever taken up a roommate from Craigslist?

    What was the experience like? Good or bad!

    Would you recommend using the site to find a roommate?

    What are the chances that we would end up with a psycho criminal or a super flaky roommate? Or worse!?

    If you have had a wonderful experience please tell?

    Feel free to post all opinions from your own Craigslist experience.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      So I will be up front about having never used craigslist to find a roommate…but I have rented (many) apartments, and roomshares, used craigslist to find an apartment for myself, bought tons of stuff from craigslist sellers, and have sold loads in turn, adding a 350k house using craigslist. So even though I have never used the wonderful site to find a roommate (as I am married with kids), I think I have some pretty thorough craigslist experience.

      Having said that, I think anyone is a fool to NOT use craigslist in any situation involving rent. It is simply a powerful marketing tool.

      The chance of getting a psycho is the same as with any other medium of advertising… However, the chance of having no response goes down dramatically using a good marketing tool like craigslist.

      Now, if you are worried about ending up with psycho’s or criminals or people who won’t pay then that should be addressed in your screening plans. I have certainly had a load of renters who didn’t pay on time (or ever), but that has always been because I went against my better judgment or was too lazy to run their credit or check references.

      So the short version is that craigslist is a good website. When discussing craigslist with regards to marketing for rentals it is (in my opinion) the best. (seriously, if I had to rent my apartment with $500 in conventional advertising or just craigslist, I would take craigslist in a heartbeat)

      View Comment
    • Rayhan
    • June 6, 2014
    Reply

    What Is The Way For Craigslist Signup? What is the way for craigslist signup detail answer me

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Open up http://www.craigslist.org

      If it does not automatically open up your city’s craigslist, then choose your city from the list found on the right.

      At the bottom left, choose “Terms of Use” which is here http://www.craigslist.org/about/terms.of.use and READ THEM.

      Next, choose the FAQ http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/ also on the left side, and read the sections relevant to what you are posting. Learning the rules takes about 20 minutes.

      In short, ONE AD for your business in Services. ONE AD per item in your business inventory in For Sale By Dealer. If it’s your own, used, privately-owned stuff, post as For Sale By Owner. No links. No html. No hit counters. Just a plain-text ad describing what you are selling/offering/buying and what you charge/will pay. Anything else draws flags.

      Once you know the rules, click Post To Classifieds at the top left of the craigslist homepage. Read each set of selections carefully so that your ad for housing/business items/services/dating/etc. is correctly classified. Post.

      If you are asked to phone verify during the process, then answer your phone, get the code, and enter it.

      Once your ad is posted, do some of the work on the site. It’s community moderated. Go find ads selling or buying guns or other weapons and weapon-related items, or selling pets, or prostitute ads, or firewood dealers posting as By Owner, and flag them. You should flag any ad you think is bad, it’s how you “pay” for the site. That keeps the site clean and organized and makes good ads easy to find. No flagging? Then if your ad gets no responses, it’s your fault. You didn’t do your share of work making the site easy to use.

      If you have problems, go here https://forums.craigslist.org/?forumID=1576 or here https://forums.craigslist.org/?forumID=9 and ask for help.

      View Comment

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