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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent from my iphone
One even went as far as far as including
Sent from my HTC One™ 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).
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”.