Thursday, December 14, 2006

SCAM ALERT!

We all love Craigslist but it's important to remember that there are those out there who love it for other reasons, like pulling fast ones! Captain Vellum recently posted his Convertible Coffee/Art Table on the beloved online classifieds. We've sold and bought things through Craigslist before and have been nothing but pleased with the community. However, we got our first taste of (as Hardwood put it), "Weird."

Do not reply to this email address!

The person on the other end of that line is a scam artist. To sum things up, he offered us full price for the table and told us that he wanted us to take the ad down immediately. Then he told us that he would send a cashier's check to us and would have someone else pick up the table because, although he would love to pick it up himself, he can't. Uh, this is where we started to get suspicious. We then wrote back to him and asked if he needed the table packaged for shipping and, if so, that would cost extra as we would have to buy a box. He INSTANTLY writes back that he will send us a check for $3,800 (!!!) to cover the table and packaging. We are to deposit the check...well, wait, let me tell it in his words (and, yes, the CAPS are his):

ALL YOU JUST NEED TO DO FOR ME NOW IS THE ONCE YOU RECEIVE THE PAYMENT YOU WILL DEDUCT YOUR MONEY THEN SEND THE SHIPPING FUNDS TO THE SHIPPER VIA MONEYGRAM. I'D BE SENDING YOU A CHECK OF $3,800 FOR YOUR PAYMENT AND DEDUCT $100 FOR YOUR RUNING AROUND AND TAKE OUT THE REMAINING MONEY FOR BANK TRANSFER CHARGES THEN SEND THE REST TO THE SHIPPER BECAUSE HE'LL BE PICKING UP OTHER ITEMS FOR ME IN YOUR LOCATION...

He ends by saying he wants us to know that he is "someone to trust."

Porcelain investigated general online fraud after this exchange and we saw that this transaction is a textbook classified advertising scam. Craigslist says that if you meet with a buyer in person, you'll avoid "99% of the scam attempts" lurking out there, waiting to apprehend your innocent furniture. Be careful, ya'll!

Whew! Yesterday, we wrote back to "Ryan Jason" and told him we were canceling the sale. We haven't heard from him since. But speaking of furniture, the Convertible Coffee/Art Table is still for sale. She's a little shaken up but she's lovely.

2 comments:

AlisonRose said...

That sounds crazy. Never trust CAPS... or weird broken sentences...

Anonymous said...

Ewww. Lucky escape, what a good thing your internal Scam Alarm was working! Yeah, I agree with alisonrose, the all CAPS thing is a sure "red flag" of trouble, but I've gotta say that some of my best friends tend to write in weird broken sentences... and those are the Honors English Lit majors, too! ;-) Jen