Beware of scam artists on Craigslist

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Blog entry by RBWoodworker posted 04-26-2009 11:00 PM 3641 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Now I know that I am Probably preaching to the Choir here ..I just know it, but this is an experience that just happened to me so I want to post it to warn all my friends here at Lumberjocks.

As most of you who have seen my projects or my blogs, I make the maloof Rocking Chairs and have one in tiger maple for sale on Craigslist.. I started the pricing at 5,000 but didn’t get any after the posting expired..I re-listed it for 3,000, and lo and behold, I got an interest.. the other person called himself David Collins, and said he wanted the rocker and would pay me thru a US Bank via certified money order and have his private shipping company come pick up the rocker if I would just give him my full name and address, he would send the money order immediately and for me to un list the rocker because he didn’t want anyone else to interfere with the sale.. I immediately knew something was not Kosher and requested that if he wanted the rocker I would accept cash, or to be paid thru Paypal, but would not accept anything otherwise.. well guess what.. never heard from him again. So please.. anyone who is trying their hardest to feed their family by selling their hard work pieces, please be safe and cover yourself and only accept payments thru either paypal or cash.. read all e mails or messages very carefully to read between the lines..they’re are a ton of scammers out there just sitting there waiting for hard working folks like you and me to steal from us and they don’t give a hoot if your starving or not..if your not sure.. ask someone for help in determining if they feel this is legitimate or not.. in my case I have a very smart, intelligent Fiance’ who immediately said “No Way! and I respected her opinion and am glad I always do..

-- Randall Child

22 comments so far

View gagewestern's profile


308 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 04-26-2009 11:12 PM

Craigslist is not the only place that this happens , I had this happen twice on Etsy . they gave about the same story their add. and zip didnt match or was just a little off brian

-- gagewestern

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4129 days

#2 posted 04-26-2009 11:16 PM

Thanks for shining a little sunlight on situations like these. It helps scare the cockroaches away.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 3486 days

#3 posted 04-26-2009 11:26 PM

that is really interesting. My family has a retail business that sells camper shells and truck accessories. We have had it for over 25 years. We have had this same scam tried on us and several other retailers that are in the same business all over the US. We get people trying to buy several of a certain brand of camper shell and want to pay with “wired” money and they will have their shipper pick up. They have tried a couple of different way with phone calls using a service for hearing impaired and also the internet. You just can’t be too careful anymore. Sad but true. Congratulations on not getting “scammed”.(they didn’t get us either)

-- Paul , Calfornia

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3422 days

#4 posted 04-27-2009 12:22 AM

Thanks for take the time to write about this, I get a lot of those emails, even when offering my services as a Carpenter!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4343 days

#5 posted 04-27-2009 03:37 AM

I just don’t understand why we can’t catch these crooks (and the identity thieves). I understand the explanations of why. I just don’t believe them.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3705 days

#6 posted 04-27-2009 04:00 AM

I have noticed in some email scams from banks and gov’t email looking addresses they will use a small “i” in an other wise ligit looking email address. I guess it’s harder to spot than other letters. I look at all email addresses real close anymore.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3773 days

#7 posted 04-27-2009 04:27 AM

These guys will also contact you via a internet phone connection. The times that I’ve had it happen to me the internet phone operator will warn you about agree to any kind of monetary transaction with these folks. They use this connection because they think it’s more personal and will cover up their inability to speak good English.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#8 posted 04-27-2009 04:49 AM

I like how those emails are automated… so you’ll read “hi Mr. X .. I’m interested in your ’’put the title for your craigslist listing as crazy as you posted it here’’ is the item still available ?

what item – why not call it what it is – it’s a chair for crying out loud … not an ‘item’...


In the past I had a couple that for entertainment reasons replied to with fake email, and weird questions just to capture their interest, and get a kick out of it… but as you stated – be wary of those responses, they are ill makers, and should be discarded.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3381 days

#9 posted 04-27-2009 05:52 AM

well here’s an update.. after I insisted..ah’s the e mails below..I copied and pasted it for everyone to read to see what is going on and how it looks.. tell me what you all think of this one..he started with the e mail below first. my responses will follow and so on and so forth

Hello….. How are you doing today i saw your add posted craigslist and i have intresting to purchase the item i will like to know more about the item before we can proceed this are the following information i want to know about the item:
(1.). Your last asking price on the add (2.). The precently address that the add is now (3.). The precently condition (4.). Your valid address and phone number So that we can quickly proceed on the add so get back to me asap to know what next to do here is my son phone number cus am hardhearing
Thanks David (208)4577859

Hello David.. my last asking price was 5,000 for the rocker..but due to economic conditions I have lowered my price to 3,000

the Chair is presently in my home in Murrieta, calif, but I am in San Fernando Valley almost daily and will be happy to bring the rocker out.

I will call you and set up a meet where you can view the rocker for yourself.. I will call today..

Good Day,
Thanks for your response about the sales of your item,am highly interested in purchasing your item so i will handle the shipment of the item by my private shipping company which my payment method will be via Certified Cashier Check drawn on US Banks…i could have make your payment via another means of payment due to various scam going on internet with a bogus account so i will like to make your payment via Bank Certified Cashier Check which i will wait for your bank to verify and clear the check before we proceed with the i will need your full name and address also with your phone number to mail out the check to you via UPS and get to you 1-2 days,so if you are okay with my form of payment please get back to me with your full name and address and delete the advert of your item on craigslist because i don’t want any other interruption by another buyer.i will await your response asap!

I would prefer we use Paypal as a form of payment if that is ok..I have always used them and they are a safe way of sending and recieving transactions.. After the funds are secured..we can have your shipping company meet me to accept the Rocker.. Please let me know if this is acceptable.. thank you kindly

Hello… I have paypal account but due to internet scam my lawyer told me that i should not use it any more so check is very secure and easy what you need now is to give me your full name and address so that i can mail the check to you asap

Hello again.. I understand your reluctance to use various other means of paying, however.. with paypal they will not allow me to recieve the funds for the chair until I have proof of shipping the rocker.. therefore Paypal makes sure everyone stays honest in the transaction..I have used it many times with absolutely no problems on either end.. I prefer to do my transaction via Paypal or Cash only.. it’s the only way I will sell my pieces.. I hope you can understand.. If you are not comfortable with this, then perhaps, this is not for you..I have others interested in purchasing the rocker but since you were the first to inquire I extended the courtesy of letting you have it first..So in saying that.. we can do the transaction via Paypal or Cash only..

Hello…. But am in hospital now you will help me to pay the shipping companyto pick up the item there i will tell my friend to sending you the money via paypal but my shipping company do with cash in hand and i dont have access now to do that and my friend also cus he now out of country so let me know if you accept this i have private shipping compnay so i will send you their information after you get the comfirmation from paypal so let me know if you accept this


can you believe this guy??? Good Lord.. I’m forwarding this to Craigslist security..

-- Randall Child

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4117 days

#10 posted 04-27-2009 05:54 AM

My partner had a boat for sail. He got an email and a check via FedEx from NYC.
For about $4000 more than the boat. The deal was to deposit the cashier’s check and send $3000 to his shipping agent in London that would arrange to transport the boat.
We called the bank on which the check was issued. “That is check 3124 with that check number.”
We did nothing and got another email. We told them we did not receive the first check. The next day we got another FedEx. This time from Texas with a Colorado bank’s check. Really pretty blue and yellow. We called that bank, too. It was check number 272 with that number.
Our IT guy back traced the emails to Nigeria.

So, did FedEx get scammed on the 2 overnight letters we got?
The other point is that this particular scammer had more than one entity that would forward the checks.

We contacted both the FBI and Secret Service. They said that there are just too many of these flying around for them to devote any time to them.

I have seen signs posted in banks about this type of scam and people still get caught.

There was a lawyer in Texas who was contacted via email about collecting bad debts for a percentage. He accepted and made a “collection” of almost $200,000 on one of the accounts. That check was deposited. After a week he called the bank to see if the check had cleared and was told that it had. He then remitted the proceeds of $136,000.00 to the “client”. Three weeks later he got notice that the check had bounced.
He’s suing the bank for falsely telling him that the check had cleared.

As the watch commander said on Hill Street Blues: “Let’s be careful out there.”


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3986 days

#11 posted 04-27-2009 07:24 PM

This is a common double ended scam. They pretend to buy the item from you with a fake check. They ask you to take the auction down right away so they can be guaranteed the sale. Whats really happening behind the scenes is they have copied your add word for word pictures and all, and they re list it in a bunch of other locations with their email as the seller contact. They get a buyer for your item and then arrange for a shipping company to pick it up from you and deliver it directly to the person they are selling your item to, with the payment going to them. Meanwhile, back at the ranch by the time your bank tells you the check is bad, your item is long gone and so are the they. Theres always a couple things that are common in this scam..
1. Always ask you to remove the add so they can guarantee they get the item..even offering to pay extra
2. Always insist on paying with a “secure” bank check.
3. Always will “arrange” for a shipping company to pick up the item so you wont have to pay for shipping…
4. The correspondences will always have really bad spelling and grammar..
And…now they have your name and address and phone number…who knows what they will do with that..

Dave’s got the right only, in person transactions..and I am so paranoid i don’t even like letting people come over to my house..i get the feeling they might be casing the joint for a later break in…


View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4134 days

#12 posted 04-27-2009 08:15 PM

Looks like step 1 of the very common ‘advance fee’ scam.

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3386 days

#13 posted 04-27-2009 08:59 PM

his english was way too bad for me to deal with. it seems to me he’s from somewhere about 12 time zones away. I would need to have any wired money clear before I see anyone asking for a pick-up.
Thanks for the post and maybe we can figure out a way to scam them? that would be sweet,turn the tables. When they approach you again ask them for a
SS#,D.O.B. and mothers maiden name

see what they say….lol

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3381 days

#14 posted 04-27-2009 09:56 PM

Brad nailor.. I think your right, but I will tell you this much..they don’t have my name or address or phone number.. I never revealed any of that information due to the fact that I didn’t trust them from the get go.. I think this is a ring of thieves and not a single person operation but I have a feeling everyone here already knows that too…lol

I am going to just forward it to security and let them deal with it.. if they would like me to continue to correspond with them so they can trace them to their location..fine..I would love nothing more than to see these types locked up for a very long time..

I hear ya getneds…lol

-- Randall Child

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3986 days

#15 posted 04-28-2009 03:00 AM

Thanks for the post and maybe we can figure out a way to scam them? that would be sweet,turn the tables.

Actually I remember seeing a news story on some guy that was doing exactly that. He would put up an add for a bunch of laptops for sale, and get contacted by a scam artist. He followed all their transaction rules and played along …except for every laptop that he was selling to the guy was a non working piece pf junk..and just to hammer the point home he smashed every one up so bad you couldn’t ever use them for parts! I guess he had done it a number of times and even received death threats from some of the shady people he was dealing with!


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