Something isn't right - I think
January 10, 2011 4:59 PM   Subscribe

[ScamFilter] I never sell on Craigslist but I did put something up for sale. I got this response. Is this a scam? Thanks for your response. I'm going on a vacation to London but I will instruct my assistant to prepare and mail your payment which I'm sure you will get in about 4 - 6 business days. I'll add $20 extra for the delay. I'll pay by M O or cashier check so send me your info (i.e full name, mailing address and your phone number) so payment can be mailed out immediately. I will also make arrangement for pick-up which will be after you must have received and cashed the payment. Awaiting your info. Thanks My gut says it is but can't figure the angle.

This may be a well known scam but I am not savvy with this stuff - it just makes my gut tighten up so if anyone can shed light on this I would appreciate it.
posted by shaarog to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well known scam.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:59 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sorry, link didn't make it. Well-known scam.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:00 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

The last time I sold something on Craigslist, the e-mail from the prospective buyers always had a big red bold message from Craigslist at the top saying something to the effect that every offer to pay by cashier's check, etc. or not to buy in person for cash is a scam.

Yeah, it's a scam. My personal rule for Craigslist - which has always worked out very well - has always been to only buy and sell in person and in cash.
posted by The World Famous at 5:04 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Scam scam scam. Likely scenario: The "assistant" will "accidentally" add $200 extra instead of $20 extra and you will be asked to go ahead and deposit the over-large check or money order, and send a check back for the "accidental" overpayment. Several days later your bank will find out that the check or money order that they initially deposited in your account was a fake and you will be out that amount plus the $180 that you sent to the scammers.
posted by Orinda at 5:07 PM on January 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: thanks guys! Appreciate the info as to how to works too.
posted by shaarog at 5:11 PM on January 10, 2011

Yes, classic textbook cl scam. Page 29 and it's always on the first quiz of Intro to scamming craigslist (a pre req for advanced wire transfer fraud).
posted by special-k at 5:14 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

Just read it and think, if I was buying something would I do this?
posted by fire&wings at 5:17 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

If it's not cash, it will bounce.
posted by Slinga at 5:32 PM on January 10, 2011

Yes, that's definitely the modus operandi of the scam. I've actually wondered a lot whether this scam actually works in other industrialized countries or if it's just limited to the inefficient US banking system (I mean come on, it's 2010, and it takes 10 days to settle a $100 transfer? give me a break).
posted by crapmatic at 6:07 PM on January 10, 2011

Also, anytime someone adds an unsolicited "extra $20" or whatever is a clue.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:29 PM on January 10, 2011

Yup this scheme is so common, it's even got an official name, it's one of a number of "advance-fee frauds".
posted by storybored at 8:38 PM on January 10, 2011

If I was on vacation in London and had an assistant I sure as hell wouldn't be shopping on Craigslist.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:51 PM on January 10, 2011 [9 favorites]

Next time you post to craigslist, say in the listing something along the lines of, "Please reply with the word [something] in the subject. I will delete without reading any replies that do not have this word in the subject.", where [something] is a randomly chosen word. This ensures that the person replying has read your message. The people the send these scams don't have time to read through every message completely, they just send their form letter to every posting. It also ensures that you don't waste time with people that have no reading comprehension skills -- the kind of idiot who shows up to buy a used refrigerator from a listing that says "must bring own dolly, truck, and rope, and you must load yourself" and asks if you have a dolly and some rope and could you help load the thing?
posted by Rhomboid at 11:26 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

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