Craigslist scammer?
April 2, 2011 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Trying to sell TV on Craigslist. Does this email seem like a potential scam or legit business?

I put up an ad trying to sell my old TV for $200. I said I would only accept cash. Here is his exact email:

Hello i really appreciate your response to my earlier i said
i will like to buy this item for the exact price, pls do withdraw the
ad from Craigslist. I will also like you to know that
i will be paying via check.I will need you to provide me with the
following information to facilitate the mailing of the check.

1.Your full name to be on the check
2.Home or work address
3.Your cell/phone number.

You will not be responsible for moving,i will have my mover come over
for the pick up as soon as you have cashed the check**

Have a nice day.

...end of email...

Him being the only person that has responded to my ad, Its either through him or I don't get anything for this thing. Also, any idea why he would put those two** at the end of check? I don't get it either.

Thanks :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter to Shopping (25 answers total)
Sounds like a copy and pasted scam to me- notice how he doesn't mention the price or the name of the item. Ignore and move on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:27 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is a scam with 100% certainty.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:28 PM on April 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


"My mover?" Who gets a mover to move Craiglist stuff? Heck, I just googled that exact phrase, and it is not a good sign.

Who pays by check?

Why didn't he mention any details about the item?
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:28 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Scam. Been there, done that, or almost done that.
posted by tamitang at 8:32 PM on April 2, 2011

At the absolute BEST, this is a misdirected email. ("I appreciate your response...")

But I'm willing to bet my left arm on scam.
posted by AlisonM at 8:34 PM on April 2, 2011

Response by poster: I'm sorry I didn't mention, but there was a previous email about him asking if the item was still available.

Wow, I should have just googled the damn thing and realized its a scam...Just wondering. What can someone do with my full name, home and phone numbers?
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 8:37 PM on April 2, 2011

Scam! Any Craigslist response that complicates things past "Will you take $150 cash instead?" is a scam. Anything that mentions paying by means other than cash or complicates the transaction = scam.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:38 PM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You cash the check, he takes the stuff, the check bounces, and you're out your TV and a hefty fee from the bank. The canonical scam version of this is that he ships you a check for too much, then asks for the remainder in cash back from you, so he can get some green stuff out of you to boot.

What can he do with your name, address and phone number? Order checks, maybe. He'd need the name and address to send you the check, and a phone number to call you and confirm you cashed it ASAP so he can get his TV before the bank notifies you.
posted by Orb2069 at 8:39 PM on April 2, 2011

No space after periods (and commas).

Grammatical errors of the sort that aren't commonly made by native speakers ("i will like to buy this item" instead of "I would like" or "I'd like...").

Insists on following a very specific, and inappropriate, method of payment.

All of these are dead giveaways for it being a scam.
posted by John Cohen at 8:39 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Received almost identical Craigslist scam message this week, only it was in response to a services ad.
posted by Victorvacendak at 8:42 PM on April 2, 2011

A scam. But even if it wasn't a scam (it is a scam.) Why would you withdraw the ad? Your goal is to sell the item. It is in your interest to sell the item to the first person to show up with money. It is not in your interest to promise it to the first person on the internet who seems interested, but who may not show up, or who may mail a check, which may or may not be good. There is no good reason that their "mover" couldn't just show up with the money.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:50 PM on April 2, 2011

Response by poster: I think I'm going to reply with a link to this mefi question. :)
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 8:53 PM on April 2, 2011

Total scam.

My sort of business leads me to have to sometimes find older used equipment, and Craigslist is a great resource. Scams like this make it really hard on us, but we've found a legitimate way. Generally we call a smaller shipping company and pay them in advance by credit card. Then we have one of their guys go out and pay cash, and they package it and ship it to us.

This is how a legitimate purchase works, it puts all the risk on us, not the seller. The seller gets their cash and thats that.
posted by sanka at 8:55 PM on April 2, 2011

I think I'm going to reply with a link to this mefi question. :)

Don't. The scammer will then be able to connect your email to your username, and $5 later, he can view your profile.

Just leave him hanging.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:57 PM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Scam. Ignore.
posted by elpea at 9:02 PM on April 2, 2011


Though I did sell the vast majority of my belongings on Craigslist last year, and many of my (legit, cash) buyers sent emails in broken English with scammy-sounding questions.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:04 PM on April 2, 2011

I read the first three words. SCAM .

Whatever you do, do not invite criminals to come here. Seriously. Do not want.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:08 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sys Rq is right so is pareidoliaticBoy. He probably sent like 50 emails all with the same msg. He won't give a shit what I have to say. Yea I'm just ignoring. :)

I <3 mefi. :)
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 9:11 PM on April 2, 2011

First rule of Craigslist--If it's not cash, don't do it. Second rule of Craigslist--if the email sounds like a Nigerian scam email, it's a scam.
posted by Slinga at 9:33 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

pls do withdraw the ad from Craigslist
In all my years of selling things on Craigslist, a legitimate buyer has never written this. For some reason, nearly every scam email has.
posted by muddgirl at 9:36 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I've learned anything about selling on CL over the last 3 months, it's that if the email sent to the seller is more than two lines long, it's likely a scam. Do what I do: when you're positive it's an obvious scam (like this one), reply with the most vulgar and vile reply that your brain can muster; it's a huge stress release!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:54 PM on April 2, 2011

This is a well-known scam. I got a variation on this email when I was selling a couch 2 years ago. I think mine said that he was on his honeymoon, which is why he couldn't pick it up in person.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:37 AM on April 3, 2011

Scam.. I get one of these every time I put something on craig's list...
posted by tomswift at 3:00 AM on April 3, 2011

N-to-the-nthing "scam." And adding that for some reason, every time I've tried to sell an item on Craigslist, I've gotten an email that said, almost to the word, "Is the item still available?" And never once has the person sending that email been legit. I now immediately delete any emails consisting of just that sentence, or close variations. Legit emails will also make some kind of offer, like "If the TV's still available, I can give you $150 cash and pick it up on Tuesday."
posted by ROTFL at 12:34 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

New rule: If you find yourself wanting to post anywhere asking if it's a scam: it's a scam.
posted by Four Flavors at 11:32 AM on April 4, 2011

« Older Anyone have an easy, yeast-free bread recipe?   |   Post-quake survival: pet edition Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.