02 June 2009

Craigslist scam

I posted my computer on Craigslist yesterday, despite the warning from the folks at the Apple Store to skip it and go straight to eBay. I've received a couple of inquires, one of which was simply, "Is this item still for sale?" I responded in the affirmative, and about an hour later received the following email:

Hi Seller, I am serious in buying this item that you listed and i want
you to remove the advert from craigslist,i have much interest in it
and want it to be sent to my son abroad who is currently in his final
year in school in ancient university in west Africa, and i am willing
and able to buy the item through my paypal account, so please kindly
get back to me with your paypal email address so that i can pay for
the item and i will include $220 for the shipping via (EMS) GLOBAL
EXPRESS MAIL USPS.Please if this is acceptable to you,kindly send your
full name and your contact information and PayPal email address so
that i can proceed with the payment via PayPal.

i live at 37 Stonehenge CirApt 8, Pikesville Md 21208,

Thanks i will be looking forward to hear from you.

kelly handsome

I know this is a scam, but I'm just not sure how. If they put $3000 plus the $220 for shipping in my PayPal account, how are they scamming me? My guess is that it would probably cost around $200 - $300 to ship it to Africa, so they aren't making any money that way.

What's the deal here? How does this work in their favor? Do many people fall for "Hi Seller" (especially when receiving a response to an email they signed their name to)? What's up with "this item?" Doesn't that just scream SCAM!?

Has anyone had any experience with this sort of thing?


Beverley said...

Yeah, who buys a huge, heavy desktop computer and has it shipped from the States to Africa, when little laptops cost less than $500. And re: the "ancient university in west Africa," could Mr./Ms. Handsome be a little bit more specific please, or is that what s/he wants you to write on the shipping label?
My dad once shipped my imac from Vancouver to Japan, and it cost way more than $300 and that was in year 2000 dollars. Definitely fishy.

Beverley said...

Or on second thought, maybe it's not a scam. Maybe this person is just really dumb.

Alissa Campbell said...

Hey Bro, when we were looking for apartments in Morgantown, we answered a listing on Craigslist for a 2 br house. The guy emailed me back saying he was working in Africa for the next few years and in order for him to mail us the keys, we would have to wire him $1,000. Now that isn't even trying to disguise a scam!

I hope someone buys your desktop...I can't imagine giving up the computer cold turkey!

We love you guys!

-The sister in law