Friday, April 08, 2005

Beware of scamsters on Craigslist

Yesterday evening, I posted an ad on Craiglist to sell my 15 inch LCD monitor. This morning I received an interesting response to my ad.

Something about the response didnt seem right. Remember, if it is too good to be true, there is a rat hiding somewhere. Firstly, this guy promises to buy my monitor right-away, without any questions. Secondly, the whole western union thing got my thinking. btw, who buys stuff for friends who are out of town, anyway?

Lets say, I respond to his email and send him my fullname, address and telephone number (obviously when I respond via email, he gets to know my email address). Then, he would send me a fake western union email stating the money has been deposited into my account (or something like that). Trusting the fake email, I would have let the FedEx guy come and pickup my monitor. Not only would the monitor be gone forever, my email address might also be sold off to a spammer.

Time for some detective work. I noticed that the email was sent out via yahoo. Yahoo has a neato thing called yahoo profiles, which also tells you when the email address was created. A quick check on the profile page, tells me that the email was created just a few days ago, maybe with the only intent of scamming.

So, whenever you receive a generic enough response to your craigslist ad, please dont even bother to reply. Usually when someone responds to your ad, they would ask you a question or two, or they would want to setup a time to meet or even leave their a phone number for you to call back. Dont give out your fullname, address or phone number in the first email exchange with a potential buyer, unless you are 100% sure that the other guy is geniunely interested in purchasing your stuff.

Thanks. Good info.
Yeah, you did the right thing. I hate how lately craigslist is becoming infested with these types of criminals.
Thanks for reading my blog. We have to be vigilant about issues like these. I just did my part to let the community know.
Good show! I've been getting the "Western Union" scammer emails too. The best one yet is from a "religous" person wanting to give my camcorders to an Orphanage as a gift! I still love Craig's list though - just gotta weed through the BS once in a while.
This is a well documented scam, posted in the header of every Craigslist page as [ cashier check & wire transfer scams ]
This is craziness. Its like living in war time. You have to watch out for everything. Atleast techies are more likely to be aware about such things. But what about a regular Joe.
thanks for posting this - got an email identical to yours, had to do some google research and found your blog entry.
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