Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Selling on Craigslist - SCAMMERS OUTED

Oddly enough, only weeks after my post about how my younger brother was scammed out of $3,000 on Craigslist, I received two responses from scam artists after posting a few items for sale on Craiglist. I've listed things to look for (below) along with the email message they sent me.

Message received from "chris marcus":

Thanks for the prompt response and i will like you to withdraw the advert from Craigslist,i don't mind adding an extra $20dolls for you to take the advert down from craigslist so that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the item.I don't have time to come take a look. I will be paying via cashier's check,and it will be over night payment .You don't need to bother your self with the shipment Ok,i will take care of that.So i will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check.
1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address be it residential or postal address
3.Your phone number.
i will have my mover come over as soon as you have the check
Have a great day
I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you again

Message received from "John Deng":

Thanks for your prompt responds, However, i will need your name and
address for payment,As am only able to make payment by money order at
this time b/c i am away on assignment. It will be nice if you can send
me more pictures. It will take about 7days for payment to get to you.
As per pick-up, I will make arrangement for the pick-up after payment
has been received by you. I don't mind adding thirty dollars so you
can keep it in my favor.Please take the posting off Craigslist today
and consider it sold to me, Include your phone number.
Expecting to hear from you soon.
John Deng.

I have already reported these incidents to Craiglist, but unfortunately there is no barrier to entry for these con artists to create email accounts, which means they can and will create an infinite number of email accounts.

Both respondents (scam artists) had gmail accounts with a first and last name followed with a number:

example: chrismarcus11@gmail.com or johndengb28@gmail.com

Five things to look out for in the body of the email:

1) Of course the deceiver won't be able to meet you in person (they'll make up some excuse), so they'll suggest sending you a cashier's check or money order. They guarantee that they won't pickup the item until you have received the check.

2) The swindler will pretend to be interested and either ask you to send more images or inquire about the condition of the item.

3) Usually, they scam artist will offer additional $$ for you to keep it for them, which is BS because they aren't interested in the item at all. They just want to make you think they really want it.

4) The scammer will ask you to remove the advertisement from Craigslist. Doing this will delete the posting from Craigslist, which makes it difficult to for the online community to track nthe incident futher.

5) Last, but not least, the con artist will request for your full name, mailing address and phone number to send you the payment.

BEWARE: If you receive a response with these indicators, you have become a target! You should either report it or block them from contacting you.

The idea is that they will send you the money order or cashier's check in an amount larger than promised. They'll claim they made a mistake and ask that you cash the money order at your bank and return the outstanding amount via wire service. The scammer will insist that you keep an extra $100 for the inconvenience. You will find out a day later that the money order was not valid and your bank pulled the funds from your account. By this time, you would have already wired the money to them and voilĂ ! --- You've just become the umpteenth victim!!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. Just got e-mails from both these accounts for my items. I am removing everything from craigslist. It is too bad that people have to be so shameless.

I also suggest reporting any such e-mails to the FTC also.

Anonymous said...

We got checks from John Deng and after much back and forth with him asking us to cash the checks and send the extra money overseas we decided to send them back He actually called our house at 5:30 in the morning to find out why we have not cashed the checks. We did send some of the info to the FTC.

Since he already has our address I guess it doesn't matter if we mail them back.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for some of the more prolific travel scammers using stolen identities and other elaborate scams go to the FreeSpeechStore http://freespeechstore.com/ The mostrecent scammer is an Alex Reza of Austin, Texas. http://freespeechstore.com/Qresults.asp?record=5180

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, I just got a similar email from a scammer. I did send my husbands name & work address, once he said I would pay his driver I looked online for craigslist scammers & found all kinds, thank god for these posts or we would have cashed the check!

Kim Hong said...

I'm so glad that you found this post useful. Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chris Marcus has changed his name to Chris Merkus

Anonymous said...

I got a message from the Chris Merkus.......Trying to scam me with an email very similar to the one posted on this website.....THANKS for making us aware.

Anonymous said...

I got almost an identical email from Chris Merkus. Almost word for word. OMG! Is there anything I can do to help get this guy caught???