Craigslist buyer: How would you deal with this?

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
I got a local inquiry for my D35 with 3.73 gears. I know there are CL scams, this doesn't follow any of them I've seen. There are some grammatical errors which gives me caution. Seems a little haphazard to offer to send a check without seeing the item firsthand. Would you do this? I thought of using my work address, that way they don't have my home address.

Any advice woudl be helpful. Here's what the prospective buyer said,

"Sorry for the late respond. I'm interested in buying the item and i will be paying by via check. Will be adding extra $50 so you can keep it in my favor,once the check clears the pick up will be made. send your full name, address, and your phone number ,where check can be mailed to. Thank you"
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
That's a scam. Period. End of discussion.

There is no question about it whatsoever. The grammatical errors combine with the fact that they want to pay with a check and then have you wait until the check clears.

Again, I'll shout this loud and clear...

THIS IS A SCAM!

In fact, every single thing they said to you is the classic "what to look for" in figuring out if something is a scam or not.
 

EchoWhiskey

Member
Jan 22, 2019
26
Tucson, AZ
You should respond to him and let him know that:

There was a terrible accident and your brother was riding a unicycle and got attacked by a monkey. This isn't the bad part... it is what happened next. As your brother fought off the monkey, someone decided it was a good idea to put vaseline on the driveway. Your brother slipped on the vaseline, slid down the driveway, and got hit by Miss Schnibble who was riding on her two wheeled lawn mower. Your brother is now in the hospital. Based on this, it will be 65 days before you are able to be contacted again.

.... This is how I would respond.
 

Farmergreg

Just a "Web Wheeler"
Supporting Member
Mar 25, 2018
324
WC Indiana
Now I'm getting: "My husband loves your _______, please email me directly"
Not sure what they can glean with an email, but I only use the CL relay email.
In this case I told them they were welcome to phone me at the number listed.....crickets.

Then there's always the text scams...
I respond with a set of made up shit for SSN#, bank account, PIN#, PayPal and tell them: "Just trying to make it easier"
 
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danof76

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Nov 21, 2018
319
San Antonio, TX
After buying and selling so much online I can smell a scam by a number of ways:
  • Does not specifically address the "item" in question, vaguely refers to it if at all
  • Offers to only pay by check*
  • Wants to buy sight-unseen
  • Isn't local, wants it shipped (moving there soon, in the military deployed, etc.)
  • Wants to pay MORE than what is asked
  • Spelling errors if not poor English
*A check is very easily recalled if you want to, in fact no method of payment is secure EXCEPT cold hard cash or a USPS Money Order which is basically like a bond. PayPal Friends & Family is the next best thing but I only use it on places like here or other forums where someone can generally have a reputation you can vet.

With the check they usually offer to pay more or offer more money as a "deposit" that you can send back to them later. What they do is take the money you sent them then get the check canceled.

As mentioned above with cases like this I only accept USPS Money Order mailed to me for the amount asked, not a penny more**, before I ship the item out. I've had a few, real, live human beings try to scam me and they will argue tooth and nail that I should take a check because it's just as good. I always move on at that point but I've been hounded before with some persistent scammers.

Oh and you can count on that check not being from any bank you can actually cash it at locally, either.

**Edit: actually what I've said in the past is if they send me anything extra it still has to be a USPS MO and I will keep it. No money transfers, no checks, no Paypal, not even another USPS MO. You sent more than I asked and I thank you for it: now don't expect to see it again. Sadly nobody has sent me extra yet and the honest people send just what was agreed upon.
 
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tworley

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 23, 2018
1,655
Morrison, CO
I think for every 5 responses on CL, 3-4 of them are scams or just lowlifes.

When I bought my front axle with an ARB installed I called the guy and left a nice voicemail, told him where I was located, my phone number, and I had a few technical questions I was hoping he could answer. He called me back and said "you're the only one who was nice and didnt sound like an dumbass. One guy was clearly a scam saying his brother from NE is coming to pick it up for him another guy I am pretty sure was drunk, and another kept trying to offer me weed".
 
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astjp2

TJ Enthusiast
Aug 22, 2018
752
Utah and Alaska
I have made offers on stuff on CL or even on here, If I do contact someone, I give them my phone number and then we can talk or text. If that wont close the deal, then I move on. Tim
 

DaveF

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 27, 2018
58
Seattle, WA
Cash only on CL sales and they don't get the item until I get the cash in hand. Even cashiers checks / money orders are being faked now. Also meet somewhere public, not at home, ever.
 

06TJ35's

TJ Enthusiast
Mar 17, 2018
341
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Typical scammers they always say I’ll pay via check and add $50. I reply add $5000 they usually don’t reply. I received a lot of messages to of what Chris said “my husband loved it send him an email” if he loved it he would contact me himself.
 

Jonas

New Member
Jan 17, 2019
12
Texas
I only do face to face cash sales at a local business with cameras on the parking lot. I conceal carry and my wife is always "within range" should anything get weird.

I recently had a CL scammer text response for a vehicle I was selling. They kept asking me to call number other than the one they were texting me from. When I asked why, they said their battery was low. I called the other number and it was a Google phone number with a computer voice that wanted info from me. I called the 1st number and got no answer. I texted them that I would only talk and NOT text anymore. They kept wanting me to call the other number. It was very shady.
 

Farmergreg

Just a "Web Wheeler"
Supporting Member
Mar 25, 2018
324
WC Indiana
And is it only me but has the Craigslist/Snapchat society completely destroyed the ART of buying?
Initials responses I get:
"What's you're bottom dollar"
"I can only give $______" (usually about 1/2 what I'm asking)

No initial asking about the item or condition. No actual phone conversation.
 

alittleoff

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 27, 2018
314
So. Cal.
And is it only me but has the Craigslist/Snapchat society completely destroyed the ART of buying?
Initials responses I get:
"What's you're bottom dollar"
"I can only give $__" (usually about 1/2 what I'm asking)

No initial asking about the item or condition. No actual phone conversation.
"Why yes, I'll sell it to you for half of what I'm asking. Please give me your name, address and e-mail contact info and I'll contact the local police to verify this info. Hello... hello... are you still there, hello.
 
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