Scambusters, Preventing Internet Scams & Phishing Attempts

This blog is dedicated to help preventing internet fraud and internet scams. Scambusters was a radio show I started in Albany Oregon, but due to defaulted payment by the radio station we took the show offline. Regardless of this issue we still wish to help prevent internet fraud and save people from internet loss. I have been interviewed and featured in various publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times & Daily News, The London Times & AARP Newsletters. Please watch this blog for latest tips and tricks and scams to avoid.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Common Craigslist Scam

Within an hour of posting a personal mobile smartphone for sale on craigslist a T-Mobile SDA we got a request from a potential non-local buyer wanting to buy the phone. The first email we received asked for payment method we accepted and some general questions just to make the email sound realistic.

Since the item was advertised on a local craigslist we did not expect any long distance requests so I was suspicious, but never the less replied that we will accept all basic payment methods including credit cards, etc.

On Sunday we received a reply asking if we still have the item and would accept a Cashier’s Check from his bank? He said he wanted to pay this way so that I would ship it the next day to him FedEx and I did not have to wait for it to clear. Our reply was that we hold all checks 10-days due to fraud and fake checks. Needless to say we have not heard back from this buyer

Scam two with Craigslist, as we are liquidating our inventory and downsizing and moving our store from Second Street to Two Rivers mall, we are selling a ton of item, including a full liquidation from our old store the Relook Nook, so we have larger items including racks and fixtures for sale. One of the items is a large 3-sided mirror for a retail clothing store, we listed it under furniture.

The next day we receive an email from the buyer

Am Jackson Lapachia, How are you doing today?i saw your advert on the craigslist .I have interest in buying any funitures avaliable. please list out the available funitures and price, i just got an apartment and i have to funished it to my tastes that is why i have to mail you, i work in a fabrics company. I will be making a full payment my exboss is owning me. can you please hold the funitures for me till i come over .

I am single aged 28 .i am an easy going person, regard the payment my ex.boss will be issuing you a cheque for the payment is owning me ($4000 plus ).pls when you get it,you will have to deduct your payment, And you will have to send the balance to my travel agent here in state ... For him to get my my return ticket prepare for my coming over for the picked up of the funitures . For the payment to be send i will be needing your Full name, address state,city.zipcode,phone no. so that the check will be issue on you thanks

Please note I did not change any of the spelling to make it seem worse, this is what we got. Notice he does not say where it is, what he wants, nothing specific about the item for sale, nor does our ad really have furniture, just a mirror and clothing racks. The item is only $150 but yet he is willing to send us a check for $4k and expect us to send the balance back. I guess the next answer would be that the balance needs to be wired back to his agent. The funniest part yet is that my original email back to him includes my signature that has the KGAL logo and talks about the Scambusters Radio show.

Our concern is how may thousand of these generic emails go out, and worse yet how many reply. What a quick, fast and amazing way for people to earn a living overseas.

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