So I’ve been trying to sell a smartphone on Craigslist. After a few days I finally got a text message from someone interested in buying it.
+12036658463 Add – Wilton, CT
5/13/13 4:09 PM now
+12036658463: Sprint LG Optimus G LS970 4G LTE / New / Clean ESN / Android Jellybean – Still available for sale? 3:48 PM
Me: Yes, it is still available. 3:50 PM
+12036658463: ok thanks i can pay you $370 for it, including the shipping cost to my address through PayPal. i am a verified member ..Can you get back to me with your PayPal email so that i can send Payment. Thanks a lot 3:56 PM
Here’s the first sign that something is wrong. $370 was a lot more than I asked for. Good thing I didn’t give him my e-mail address at this point.
Me: Would you be willing to gift the PayPal money so I don’t incur fees? If not that is fine too. 3:58 PM
+12036658463: once you get the payment confirmation that i have paid then you will have to ship it out and get back to paypal via the payment confirmation with the tracking number details so that your account can be credited. this is done to protect both parties from getting involved fraudulent acts cos what if you have the money in your hand and you decided not to ship out the item so this is done to protect both parties. so get back to me now with your paypal email address so i can proceed with the payment immediately. 4:00 PM
This is actually NOT how PayPal works.
Me: Or I can do the $370 if you have a PayPal Confirmed Address I can ship to. 4:00 PM
+12036658463: This is the shipping address as given by PayPal. Many Thanks NAME: GOKE DAVID ADDRESS: NO 12 SAPON ST, CityCITY: ABEOKUTA. STATE: OGUN STATE ZIP CODE: 23439. COUNTRY: NIGERIA 4:02 PM
Ship to Nigeria? There’s no way that’s happening.
Me: No, sorry. I will not ship it international. 4:03 PM
+12036658463: you have no problem with the Address, The Address is safe and secure…. 4:06 PM
Yeah, okay. I’m sure it’s safe and secure…
Me: I will only do local pickup or ship within the USA. Sorry, but I won’t ship anything international. 4:06 PM
+12036658463: I normally do local pick ups and cash only deals but presently, i am out on an official assignment and that is why i am offering to Pay you via PayPal. i shall send Payment as soon as you get back to me with your PayPal email address as i am very willing to buy. I hope to read from you asap. Many Thanks 4:08 PM
Yeah, that’s believable. I wonder what kind of “official assignment” he was on. I didn’t want to keep talking to this person so I didn’t ask.
Me: No thank you. 4:09 PM
So there you have it. Don’t fall for scams like these. I did a quick Google search on that Nigerian address and there was a similar scam from 2008 with almost the same address. It was just a different building, but the same street and city.
So what I’ve learned is it was a good idea to use a Google Voice account you never use and put that number on the listing instead of your real one. When you reply back use the Google Voice website instead of using your own phone. Don’t give out your e-mail address right away if you don’t have to. Craigslist buyers who aren’t local are most likely a scam. A price higher than what you asked for is 99% a scam.