I would like to shed some light on these scams for all to be aware of. 
The Internet has made many popular ways for thieves to steal our products and money. Ever since currency was created there have been counterfeit funds and scams. With all the ways to exchange currency over the Internet there has been a heighten level of counterfeiting. Money Orders, Cashiers checks, pay pal and standard personal checks have all seen a fair share of replication.

Thieves stem from all over the country offering us what we seem to be "to good to be true offers". These offers are indeed to good to be true and here is how they work. I will include actual e-mails received from "scammers".

In this case I was listing a Play Station 3 with accessories for 4 hundred dollars and received the e-mail below.

" Hello Seller (General person),
Thanks for your quick response to me email.....and i really appreciate it but i want this item ship to a friend in west Africa as a surprise gift and i will be responsible for the shipping cost via USPS as i will offer you $550 (Higher offer than item is priced) for the item including the shipping cost and i would prefer to pay for the item via my verified paypal account due the distance between us, really i am from Florida but as a matter of fact i am out of the state for a project in Australia and the project will last me for like 3 months and i want this ship as soon as possible to the person in west Africa ....kindly get back to me if you really willing to help the situation
 thanks i hope to read from you soon" 

Keys to look for instantly are shipping out or country and buyer offering to pay more then you item is listed including shipping cost without seeing the item.

Scam #1
An offer of more than my asking price! Great! All I have to do is accept a payment by providing my pay pal account e-mail for them to deposit the $550 into. 

- This seller states they have a secure pay pal account, here is the first scam. The seller invites you to there knock off paypal account site where you log in. As this site looks like Pay Pal it surly is not. When you enter your login and password information it is just given to the "scamer". Now they have your account ID and Pass word. 

Scam #2) The seller would like me to send this item to his "friend". 
- Shipping to any other person then the buyer is not recommended as you will now have no information from the buyer and only the fake "friend" information. Do not follow the buyers instructions. 
Scam #3) Here is the final scam. 
- By now you accept the payment from the seller and they ask you to ship it instantly. You notice the payment is not in your account yet and the buyer assures you it will take 24 hours to show.You take the buyers word and ship the item, come to find out you never received the funds plus you have already sent your item out of country, never to be seen again.
 Money Order and Certified bank check scams
These scams are presented in multiple ways. Very similar to the above the buyer will ask to send you a bank certified check. The check presented to you looks real; it will even be accepted at the bank at time of deposit and placed into your account. Unfortunately when cashing these "forfeit" checks you will be receiving a call from the FBI asking questions about the fraudulent deposit, this is about 7-15 days after deposit. Again, by this time you have shipped your item or had the buyers "friend" pick up the car.
Clues to distinguish fraudulent buyers.
  • To good to be true?
  • Buyer wants you to ship the item out of country.
  • Buyer makes offer without seeing the product.
  • Sad stories from the buyer to make you sympathize and feel bad.
  • Buyer asking for your address or any other personal info.
  • Bad grammar or poor sentence structure
    How to stay safe when selling/Buying
  • If selling on Craig's list deal in cash and do not ship. If seller wants to make money order or cashiers check then meet them in person to watch transaction (I personally have done this).
  • If making a pay pal transaction then never follow a link the buyer provides, always log into pay pal from your search bar using www.paypal.com. You will not be able to distinguish forged/fake sites that allow the thieve to steal your log in information.
  • If you are looking to ship your item use E-bay.
  • Common sense will bring you lots of safety; keep the deals in your control.

Fraudulent scam e-mails I have received.  

- "Thanks for your reply,i am a very busy man thats why, can you ship to Africa for me to my son as a birthday gift,he is on a missionary trip there for our church and needs it urgently,i want you to pls help me with this,i would have loved to pick this up myself and send to him but i am not in the city and do not have time to go to the post office.. i'll pay you with paypal since it secures both buyer and seller, and you can confirm payment from your account before you ship? and be sure of getting your money... is it possible?i will pay you for all extra charges and also for shipment to make sure you get your exact amount for the sale.i am willing to give you an extra $40 for any stress caused.
Hope to read from you soon."

- "Hello seller,i am intersested in your ads and i want to know the present condition of the ads and also know if you still have it avaliable for sale.My ideal payment is paypal/moneygram if you want that let me know in your resopond to me.i will take care of the shipping cost by adding it to the cost bill to my payment. Hope to read from you soon. Thanks "

- "Hello kindly let me know the condition of the this item and if it still available i hope to read from you sooner sent from my iphone."

* Please feel free to e-mail me with any possible fraudulent e-mails and I will help distinguish if they are scams.


  1. Unknown // April 18, 2009 at 7:36 AM  

    All great and very useful information. I have received e-mails myself asking to ship the product asap for the price i was asking with no questions asked. Seeming very odd to ship the product out to someone who has never seen it nor tried it for someone other then themselves yet is guaranteeing to send you the money "after" they receive it is one good indication...its just another low life trying to scam you.

  2. Anonymous // June 4, 2009 at 9:10 PM  

    another thing to notice, they NEVER mention the actual item you are selling...they just state
    "your item" or "your ad"

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