So I got scammed! Yep, me! But for the record, the scammer didn’t get anything out of me, as fortunately, I caught on before money or merchandise was exchanged. I want to share what happened with others so that no one falls prey to these scumbags.
First mistake I made was to put my cell phone number on Craigslist to receive text from those that were interested. I really thought that would be an easy way to do this but that was how the scammers got me. *Note: Only use email through Craigslist so they never really get your email address. Also, if they refer to it as item and not rocker, etc that is a clue. (I will always BOLD item in her email so you can see). So below is how this all went down. My response will always be in BOLD and the scammer’s response in Italics.
I listed a child’s rocker on Craigslist for $150.00. It is really cute and I used real leather on it and it is worth what I asked for it. Anyway, I get 2 texts asking me to email them back if the item is still for sale. Ok no problem, I emailed them and texted them that I sent them an email. So my first email:
From Me: I have 3 others interested in the rocker but it is first come to get it.
This is the email I sent to both that texted me. The one I am communicating with is the first one to respond back. Her name is Emily Thompson and I was like awesome, I love the name Emily (I have a daughter named Emily). So here begins my conversations with Emily.
From Emily: Thanks for the prompt response to text. I will be buying this item from
you, kindly withdraw the advert from C.LIST and considered it sold.
My husband will be overnight the payment asap but he will be paying
with a certified check from his Bank and it will deliver to you via
United Parcel Service (UPS), so I'll need you to provide me with the
following information to facilitate the mailing of the check... And am
offering additional $50 with the original price to have this asap.
becName to be on the payment...........
Address to mail the check to.............
Final Asking price...................
Cell phone # to contact you ................
I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your
check clear, due to my work frame and my Kids, I will not be able to
come with the cash and pick it up myself , so my husband will mail the
check and have someone pick up the item after the check clear.,
Reference to your CL post am completely satisfied with it and the
payment will be deliver within 24hours.. God Bless
How sweet, she said God Bless and offered me more than I was asking. Big clue here is they are willing to pay more than I was asking for it. What a sucker I am here at this point, as I am so excited they loved my rocker so much to offer me more. I also justify it by the name Emily coloring my view of this message. She asked for info that anyone would need to come get my rocker so I didn’t think twice about giving it. If she had asked me for my SS# or bank account #, I would have quickly caught on. So I respond, notice I am XXXX out all personal info so as not to open myself up to more scumbags who might read this. Not that any of you are scumbags but in this internet age you never know, so please do not be offended by this. Anyways….
From Me: It is yours! I was hoping you would be the one to get it! I have a daughter named Emily! :) Do you have Paypal? If so, we could do it that way. (*note, I read going through Paypal with them is not a safe way either.)
Name: Susan XXXXX
Yours for $200.00 then to hold until payment.
I am surprised at so many wanting it...there are now 6 other people asking for it.
So at this point, I have heard back from the other scammer by email that sent the EXACT message as Emily. Now I realize I am being scammed…SO DISAPPOINTED IN EMILY. So now I am googling everything to find out what I can do, how can I get her caught (if she is even a she). I have reported both scammers to Craigslist but that is really not good enough. I really wanted to help the police or FBI catch them, I seriously watch too many TV detective shows. But hey, that was not going to happen so I decided to play Emily along and make her think I am totally ignorant. And please note that my husband was all for this too! Next email:
From Emily: I got the Details to mail the check and the payment will be sent out asap and get back to you when it is mailed, Please keep the other buyer off and the item will be pick up from you after you have the payment
Just love how she asks me to keep the other buyer off. Also that she refers to the rocker as the item.
From Me: Okay, it is yours.
(hee hee) Notice next respond is not until June 11 and she had told me her husband would be over nighting the payment. And I am still wondering how they are going to get me to send them money. Well…this answered that for me.
From Emily: Hello,
Am sorry for the late response, My husband just informed now that the payment has been sent Via USPS with the tracking # 9470101699320015037861 and he included the shipment funds in the amount on the check for the mover to come for the pick up. And you are to deduct your money $200 as agreed and additional $50 for keeping the item for me and your running around and then give the rest balance to the mover coming for the pick up, I hope i can trust you with my money? We have some other items around your location needed for our new apartment with the mover will be picking up everything together but pls i will need your honest and trust and your updating to end up this transaction..because this is our first time on the list. I will get the mover information Tomorrow morning and get back to you so that you will know who will be coming for the pick up.
Woah! She is offering me even more money. Remember I was selling it for $150, then she offered me $50 more to hold it and now it is up to $250.00! What a sweet deal! So I go on USPS website to check out this tracking # and sure enough it is in Miami. FL, ready to send. So I am expecting it the next day or so, but I do not respond to her so that I can keep her hanging. I also love how she states this is her first time buying on Craigslist and how she hopes I will be honest and trustworthy. REALLY ?!!! I then get this email:
From Emily: Hello,
I just contact the USPS now and they said you should be getting the check today and Like I said my husband sent the check to you including the (freight and hand ling's fees) to pick up the item from you and some other items around your location
You are to get the check, have it deposited into your Account or through ATM asap. Deduct your $250 as agreed for yourself and have the rest balance send via Western Union Minutes Transfer as requested by the mover so that they can contact you for the pickup arrangement and then be at your location to pick up the item from you.
You can locate any Western Union location around you and have the rest balance transfer to the below mover agent information via Western Union Minutes Transfer: Deduct the minutes transfer fees from the rest money you are sending to the mover.
Receiver's Name :--------Keith Colby
Address: 3671 e 88th Circle
City :-------- Thornton
Zip Code :-------- 80229
Please do take care of everything asap so that the mover can contact you for the pick up arrangement . And as soon as you are done with the transfer, You will be given a receipt so get back to me with the MTCN #, Sender name and the Exact Amount transfer after deducting the minutes transfer fees from the rest money you are sending to Keith Colby.
Thanks and God bless
Oh my, that God Bless again! I decide to wait another day before responding and then I sent this:
Oh my, we do have a problem! When you told me that you were going to overnight your payment, I didn't even think to let you know that we were moving. You see, we are old and all kids gone from home so we wanted to downsize. Well, anyway, when your payment didn't come the next day or the day after, I assumed you changed your mind so I sold it to someone else. Sweetest couple with a little baby boy. It did my heart so much good to see the little guy sit in it. You see, all 10 of our children used it at one point over the years, so I really wanted it to go to a good home. Well, I guess I should say 9 kids used it as little Tommy, we found out, got motion sickness so rocking in it made him throw up and I mean everywhere, but no worries for the couple, as I recovered to sell it. Amazing that smell never really left it so I had to even put new foam in.
...anyway I am going down a rabbit trail as my kids say. Comes with old age I guess, so I tell them to bear with me. So here comes the problem, we moved and I just got your email because our internet was finally set up in the new home yesterday. The people who bought our home live in Washington State and will not be here, I think, for another month. And the problem lies in that our mailbox at that house goes directly into the house. It is so cool and convenient especially when you go on vacation you don't have your mail stacking up in a mailbox on the street. I am really going to miss that about my new home. Except the yard work, yay we moved into a retirement area where we don't have to take care of the yard. Oops..hop,hop,hop....
...okay, back to the problem about your check, I can't get it until they come here. I totally forgot to do our address change (old age excuse here) so as soon as I can, I will get it returned to you. And you can absolutely trust me with your money, just like I can trust you to be honest with me. I too, am a first time user on Craigslist so I am new to all this. One advice I would give you is to read the ad carefully, if you would have, you would have seen that I said for local pick up only. You did say you would have someone pick it up and I assumed since I said local pickup only, that you meant a friend or something and not a shipper. So send me your address so that I can send your check back to you.
P.S. I lost my cell phone somewhere, probably in a box that I haven't unpacked yet. So if you need to call me you can call our home phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX. And our new address is 1001 S. XXXX Rd.
Okay, so I exaggerated a little. We really didn’t move. I am not a first time Craiglist user. I really only had 5 kids and not one is named Tommy, though one of our daughters tried to rename her older brother to Thomas, but he would have none of that and I have a video to prove it. And the rocker was never used by my children as it was given to me since I am an upholsterer and able to fix it up. Also, I didn’t lose my cell phone and the new number is to Crime Stoppers and address I gave her is to the police department. Truth: we do have a mail box that goes directly into the house and I love it. I would also like to not have to do yard work. And the sweet couple is my daughter and son-in-law who have the cutest little guy that will be getting this from his grandma for his 1 year birthday. And as of this date, no check has arrived.
It is July 29 and no check ever came and never heard from ‘Emily’ again. I was really disappointed I didn’t get that check! I really wanted to see what it looked like and have it as evidence! Oh well, it was fun to turn a somewhat scary situation into trying to scam a scammer. I mean in scary that I gave them my phone number and address. In fact, a week after my last email, we stopped getting snail mail for like 4 days. Now mind you, we get mail EVERYDAY full of junk mail. So my mind conjured up a scenario that the scammers changed my address online to have my mail redirected to them. My mailman assured me that an online address change does not automatically happen without getting a snail mail letter of the change to both the old and new addresses. It turned out we got a new mailman and he somehow skipped us.
So I didn’t get the scammers caught but hopefully enough people will read this to not fall prey to them. And oldest son, Jake can relax as he told me not to mess with scammers. Well, all I got to say is “SCAMMERS, DON’T MESS WITH ME!”
I will say that I am leery of using Craigslist but may try again someday, when I have something to sell. The key is to do all communication through Craigslist, put cash only and local pickup.
And it all started because of this cute rocker!