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View Full Version : Are the craigslist scammers buying ukes?



d-mace
09-17-2013, 03:28 PM
I just received this reply for a uke I'm selling on FMM....it's got all the same ingredients as the 100's of scam emails I've received on craigslist. The first email he sent was generic but bit asked a couple of related questions. Here it is:

"Thanks for the reply, i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project, i am at sea right now so l wont be able to check the item ‏,am buying this for my dad as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you required. I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted. l will be waiting for your reply asap

Regards.."

Ukejenny
09-17-2013, 03:37 PM
It does seem a little suspect, doesn't it. Is it possible to scam through paypal? Once you have the funds, how would they get them back? If they have a pick up agent, I sure wouldn't meet them at my home, but in a very public and heavily trafficked parking lot.

cantsing
09-17-2013, 04:27 PM
I've seen similar language in scam responses to Craigslist postings, including "I'm offshore," "I won't be able to check the item," "I'm willing to offer you the amount you require," and "I have a pickup agent." I can't figure out how he will manage the scam through Pay Pal, but I'd proceed with caution if I were you.

Wait, I just googled "Craigslist pick up agent," and got this (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2013/04/29/craigslist-paypal-prepayment-scam-how-does-it-work/). (I didn't take the time to read through it, but you might want to before you respond to this guy.)

bunnyf
09-17-2013, 04:33 PM
Don't know how this scam works thru paypal but it is absolutely bs. I had my boat listed on cl. Guy said he was on an offshore oil rig and did not have online banking and was buying a boat for a surprise bday present for his dad (same kind of deal). Can't figure how you wind up getting hosed but I'm sure you do. I know it's less suspicious when buying a uke but no one buys a boat sight unseen.

d-mace
09-17-2013, 04:35 PM
Yes...I just googled craigslist Paypal scams and there are several ways of pulling it off. Here's a link describing them: http://craigslistpostingsecrets.wordpress.com/pay-pal-scam/
I'm used to this on Craigslist....just kinda bummed it may be hitting the uke sites. Oh well, seller beware!

JedSmith
09-17-2013, 04:44 PM
I don't know about craigslist, but I prefer to pay using PayPal for many transactions. It saves me the hassle of going to the post office to get a money order and mailing it. Some people won't ship until the money order clears and that adds more time to the transaction. With PayPal I don't have to give out credit card info and the seller can see that the money is in their account almost instantly.
But things have to be simple. The story sounds a little convulted to trust ---- 'off shore' 'pick up agent' etc

Newportlocal
09-17-2013, 05:48 PM
Sounds like a scam to me.

Skitzic
09-17-2013, 06:16 PM
I don't know about craigslist, but I prefer to pay using PayPal for many transactions. It saves me the hassle of going to the post office to get a money order and mailing it. Some people won't ship until the money order clears and that adds more time to the transaction. With PayPal I don't have to give out credit card info and the seller can see that the money is in their account almost instantly.
But things have to be simple. The story sounds a little convulted to trust ---- 'off shore' 'pick up agent' etc

While I have never dealt with it, I have heard paypal always favors the BUYER. So if they say, hey I never got it...paypal assumes they never got it and you, as the seller, need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have the item for the money to be refunded. Even if you can prove it to their standards, it will take MONTHS for a resolution.

Be wary...especially as a seller.

hilot.h.
09-17-2013, 06:41 PM
I recieved the same b.s. in an email when I was selling an outrigger on Hawaii craigslist.Do not bother to even respond.

Patrick Madsen
09-17-2013, 07:05 PM
I was selling a wheelchair for a friend on Craigslist. Got a reply that they needed it for a gift then got another reply from a different address with the exact same words. Foolishly, I wrote back and really gave him the what for and he's going to Hell for trying to scam a wheelchair. Well... having been getting spam ever since with the same headline I sent the reply with. It was my fault for doing it and have learned. Got a reply for the same chair saying 4 guys were buying it for a homeless man with no legs. Didn't respond this time lol. If it's mentioned that its for a gift, be wary.

Kdogg
09-17-2013, 07:20 PM
Wait for a legit buyer...

srpompon
09-18-2013, 12:54 AM
paypal protect you if you have a proof of the shipment, if they want a local pickup (this or other more legit buyer) ask they to add a text in the paypal payment message like "payment for local pickup" this is very important, some times i buy items and make a local pickup, whit that text in the payment the seller is covered because they dont need any shipping proof.

just in case.

bluesuke
09-18-2013, 02:21 AM
I just received this reply for a uke I'm selling on FMM....it's got all the same ingredients as the 100's of scam emails I've received on craigslist. The first email he sent was generic but bit asked a couple of related questions. Here it is:

"Thanks for the reply, i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project, i am at sea right now so l wont be able to check the item ‏,am buying this for my dad as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you required. I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted. l will be waiting for your reply asap

Regards.."


I just received the exact same Email yesterday. I called them out but never received a reply I wonder if FMM is aware this is happing?

David Newton
09-18-2013, 03:29 AM
I never read past where the "buyer" asks about "the item".

Just google the email address of a suspected scammer.
It will usually turn up in a list of scammers.

hoosierhiver
09-18-2013, 03:53 AM
I wouldn't send it.
If the address on the paypal account doesn't match the address you send it to, paypal will take the money back regardless of any emails or proof of delivery.
I learned this the hard way.

pakhan
09-18-2013, 04:06 AM
I had a few similar emails before.

Problem with Paypal is that it isn't regulated by any monetary authority which is just plain bad news. For micro payments, I find it ok but I really try to move cash out of there when I can.

I find the best way to see if folks are legit is to ask for bank transfer. Alternatively, payza is also good and regulated!

Terence

d-mace
09-18-2013, 04:19 AM
I never read past where the "buyer" asks about "the item".

Just google the email address of a suspected scammer.
It will usually turn up in a list of scammers.

Just emailed his address and the first two results were for similar scams. Good idea about googling names...didn't think about that.

d-mace
09-18-2013, 04:25 AM
Lots of good selling advice. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience. As David said above, I too usually avoid emails when they ask about "the item". I totally missed it this time. I just havent encountered it from FMM. Here's his first email:
"Hi,

Q#1. How long have you owned it item?
Q#2. a) Have you owned it from new? b) If not how many previous owner?
Q#3.Why are you selling it?
Q#4. How much are you asking for it?
please i can only pay using Paypal."

BIGDB
09-18-2013, 07:30 AM
Don't do it! I've sold lots of things on Craigslist. The way to tell if its a scam is they never want to come pick it up, they're always out of town doing something. And they always either copy and paste your adds description or say what he said "I won't be able to check the item" they never say "I won't be able to check the uke out" or something like that where he says what it is. Craigslist even warns you to not do out of state deals, that's what eBay is for. Just sell it to someone local and if that doesn't work try ebay or on the marketplace here.

billten
09-18-2013, 08:22 AM
In this day of computers, my suggestion is always tell the guy to call you. If he won't call, forget it, if he calls, have a chat about his passion for the Uke you are selling. It's so easy to hide behind an email, but as soon as you talk to the guy, you can tell a scammer. All you have to do is start asking him questions and the story just falls apart. Only my opinion but the personal touch is often the best at getting a gut sense if the guy is on the level.
Bill

Flyinby
09-18-2013, 08:54 AM
If this is done through Paypal, you do have a reasonable amount of security. It's very easy to clone a web page and send someone a link that looks exactly like they've paid you through Paypal. The bonus is that when you "log in" to the phony Paypal page to view your phony payment, they harvest your Paypal password and account name.

If you're ever in doubt, go to the address box in your browser, and type in www.paypal.com, hit enter, and log into your account. Once inside, if you see the payment in there, then Paypal has indeed handled it and you should be OK (barring some malware on your computer that might redirect your browser...have a look at the address bar, and it needs to say "https://www.paypal.com" with nothing before, or inserted into that part of the address; it can have something AFTER that, but not before the FINAL .com.

One common way to fool people is to just use an email link that says it's for Paypal, even with the above address showing, but it's a link to something entirely different. Easily done, so NEVER trust an email link for any sort of secure transaction. You'll get a message from the scammer, saying they've paid, and to follow the link, which of course looks like, but isn't, Paypal.

Or they can have an email address so long that you never see the final .com, something like www.paypal.com.ripoff.scam.sucker.mypersonalwebpag e.inyugoslaviaorchechnia.gotcha.com, which will take you to gotcha.com instead of the Paypal you see right after the www. And there you'll find his phony Paypal page to assure you that payment has been made in full.

Or they can just email you a phony notice of payment that looks just like, but isn't, from Paypal, and if you follow the links from there to check, of course the payment will show up...you can even "transfer" it to your bank account, except that it takes several days for you to figure out that it isn't going to get there, ever.

I've seen very similar wording before for all sorts of items for sale, and it is a scam, I don't even have to research it any further, because it's so recognizable. But they keep finding new devious ways, and the one thing they don't want you to do is to open your web browser in the normal way (not from their link) and type in the Paypal address above, because you'll discover that the money never was there.

None of this is Paypal's fault, so the stories of them "siding" with buyer or seller don't matter in this case...they have nothing to do with it.

Doc_J
09-08-2014, 11:50 AM
I just received this reply for a uke I'm selling on FMM....it's got all the same ingredients as the 100's of scam emails I've received on craigslist. The first email he sent was generic but bit asked a couple of related questions. Here it is:

"Thanks for the reply, i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project, i am at sea right now so l wont be able to check the item ‏,am buying this for my dad as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you required. I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted. l will be waiting for your reply asap

Regards.."


Lots of good selling advice. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience. As David said above, I too usually avoid emails when they ask about "the item". I totally missed it this time. I just havent encountered it from FMM. Here's his first email:
"Hi,

Q#1. How long have you owned it item?
Q#2. a) Have you owned it from new? b) If not how many previous owner?
Q#3.Why are you selling it?
Q#4. How much are you asking for it?
please i can only pay using Paypal."

Wow. I just got the same two emails for a UT2K I'm selling on FMM. It wasn't until I got the second one that I realized it was a scam.

Be careful out there folks.

Email #1 looks legit.


Hello,

Q#1. How long have you owned it?
Q#2. a) Have you owned it from new? If not how many previous owner?
Q#3.Why are you selling it?
Q#4. In your opinion, what sort of conditions it?
Q#5. Any more available photo?
Q#6. How much are you asking for it?
Q#7. Do you accept a (Pay Pal)as a mode of payment.

Regards

Email #2 looks like a scam.


Thanks for the reply, i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project, i am at sea right now so l wont be able to check the item and also l will be more happy if you can send me some pictures of it because am buying this for my Dad as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you required. I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don't have access to my bank account online(i don't have internet banking with it), but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay,all i will need is your PayPal email address to make the payments, and if you don't have a PayPal account yet, you can set one up at www.paypal.com it cant take you less than 3mins to do that, i will be expecting your PayPal email so l can pay. I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments has been sorted. l will be waiting for your reply asap

Regards..


Figured it was a form email scam, as no names or mention of the item for sale, and so much about PayPal. I sent pics in a reply to the first email. So, why ask again?

Ukulele Eddie
09-08-2014, 12:12 PM
The saddest part of all this is the poor sods working on oil rigs who really are trying to buy ukes for their dad's will never be believed...

tangimango
09-09-2014, 01:57 AM
I just got the same email as well

Skinny Money McGee
09-09-2014, 03:12 AM
All scams, just worded a little different. The key to most of them is "I will have an agent to pickup". Cash only, pickup only, is the best way to sell on CL.

Next time tell the scammer to paypal his Agent, and have his agent bring cash, not cashier's check, Cash only... You will never hear from him again.

RichM
09-09-2014, 03:27 AM
The saddest part of all this is the poor sods working on oil rigs who really are trying to buy ukes for their dad's will never be believed...

The first time I sold a uke on UU many years ago, a buyer was working overseas and wanted to have a third party send me the money and have me send the uke to another address. I declined the transaction, thinking it had scam written all over it. Turns out it was completely legit, the buyer was a respected member of the uke community who had a number of people vouch for him, and the deal went off without a hitch. It is a sad example of how scammers have made it tougher for those who have unusual circumstances but are legitimate buyers/sellers.

hoosierhiver
09-09-2014, 03:44 AM
Another red flag is scammers usually tell you they need it in a hurry.

Skinny Money McGee
09-09-2014, 02:17 PM
I am wondering why you would bother scamming ukulele sales. Ukes are relatively cheap to buy. The cash amounts don't seem to be very high and it seems they actually put cash into paypal (maybe not their own, but cash nonetheless) and then they end up with an old uke, or a room full of old ukes they have to sell to access any cash themselves. Where is the money in it, where is the market for the stolen ukes? I know they could keep them as players, but the scammers seem to be targeting a lot more than a single uke to play.

Bill, it's not just ukes, it's everything. I've sold many things on CL, including a 30 year old Honda 3 wheeler, kids bicycles, doll house, tools, etc.... I get the same scam messages no matter what the item is. Some messages are worded one way or the other. Most of the time it's "I'll send an agent over with cashier's check". It takes your bank a couple of days to find out the cashier's check is counterfeit.

janeray1940
09-09-2014, 02:47 PM
Bill, it's not just ukes, it's everything. I've sold many things on CL, including a 30 year old Honda 3 wheeler, kids bicycles, doll house, tools, etc.... I get the same scam messages no matter what the item is. Some messages are worded one way or the other. Most of the time it's "I'll send an agent over with cashier's check". It takes your bank a couple of days to find out the cashier's check is counterfeit.

Yep, that's the scam I'm most familiar with too, to the point where I'd almost rather give stuff away than sell it on Craigslist - most recently, a set of 1950s "midcentury modern" dining chairs. Most of the time the wording has something to do with being a missionary in Nigeria or some such place.

I get how the cashier's check scam works, but I couldn't quite wrap my head around how the Paypal scam works... until I read this (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2013/04/29/craigslist-paypal-prepayment-scam-how-does-it-work/). So, similar, but a little different. Be careful everybody!

Teek
09-10-2014, 08:33 AM
The key words are "item" and "asking price".. They don't call it by what it is and the price is right there in your ad, so you know it's all copy and paste. if they say "What is your best price, rock bottom" etc. then you probably have a real buyer.

Yes the buyer is always right as with an eBay sale etc. and ALSO PayPal will suck money right back OUT of your bank account so do NOT think you are safe because you transferred it out of your PayPal account! I would never accept PayPal for an item I have on Craigslist. I will use it with legitimate online merchants however.

I generally never respond but sometimes they start out with "Is the item still available? so you have to decide whether they might be legit and just lazy, then I will say yes and tell them cash only and where do they want to meet? and if not for real then poof they are gone.

What REALLY aggravates me is getting this scammer crap via text messages. I don't allow any response except via CL's anonymizer email now.