Satya's blog - Craigslist scams with a laptop

Feb 18 2009 21:18 Craigslist scams with a laptop

I recently posted a laptop for sale on craigslist. I got several responses right away, but none of the ones I contacted got back to me. Here are some of the responses. I most cases I answered the questions asked or asked them when they'd like to come look at it. The more scammy-sounding ones:

Do you still have these item for sale please let me know? thanks
Hello Seller is this item available if so i will like to know the condition and i am willing to pay u by Pay Pal i will be waiting to hear from u as soon as possible

I also got one offer for half the price I listed, and a couple of emails asking me to call a (local) phone number. These were legitimate, I think. Lots of them asked if it was still available (and nothing else). A couple wanted to know about battery life and the OS. All of them got answers.

Another asked for a couple of details and did reply to me when I responded, though they declined to buy. I thanked them for at least having the courtesy to communicate properly. Oh, here's a beauty:

Thanks for your reply and am glad to know that it is still available for sale.However i have some few questions on the products your selling.
1,I would like to know the reason you are selling it..?
2,What is the current condition of the item..?
3,How much would you take last for it, though am okay with the listed price..?
4,Do you have the original box for it and the receipt..?
5,Would you please allow me to pay through paypal even though i would cover the shipping because am currently not local at the moment,Am participating in a research project and i would like to purchase this item from you on behalf of my colleague whose computer crashed.

If you do not have a PayPal account, you can do so by going to and set up your account it is free,easy and guarantees transaction safety.Once you send me your paypal email account, I will send you the payment for your item as well as $100 USD to cover shipping vai USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTL.
I would be glad if my request is favorably consider.

Shipping? *International*? No thanks. Here's another one that at first just asked if I have it, and after I said yes, came back with this:

Nice hearing back from you, I would be happy to purchase it from you. I'm shipping this international to my friend, and I think it would be less costly if we could ship it straight from you to him. I'm ready to pay you the total amount of $250,for the item and $100 the shipping fees ,via USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL (EMS) and i will pay you via paypal if that would be acceptable. Please reply and include your paypal email address if you are interested. Thank you and God Bless you.....

The "total amount" of $250 is wrong, it's more than what I had posted. That's in addition to the other things wrong with this message.

A few days later I re-posted the laptop. This time I said explicitly that I want cash, and local pickup, and no exceptions. Almost immediately I got a couple of emails asking if I still had it. Then I got this gem:

I am very glad to hear back from you. I am a University Senior lecturer residing in [New York]. I came across this ad on Craigslist and thinking of my Son's Birthday coming up soon, I would love to get an awesome present for him, which he really wants, he was currently transferred from USA to West Africa with his team on a research on Human development under world Health Organization.I'll be paying you through PayPal,it's secure and protects two parties in a transaction. I will forward my son's residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment reaches you. Please kindly get back to me ASAP,so that i can make the payment there.
NB: I will be paying you $200 for item and i will include $100 to cover up the cost price for the shipping fee. Get back to me with your PayPal email asap.


Sent from my iPhone

And then this one. I never mentioned anything about being "loaded":


And this one:

I am [name deleted] by name and will like to buy your item as a birthday gift which will be commencing very soon and will like to buy it which i will highly elated want you to help me to ship it to her directly over there which i will be responsible for the shipping cost via Usps Expres mail service,so i will be glad to pay you securely via Paypal or via Cash money order which will be deliver to your at your doorstep in cash,so i will be offering you $350 for it including the shipping cost via Usps express mail as mentioned above and if this is okay by you,you can send me your paypal email address with your full name as appear on your account and if you feel you prefer cash money order for immediate can mail me the details below...

Your full name:
Your home address as you will like to be the receiver...
Hope to hear back from you soon.
God Bless.....

Okay, dude. I am not going to ship this laptop anywhere, especially not when you're offering me such juicy bait: nearly double the price I quoted.

I eventually got a couple of responses that were local, and sold it to the first one I got.

Tag: scam