Why search is your friend and how I avoided a scam
I am selling a cell phone on Craig’s List. It’s a Straight Talk prepay cell phone I used on vacation through the US. You can see it here (as long as it hasn’t sold yet, or the ad hasn’t expired). I was rather happy when I received an inquiry.
This is the message I received:
On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 8:57 AM, brouder declan <removed-identifiers- @reply.craigslist.org> wrote:
U still have the phone for sale What’s your best price?
From: craigslist xxxxxxxxxx <removed-identifiers- @sale.craigslist.org>
To: removed-identifiers- @reply.craigslist.org
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:57 AM
Subject: Re: phone
I do still have the phone. It is essentially like new. What is your offer?
And received this reply:
On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 2:06 AM, craigslist reply xxxx <removed-identifiers- @reply.craigslist.org> wrote:
Am okay with the price of the item.I will like the shipping to be handle by Post Office so i will add up the shipping cost,also I will be doing the payment Paypal money transfer. do send me your PayPal Email ID with Name or send me paypal money request.
To proceed with the payment for the item.
So i wait to read from you soon.
Something was nagging at me. Something didn’t seem right. So I decided to search the name in the first email “brouder declan” which brought me to a search results page listing many scams reported. The results included this one that is an exact match of the message I received and this one which showed it is a Nigerian scam, where I would send the phone but never receive payment as they spoof a PayPal email address. So I politely replied:
Sorry.. must meet in person and cash only.
And I added to my Craig’s List ad that we must meet in person with cash only. Search has revealed many emails, web posts and memes as hoaxes and scams. Whenever in doubt, “search it out”!