The ridiculous Craigslist furniture scam

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Clker

Dear WAHFAQ,

I’ve been selling items online, and keep getting emails like this one. What is the deal with these people? They can’t actually think that I’m going to fall for this?

Hello,
  I was just drafting this.Thank you for getting in touch with me,i’m fine with your price as listed and looking to buy your furniture but the only way I can is through a Check which I will mail to you through UPS

I am willing to wait for the check to clear before the pickup is done. I will be responsible for the pickup and it will be done by my movers,their payment will be included in the check I mail to you.This is all due to me being deaf and It makes it hard to deal with this,Also it will make this transaction better and quicker.

I know you were not expecting this and I would have also loved to come for the viewing but I cant as I’m away for surgery.I really want this and am offering an extra 50 for you to delete the Ad and reserve it for me, Am settling into my new house and looking for good furniture deals to furnish my place with

If you are okay with this please send me extra pictures if you have any and get back to me with

1)Your Full name_____
2)Your Physical address or work address _______
3)Final price after including the extra 50__________

I’m glad you recognize that this isn’t legit! At first glance, this seems like a typical over-payment scam. That’s when the scammer mails you a check or money order, you ship the high-priced item to them (electronics, jewelry, etc) and then realize a few weeks later that the check was fraudulent.

However, over-payment scams are a lot harder to pull off with furniture! Notice that the scammer wants to put distance between you and him, using “movers” who will come and pick up the items. Additionally, they’re trying to evoke sympathy by stating that they are deaf and going in for surgery. So I see a few possibilities happening here:

1) The movers are part of the scam. In this case, you would receive a very large check to pay the movers as well as compensation for your furniture. You cash the check and pay the movers, later finding out that the check was a fraud, (it actually takes about 2 weeks for a check to clear, even if your bank credits your account immediately) and then you’re out the cash and without furniture, but the movers happily take off with your money…and now know where you live as well as other goodies you may have in your home.

2) The movers are also being scammed. In this case, the movers may have been hired off of Craigslist as well. You would receive two checks: one for you, and one to pay the movers. Their check may be a general over-payment scam, in which the scammer asks them to wire back the difference. Their check is fake as well, so all y’all are out of money.

Frankly, neither of these scenarios makes much sense with furniture, as it needs to actually be delivered somewhere! So, sadly, I’m thinking this is a little more sinister. Notice how the scammer asks for your full name and place of work as well as home address. I fear that they may be targeting you for a robbery, identity fraud, or general threats. Most scammers do ask for your full name and address, (not a PO box)…and you’d be surprised how much you can learn about a person from that information!

In any case, I’m glad you realize this is a scam. The reason why scammers keep sending out these types of emails is because people keep falling for them! Remember that when you’re buying and selling online, meet in person in a public area during the day, and use cash. Never sell high-end items like jewelry online, and always tell someone you know if you’re going to meet someone you don’t!

Stay safe out there!

 

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