Craigslist Scams and Fraud: The Ultimate Guide

Craigslist is a great service but if you deal with people you aren’t meeting face to face you risk getting scammed.

Craigslist is a great resource for selling things, finding apartments, locating services and meeting people. Most of the time transactions go smoothly and both seller and buyer are satisfied with the Craigslist experience.

Danger awaits the unwary buyer or seller on Craigslist. Most these scams follow the same pattern you see on eBay and other online auction sites. Try posting that you have a piece of jewelry or some other easily-mailed valuable item for sale and the first response you get will probably be someone trying scam you.

Craigslist Nigerian Scams and More

Emails from Nigeria offering you more than your selling price if you accept their check or money order are typical. The fact that this is a scam may seem obvious but there are lots of variations on this theme that fool people every day. Don’t add your name to the growing list of Craigslist fraud victims. Be smart, be aware and if in doubt ask your friends or someone with internet savvy what they think if things sound fishy.

This page details a few common Craigslist scams but no list is ever complete because new versions of old scams appear all the time. Once you know the common themes these criminals use you can usually spot them a mile away and they become little more than a subject of amusement.

To help keep yourself safe from scams, Craigslist advises that any business dealings be done with people in your own local area. Don’t do business with folks who live far away. As with any online financial transactions, prudence and common sense are paramount. I once received an offer for a purchase where the person said they lived in California but requested that I email the item to somewhere in Oregon. Now what’s wrong with this picture?

Beware of anyone offering more than what you asked for. This is too weird. Who would do that? Especially since Craigslist is known as the place to go for good deals. Other clues include poor grammar and misspelled words. In the offer I mentioned earlier both Oregon and California were misspelled and English was obviously not their native language. That doesn’t necessarily mean the inquiry is coming from abroad but it’s certainly a red flag.

Craigslist provides the following advice on avoiding scams to anyone using their service:

  • Trust your instincts
  • Deal only with local buyers and sellers
  • NEVER wire funds to a distant buyer, via Western Union or any other carrier
  • Be wary if the other party wants to use an escrow service such as BidPay, Squaretrade, or even PayPal
  • NEVER give out personal financial information (eBay or PayPal info, checking account number, SSN, etc.)
  • always remember the most important rule — BUYER BEWARE

This advice isn’t specific to Craigslist. It’s just all-around good advice. Below are the top three Craigslist scams.

  • The buyer or seller doesn’t live near you.
  • The buyer or seller wants to pay by cashier’s check, US Postal Service money order, Western Union, or escrow service (BidPay, Squaretrade, etc.).
  • The buyer or seller won’t agree to meet with you in person.

If you happen to see something on Craigslist that looks scammy, you should send an email to “” and give them as much detail as you can about the listing. Make sure you include URL (or 8 digit post ID number) in your email. If you’re selling something and you think a con artist has expressed interest, forward it to “”

Make sure you are really on Craigslist!

There some sites out there that attempt to capitalize on Craigslist’s success. Some have similar domain names and the owner’s hope that you will make mistake while typing in the URL and end up on their site instead of the one you intended. Sometimes you will find nothing more than advertising but a couple of these imposters are phishing scams with layouts that duplicate the real Craigslist to fool you. The real web address for Craigslist is although the www in the URL can usually be replaced with the name of the city you whose listings you wish to explore (,, or If you go to the main address I just listed you will be able to find the local listings you’re interested. Just make sure that you haven’t ended up at or or some other common misspelling of the Craigslist domain. You’d be surprised at how many people type in the wrong address and end up somewhere they didn’t mean to. People often fail to realize their mistake so pay attention to any clues telling you that something is “phishy” about the site. If there’s any doubt, go back and re-type the URL or do a search for “Craigslist” to be sure.

Craigslist’s New York apartment classifieds are a con artist favorite

Fraud in New York City’s Craigslist classifieds has become so pervasive that Craigslist has considered charging a fee for its ads. Their hope is that by putting a charge in place, they will discourage phony listings. Most of these fraudulent postings are common bait and switch schemes. However, some of the cases reported involved more elaborate schemes run by professional criminals. These scam artists have managed to bilk apartment seekers for thousands of dollars. Everyone knows how competitive the New York apartment market is, with too many people looking for far too few apartments. Some bold con artists have capitalized on this situation and used it to their advantage.

Image Craigslist Apartment Rental ScamsRead more about Online Rental Scams
Craigslist Apartment Rental Scams
Rental Scams – How to detect and avoid them

Craigslist Car Scams

Buying and selling cars on Craigslist cab be a huge money-saver for both parties. Both can expect to make or save more than if they had gone to a dealership. This makes the Auto category in Craigslist’s For Sale section very active, especially in urban areas. With so many people exchanging so many cars for so much cash, it was only a matter of time before the criminal element took notice. Fraudulent postings are now a common occurrence.

Image Craigslist Car ScamsRead more about Craigslist Car Scams
Craigslist Car Scams
The Car Buying Scam – A Real Life Example
Report Craigslist Car Scams

Craigslist Ticket Scams

Craigslist provides an excellent means to sell unneeded tickets to sporting events, shows, concerts, festivals, fairs or even airline tickets. All you need to do is make a post and wait for the emails and/or phone calls to start coming in. Finding deals or tickets to hot shows or “sold out” events has made it one of the first places to turn to when you want to purchase tickets, especially when they’re for premiere events. Many of these tickets are sold for top dollar, but considering the considerable cost of tickets, even face value can mean a lot of money is going to change hands.

Image Craigslist Ticket ScamsRead more about online ticket scams
Craigslist Ticket Scams
Scam leaves traveler ticketless
Report Craigslist Ticket Scams

Phony Escrow Service Site Scams on Craigslist

Purchasing something expensive over the internet presents a problem. How do you pay for it when you know nothing about the seller and vice versa when you’re the one selling something? The solution for many is to use a third party escrow service. Escrow services are preferred because they protect buyers and sellers making transactions. Unfortunetely, scammers have devised a way to take advantage of the trust people place in escrow services and rob them blind.

Image Craigslist Escrow Service ScamsRead more about craigslist escrow scams
Craigslist Escrow Service Scams
Phony Escrow Website Scams

Phony Money Orders and Bad Check Scams on Craigslist

There are some things that should immediately raise red flags for anyone buying or selling on Craigslist. A few of these are:

  • Buyers wanting to pay by money order
  • The buyer is from another country or continent such as Nigeria in Africa
  • The inclusion of “business partners” in what should be a relatively simple sale
  • Over-complicated payment and shipping processes which try to trick you into shipping the item for sale first and them paying later.

There are many variations on this theme and many will involve official looking packing slips and money orders or checks from institutions you trust such as Western Union. Many times the wording of the emails sent to you will seem odd and the grammar poor. That’s because they are little more than form letters with terms and language designed to excite you, confuse you or put you at ease with what is nothing more than an old fashioned Nigerian 419 scam.

Sometimes you will receive a money order first. If you decide to take the risk and accept payment by money order, make sure it clears at the bank before you send them your goods! These money orders will often bounce or be counterfeits and if you ship your goods to the buyer right after you drop the payment you received off at the bank you may be in for a rude surprise. If someone wants what you are selling so badly that they want it shipped halfway around the world then they can probably wait a few more days for it to be shipped. Don’t be swayed by threats if the buyer starts using them on you. Insuring that someone’s payment is valid is quite fair.

Read more about Counterfeit Money Order and Check Scams

Counterfeit Money Orders
Nigerian Counterfeit Check Scams

Craigslist Purchase Protection Program

Some Craigslist users have reported something called the Craigslist Purchase Protection scam. What happens is that after you email someone about an item you get an email that has text to the effect of:

Craigslist Transaction Confirmed! Purchase Protection Granted!

Per your request, we have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate. Please follow our instructions to complete the transaction safely.

Craigslist Transaction Confirmed!

Current status: Payment pending

Here would be some details about the Craigslist purchase you supposedly made

Complete your Craigslist transaction in 5 easy steps:

* Craigslist accepts the transaction and offers purchase protection to the buyer

Next you’ll receive a document that may appear to be an invoice. Relax, it’s a phony. There is no official Craigslist buyer or purchase protection program. Craigslist doesn’t officially back any transaction. Taking care of business is your job.

Pay attention to those alert boxes at the top of Craigslist postings because they are there for your benefit and warn about these and many other scams on Craigslist.

Craigslist Scam Related Links:

98 Responses

  1. Delores Braasch says:

    Every time I have listed on Craigslist, been scammed. Present listing included. I wish these people could be found and arrested. Process is scary.

  2. P Oed says:

    Yes CraigsList is pretty bad, but most of the bad things are from CL users and not CL. It is scammers heaven. You can find bargains and you can sell your stuff, if you can work your way through the mine field. I have sold over $6000 worth of stuff in the past year and have not been scammed or murdered yet. Knock on wood and have my fingers crossed. Be very very careful.

  3. Andrew Thorne says:

    Hi Dolores,

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been scammed, but I have been scammed as well. However, I want to make sure that every single fraudulent buyer gets what he/she deserves and that is why I am reporting mine everywhere I can. For example, I use forums and websites like ebuyersreview*ed and badbuyerlis*t as well as fraud rec**d to submit their details and make sure that other sellers are aware of these irresponsible people.

  4. Vickie says:

    I have couple things on there for sale and it’s my first time but I got a email on a new vac that I don’t like and want to sell but mail seems weird…they say they can’t see it today as family death and work mornings only can see it evenings and ask nothing about it but does ask for my ph number and wants to come to my home , they pick out a place to meet (Walmart) which is a given as there’s always one everywhere, they seems more interested in meeting than the vac…sketchy it seems…feel there’s something going on

    • Greg says:

      I am moving and having been selling a lot of CL over the past month. I often have 5 or 6 items listed at one time and weekly I get 5 or 6 of these types of emails. Very convoluted days that they can meet me to pick up the “item” (They never say dining room table, or wall clock). I created a dummy Gmail account that I now use for all CL transactions. I responded to one of the emails but never heard back. I can’t figure out what the scam is. I do meet people at my home to sell items, but only after a few email exchanges and/or talk to the on the phone. If anything sounds odd in the least I back out. I also don’t tell them where I live until they are on there way over. I tell them to call me when they are getting in the car and I will give them an address. I have had a dozen good sales and canceled only one that seemed sketchy. This does not include the screwy emails like you described. I still get several a week and ignore them all.

  5. Kathy says:

    I have had great luck on CL; however, only sell local, only accept cash and meet outside of your home in a public place that has plenty of traffic.

  6. Sofia says:

    Scammers are also fishing for emails and phone numbers. We will not sell through CL anymore. We have been getting messages asking the same question over and over. Even asking where we live. Pretty scary. Try EBay or Oodle.

  7. Dawn says:

    People try to scam me buy sending me a counterfeit cashier check sent it and over paid for what I was asking for on craiglist and wanted me to cash check and sent back rest if money western union. I contacted craigslist and I is a scam. I am so happy I did not follow through with the scam. If I get a check saids global giving for a certified payment don’t cash it report any scam

    • margie says:

      The latest scam I see is in posting for Jobs. “help wanted”. Then they send an automated response that they are interested in you but only if you use their link and have a credit report completed. Then after the credit score is revealed, they will interview you. This part time job posts every day. And the name of the company doesn’t exist in the area. And it is clearly an automated response because I sent my resume in twice (by mistake) and each response came back the same. Worries me about my resume being out there. Will leave off some of the info next time. (at least half of the address) Be aware. I did notify Craigs List of this job posting.

      And the other is “I don’t get off of work until 3:30 and would like to come over and look at your item. What is convenient for you?” So I ask how long will it take them to reach my “city’, asking “where do you work”. They only want correspondence by offering a business email but no such business exists. And I also add that I live in a gated community (which I do) and let them know they have to have ID to get through the gate, (which they do) and a sign at the gate clearly says “you are being videotaped” Never hear from the scammers again.
      I have sold a lot on Craigs List but not recently. Recently has been scammers responding.

    • David says:

      Same thing happened to us. They were vague about picking up the item, said they were out of town and would send a check with extra money to pay for delivery. They only wanted to communicate by text. When I called the number it went directly to the “textme” app, which converts voice to a text. I insisted they call me before proceeding, and that’s the last we heard from them (by the way, their number was (646) 69X-XXXX in case you want to harass them, ha ha). We also googled that number and sure enough, it had been reported over 30 times for scamming.
      Ah, but the story’s not over – yesterday, I got a cashiers check for over 3 times the price of the item – nothing in the envelope but the check. it was so much more than our price that at first I didn’t connect it with the craigslist item – just thought it was a mistaken address. The return address was an address in Tennessee, which came up on real estate sites as for sale. So I called the realtor and asked her to relay my number to that person. Obviously she thought I was part of some scam, because I never heard back! So today I called the bank, BV Compass. When I got to the cashiers check department, they immediately told me it was a fraudulent check and I should destroy it. I kept asking why someone would do this, what was the scam, and all she said was, destroy the check. After reading Dawn’s story, I think I understand. All in all, these people are pretty sloppy and stupid. Maybe they will go bankrupt before they make any money?

      • Peter Atanasoff says:

        David, I have some big ticket item for sale on CL. My question to you is I have offers on both and both have said they would send a cashiers check and would wait until I say the check has cleared before they pick up the items. Both accounts have come via text message. Not sure what to think. This is my first time selling anything on CL like this anyways. Should I be concerned?

        • Cole Sargent says:

          Yes. I would not proceed with these type of inquires. I recently posted something for sale on CL and within a few hours received three nearly identical texts from different numbers requesting the “item”. They wanted to pay with a check. They said once it cleared, they would send their movers over to pick up the “item”. It’s just weird wording and a weird request. I’m not sure how the scam works, but I imagine at some point in the process they end up coning some cash out of you. With all three inquires, when I forced them to be more specific about the transaction or detail in picking up the item, they stopped talking to me. I know some haven’t been exposed to these types of scams before, but you’ll start to pick them out very easily after a few times.
          Here are some red flags:
          1. Bad grammar or phrasing that doesn’t quite make sense
          2. Generic or vague communications
          3. They say they want to come get the item in person, but can’t for a variety of reasons
          4. They want to pay with some form of check
          I know none of these are guarantees it’s a scam, but if it seems a little off, it’s very very likely it is.

          • marc says:

            Just got one like this, and it sure sounds phishy! (pun intended)

          • Karen says:

            Just got the same one. Will send me a check, movers will pick up–yeah right. First clue for me was email from “Jimmy Fred” at 2am! Very bad grammar, bad wording also. Cancelled the transaction.

          • Jeki says:

            I just got one of this through my e-mail and luckily looked phishy to me. They didn’t see the item and not even mentioning coming to see it as she is leaving the county until end of november. Sne will send the check and then when I cash it she will send movers to pick it up ??? I ask her to call me, but she cooldn’t as her daughter drop the phone in the water., so she can talk but she can send messages. Really???? I am going to report this. I wish i could figure out what they get from all of this?

      • Richard says:

        I am trying to sell a computer on Craigslist and just this morning got an inquiry. Sorta seems legit till he stated “due to his work he won’t be able to pick it up and can i mail it”. So i asked where he was and he said California. I am in Florida. How in the heck did he find this?? Also after a few exchanges he then asks for my phone #. C’mon he can get a computer cheaper in his area.

  8. jaz says:

    I’m not sure if its a scam or not but everytime I call the numbers to ask about a car no answer, then minutes later I get a text saying the from the military and that that’s there only way of communicating thru email. Not sure about that tho??

    • Bill Traynor says:

      Servicemen and Women will sell their vehicles if their going on a long overseas Deployment.
      If you get a response referring to this, ask for their units ID ( Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines etc.)If their legit they’ll answer you with a Military unit or tell you who to contact instead.

  9. Lori says:

    I always get the same response to my ad: I want to buy it now thru PayPal but I can’t pick it up. I’ll have a moving company come get it…just give me your PayPal info

    • sarah says:

      This is exactly what just happened to me. I sent them an invoice via Paypal but they said it “didn’t work” and asked for my email address over and over. Even though I already emailed them an invoice which means she had my email address. It was so bizarre.

      • sarah says:

        Oh and that she would have a moving company come and get it because she wants to buy it as a surprise for her new house. Whatever that means…

    • Tease Them says:

      I usually just tease them. I look up some local FBI office address and give them all the info. E.g I used the FBI agent’s name and the office address. Most of those morons don’t bother to check and they fell into it. A few days later they will come back with lies like “my secretary screwed up and sent too much money etc”. I always reply happily and say sure I am happy to return the money as soon as our receptionist in FBI contact me when she receives the money …

      The person will never come back again … πŸ™‚

  10. Cw says:

    I have a strange situation. I am selling a car and a person with an Ohio number texted (I’m in Texas) and said he’s shipping it locally. Anyway, he sent a check including shipping of the car in the amount. I took it to my bank and they thought it was a bit fishy. Went ahead and deposited it and there’s a 7 day hold. I don’t understand what (if it is in fact a scammer) would get out of me if the check clears. Am I missing something? It’s just strange and I wish I didn’t follow through with it now. We are waiting to see if the check clears.

    • Naibi says:

      Hi what happened after all? Someonw from out of state is wanting to buy from me and they said they are going to send me a check… It seems weird that someone from far away is looking at other craiglist location websites

      • Sheila says:

        Same thing happened to me. Just received the check and it was for an absurd amount. I emailed and she said the rest was for the movers but didn’t want me to ship it until the check clears. So I’d like to know what happened as well. I’m really nervous about this

        • MSH says:

          Hi, this is scam. I was scammed out of $1400 today. This is exactly what happened to me. I sold my old snow blower for $350. But he sent me a cashier check for $1750, the rest is for the “mover”. After the check cleared, I deposited $1400 to his Wells Fargo account. Well, this morning I found out that my bank is taking back the “cleared” check. Now I am out of $1400.

          He has the gall though.. this morning he sent me another message saying that he wants to cancel the sale and wants the remaining $350 wired to a money gram account. He still thinks I am such a dope that I haven’t figured it out yet.

          I guess the joke is on my. I feel so stupid.

          • Susan says:

            Thank you for your posting… You might feel as you were at a loss but look at it this was…. you saved me from being scammed the same way.
            After giving him information, I received another e-mail basically the same. That is when I began to get skeptical. They couldn’t get here to look at the items nor did they list the items they wanted but they wanted to send me a check and the movers $ would be included
            So thank you I definitely benefited.

          • Carolyn Kulp says:

            I recently got done the same way, i was selling an appliance for 200 dollars, the man sends me a 1,450.00 cashier check, then wants me to send the rest to his shipping co, i luckily got the money back from money gram n deposited it back to the bank so I will b covered.

        • Joe says:

          This just happened to me except that I refused the UPS. It’s a scam. Bastards

      • Laura k says:

        I really did look at craigslist websites while searching for a specific item, I kept to cities within 5-6 Hours of my home and found what I was looking for, I did have to drive almost 6 hours to pay for and get the item but we called and spoke with the seller, it was successful all around and we paid in cash, I might suggest that all sellers post with cash only in their listings, legitimate buyers will not balk

    • Boss says:

      Even if it clears it could take up to 2 weeks for bank to declare it counter fit. By that time they HOPE You will wire money to the SHIPPING COMPANY as they are after that amount. Their goal is to have seller transfer funds for SHIPPING COST. They are not interested in your car, motorcycle, jet ski, or whatever else You might be selling. Once You transfer money to Shipping Company that’s it, they are gone

      • MSH says:

        The scammers are exploiting a hole in our banking system. The bank clears the check and makes the cash available way before they can actually verify the check’s legitimacy. By the time the fraud is detected, the check’s receiver has given the extra fund by cash to the sender.

        This really needs to be fixed.

    • Will brisbin says:

      I was wondering if the check cleared and what other trouble happened. I’m going through the same thing. I haven’t deposited the check yet, I’m a little leery.

    • Richard says:

      All, your bank “clearing” a check means NOTHING. As happened below, if the check “clears”, your bank will give you the money. But as soon as the check bounces from the issuing bank, they will claw (take) the money back.

      Same goes for money orders.

  11. Diana says:

    I just posted my couch for sale on CL, immediately i got a response from NY, I am in Washington State, that they want the couch, i should take off Craigs List and I should send them all my contact info and they will mail me money. Immediately I am concerned…. not sure why, but am following my gut. any suggestions?

  12. steve Heron says:

    I just purchase a car on craigslist, met the guy in person 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 – $2500, 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 runs great, new brakes, working AC $2500 obo, post id: XXXXXXXXX, met in person, drove the car worked fine, paid his wife after she gave me the title. One hour later drove car to the store and would not shift gears, stayed in low. Called him back stated he sold it working, now its not his problem. Told me he would come check out, then told me its not his problem, ask him to help, not willing to. I am going to take him to court and sue. He will pay for the act of stupidity……We need to make sure these things do not happen to people, these websites that sell need to be govern by law to protect consumers, this will get worst before its gets better.

    • Cie says:

      Dear Steve, his act of stupidity?? Ummm, no, yours. Take responsibility- you should have had it checked with a mechanic. This is a $2,500 lesson for you. A court will NOT see it your way. Sales such as this are “As is” and once you drive it away no one knows what you do to the car. It was your choice NOT to pay a mechanic to look it over. He may have known about the issues but as they say, beware of a deal that seems too good… and let’s be honest you tried to steal it so stop acting so righteous. As long as there there has been naivete there have been snake oil salesmen. So stop blaming the world & others when the solution lies within.

  13. Brian says:

    As soon as I list something….especially if it is of high value, I will get a text from someone claiming to be out of town, using poor grammar, wanting to buy the item sight unseen and needing my Paypal account to send me the money. Of course, a broker or pickup service will come get the item. The most reason was an alleged American Airlines flight attendant who is gone all the time but really wants my dining room set. Yeah right.

  14. Naibi says:

    Hi.. can I get some advice.. I am selling an item and someone from miles and miles away wants to buy it.. they said they will send me a check and they will arrange pick up after check clears… should I be on the look out? Do you prefer to sell locally?

    • Josh says:

      It’s most likely a scam, be safe and wait to sell it local

    • Hollie says:

      This happened to two of my postings, I don’t understand because I wouldn’t send it until the check cleared am I missing something?

      • Sheila says:

        Same thing here Hollie. I don’t understand

      • Dave says:

        They are sending certified checks that are counterfeit. They will give you the cash immediately but won’t clear or prove counterfeit for weeks or months. So you think it’s cleared and pay then 45 days later the bank hits you with the bad news. If you the them the bank turned it over to the police and are investigating sometimes they will leave the money in the account so it clears and don’t get investigated then you can cash it a week later and keep it all!

        • Wanda says:

          I got a certified check deposited it and it was counterfeit and my bank locked my account like I was the same bot the almost victim. Sounds just like the stories u just read. Don’t do it.
          I am currently selling and have got the PayPal scam 3 different numbers have basically the same story. I am a US marine and want to buy this for my pastors son. I told him I would look into paypal but I had been scammed before.
          The next text came with a slightly different I am leaving town but am interested and I hope this item is real and just not a scam. Then I said I don’t have paypal. He came back with are you looking into it? That is what I told the other guy. SCAM. CASH ONLY best advice.

  15. Tony says:

    Selling 4 tires @ wheels on Craig’s list got a text the guy says I will pay you the $500 plush handling fee of $200, will send a bank certified bank check by USPS, cash check and the money will be in your account with in 24hrs, they will have the shipping amount included in check to NY, I am to be in contact to pay the shipping fees, I will make sure the check clears after a week, and contact the shipper for his pick up and amount to haul items from Washington state to NY. I’m sure it’s a scam and that OK I’m not paying more then what was included forcshipping, the day of the pickup will be on a street corner with police presence, keep in mind I’m waiting over a week or longer to make sure check clears and am in no hurry as its a scam just play along is all what have you got to advise ??

  16. Pat says:

    I got scammed and I am out of $2500.00 for a truck that was listed on Craig’s list for sale and it was local, got the same story that she was in the military and was going to be deployed this month. Me being in the military and all it sounded very legit and this was my first time buying anything on Craig’s list!! Never again and the name this person was using was hellen storm. I can’t believe how legit this was with emails from eBay motors and all! Just sick over losing my money.

  17. tim mattox says:

    I have sold occasionally on CL and most exchanges have gone well. I encountered a typical scam on the first time and received a certified check from an escrow account in the amount o $1980 for a $200 item. I have researched to become aware of scams, but today I encountered a situation which may or may or may not be a scam. Mike sent me a text on “behave” of his boss and wants me to email his boss with details and bottom price (email only). I was very explicit with details (and pictures). Why do they want my email address?

  18. Janice says:

    OK, I thought that something was a little fishy about this transaction but I had been trying to sell the item for so long that I threw (some) caution to the wind….Texted me because I left my cell no. on Craiglist’s listing, said he would send me a cashiers check for the total of the item and to pay his mover (its like $1200 over the price of my item) his mover would pick up the item and I give the over amount to pay the mover and keep my part. I don’t see what the scam could be if I check the “check” out at the bank before I do anything or let anyone take the item….BUT now I’m scared because I gave my address to send this “check” to me….should I be worried???

    • China says:

      Be very scared. I just went through a similar ordeal. The check will check out originally, but trust me the check is either stolen or counterfeit and the bank will come after you if you deposit the money and pull it out. I just had to file a police report. My buyer claimed to be in the military in Hawaii, he mailed me a check for $2500.00, but the item I sold him was only $450. He said I was to deposit the check and withdraw the extra money and wait for his “pick up agent” to come for the extra money and the item. Well again this man claimed to be in Hawaii, the check was mailed from California, and the check was written from an account in Virginia. None of the names matched, nothing matched. I deposited it because the buyer kept pressuring me. One day he called me from a New York , he was clearly Nigerian and driving a taxi, NOT IN THE MILITARY IN HAWAII. I waited 10 days to see if the check was returned. It wasn’t. So just now I called Suntrust, the bank the check was written from. They told me the check is counterfeit. The names to do even match the account number on the check. I am about to file a police report as soon as I get out of work

    • Tami says:

      Hi janice- Anything to add to this post? Did you get the check? Was it good? I’ve got the same thing happening I’m waiting to see what happens!

  19. Kimi says:

    I have a painting reposted for sale. Got a text asking if still for sale from 84X-XXX-XXXX. They said send my name and address so they mail me a check. They said after the check clears, we would meet up. T
    I asked if they live in Virginia, they said yes (with a south carolina area code) I said OK, but gave my post office box. They said the check would include payment for the IR movers, and $50 extra for myself. Too strange they’ll make a purchase without seeing it in real life. Then for me to cash it and Western Union the mover’s portion because they “trust” me. So I wrote back Forget mailing the check. We can meet I’ll bring the painting and they bring cash….smart ryt? No answer yet…go figure!

    • Mindy Weidner says:

      Yeah – definite scam. I recently posted an item for $375 and within 10 mins got someone asking if it was still available. Then they went into this long spiel about how they’ve been in an accident and need to send me a cashier’s check – they’ll pay $30 extra to keep them #1 so they get to buy it – and they’ll even wait for the check to clear. So after I told them I’d only accept cash, paypal, or credit card they offered certified check. Then I mentioned that it had to be from a bank in my state because I intended to cash it at the bank it was drawn from as I didn’t EVER deposit checks into my own bank account. Lo and behold I got no more texts after that πŸ˜‰ Basically, if you deposit a certified/cashiers check or money order to your account your bank will clear it in a day – but then about a week later when it’s deemed ‘fake’ YOU end up having to pay your bank back! I’m surprised more folks don’t realize this! Plus, in today’s world, there’s absolutely NO excuse to not be able to pay via paypal or credit card or cash if you’re within 60 miles (oh yeah, I even offered to deliver the object to their home (or local cafe) so they didn’t have to pay for this ‘shipping company’ they used – legit folks would’ve jumped on that offer!)

      I think if anyone EVER adds extra money to ‘hold’ the item or whatnot you can pretty much guarantee it’s a scam.

  20. KY says:

    I’ve got a text from 214XXXXXXX to buy my item from craiglist. They said send my name and address so they mail me a certified check for the total of the item and $50 extra for myself to run around. The rest of the check was to pay his mover (its like $1600 over the price of my item) his mover would pick up the item. Then he keeps texting me all day long from another number 724XXXXXXXX to check whether I receive the check or deposited it. So many texts in a day made me suspicious!
    I received the check the other day (Wells Fargo) and my bank did not deposit it because there were so many red flags to it. The name for the phone number did not match with the name on the Mailing addresss and name. Also the name on the check was totally different.
    The buyer told me that he was at PA, then the mailing address was NJ and the address on the check was OR! Sooooo complicated!!!

    Then, I decided to cancel the whole process and texted back to the buyer that my bank refused to deposit the check and I decided not to sell the item. And I did not get a response. Only sell locally! and only get cash!

  21. Aaliyah says:

    OK I’m suppose to get paid every week for posting ads on craglist does this sounds any funny?

  22. Lethie says:

    I also get constant emails about sending a check and waiting for it to clear to have movers.come pick up the items. This happened on a van a dog and shocking collars that I had. I usually don’t respond back to those emails because it’s odd to me that they would be.looking in my area on capitalist and because mainly I’m terrified to give out my address. You never.know with people these days. Extremely odd!

  23. PJ says:

    We had a $500 priced item on CL and within minutes of posting received a text that they were interested. Then emails started. The guy claimed to be deaf and could not talk. Told him after a couple emails that we were not interested in completing the transaction with him. Next email said he was sending a check for the item by UPS and provided a tracking number. The check arrived by UPS for $1967.00. None of the addresses provided added up. I contacted my bank and they called the bank the check was drawn on and the account did not exist. In the mean time this person has sent several text messages trying to complete the transaction, which was, keep $550 for the item and give the rest to the shipper when they arrive, the email sent prior was to get a money gram and send it to a Dxxx Hxxx in Michigan. The person went by the name Kxxxx Mxxxxx, the check was out of California for a Steel Company. Suggest if anyone falls victim to this type of SCAM, your bank can contact the bank it was drawn on to see if the funds are available. I am glad that I did this prior with proceeding. Saved a bunch of heartache.

  24. DK says:

    What does anyone think of this?

    I was looking for a room to rent and I found a house for $800 per month. So I contacted him to look at the house. He told me that I could, but not the inside since he lives in SC. Then he said that once I sign the papers and pay him (details not given on how) that he would mail me the keys.

    I really think that this is a scam.
    What do you think?

    • ELAINE says:

      That’s an old scam they tried to scam me with that one 4 years ago. I went to the house and the neighbor told me it was for sale not rent

  25. Ryan says:

    Im selling Bunk beds.
    Gary Jackson (obviously fake) emails me and says he is out of state and will be sending cashiers check. Once it clears he will then send movers to come pick it up. Also will be include and extra $50 for holding and deleting off craigslist immediately. I get this same type of scam email with everything i sell on Craigslist. I always delete, but i am left wondering what exactly these people are trying to do…. Almost all have asked for cell # as well.

    Obviously i’m on alert because of how weird the emails are,and I would never let anyone pick up my item unless it was paid for or unless their “cashiers check” cleared.
    So what is the scam? Are there people out there that actually let people take their items without being paid?

    • Thea Weedman says:

      Thank you for posting about this. We have just had the same experience and as a result of reading about this scam on this site, we aborted the transaction. However, this scammer does have our address and cell phone number. What can they do with this info?

      • Linda says:

        I think I just got scammed too texted me from northetn Calif I live in So Calif asked for my full name and mailing address and would send me money order plus 40.00 more to hold the item until this Sunday. I gave my info but then about 30 mins later changed my mind after reading about all this scamming stuff and told him sorry but no cash only and will hold item until Sunday without the extra money. Have not heard back. And feel weird now that I gave out my info too.

  26. Mona says:

    PLEASE READ THIS! I was selling a $500 scooter on CL and received a text that buyer was in NY (I am in AZ) but wanted to mail me a cashier’s check, then when it clears, send movers to get it. The check came, cleared my bank, THEN 2 months later, the bank notified me that the check was a fraud and put my account negative. The account on the phony cashier’s check was a real account but the account owners were also victims of the scam, so when they realized the money has been taken from their account, they reported the transaction and it took 2 months to come back to me, so just because the bank calls to verify the funds are available on the account does not mean it is not fraud. IT MAKES NO SENSE for an out of state buyer to pay a mover to pick up an item and ship it to them in another state. CL is for people seeking a bargain…..paying more than the item is worth after shipping, etc. is NOT a bargain and nobody in their right mind will pay MORE than the item is worth, unless it is a scam! THESE ARE ALL SCAMS! It can take up to several months for these phony checks to come back as fraud, just because it clears does not mean it is good! Take heed, you have been warned!

  27. brian says:

    I have had nany parties offer to send checks for more than I am asking. They say to give them my info address, phone number, etc and ask that I send the items aa soon as the check arrives. I always give these jokers the address for the FBI in Washington. Never hear back from them for some reason. LOL!

  28. Tom says:

    Yup… posted 4 like new tires on Craig’s List and within the hour had a text offering to send a check and have a “mover” pick up the tires after the check cleared. Uh, who buys used tires sight unseen? Googled phone number and found it’s from an area 900 miles away – second flag.
    And also found it listed on other sites as a “scam” number. Third flag. (Don’t you just love Google?) Came to this site because I was curious how the scam worked if the check clears. Now I know – check might clear but takes longer to be found counterfeit or fraudulent. Thanks to those who set this site up and posted! Love that suggestion of giving scammers the FBI address! But, the basic rule hasn’t changed since cavemen were trading rocks – if it doesn’t make sense from the start – walk away!

  29. Glenda says:

    We recently responded to an ad on Craigslist. They were selling an ATV, locally, our area. Brute 750 4×4. But….no phone number. Contacted the phone number listed on ads posted below the original ad. Contacted that number. We were told “I’m selling this for my sister because she doesn’t have an account”. Sent me an email address…Contacted this email address and after several attempts I was informed she was using “EBAY” account. “Better secured”. The name is Connie Larkins. Come to find out, the ATV is nowhere near the state of New Mexico and I would have to give all of my personal information and they would contact me. Free shipping at their expense. Have tried reporting this to no avail. Beware, sad story given about recent divorce, clean title, etc. etc, etc.

  30. bryan says:

    some guy mailed me a check of $2400 for a part-time job posting that ive applied for..story goes that his mom is moving in on the 23rd of march(i got the check on the 20th) and he needs me to help his mom settle in and help her out 3 times a week.but before that, i have to come a day before so i can pay the moving guys and they can give me the key to the house.this guy urges me to deposit the check right away so the bank can clear it right away.hes giving me $550 up front for my service and the rest i would give to the moving guys.what really fishy though is how this guy is not specific with the job that he wants me to do,and the working hours..this guy also gave me a made-up address that doesnt show up on google map..i feel for those people who applied for jobs posted on CL ads to get by but still got ripped-off by some inconsiderate people..ill keep the check for now and try wear this scammer tge way,he had an american name but has a thick accent when he called me.

    • Jude says:

      Thank you so much for this warning. My situation is exactly this this thus far and I am supposed to receive ck in advance for wk not even done. All the red flags and if course my own gut saying too good to be true. I am first time dealing with this/Craigslist..So forgive myself for getting in this deep. But..haven’t screwed up yet. So my question is right now. Prior to getting or dealing with this 99% likely scammer..what’s best way to help OTHERS AVOID THIS. AND “NAB” THIS CROOK BEFORE THEY KNOW IM ONTO THEM?/ THANKS!

    • Lory says:

      Never apply for a job if you don’t see a real address. I’m still worried that scammers have my resume and my address. They haven’t sent any checks, by the way.

  31. Kevin says:

    I am selling stuff on CL and within 15 minutes of posting it, I got a text from a guy in Washington, I live in Missouri. I had the item posted for local people. He sent me a check by USPS priority. The return address was from Seattle and the check was supposedly from a company around Dallas. He bought my item for $900, but made the check out for $2300, here again the other $1400 is for the movers coming to pick it up. I am going to call the accounting department of the company that supposedly made out the check and see what happens. Also may go to their bank and see what happens. I will probably wind up tearing the check up. Seller Beware!

    • Cam says:

      You’re screwed, it’s a counterfeit check. They bounce a couple months down the road. If you deposited it or sent any money it’s game over.
      Really, this page is just proof that you people need to use common sense. Why would anyone from out of state be prowling your local craigslist for a 900 dollar item that they’d spend 2300 on? Cmon.
      They play off the absolute stupidity of people.

  32. Jane says:

    Post an item on CL. Its my first time to sell something. Been buying stuff locally and meet the person, pay cash. So i thought why not sell my stuff that i dont really use anymore and probably someone is looking/in need of it. The next day i posted it, got several text messages stating they are interested and one guy said he will give it to his daughter who is in Texas as a gift (im in chicago). He asked more question about the item and texted me this “It is okay by me, I will be paying you through paypal and shipment will be handled through my personal UPS account”. So i told my husband right away that i have a potential buyer. So i asked him his location, probably could set a meet up instead. He just replied me that he is sending it to Texas. I felt something is not right here, followed my instinct and did my research. His area code is in California. Then i sent him a message “Im a first time seller in CL, and prefer to get paid in cash upon collection. I have other people inquiring about it too and instructed them the same. For this item has sentimental value and i would like to meet the next person who i will pass it on :-)”, never got a response from him. Hahaha! Good thing i followed my instinct!

  33. Ace says:

    I’ve sold an HDTV, Car and bedroom set on Craigslist without any issues.
    It is a great place to sell your items or even your services.
    But common sense is a must and when selling keep it simple cash only! NO EXCEPTIONS meet during the day in a populated area “Bring a friend with you”. And never ever hand goods over until cash payment is in hand and verified not counterfeit.

    It’s unfortunate that people scam but it’s also unfortunate that people who lack common sense don’t know they lack it.

  34. Kelley says:

    I have one fishing for me. Little do they know I have turned the tables. I string them along . These people are not going to ever stop until it’s been a con on them. Then they will not know if it’s for real or not

  35. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am selling a bike for $200. I received a text from Michigan (810-XXX-XXXX) and I am in Georgia. This person claimed to want to buy my bike and pay for shipping. The offer was 200 for the bike an extra $100 for my time and 1200 for shipping. Its the same certified check offer that will be overnighted via USPS. I knew right away this was a scam. Its sad that these people have nothing better to do than to go around trying to steal money instead of getting a real job.

  36. Don says:

    Even supposed “local” buyers can also be a long distant scam in disguise. I get a lot of people who answer my ads for items for sale with local info like next town over ans even in your own town info claiming that they are interested in your item. One way that I separate these clowns from the real deal is to ask for their phone number so that I can call them with location and dicker the price. I never give out my address or phone number until they do. I have had a lot of “prospective” buyers tell me that they found another item instead (usually within minutes of me asking for their number) which generally let’s me know that the possibility that it’s a scammer is high.

  37. Chaz says:

    Is this a scam.?
    Walmart mystery shopper.
    Filled out short general application. Said I was interested. Received text saying congrats.sending first assignment. FedEx overnight letter w/ $1500 cashiers check. With instruction to deposit into MY CHECKING ACCT(1st flag). Will be available in 24 hrs. Then purchase 3money cards(ONEVANILLA) at Total cash amount of $1200. Take pics front N back with camera phone, don’t activate or register them and email pics to a “get paid email address. I keep$300 balance. I texted back some questions about form letter, poor copy of retailer logos (2nd &3rd flag),why I had 6stores I could go to that sold product, NOT jus Walmart, why? Text responded was “no questions jus deposit check!” I’m not a sensitive person or anything, but that text rubbed me the wrong way. I jus said answer my questions, they can’t be the 1st you heard of them! Haven’t heard from them since. Keeping cashiers check as souvenir and sharing story w/ kids and relative. Shame, I really needed that money.

  38. Ausie says:

    Concession Trailer scams are big all over the country. 2-3 guys post over and over. Price is usually in the 2000-2500 range but they file exceptions. Look for the same photos in all ads. DO ONT SEND MONEY! The scammers are there but the trailer does not exist. Typical story of a military transfer, divorce, moving, etc. If they have a phone nuber to text only, it is a scam.

  39. Ari says:

    If your buying a car (like me) you’ll come across a lot of scammers. They will post very up kept vehicles like 2006 Volkswagen Jetta with great mileage and a whole bunch of awesome addons and the price will be like 1500-2000. I’ve revived about 6 different responses today where the scammer says they want me to give them my info and money threw eBay protection network so that we are both insured. They also insist that you’ll get 7 days to test drive the car and you’ll revive it by a truck. Not to mention they say that your deposit won’t be taken by them unless you like the car. It’s all bullshit

  40. Ashton says:

    Yea I was scammed yesterday this person was faking to be the owner of the property of a home In napa . Turns out it isn’t him he stold the home owners identity said they are dr . Blah blah got me good I belived them lost all my money I should of know it was to good to be true. My first time trying to looks for apartments or a home to live in of my own and this happens. Makes me sick.

  41. Von says:

    Okay thanks so much,I got the Name and Address i will mail out the check on Wednesday and please note that i will be including the mover payment in the check so as soon the check is delivered to you, kindly take it to your bank and deposit it, once your bank clears the check and you have the money, you deduct the money for your item sold and send the rest of the money to the mover so once they got their payment they will contact you to arrange for pick up time of the item. if you are okay with this kindly take down the ad from Craigslist and give me the go ahead to mail the check to you. thank you…. This is something that has got sent to me after a couple of texts here and there.

  42. Den says:

    Thanks to all who shared their experiences on this forum, it was very helpful for me in preventing my mom from being scammed and I feel bound to share her experience so I can help someone else who might find themselves in the same predicament.

    THIS IS A NEW SCAM ON CRAIGSLIST (but the modus operandi is the same)

    My mom is a qualified Caregiver by profession. Unfortunately the lady she had been caring for passed away a few months ago at the tender age of 94, this after my mom had taken care of her for ten years. My mom was heartbroken, not because of the loss of a job but because she lost someone whom she had grown emotionally attached to. Well being the independent and proactive individual that mom is, she didn’t waste time but started her job search and came across this rather appealing job post on CS, it read “Loving, Caring and Honest Caregiver wanted immediately – great salary and benefits”.

    My mom emailed the so called employer expressing her desire to work for her. The person replied and introduced herself as Tania Wright and that she was looking for someone to take care of her 56 year old sister Megan who was diabetic and needed care, medication, and hospital visits, but was self-sufficient overall. Tania wanted my mom to work three days a week and she would be paid $350 a week. This was exciting for my mom as it was going to be a very easy job because Tania said she could live in with Megan if she wanted to and only needed to drive her for her medical check-up once a month and that if she didn’t drive Tania was going to hire a good driver for that purpose. Now here comes the bombshell, Tania was willing to move her sister closer to where my mom lived for ease of convenience and would look for an apartment closer to my mom, wait here is more, Tania was going to send my mom a check for $1,840, of which with the $350 was an advance for her first week pay, and the balance was to be paid to the agent for the apartment. The following day my mom she received a FedEx package with a check for $1,840.

    My mom immediately smelt a rat and being the pragmatic person she is, she brought the check to me and asked for my thoughts on this ordeal. I inspected the check and it was authentic, but was from a company in Las Vegas, there was no trace of Tania’s name on the check, and the. FedEx package was mailed from Illinois by a Sally Elliot, we live in Virginia. I read the email communication between Tania and my mom, Tania’s emails had lots of grammatical and spelling errors and I immediately knew this was a scam. I advised my mom to reply back to Tania informing her that she was not comfortable cashing the check for work she had not done, and to point out the inconsistencies regarding the check’s originations, the company and Sally Elliot.

    We are waiting for Tania’s response as I write this comment. Any advice on what we should do next?

  43. Paula says:

    How can you report a Craigslist scam without the post ID? Post was removed & the initial email from the seller does not include the post ID.

  44. kristin flint says:

    I came very close to being scammed. Luckily I figured it out before the guy was able to pick up the money, and was able to call money gram and stop the transaction. Thank God ! I am selling a antique stove on craigs list for $500. I received a text from the interested buyer , who lived out of town. He offered me more money to hold it for him until I received his payment. He would be sending me a cashiers check that day and I should receive it in a couple of days . I didn’t hear from him for a couple days and didn’t receive any check in the mail , I was thinking the guy never sent the check and was no longer interested in the stove. I was annoyed that I had told others that inquired, that it had in fact been sold. About 5 days after he said that he mailed the check he started texting me a lot asking if i had received his check yet , i would reply
    ” no I haven’t receive a check from you ” the texts continued everyday. Then he started telling me that he was starting to feel uneasy that he put this kind of trust in me when he doesn’t even know me , he just had a good feeling about me , but maybe he has made a mistake , he even said and this was weird , that the funds had already been taken out of his account so someone must have cashed the check , inplying that I was ripping him off .I though how could this guy not know that when a cashiers check is issued it comes straight out of your account right then , its not like a personal check . He kept saying well there was no reason it should take this long . I said I don’t know what to tell you I have not received anything from you!! It took a week and a half but I finally received the check .the check was made out for $1600.00 I texted him and told him I received his check but it was written for to much, the stove was only $500 he replied that he needed me to pay the shipping company that would be picking the stove up that is the reason that the check was for this amount .And he wrote ” I need you to be honest about this I am a God fearing man, and I believe the good in people and I have putt all my trust in you , so please be honest with me .” I feel really stupid that I fell for this because even though it sounded bizarre I thought well if the check clears in my bank I didn’t understand what this person could possibly be getting from me . The check cleared with my bank and the funds were in my account .So I let him know he could start the process with the shipping company. He replied that he had contacted the moving co. They said that the funds would have to be wired to them before they would even send the truck out to pick this up. so I was going to have to get the cash( $1000.00) and send it in a money gram . I said okay and he sent me the name and info to send it. This is where it get way weird the name is Okima thurman in indiana , I live in california , why would the shipping company be a persons name and this far from where I live , I told my husband about this and he said somethings is not right he tried to make sense of this and even called the bank and confirmed the check had cleared. I went to the bank got the cash and then to a money gram location and sent the money . an hour later while I am in the grocery store I received a text from my husband that said DONT SEND THE MONEY ITS A SCAM !!! I called him, he told me he googled craigs list scams and saw all the people that have been scammed the same way with the exact same story.I told him I sent it an hour ago, and even took a photo of the receipt,with the reference number and sent it to my buyer. I called money gram in a panic and told them I needed to cancel this transaction and It was my lucky day because he had not got to his location yet to pick up the money and they were able to cancel the transaction I am sure I was minutes maybe even seconds form loosing $ the 26.00 they charge to sent the money gram .About 2 weeks later I got a call from my bank informing me that i had deposited a cashiers check that was fake and no good . I do have this guys name I have made a police report of this , I googled his name and it is a couple man and woman that have a criminal record so long they have been in prison for bank robbery , hit and run , you name it they have done it . I will never be so dumb again!

  45. Dee says:

    So,I was looking for an infant swing in good condition and found one for $50 on Craigslist. I emailed the seller and asked some questions and was happy with the response. The next day I texted the seller and she said she would deliver the swing and I thought that was great. I then got a text that her friend had it and was wondering if I could pay her the $50 first and I would get the swing later in the week!! seriously? Lol I told her I wasn’t interested and then she text me back saying she could bring it to me later today. I’m not falling for it and it all just seemed fishy to me. Now she is texting me none stop … Um?

  46. Dave says:

    I have had some success with CL but am finding more and more scams as time goes on. For me when searching CL for a new boat I’ll find one I like and respond only to get a em back asking for more contact info as the CL em isn’t satisfactory. Naturally the price is attractive to draw me in and since the poster usually only has a little info on boat or camper I google search for more pics using images and 9 of 10 time I’ll find the exact boat or RV for sale on different site and unit has been sold 5 years ago. Another tell tale for me is when a poster uses a town near me and there is no location map. I’ve also found that these same posters will not speak to you in person on the phone # on the listing but always em right after you call but still can’t meet you in person to show the boat or rv for one BS reason or another. You gotta be careful, bad people out there looking for your hard earned. And even after reporting I still find the scam ads on CL, apparently CL doesn’t police or respond to scam reports

  47. tj says:

    I have received two different texts from buyers from 916 and 213 area codes – both
    California for a set of dining room furniture. they want my address to mail me a cashiers
    check and then schedule a pickup of the furniture after the “check clears.” They indicate
    they have other properties as well. This does not sound right to me. Any comments?

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, same situation, selling a washer and dryer. Text from California and Florida saying they will pay with cashiers check and when it clears they will have the movers pick them up. So I told them no problem, but pay the movers the extra $750.00 and then they could pay me in cash. No response yet.

  48. ms says:

    Good advice, but, mostly for sellers, I’m about to buy a rent to own house, I asked for a physical address of the house, pics r on cl, my wife and I looked at it, with a friend of the seller, he claims the seller has known him a long time, but , neither the seller or the buyer will give us the address , claiming their not sure what it . wondering how did they find the two houses they have on cl? Should I not buy? I also asked for a receipt seller said to tear up the receipt after we have deed in hand.

  49. Alex says:

    This is what I’ve got. No questions about the quality of the lot (the photos even were not very clear). Such a big red flag:

    “Good afternoon, I want the Bedroom Set for sale this weekend. I will be sending a Cashier check from my Bank today and will overnight the payment asap.
    it will deliver to you via USPS Courier.I don’t mind adding extra $50 reserve fee to hold this furniture for me and remove it from CL. Get back to me with your:

    Full Name.
    Full Address.
    Cell #.
    Actual price ..
    I will also make arrangement for the pickup as soon as payment clears at your bank.The payment will deliver in 1 business day.

    Mary Burnette”

  50. ttkammer says:

    I use Craigslist often, and have never been scammed. However, the moment I post an item, it get bombarded by scam texts. Here’s what I am learning…

    The first hint is that they actually “copy and paste” the title directly from the Craigslist ad. I usually use symbols in my title to make it stand out (“+++Brand New Ford F-150 Tires+++”, for example), and sure enough… every scammer includes my title in their text.

    The second hint is that they are all from out of town area codes.

    The third hint is that the grammar is horrific (they read exactly as you would imagine a non-English speaking foreigner speaking) and they never reference the actual item… only referring to it as “the item”.

    The fourth hint is that there is ALWAYS some reason that they can’t pick the item up in person (out of town, transferred for a job, active military duty, etc…).

    The fifth hint is that they’re offering to pay by a certified cashier’s check, a bank check, etc…

    The sixth hint is that someone else will be picking the item up.

    The seventh hint is that they usually offer more than I am asking (to hold the item), and then are also going to include the shipping fee… trusting that I will cash the whole check and then pay the shipper when he shows up.

    I’ve seen this exact pattern over and over again. I had Verizon turn off the “third party payments” option (apparently there is a a different text scam that charges something like $9.99 for every text sent to that particular number), and now I just mess with these (insert your favorite profanity here). I give them fake addresses, lead them on for days and days, express how excited I am to be selling the item, getting an extra 10%, convince them that the internet is an alien/government conspiracy, etc… I currently have a guy sending a $1,900 cashier’s check to Fah Q. Scammyr at the White House for a subwoofer system I have listed for $500.

    Beware folks… this has been happening to me for years, but apparently still works on some people because they’re still trying to pull this one off (I literally just got a text this minute, asking about “the item”, and asking me to text her mum at an out of town area code).


  51. Tony says:

    Hey guys, I was looking for work, and the man texted me wanting me to POST WEEKLY ADS for part TIME WORKERS. He was guiding me as to what he wanted as an ad, then publish it, using my account, and then send him back the link to the POST. Is this fishy or look like a scam??? Please help – I get lots of responses to my resume for work. But the people always seem to be out of town or want to hire me on the spot.

  52. JL says:

    Thank you all, for all these experiences. I have listed a piano for $500. A text, claiming to be an “Army officer’, is out of town, and his mover will pick it up, after his check clears at my bank. Of course, similar to all your stories, he is out of town, and wants to pay by Cashiers check, wanting my full name and mailing address.
    I dont know why, but it sounded wired…. so I found this great postings- and now my suspician is confirmed. I didn’t want to blow an opportunity, as I need to move…
    But I answered the text by saying;”
    ‘Hi Ed, I would love to sell you my Piano. Are you suggesting you mail me a check because you are out of town? If this is the case, as far as I know, a cashiers check is already deducted from your account when it is written, correct? When do you come back in town?’
    I will see if there is a response…..
    I agree, cash only, local buyers……

  53. Adrienne Rushmore says:

    I have a question. I posted my engagement ring on CL and a guy from another state said he was interested in it. He said he is also going to transfer the money (more then I was asking) through money Gram. I was wondering is this a scam? Should I not do it?

  54. Saved says:

    This has been fun reading, you’ve all been helpful. I am trying to sell a set of bunkbeds on CL for $200.
    Scammer-Hello,how are you doing today, do you still have the desk for sale?
    Me-Hi, yes, the bed is still available if you’re interested.
    Good, i am interested in having it and i know it is in good condition right and what is your final price for it?
    M-$200 firm, the trundle board does wobble, the back door is off & there are cosmetic issues (markers, stickers, etc.) only. The bed/ drawers & desk are solid. If you would like to come by tomorrow or Wed. to disassemble & load, I’ll have some help here. Let me know what time you are available & I’ll forward the address. Thanks!
    S-Okay i’m glad it is in a good condition, I’m currently out of town at the moment and i will love to have. It is a nice piece.I’m willing to add an additional $20 just to secure the purchase.
    M-No one else has offered or expressed interest, I’ll let you know if anything comes up.
    S-Thank you, I will be out of town till the end of October. i will love to have it. i can send you a cashiers check tomorrow. If that’s okay kindly send me your full name and a mailing address.Thanks
    Me at this point thinks it’s off & asks Husband about it, but he thinks a cashiers check sounds legitimate. So I do.
    Scammer-Please I will include the movers fee, so when you have your cash remove your item fee then the remaining goes to the movers when they come for pick up. am willing to add extra $20 for the stress…and can you please give me your number, so i can send a text as soon as i have the check sent
    M-Sorry, no cell phone & am unable to receive text. Please send your phone number so we can talk in person
    S-Hi..I just want to inform you that the payment will be delivered to your address today, please let me know when you have the check with you for further instructions…Thanks
    M- I go to the mailbox & there’s an envelope from VA Beach w/ an Illinois credit union check for $1950.27. I’m in NC. Per someone elses excellent suggestion I call the credit union who is legit & does in fact have a West Saharan branch. She said they have been experiencing fraudulent checks & my check number is a fake. I guess from here I’ll string the scammer along. The English was off, but not as bad as I would have expected.

  55. Yia says:

    I just recently encountered a scam attempt to sell a car on Craigslist. 1. Make sure to not exchange messages via text. Always use email so your phone does not get flooded with spam text messages once you’ve determined the situation to be a scam. 2. Check back on the listing. Sometimes these fake listings get listed for attention, but then removed once the scammers have gained enough interest. The listing could be gone by next day and it’s a dead give away. 3. Drill into the email address from the seller and make sure it’s a valid email. Often times there will be emails using unusual servers like or . Normal people would just use a business, educational, or gmail/yahoo email. 4. I read that eBay does not have a warehouse to store and ship vehicles for you to inspect and ship back vice versa. 5. Beware of fake links to ebayphotogallery. Will look something like . Hope this helps.

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