Scam Alert: When selling online, watch for fake buyers

Special to the Idaho StatesmanMarch 20, 2014 

Buying and selling on Craigslist continues to carry a warning of "beware."

Bob Craft, of Eagle, a 60-something seller, says he has used the Internet to get rid of unwanted items and make a little money on the side.

"I've been selling some furniture on Craigslist," he said. "It seems like if the item is more than $500, I get text messages."

Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, resumes and discussion forums. Generally, seller and buyer can either call or email offers and arrange for payment.

On a listing for a table and chairs, Craft says he was frustrated because he recognized the "buyer" was a scammer.

What gave it away was the misspelling and poor wording, Craft says:

Buyer: I need you to consider it sold to me and in response to that i need you to send me the name you will want me to put on the cashiers check as well as the address you will want me to mail it to. Please get back to me asap so i can get to forward your payment to you asap, my shipper will be comung for the item as soon as you get the check and you cash it

Craft: Before I can consider it sold to you, I need you to give an absolute guarantee that you can provide me the exact date that your shipper will arrive to pick up the piano. As I said before, I need to break into my neighbor's house the day before to steal it.

Buyer: Yes, i assure you my shipper would come for the item as soon as you get the check and cash it.

Buyer: And the delivery of mail would decide on when my picker would come for the item.

Craft: Ok. Then I will need the name, address, and telephone number of your picker upper so I can contact him and schedule a date for pick up. I will then schedule my man for the break in at my neighbors.

Buyer: Okay, no problem with that, when its tie for pick up i would send all the information

Craft: I just found out that the motorcycle has a bad transmission. Are you still interested in it?

Idiot: Okay, no problem as far as it is fixable.

BBB doesn't recommend corresponding with the scammer. This transcript shows how intent the "buyer" is to get Craft (or you) to cash a check and forward it.

Remember these tips offered by Craigslist to avoid getting caught up in a scam:

• Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do this is likely a scammer.

• Remember, fake cashier checks and money orders are common. Banks will cash them and hold you responsible when a fake check is discovered, usually weeks after deposit.

• Do not submit to credit checks or background checks for a job or for housing until you have met the interviewer or landlord/agent in person.

• Do not share your password with other users.

• Log off after using your online account.

Robb Hicken: 947-2115

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