How do Paypal / Craigslist scams work?

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I've had this happen a few times and I'm always suspicious but have wondered how this scam could possibly work. I looked up Paypal/Craigslist scams but doesn't seem to fit any profiles because the item is a pickup item. I post something on Craigslist for sale. I get the usual email. In a nutshell, "I will send you your exact asking price for the item through PayPal and have someone pick the item up later or something". One time it was a car. Yesterday it was a dining room set. Someone sends me a LONG text message on my phone which is the first dead giveaway but obviously they can spoof their phone number and use software from a computer. I asked them where they were and they said New Jersey but they are most likely in Nigeria or some other [censored] hole country. I usually play around with the person. I ask them, "Don't you want to see the item in person to make sure it meets your expectations?", "Where are you located?". Then the final punchline is, "I only accept cash" then I never hear from them again. I'm assuming they are somehow trying to get into my bank account to withdrawal funds or direct me to a bogus link to some phishing site. But if someone wants to send me money through Paypal but I send them my Paypal email address or ask them for their email address and send them a Paypal request for funds invoice and they send me money, but obviously never pick the item up, how can they scam me? Obviously they are not going to send me money in the first place. What am I missing?
 
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There are many scams like this, but here's the one I saw recently: They'll send you a spoof email with a supposed confirmation of payment. The email looks like it's from PayPal and leads to a website that looks like PayPal, but the scammer has set it up. Once you've entered your password, they'll have it and drain your account. PayPal Spoof Emails
 
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From another member: Ebay doesn't give credit card details to sellers... that would be really stupid Somebody has found a way around that. In April I bought a tablet at a too-good-to-be-true price on EBay, paid w/Paypal (via CC). Auction was reversed by seller, claimed he made a mistake. A day later my PayPal tells me a few suspicious charges are being made, in China. A month later I have several charges on my CC stmt. from the eastern seaboard, buying prepaid cellphones. The seller, by now, shafted several other buyers, and "This user is no longer registered on eBay." www.ebay.com/usr/2012acar70 At least I didn't use my checking account to pay, or he'd have vacuumed that out. But, he still hundreds of dollars from many people. The selling price wasn't as wildly off as this generator, but was low enough to be suspicious.
 
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Could be sending money from a hacked account as a prelude to "I accidentally sent $×××× more for my shipping person. Please forward the balance by Western Union to him." These Nigerians and Romanians have gotten a lot more resourceful as time has gone on. EBay security is a joke. I have bid on private auctions and still received a load of fake second chance offers from all sorts of scammers. The higher range of scammers have people inside of eBay, the card companies, PayPal, and more. All of these companies hire people at minimum wage or near equivalent. They know they can make in a single day what they would normally make in a year by corrupting the system.
 
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I find all these SCAMS quite fascinating. I read all I can and try to stay one step ahead of the Scammers / if you don't, your doomed. But with the Internet, it can't be stopped. As a last line of defense; Regularly check your Credit Card and Bank Acct STATMENTS for suspect activity. Edit: I have noticed when making a purchase on E-Bay (paying with Pay-Pal), I will Confirm & Pay while on E-Bay and WILL NOT be directed to Pay-Pal Acct to log in. That is why I have strong PASSWORDS on the E-Bay Site. And on a side note, when logging onto your E-Mail Acct, have a STRONG Password. That's another one that a Scammer could do a lot of harm. I'm not a computer expert, correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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A friend of mine fell for a scam that was alleging to pay to wrap people's cars with advertising. They sent him a counterfeit check for like $2,000 and told him to send $1,300 of it to the "detail professional" or something like that who was supposed to wrap the car. He took the check to his bank and was able to cash it for $500 but the rest of the amount was held for 3 days. Luckily for my not-so-bright friend his bank called him and informed him that it was a fake check before he sent any money to the scammers. If he would have sent the money to the scammers the bank would have held him responsible for the scam and he would have been required to pay back the money and may have even had criminal charges filed against him. That's kind of messed up by the bank in my opinion. I'm not sure about most banks but I'm a member of a credit union. If that ever happened to me I would be like what the [censored] am I a member here for I thought you were supposed to protect me from that kind of stuff. Anyway that's my little anecdote about Craigslist scams. Personally I don't even like to deal with Craigslist because it's so full of garbage. But I have picked up an old Toyota Cecica with 120k miles that ran great for $1300. Wasn't the prettiest car or the fastest car, but it gets great MPG and still runs to this day with regular maintenance, a new starter, and a new clutch done (all by me so cost was minimum). And a new driver door from the scrap yard because the power window motor burned out. at 290k miles, it's my lady's daily driver. but I still don't like Craigslist. for me, one reliable beater for a fair price doesn't offset thousands and thousands of people dying to steal my money. if you do use Craigslist, deal local, in person, cash only (check watermark if selling) and exercise your 2nd amendment right and conceal carry (or open carry it applicable in your area). they best hope that Mr. Ruger doesn't catch them trying to steal money...
 
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Not to change the subject of SCAMS on Craigslist, but, I once advertised for FREE, (1) Gallon of Paint. I got a call 15 minutes later and the person came and picked it up. He lived (1) Street over from me / 1/2 mile away. I thought that was funny.
 
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I understand where you are coming from, but I would recommend against the open-carry. Remember thathat in a Craigslist transactions, both parties are strangers from Craigslist. If one of those strangers shows up with a gun strapped to his side, it can lead to a failure of transaction at a minimum, or a greater misunderstanding at worst.
 
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yeah i suppose open carry is probably a bit much, I'm sure scams are much less common with in person transactions anyway. I live in Colorado, an 'open carry state', which does seem a little wild wild west-ish. but I don't believe conceal carry, if done safely,legally INTELLEGENTLY, and actually concealed, is ever a bad thing. I like to conceal carry as much as possible, they have some pretty crazy holsters, shirts , and even holster shirts down at the army surplus store made specifically for concealing a firearm (or 2!). I spent a bunch of money and got myself a set up for winter when all bundled up (.45acp) and for summer so I can keep packing with less clothes to cover my firearm (.380acp). can't put a price on 'piece' of mind...espically since my state/city (denver,CO) was the first to legalize recreational marijuana, which has been a giant cluster [censored], with all sorts of wahoos moving here from all over the map, beating up random people with lead pipes and what ever else on the 16th street mall <1 mile away from the [censored] state capital building... I feel an excessive need to carry these days. shoulda voted no, but they said all the revenue would make the schools better and the roads better and all sorts of stuff thats not happening. but anyway, I apologize for my rambling.
 
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I'm selling something and got a text message on my phone reading that I had a "craigslist message", whatever that is. The URL in the link goes to "craisglist.com." Read the transposed letters carefully. wink The common phishing type scam here is to read 2005 Hondda Acord navigation laetherseat Cleantittle++++$2093 with a picture of a license plate less car (and with no windshield inspection sticker) parked in an anonymous looking apartment parking lot, without snow, and with trees not native to here. and then they rope you in to somehow paypalling for the "too good to be true" car.
 

TurboFiat124

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Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
I understand where you are coming from, but I would recommend against the open-carry. Remember thathat in a Craigslist transactions, both parties are strangers from Craigslist. If one of those strangers shows up with a gun strapped to his side, it can lead to a failure of transaction at a minimum, or a greater misunderstanding at worst.
The main problem with Craigslist is most people are too cheap. I mean I'm like the next guy. I like to get a good deal but if something has value I don't care to pay for it. I bought a used 4 year old trash compactor for $65. I priced these new anywhere from $500 to $1200 and told the seller that I had priced them new and if it worked I wasn't even going to bicker on the price, that I was happy to pay him $65 for it. What a wonderful appliance! Best thing since microwave ovens! Now I don't have to sneak my excess garbage my wife generates in my neighbors trashcans at 5:30 in the morning before heading off to work. In one incident I put a bird aviary up for sale my father built my wife. I got a couple of calls but nothing serious. Nobody would buy it. I kept dropping the price down. Finally after 6 more months it was taking up room in my basement and it had to go so I put it up for free. I had 50 calls by the end of the day. The guy who ended up buying it said his wife had seen it on there when I had it up for sale and wanted it but didn't want to pay $300 for it. I guess she was hoping eventually I'd have to get rid of it and put it up for free. One of the worst experiences was trying to sell a '92 POS Nissan Sentra that I could get to run (engine kept flooding out) even after putting a new coolant temperature switch and connector on it which the OBD I check engine code said was wrong with it. I hate Nissans. They are such fussy cars. My wife has a Cube. I hate changing the oil in that thing. I put the Sentra up for sale for $300. The only people that came out to look at the car were trailer park, inbreed, white trash, meth head looking bumbs. One family came out and one guy sitting in the back seat looked like he was passed out. But he may have just been asleep after working the night shift. I doubt it! Then some guy comes over (still inbreed looking) to look at it and asks if I would take $200 for it. I said, "Yeah I guess, I really want this thing off my property". The car was not actually mine to begin with but I had given the owner $300 and he gave me the title. Long story. He told me he was going to have the car towed home but later decided that he was going to hook a chain to it and pull it home. The brakes were down by this time. I'm not sure what he had to do to the car but he came over with some tools, I guess to bleed the brakes. Ordinarily I would have helped the guy but since he bickered with me on the price, I didn't even ask the guy if he needed help. Because I was so [censored] about the car being on my property for so long, stumping me on why it was flooding out and trying to get rid of it.
 
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Just be careful on buying tires off of it folks. A client got burned, recommended she get cheapest Hankook Winter tires she was flat broke and she was happy with them and still says they are great after 3 Winters. You wont save off of Craiglist tires unless you know your stuff. Even then I can get people into new sets of tires for a bit more. Tires age and crack! too many variables for average folk IMO.
 
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This is a tangent, but a check can come back quite a few days later. The only way I see to get a buyer's check cashed and stop it from coming back is to get a check cashing service to cash it. Google "check cashing service holder in due course" for why.
 

TurboFiat124

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Originally Posted By: The_German
Just be careful on buying tires off of it folks. A client got burned, recommended she get cheapest Hankook Winter tires she was flat broke and she was happy with them and still says they are great after 3 Winters. You wont save off of Craiglist tires unless you know your stuff. Even then I can get people into new sets of tires for a bit more. Tires age and crack! too many variables for average folk IMO.
Hate to say it but I sold a set of 11 year old 16" tires that came off my Subaru for $40! I had people beating the door down for those things. When I had new tires mounted, I told Sears to just throw them in the back and I was going to try to sell them instead of paying their tire disposal fee. Otherwise I'd just sneak one tire at a time in my trashcan until I got rid of them like I've done with old tires in the past. They had sat under some trees for about five years until I got around to putting them up for sale. They were full of water, leaves and hickory nuts. One day I decided to clean them up inside and out and had them sold by the end of the day! I wasn't trying to screw anybody. I personally wouldn't buy used tires but some people will. With 17" tires, you can't give them things away, I've found out.
 
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Originally Posted By: bioburner
The pet section is full of cute puppies and are nothing but scammers trolling
Definitely this. My next door neighbor in an avid animal lover and she likes to get on dog and puppy forums. She gets tons of scammers pm'ing her all the time trying to lure her in. She just deletes any and all messages from anyone outside of her family and relatives.
 
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If you sell something and receive an email that looks like a Paypal comfirmation and asks you to click on it, DO NOT DO IT. Instead go to your own Paypal log on screen and review the account activity to prove the payment was real. People may disagree with this or think it's not PC, but my experience in law enforcement shows the majority of these internet and/or telephone scams, especially involving checks that you are asked to deposit in your account, are scams that originate in western Africa or eastern Europe. Always be aware and keep your antenna up.
 
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If they are using PayPal, a lot of times they will load their PayPal account with fraudulent funds/stolen credit cards. They will always over pay. Then ask you to "refund" the money or forward money to an "agent". Once PayPal realizes the funds are fraudulent ( a week later), they will hold you responsible for the missing funds if you have already withdrawn the funds.
 
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Interesting reading. I must be doing something wrong. I finally set up a Craigslist account, posted three items and......nothing. No hits. No spam. Nada. I did receive a posting confirmation from CL, so I know my email is correct with them. Thanks for the reminders to NEVER click on any link sent. I've never done that. I've used PP but very long ago. I remember actually reading their "conditions/terms of use" statement about 15 yrs ago, wanting my checking acct. number to "make access easier". I skoffed...for who??? NO WAY I was going to do that. I called my bank asking about setting up another account and the woman responded "Why worry?" Whaaat? "You're the bank. It's my account and money. Now I'm worried about your attitude!" What a ditz......
 
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