I’ve listed a couple of things on Craigslist recently. I generally prefer selling on Craigslist because its free, but you do have to deal with scammers. Generally my policy is to avoid them, but this week I decided to let the story play out just to see what happens. The “person” that wants to buy my iPod is firstname.lastname@example.org (aka Banderos Smith), and he’s “paying” for it to be shipped to Nigeria.
When he wrote me back, he offered me more than I was asking. Just to jack with him, I raised the price even further, and of course he went for it (when you don’t plan to send any money at all, what’s another $30 or $40?). So first I get a spoofed email from Paypal, saying that my account has been credited. I have to say that its a pretty bad spoof. But then it gets more interesting, I’ve gotten a total of three spoof emails so far.
The first email was sent by email@example.com, with the name showing as firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use gmail (or Google apps) then you’ll see right off that the email was not sent by Paypal. The email asks you to send the shipment tracking number to “Paypal” at the same pp305 email address. Any astute user will note right off that Paypal does not send their emails through any free email service, ultimate email or otherwise.
Within minutes of receiving that email I got a second, again from email@example.com. This one is a reminder of the safety measures that Paypal takes to ensure the security of my account. Once again, its pretty easy to identify it as a fake.
At that point, I sent Banderos an email saying nice try, and I figured we were done. I forwarded both of those emails to Paypal so that they’re aware of them, and went about trying to sell my iPod. This morning when I woke up I had an email supposedly from the FBI, threatening that if I didn’t provide a tracking number within hours that I’d be facing legal consequences. This one was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of these emails was obviously a fake. I’ve pointed out a couple of obvious errors, there are several others that I won’t mention here because I don’t want to make it easier for them to fool someone else. Lets just say that there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting that this is a scam, for anyone that has the inclination to look.
Seller beware. The fact that they’ve put so much thought into this scam indicates that they’re taking advantage of enough people to make it worth their while, which is pretty sad. I still prefer Craigslist to eBay because its free. I’m sure I’ll be dealing with more cretons like these soon enough.