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Beware of Paypal Scams when selling on Craigslist

Posted on Oct 17, 2016 by Paul White

I have always been skeptical of transactions through sites like Craigslist.  Recently I posted a bunch of items for sale.  It wasn't long before the scammers started to contact me.  However I have worked in computers for a long time, and seen enough spam emails, virus infections, and fraud attempts to spot these from a mile away.  So before you sell to someone on craigslist, check if your conversation was going like this, and if it was avoid it.

Posting Items for sale on Craigslist.

I am in the middle of moving, and getting ready to sell various items of electronics and furniture on Craigslist.  As I was listing the items, I was surprized how quickly I was being contacted about my items. Literally minutes after posting I would get a text message.  I had my listings setup so buyers could both call or text me.  Texting is a easy way to communicate, so that makes sense as being the primary way to inquire about items.

The strange thing was I was being contacted by numbers that were no where close to Houston.  If these had been 821, 281, 713 area codes then I would have taken them seriously.  But I was getting texts from area codes 321, 587, 507, 202, 765.  What was a red flag to me was I got the same message from 2 different numbers on 2 different items I was selling, here is the message they sent me.

Your asking price is quite reasonable and affordable considering others I've seen lately.  However, I will like to complete the payment through paypal for the safety of both of us, In addition, I will need your name, the pickup address, or location and please include your Paypal email address for the payment.

It was so proper and polite, and Un American. We don't mess around with nicities.  Communication is short and simple.  This person is obviously not american, and or reading from a script.  I can imagine them doing this from every auction fishing for the weak to respond.

Rules to stay safe Selling on Craigslist.

Be Skeptical of area codes that are not local.

Be Skeptical of buyers who immediately ask for your name and address.

Be Skeptical of Buyers who want to pay extra for you to hold the item.

Be Skeptical of anyone trying to use Paypal on Craigslist.  Seller protection only works when you are shipping an item, and doesn't cover local deals.

Be Skeptical of anyone claiming to be def, and can't talk on a phone and can only communication via texting.

Be Skeptical of anyone who wants you to email them back and them almost immediately they replie with a very long email of how they want the process to go,  Anyone who has a form letter filled out for buying something off craigslist is not up to any good.


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