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OT: Craig list scam?


cedar

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Think I may have accidentally discovered a scam.

 

I posted an ad on CL and on ebay to sell my baby grand piano. The location is listed in NY. I asked for $3500. A guy replies on CL, asks for my phone number to discuss. I provide a cell phone. He calls me from an Arizona number.

 

To this point, he does not have my name or email or address.

 

After about 30 seconds of negotiation, he says he is willing to pay asking price to buy piano for his sister, who lives in Texas. I make sure he understands that this piano is in NY, and cost of moving would be substantial. He purports not to care.

 

He asks if I would take a check. I say not a personal check, but a cashier check. He agrees. Then he asks for my name and address to send the check.

 

At that point I make an excuse and get off the phone.

 

The whole story seems ridiculous. A guy is going to send me full asking price for a piano -unseen - so he can ship piano to sister in Texas?

 

Am I right in assuming that he replied to the ad simply in the hopes of getting my name and address for some kind of identity fraud? Surely, his offer can't be legit.

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Dr is correct, cashiers checks can be counterfeit.

 

You would have to ask your local bank examine the watermark for authenticity

 

Even then, they will hedge on you, saying they need 3-4 days to clear it.

 

So your buyer would have to wait on that.

 

an EFT, bank to bank is safer than the above.

 

The offer sounds far too easy. I would be suspicious. The shipping

cost plus insurance will be very high and damage can be claimed easily.

 

That will be a headache.

 

Sorry to report this.

 

Its easy to google scams. Try it

 

 

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I've had great luck with CL, getting congas, bongos, a K2600, powered speakers, a Moog theremin, and a host of photography goodies. As long as the property is verifiable / testable, it goes okay.

 

Yes, the Piano to Texas, sight unseen, is blinding me with all the red flashing lights.

 

Oh, and I always, always, always use cash-on-site when I buy from CL, so there's never a worry about bounced checks.

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Scam. Red flags:

 

1) long distance, no way to verify his identity. Phone number could be spoofed.

2) offers to pay by cashiers check. That can be counterfeit. It would be weeks before the bank(s) confirm the counterfeit and you're out of a lot of $$$ and a piano.

3) doesn't complain about price or cost of shipping

4) shipping address isn't always legit. Scammers can easily find a vacant dwelling or listed on real estate.

5) how nice of you to provide your cell number, now you will get junk calls and they will spoof your local exchange to fool you into picking up.

 

Ask me how I know.

 

CL is usually legit but scammers do roam there.

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Craigslist was made as a way for people to buy and sell items to each other within their city (it started in San Francisco and soon other metro areas had their own CL).

 

Ignore any and all queries that insist on shipping the item to them (we have eBay and Reverb for stuff like that), or insist that you deliver it to them, or if they insist on paying via PayPal transaction or check. Sorry, no.

 

 

 

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Gibbs Rule #36 (If it feels like you are being played, you probably are).

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

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"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Yeah, I don't have a doubt it's a scam. Only curious what type.

 

More evidence: I got a similar message, purportedly from different person. Each time, the person said it was unnecessary or impossible for them to come check out piano in person. Each time, they asked for address (one asked for street address, one asked for zip code). Each also asked me for my "final price" (using that exact phrase. But each quickly agreed to the asking price.

 

It seems to me this is all about getting more personal information.

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I've gotten some good deals on craigslist (my MOX8, for example)... but I only use it for the initial contact; if buying something, I ALWAYS go over to the seller's house to test the equipment first. Craigslist is only good for local sales (unless you're willing to travel), and even then, just for initial contact.

 

I'll use eBay sometimes to buy a synth (like my PC3), but they have buyer and seller protection schemes... and I've generally been lucky with them. Craiglist has none of that; you're on your own when it comes to the financial transaction.

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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Many local police departments (my small township included) have a designated craigslist meeting area, often in the department parking lot, thats well lit and camera monitored. Anytime I suspect anything potentially dodgy, I suggest such a meet up. If they seem hesitant, its a no-go. If theyre readily agreeable, I feel better about meeting at my, or their house. So far so good. My craigslist dealings have worked out well.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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I love the replies on CL that start: "Is it still for sale?"

 

Dead giveaway they are capturing your email address for spam.

 

Not always :wave:

 

I spotted a Hammond C-2 while at work and due to circumstances beyond my control was not able to respond via personal email for a day or two.

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It's a known scam, most of them originate from Nigeria:

 

https://www.craigslist.ca/about/scams

 

They usually send you a fake check for more than your asking price, and then ask you to send them check (real) back for the difference.

 

Something similar happened to my son. He was on some list, offering himself as a tutor. Someone told him they wanted to do something convoluted like send him a check for a greater amount than asked, and have him return the difference. I made sure he cut off communication with the guy.

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Many local police departments (my small township included) have a designated craigslist meeting area, often in the department parking lot, thats well lit and camera monitored. Anytime I suspect anything potentially dodgy, I suggest such a meet up. If they seem hesitant, its a no-go. If theyre readily agreeable, I feel better about meeting at my, or their house. So far so good. My craigslist dealings have worked out well.

 

If the police has no such area, meet in the parking lot of WalMart or McDonalds where there are people around. Never after the store has closed and deserted. Especially if you're buying and you are exchanging cash.

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I've actually emailed people with the question "is it still available?" Seems like a reasonable question to me.

It's a terrible wording, though. Its a bad idea to ask the question this way. I generally ignore inquiries unless the question demonstrates some knowledge of the thing being sold.

 

Bad: Dear sir, is the item still available?

 

Good: Is that Rhodes stage 73 still available? Any broken tines or sticking keys?

 

As other have already noted, this is an advance fee scam. They send you a bogus check which will take weeks to be discovered as fake. The check will be mailed using an innocent third party's FedEx shipping account. You'll be then pressured to quickly ship the item and cut the buyer a check for the amount they "accidentally" overpaid. When the fake check is finally bounced by your bank, you've lost what you were selling, plus the amount of the refund you sent, plus the bounced check fee your bank charges you.

 

BTW, the point of the scam is not to harvest email addresses. Craigslist anonymizes those. But the initial inquiries are usually generated by bots, which is why they always ask about "it" or "the item" or some other very non-specific term.

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I've actually emailed people with the question "is it still available?" Seems like a reasonable question to me.

It's a terrible wording, though. Don't ever ask the question this way. I generally ignore inquiries unless the question demonstrates some knowledge of the thing being sold.

 

Bad: Dear sir, is the item still available?

 

Good: Is that Rhodes stage 73 still available?

 

As other have already noted, this is an advance fee scam. They send you a bogus check which will take weeks to be discovered as fake. The check will be mailed using an innocent third party's FedEx shipping account. You'll be then pressured to quickly ship the item and cut the buyer a check for the amount they "accidentally" overpaid. When the fake check is finally bounced by your bank, you've lost what you were selling, plus the amount of the refund you sent, plus the bounced check fee your bank charges you.

 

BTW, the point of the scam is not to harvest email addresses. Craigslist anonymizes those. But the initial inquiries are usually generated by bots, which is why they always ask about "it" or "the item" or some other very non-specific term.

 

This ^^^^^ covers all of it. The only downside is that I often find myself searching for hard-to-find items, and will use one of those "Search all of craigslist" engines to see if anyone, anywhere, is selling one. Then I have to write them and say, "I am the dreaded out-of-town buyer Craigslist warned you about, BUT...." I've had maybe half the folks respond open to the sale, which tells me those scams must be pretty successful.

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
www.joshweinstein.com

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Would it still be risky if the buyer agrees to this?:

Wait for the check to clear your bank before shipping, even if it took weeks? Sure, he may try to annoy you during that time, but just remind him of the agreement. If you sell it for cash to someone locally in the meantime, return the check. Worse case, return his $ if it finally clears.

Lenny
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It's a common scam to send a cashier's check for much more than the selling price and ask that you send a return check for the amount overpaid. It takes days or weeks for your bank to find out that the cashier's check is fake. Meanwhile you've sent the scammer real money. They don't even care about shipping the item. I've heard of this scam also being used to purchase a year's worth of music lessons or tutoring or other services in advance. The scammer doesn't care about what's being bought. The scam is entirely in the fake check. Example: he agrees to pay $3500 for the grand piano and says he will ship it to Texas. He sends you a (fake) cashier's check for $5000 and asks you to send him back a check for the $1500 he overpaid. If you do, that's the end of the scam. He's got your money and you've got nothing.
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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It's a known scam, most of them originate from Nigeria:

 

https://www.craigslist.ca/about/scams

 

They usually send you a fake check for more than your asking price, and then ask you to send them check (real) back for the difference.

 

 

 

I had this. I was (still am actually) trying to sell my SK1, for £1200. Guy said he was from France, but turned out to be from Nigeria. Sent me a cheque for £4000, with a request to return the balance. Burnt the cheque, and blocked him.

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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I am also getting similar messages through ebay.

 

Just got this one. Keep in mind the ad indicates that the piano is located in NY. The buyer is reportedly located in Oregon.

 

"I'm offering you $2,350 for this Story and Clark baby grand piano, excellent condition because of the present condition, For quick response and payment through cashiers check only please text me at #9165209744 with your Full Name , Amount and your Full Mailing Address so that the payment can be send shortly after your text message is been received. I will appreciate your response through text message to ease up this transaction. Thanks"

 

Oh one more thing: ebay indicates that the buyer has been a member since yesterday.

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Many local police departments (my small township included) have a designated craigslist meeting area, often in the department parking lot, thats well lit and camera monitored. Anytime I suspect anything potentially dodgy, I suggest such a meet up. If they seem hesitant, its a no-go. If theyre readily agreeable, I feel better about meeting at my, or their house. So far so good. My craigslist dealings have worked out well.

 

This only sounds like a good idea if you are trying to avoid getting mugged. But it doesn't help much if you're trying to avoid receiving faulty equipment.

 

Do you also have the seller remove the synth from the case, plug it in somewhere, and test it? In the parking lot? :puff:

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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