Selling stuff online? Read those offers carefully before you are sold out

You are all done with the treadmill, bike, crib or toys and wonder “How can I sell this?”  Many people turn every day to Craigslist to help them sell their used (or even new) goods so it’s no surprise that someone would test out their skills there in a cross between a Paypal/Credit card hoax and the “I have money for you from a lottery/unknown inheritance/or just because I’m dying and I wanted to pick some random email address to give money too.

In today’s particular Craigslist scam a group of exercise equipment items were up for sale.   The seller receives a request for more information which is provided.   Next she receives the following message . . .

Thanks for the mail..Due to the nature of my work,phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it.I am offering you  additional $300.i will be paying you with my credit card via my PayPal account,If my offer is accepted send me your:

1.PaypalAccount Name:
2. Paypal email address:
3. Mobile Phone Number:
4. Address:
I can pay in right away.I am a sailor and do not have much time around the Internet.Make sure you get back to me so that we can arrange for pick up as i will like the item to be picked,so no shipping.I insisted on paypal because i dont have access to my bank account online as i dont have internet banking, but i can pay from my paypal account, as i have my bank a/c attached to it, i will need you to give me your paypal email address so i can make the payments as soon as possible and pls if you dont have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go ( a link was built in on the word paypal that I removed before posting) and get it set up , after you have set it up.

She forwards it to me and my response is . . . “Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me I’m an educated woman!”  Okay so it doesn’t rhyme quite as well as it should but you get the idea.   This consumer took one look at this email and knew it was a fake offer, and asked someone else for a second opinion just to be sure.   Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • Who offers $300 more than your asking price?  If it looks too good to be true it probably is.
  • See all the writing errors?  Lower case letters when they should be upper,  missing articles like the and an, and poor grammar and spelling are also usually an indication of a fraudulant offer.
  • Don’t touch that link!  Don’t have a paypal account? That’s okay, I’ll help you by providing this handy dandy little link here.   So, not only are you setting up a fake paypal account and giving them all your information to do so, you are also taking a chance on picking up a virus, malware or keylogger program when you open the browser window.

Selling used goods online can be a great idea.  It gets rid of things you don’t want anymore, it’s good for the environment because it is not being dropped into the trash and it may even make you a little money.   But as you place your ads make sure that your goods are the only thing up for sale, and that your identity, personal and credit card information is not taken away by the highest bidder.