Having fun with Craigslist scammers

I received this message regarding an item I posted a few days back on Craigslist…

Good day, i will like to inform you that i like to buy your item.i will like to know the condition of this item and if it still for sell…

I replied…

The item is here – condition as described in the ad.

Then it gets good…

Thanks so much for the update.The price is not the problem but i think i have to be very careful this time when am transacting on the internet. I had fallen into the hands of some fradulent seller that,collected my money and ver ships out my item. I hope i can trust you? Anyway, i intend to make fast payment as soon as i can before i travel to Bahamas in 2 weeks time. I will making my payment through US Certified check and i will wait till you receive and cash it before i arrange for the shipping.

Shipping will be solely funded by me without you paying a dime, if you are okay with this, let me have your full name and address plus your reachable telephone number as it will be written on the check so that,i can forward it to my finance house to prepare your check immediately for you to receive it on time.

Do get back to me

I want this concerned buyer to know I’m trustworthy. And I love it when people are leaving the country and need an item so quickly that they are willing to send me a “US Certified check” from their “finance house” and cover the shipping! I offer the person the finest assurances I can provide…

Excellent. Please send the check to:

FBI Denver
Federal Office Building, Room 1823
1961 Stout Street, 18th. Floor
Denver, Colorado
80294-1823

The phone number is (303) 629-7171.

Use tracking for the mail, and make sure to pay for the mailing with your valid credit card. When you have noted that the check has arrived, let me know right away. I’ll go straight there and your shipper can meet me immediately.

How’s that sound?

I never got a reply back. I can’t understand why, and am sorely disappointed.

Editor’s note: Of course, the FBI has better things to do than run down two bit scammers. But wouldn’t it be nice if once, just once, one of these morons actually sent a fraudulent check to the FBI, and the Bureau nabbed them?

UPDATE: While stories/comments are greatly appreciated, I don’t have time to edit out email addresses and mailing addresses that might otherwise put someone at risk. Comments containing them get automatically deleted from here on out. Thanks very much.

Single (mixed) post for the week

Light on thought.

  • Check out today’s shocking level of discount window borrowing. Who wants to start a bank?
  • A crank Craigslist posting led to a run on an Oregon man’s possessions. Henry Blodget wonders who’s responsible (i.e. who should pay for the ransacking). I’m wondering when the copycats are going to arrive.
  • Luxury car sales are on the decline, and Ford is selling Jaguar and Land Rover as a result. Not too long ago luxury goods sales were being touted as a mainstay. What changed all of a sudden? Failing hedge funds?
  • New home sales fell to a 13-year low. You wouldn’t know it if all you were listening to was the National Association of Realtor’s counter-productive spin.

Commentary will remain light around here for the next few months…until the project I am working on has reached its next milestone or I catch a ten pound trout, whichever comes first.

Naysayers discount simplicity for headlines

The Wall Street Journal notes that the business.com domain could fetch $300 million for owners Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton, on a $7.5 million initial investment. Meanwhile, everyone is poo-pooing the thing.

Assuming what the Journal says is true and the site is pulling in roughly $15 million in EBITDA…

Techdirt says “At this point, there’s a little more here than just a domain name, but it’s still hard to tell how much of a business business.com actually is.”

Meanwhile, a Wired reporter didn’t even seem to have read the story, when creating the title for criticism “Domain Madness: Business.com For $400 Million?“.

The list of goes on, but the point is clear: if you don’t have fifty AJAX “widgets” scattered across the site a designer charged you $250,000 to create and/or just announced a “lucrative business development relationship” with someone who does (even if they’ve blown through tens of millions in VC money and still don’t have a dime of revenue to show for it), your business is not worth two-cents. I will say that 20X EBITDA is a bit dear for a company growing 50% per annum, but still the context of the naysaying doesn’t get near this point.

You don’t have to look far to find simplicity hitting homers – CraigslistPlenty of Fish; and if you still don’t get the idea, ask Kevin Ham out for lunch.

Beauty is skin deep, and elegance eventually trips on the runway. Meanwhile, ugly seems to be going to the bank.

UPDATE: Mike Arrington chimes in with a more credible tone, and a snack for thought.

I love getting Craigslist scammed during the holidays

It is my favorite time of the year. Everyone wants something for the holidays, and some are willing to try pulling scams from Craigslist to get it.

As a regular reader might know, I just acquired a Blackberry (and by the way, I still haven’t been spammed on it, hundreds of emails later), and I make it a habit of passing the old equipment off on the cheap. So, I am selling this Nokia 6682, which is pretty darn fine condition if you ask me.

And along comes “Greg”…
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Craiglist personals prank highlights internet publicity

If you are posting personal information on an open webpage, expect harrassment, sooner or later. Blogs and MySpace accounts are not immune. Online dating services have taken some measures to protect information, but the bottom line is unless the site is some type of completely private, user authenticated affair where only the people you invite in (i.e. people you already know) get to see your headshot, then you are playing with fire.

Jason Fortuny’s “experiment” (results posted at Encyclopedia Dramatica) with Craigslist personals highlights this lack of privacy. While Jason is bragging away about the publicity he garnered I am sure there are quite a few men hunting for his name, address and phone number.

This doesn’t stop at webpages either. Any email you send may very well get circulated to others – while you have some minimal protection in the fact that forwarded email generally doesn’t contain previous header information (instead just a copy of the original text), what you say and what you attach are fair game. If it is confidential/company information, don’t send it period. If it is nude photos of yourself on a lawn chair, designed to lure some overnight company while the spouse is away, have at it – you are likely already doomed.

***UPDATE***

Wired has an analysis of the “experiment” – they are calling Jason sociopathic. I’d tend to agree, although I’ve seen email sent to people considered credible, “pillars of the community,” find their way back to the sender with very “colorful” commentary.

Scammers are SO SO silly

I am trying to sell a nice little laptop via Craigslist. And sure enough, I receive a flood of offers for more than the asking price, by folks who spell like a first grader (actually, that is insulting first graders).

Crazies calling themselves “Sean Craigs” and “Samar Moreex” even go as far as to mock up fake Paypal and Bidpay “payment notifications” – afterword which they demand shipment before “accepting” these payments.

Note: that if you are interested in a loaded Dell C840 still under next day warranty, send me an email, and I will send you the details.

Now, on to the scam barrage..
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Craigslist’s Anti-Spam Button

I noticed that Craigslist recently introduced a series of buttons at the top of their listings. These buttons are designed to assist in the moderation of posts, so the staff of Craigslist doesn’t have to. Included in the group are implementations for miscategorization, prohibited posts, links to discussion boards, voting for “best of”, as well as marking posts as spam.
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