Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My First Craigslist Scam

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I'm so proud. I was proposed my first Craigslist scam yesterday. If you're a regular reader here, then you know that I'm selling our church's Aviom system. I got an email a couple nights ago from [dr.watt005 [at] gmail [dot] com] asking if the item was still for sale. I said, "Yes," and got this reply back:

Thanks for the mail, I'm seriously interested in buying this for my Son and am okay with your selling price, I'm a Petroleum Engineer and currently offshore, i really want this as a surprise gift for my Son so i won't let him know anything about this until it get delivered to him. You can mail me back with your PayPal email address so i can make the payment to you right now and if you don't have an account with PayPal you can set up an account today as it's secured and reliable visit their website on will be responsible for the pick up agent payment fees/charges on this transaction. Do not worry about shipping or picking up as my pick up agent will come and pick it up from you once have made the payment to you and i will also need your full Name,address and phone number cos it will be needed for the pickup arrangement I would love to speak with you through the phone but due to my work as a Petroleum Engineer i work mainly offshore, our phone is down on the rig right now due to bad weather, We can still communicate through the email exchange for now. I will be looking forward to read back from you real soon with the PayPal email address and your full address including phone number for the pickup arrangement.
I smelled a scam brewing and figured Dr. Watt wanted my paypal info an full name and phone number so he could somehow change my paypal password and gain access to my bank account info. I replied that I would only deal in-person and in cash. Here was his reply:
I insisted on paypal because i don't have access to my bank account online as i don't have internet banking and i can't go to the bank due to the nature of my job, 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 asap for the merchandise and please if you don't have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to and get it set up ,after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail address you use for registration with paypal so as to put the money through...Looking forward to read back from you asap.
I just wrote him back and told him to paypal his pickup agent whom I would be glad to meet in person to exchange the cash for the item. I don't expect I'll hear back.

I say this just as a warning to deal only with folks you know and trust on Craigslist. Deal in cash. If a buyer seems too good to be true, they probably are.

These scammers go by many email addresses and don't give their names.

I still have the Aviom for sale if you are a legitimate buyer. :)

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  1. So interesting. I sold an Akai EWI a couple years back and had something similar. Different details, but they wanted to pay me a bunch of extra money and I could keep some for "my inconvenience". Smelled like some kind of money laundering scheme to me. Something about them sending me cash, but then me going to my bank and mailing them a cashiers check back for a percentage of what was left after the purchase price.

    Of course that didn't happen. Crazy world huh...

  2. It is a crazy world, indeed! I thought about just ignoring the first message, but thought I would play cat-and-mouse a little bit. It was obvious that english is not this person's first language. I thought about asking what his son was going to use the Avioms for.

  3. Ahhh. I just got the same email from our listing a Harley for sale...put the email in the search engine finding your site...
    I will send him the same reply you did. My email is exactly the same as yours.
    These people are such jerks..would like to reach through the screen and poke them in the eye with hot sauce..lololol

  4. Put my camera up for sale and got this email from the same guy:

    watt stone

    10:18 AM (40 minutes ago)

    to me
    Thanks for the reply,i am buying the item for my son who study oversea,so i want you to ship the item to him,I will pay $100 for the shipping cost,I am a member of the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS(USMC)i would have preferred to make this cash payment but i am out of the state presently so get back to me with your PayPal email account so i can pay into your account now,hope to hear from you asap

    1. I got this exact email as well when I was trying to sell a wedding band set.

  5. I put up our boat for sale last night and got the same type of reply from the notorious Watt Stone using

    Hi There,

    Thank you for getting back to me. Can you assure me that it's in good state and that i will not be disappointed with it.I'm ready to pay your asking price and to be honest, i wanted to buy this for my father, but the issue is i am an oceanographer and i do have a contract to go for which starts tomorrow and am leaving any moment from now.The contract is strictly no call due to the lack of reception on the sea area. But I'm able to access email anytime as we will make use of laptop so my only quickiest payment option is PayPal as i can send money via PayPal anytime.Since I'm requesting this transaction to be done via PayPal, i will be responsible for all the paypal fee/charges on this transaction and if you don't have an account with paypal, its pretty easy, safe and secured to open one. Just log on to I hope we can make the purchase as fast as possible? I
    have a mover that will come for it once payment clears and they will take care of every necessary paper for me. So i look forward to hear from you soon. will like to see more pics.
    I need the address where the agent will meet you and your PayPal email address so i can send the money now.

    Hello i just got your mail i wish to come and view this merchandise but am out of state a oceangrapher busy right now......I will also like you to know that i will be paying via PayPal...due to the distance as i am in Bermuda presently...I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the Payment...Your (PayPal email)...I will like you to know that you will not be responsible for shipping i will have my shipping agent come over as soon as you have the Payment...

    Name : Watt Stone
    Address : 941 Greenbay Avenue,
    City : Calumet
    State : Illinois
    Zip-Code : 60409
    Country : United States
    Have a nice day.

  6. Interesting thread. Good to see caution and skepticism displayed.



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