Today’s Top Scam

We have some dining chairs we'd like to sell. After the usual months of procrastination, I took pictures and posted them on Craigslist, where I've always had pretty good luck unloading things quickly. I think if I really wanted to sell these in a hurry, I'd post them on a Friday or early Saturday, when I think people are in garage-sale mode. But add Factor P (for procrastination again) and it was Sunday afternoon before they were actually online. I got one email soon afterward, from "Kelly Walker," who asked whether the chairs were still available. Yes, "Kelly," they are, I responded. I didn't check my email again until this morning. I had another note from "Kelly":

Hello,

I appreciate your response to my inquiry.I am interested in buying the items and i am ok with their description and conditions and i am also satisfied with their price($150).I would have love to come and check it myself but am not chance now,because I just got married and am presently on honeymoon trip to Honolulu in Hawaii with my wife and I would love a surprise change of furniture in our home on our return because my wife like surprises. Please do withdraw the advert from the website with immediate effect,as i don't mind adding $50 for you to do that for me,so i can be rest assured that the items are held for me,I will be making the payment to you via a Certified Check in us dollars which my secretary in united state will mail across to you and as for the pick up,i will know how to handle that with my mover that has been helping me to move in new furnitures into our home. My Mover will come for the pick up once the Certified Check has been cashed and i will like to complete this transaction before Wednesday the 22nd of July.If this arrangement is ok by you kindly send me both your name and full address to post the payment immediately and i would appreciate you include your phone#,i.e….

(1)..Your full name
(2)..Your full home address or your office address
(3)..your zip code
(4)…your phone number to contact you

And please i don't want a P.O BOX address because i want the payment to get to you at your house or your office address to make the transaction fast.Thanks and get back to me with the full info as soon as possible.Thanks

"Kelly," who wrote me from kellywalker100@gmail.com, sounds like quite a guy. So thoughtful and generous. He's on his honeymoon in Hawaii, and he stops to shop Craigslist just to find some new furniture to surprise his wife! Such solicitude, too. He'll pay 50 bucks just to get me to hold the chairs for his "mover." And he wants to make sure I get his bunko check without delay. Really the only less-than-glowing thing I can say about him is his English needs a little polishing.

I was tempted to write back: "Dear Kelly: The sale terms are cash only. For scammers, the cash price is double, plus a $500 handling charge. You're responsible for your own attorney's and bail fees upon your arrest and trial for grand theft." When I did write back, though, I stopped at "cash only."

Like everyone else, I've seen multitudes of online scams. Craigslist is apparently rife with them. I'm not sure anyone has ever approached me directly and individually this way before. It's disturbing and offensive, especially when you consider that "Kelly" and his like do manage to sucker the unsuspecting.

14 Comments

Filed under Berkeley, Current Affairs

14 Responses to Today’s Top Scam

  1. Mr. Info Spigot,
    Your blog occurs to me as one of the finest presently available for reading on the Internet. I am certain over the course of time you have been receiving several momentous offers of compensation for the literature produced. In spite of this fact, I am moved to present to you the opportunity to complete a business proposition which will result in the enlargement of your web site audience and revenue generation, to be accomplished with rare speed due to my intimate relations with the famous Rupert Murdoch. If you may kindly reply to this comment with your name, address, Social Security information and a major credit card, I will move ahead in my conversations with Mr. Murdoch, who will assure me that Mr. Sean Hannity and Mr. Bill O’Reilly hold no sway when matched against Mr. Info Spigot. I trust you understand no charges will be made against your credit rating; the information is necessary to assure Mr. Murdoch of our worthy intentions.
    Most sincerely,
    Bruno Enagua, the son of Mr. Mohammed Diarra, a top official of the Ministry of Finance

  2. Dan

    That, sir, is a work of art. Requested details to follow by Western Union wire.

  3. jb

    I like Bruno’s piece. Is that the work of Lydell? It’s a lot better than Kelly’s. Kelly seems like a crank-head. Anyway, you think I could get in on that Murdoch gravy-train? If yes, I’ll post my info on your blog.

  4. Dan

    Bruno is the alter ego of a gentleman in the Pacific Northwest.

  5. sophia

    Kelly has contacted me also about an item of furniture I have on Craigslist. Thank you for your post!

  6. Dan

    No worries, Sophia. Take care out there on the Internet(s).

  7. Dan

    No worries, Sophia. Take care out there on the Internet(s).

  8. jb

    I have a 1996 Saturn engine with 170.000 miles and a ruptured head gasket. It’s sitting on oily cardboard on my back porch now. I wonder if Kelly would go for that? Makes a great honeymoon gift. My wife loves the thing but for 200 bucks? I don’t know.

  9. Lydell

    So anyway….have you downed your merch? (Jim Belushi said that in Thief and I rarely get to use it. Apologies to all for mentioning aforementioned.)

  10. Dan

    I’m still waiting for Kelly to come get it.
    In related un-news, Jim Belushi once made a high school movie in nearby Oakland.

  11. Dan

    I’m still waiting for Kelly to come get it.
    In related un-news, Jim Belushi once made a high school movie in nearby Oakland.

  12. Eric

    lol, i got hit with a similar email AND PHONE CALL, figured i’d push him a little, and here was his response (from a different email addy, for google purposes, kellywalker500@gmail.com):
    Hello Eric,
    I know how you feel but it wasn’t my fault it’s was all my
    secretary’s fault by mistakenly including the movers fund to the
    payment sent to you.The payment was issued out in your name so please
    kindly understand and take patience i believe no one is above
    mistake,this little mistake as coursed a lot of argument and
    misunderstanding between me and my secretary for making such a big
    mistake,it’s was my intention to collect the money from my secretary
    and send it to the mover before and now that the money is already sent
    out to you with your payment i guess i should have the trust in you
    and i can count on you to handle this with care and send the remaining
    funds to my mover via WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER so
    the mover can come and do the pick up of the 2 Oak and Wrought Iron
    Swivel Bar stools at your place.And i want you to know that the excess
    fund included in the payment sent to you is not just for the pick up
    of the 2 Oak and Wrought Iron Swivel Bar stools that i am buying from
    you,but there are also some outstanding balance payment i am oweing
    the mover for the other items he as transported for me and i have
    promised to send it all to him before my secretary made her stupid
    mistake.So kindly consider this and help out with trust and
    understand,i have already gone mad seriously with my secretary so
    kindly do this for me.I know it will cost you a lot of stress that is
    why i am dashing you a token of $100 out of the excess and also,the
    western union charges should be deduct from the money you are to send
    to the mover and not from the token i am giving to you.I need to read
    from you to know if i can still count on you to take care of the
    excess money to my mover,Kindly get back as soon as possible to know
    if i can still count on you,Thanks and God Bless.

  13. JF

    I got the same exact reply from “Kelly” about my Craigslist posting. Lame.
    The scammer(s) just change the e-mail address a bit.

  14. Dan

    Yes, they do. I relisted the chairs I was selling, and got a similar inquiry. There was no answer when I noted the transaction was cash only. I finally sold the chairs on the third attempt to someone from the Bay Area. Having not had this kind of thing happen before on Craigslist–the people I’ve dealt with before have been upfront and honest–I was surprised such modest items attracted such nefarious interest.

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