Craigslist Scam?

This is setting off my scam-alarms, so I thought I’d run it past other people’s brains…

A dealer was advertising a used 2nd gen iPad on our local (Pittsburgh) Craigslist for $150. Seemed super-cheap, but not absolutely insane. I contacted for more info.

Turns out the dealer is in Indiana, not PA. More mysterious still, the dealer has far cheaper iPads for sale (although dealer notes that inventory changes constantly throughout the day). Let me paste the (lengthy; sorry) email below:

Email is from “JBelt Customer Service and Sales” (using a email address, which I’m not listing here). Can’t find anything about the company online. Can’t find the specific verbiage of the boilerplate from the email in any online scam warnings. Haven’t called the number yet.

If it’s a scam, they’ve certainly crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s. Any thoughts?

I never buy anything from craigslist that I don’t see in person before I hand the money over. I wouldn’t buy anything from these people.

Of COURSE it’s a scam! If they could sell it on eBay, they could make far more than $150 per iPad. But of course, they CAN’T sell it on eBay, because it’s a huge giant scam.

ETA: Hope you used a spam e-mail address, because this is certainly a way to collect valid e-mail addresses.

PM me the phone number. I’m planning a trip to southern IN and I’ll call to see if I can pick up in person. That’s the surest way to smoke out a scammer.

Yeah, I always use the CL email obfuscator.

PM’ed it to you. Let me know if anything amusing ensues.

Uh, that’s not the way that works. That doesn’t work when *you *send *them *mail. If I set up a CL ad selling cheap iPads and obscure the e-mail address, anyone who sends me an e-mail inquiring about it sends me their e-mail address, completely intact. Sounds like you’ll be getting some spam.

I assume they will then figure out some payment method that leaves them with hot cash in hand, while minimizing the risk of charges. (I.e. don’t use the mail cuz that’s mail fraud)? When does it become “wire fraud”?

Blerg. You’re right. It’s been so long since I used CL that I was thinking it ran both ways.

Alas. More food for the spam filter.

And better yet, tell the seller that your representative was prepared to buy a piano from someone in Indiana, but the deal fell through. He will be carrying a check for $2,350, which he will present to the seller. The seller should cash the check and keep $450, of which $150 is for the iPad and $300 is for the seller’s trouble. The remainder should be given to the representative.