Is this CraigsList response for real?

I posted a washer and dryer combo for sale on CraigsList for $125.00
So far, one fellow has responded in email…

I responded via email that they are indeed, still available. Also, to please give me a phone number to contact him directly.

He responded

There are some grammatical and syntax errors that I can overlook, but my
BS-meter is starting to peg because…
-He gave no phone number as requested.
-He noted “the item” or “it” rather than “the washer and dryer”.
-He won’t come out in person.
-Cashier’s check (BIG red flag!)
-He refers to “the ad” and “on the web” rather than “CraigsList”.

A friend of mine thinks I’m overreacting and to set up to sell the item given the parameters set forth by the potential buyer.
I’m smelling a scam.

Your thoughts?

Scam. S/he probably copied and pasted that shit. The response is way too impersonal and damn certain about the way you MUST do things… ‘‘I would advise you withdraw the advert from the web’’? That’s so sketchy. I would think a normal person would inquire, ''Cashier’s check okay? Can you…(blah blah)? Nope, this is highly suspicious. I would not do business with this person.

Of course it’s a scam. He’s “satisfied with the condition of the item” without looking at it, he wants to make an “outright purchase immediately,” which reads more like a response to an ebay ad, and he wants to pay with a cashier’s check. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason to even respond to this email.

Note that the same wording appears in the scam email mentioned here.

It’s a phish.

He’s a crook.

Screw him.


Write back and say you will only accept green tickets with dead presidents. You won’t hear back.

just of curiosity, assuming you receive the cashier’s check, how can they scam you, presumably the cashier’s check is valid? or can one fake a cashier’s check that you discover only after attempting to cash it (and after the item has been taken possesion of) that it is invalid?

Exactly, enigm4tic – a scam is for the cashier’s check to be faked, and the bank doesn’t catch it for a few weeks. However, they credited the money immediately, and the goods have already shipped, so the seller is SOL.

Most people deposit them. The bank of deposit usually has no way to tell if it’s a valid check, but when the issuing bank refuses payment, the bank of deposit will then take the funds back out of the depositor’s account. At that point, you’re screwed.

Notwithstanding all the good advice so far, just answer with, "As a matter of course, your item will be shipped four weeks after your cashier’s check has been deposited. When remitting your check, please supply your full name, complete street address, birth date and social security, and driver’s license details.

“The four week detail is needed because I have all of my goods personally delivered by Guido’s Movers. Their service is 100 percent guaranteed.”

They guy doesn’t want your stuff, and could care less if you deposit the check. The movers won’t arrive. It’s all a scam to get you to go to the web site of the “bank” where you will be expected to enter name, address, etc. to get the Guaranteed Bank Check sent to you by extremely reliable folks.

It’s a fake web site, and your name and address and whatever numbers he can get you to enter are all he wants.

It’s called Phishing.


Either that or he’ll claim that he wants the cashier’s check to be in an amount higher than the value of the items you are selling, and would you please just deposit the check and give the difference to the movers as their payment.


Very common one, too.

Yep. So much so, that Craigslist specifically warns users against it.

Very real.

I deeply believe that there is probably an actual human being who copied, pasted, and emailed you and is planning on taking your money.

I want to think that not everything is truly automated yet…and that some professions have not been taken over entirely by computers.

“In God we trust”, all others pay cash.


Well, I guess that answers my question!

The cut-and-paste-whole-cloth-from-a-completely-different-ad is the one that convinced my friend that, just possibly, it might be a scam.

Deja vu?

Two months ago, I got a response to ad ad I posted about a sofa and here’s how it went:

Something about her creeped me out and I didn’t bother replying to her. At first I thought I was just being prejudiced against people who can’t form coherent sentences, let alone spell, but now I realize I am not the only one who’d be suspicious about similar replies.

This should be a lesson to every American child to stay in school and master basic grammar. If you don’t, nobody will ever sell you anything online! :smiley:

You joke, but I actually choose my freecycle giftees based on the grammar and spelling, and even style, of their emails. I’ve no problem with obvious ESL situations, and I’m happy to work with them, but L33T me or write in all caps or come across as a demanding snot, and I’m moving down to the next person on the list. I would do the same on Craigslist, assuming I had more than one offer.

The first and best clue to a scam is the “your item” phrase instad of the actual thing being sold. These I just delete immediately.

If you advertise on craigslist (which is very good), get an extra Hotmail or Yahoo email address with no clue as to your real name, and use that.

I’ve sold a lot of stuff this way, and almost every time get at least one scam reply.