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Discussion Starter #1
I have some items on local Craigslist. I recieved this email regarding one of them.

"Hello,

Thanks for the mail, i am presently in Houston on a Oil spillage
clean-up training course as a facility engineer of BP Oil Company. Am
ordering for this musical instrument because is urgently needed to be
delivered to my church for choir.

I am on a world Oil spillage clean-up training programme, I am also a
UN worker, due to the nature of the training that is going on here,
visiting of website are restricted but I squeezed out time to check
this advert because I received mail from my church pastor that is
urgently needed that is why I send you an email regarding it.

I can only send you a PayPal payment which protects me and you from
scam and fraud, I insisted on paypal because I don't have access to my
bank account online as I don't have internet banking, but I can pay
from my paypal account, as I have my bank account attached to it,

I will need you to give me your paypal email address so I can make the
payments asap for the instrument and please, if you don't have paypal
account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to www.paypal.com 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.

I have a pick up agent that will come and pick the item up after you
cash the money

Thanks"

On the surface it looks legit, but it has the hair on the back of my neck standing up!

Has anyone seen this response before? Feels real scammy but I can't figure out why.

Thanks
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Oh, for goodness sake.

well...it's not a pastor in Nigeria (oh, wait...there is mention of a pastor after all)...or a widow in London, at least.

There's not a thing legit about this. It has every telltale sign of a scam.

Either ignore or just reply "local sale and cash only, thank you. If you in fact know of someone in my locality who can come pick up the horn...let's make this even easier and forget PayPal altogether....just have him/her make an appt. with me...come...and after paying me the cash, they can walk out with the item."
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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Yep,

First if you didn't email first, the "thanks for the mail" makes this sound like a cut and paste job sent to anyone. And the "ASAP" thing really bothers me too. It looks like this guy will want the horn shipped fast and then do a charge-back so the money is gone before it clears. Also, there's way too much here talking about the safety of PayPal as though he is trying to convince you.

This just doesn't look "Smurfy" to me.
 

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Run away, run away!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's what I felt too. Thanks! This was his second email. The first was just expressing interest.
 

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"programme"/"advert" = not in the U.S.

"this musical instrument" does not specifically even refer to the kind of instrument, which makes no sense at all

Delete and move on.
 

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...visiting of website are restricted but I squeezed out time to check this advert.

...if you don't have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go to www.paypal.com 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.
Word for word...including the suspicious grammar...these exact phrases have shown up in numerous documented cases of scam and fraud. How many legitimate responses are going to just coincidentally include the phrase..."visiting of website are restricted but I squeezed out time to check this advert"...when it's known to have been included (word for word) in so many previously documented scams?
 

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Crook! Thief! Scammers! Scum!!!

Craigslist folks get a lot of that stuff. Mostly its in the form "Is your item still available, if so, I agree with your price. Please send name, address, telephone number so my associate can pick up the item."

I can't write on these pages my typical response to these scumbags. Suffice to say, its rather, uh, indelicate.

I ALWAYS post "cash only, local only, your hand to mine. No shipping, no checks, money orders, wire transfers of any kind" in any Craigslist ad.

And I NEVER respond to them. They're easy to spot. I'm continually amazed at the gullibility of responders.
 

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I'm continually amazed at the gullibility....
I find myself having to bite my tongue on a regular basis to avoid insulting or offending people who are so gullible. Especially on facebook where so many of my friends...people who I always thought were relatively intelligent...fall for click-jack scams and hoaxes so easily. Even more depressing are the ones who fall for them time and time again...after repeated warnings from me about precisely the same scams they get stung by. You'd think they would learn after the first few times, but apparently not. I preach over and over..."If it seems suspicious, look it up on Google. It only takes a few seconds"...but it falls on deaf ears.
 

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Yep, run.

I deal with players all the time. No one writes that much about nothing to buy an instrument. The longest correspondence I receive is people giving important background that led them to ask for something very specific.

This is all well thought out nonsense that has nothing to do with music. The explanation is focused on why you should let yourself get ripped off.

I reserve the right to be wrong but I would hit the delete button and consider myself lucky.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I will buy all of your items in the craigslist ad, but you will have to wait three weeks for my check to clear from winning the UK lottery...kidding.

Please delete the email and report it as a "phishing" scam. If you responded to his first email your address has already been sold to countless spammers. Hope your friends/ contacts like generic e.d., blood pressure and birth control pills.
 

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Definite scam. I get these when I sell stuff on CL. Also loves that these people have a "pickup agent". I always reply "Great, then give or wire your pickup agent the cash and when he/she comes with cash I'll give them the horn/item." Never hear from them again.
 

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Hey: speaking of scams, I got a new one a few days ago - by phone. A perky sounding female asked "hi, is this Thomas?" I said yes. She then said that she was with a local polling company and asked if I could respond to a very brief poll. So I said sure, what's it about? We're doing a marketing survey for xxxxxx company." I asked where she was calling from. It's a local town. So she asked about 10 questions - nothing personal, nothing having to do with dollars, income, age, none of that. O.K. fine. What the hell, we get "survey" calls all the time.

That was a week or more ago. Friday she calls again to thank me for responding the survey, and because of that, she was going to deliver two vouchers for lodging to any one of a number of hotels and resorts. I "paid for them" by answering the "survey." I told her to kiss off. She decided to argue. I hung up.

Before that, about a month ago, a guy with what sounded like a Middle East accent called and congratulated me for winning the lottery - 5 million bucks. Told him to kiss off too. The guy was adamant that I won 5-mil. I hung up. He called back, angrily asking why I hung up on him. Hung up again.

Two weeks later, the same guy, same spiel. High pressure, higher than I can describe, to give me "my lottery winnings." I don't play the lottery. He said "you don't have to, your numbers came up and you won! $5 million!" Told him to go to hell and hung up. He called back, yelling that he had to deliver the money and that he needed my address. Told him to go to hell again. Called back and swore at me. I said thanks, donate the $5 mil to a Christian charity. That really torqued him. I laughed and hung up.

So it isn't only on the 'net where these scum are operating. "Donate to the Maracaibo Fireman's Relief Fund." And "PLEASE! A local Christian group needs your donated instrument to send to Lagos missionaries." The list goes on and on.
 

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i am presently in Houston on a Oil spillage
clean-up training course as a facility engineer of BP Oil Company. Am
ordering for this musical instrument because is urgently needed to be
delivered to my church for choir.

I am on a world Oil spillage clean-up training programme, I am also a
UN worker, due to the nature of the training that is going on here,
visiting of website are restricted but I squeezed out time to check
this advert because I received mail from my church pastor that is
urgently needed
As Phil-tone pointed out, there is way too much info here for merely buying something through the classifieds. Who gives their life story when they want to buy something? Why would anyone give a rat's azz where he works if you're not renting out an apartment? And who cares why he wants to buy it at all or requires a justification? It's all equally unimportant for the seller if he wants it for his church choir, his poor dear old mother, his wife's birthday, all his musically gifted children, or just to buy and then throw away....shut up and pay and don't waste my time.

Of course all this stuff is included because these scam bosses believe you will be conned into sympathetic belief if the purported "buyer" is getting it because his church urgently needs it (urgent...LOL) or for his needy children, the impoverished school music program, or his unfortunate crippled mother who always wanted to play the contrabass sax but couldn't. It's doubly pathetic that they write this obvious B.S. in the first place and then that some people are actually taken in by it.

As to "style", I love the repetition of the line about the "oil spillage clean-up training course". Most people don't repeat the same exact info in the first two paragraphs of a letter unless a) they are cutting and pasting without paying much attention to logical flow, or b) they figure that repeating their purported "humanitarian" occupation will make you believe them. You're supposed to go, "OMG, he works for the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup, so I'll send him all my horns and money too". And just in case that's not enough to sway you, they add that overused bit that he works for the United Nations, since it's a well known fact that so many UN peacekeepers and workers are musicians out shopping for instruments while on assignment. Funny, I didn't know that the UN did oil spill cleanup or that they were affiliated with BP, but what the hey, you learn something new everyday.

And notice the use of the British spelling, programme the second time. Not that a Brit couldn't be in Houston doing a course with BP, but that and the distinct foreignness of some of it -- "visiting of website are restricted" contains 2 grammatical errors -- are big blinking neon arrows pointing to Nigeria.
 

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Ask his pastor to contact you ASAP.

I'd have responded sooner, but I am in the People's Republic of China at the moment and I am in urgent need of a new laptop...
 
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