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Locked: Craigslist warning signs

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  • Mar 29th, 2009 1:33 am
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Deal Addict
Dec 13, 2007
1588 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto

Craigslist warning signs

I've done alot of buying and selling on CL, dozens of items, thousands of dollars. I think I'm a pretty savvy customer but I got taken, for the first time.

This was a cell phone that is "dummied" "negative file" from bell. It was less than a hundred dollars. This post is about warning signs that I could have paid attention to but didn't.

Each of these things aren't a problem, but a professional scammer would guarentee to use all of them, and this should start ringing bells and upgrade precautions:

1. Email was public, ie, gmail, hotmail. Not a school or ISP email, or the gold standard, a work email.
2. No phone number or if given a phone number, claims they cannot answer
3. Meets in a public place that offers no information about the identity of the person. The place is safe (which protects them in the unlikely event they come across a past mark).
4. During the transaction, no ID is offered or shown, no wallet is taken out, despite the fact they were handed significant amounts of money.

I thought about making sure the transaction was done at a bell world, which would have prevented this problem, but I calculated that it is unlikely a scammer would make alot of money off a $100 phone and be willing to meet (even be photographed in person). Seems like I was wrong.
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
5653 posts
147 upvotes
New Westminster
I bought a cell phone about 2 years ago from a guy and he had a great idea which I use whenever I CL buy anything that is ID able and over $20.

He said he sold a laptop to somebody who then damaged it ... then he got sued and the guy claimed bad good. The judge awarded against him ...

so now he uses a bill of sale with serial number, etc all written down along with ID from both people, signed and dated. Likely to scare any scammers off.
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
20229 posts
1496 upvotes
CheapScotsman wrote:
Mar 28th, 2009 8:10 pm
I bought a cell phone about 2 years ago from a guy and he had a great idea which I use whenever I CL buy anything that is ID able and over $20.

He said he sold a laptop to somebody who then damaged it ... then he got sued and the guy claimed bad good. The judge awarded against him ...

so now he uses a bill of sale with serial number, etc all written down along with ID from both people, signed and dated. Likely to scare any scammers off.
Would it be of any use on court? Possibly. More often than not, it will simply be dismissed as a receipt.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 13, 2007
1588 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Why was this moved out of shopping discussion? CL is probably as well used any big retailer...
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
5653 posts
147 upvotes
New Westminster
Kasakato wrote:
Mar 28th, 2009 8:41 pm
Would it be of any use on court? Possibly. More often than not, it will simply be dismissed as a receipt.
Well, from my brief discussion with him, he got nailed on a contact type of thing but since he didn't have a document .. had to fork back the 3 grand and take the broken notebook back.

The overall idea is ... put procedures in place to reduce the possibilities of being scammed. if somebody is going to try to scam me and I tell them I use a bill of sale with ID ... hopefully they will move on and leave me (and my money) alone.
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
20229 posts
1496 upvotes
CheapScotsman wrote:
Mar 29th, 2009 12:14 am
Well, from my brief discussion with him, he got nailed on a contact type of thing but since he didn't have a document .. had to fork back the 3 grand and take the broken notebook back.

The overall idea is ... put procedures in place to reduce the possibilities of being scammed. if somebody is going to try to scam me and I tell them I use a bill of sale with ID ... hopefully they will move on and leave me (and my money) alone.
We can only hope. A bill of sale is a legal document, you must therefore be careful to specify both parties, plus the terms, including the items condition, and any warranty provided with it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 28, 2004
2926 posts
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Toronto
jackwest wrote:
Mar 28th, 2009 7:27 pm

Each of these things aren't a problem, but a professional scammer would guarentee to use all of them, and this should start ringing bells and upgrade precautions:

1. Email was public, ie, gmail, hotmail. Not a school or ISP email, or the gold standard, a work email.
2. No phone number or if given a phone number, claims they cannot answer
3. Meets in a public place that offers no information about the identity of the person. The place is safe (which protects them in the unlikely event they come across a past mark).
4. During the transaction, no ID is offered or shown, no wallet is taken out, despite the fact they were handed significant amounts of money.
does that mean, by your definition, I am a scammer? in fact most ppl who trade on BST are scammers..

1. I use gmail
2. how do you not get a phone number if you are going to meet up?
3. the last place I want to meet up with a stranger is at home..
4. why should I ask for ID? what if I just went to the bank and the cash is stored in an envelope which always happen?

the best way to prevent yourself being scammed is to do thorough research on the product you are buying, take your time to try it out, if you feel rushed, feel free to walk out of the deal..
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 3, 2005
26834 posts
405 upvotes
Ottawa
CheapScotsman wrote:
Mar 28th, 2009 8:10 pm
...now he uses a bill of sale with serial number, etc all written down along with ID from both people, signed and dated. Likely to scare any scammers off.
facepalm....or you could just deal with reputable traders...SIgh...All that headache...all that bother...all that disclosure. I'm selling a $1000 item. I'm sure as hell not going to give you the dimensions of my first floor house. You can go pound salt as far as I'm concerned. If you want to get a disclosure, you can go to a store and pay retail. Get real. I don't want some total internet stranger knowing all my personal details. What that person does is comical. This one guy bought a $130 BNIB cordless phone set from me (outside RFD). It was a new hot deal I picked up from Zellers. The goof had me sign a receipt when we met :rolleyes: . I avoid non RFD deals these days. Scum.

OP...I can't believe you say you're an 'experienced trader'. WHY...WHY would you forego meeting at a Bell world? Everybody knows that CDMA phones have always been blacklisted. When I sell Bell phones I INSIST on meeting at a Bell dealership so the buyer knows first hand that the phone is clean. Honestly., what a basic scam. Just be thankful that your lesson was cheap :) .
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 13, 2007
1588 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
ah_long wrote:
Mar 29th, 2009 12:37 am
does that mean, by your definition, I am a scammer? in fact most ppl who trade on BST are scammers..

1. I use gmail
2. how do you not get a phone number if you are going to meet up?
3. the last place I want to meet up with a stranger is at home..
4. why should I ask for ID? what if I just went to the bank and the cash is stored in an envelope which always happen?

the best way to prevent yourself being scammed is to do thorough research on the product you are buying, take your time to try it out, if you feel rushed, feel free to walk out of the deal..
It's surprisingly unusual for someone to leave information about their identity, there are many ways they can do this.

About the phone...we arranged through email...no phone calls were involved.

As a buyer it makes sense to ask for ID to reduce fraud.

Sorry but there are many situations where you can be cheated, being knowledgable doesn't mean being infallible.
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