Fun with Craigslist Scammers (& Resources to Sell Your Stuff)

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Coming from a background of tomfoolery, shenanigans, and law enforcement – yes, in that order – I find it is much more satisfying to not get even, but to get a treat. This is my virtual treat for having fun with Craigslist Scammers.

Downsizing is at the forefront of our thoughts these days. With that in mind, we’re putting up listings at a much more regular clip. There are tons of places to sell here in the interwebs, and a few have given us some decent results.

Having Fun with Craigslist Scammers

I’ve sold stuff on eBay and Craigslist for years, without a problem. Recently, it seems that Craigslist scammers are everywhere, and they are the first to respond to a new listing. For some odd reason, this seems to happen primarily on Saturdays.

Though I’ll be focusing on some recent exchanges from Craigslist, this typical scam can be found on many other platforms as well.

Let’s just call this out little Public Service Announcement on how to protect ourselves, our identities, and our finances.

Characters of the Craigslist Scam

For our purposes today, we’ll give names to the characters involved.

Dastardly Dan will play the role of the Craigslist Scammers. And yes, that was the villain’s name from a board game from way way back (The Magnificent Race).

Simple Sam will be the unwitting Craigslist Seller. He figures things out, but takes huge offense that someone would try to take advantage of him.

Shenanigan Sam is Simple’s alter ego. He likes to turn the tables a bit on ole’ Dan.

Typical Craigslist Scam Exchange

At first it was quite maddening.

No, I don’t want your check.

No, I won’t give you my full name and mailing address.


The exchanges with Craigslist scammers went something like this:

Fun with Craigslist Scammers Infographic of Craigslist Scam with notes

Fun Craigslist Scammer Exchange

It only took a couple of the above exchanges for me to become proactive. And by proactive, I mean mischievously encouraging the Craigslist scammers:

  • I would like to send certified check
    • I would prefer cash
  • Please accept my certified in excess for your trouble (usually around 500 bucks)
    • Ummm, ok.
    • But, you’ll need (something random), with (something else random), and appropriately rated (one more just for kicks).
  • That is no problem, I will hire a professional moving company as soon as you receive the check.
  • Please forward me your full name and address, so I may send the check.
    • This is where a little Google-Fu comes in handy: I pick a Federal law enforcement agency (FBI, Marshalls, DHS, etc.) and send that address with the name of an underling deputy (more likely they will take notice of the mail).
      • I only use open source information, no super-spy hacker skills here. It is usually as easy as “Agency” + “Field Office” in the search bar. The lead and assistant agents are listed right there along with the address.
      • I have not tried this with the CIA or MI-6. . . yet.
    • Thanks -insert- random emoji
  • I got your info also note that the check will be mailed Monday. It will be in excess (sometimes and amount). The balance on the check will be for the mover who will be coming for the pickup at your location. Delete the post from craigslist and consider it sold…thanks.
    • Mmmk, bye bye now

Fun Craigslist Exchange

Infographic of Fun Craigslist Scam Exchange with tips and notes

Yes, I may be petty. And no, two wrongs don’t make a right. But this outlet has improved my stress level, and adds a bit of levity to the whole process of downsizing.

Here’s a text exchange I had earlier in the day:

Craigslist Scam Text

I figure by playing the unwitting seller, I’m accomplishing a couple things:

  1. I’m taking up their time and resources. Which means they’ll have less time to scam someone else.
  2. I’m providing law enforcement with a bit of extra information. If nothing else, it may peak their interest. Sure, they probably won’t rein in this scammer, but someone might take note.

So yeah, I spend a few extra minutes (about 5 in total) to play along with a bogus buyer.

I’ve spent way more time writing a post about it . . . but I’m hoping there is someone out there who will find this post informative.

Other Online Resources for Selling Your Stuff

I have found the Let Go app to be promising. We’ve sold a couple things there, and it is a fun, mobile-based platform. Everyone has a profile, so checking to authenticate the buyer/seller is pretty easy.

  • They verify three ways: Email, Google, and Facebook.
  • You can look at the listed and sold listings of the buyer/seller.
  • Manstincts (that’s right: Man + Instincts = Manstincts) kick in if the profile only has email verification and no listed/sold history. These are not to be trusted.

Local Facebook Sale Groups seem to be the safest in terms of back-alley deals. They are typically gated (someone has to accept you to the group) and it is fairly easy to check the legitimacy of the potential buyer/seller (empty profiles are a big no-no).

Hopefully you haven’t fallen victim to any unscrupulous individuals out there. And we hope that some of this may be of benefit in you journey moving forward.

Our final take is that life goes one, and I know there will be someone out there who actually wants our stuff. If not, it will gladly be donated.

Audience Participation

How do you go about downsizing your possessions? Have you dealt with any form of scammers before? Do you just avoid these exchanges, or have you engaged in them as well?

Feel free to share your story, or tips, below.

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