Classified Ad Scammers
and Other Private Transaction Scams
Scams using these names: Alex Moon, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Can i trust u with the money?"
Are you looking to sell a timeshare, a car, house, boat or rent
a house? Did "Alex Moon" contact you? Note that he asks: "Can
i trust u with the money?" We doubt whether anyone who writes "u" for
"you" or "i" for "I" ought to be trusted with anything!
What are the clues that this is a scam?
- First, you will notice the syntax and grammar. Often, is it
not pathetically bad, it's just plain strange. It looks like it was written by
someone who is not a native English-speaker, and writes very rarely in
English. This is very typical of scammers, who largely are in Nigeria and
have little formal education and probably none in English.
- Next, he wants to write a check in excess of the required amount. Why?
That makes no sense at all. If he hasn't got a bank account, he could always
pay in cash or get a money order.
- Then, he wants the "excess" from the check sent BACK to him or
to other individuals, often in many different locations, and always by Western
Union or Money Gram! Alarm bells should be going off by now. Western Union
wires and Moneygrams are not only untraceable, they're irretrievable. Once the
recipient picks them up (which can be done at ANY Western Union office in
the world), the money is gone, gone, gone!
- And then there are the little clues; signs like the strange name changes.
Maybe, first he's "David Rapheal", then he's suddenly Shawn Nickolas, supposedly in
England, yet the first name has an American spelling and the last name is
spelled more like an Eastern European or Germanic origin.
- Look at the huge number of misspellings, poor punctuation and made-up
words. Again, this is typical of the scammer filth
who live and operate in Nigeria.
An actual email that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:
We may highlight passages that
illustrate typical scam clues:
Email 1 - from the victim:
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 04:41:17 -0400
Subject: DealSpotter Message - Black Leather
Time: 03/26/2008 04:41 AM
Subject: Black Leather Sofa
I am interested in purchasing this Item
without no further delay,but first?What is the final price of the item? Will
you be accepting a US certified Cashiers Check or personal check? Also i
have a shipper that will be coming for the pickup of the Item and the
payment you are going to receive will include some excess fund which you are
to send to the shipper same day you got the payment, I will also like to ask
you some questions..
trust u with the money?
2.Will you be able to
wire transfer the excess to the
shipper the same day you receive the payment ?
3.Will u be available when the shipping company will
be coming for the pickup?
4.Is the working condition of the item okay?
5.Can we take you
for your words?
Contact me with the present state of the item and
your FULL CONTACT NAME AND ADDRESS IS NEEDED to mail out the payment to you
as soon as possible. Such As :
Name you want on check
Phone Number/Office Number.Your Immediate Respond is
Needed very Urgent.