Classified Ad Scammers
and Other Private Transaction Scams

Scams using these names: Alex Moon,
"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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Sofa

Time: 03/26/2008 04:41 AM

Subject: Black Leather Sofa


Hello Seller,

       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..

1.Can i 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

Home Address:





Phone Number/Office Number.Your Immediate Respond is Needed very Urgent.




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