Monday, July 11, 2011

Almost got scammed on Craigslist - sellers BEWARE

My wife and I are selling our nice washer and dryer and received a response from a woman who wanted to purchase them.  She saw the pics on and wanted to pay us full price for them.  Immediately, my "HR Manager" intuition began to kick in and felt that something was amiss.  

Through email correspondence she said that she was going to send us the money via PayPal and wanted us to make arrangements with her shipping company so they can come pick up the washer and dryer.  Shortly thereafter, I began receiving "PayPal confirmations" that the money was transferred to our account...but hold on a minute...there was an additional $550.00 included.  (My wife began checking our paypal accounts and there was no money sent).  The additional $550 was so that WE could send the money to her shipping company via Western Union.

But this is what got my attention...this is the original email message "PayPal" sent concerning the transfer of money.  Please not all the punctual and spelling errors, different sized fonts were used, the grammer is horrible.

" We have received an order from one of our customer to make an instant payment of 2050.00USD to your PayPal account. The payment has been made successfully and the money has been credited to your PayPal account  but you will not have access to it . However, since this money is meant for a purchase or a service that involve a Shipping Company.We have to receive a confirmation that you have sent the pick up cost to Shipping Company before the money will be available for spending. This is due to the large increase in the rate of the online scams recorded last year (2009). We have changed some of our rules and regulation to make sure our clients, are safe from scam, PayPal in conjunction with The FBI and The IFCC has invented certain preventive measure to ensure the safety of our customers.

 Such measure are:

1. Once a payment is made,A confirmation Email will be sent to the seller that the payment has been made to state the transaction details which has been sent to you. Also a confirmation is sent to the buyer that the money has been deducted from his or her account. So once you get this mail,You should take necessary action and get back to us with the confirmation that you have sent the pick up cost to the shipping company. Once we have confirmed the information provided with the shipping company, the money will be available instantly. 

2. Once a payment is made and it has been approved by PayPal, such transaction is Sealed (because both seller and buyer must have come to a conclusion before payment is made by the buyer) so therefore neither the buyer or seller can cancel this transaction or ask for the returned to the buyer'account. Also, this is where we generate our income, because the more transaction made through PayPal, the more we generate our Income. 

3. Failure to abide by these laid down safety measures by PayPal may leads to suspension from PayPal and further more invitation to an interrogation with the F.B.I

 So can you see we are very considerate about the safety of both buyer and seller.

Note: that the pick up cost has been included in the payment.

Thank you for using PayPal!

Help Center - Contact Us
Help by Email
Our Customer Service team is specially trained to address all account inquiries. Send us an email and 
we will reply promptly. Contact Customer Service ("

AND This email

"You have received a PayPal Payment of $2050.00.00 USD from Liana Rose(

A temporary hold has been placed on this transaction!

As mentioned in the receipt of Payment and as per New PayPal Payment policy, we have fully debited the total amount (above) from the buyer's account which includes the buyer's shipper's pick up fees.

In order to complete this transaction and get the funds approved in your account. We advice you go to nearest Western Union Office, and send the$500.00 USD to the Agent and send us a Scanned Copy/Photograph of your Western Union Transaction Receipt.

NOTE: This is important as a security measure to ensure safety of this transaction. 

Please, find below the name and address of the Transport Agent where the Funds would be sent via Western Union Money Transfer.
Transport Company
Tyisha Deanne powell
4430 Fulton Industrial,
Blvd SW Atlanta,
GA 30336,

I was also thinking WTF...Why use Western Union to send the money to the shipping company when SHE could just as easily sent them the money via PayPal.  Immediately, my wife and I called PayPal and advised them of the apparent fraud.

We told the PayPal representative everything we felt was wrong:

1.  The woman didn't want to haggle about the price (red flag)
2.  She wanted us to use Western Union to send money to her shipping company not PayPal
3.  She wanted us to send the shipping company the money rather than her sending it
4.  Why put a hold on our money until we send the shippers money...they should get paid when they pick up the merchandise.
4.  We checked the email address from "PayPal" and it was from
5.  We checked the "Shipping company" email address and it was (red flag)

The PayPal representative agreed with with us and will be looking in the matter.

If it smells rotten it probably is... buyer and seller beware. 


  1. A few years back me and my wife were selling a 23' RV and started with craigslist and in the first 4 hours of the posting I had got 100 e-mails and 90% were scams. Only 10 out of 100 were real offers or tire kickers. We did sell it with the help of craigslist but it was a pain in the butt doing it.

  2. OMG!! Reading all those comments make me sick! The same exact thing happenned to me 2 years ago! I feel soooo stupid...I guess i was! I had never heard of that type of fraud before! Here is what happened: I was renting my apartment to move with my boyfriend in California (I was living in Montreal) and someone called Cartel Smith was "interested" on Craigslist. So we agreed that he'd pay me the first month by check of the amount of 400$. So he sent me the check, but the amount was of not of 400$ but 4000$. He told me it had made a mistake when he wrote the check and asked me to send him back the 3600$ via Western union. So i deposit the check in the bank and they told me the check was clear, which is weird cause a few days later they called me to tell me that the check was fake. But in the meanwhile i had sent him the remaining of 3600$ via Western union. there is no word to explain how i felt when the bank told me that i had just got scammed! That was all the money i had saved to come to california. I didnt know what to do. I filled a police report but there was nothing they could do: they told me to sue the back which i did. Believe it or not they paid me back!!!!!!! I was sooooo relieved! Thanks god! I would have been poor for a while if they hadnt refund me. Still i feel so sick about it whenever i think about it! Trust me that will never happened again!!!

  3. this is not real this man is just trying to spoil her name

  4. Exactly what happened to me.Liana Rose at Craiglist and

  5. Tyisha Deanne powell is a well known con artist in the Atlanta area. She pretends to be shy and in need, but she is a seeks to rob you of every cent you have. She pulled a different type of scam on me which allowed her to get thousands of dollars from me. She was arrested by the Gwinnett County Detention Center for some other minor crimes.