It seems nothing is safe from the scammer trying to part you with your money and/or sanity. Lucky for me, I have no sanity to part with. But don’t tell them, please, the game is more fun when they don’t know that little tidbit.
Craigslist. That sea of advertisements for everything from jobs to dates. Reading the Best of Craigslist can be a hoot. Some of simply creative ads. Such as the Ninja Repellent Entertainment Center. This guy wanted to get rid of his old entertainment unit, so he drafted a fun and silly ad stating that the entrainment center repelled ninjas as well as holding all your video/audio equipment. He even stated he knew it was ninja repellent because he had had not one ninja attack the entire time he owned it. Cute. Fun. Made me want to go look at the thing. Some are just scary. Such as the lady looking for a Jedi Knight to help her with her labor and delivery. *cough cough* Um…..yeeeaaahhhhh.
Where was I……..Oh! Craigslist scams. Right.
I have an item listed on Craigslist for sale. It’s not a run-of-the-mill type thing, so I am not expecting it to sell quickly (though it would be nice if it sold – please). And now that it has been listed for a week or so, the scammers have begun to make inquires. They always write and ask if the item is still available. Then they tell they will buy ‘the item’ at full asking price. Never once do they say what item they are interested in. It’s always ‘the item’. They never ask to see it, or if it even works. They just promise to buy it from you at the asking price. ‘I’ll overnight you a cashier’s check, then have my private shipper make arrangements for shipping ‘the item’ to my location.’. I may not be the brightest human to walk this earth, but ‘sucka’ certainly isn’t tattooed on my forehead. Those are easy. The delete button is very helpful in sorting them out.
But this time the game got more interesting. I got a text! Same offer to buy ‘the item’, same terms. Even without answering, I got follow-ups! (I googled the number. It was in a state about 2000 miles away)
Oh look, the cashiers check has cleared early!
Send me your info right now and I’ll drop cash right into your checking account!
(No mention of them taking much more right out of my checking account. But I suppose that heads up would spoil the game.)
My shipper is in your area right now!
(Really? Wow. He’s a fast bugger, isn’t he.)
We are at your door waiting for you!
(Since I am not home, you guys have a long wait. Besides that fact you don’t know where my door is.)
I looked online and found a way to report the number as a scam. And reported it. Sorry guys. Fun time is over. Now, now. No pouting. You’ll find another number to use in about 10 seconds.
The next scam is the online profile dating scam.
They are all over. Paid site or free site, there are fake profiles galore. You get a message from a guy who tells you how much he liked your smile, profile or interests. You ,of course, go check out his profile to see who this turkey is and if you want to respond or not. The profiles are usually well written. The spelling is correct. The punctuation is spot on, or pretty darn close. The photos are of a good-looking man, but not he’s not over-the-top good-looking. He’s your average joe, with a regular job. Nothing to ring the warning bells and send flags zipping up to wave in your face. You answer. Then the fun begins.
This is the latest one I dealt with.
This man is supposedly in a town in California that I know. I grew up very close to it. He has a regular job, and it is noted he is retired military. He is a nice looking man.He sends me a message telling me he likes my profile and would like chat/e-mail to get to know me better.
And it begins;
hi. my name is Cody.
Hi Cody. How are you tonight?
im fine. what you do for living?
(Notice the no caps and the poor language already?. Ping! Flag up!) I am a receptionist.
nice to kno.
So you are in ******, CA?
Cool! I grew up in *******, CA!
(Cody has no clue where I grew up, because he doesn’t live anywhere near where his profile says he lives)
What do you do, Cody?
i like Electrical Engineer. look for bombs. drive big trucks all day, make people safe and happy.
(Ping! Flag up! I did giggle at the thought that he liked electrical engineers, rather saying he was one) In *********, CA?
(Wow. That town sure has changed. There were never bombs there when I was a kid!)
i am in kabul, afganistan. last tour, then i retire.
(Ping! Flag Up! His profile said he was already retired. Geez dude, maybe you ought to read the profile you are using)
Wow. That’s interesting. What time is it there?
7:40 am. what time there?
(Ping! Flag up! I know a lot of military men. They use 24 time. Period.)
And well, it went downhill from there. Well, okay, more downhill than it already was. Maybe even into a bottomless pit. When questioned about his use (or lack of use) of language, he got angry and wanted to know what he did wrong. When I asked him who he really was, he just started stating the same name over and over. I terminated the chat, blocked that profile and reported it as a fake. While it is fun to watch these guys chat themselves into a corner, it’s also disappointing that the sites don’t have better ways to weed them out.
The story you get is always the same. 1) I like your smile/profile/interests/photo. 2) I am a widow. My wife died tragically x amount of years ago. 3) I think you are so beautiful and I want to meet you. Yes, the wife always has died tragically. Usually a car wreck or cancer. A few even add that they have lost a child along with the wife. The profiles are well written, but the e-mails show a very poor use of language. It’s rather obvious that English is not their first language. I have never followed these inquires to the end. I delete the messages and block the user. I have heard they eventually approach the woman about sending them money for something or another. Apparently, we women are all too stupid to notice the inconsistencies in their stories or writing. It does make me wonder if anyone actually falls for this scam. Seriously, you read a snippet of the transcript. Would you fall for this crap?
It makes wading through the dating pool a little harder and a little more tiresome. While I enjoy a good game of cat and mouse, I don’t want to play every day, all the time.
I would like very much to hear from a real human every once in a while.