Online scams are nothing new, and Craigslist has always had its fair share. Perhaps the most insidious of the Craigslist scams are those which appear to be legitimate replies to Craigslist postings – after all, while many consumers are wary of what they read online, most can’t imagine that a scammer would take the time to personally reply to them!
This below example of a current Craigslist scam does exactly that – it’s a personal reply to a posting referencing both the actual item listed in a ‘for sale’ post to which the scammer replied, and even letting the original poster know that the scam is in the same location (referenced by name), making it seem all the more legitimate.
Here’s the scam email, which came from “firstname.lastname@example.org”:
I saw that you posted an ad on Craigslist on 12/19/2009.
First, let me start off by saying that I hope that you had good luck with your ‘ LifeGear Deluxe Inversion Table with Ankle Ratchet System – $125 (Boulder)’ post. I love using Craigslist to sell my stuff, as it almost always sells so fast, and usually for around my asking price. Although, gosh, I sure do meet some of the most, ummm, interesting people sometimes.
Anyway, the reason that I am emailing you is because I know of a website that is wanting to work with people in or around boulder, that are interested in starting their own internet business. You can do this either part-time or full-time – it’s entirely up to you.
This is perfect for you if you have absolutely no experience whatsoever with working online; no educational or special skills are required, as all training is provided for you.
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This is perfect for us Craigslist users, because we obviously already know how the basics of how to use a computer, and we pretty much know our way around the internet.
I don’t want to rush you into making a decision, but this same offer is going out to all people who posted an ad on Craigslist in boulder, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on your chance to be taught everything you need to know, completely free, to start making money online.
So, if this sounds like something you might be interested in, you can check out the site here: residualincomesite>com its 100% free! and I hope that you choose to apply. Thanks for your time,
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. – William Blake”
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In this case, the scammers appear to be running a program which scrapes the title of the Craigslist posting and inserts it into the spam, along with the location, and sends it out. Alternatively, they may have off-shored this project and be paying actual humans (a pittance, to be sure) to manually go through Craigslist postings and reply.
Fortunately, in their ineptness, in this particular one they mangled the payload – the URL through to which they wanted their victims to click – but that doesn’t change the seriousness of the issue, and loads of other scam spam emails make it to their intended victims intact.
Of course, scam replies to classified ads have been around for decades – it’s not unique to the Internet, and it doesn’t render Internet classifieds any more or less useless than newspaper classifieds. It’s just that it’s easier to do it online – and in greater numbers.
In this case, rather than Caveat emptor, the rule of the day is Caveat venditor.
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