Hello Scammer

I posted an ad on Craigslist, as I’ve done many times before, for an iPod touch I wanna sell. Little did I know, I would be running into the first scammer that I personally need to deal with…

The following is the email exchange, with my commentary in italic.


32gb iPod touch 4th gen with warantee – $250 (Richmond)
9 messages

Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com> Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM
Reply-To: janetscoffy@gmail.com
To: sale-y3khx-2664177043@craigslist.org
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

Still have it for sale??

This message was remailed to you via: sale-y3khx-2664177043@craigslist.org
If this email is a scam or spam please flag it now:

Very legit and similar to what a buyer on Craigslist say. Nothing suspicious yet.


Billy  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 6:18 PM
To: “janetscoffy@gmail.com” <janetscoffy@gmail.com>
Hi Janet,
Yup. Can we meet tomorrow afternoon at Richmond center?
[Quoted text hidden]

Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com> Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 7:25 PM
To: Billy
Thanks for your reply, i really need to buy this and send to my boyfriend schooling in (Newcastle, Wyoming) in U.S.A as a  gift . I will offer you $280.00 CAD so as to close the auction as soon as possible. I will be paying using PayPal because i have a verified account with PayPal. So kindly get back with your PayPal email address so that i can make payment into your PayPal account ASAP. but if you don’t have a PayPal account you can set up an account with them just visit www.paypal.ca the process is just 3- 5minutes, Once payment clears, shipment will be handled by me through my Personal FedEx account, so you don’t have to bother about shipment. Get back to me if my approval is granted and the payment will be made immediately. I would like to see some pictures please.



[Quoted text hidden]

Here things start to get weird. First of all, WAY too much information with the boyfriend and verified account and instruction to get PayPal and FedEx account… Also, the $280 offer is strange. Why would anyone offer to beat my asking price just to “close the auction”? There are other sellers who are selling at $250, it’s not like mine is a very reduced price. Finally, using PayPal for Craigslist is an automatic red flag. But nothing definitely foul yet.

Billy Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 8:30 PM
To: Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com>
Hi Janet,
How should I give you the iPod after your payment clears?
I will hold the iPod for you for $280 no prob. I posted pics on my ad posting http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rch/ele/2664177043.html
[Quoted text hidden]

Here I was hinting at the hole in her proposal: since she said she would deal with shipping, that means I need to give her the iPod somehow. But why would you pay me extra money by PayPal and then meet me for the iPod? You don’t know how to work an ATM?

Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com> Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 5:22 AM
To: Billy
Hey Billy goodmorning to you and how is your night ?? I will be including the shipping fee in the payment I am gonna send to your account and all you need now is to get back to me with your PayPal email address to receive the payment so that I can proceed with the payment…


[Quoted text hidden]

She did not answer my question. Sounds like she wants me to ship now. And she signed her email with MY NAME. What’s up with that?

Billy  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 6:43 AM
To: Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com>
Ok, it’s xxx@xxx
[Quoted text hidden]

At this point I just want to know how she plans to scam me. Cuz you can’t steal money just by having my PayPal account.

Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com> Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 1:08 PM
To: Billy
Great and I will get back to you once I am done with payment and do you also have a cell phone number that I can text you at….Let me know once you do receive an email confirmation from PayPal …Regards

[Quoted text hidden]

Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com> Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 1:26 PM
To: Billy
I have just made out the payment online now. Go and check the email  account you used in opening your PayPal  account a payment confirmation message from  PayPal have been sent there check the INBOX or SPAM messages you  should see it there. I will also like you to know that i am having some little problem with my FedEx account as i checked it online now  and i was asked to reactivate it which i can’t do that now as i have  to sort one or two thing out with them. So i am sorry as i won’t be  handling shipment through my FedEx account again. Please get the  postage done to the following address via post office using  (XpressPost via CANADA POST or via PUROLATOR Courier) and ship out the  item asap cos i have told my son to be expecting it. I have also  included $70 extra for Shipping.

Rich Hartinger

C/O Stanley Wooten 701 Salem Ave Lot 1




Please get back to me when you have posted the item. Thanks and i await your reply

Notice a few hilarious things: 1. she sounded surprised that her FedEx account is suddenly unavailable, although in her last email she already implied that I will do the shipping. 2. Who the hell will get a random seller to send a gift on their behalf? Does she expect me to giftwrap this or write a love letter for her? 3. She threw in more extra money just for fun. And 4. most of all, HER BOYFRIEND IS NOW HER SON.

Billy  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM
To: Janet <janetscoffy@gmail.com>
Hi Janet,

The emails I got weren’t from PayPal, so I am afraid I cannot go through with this transaction.
[Quoted text hidden]

This is what the “PayPal” emails look like:


Basically, she pretends that she already paid me by PayPal, but PayPal needs my shipment confirmation to “clear” the transaction. To encourage me to do it, she paid me $350 magic money that I will never see for a $250 item.

Here‘s what an anti-scam website has to say about this specific operation.

Supposedly there should be a fake threatening email about how she already paid and how I would get in trouble if I don’t ship the iPod, but I haven’t heard back from this scammer. Probably knows it’s a lost battle.

A few final thoughts:

1. I can see how a greedy person not too familiar with PayPal and Craigslist can fall victim to this scam, but you have to be pretty gullible. First fule of online shopping: If it’s too good to be true, it’s because it’s fake. 

2. I still have the iPod for sale. Any takers?