The Better Business Bureau is warning of a scam going on where craigslist sellers claim to be participating in a BBB buyers protection program. The thing is there is no such thing as a BBB buyers protection program. As you can see any idiot can slap a BBB logo on their site.
I received the following e-mail from Bluesboy who is another anti-scam advocate. This one involves craigslist and Martin Guitars…
This appears Sept 27 in Vancouver BC Craigslist (and likely in other cities I bet)
UPDATE – I notice a TON of vintage Martins in the Seattle CL, almost certainly the same guy! “Too good to be true” prices everywhere — I will bait one or two, but don’t dare use same email addies, as I dont want to alert him….
1948 Martin D-28, $2700
“This is a really nice example of the wonderful guitars that made Martin the ‘gold-standard’ of acoustic guitars. It’s a 1948 D-28 with Brazilian rosewood back and sides with the original finish. It still has the original keys, original ebony bridge, and original bone nut and saddle. This is a 60 year old guitar and is a wonderful investment piece while being as fine a guitar to enjoy playing as can be found. These old Martins just gain value every year. Their value doesn’t go up and down like alot of electric instruments do. This guitar hasn’t ever had a neck set or repitch done on it and plays great. I have it strung with a set of regular light guage (12-54) strings and the action is very comfortable, .060″ 1st string and .10″ 6th string at 12th fret, with no string buzz. It has been professionally refretted and set up.The bridge was reglued in the seventies and has stayed down. You can see in the pictures that the pick-guard pulled up around the edge in a couple of places and was reglued.There is one tiny chip of it missing. It has never had a strap button hole drilled and has about average wear on the back of the neck. It has one crack on the back close to the neck block that has been glued and cleated. It can been seen clearly in the pictures. There has been one about 3″piece of ivoroid binding replaced on the top on the treble side 2 inches from center. I got this guitar from the son of the original owner.”
I faked interest, and got a reply from Steven Randy email@example.com
The guitar is in great condition and the price I`m selling it for is $2700, which is including all shippings charges.
I live in Vncouver but I`m currently working in the UK (London) and I`ll be staying here for the next approximately 7 months, anyway I`m using MoneyBookers services so I can sell this guitar without difficulty. I left it at their warehouse before leaving to the UK. They will take care of the delivery with a 14-day return policy so you will have the chance to inspect it before final decision.
If you want to purchase it, let me know and I will explain you how MoneyBookers works and how we can move forward.
I am waiting your email.
I told him I wanted details, he replied:
the guitar is in Calgary (at MoneyBookers storage facility). If you want to purchase it, let me explain you how MoneyBookers works and how we can proceed:
To start the official transaction, I need your full name and shipping address.
As soon as I receive your info, I will forward it to MoneyBookers, they start the transaction and will notify you with all the instructions (payment, shipping, my account status etc.) One of their agents will be assigned to receive and handle the payment. You have to make the payment using the exact details they will provide you with and when the payment is complete, you have to send them the transfers information, they verify it and will take care of the delivery. You will have a 14-day return policy, so you will have the chance to inspect the guitar and decide either you keep it or not. If you decide to keep it, they will release me the funds, if not they will be responsible for the return shipping and you will have a complete refund within 3 days.
Anyway, they will explain you detailed the entire process.
I am waiting your email.
So, wow, how convenient… my “brother” is in Calgary, can he go view the guitar?
I ask for the “MoneyBookers” phone number, of course he dodges it by:
I have forwarded your info to MoneyBookers and they should get in touch with you soon with all the instructions.They do not offer a phone line for customer support, but they are eager to help in any way possible.
Please let me know when you hear from them.
Ok, so can you spot the red flags?
1. Price cheaper than the item is worth.
2. ‘Seller’ is overseas.
3. Request to wire the money.
4. Avoiding simple questions that any buyer would ask.
From what I understand MoneyBookers is a legitimate money transfer site but it is highly preferred by scam artists.
And now we also have another fake scammer name to add to the list.
This story comes to us from the bustling metropolis of Boise, Idaho and it’s a rather bizarre tale. It seems there was an ad on craigslist for a free iPod Nano. Too good to be true you say? You have no idea.
“I responded to it with the anticipation that several other people would because it seemed a little odd,” said a woman, we’re calling Sarah to hide her identity.
Sarah heard back almost immediately.
“I did get response back from him with a little story about how he had a wife cheating on him and he needed to take her ipod from her and give it away because of the situation he had with her,” said Sarah.
The man told Sarah he was going to hide the Ipod from his wife in a public place and arrange for someone to take it.
All she had to do was show up to at the Youth Sports Complex Park on McMillan Road around 10:30 p.m.
Those who responded to the ad were told to come to this porta potty and that the Ipod would be right in front of the toilet paper holder
“It sounded very odd so what my husband and I did was get the emergency dispatch number for the police… drove past the park saw a car sitting there,” said Sarah.
Sarah says the car was right next to the porta potty.
She and her husband drove across the street to a near by shopping area and called Boise police.
They responded quickly and took the man into custody.
“The police told us that he had a black nylon mask on his face, a lap top in his car that he had been email people on, a black pair of gloves a butcher knife and a beebe gun,” said Sarah.
32-year-old, Stephen Donald Newman, of Meridian was arrested and charged with 2 misdemeanors – being in a park after hours and carrying a concealed weapon.
Since no felony had been committed, he was able to quickly bond out of jail.
Now that Newman is free, Sarah is afraid of retaliation which is why she has chosen to hide her identity.
And what did craigslist have to say? The usual…
We attempted to reach Craigslist for comment but have not yet heard back from them.
Craiglist says that their ads are policed by its users. But in this case every cop is a criminal.
Apparently craigslist has become the internet home of scammers everywhere. This time it’s a woman by the name of Claudia Lindhorst who also uses the aliases Leni Campbell and Claudia Becker. She’s been arrested and charged with identity theft, grand theft, burglary and forgery.
In the most recent incidents, Lindhorst allegedly posted craigslist ads offering to sell airline tickets, which were sometimes purchased with stolen credit card numbers, Gouldson said. Customers paid cash for the tickets.
“For some people, it actually worked,” Gouldson said, and they got on their flights without incident. But other customers would show up at the airport and discover their tickets had been canceled.
She had been convicted of forgery and identity theft in her native Germany and was apparently fleeing warrants when she came to the United States about a year ago, authorities said. Since then, she has allegedly scammed people in Florida, Texas and California.
I guess the old saying applies here. If you see something on craigslist that’s too good to be true it probably is.