Monday, February 7, 2011

Free money through Craigslist? Um, no

If you buy or sell on Craigslist, you have to be wary of scammers. The Craigslist folks say the best way to avoid problems is to deal face-to-face with the other party, which is good advice.

I bumped into a Craigslist scammer the other day, and while it didn't cost me anything, it still bothers me that there are people out there so intent on tricking others.

I saw an ad on Craigslist for a free TV. Free TVs are not that uncommon these days, because many people are buying new flat screens and dumping their old, still-working televisions. So I sent an email asking if the TV was still available. I got this response from a "Jeanne Sutton" at

I'm sorry that I didnt get back to you sooner, I offered this to someone else but she hasnt replied. Are you still interested?

I need to go to a work event tomorrow but then I'll be home for a few days. Let me know when youre around.

That sounds fine, right? So I emailed back saying yes, I was interested, and asked when I could come by. Then I got this:


I am so, so sorry.. the first person actually replied back again, and it turned out her first email went to my spam box and I never saw it. I feel really terrible..

You know, I wasn't actually going to mention this, but 2 weeks ago I received this check in the mail for $1100 from the state. It seems if you make less than $85k each year you could be eligible to get it as part of some grant program. Im not sure about you, but receptionists don't make too much and that extra money really helped us out this month.

I applied for grant #AM8266, the one that said "Economic Relief" in its title. The process was easy, you just have to go to this page:

Only takes 4-5 min and it can all be done on the computer. One thing though: please don't tell too many people. I assume they don't have endless budget and I would want to make sure my friends can receive the grant too. Thanks, and im sorry again for the mixup.


Oh, yeah, I'm sure there's a whole bucket of money out there for anyone who asks for it (and even if there is, why are you telling a complete stranger?).  And just in case you doubt that this really is a scam, consider that someone on Gawker reported essentially the same email exchange with a supposed Craigslist seller, except that in that case the scammer claimed to be a teacher named "Beverly."


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