Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Feel Dirty!

I so need to go to bed, but I can't without getting this out. Ben and I almost got scammed big time on Craigslist, but thanks to my ultra negative and untrusting husband, we weren't.

We are in the market for an LCD LARGE TV- somewhere around 46 inches. I thought we should try Craigslist, so we looked and I found a 42" LCD for $335- an excellent price. I e-mailed the seller, and she e-mailed me back saying she had relocated to England and would have to ship us the TV, but there is a shipping company called TNT who will allow us to see the TV for a few days and then accept the TV and continue with the payment. We went to their website and it explained everything- and this website is INCREDIBLY well done:

She said she would pay for the 2 day shipping and we would be fine.

Ben was instantly weary (remember, he doesn't trust anybody). Here were some of his signs:

1. My sister lives in England and had never heard of this company, even though the seller said it was well known in England
2. By the time the seller paid for 2-day international shipping, she was basically going to be paying us to take the TV
3. The search engine on TNT's webpage doesn't work
4. There are no pricings on TNT's webpage (Ben was obsessed with trying to figure out how much it would cost her to send us the TV)
5. The Better Business Bureau does not have this company on their website
6. The price was just too good to be true

So, he asked me to do some more research before we proceeded further. I did NOT want to do this, totally naively believing this was a really nice person who just was stuck with a TV with an American adapter and she wanted to get rid of it. Boy, was I wrong! After doing 30 seconds of research I found this:

The verbage in his e-mails and mine are almost identical. I can't believe I was so easily duped!!!!! I feel like I can't trust people anymore!!!!!! I feel so yucky and violated that this person now has my e-mail address, and I almost sent this money to TNT!!! Thank goodness for my amazingly pessimistic husband and his untrusting demeanor!!!!!! I posted that this was a scam on Craigslist, and I am posting it here as well so I can try and not feel so bad, but also to hopefully stop this from happening to anybody else!!! UGHHH!!!!


  1. I was looking for cars on Craigslist and had a similar experience. It was a person deploying and evening signed his name "Major". He said that the military would pay for shipping etc. I KNEW it was a scam. I looked into it and there were so many similar posts and Craigs List has warnings all over the place to DEAL LOCALLY and do not make any overseas transactions. I still LOVE craigs list but am very careful about how I deal with people.

  2. Phew! I'm so glad you didn't do it! Think how much worse you would have felt! I don't get anything on Craig's List that isn't local. That way, I can go look at it and meet the person. It limits my options but I feel so much safer. I'm paranoid like Ben.

  3. I did think it was weird when we talked about it. By the way, I know somebody else who is out $5,000 because they agreed to by a car via Craigslist and have it shipped from the UK to Virginia. You have to be careful out there.

  4. I almost fell for that scam on a Jet Ski when they first started doing this type of thing back in 2001. They were doing it on eBay then...but eBay created some program to root out bogus auctions. CL isn't as advanced! However, on the "cars and trucks" for sale section the very top says plain and clear "ALL offers to ship cars are 100% fraudulent" or something to that effect. Now the scammers have moved on to TV's it looks like.

    They even do a reverse of that scam where if you're trying to sell something, they'll send an email saying they're interested in your item and will send you a check for like $5,000 (when your item is only priced $100). They make up some sob story about how they can't cash the check for whatever reason. Then they actually SEND you a fraudulent check from overseas that will take any bank at least 5 days to clear. So when the funds show up in your account as "pending" you're supposed to send money via Western Union to them for the difference, minus a couple thousand for your troubles of course, which is where people fall for it. They want that extra money! Basically any offers to ship any item from overseas, especially items that are readily available over here already are bogus. And any time an email is clearly written by a foreigner (BAD grammar) and they mention Western Union, don't walk away, run. The TNT shipping company may be an actual shipping company. There is an 800 number on the should call it and if they're legit, notify them that their company name is being used in an online scam. I uncovered one my sister was involved in with a Truck she was trying to buy from FL. I tracked down the real person whose identity had been stolen in FL and notified them. The lady was very happy, she didn't know her identity had been stolen!


  5. It's just so freaky- these scammers are getting better and better. I might try that 800-number, but then I'm worried they would have my number. I'm pretty sure that as soon as they mentioned Western Union we have figured it out, but I'm glad we didn't get that far! And, I'm glad we weren't out 5 grand- can you imagine? Yes, definitely lesson learned: ONLY in town transactions!

  6. I would have been skeptical too. Good for you for listening to your hubby! If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely did. Did you report them to CL?