Getting More Annoying Phone Calls? Is It Craigslist’s Fault?

I’ve had an increase in phone calls lately from out of town. They’re coming from Oregon and Washington state, and since I only know one person living in Washington and no one in Oregon, and I don’t owe anyone any money, I know that they’re probably sales calls of some type.


by Mark Fischer via Flickr

The funny thing is that it’s the same two numbers over and over. That’s rare, as you know these people like to randomly change numbers all the time. I’m not one to call numbers back to find out which companies these are because I don’t want to give them that kind of time. I am the type, though, that looks up phone numbers after awhile to see if I can learn anything about them.

I did that with these two numbers and what I found was interesting. On both numbers, someone mentioned that they had been responding to ads on Craigslist for jobs lately and that it coincided with the increase in calls.

I hadn’t thought about that at all. I also have been checking out links originating on Craigslist for writing gigs, though I haven’t been scouring Craigslist independently. I subscribe to a site that sends out writing offers on a daily basis and within the last couple of weeks I’ve started reaching out to some of these people.

Luckily, one of them has come through and it’s turned into a writing project, but that doesn’t negate any of the rest being dodgy. I contact every one of them through my SEO business account email, which has my phone number in the signature file, and of course it’s on my website if they bothered to check that out.

Can I definitely say these two things are related? No I can’t, but it does bring up the issue of just how much one can trust what we come across online. Whereas in general Craigslist is a fairly trustworthy place, there are a lot of scammers doing things that, until it’s caught, could end up causing you grief. After all, when I wrote my post last year about the anatomy of a scam, that also involved responding to a Craigslist ad.

This is just another warning to be cautious of things you find online, even on Craigslist. You’re never sure what you might be getting yourself into.
 

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Anatomy Of A Scam

This post is actually shorter than it looks. What I’m about to share with you is an email that basically only had 3 brief conversations, but the last bit contains the scam of it all. I wasn’t initially sure until I saw the very last line of the email. Oh yeah, I’m going to post the guy’s email address as well, since I believe it’s fake. By the way, this was a response to a Craigslist posting I have out there locally indicating that I do minor computer repair:

desguy909@yahoo.com

I got 5 Acer Atom laptops that i want to repair, Its just a software problem, I need you to reformat everything for me. I got all the necessary softwares (original) with license keys. How much will this cost me and what time duration? I got external drives for them all. The programs that you need to install on them for me are OS, anti-virus and Micro-Soft Office.

Please write back.

Thanks

Greetings,

I’ll do all 5 computers for you for $225. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take because I don’t know the specs of the computers; size of hard drive, processor speed, even operating system I’ll be wiping and adding back. That’s why I’m going to give you a flat fee instead of charging by time. If this is acceptable, let me know where we can meet after the holiday, since I’m presently out of town.

Thanks for the reply. I am okay with the price i have all the necessary software needed for the service installations…. I will instruct my secretary to prepare a check for you on your name and have it mailed to your address. Send me your full name, address and your phone number so to prepare the check. I have a reliable shipper that will bring the laptops and pick them up when you are done with them. I am looking forward to hear from you, so we can have payment and shipping asap. There is something you need to do for me when you get the check, you will get it cashed and get the shipping fee in the check because it will be included to the shipper in malaysia since the laptops are coming from there. Okay?

NB: Laptops will brought to you when you cash the check and have the balance on the check sent to my shipper and also when you are done fixing them, they will picked up from you

That’s it; that’s the entire email. I never responded. I thought about contacting the local authorities or the post office, then figured what was the point. Instead, I share it with y’all to help highlight the fact that there are scammers everywhere, putting out stuff like this that seems legit, yet when evaluated you just know something’s wrong with it.

If it even has a hint of phony, don’t do it!
 

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