Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Craigslist Scam Alert: "Is it the same one in this online video?"

I love a deal, therefore, I love CraigsList. I know many of you are also big CraigsList shoppers, and probably sellers too, so I thought I'd share the latest scam to watch out for.

I recently posted an ad on CraigsList for a piece of antique exercise equipment I of those old "belt massagers" that claims to jiggle away your body fat.  It's a pretty fun conversation piece, but we don't have our 1950's themed basement for it anymore and needed to find it a new home.

I received two emails today in response to my ad.  Once I received the second one with virtually the same wording, I knew it was a scam.  So, I Googled it to see if others have come across the same thing.  Here is what the email said:

"Thank you for getting back with me Gretchen

I'm very interested in this but before I buy it I need to know if its
the same one I'm looking for because I can't afford another mistake
Please check out this video here I uploaded

[insert their video link here]

If its the same one I will be there today to buy it

Many thanks"

This blogger posted a very similar warning about video links with the same basic email request to watch a video.  I can't seem to find what these links would end up leading you to, or how it would harm you, but it is safe to say that this is NOT an interested buyer!

I was stupid enough to click the link, which took me to a video site that wanted me to download some software to make the video play.  This is where it was going too far and I finally got suspicious enough to stop. Luckily I'm on a Mac, and since most viruses are designed for PC's, it did not work.  I'm embarrassed that I even clicked it in the first place, as I am extremely cautious of fishy emails, especially from CraigsList ads.  But, if I had a PC, I'm sure they would have somehow hacked my computer or something through this.  I really should have listened to my instincts in the first place, which were telling me that "I can't afford another mistake" doesn't make sense...I wouldn't obviously force them to buy it if they came out to see if it was "the same one" they are looking for.

So, enjoy finding awesome deals and selling your stuff on's like virtual garage sale-ing!  However, watch out for anything suspicious and follow your instincts!  If it smells's probably fishy!


  1. Thanks for posting this! I listed a piece of exercise equipment as well and got WORD FOR WORD the same email response back. Except for the "gretchen" part - lol! Got suspicious and replied "here's the website for the company - YOU check and see if it's the same as what you need". Hubs said if they are searching for one they know if that's what they want before they reply. Typed in Craigslist I'm very interested in this but I need to know" and your site popped up. Thanks for the confirmation!!

  2. Hey Gretchen ,do you still have the belt massager machine? I am looking for one. I used to have one years ago and loved it but it stopped working and i couldn't find anyone that could fix it. Where do you live, I oive in California. I know these are very heavy and the shipping woudl probably be rediculous, but if it is cheap enough, I would like to see if this is what I am looking for. My email is "I can't afford another mistake" LOL just kidding.

    Kathy McKenzie

  3. Hey Karen - good reply to send them a website! When in doubt, your gut is probably right!!

    Kathleen...sorry, I did end up selling it! Someone who owns a gym and collects old exercise stuff was extremely excited to buy it! I had been trying to sell this thing for probably a year or two...was surprised I couldn't even find anything like it on CraigsList, Ebay, etc! Must be rare, or I'm looking in the wrong place...but it did find a good home. Thanks for asking and I hope you find one! (I got it originally at an estate sale for $15!)



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