Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

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htdrag11
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Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:30 am

I listed my friend's expensive grand piano on Craigslist (CL) for a lot of money. Got a buyer the next day who sent me the following verbatim. Is it for real? The selling price is roughly about a third of the original, in mint condition (it was used for less than 100 hours in 20 years) due to a moving sales.

"Your asking price is quite reasonable and affordable considering others I've seen lately,I'll take it. I won't be able to come for pick up due to my work,So i will arrange for the pick up and the delivery with a shipping agent. I'll make the payment through PayPal for the safety of both of us. I'll need your name,the pick up address and your PayPal email address to proceed with the payment."

However, what bothered me is that why would anyone buying something at this price but not checking it out personally? What steps would you have taken in the response? I'll at least ask his county and state location, at a minimum. I'm also concern about buyer's regrets.

Thank you in advance for all your suggestions and insights. BTW, I'm a member of PayPal for over 15 years and did not have any issues in getting my money back, but then this is a lot of money. I understand that there is a 2.9% fee.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:42 am

Well known Craigslist SCAM. Report it using the CL link, do not reply.

Cash, or USPS Money Order only. Validate money order at Post Office before depositing.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

shawndoggy
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:43 am

scam.

If you even get a hint of a whiff of a scam, ask the potential buyer to call you. Most scammers won't, and most who do call will obviously be scammers. Ask lots of questions when you talk to get comfortable.

mmmodem
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by mmmodem » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:43 am

That is textbook scam. One of two things will happen if you fall for this scam.

1. An actual payment is made through paypal. You'll receive a genuine confirmation. However, there will be a hold on the transfer of funds. PayPal will notify you of this hold. Some people don't notice the funds are on hold and ship the product anyway. A week later when Paypal realizes the payment is made from a bad account, they cancel the payment.

2. A spoofed email from the scammer will be sent to look like a real Paypal payment confirmation email. You send the product out. You check your account and notice no payment arrived. Some people do not check their Paypal account to confirm receipt of payment.

I've had both happen to me on eBay. I didn't fall for either but because it was an eBay transaction, I had to wait until Paypal and eBay confirmed this was a scammer before I could relist the item. It took up to 4 weeks to clear.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:44 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:43 am
scam.

If you even get a hint of a whiff of a scam, ask the potential buyer to call you. Most scammers won't, and most who do call will obviously be scammers. Ask lots of questions when you talk to get comfortable.
No. Don't give phone number unless it is a GV number.

bob60014
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:45 am

Scam.....run a way from this. I've sold several items on CL and replies like you received, I ignore as the are cookie cutter replies. For clues watch for misspellings and grammatical errors too!

arf30
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by arf30 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:46 am

PayPal automatically sides with the buyer, who will have up to 6 months to claw his money back after the scam is complete. That's why Craigslist warns you to always deal in person and with cash.

keepingitsimple
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by keepingitsimple » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:48 am

I think it's most likely a scam. Personally, I would discontinue any communication with the supposed buyer.

Here are a couple of links outlining PayPal / Craigslist scams:

https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/art ... es-faq3022

https://myria.com/how-to-avoid-some-com ... ypal-scams

shawndoggy
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:50 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:44 am
No. Don't give phone number unless it is a GV number.
Use your discretion. Scammers can't reach through your phone, FYI. Blanket "don't give someone your phone number" advice is like those people who blur out their license plate numbers when they post pics of their car for sale (as if we can't all see their plate whilst they drive around).

I very frequently am the guy BUYING (legitimately) your CL stuff with paypal (use searchtempest to do nationwide search, reach out to seller, settle on price, then break the bad news that I'm out of town). CL + paypal isn't in and of itself evidence of a scam... though if you can't tell the difference between a sincere inquiry and the response the OP received... well, can't help much there.

YMMV.

alfaspider
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:58 am

Good advice on this thread. I also note that scammers tend to have certain quirks related to their writing that are dead giveaways. Most often, they write in overly-formal prose that does not fit with how most people write emails. That formality is often combined with incorrect grammar or awkward language.

For example, a normal person in the U.S. would never refer to a "Shipping Agent" in a relatively casual online transaction on Craigslist. Only scammers use language like that. Language-wise, note the misuse of the comma in the first sentence.

Although not present in this scam, be very wary of anybody who has a sob story or claims to be associated with the military. These emotional/patriotic appeals are often used to get people to overlook the scam tells. Also, any references to Paypal, Ebay, or especially Western Union as a means of providing security are highly suspect. Finally, read the email again- note that it makes no specific reference to what you are selling- scammers will often refer to "the item" or other similar generic term indicating the scam email could be sent to just about anything listed for sale.
Last edited by alfaspider on Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:58 am

arf30 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:46 am
PayPal automatically sides with the buyer, who will have up to 6 months to claw his money back after the scam is complete. That's why Craigslist warns you to always deal in person and with cash.
Right.

alfaspider
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:59 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:50 am

Use your discretion. Scammers can't reach through your phone,
Sure they can. Scammers will often use VOIP to communicate with targets.

staythecourse
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by staythecourse » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:59 am

Don't do it. If you google it will show up as a known scam.

Off the topic/ on the topic there is a classic one I fell for with Western Union and craigslist for payment and money orders. At the time I had NO CLUE money orders are no confirmation the money actually is in the bank account from which they are written no difference then a personal check. They both need to clear.

Interesting, I got a letter stating there was a lawsuit filed and won. Looks like they knew it was going on and allowed it. Ether way at some point I am supposed to get my money I was fleeced from.

What I have learned is unless someone pays in cash AND meets you/ talks to you in person distrust them on craigslist.

Good luck.
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by J Dough » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:00 am

A Google search of the language used by the "buyer" shows that this is a typical response. I actually received a near-verbatim response when I tried to sell my piano -- I think pianos are one of the targeted items. You need to sell it locally to someone who can inspect/play it, as you know.

Here's a link with an explanation as to how the scam might work: https://www.wmar2news.com/business/cons ... st-sellers

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:03 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:50 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:44 am
No. Don't give phone number unless it is a GV number.
Use your discretion. Scammers can't reach through your phone, FYI. Blanket "don't give someone your phone number" advice is like those people who blur out their license plate numbers when they post pics of their car for sale (as if we can't all see their plate whilst they drive around).

I very frequently am the guy BUYING (legitimately) your CL stuff with paypal (use searchtempest to do nationwide search, reach out to seller, settle on price, then break the bad news that I'm out of town). CL + paypal isn't in and of itself evidence of a scam... though if you can't tell the difference between a sincere inquiry and the response the OP received... well, can't help much there.

YMMV.
Scammers can lookup phone, find address, know that the item is in your home. Dimwitted sellers say "I can do at 7 after work", now scammer knows you aren't home during day.

I use a GV number only for a few transactions a year, rest are via CL confidential email. I have done hundreds of transactions, meeting at designated CL Safe Zone (local sheriff's office) or grocery store front door if sheriff lobby is closed. If item is big, meet at safe zone, check ID, get face filmed by cameras, go to house (ideally item is in garage). Never link listings showing all you have for sale.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:04 am

I've gotten 2 scammers to mail their payment to sheriff, contacted them to say payment is coming, don't know outcome because cases are ongoing

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htdrag11
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:08 am

J Dough wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:00 am
A Google search of the language used by the "buyer" shows that this is a typical response. I actually received a near-verbatim response when I tried to sell my piano -- I think pianos are one of the targeted items. You need to sell it locally to someone who can inspect/play it, as you know.

Here's a link with an explanation as to how the scam might work: https://www.wmar2news.com/business/cons ... st-sellers
Yes. When it's too good to be true, then most likely it's a scam.

Thanks for the link.

ResearchMed
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:12 am

htdrag11 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:30 am
I listed my friend's expensive grand piano on Craigslist (CL) for a lot of money. Got a buyer the next day who sent me the following verbatim. Is it for real? The selling price is roughly about a third of the original, in mint condition (it was used for less than 100 hours in 20 years) due to a moving sales.

"Your asking price is quite reasonable and affordable considering others I've seen lately,I'll take it. I won't be able to come for pick up due to my work,So i will arrange for the pick up and the delivery with a shipping agent. I'll make the payment through PayPal for the safety of both of us. I'll need your name,the pick up address and your PayPal email address to proceed with the payment."

However, what bothered me is that why would anyone buying something at this price but not checking it out personally? What steps would you have taken in the response? I'll at least ask his county and state location, at a minimum. I'm also concern about buyer's regrets.

Thank you in advance for all your suggestions and insights. BTW, I'm a member of PayPal for over 15 years and did not have any issues in getting my money back, but then this is a lot of money. I understand that there is a 2.9% fee.
In addition to the concerns about scam "signals" in that message (peculiar type of punctuation/grammar/etc., "errors") and the use of PayPal, I think you are spot on about who in the world would spend a large sum on something that might not be in good condition AND can't easily "just be sent back" if one isn't satisfied.

Also, how much would long distance shipping actually cost? With a grand piano, this could be enough that even a more expensive local piano might be less expensive... or even if "similar total price", a lot easier locally, including looking at it.

And IF this really was "the dream piano" (is it an unusual wood or something?), why wouldn't the buyer arrange for someone local to you, and independent, to check that it is in playable condition, etc.?

Also, for pricey pianos, doesn't "sound" matter as a personal preference, and ditto "feel"?
Even if it's for resale (??), such that the personal reactions don't matter, it still needs to be in reasonable (or better) condition.

I cannot imagine this is genuine.

ETA: The wording is almost identical to the scam discussed in one of the links here, *including* that comma :oops:

RM
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:21 am

All of my craigslist includes:

**yes, I still have it

**include a phone number

If they dont comply, delete their response.
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:26 am

I have sold dozens, if not hundreds, of items on CL. You get the email/text as you describe frequently on new listings. You know it's a scam because it's always says they accept your price. 99% of real CL buyers negotiate on the price no matter how low the price. Lol.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:31 am

Again, unless it's a non-traceable GoogleVoice number, do NOT provide your number.

Craigslist has confidential email. HOWEVER, if you're naive enough to setup your email account as "John Smith jsmith@comcast.net", that comes through as "John Smith". Solution - setup one of your email addresses as "Craigslist". The address and domain don't come through, and they don't know your name.

If either of these strategies don't make sense to you, don't use CL.

I have done hundreds of transactions, selling in excess of $30,000 worth of items. This includes several vehicles and a boat. No one comes directly to the house, and they only come to the house IF the item is too big.

Not a single buyer of anything but a car or boat knows my name either, beyond my first name.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:47 am

SCAM
Your instincts are right. The wording looks like a template copied right out of the craigslist scam text library ... and a foreign language translated edition at that.

Think about it just a few seconds:
  • Who in their right mind would buy an expensive (and subjective) item like a grand piano sight-unseen and pay for it in advance?

    How do they know the price is reasonable if they have not seen it or know what condition it is in?

    What is this nonsense about "affordable"? It's affordable to them because they're not going to pay for it.
The part about "can't come because of their work" IS true. They're way too busy sending out phishing messages to scam people on craigslist, and they're probably not even in this country.

There are several variations of these scams.
  • It's only a remote possibility that they may really pick up the piano -- in which case the "agent" is part of their scam team. The emailed "paypal" payment will be bogus; but you won't find out until they're long gone without a trace.

    However, a piano is a lot of work to transport. So far more likely this variation of the scam will be accomplished only from their keyboard.

    If you/your friend respond to them, the next step may be to ask you to send them the 2.9% fee in advance. They may ask for a check, or generously offer to save you the hassle and just withdraw it from your checking account via ACH if you'll give them the routing information and account number.

    Or maybe they'll offer to make it easier for you by charging it to your credit card or debit card if you'll just give them the card number and PIN. Very helpful of them. (And they are after-all the kind of person who can appreciate a nice piano.)

    Or maybe they'll send you a third party check for a larger amount than you're asking, and ask that you send them a check for the difference.

    In this scam, the check is issued from a real account for some big business, and your bank can even verify that there are funds in the account and will cash it. But it will counterfeit. When the company finds out about it in reviewing their monthly statement, they'll report the fraud and your bank will give them back their money out of your account. Meanwhile your real money is gone forever.

    With any luck at all though, you (or your friend) will just be out the money and the big company and your bank will not bring charges against you for fraud. Your bank might even waive the bounced check fee.
The question is whether the scammer will be content just taking the 2.9% fee or taking the difference between your good check and their fake third party check. The bigger danger is that their real goal is to obtain enough personal information to steal your identity and clean out your bank account, or run up your credit card debt, or maybe go so far as to take out a mortgage on your house in your name to get some bigger bucks for themselves.

Tell your friend to sell it to someone local who come to see it first -- like any legitimate buyer would do.

No personal checks from a stranger; no third party checks; no cashier's checks or money orders, and no cash unless you meet the buyer at your own bank or theirs and verify that the money is real.

Incidentally, those marking pens you can buy can only identify poor counterfeits made on cheap copy paper. A few years ago even my own bank gave me a counterfeit $100 bill that was so good even the teller didn't recognize it immediately as counterfeit.

jimb

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htdrag11
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:02 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:26 am
I have sold dozens, if not hundreds, of items on CL. You get the email/text as you describe frequently on new listings. You know it's a scam because it's always says they accept your price. 99% of real CL buyers negotiate on the price no matter how low the price. Lol.
Yes indeed. Shipping this one would cost at least $1,000. Thanks.

Per Jack, the person did not include a phone number.

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htdrag11
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:02 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:31 am
Again, unless it's a non-traceable GoogleVoice number, do NOT provide your number.

Craigslist has confidential email. HOWEVER, if you're naive enough to setup your email account as "John Smith jsmith@comcast.net", that comes through as "John Smith". Solution - setup one of your email addresses as "Craigslist". The address and domain don't come through, and they don't know your name.

If either of these strategies don't make sense to you, don't use CL.

I have done hundreds of transactions, selling in excess of $30,000 worth of items. This includes several vehicles and a boat. No one comes directly to the house, and they only come to the house IF the item is too big.

Not a single buyer of anything but a car or boat knows my name either, beyond my first name.
Thanks. Another lesson learned. I do have a GV number.

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htdrag11
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:04 am

jimb_fromATL wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:47 am
SCAM
Your instincts are right. The wording looks like a template copied right out of the craigslist scam text library ... and a foreign language translated edition at that.

Think about it just a few seconds:
  • Who in their right mind would buy an expensive (and subjective) item like a grand piano sight-unseen and pay for it in advance?

    How do they know the price is reasonable if they have not seen it or know what condition it is in?

    What is this nonsense about "affordable"? It's affordable to them because they're not going to pay for it.
The part about "can't come because of their work" IS true. They're way too busy sending out phishing messages to scam people on craigslist, and they're probably not even in this country.

There are several variations of these scams.
  • It's only a remote possibility that they may really pick up the piano -- in which case the "agent" is part of their scam team. The emailed "paypal" payment will be bogus; but you won't find out until they're long gone without a trace.

    However, a piano is a lot of work to transport. So far more likely this variation of the scam will be accomplished only from their keyboard.

    If you/your friend respond to them, the next step may be to ask you to send them the 2.9% fee in advance. They may ask for a check, or generously offer to save you the hassle and just withdraw it from your checking account via ACH if you'll give them the routing information and account number.

    Or maybe they'll offer to make it easier for you by charging it to your credit card or debit card if you'll just give them the card number and PIN. Very helpful of them. (And they are after-all the kind of person who can appreciate a nice piano.)

    Or maybe they'll send you a third party check for a larger amount than you're asking, and ask that you send them a check for the difference.

    In this scam, the check is issued from a real account for some big business, and your bank can even verify that there are funds in the account and will cash it. But it will counterfeit. When the company finds out about it in reviewing their monthly statement, they'll report the fraud and your bank will give them back their money out of your account. Meanwhile your real money is gone forever.

    With any luck at all though, you (or your friend) will just be out the money and the big company and your bank will not bring charges against you for fraud. Your bank might even waive the bounced check fee.
The question is whether the scammer will be content just taking the 2.9% fee or taking the difference between your good check and their fake third party check. The bigger danger is that their real goal is to obtain enough personal information to steal your identity and clean out your bank account, or run up your credit card debt, or maybe go so far as to take out a mortgage on your house in your name to get some bigger bucks for themselves.

Tell your friend to sell it to someone local who come to see it first -- like any legitimate buyer would do.

No personal checks from a stranger; no third party checks; no cashier's checks or money orders, and no cash unless you meet the buyer at your own bank or theirs and verify that the money is real.

Incidentally, those marking pens you can buy can only identify poor counterfeits made on cheap copy paper. A few years ago even my own bank gave me a counterfeit $100 bill that was so good even the teller didn't recognize it immediately as counterfeit.

jimb
jimb,

I'll save this thread. Thank you so much.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:30 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:03 am

Scammers can lookup phone, find address, know that the item is in your home. Dimwitted sellers say "I can do at 7 after work", now scammer knows you aren't home during day.

I use a GV number only for a few transactions a year, rest are via CL confidential email. I have done hundreds of transactions, meeting at designated CL Safe Zone (local sheriff's office) or grocery store front door if sheriff lobby is closed. If item is big, meet at safe zone, check ID, get face filmed by cameras, go to house (ideally item is in garage). Never link listings showing all you have for sale.
So you think that the scammer actually wants to come steal the expensive grand piano?

Holy cow, man, this is a super high level of paranoia. Do you check ID at a yard sale? Do you run a background check?

I've done many many many CL transactions too, and have never resorted to this level of security.

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Pajamas
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:34 am

Craigslist is not the most appropriate place to buy OR sell an expensive grand piano.

Can't imagine that anyone not local would buy one unseen on Craigslist and pay to have it shipped. Too much risk. As a minimum, they would ask to have it inspected by someone knowledgeable of their choice first.

So yes, this is a common scam.

ResearchMed
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:36 am

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:34 am
Craigslist is not the most appropriate place to buy OR sell an expensive grand piano.

Can't imagine that anyone would buy one unseen on Craigslist and pay to have it shipped. Too much risk. As a minimum, they would ask to have it inspected by someone knowledgeable of their choice first.
A serious buyer wouldn't.
That's one huge clue that this is a scam.

RM
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Pajamas
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:48 am

It's hard to know exactly what's up as the scammers are always one step ahead, but here's a possible scenario:

Buyer sends payment by PayPal to the seller and includes the shipping fee and asks the seller to forward the shipping fee to the "shipping agent" by wire or simply asks for a refund of the excess amount. The payment is actually spoofed or from another victim's hacked PayPal account. The scammer pockets the money and has little risk of being caught. $300 or similar is a lot in many countries, especially considering the scammer's low risk of being caught.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:53 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:30 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:03 am

Scammers can lookup phone, find address, know that the item is in your home. Dimwitted sellers say "I can do at 7 after work", now scammer knows you aren't home during day.

I use a GV number only for a few transactions a year, rest are via CL confidential email. I have done hundreds of transactions, meeting at designated CL Safe Zone (local sheriff's office) or grocery store front door if sheriff lobby is closed. If item is big, meet at safe zone, check ID, get face filmed by cameras, go to house (ideally item is in garage). Never link listings showing all you have for sale.
So you think that the scammer actually wants to come steal the expensive grand piano?

Holy cow, man, this is a super high level of paranoia. Do you check ID at a yard sale? Do you run a background check?

I've done many many many CL transactions too, and have never resorted to this level of security.
No. It's 100% financial/online scam. They don't want to come steal the piano. I have had the same email/text from $20 items to $1,000 items. Big/small/whatever. Scammers send almost the identical text/email every time.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:04 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:53 am
No. It's 100% financial/online scam. They don't want to come steal the piano. I have had the same email/text from $20 items to $1,000 items. Big/small/whatever. Scammers send almost the identical text/email every time.
'zactly.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:25 pm

I wonder if there is some way to burn the scammers, such as by acting in a way that paypal seller protection will work for you. But I would probably take the safer route of wasting their time and being as frustrating as possible.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:43 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:30 am

So you think that the scammer actually wants to come steal the expensive grand piano?

Holy cow, man, this is a super high level of paranoia. Do you check ID at a yard sale? Do you run a background check?

I've done many many many CL transactions too, and have never resorted to this level of security.
I was responding to those that said to post phone number in and and converse with potential buyers.

If you think CL is safe, why were safe zones established by police departments?

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If you think CL is safe, why were safe zones established by police departments?
Because people (typically buyers with cash in their pockets) are paranoid?

In the context of selling stuff locally, how is craigslist different from the classified ads in your local newspaper 15 years ago? I've never once felt like someone was going to stick me up and steal my cast off furniture, car parts, bicycle parts or whatnot. I just don't feel like I'm living in a world teeming with thieves and miscreants who spend their days trolling CL to set up meets where they can roll me for an end table (or grand piano, LOL).

I mean if you're gonna go full monty on this, do you wear a disguise to the meets so your customers won't be able to identify you?

squirm
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by squirm » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:40 pm

This is a very very old scam, I got a similar one like 12 years ago.

forkhorn
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by forkhorn » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:44 pm

I think the best response to the scammers is the one that breaks their business model- to just play along and waste their time. For example, I once sold a motorcycle, and received a scam email from an overseas businessman, who wanted to send me a certified cashier's check for maybe $1k more than I was asking. Wow, gee, sounds great, I said. Here is my address (sent my work address- mailslot of large corporate campus). The check came, postmarked from Canada, and he (I assume) immediately wanted to know when I could wire the money (to Nigeria, I believe, but maybe another central African country- was a long time ago). I kept coming up with more and more outlandish reasons I couldn't make it, and finally just told the scammer that I knew the game and just wasn't going to send the money. He starting sending emails in all caps telling me we had a business agreement and I was to comply immediately. I just stopped replying after a few curt emails, and that was it. It was fun, and a little bit thrilling at the end. I think he may have said he was going to fly to America or similar. Right.

If just a tiny fraction of people would do this, it would kill the business plan of the scammers. They thrive on sending out a million automated emails for every person that falls for it. If lots pretended to fall, they would be overwhelmed and would spend a year replying and mailing people to eventually find the one sucker, and it would go away as a way to make a living. Of course, you'd be taking away the job of what is probably a very poor person, but in this case, I don't feel too bad.

The point is that yes,it 's a scam, but feel free to mess with the scammers. It is a guy somewhere thousands of miles away, probably on another continent, and no way they are going to hunt you down because you wasted their time. There used to be discussion board devoted to scamming scammers- I assume there still are. String them along, see how long you can keep them asking. Send a fake email address if you want, and then keep expressing befuddlement as to why you can't log in, etc. Tell them to please send a telegram, a signed picture so you know they are not a computer, a token of friendship. It doesn't matter.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:52 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If you think CL is safe, why were safe zones established by police departments?
Because people (typically buyers with cash in their pockets) are paranoid?

In the context of selling stuff locally, how is craigslist different from the classified ads in your local newspaper 15 years ago? I've never once felt like someone was going to stick me up and steal my cast off furniture, car parts, bicycle parts or whatnot. I just don't feel like I'm living in a world teeming with thieves and miscreants who spend their days trolling CL to set up meets where they can roll me for an end table (or grand piano, LOL).

I mean if you're gonna go full monty on this, do you wear a disguise to the meets so your customers won't be able to identify you?
Today is not 15 years ago. Police departments created safe zones because of the number of crimes that took place, and are still taking place, during Craigslist transactions. Become informed.

Here is a 2015 press release from a Sheriff's office:

Sheriff's Office designated as a Craigslist Transaction Safe Zone

The County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating several robberies that have involved Craigslist transactions. The victims in these robberies were either selling or buying items through Craigslist ads. Many people post ads on Craigslist and other social media websites but this practice has proven, in some circumstances, not the safest way to do business. It is difficult to track or know who you will be meeting face to face.

In an effort to offer preventative measures designed to help keep our community safe we have designated the lobby at the County Sheriff’s Office as a “Craigslist Transaction Safe Zone.” Anyone is welcome to visit the Sheriff’s Office lobby to meet buyers and sellers during regular business hours. Staff will play no role in the transactions, however, will respond as they would during any situation requiring police intervention. Our intention is to offer a safe environment to conduct Craigslist transactions.

The Sheriff’s Office lobby is open Monday through Friday from 8a to 5p. The lobby is closed most holidays.

If you are planning to sell/buy items through an online service such as Craigslist here are a few more things to consider;

1. Do not give out your home address or personal information
2. Arrange to meet in a public place like the Sheriff's Office lobby
3. Always bring a friend along with you
4. Stick with local buyers or sellers if possible. Out of area customers can be a red flag
5. Ask about the details of an item or to see pictures prior to arranging the meeting

And always remember, if you have a suspicious feeling or “it just doesn’t feel right”, don’t go. If you’re already there, leave.


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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:03 am

shawndoggy wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If you think CL is safe, why were safe zones established by police departments?
Because people (typically buyers with cash in their pockets) are paranoid?

In the context of selling stuff locally, how is craigslist different from the classified ads in your local newspaper 15 years ago? I've never once felt like someone was going to stick me up and steal my cast off furniture, car parts, bicycle parts or whatnot. I just don't feel like I'm living in a world teeming with thieves and miscreants who spend their days trolling CL to set up meets where they can roll me for an end table (or grand piano, LOL).

I mean if you're gonna go full monty on this, do you wear a disguise to the meets so your customers won't be able to identify you?
Times have changed. Classified ads used to take up more pages than entire newspapers do today. And virtually the only people who saw them were local folks from your own hometown. With the advent of online advertising like craigslist it's a lot easier for more of the bad guys from much further away to identify prospective naïve/trusting or unsuspecting victims from the convenience of their own keyboards before they waste any time physically approaching them to evaluate their victimitude rating.

Here's an article from 2016: 101 craigslist shooting victims

More articles and examples

CBS news: 5 craiglist crimes that will creep you out


In a previous day and age I used to buy and sell used cars and other stuff via classified ads, and helped others do so. But long before craigslist came along I had already decided that I may never do it again. Or if I do, I certainly will never have any strangers coming to my home. Even before the advent of the internet and craigslist it was becoming harder to tell whether some of the crooks and crazy people coming around were trying to decide whether to rob me on the spot and/or steal the vehicle, or were really there to evaluate the home security and entry points to decide whether to come back to burglarize it later.

jimb

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:30 am

Right.

Sold my car via CL in May (4th car sold via CL). Verified buyer's identity via social media and work website. Verified husband's employer from his email. Took picture of his driver's license before test drive, went with him. Met them at their bank while teller cut Cashier's Check, which was handed directly to me. Then signed title over.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm

Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:27 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.
The risk is not 100% on you. Checks are forged all the time, and PayPal is slanted to the Buyer's advantage. That is why I only accept cash or USPS money order, which the Post Office can be verify before I ship.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by LordB » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.

You might have a much easier time buying things if you didn't exactly match the pattern scammers make.

Seriously paypal is not at all safe. It can be pulled back long after it is put in and cashiers checks can likewise be faked quite convincingly such that it takes them days to come back as fraudulent.

Anyone willing to accept them from you is just looking to get scammed. I suppose maybe the fact that you build a relationship before asking and don't trigger the other red flags helps you get some more trusting folks, but the second you say you are remote and want to pay with paypal anyone with common sense should run away.

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htdrag11
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by htdrag11 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:26 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:27 pm

The risk is not 100% on you. Checks are forged all the time, and PayPal is slanted to the Buyer's advantage. That is why I only accept cash or USPS money order, which the Post Office can be verify before I ship.
Rick,

So USPS money order is safe? TIA.

BTW, after I asked the scammer about his/her county and state, I did not get any reply. Good riddance.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:33 pm

htdrag11 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:26 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:27 pm

The risk is not 100% on you. Checks are forged all the time, and PayPal is slanted to the Buyer's advantage. That is why I only accept cash or USPS money order, which the Post Office can be verify before I ship.
Rick,

So USPS money order is safe? TIA.

Yes, IF YOU DON'T SHIP UNTIL YOU CASH IT AT POST OFFICE OR HAVE THEM VERIFY IT.

Post Office can't cash any significant amount since everyone transacts with debit and credit cards. Major post office near us deposits all cash each night, starting day with less than $100 total in all drawers.

Remember, you will be giving your name and address to buyer. I always look them up and try to match name and address. Sometimes I ask fo phone number to match it to address. And never check the box to connect your ads, shows someone what you have in total.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:35 pm

LordB wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 pm
shawndoggy wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.

You might have a much easier time buying things if you didn't exactly match the pattern scammers make.

Seriously paypal is not at all safe. It can be pulled back long after it is put in and cashiers checks can likewise be faked quite convincingly such that it takes them WEEKS to come back as fraudulent.

Anyone willing to accept them from you is just looking to get scammed. I suppose maybe the fact that you build a relationship before asking and don't trigger the other red flags helps you get some more trusting folks, but the second you say you are remote and want to pay with paypal anyone with common sense should run away.
Yup. Made one change.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by shawndoggy » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:01 pm

LordB wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 pm

You might have a much easier time buying things if you didn't exactly match the pattern scammers make.

Seriously paypal is not at all safe. It can be pulled back long after it is put in and cashiers checks can likewise be faked quite convincingly such that it takes them days to come back as fraudulent.

Anyone willing to accept them from you is just looking to get scammed. I suppose maybe the fact that you build a relationship before asking and don't trigger the other red flags helps you get some more trusting folks, but the second you say you are remote and want to pay with paypal anyone with common sense should run away.
Huh? I don't have a hard time buying things at all.

And I don't "exactly match the pattern scammers make." I communicate like a human being, generally asking specific questions about the goods in question. My fellow humans generally respond in kind and we make a deal. I've spoken to a few people on the phone to get them comfortable (with my real phone number too!). To date I've yet to have my house descended upon by craigslist ninjas as a result.

I give the seller the choice of paypal -- or a bank check. They pick. Some like the convenience, others prefer paper. I've done the USPS money order thing too, but it's a total PITA (standing in the invariably long line at the post office). I expect sooner or later a seller is going to want Venmo.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can live in a world where everyone is out to get you and when you don't "get got" you count your blessings. Or you can live in a world where most people are going to do what they say they are gonna do and you can use a little common sense and have a little faith in humanity. I very much prefer the latter myself.

A little bit of skepticism is good and I'm all about doing the due diligence (search the phone number, search the e-mail, make sure they match up, do a little facebooking, etc. etc.). A phone call can go a long long long way to giving me an idea of the person on the other end of the deal is wasting my time.

But then again I sold a $50K boat via CL to a couple of Russian guys one time (flew to me from Moscow! Srsly!) so I'm probably an outlier.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:13 pm

LordB wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 pm
shawndoggy wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.

You might have a much easier time buying things if you didn't exactly match the pattern scammers make.

Seriously paypal is not at all safe. It can be pulled back long after it is put in and cashiers checks can likewise be faked quite convincingly such that it takes them days to come back as fraudulent.

Anyone willing to accept them from you is just looking to get scammed. I suppose maybe the fact that you build a relationship before asking and don't trigger the other red flags helps you get some more trusting folks, but the second you say you are remote and want to pay with paypal anyone with common sense should run away.

Isn’t eBay mostly people selling remotely and using PayPal to transfer the funds? I started on eBay when it was just people selling their personal junk. I have never had a problem buying or selling, though I use it only few a handful of transactions a year. What is the alternative for all the special interest items where local selling is not practical?

nasrullah
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by nasrullah » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:36 pm

SCAM!

Basically after your item ships out, they lodge a "I didn't get it / it's damaged" complaint with Paypal. Paypal refunds money, you're SOL.

Cash is the only thing I take on Craigslist.
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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by LordB » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:01 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:13 pm
LordB wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 pm
shawndoggy wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Just as a counterpoint, I've bought quite a few small items after conducting nationwide searches via a CL aggregator (seachtempest.com in my case). After I make contact with the seller and negotiate a price I break the news that I'm actually from out of town and that I'll need the item shipped to me (at my expense). I offer to send a bank check (i.e. cashier's check) or pay via paypal, and tell the other party not to mail till they receive my payment. So in this case the risk is 100% on me.

I've probably done 30 transactions this way over the years. Not once have I been ripped off. Not one single time. Humanity is pretty great if you have a little faith.

You might have a much easier time buying things if you didn't exactly match the pattern scammers make.

Seriously paypal is not at all safe. It can be pulled back long after it is put in and cashiers checks can likewise be faked quite convincingly such that it takes them days to come back as fraudulent.

Anyone willing to accept them from you is just looking to get scammed. I suppose maybe the fact that you build a relationship before asking and don't trigger the other red flags helps you get some more trusting folks, but the second you say you are remote and want to pay with paypal anyone with common sense should run away.

Isn’t eBay mostly people selling remotely and using PayPal to transfer the funds? I started on eBay when it was just people selling their personal junk. I have never had a problem buying or selling, though I use it only few a handful of transactions a year. What is the alternative for all the special interest items where local selling is not practical?
Ebay has at least some seller protection. If you sell on ebay and have a tracking number most of the time they will side with the seller and/or eat the cost themselves and make both seller and buyer happy (YMMV this isn't perfect and high volume sellers expect to lose a certain % due to fraud).

A craigslist transaction using paypal does not get the same protections. If the buyer disputes it is near a 100% win for the buyer. If the transaction is fraudulent paypal will pull the money back to the best of their ability and put marks on your credit score if they are unable to and you won't pay.

Craigslist should be cash or possibly USPS money order in person only. If you don't want to do that then sell it on ebay where at least you get some protections.

99.999% of anything craigslist that is asking to ship is a scam. I would have said 100%, but evidently shawndoggy does legit transactions this way. It is literally the first time I have heard of legit remote buying on craigslist and it generally goes against all the advice craigslist gives.

Craigslist recommendations:

Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders - banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).
Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing "deal" may not exist.
Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.

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Re: Craigslist payment by PayPal - safe or scam?

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:10 pm

SCAM!!!

Tell the scammer you found your missing cat inside the piano petrified to the strings. You are not sure how to remove it and are very emotional about the situation. Of course the smell is long gone since the cat is rock hard. Ask if they are still interested, you can ship it as is. Ask if they will remove the cat and ship your feline friend back. You will be surprised how accomadating they will be!
Dead cat? No problem!
Remove and ship back? Sure!
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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