Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

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Bob Sacamano
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Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Bob Sacamano » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm

not sure if there are any scams for sellers other than the typical folks pretending to be buyers and asking for your Paypal info, etc.

this individual messaged me (via Google Voice, not my real number) with interest about something i was selling (included a screenshot, which was odd) and then asked a few follow up questions regarding the color.

they then asked if they could come pick it up and were going to rent a U-Haul in order to do so. i HATE having to sell/show things in my own place but it's a large piece and i don't really have any other way of doing so.

i asked the person's name and had them call me.

a few things that are odd:

1. it's a woman with a "toddler"
2. it sort of sounded like a woman on the phone but could have been a man disguising their voice
3. coming alone - no help, no husband, just the woman
4. said they'd be here at 6:30 and would message me 15 minutes prior. still not here, no message.

all they have from me is a Google Voice number and an address (but i live in a relatively large apartment building).

maybe i am being dramatic but just curious if i somehow could have given out too much info. thoughts?

runner3081
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by runner3081 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
maybe i am being dramatic but just curious if i somehow could have given out too much info. thoughts?
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. The flake out/no-show rate on CL is EXTREMELY high (I sell a ton of stuff on there).

Your address and phone number are easy enough to find on the internet (for anyone who has your name).

As far as coming alone. Some people assume you will help them load up.

At least she thought about a U-Haul. I have had people show up for big furniture in a Honda Civic.

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Brianmcg321
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Brianmcg321 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:47 pm

The last time I sold a mower on craigslist, I had at least 15 no-shows before someone actually showed up. Even though the prior 15 all said "they were on their way". :oops:
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by meebers » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:11 pm

I just backed off on one of my listings. Person was not from the US and wanted me to ship it to them. Their email name and email that they were using were not the same. Would deposit :moneybag in my PP account for the item and the postage. After a while they offered to use a US address for shipment. Perhaps innocent circumstances but in this case, better be safe than sorry. 8-).

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CAsage
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by CAsage » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:13 pm

What information other than your pickup address and possibly a phone number to coordinate? That should be the max. Hopefully not any Paypal - with craigslist, you really are way better off going strictly cash and carry. $20 bills and under. I'm sure they could pay you with Paypal, pick it up, and then reverse that amount or more and claim you defrauded them.
When I was trying to unload my Mom's apartment full of furniture, and optimistically listed a 6-pc wall unit over $100... I had more than one scammer email me about how that was just perfect, but they were out of town and would be sending someone with a truck and a cashier's check for just a little more, and would I please take the check, pay the shipper in cash etc. Total scam. Read the Craigslist info on scams and learn - never pay in advance for tickets that won't be mailed or third party shippers etc.
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runner3081
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by runner3081 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:04 pm

At least you weren't the guy who sent money via Western Union for football tickets on Craigslist in another thread :)

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by mariezzz » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:14 pm

Even $20 bills can be counterfeited, so I'd buy one of those markers they have in stores for checking that they're valid. And note the person's license plate number, just in case.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Nate79 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:23 pm

You haven't gotten scammed, yet.... let us know if they show up or not.

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Cubicle
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Cubicle » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:11 pm

I've had people show up to purchase with money orders & bank checks. "I didn't have time to go to the ATM." "Oh but you had time to get this money order / bank check right? No sale, go home"." So make sure its cash. And not counterfeit.

Also will chime in about the high rates of "no shows". Its just a thing.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by knightrider » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:10 am

The way to avoid all the nonsense on Craigslist is to price things to sell and ignore anyone who is not serious.. Very simple. Yet people are greedy and will entertain anyone interested in their overpriced junk. Sorry to say it, but such people deserved to get scammed. The education is priceless.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:28 am

If you're squeamish about this, you are not a good craigslist person. Your description of events wouldn't phase me in the least if it were me selling something. If there's moving of heavy stuff to do, I make it very clear in the ad that I won't help. I've sold cords of unsplit firewood and say "You must load and move the wood yourself. I can't help".
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:04 am

So this is in progress. As in NOW. And you are already posting here about your doubts on the whole scheme. Why not see how it goes and then if anything goes amiss you can post it.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:14 am

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
i HATE having to sell/show things in my own place but it's a large piece and i don't really have any other way of doing so.
Sure you do.

Meet the person at a Craigslist Safe Zone, i.e. a local police department, in the lobby.

If they seem questionable, go to the desk and talk to the desk officer. Say that you are conducting a transaction in their safe zone, and that you have to go pick it up at your house, and would the officer mind taking down the driver's license information of the other party. You'll call within an hour and let them know everything went fine.

I've done this many times (but not the last step except once). I've asked to see a driver's license, and in some cases taken a picture of it. I always inform someone that I am going to the safe zone and then coming home, and at home I make sure someone else is home and that the transaction takes place outside the home. Furniture for sale can be moved to a garage or basement, and taken from the basement just before the sale.

Every now and then a potential buyer balks. That's a big red flag, and we're done.

For those that say I'm taking crazy precautions, I've sold hundreds of things on Craigslist, bringing in over $20,000.

During one CL sale (I was the seller of a $10 item), I waited for the buyer in a public parking lot, full of people (maybe holds 50 cars). Very safe. Car came, drove around where I was parked, and then pulled up close to my door, making it hard to get out. I did get out, and then noticed there were two people, both large, and looking at me suspiciously. Turns out they were police, part of an investigation against CL crimes, working on recent attacks of buyers by a fake seller and thought what I was selling fit the mold. I followed up with a call to the police department, spoke to the detective in charge of the task force, who confirmed it existed, confirmed these two officers were there with me, and that they in fact shouldn't have been because that wasn't how they were supposed to operate.

CL transactions have resulted in murders, robberies, and more. Being too safe is a good thing, not a bad thing.
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Bob Sacamano » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm

so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME. i know this is a big no-no, but how else are you going to sell larger items such as furniture?

that said, is there ever a time where you would have someone come to your house? if so, what measures can you take to protect yourself?

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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Bob Sacamano » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:30 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:14 am
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
i HATE having to sell/show things in my own place but it's a large piece and i don't really have any other way of doing so.
Sure you do.

Meet the person at a Craigslist Safe Zone, i.e. a local police department, in the lobby.

If they seem questionable, go to the desk and talk to the desk officer. Say that you are conducting a transaction in their safe zone, and that you have to go pick it up at your house, and would the officer mind taking down the driver's license information of the other party. You'll call within an hour and let them know everything went fine.

I've done this many times (but not the last step except once). I've asked to see a driver's license, and in some cases taken a picture of it. I always inform someone that I am going to the safe zone and then coming home, and at home I make sure someone else is home and that the transaction takes place outside the home. Furniture for sale can be moved to a garage or basement, and taken from the basement just before the sale.

Every now and then a potential buyer balks. That's a big red flag, and we're done.

For those that say I'm taking crazy precautions, I've sold hundreds of things on Craigslist, bringing in over $20,000.

During one CL sale (I was the seller of a $10 item), I waited for the buyer in a public parking lot, full of people (maybe holds 50 cars). Very safe. Car came, drove around where I was parked, and then pulled up close to my door, making it hard to get out. I did get out, and then noticed there were two people, both large, and looking at me suspiciously. Turns out they were police, part of an investigation against CL crimes, working on recent attacks of buyers by a fake seller and thought what I was selling fit the mold. I followed up with a call to the police department, spoke to the detective in charge of the task force, who confirmed it existed, confirmed these two officers were there with me, and that they in fact shouldn't have been because that wasn't how they were supposed to operate.

CL transactions have resulted in murders, robberies, and more. Being too safe is a good thing, not a bad thing.
good point, but not entirely feasible if you're selling something quite large. it'd be a huge headache to load my vehicle with furniture, bring to a meet spot and then have the person either not show up or not be interested. i'd only be willing to do that if it was a sure thing that the person was buying. and even then, for $200, i'd rather just keep it.

i guess there are no other options. it's 1. take a risk or 2. have it be a big hassle and hope it gets sold after all the extra legwork.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by AZAttorney11 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:32 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm
so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME. i know this is a big no-no, but how else are you going to sell larger items such as furniture?

that said, is there ever a time where you would have someone come to your house? if so, what measures can you take to protect yourself?
A total stranger? No way. As to your second question, a handgun.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by oldfatguy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:36 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm
so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME. i know this is a big no-no, but how else are you going to sell larger items such as furniture?

that said, is there ever a time where you would have someone come to your house? if so, what measures can you take to protect yourself?
I've sold stuff from my home on CL lots of times, and had stuff I bought on CL (firewood, for example) delivered to my home, and have never given it a second thought. There are dozens of places online where anyone in the world can connect my name to my address, so what is there to protect?

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by novemberrain » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Your address and phone number are easy enough to find on the internet (for anyone who has your name).
That is why I spent several hours scrubbing my address from the internet. Contacted each of the data brokers one by one and asked that my name be taken off their database

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:54 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:30 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:14 am
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
i HATE having to sell/show things in my own place but it's a large piece and i don't really have any other way of doing so.
Sure you do.

Meet the person at a Craigslist Safe Zone, i.e. a local police department, in the lobby.

If they seem questionable, go to the desk and talk to the desk officer. Say that you are conducting a transaction in their safe zone, and that you have to go pick it up at your house, and would the officer mind taking down the driver's license information of the other party. You'll call within an hour and let them know everything went fine.


I've done this many times (but not the last step except once). I've asked to see a driver's license, and in some cases taken a picture of it. I always inform someone that I am going to the safe zone and then coming home, and at home I make sure someone else is home and that the transaction takes place outside the home. Furniture for sale can be moved to a garage or basement, and taken from the basement just before the sale.

Every now and then a potential buyer balks. That's a big red flag, and we're done.

For those that say I'm taking crazy precautions, I've sold hundreds of things on Craigslist, bringing in over $20,000.

During one CL sale (I was the seller of a $10 item), I waited for the buyer in a public parking lot, full of people (maybe holds 50 cars). Very safe. Car came, drove around where I was parked, and then pulled up close to my door, making it hard to get out. I did get out, and then noticed there were two people, both large, and looking at me suspiciously. Turns out they were police, part of an investigation against CL crimes, working on recent attacks of buyers by a fake seller and thought what I was selling fit the mold. I followed up with a call to the police department, spoke to the detective in charge of the task force, who confirmed it existed, confirmed these two officers were there with me, and that they in fact shouldn't have been because that wasn't how they were supposed to operate.

CL transactions have resulted in murders, robberies, and more. Being too safe is a good thing, not a bad thing.
good point, but not entirely feasible if you're selling something quite large. it'd be a huge headache to load my vehicle with furniture, bring to a meet spot and then have the person either not show up or not be interested. i'd only be willing to do that if it was a sure thing that the person was buying. and even then, for $200, i'd rather just keep it.

i guess there are no other options. it's 1. take a risk or 2. have it be a big hassle and hope it gets sold after all the extra legwork.
Let me try again, because I guess I was not clear.

I have a big piece of furniture to sell. I meet the person at the safe zone, and they show me their DL. I take a picture of it, which is now stored on the cloud, and accessible to my family. If they seem sketchy, I may introduce both of us to the desk sergeant, but their video cameras already captured both of us. Then, we drive to my house and they inspect and buy the piece of furniture. Or they don't buy. But the most I did was put it in the garage or the pull it out of the basement. Or, I could bring them in if I wanted to.

I listed the steps above that I take to stay safe. I'll bold them again.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:57 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Your address and phone number are easy enough to find on the internet (for anyone who has your name).
That is why I spent several hours scrubbing my address from the internet. Contacted each of the data brokers one by one and asked that my name be taken off their database
No one that buys from me on CL knows anything beyond my first name.

When you transact on CL, use their anonymous email, but make sure you setup your email (say Comcast) properly. Many people setup their email as novemberrain<John Smith>@comcast.net. When you do that, CL will remove the email address novemberrain@comcast.net, but will send through the John Smith. I setup a unique email address, and the name it has is Craigslist. Therefore, the only thing the buyer sees is Rick and Craigslist. Unless they buy at my home (rare), they have no idea of my name.

As to phone number, I use a unique Google Voice number, that simple says "Rick" for an id. It has no ties to me.
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runner3081
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by runner3081 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:02 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Your address and phone number are easy enough to find on the internet (for anyone who has your name).
That is why I spent several hours scrubbing my address from the internet. Contacted each of the data brokers one by one and asked that my name be taken off their database
How did you accomplish this with your county recorder (assuming you own a house)? If I need someone's address, I usually look on the county recorder's site.

runner3081
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by runner3081 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:04 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm
so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME. i know this is a big no-no, but how else are you going to sell larger items such as furniture?

that said, is there ever a time where you would have someone come to your house? if so, what measures can you take to protect yourself?
I sell things using Porch/Patio pickup at my house all of the time. Granted, I never see the person, but they are still coming to the house.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by sk2101 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:08 pm

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:32 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm
so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME. i know this is a big no-no, but how else are you going to sell larger items such as furniture?

that said, is there ever a time where you would have someone come to your house? if so, what measures can you take to protect yourself?
A total stranger? No way. As to your second question, a handgun.
I find OfferUp to be a better platform vs. Craigslist as buyers and sellers are rated on every transaction and I can always check the profile and weed out sketchy looking people before accepting to meet. Not perfect, but much better than CL. I try at all costs not meeting at my house, but if I am selling something bulky that I can't transport I do it and I have a handgun on me for piece of mind. It helps that I live in a gated community so everyone coming in will have to check in at a gatehouse where their ID will be shown and logged ad they and their car will go though security cameras, so that's an added deterrent.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by novemberrain » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:17 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:02 pm
novemberrain wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Your address and phone number are easy enough to find on the internet (for anyone who has your name).
That is why I spent several hours scrubbing my address from the internet. Contacted each of the data brokers one by one and asked that my name be taken off their database
How did you accomplish this with your county recorder (assuming you own a house)? If I need someone's address, I usually look on the county recorder's site.
Good point. I didn't contact the county recorder though. Not sure whether my address is visible there.

but I have scrubbed my address from all the internet leeches : mylife, spokeo, whitepages etc. At least it will prevent some random nutjob on the internet from finding out where I live; especially since they wont know which county i live in

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:49 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 pm
so i think the main issue is i am very squeamish about meeting folks AT MY HOME.
Kinda late for that thought.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:13 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
2. it sort of sounded like a woman on the phone but could have been a man disguising their voice
A high talker? Maybe she's a Seinfeld fan and thinks you're the real Bob Sacamano. Are you selling an armoire with hidden recipes, or a pee-stained couch?

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by atikovi » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:59 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:54 pm
I have a big piece of furniture to sell. I meet the person at the safe zone, and they show me their DL. I take a picture of it, which is now stored on the cloud, and accessible to my family.
No way in hell am I showing a stranger my DL let alone allowing them to take a picture of it.

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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by Bob Sacamano » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:54 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:54 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:30 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:14 am
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
i HATE having to sell/show things in my own place but it's a large piece and i don't really have any other way of doing so.
Sure you do.

Meet the person at a Craigslist Safe Zone, i.e. a local police department, in the lobby.

If they seem questionable, go to the desk and talk to the desk officer. Say that you are conducting a transaction in their safe zone, and that you have to go pick it up at your house, and would the officer mind taking down the driver's license information of the other party. You'll call within an hour and let them know everything went fine.


I've done this many times (but not the last step except once). I've asked to see a driver's license, and in some cases taken a picture of it. I always inform someone that I am going to the safe zone and then coming home, and at home I make sure someone else is home and that the transaction takes place outside the home. Furniture for sale can be moved to a garage or basement, and taken from the basement just before the sale.

Every now and then a potential buyer balks. That's a big red flag, and we're done.

For those that say I'm taking crazy precautions, I've sold hundreds of things on Craigslist, bringing in over $20,000.

During one CL sale (I was the seller of a $10 item), I waited for the buyer in a public parking lot, full of people (maybe holds 50 cars). Very safe. Car came, drove around where I was parked, and then pulled up close to my door, making it hard to get out. I did get out, and then noticed there were two people, both large, and looking at me suspiciously. Turns out they were police, part of an investigation against CL crimes, working on recent attacks of buyers by a fake seller and thought what I was selling fit the mold. I followed up with a call to the police department, spoke to the detective in charge of the task force, who confirmed it existed, confirmed these two officers were there with me, and that they in fact shouldn't have been because that wasn't how they were supposed to operate.

CL transactions have resulted in murders, robberies, and more. Being too safe is a good thing, not a bad thing.
good point, but not entirely feasible if you're selling something quite large. it'd be a huge headache to load my vehicle with furniture, bring to a meet spot and then have the person either not show up or not be interested. i'd only be willing to do that if it was a sure thing that the person was buying. and even then, for $200, i'd rather just keep it.

i guess there are no other options. it's 1. take a risk or 2. have it be a big hassle and hope it gets sold after all the extra legwork.
Let me try again, because I guess I was not clear.

I have a big piece of furniture to sell. I meet the person at the safe zone, and they show me their DL. I take a picture of it, which is now stored on the cloud, and accessible to my family. If they seem sketchy, I may introduce both of us to the desk sergeant, but their video cameras already captured both of us. Then, we drive to my house and they inspect and buy the piece of furniture. Or they don't buy. But the most I did was put it in the garage or the pull it out of the basement. Or, I could bring them in if I wanted to.

I listed the steps above that I take to stay safe. I'll bold them again.
my fault for only perusing your comment (i was at work). i had thought you meant you loaded and brought the large item to the meet spot. not that you'd meet the folks and then drive with them to your house.

thanks.

edit: i wouldn't feel comfortable asking a stranger to take a photo of their ID. that's a bit odd.

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Re: Concerned I may have somehow gotten scammed on Craigslist (as a seller)...

Post by DesertOasis » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:33 pm

If I can't easily move it outside, I don't sell it. I've had multiple Craigslist transactions on my front lawn, like if I was conducting a yard sale. I would never let anyone into my residence and, as was said above, it's not worth lugging heavy pieces outside because too many prospective buyers flake out.

Conversely, when I have sold things inside, because I was moving out, pretty much everyone who showed up had no qualms about going inside, women included.

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