Craigslist Fraud

...Sure I'll send the deposit your way... J/K

I'm always impressed with the stories criminals come up with to swindle unsuspecting victims. Let's face it- I'm a Dateline and Law & Order SVU fanatic. It seems like Craigslist has become some sort of online Mecca for swindling criminals, and unfortunately many innocent bystanders are all too often financially deceived by these con artists on the site.

So as I've been searching for the perfect apartment or house in Charleston, I uncovered a beautiful James Island (right near the beach) house for an unbelievable price! $800 for a great home, complete with pictures and an address that I was even able to Google Map for legitness. Check it out:

Craigslist scam

Better yet, check out the scam of an email I got back:

I did get your response concerning the AD I posted on craigslist. The house is still available but presently I'm not around.. I did bid for a portion of petroleum land sometimes ago in West Africa and fortunately I won the bidding so I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up because I will still have to rebid for it in the next 10 years. I came over here with my wife, we both built the house when we got married. As soon as we settle down here I had a thought of selling the house so I have to look for an agent, after getting one, we got a deal but later my wife advised against that.. She said we may not be able to win the bidding next time, in other to keep our head when we return that we have to keep the house. I reasoned with her and accepted her advise. So I contacted the agent back and requested for my keys and documents. Later we decided to have the house rent out, we would have give the same agent this job also but the truth of the matter is that the agent would want to handle it professionally and the occupant may not be able to reason along with him later. If you notice, you will discovered that the price we are offering is far below standard price, this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the absolute care for the property. I know there is no way I can be sure that you are the right person to live in the house because we won't be able to see physical before sending you the keys and the documents to occupy the space. But I just had a feeling that anyone who knows what it takes to put the kind of structure down should know that maintaining a building is mandatory, so if you belief you can take good care of the house and handle it like yours then I will be more than happy to let you rent the house.

First Month Rent:$800
Refundable Security Deposit Payment:$800
Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose

Full Name__________________________________________________
Home Phone ( ) ________________________
Date of Birth_________________________________
Other Phone ( ) ___________________
Current Address_______________________________
Reasons for Leaving____________________________
Rent $__________
Phone ( ) ____________________________
Are you married____________________________
How many people will be living in the house____________________________
Do you have a pet____________________________
Do you have a car____________________________
Move In Date____________________________

You could give me a call as soon as possible so we could proceed asap..
Please note than you will only be able to drive by the house for now but not have a look at the interior until i have sent the keys and documents of the house to you..and the requirement for getting the keys and documents of the house is a fully refundable payment of $800 USD,which is the security deposit.
Please note that the deposit made is fully refundable should in case you finally gain entrance into the house after receiving the keys and documents and feel unsatisfied or uncomfortable with the interior,but i am giving you a benefit of doubt that you will love everything about this lovely home..
I Await your response so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the keys to you.
My cell phone number is:(+234-802-859-3562 OR 011-234-802-859-3562)
Best Regards

My Response:

Dear Taha Jamal, or whatever you chose your name to be today:
Sure, I will send you the deposit ASAP. C'mon, we both know the form isn't really necessary. I mean truth be told, you could care less if I am married, have a really cool dog, or what I paid for rent at my last place. No, these details are not significant to you... unless you are trying to also access all of my personal accounts as well. I really don't doubt that at all. Oh well. The deposit will be on your doorstep in Nigeria tomorrow, for sure.


PPS That's a real nice fake name ya got there. Taha Jamal? Taj Mahal!? Hah. I googled your phone number, and found that you like to impersonate a vast selection of people- men, women, American, Pakistani, African...etc.

PPSS That means you double suck.

I posted this in an effort to bring just a little more awareness into the Craigslist community. Not too mention I wanted to add to the google results when you type in the phone number on the email.

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posted by thewebutante at 9 Comments


The Slippery Slope at Work

It's not like I mentioned JavaScript...

It's funny, I never in a million years would have thought that I, Kaylee Walters, would find myself at age 22 embracing the tech world, much less becoming a web developer and designer. So, even though it kind of embarrasses me, you can say I understand pretty well some people's frustration with technology. It can feel quite intimidating.

I think the lack of knowledge in the technology realm makes people naive and unaware of what they are getting when they work with a company, unknowing as to if they are getting screwed or not. After watching people in meetings, I realized I can actually pinpoint the moment in their mind that they decide everything that is being spoken of is completely over their head. It's usually when someone accidentally lets some technical jargon slip. Words like 'web development process,' 'SEO' and anything that ends with 'byte' will cause complete system meltdown to this type of person. After one of these terms are dropped, it's like staring at a blue PC screen, a Sad Mac (think Sex and the City when Aiden has to buy Carrie a new computer), or any other screen of death.

The worst part of it all is the inability to turn back from that point. You can only quietly scorn the person responsible for the technical word vomit, and wait for the complete system meltdown to finalize. This person will now be unable to think with an open mind. Simple directions will seem like mazes to them and their frustration will begin to build. Instead of seeing calm web developers chatting around them, this client will see night-spawned gremlins running around in a circle chanting terms like 'server,' 'bandwidth,' and the ever dreaded 'Cascading Style Sheets.'

Although this person is lost in their own minds misery, their own stubbornness is what landed them there. Soon enough, most people on this earth will be able to handle this sort of jargon without enduring complete system meltdown. Soon only a mildly distressed functioning will occur, and this effect will become more and more benign as time goes by. Eventually Bill Gates will become less and less of a thought in our head, and Internet Explorer will be just a fragment of a memory of time passed. And everyone will all join together in a field with flowers and fresh grass chanting terms like 'server', 'bandwidth', and 'Cascading Style Sheets'...

But until that day, system meltdowns will endure. I always try to encourage clients to make changes to their computer/technological routines to avoid this fear of the unknown. Utilizing different browsers, like Mozilla Firefox or Safari, is often a moderate change that can be a real step in the right direction. Buying software programs like Quicken or downloading trial applications to toy with are often other ways to break through to the tech un-savvy. Making their own PDF's or printing pictures can also do the trick. It's important to remember that you will encounter resistance. However, if you can break one person in twelve's negligible technological habits, we are all the more closer to our field chanting existence that we techies dream of at night.

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posted by thewebutante at 0 Comments