Beware of Scammers! Scammers Beware!

So I thought now, towards the end of a busy music season, I would upgrade my axe.  I've had the D'Angelico for a couple of years, but it's a little heavy and I ain't gettin' any younger.  I had my sights on a Gibson 339, with those classic '57 humbuckers. I don't do a lot of selling online, but I have on occasion used Craigslist and Reverb, having success with the latter only.  I did find the EXDC on Craigslist, so I thought "OK, I'll post it on both!"  Within hours of the Craigslist posting, in fact, while I was still doing the Reverb ad, I got a hit!  "Yahoo!  Success!"

The text gave me an email and we started communicating.  The buyer was so happy to have this guitar for his son, he was willing to pay an extra $100 just to have first dibs!  Only thing was, he was on a ship in the middle of the Great Lakes or something, and he'd have to send me the funds, plus an extra $650 for his "shipping agent" which I would then wire transfer via Western Union to the "agent" who would then arrange pickup.  

My BS meter started to buzz.  I asked the buyer why he wouldn't let me ship it to him for $30?  And could I call him to discuss?  Nope, he couldn't take phone calls.  All he wanted was my PayPal email and he would transfer the funds.  I supplied him with the email for PayPal, but then as my BS meter started buzzing louder, I googled "Craigslist PayPal scams" and up popped a list of warning signs that included nearly everything I had heard from the buyer.

"No Deal" I texted back.  "WHATDOYOUMEAN.??!! was the reply.  "You're a scammer, I'm on to you and you're in trouble".  I then saw something on the PayPal site where I could report suspicious emails, and PayPal has since informed me that the email I received was linked to a fake website, and that their investigation was continuing.

THEN I got a hit from the Reverb site with an offer, I counter offered, he accepted, and I sat back to wait for the funds to be transfered to my PayPal account while I gleefully started shopping for a Gibson 339.  THEN I got another hit form the Craigslist posting that seemed legitimate, but I told him the guitar had been sold.  I told him that if the sale fell through, he would be first in line.

in the meantime, I still hasn't gotten paid from the Reverb guy, and I was getting suspicious about him too.  I called Reverb and it turns out this guy had accepted offers on two other items, with no payment, and Reverb was reviewing this potential buyer.  Very quickly they removed him from the  approved buyers, and then re-listed the guitar.  So now I contact the other Craigslist guy who then informs me he has to send me a certified bank check so his "mover" can come pick it up.

My BS  meter immediately goes to full alert.  I inform said buyer that the only way I will accept payment is via PayPal through Reverb.  I never hear from him again.

Bottom line?  The guitar is still for sale, and after three illegitimate buyers I am so much the wiser.

So to all who read this, beware of scammers!  If they start talking "wire transfer" or "moving company" or "agent" or "certified check" or if in any other way the deal seems to good to be true, it probably is!

And if you're a scammer, I've got your number, and PayPal and Reverb have got my back!,

Thomas HashagenComment