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S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers

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Your situation is a disaster in the making, Slartibartfast. I would urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to think about getting out of this even if it smacks of a little rudeness. Tell her she cannot come on the trip. Not only won't you get any help at the booth, you will probably end up babysitting her too while she whines worse than your child. Trust me on this; I am speaking from experience. Get out of it while you still can!

Craigslist is the worst!

My DH is selling a whole bunch of stuff right now and as the computer savvy one I'm doing the listings with the replies coming to my e-mail address.  For every legitimate reply there are 4-5 scammers replying.  And they are getting smarter every week! 

Week 1 - scammer would reply to every single listing across multiple boards.  The e-mail would always be one line "is item still available?" and sent from a cell phone.  The reply to e-mail address would be different then the sent from address.  I replied and would get the typical "I'm out of town, my assistant will send a check, I'll arrange movers/pick up."  And it was always in Very formal/proper english, like too formal to be a native english speaker.   

Week 2 - Only respond to listings on one board.  I would still get multiple e-mails from the same "person" since I have multiple listings.  The rest would be the same as Week 1.

Week 3 - I'd get a response to only one listing and the reply to e-mail would be the same as the sent from e-mail.  The rest would be the same as week 1

Week 4 - Response to only one listing, now the first response includes questions about the item or information about when they are available to inspect/pick up the item.  The reply to and sent from e-mail would be the same.  Everything would be in overly formal/proper english.  And there would be 2-3 e-mails back and forth before I'm hit with the "I'm out of town, my assistant will send a check, I'll arrange movers/pick up."

It's getting really frustrating because now I'm getting invested in this potential buyer and excited that my item's are selling, then I'm hit with the scam.  DH says that's the price you pay for the service being free...

Just last year, I answered a call for the Printer Scam at work.  Many years ago, our office manager was the victim of the very same scam, so I had some familiarity with the way it went.  Snopes explains it here:


There are several variations but this particular scam is if you give the model number off the printer in question, you are either given a hard sell for really crappy but expensive toner or find yourself receiving a large case of very poor quality toner you never ordered, accompanied by a very expensive invoice.  The payoff is that they hope the invoice will just get paid to avoid litigation. 

Some BG:  I'm an assistant but I work at a pretty large company.  While we order supplies like pens, folders, note pads, etc., we have a person whose job is to maintain the printer/copier/fax machines we have.  I am not that person.  Anyone who does such business with our company would know that I am not that person.

So my phone rang.  Most of the time we have a caller ID display but this one was marked "PR-1," which means private.  My primary client's number occasionally comes up private, so I picked it up and answered with my customary greeting of "Company Name, this is 2LM." 

It's Tony and he says something like,

Tony: "Hey 2LM!  Listen, I was getting ready to send out your toner order but I wanted to make sure I had the right one.  Can you run over and get me the model number printer?"  (DING DING DING go the warning bells, LOL.)

Me: "Sir, I'm afraid I haven't ordered any toner and I'm not the person in charge of such things.  Good bye."

I was 99.999% sure it was a scam and had no intention of feeding this guy our real printer guy's name or number.  I let the Keeper of the Printer know about the call on the off chance he really did have a pending order and the guy just mis-dialed.  He didn't so I alerted my team to make them aware.  I have no idea how this guy got my extension. 

Ginger G:
Regarding the printer scam, I did something years ago that I'm not particulary proud of now, but here it goes...

I used to work at a fairly large company and for some reason these scammer calls kept coming to me even though the department I worked in had nothing to do with office supplies.  I would usually just say "not interested" and hang up.  One day, I just got fed up, and when the guy asked me to verify the model #, I said "okay sure!!" in a very friendly way and put him on hold.  I picked the phone back up and then said the first few actual numbers and then started spelling out in letters  "**** YOU".  You can probably guess what the "****" was.  Not nice I know, but I never got any more calls after that.

Last time I got one of those, I tried something I had read about here on eHell  ;D

Her: "I'm about to send your toner order but could you please verify the serial number on your printer?"
Me: "Sure, let me go check.  One second.  Here it is: 4."
Her: "No, that's not it - should be a longer number than that."
Me: "Nope, that's the serial number - this printer is very old."
Her: " . . ."
Me: "Yeah, not falling for it, sorry.  Goodbye.  *click*"


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