Smarter Craigslist Nigerian Scammers

If you have ever listed anything for sale on Craigslist, there is a chance you were probably contacted by a Nigerian scammer. They usually send a very generic email asking if the posted item is still available with no specific details about the item you are selling. If you still have it for sale, of course you are going to respond and say that it is still for sale.

Scammer Response

Then you get a response from the scammer. Their response emails have always been somewhat incoherent. The English is always really bad and the paragraphs never quite make sense. It’s pretty obvious that they are using some kind of language translation that doesn’t translate very well. However, I have recently received a couple emails from scammers that actually sound good.

nigerian scammer tshirtHere is an example:

Hi,
Thanks for the response . I’m going on a vacation to London but I will instruct my assistant to prepare and mail your payment which I’m sure you will get in about 7 – 9 business days. I’ll add $20 extra for the delay. I’ll pay by M O or cashier check so send me your info (i.e full name, mailing address and your phone number) so payment can be mailed out immediately. I will also make arrangement for pick-up which will be after you must have received and cashed the payment. Awaiting your info.Thanks for your understanding and patience. Expecting to hear from you soon.

Sounds Legit

Not bad, eh? The paragraph reads smoothly (there’s a few glitches) and it seems like it’s a regular person who just happens to be going out of town and needs the item shipped.

Obviously, it is the same scam I have mentioned many times before, but since the English in the email is better, it seems more legit.


Keep in mind, as legit as that email might seem, real Craigslist buyers will never send an email that long. An email from a real Craigslist buyer will usually never be more than two or three sentences long. Most of the time, emails from real buyers are just sentence fragments and aren’t even a complete thought.

So, if you receive emails similar to the example above, just delete it and move on. The scam email could be written by a high school English teacher, but if it reads like the email above and talks about shipping, cashier’s checks and money orders, it is always a scam.

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