Craigslist PayPal Scam


Today is the second time I have spoken with someone regarding this issue. Someone I know was trying to sell her engagement ring, and she placed an ad on Craigslist. Just for the record, she lives in Tennessee and the person who responded said they live in Ohio. This person said they sent $4,350.00 to my friend via PayPal, but my friend did not see the money in the account that she had just created for this specific purpose. She received several emails from “PayPal” and here they are with my commentary. I’ve highlighted several issues with these emails.

First off, you can tell if an email is a scam by looking at who sent you the email. Notice how it says, but then it says Well, if you get an email that shows 2 different email addresses, red flags should go up. Out of curiosity, I went to and that website does exist and anyone can create an email address with any name they want. This is not a valid paypal email address because they would not go out of the system. It just doesn’t happen. So that is my first red flag.

email to and from

This is the first email. I used Gimp to highlight. I created a box around the text, then used the paintbrush to add yellow with 50% transparency, which is why the black text looks faded. I just wanted to clarify that before you went any further.

Ok so here is the first email. They emailed her to tell her that they placed a temporary hold on the funds of this transaction. Why would they do that? I know she has just created this PayPal account for this very purpose, and she never intends on using PayPal again because she doesn’t trust it. She has a checking account with a brick and mortar bank, why would she need PayPal?

So I’m a bit confused here. They placed a temporary hold of $4,3500.00, but she is supposed to Money Gram $750 to someone, then send them a picture or scanned copy of the Money Gram to PayPal? What? That’s not how this works. This is crazy to me!

email 2 money gram

This is who she is supposed to send $750 to. Who is this? This is a 3rd party. PayPal would NEVER have you send money to a 3rd party via Money Gram. I’m sorry, but this is crazy to me.

email 2 money gram florida

Another red flag for me is that they would NEVER spell Walmart or Money Gram without caps. Also, check out my 2nd highlight where they started a new sentence without the space.

email 2 walmart or money gram

Ok, so that is the first email. She told this person that she never got the money and that she didn’t feel comfortable sending $750 via Money Gram. I mean, why would she feel comfortable doing that? I feel uncomfortable for her. So then she gets this email. First of all, look at the date. 12/05/2015. Todays date is 5/12/2015 so they got that backwards lol. If PayPal were to send an email out, they would have the correct date. Second, when someone sends you money on PayPal, a representative does not contact you personally. It just doesn’t happen. The computer will generate an email telling you that you need to verify your account before the funds will be deposited into your account. So that is a huge red flag for me. Third, they misspelled PayPal. You see my highlight that says papal. The last thing about this email is the Money Gram Transfer. I am still very confused about that.

email 1 contents

And finally they sent out a third email. Let me just repeat what I said before, if PayPal were to email anything to you, it would be their computer, not an actual person. They are pleading this Hazel persons case. “You Have to understand that Hazel Lane is a loyal customer of PayPal.” You have to understand is their first sentence? Why? I don’t understand this. Why are they pleading for someone? They spelled have with a cap. Then read my 2nd highlight “to loose the money.” You don’t loose money, you lose money. Then they said it is clear you are trying to scam her which will be taking up legally. WE WILL, is what they meant to say. Then finally “which can lead you loosing this account.” You don’t loose something, you lose it. Oh and they are threatening 5 years in prison. Then finally in the last highlight they did it again with the separation of sentences where they added a period, but then forgot to add a space, but this time the next sentence begins without the cap and it says “please for any Question reply directly back to this email.”

email 3 you have to understand

Oh and finally the logo at the end SCAM DEFENCE. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s spelled with an S not a C. Defense. Also the N is raised a bit oddly in that logo.

I told her what I thought and that she should call PayPal directly and I found their number on Google Search and she called and they told her that this is a scam. I told her to cut off communication with this person and to delete her PayPal account since she has no intention of using it any further. I also advised her to change her email password and to block this person on her phone since they were communicating via text message.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when you are being scammed, but some people, particularly young and elderly people don’t get scammed too often, so they don’t see the signs right away. That’s why I am happy that she sent me a message asking me what I thought about this whole thing. Another friend of mine fell for this scam when she tried selling her laptop on Craigslist. They pressured her to ship it out overnight, so she ended up shipping out her laptop and never got a dime and spent around $50 shipping the laptop to… get this… NIGERIA! If that is not a big giant red flag, I don’t know what is. If you are ever in doubt, the minute you see the word Nigeria, RUN! Don’t pass go, just run! And when I say run, obviously I mean shut it down. Stop all communication and call PayPal directly.

If you have to question something, then perhaps there is something wrong with it. Also, you know the old adage, say it with me, If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want to see what a TRUE PayPal email looks like when you get money, this is it. They don’t add any fancy graphics or personalize anything. Know the difference and stay safe.

proper email