How to Spot a Scam

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beware of John & Mary Coleman

We are reporting a new apartment scam that is targeting the CL Honolulu postings.

Name: John & Mary Coleman

On 4/27/09 A CL user submitted the following:

Here's another one - same scam as the Jeffrey Brown one: John and Mary Coleman advertising for well under the normal pricing for specific apartments in Honolulu, also claiming the West Africa, missions deal with keys and paperwork elsewhere. The email addresses they used for me on 4/15/09 are:;

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jacuez Dumoulin

Thanks again to the NY CL user who submitted the following info.

On 4/26/09 a CL user wrote:
A guy called Jacuez Dumoulin tried to scam me.
Email address:

He apparently has done this before and he sends the same messages to everyone he tries to scam. It reads:

Hi There,

Available for sale? willing to pay your asking price or more. i'll get
back to you need to visit grandma at the hospital, pls keep the item
for me.


Craigslist Killer Update

We are urging people to avoid the Craigslist Erotic Section.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Con Artist Update

We are urging people to either avoid or scambait the following:

Name: Jessica Spencer

Name: Scott Kelvin

Name: Alice Houser (Use to be Marisa)
Location: Lagos, Nigeria 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dr. Simon Tyler & Elizabeth Hardwick

This is a fraudster update for 4/22/09

Name: Simon Tyler (aka Dr. Simon Tyler)
*This person has a California arrest warrant.  We are seeking photos, ID's, and other personal information from this person.

Name: Elizabeth Hardwick
Tel: +44 703 190959, +44 703 197 2870
Tactic: Poses as a landlord with a New York City apartment for rent.  


Pastor Joe Brown now Jeffrey Brown?

On Monday we featured a con man calling himself Pastor Joe Brown. It appears he has changed his name to Pastor Jeffrey Brown. His pathetic story involves a wife who has been called to service in Africa; and now they must find a renter for their New York City apartment.

Name: Pastor Jeffrey Brown
Tel: +234 802 0743804

Hell has a special place for people who pose as clergy in an attempt to scam people online.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mike Wilson Scam Artist?

A person calling themselves Mike Wilson has appeared on CL as of late.  We are not sure of his tactics, however it could a classic overpayment scam; whereby a potential victim is sent a fake check for more than the asking price, and then wires the remaining balance back to the buyer. Once the victims bank catches the fake check (usually within three weeks) they must repay any and all portions used.  

Name:  Mike Wilson

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tina Williams, James Burrows, and Joe Brown Update

The following scam artists have appeared on our radar as of late.  We are in the process of obtaining more information.

Name: Tina Williams

Name: James Burrows
Email: Unknown

Name: Joe Brown (Claims to be a Pastor)
Email: unknown

Friday, April 17, 2009

Intuitive Group Scam - Mclean, VA

Intuitive Group
Phone: 703-388-2863?
8201 Greensboro Dr. Ste 605
McLean, Virginia, 22102

On 4/16/09 A CL user wrote:
Beware of the Intuitive Group Inc! This company is a rebrand of a very old pyramid scheme/MLM and is a part of the infamous Cor Concepts.

This marketing affiliate is part of CYDCOR, which has marketing offices all over the U.S.Everyone who applies to them gets accepted. It is based on a pyramid scheme, where the Manager and the Owner's make all the money.

You market door to door for some phone company or sell office cupplies, yes, soliciting door to door from one business to the other, get no salary, or driving expense, or insurance or any benefits what so ever. This job is striclty based on commission, and you work 9 hour days. NO PAY! and strictly commission. You are literally taught to lie and sell the product, any way possible, to make your day's pay.

Report: Nobeck Marketing - East Berlin,CT

The following testimony can be found at

Nobeck Marketing - Smart Circle
1224 Mill Street
East Berlin, Connecticut

As you glance through the job opportunities on careerbuilder you'll likely see some enty level marketing and sales rep positions. Being a junior in college with no relevant work experience in the field I wish to persue (marketing) I thought this 'opportunity' could benefit me. I went in for a first interview that was more of a quick formality that lasted approximately 15 minutes.

I was scheduled for a second interview quickly after where I had to to 'shadow' the assistant manager in a day of field work which I was led to believe was not the majority of what my job entailed. Sure I knew door to door sales was sleazy but I was promised all sorts of financial 'opportunity' so I figured I could do it if the money's right.

I feel so stupid for just accepting a job that didn't offer any concrete figures or direct answers. I took the job and left the place I had been working at for over 4 years making $16 per hour plus some benefits. I was in training for two weeks making $40 per day working 11 hr days and in the short two weeks I noticed an alarming trend that screamed GET OUT. Everyone there in the office (all the sales leaders and even the people in charge) was broke.

They all drove around crappy cars that weren't maintained well, ate at crappy restaurants and were HUNGRY for cash. Pretty much everyone there was pressured into working 60 hr weeks only to bring home $700 at the very most. This works out to a little over $11 per hour before taxes with no benefits, paid time off, health insurance, gas reimbursement, NOTHING. No wonder three of the 'lead people' were living out of one apartment broke and desparate for money. They were all working themselves to the bone day after day while they're being fed this pipe dream of 'owning their own business' so that they keep making smart circle rich.

I was duped into thinking this was some great opportunity when in reality it was just a scam that takes advantage of suckers who fall for deceptive sales tactics like '90% discount' and some 'free rounds of golf' when in reality the discounts are miniscule and nothing is free. Also, sales reps are taught to solicit businesses illegally by walking into office buildings with NO SOLICITING displayed clearly at the entrance. I was even instructed to hide my 'merchandise' when entering these buildings in case of security guards.

People look at you like you're trash and it's by far the most demeaning job I've ever done (and I've washed dishes and worked on a farm). I'll be the first to say that I refuse to do anything illegal for a living especially for crappy, less than minimum wage pay. Coaching people to engage in illegal activity and requiring commissioned sales reps to work from 7:15 am to around 7 pm has to be illegal itself.

The atmosphere was extremely sketchy and cult-like and I got out as quick as I possibly could. I'm not saying that this job isn't for some people because maybe you could succeed at it but..... I'm not here to make judgment calls on anyone's character there but I was subject to a lot of deception and indirect answers when I had questions.

Honestly, I wish everyone at this office the best and I hope they get out before they lose all their friends and family from the ridiculous hours and end up pennyless because of the ridiculous pay. Mainly, the purpose of this article is to inform any perspective employees of what they are really getting into at this 'dream job' and to get them to do some research on smart circle and its satellite companies before 'drinking the kool-aid' like I did.

Fairbanks Capital Scam Alert

Fairbanks Capital - LSC - SPS - Equicredit
Phone: 801-2932501
3815 South West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84115

Fairbanks Capital, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah is a Mortgage Loan Servicing Company that purchases mortgages from other Lending institutions across the Country. They are the tenth largest Loan Servicing Company in the United States. has received over 3,000 emails and 440 reports from consumers in every state that have been victimized by Fairbanks Capital Corp.

Many of these victims claimed to have lost their homes to fraudulent foreclosure, others have been forced to file Bankruptcy in an attempt to save their homes from Foreclosure. Fairbanks Capital has become notorious for one thing, stealing homes. We believe that Fairbanks Capital has developed a very keen scam of illegal and unethical Business practices to lead homeowners into Foreclosure.

Among the many accusations made by homeowners, these scams seem to be Fairbanks favorites:

· Charging late fees when payments where received on time
· Claiming 'lost' payments
· Demanding payments that have already been made
· Improper use of escrow funds, or even 'losing' escrow funds
· Placing accounts in collections when they are current
· 'Forced -placed Insurance' when homeowners already have proper coverage
· Placing payments into a suspense account instead of crediting as monthly payment
· Taking unauthorized payments from consumers checking accounts
· Demanding payment for 'Corporate Advance fees' without written explanation
· Foreclosure proceedings on accounts that are current

Sources tell Rip-off Reperot that (according to the national average) if Fairbanks Capital charges 30% of their customers a late fee 6 times per year, they will make an additional gross income of approximately $40,300,000.00 annually.

If 25% of Fairbanks customers are charged $100.00/per month for 'force-placed insurance' they would earn an additional $21,000,000.00 annually.

If 3% of loans have a Foreclosure Start, Fairbanks will earn approximately $ 288,000,000.00 annually.

As you can see, being in the 'Foreclosure Business' is very profitable. Local news station KUTV2, in Salt Lake City, Utah attempted to talk to officials at Fairbanks Capitals main headquarters. Many homeowners are taking a stand to stop Fairbanks Capital from continuing fraudulent Foreclosures. There are now over 600 lawsuits filed against Fairbanks Capital across the Country, many of them are class action suits.

Fairbanks Capital is owned and operated by The PMI Group, a publicly-traded corporation (NYSE: PMI), that is a worldwide provider of Private Mortgage Insurance. They are also a major contributor to the highly respected Non-profit organization
Habitat for Humanity. This organization is dedicated to providing quality and affordable housing for the poor.

The PMI Group uses Habitat for Humanity to get unlimited Public-Relation points and to deflect criticism about its corrupt relationship with Fairbanks Capital. We are going to continue our investigation on The PMI Group and its relationship With Fairbanks Capital. We will also provide updates and additional information to guide other Fairbanks Capital victims.

Jeanne Raleigh Email Update

The scam artist known as Jeanne Raleigh has changed their email address for the third time in as many days.

Name: Jeanne Raleigh

Reben Allen Update

Thank you to the CL user who submitted the following information.

On 4/17/09 a CL user wrote:
Reben Allen sent me a check that was stolen from Barnes and Noble's corporate office in NJ for 3800 dollars. The agreed upon amount was 800 for the summer + 150 for books. I initially didn't connect the check to my speaking to "Reben" as I'd never given him my address: he sent a check from B&N's bank inside a blank letter sized envelope inside a stolen UPS envelope with a stolen label on the front. Thank God I checked my e-mail and saw that he'd sent it along. Planning to go to to the District Atty in the morning. The thing that sucked the most is that it did seem reasonable, you know, until the whole wiring money thing came into play.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Samuel Smith, Mary Clerk, Jeanne Raleigh, Reben Allen Update

This is an scam artist update for 4/14/09

Name: Samuel Smith
Email: Unknown

Name: Janet?

Name: Mary Clerk

Name: Jeanne Raleigh

Name: Reben Allen
CL Posting: Louisville, KY
Tactic: Classic Tutor Scam.  Claims to live in China, but desperately needs tutor for his child who is in the process of moving to the USA.  

John Freider Internet Dating Scam

We have confirmation that the person known as John Freider, a one time CL scam artist, has now moved on to  He claims to be on business in China, and attempts to make contact with single women; eventually leading to the issuance of a fake check.  

Name: John Freider
Screen Name: Checkmeout144

We are very interested in obtaining the images John Freider is using, please submit them to

Monday, April 13, 2009

Christopher Morgan, Benson Collins, James Russell Update

This is a scam artist update for 4/13/2009

Name: Christopher Morgan
Email: unknown 

Name: Benson Collins

James Russell

Internet Dating Scam - Nicole Wilson

A Nigerian Scam artist has been using the name Nicole Wilson for long time now.  Until recently their operation was on CL, now they are using internet dating as a means to hustle people out of money.  

On 4/12/09 a CL user in Germany wrote:

I have been contacted on "MatchCom", Germany, from a Nicole Wilson, who claims to live in Bayern, do not speak or write one word German. Photo enclosed, "she" is the person mentioned, who stays in West Africa collecting things to sell in the US and Europe.

*The identity of the woman in the photos remains unknown, and represents a form of identity theft.  An example of why personal information, photos, Government/State issued ID's should be guarded at all times.  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Scammer Update

Thank you again to those who submitted the following information.  Chris Marcus has changed his email address yet again.  Beware of his overpayment scam which includes sending the seller a fake check for more than the asking price.  

Name: Chris Marcus
Tactic: Overpayment Scam

Also Marisa & Kristopher Houser pose at factitious landlords in an attempt to scam people out of $200.  If you anyone has a copy of the ID being used by Kristopher Houser, please submit it and we will post it.  We are also interested in obtaining the email address they are using.  

Name: Marisa & Kristopher Houser
Tactic: Factitious Landlord Scam

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fake Landlord's UK Phone Number

Sarah Anderson poses as a landlord living in the UK with an apartment to rent in the United States. In the past week, that apartment has been located in Houston, New York, California, and various other places.  Sarah Anderson is a scam artist and does not have an apartment to rent out.  Rather than hiring a rental agency to post ads on CL, this person would simply like $200 for a key deposit and the potential victim can see the apartment themselves.  

Name: Sarah Anderson
Phone: +44 702 4078204
Country: UK

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Marketing Group - Rockies Marketing - Greenwood Village, CO

The following testimony can be found at

The Marketing Group-Rockies Marketing
6160 S. Syracuse Way, Ste 100
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Phone:  303-220-9604
Fax:  303-220-9607

What is written here is a true account of my experience and not exaggerated; I would like to warn those considering working at 'The Marketing Group'. It is fundamentally a pyramid scheme and deceptive in promises/returns.

I, like everyone else these days, was unemployed and had been searching for a job for a couple of months- no bites. Finally, I came across an ad on for an entry level marketing position. I called and sent in my resume, and I would thrilled to get a call back about an interview.

I knew something was up when I went in for the first interview. The office has a main reception area with several chairs and a desk where the receptionist/ HR/Accounting (Katie) girl sits. On that desk are several clip boards with interview question sheets. That set off a red flag... how many people could they possibly be hiring? I went in to my interview with a guy named Yeat, and he asked me if I understood what 'outsourced marketing' was and whatever. He then said they would call if I was going to get a second interview. (This company is all about impulse factors- fear of loss, sense of urgency, Jones effect, indifference- and constantly use them on you to keep you in line and interested.)

Big surprise- I got a second interview. This was a group interview with 10-12 other guys. All of the 'Leaders' came to meet us, and everyone was talking about how much they loved the job. (Turns out anyone caught 'negging out' others is called a 'cancer' and fired.) I was intrigued by everyones positive attitude, and they took us into a little room to explain the business. There was a lot of emphasis on the money aspect, which  after being unemployed looked really good. They said they would tell us who would be invited back for the third and final interview via phone call later that day.

Another big surprise- I got a third interview. I really liked the guy they sent me out with... but the next thing I knew we took an hour drive to a city outside of Denver, and we were walking the streets going door to door asking for people's phone bills. I guess Quest has a contract with Cydcor where employees of the Marketing Group pretend to be Quest agents doing 'account reviews' when actually you are trying to upgrade their services and get them on to 3- year terms... Quest pays you commission for everything you upgrade. The process looked pretty easy, my trainer made money, and the woman he helped actually saved a bunch of money... so I thought well, it's a job and took it.

What a mistake. I was told the hours would be from 9-5.... they are more like 7-6:30 everyday. I had to be in at 7:30 for training and once I made 'Leadership' (finished training...earned over 200 dollar 3 days in a row) I had to be in at 7 for individual meetings. The company is basically a pyramid scheme. Every individual theoretically wants to be an 'Owner' to be an owner a person has to complete training and become a Leader, recruit and train five other Leaders, and act as Assistant Manager until being 'promoted out'.

It is a sweat shop. They have to hired enormous amounts of people because so many quit/get fired. There are no benefits, pay is 100% commission, and you have to spend your own money on gas! It is not a marketing position... it is door-to-door sales. The company feed off of recent graduates, the unemployed, and those desperate to make a career change. It is really sad how they take advantage of desperate people.

The office is filled with folding chairs and cheap white boards stuck on with double-sided tape. If there is anything nice for the employees- like breakfast in the morning- it's the employees who are responsible for buying and bringing in the food.

Point being... don't waste you time. I don't know how legal this whole operation is.. but from purely an advise standpoint... the whole business is deceptive to the employees and to the businesses you see everyday. You will never go home thinking you did anything important... and after a 12 hour day... you wont have time or energy for anything else. Don't bother with The Marketing Group and Cydcor... obviously I am not the first one to complain.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Miriam Sullivan Update

Since being featured on here last week, known scam artist Miriam Sullivan has now posted apartments for rent on CL Toronto and CL San Diego. Just last Tuesday she had been posting a fake apartment ad in Long Beach, CA. This person lures potential victims in with the guise extremely low monthly rent. Sadly there is no apartment, and the photos are stolen from other rental or real estate websites.

Name: Miriam Sullivan
CL Posting: Toronto, San Diego
Tactic Used: Poses as a Landlord to rip people off

Monday, April 6, 2009

Share your Positive CL Experiences

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences on Craigslist (CL). Your valuable information has saved tens of thousands of victims from financial disaster. As many people know, CL is a great place to sell unwanted items one may have laying around collecting dust. It can also be a place where thieves attempt to steal from unsuspecting people.

For the past year we have tried to compile a thorough list of such individuals. In addition to featuring scam artists, we would like to also share your positive experience on CL.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tutor Scam: Dane Wills, Roland Johnson, Paul Garrison

If you are looking for a Tutor job stay clear of these three low lifes.

Name: Dane Wills

Name: Roland Johnson

Name: Paul Garrison

Factitious Landlord Alert

There has been a wave of factitious apartment rental postings on CL lately. The scam artists who place these ads claim to own an apartment for rent in the USA, yet they somehow live in another country. Instead of hiring a rental agency to take care of prospective tenant screening, the "landlord" wants their victims to wire them money via western union for a set of keys. Of course once the money is sent, you will never hear from these people again.

Please stay away from the following scam artists who are posting an apartment for rent in New York City:

Name: Melissa & Ryan Peter
Phone: +44 702 4060053

Name: Sarah Anderson