How to Spot a Scam

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CL Scambuster Reaches One Million Visitors

It is with great fanfare that achieved its' one million visitor mark. For the past two and a half years many criminals and global crime syndicates have come to hear, see, and feel the largest database of Craiglist scams. The unity of effort from countless people coming together to shed light into the dark corners of cyber crime and security. It is with many thanks and continued vigilance that we move forward towards a safer online experience.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Scam Artist Maria Walton and Albert Simeon, One in the Same

We have reason to believe that scam artist Maria Walton is using the alias of one Albert Simeon. Posing as a potential seller we have also obtained a mailing address in Nigeria. Feel free to send postcards, boxes of heavy rocks, or whatever to:

Albert Simeon
No. 5 Ibara Housing Estate

Scam Alert Update 6/14/2010

This is a scam update for 6/14/2010:

Name: Jessy Spency

Name: Andrew Jones

Name: Lawrence Alvin

Name: Maria Walton

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Fake People on CL

This is a scam alert for 5/28/10:

Name: Jeff Lee

Name: Dave Smith

Name: Ralph Turner

Name: Jerry Watts

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Avoid These Losers

The following people give off bad vibes:

Name: Henry

Name: Cindy Hall

Name: Gary McDonald
Alias: Gary Dulwich, David Williams

Name: Albert Tania

Name: Mary Goupil

Name: Kollin Mark

Name: Richard Plesh

Name: Anthony Amado
Email: djinvinceable123@gmail

Name: David Garder

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scam Alert 5/21/2010

This is a scam artist update:

Name: Lawrence Cowalt

Name: Alex Williams

Name: Frank Brown

Name: George/Gloria Valencia
Scam: Pose as landlords; try to get "deposit money" sent to them
Email: Unknown

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scam Update: 5/12/10

This is a scam alert update for 5/12/10:

Name: David Milner

Name: Jessica & Christopher Haramis

Name: John Kiddee

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weekly Update 3/24/2010

This is a scam alert update for 3/24/2010:

Name: Brad Farr

Name: Mandy Gluford

Name: John Murray

Name: Thomas Garrison

Name: Greg Teady

Name: Micheal John

Name: Jude Fox

Name: Dr. Jimmy Jat

Name: Daley Martins
Email: unknown

Name: Gary Anderson
Location: UK
Accomplice: Tiffany Freeland

Name: John/Mary Carlton

Friday, March 12, 2010

More Con Artists to Avoid

Update 3/12/2010:

Name: Harry James
Email: jamesharry910@gmail

Name: Mike King

Name: Clara Wilson

Name: Barry James

Name: Richard Baker

Name: Daniel Lappen
Email: unknown

Name: James Weaver

Name: Brad Farr

Scam Artist Update 3/12/2010

Be very careful when contacted by the following characters:

Name: Mary & Luke Zatarski

Name: Bryon Rudd

Name: Bradley Hunter

Name: Thomas Coker

Name: Galvin Green

Avoid Katana Marketing in Ottawa

Katana Marketing, located in Ottawa, is another Cydcor outfit that preys on people by exploiting it's employees and lying to it's customers. This office acts like a cult, complete with clapping and chanting and the brainwashing of it's corporate mantra. The ever elusive 'opportunity' you are promised never materializes, but usually it's too late by the time you realize you've been suckered in. The amount of money you can make is pitiful in relation to the amount of hours you put in. You work 12 hours/day 6 days/week for about $300-400, if your good or lucky. To advance you need to build a 'team', which you initially finance, but this becomes impossible when you see that the average person only lasts for 2 weeks. This is door to door work paid strictly on commission, if you can't sell you don't make money. You have little to no support from management other than the stream of b.s you pass along. I tried this business for 3 months before I finally wised up. Stay away from this company, they will just use you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scam Update

This is a scam alert for 3/09/2010:

Name: Alfred Atakorah

Name: Bob Draper

Name: Dmary Jane

Name: Nicholas Scotfield

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scam Alert Update

This is a scam artist update for 3/5/2010:

Name: Frances Hedges

Name: William Johnson

Name: Martha Cummings

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Phony Pastors and Landlords Oh My!

If Hell exists rest assured that scam artists who pose as clergy members will be first in line to visit. They will be followed by those who pose as landlords that attempt to swindle people out of money.

Name: Pastor Michael Uhlenkott

Fake Landlord: John & Mary Vicario
Email: ,

Donna Karan Fashion Designer or Nigerian Fraudster?

Thank you to the person who sent this experience to us.

Donna Karan wants to rent me a luxury apartment in Washington, DC!

(It's amazing. Not only did I think I was getting a great February 2010deal on a 2/bdrm 2/bath condo via Washington, DC Craigslist, I also learned that Donna Karan was a construction engineer on top of being a famous designer of cashmere pashminas! But before anyone writes me off for being naive, I knew something wasn't right was all along. The REAL scam would have been Donna Karan trying to claim she was actually 43 years old, and not her actual age of 60. But I digress.)

Thank you all for posting your stories to this site. Given my familiarity to several of the Nigerian fraud scams, I knew all along something didn't seem right with the email response that I received. Nevertheless, I came across this blog by simply googling the email address used by Donna. I'm really glad to see how many others were willing to share their stories so that others can learn from this. Here is my story:

It seems that Ms. Karan's hotmail address used the same email username "xbxofootlilfre" in February 2010 for a Dupont Circle condo in DC as well as earlier this year. Interestingly, Gmail did note the actual time difference of the hotmail address as being sent from the UK. (Note: Lagos, Nigeria is actually one hour ahead of GMT.)

Watch out for video download links

WATCH OUT FOR THIS REPLY THAT ASKS YOU TO DOWNLOAD A VIDEO in response to a very specific 'for sale' craigslist posting!

Scammer name: Clara BLIMKA


saw the AD you posted on craigslist and I'm very interested in purchasing your item but I am not too sure if its the same type that my cousin is after. Obviously I want to make sure before I commit myself to buying it. Anyways here is a video link that I copied from my son's computer VID1 (if not work try VID2). Can you please confirm its the similar type and reply back to me ASAP. Im willing to pay more than what your asking for as long the item matches the video description and you can reserve it for me.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nigerian Scammer surfaces in the United States

Mike Nelson is a scam artist who also uses other names. However, his real name is Ola Ray, a Nigerian who was recently in the United States. This individual was traveling from Maryland to California in early January of this year. While we cannot verify if he is still in the USA, we have uncovered his mode of operation; mailing fake checks with false return addresses. Time is running for this loser and we will continue to post updates.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Scammer Alert

Avoid the following scam artists:

Name: Faith Richards
Email: unknown

Name: Melissa Kent
Email: unknown

Name: Joe Brown

Name: Mike Wilson
Email: unkown

Name: Sam Kane
Dropped a fake check for $4,300

Company Name: Metro Events Inc,.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fake Sports Marketing Company Warning

This tired old scam never seems to go away, so perhaps shining the light on these roaches will flush them out. There are alot of people who have been affected by the downturn in the economy. Many are out of work and are desperate to put food on the table. As such, some shady businesses are more than eager to prey upon those who are down on their luck. One such company is LA Sports Marketing.

At LA Sports Marketing its the same song and dance. This company boasts about its' professional relationships with major league teams, but in reality they are nothing more than a door to door solicitation service; selling coupon books, oil change gift cards, or whatever "promo" they have for that day. Of course they do not offer a paid salary, instead they prefer you to work solely on commission. This company is not even remotely associated with the professional teams they claim as their clients. In otherwords this is a pyramid scheme company.

Name: LA Sports Marketing
Address: 13949 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 304
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone: 818-907-4079

Scammer update list

Update list for 2/22/2010

When possible avoid the following people:

Name: Rev. Daniel Foster

Name: Colleen O'Connor

Name: Mike Brown

Name: Beryl Cleary


Sunday, February 21, 2010

1991 Volvo 240 - $2500 (Riverside, ca)

A concerned CL user emailed this experience to us:

Seller Name: George
Location: Inland Empire Craigslist

Contact: (951) 271-2174

Hi all I am reporting an experience that I had with a seller of a car listed on craigslist. The seller's ad is posted below, but what struck me is that the seller does not mention the car has blow back, which means oil spits out of the top of the engine, and that it is a SALVAGE title. Salvage title means that for whatever reason (mostly accident) the previous owner's insurance company considers it a total loss, a piece of junk, and it is essentially worthless. This seller plays dumb and tries to fool would be buyers about condition by not disclosing key problems... Watch out for this guy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FTC: Don't be fooled by job-related scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finally comes to terms with employment scams. For those who have been following this blog for nearly two years, you know that we have been lobbying hard for the FTC to take a harder stance against fraudulent businesses practices. Today we are pleased to announce a major victory in our fight against scam artists.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it is cracking down on con artists who target the unemployed with bogus job placement and work-at-home scams.

The consumer protection agency said it has asked federal courts to shut down seven entities charged with peddling such schemes and to freeze their assets.

The Justice Department has pursued criminal action in 44 additional cases and state attorneys general are pursuing 18 more, FTC officials said.

The agency is also increasing its efforts to educate job-seekers on avoiding the scams. Any advertisement or pitch that promises job listings in return for a fee or promises a business opportunity in return for an up-front investment is likely fraudulent, the agency said.

There are 14.8 million jobless Americans, the Labor Department said earlier this month, almost double the 7.7 million out of work when the recession began. There another 11 million people who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work or who have become discouraged and given up on their job searches.

Among the seven cases announced Wednesday were charges against a company called Entertainment Work Inc. that listed jobs for television and movie extras. The company "deceptively claimed" that in return for a membership fee to its Web site, job-seekers would find work near their homes in the entertainment industry, the FTC said.

The company has agreed to an interim court order halting its alleged misconduct, the FTC said.

Another company, Abili-Staff, sold work-at-home job listings for $29.98 to $89.99 and falsely said the fees would provide access to more than 1,000 "scam-free" work-at-home jobs, the agency said.

The FTC pursued another company, Career Hotline Inc., earlier this year that Cathy Willburn, a resident of Grandview, Texas, bilked her. She lost a job in October 2008.

Willburn, who participated in the FTC's press conference, said she responded to a classified ad last June that promised jobs as forklift drivers and other warehouse work.

Career Hotline told her that it helped fill jobs for Fortune 500 companies, Willburn said. Once she paid an $89 fee so she could access its list of jobs and be working in 14 days.

Willburn borrowed the money and paid the fee but never heard back from the company, even after she left messages saying she was out of work and couldn't afford to lose the money.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Car Buyers Stay Alert

Many people use Craigslist to buy a reasonable car... However, these individuals offer great cars at low prices, then feed you a story about how their family members died in iraq or giving birth or what not, and you could have this great car if you just pay the shipping (we have all heard the story before).

Inland Empire Craigslist Postings

Be warned of the few i found so far: (2001 BMW 230i) (audi a4) (jetta) (2006 civic ex)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Salvation Army left short of cash by fake SC check

The Salvation Army thought it had received a grand gift ahead of Christmas — a $25,000 check. But the donation turned out to be an expensive hoax that may force the charity to cut back on winter assistance for the needy.

Investigators said Wednesday that more than a dozen Charleston-area charities received fake checks before Christmas purporting to be gifts from a genuine local company.

None of the other charities cashed theirs, but the Salvation Army deposited its check. It went ahead and spent some of the money on food and toys for about 100 families, counting on the check to clear.

The bank called two days before Christmas to say the check had bounced, and the agency was left with less money than planned to help the needy this cold January.

"It's a matter of counting on that so we would have a cushion," said Kiki Cooper, the director of development for the local chapter. She said the single check represented about 10 percent of what the Salvation Army typically raises during the holiday season.

The check and accompanying letter appeared to come from Force Protection Inc., an armored vehicle manufacturer in Ladson. The letter said the company had enjoyed success and wanted to share with local charities.

Other charities called the company about the unsolicited donations and Force Protection sent out a memo Dec. 17 — the same day the Salvation Army deposited their check — saying it had been the victim of a holiday scam.

Officers were investigating but there had been no arrests in the case as of Wednesday, said Maj. John Clark of the Charleston County Sheriff's Department.

Tommy Pruitt, a spokesman for Force Protection, said the checks were written on a company bank account that had been closed months ago. He said he did not want to speculate on who might be responsible.

Cooper said the check arrived at the busiest time of year for the charity.

"People say why don't you check every check? We have old ladies who send us a dollar and we're talking at this time of year we have anywhere from 500 to 1,000 checks coming in a week," she said.

Cooper said people were already offering to help offset the loss.

"We've actually had a couple of people walking in dropping off $20. We have that at Christmas, never in January," she said.

Nationally, the Salvation Army raises about $500 million each holiday season — about 40 percent of its yearly donations.