I too got hit up by this scam. The only difference is that I am a graphic designer, and advertise as such on Craig's List. Anyhow I googled this guys name and email address and havent been able to locate either associated with any scams. Just for the sake of the "what if" factor I let this guy keep going, but asked several questions and made a spacific request for his mailing address. I will post the emails. He is going by the name Aaron Gibson, and using the email address [email protected]
I will like to know if you can get this work done for me, I have 7 Pentium M HP laptops, Below is a list of work needed to be done on each PC.
1.Format Hard Drive
2.Install Win XP with Service Pack 3
3.Install Microsoft Office Package
4.AVG Virus Software
5.Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Get back to me with your total cost for the service........I await your urgent response
I'll put his emails in italics for clarity
Please accept my apologies for the delay in returning your email, I changed my Craig's List email last week, expecting my email to go to my business address, however any replies to that post are still coming here.
I'm not sure how my ad ended up in "Laptop Services". I am a graphics designer, and an animator, and I'm not too much into the IT side. It's not to say I cant do IT, I do have a BA in computer science, but with an emphasis in CG graphic design.
In short if you are still in the market for someone to do the restore on your laptop I'll be able to get it done for you provided you have the correct software you need for the job. You will need the restore disks for that computer, A copy of WinXP if its not already on the restore disk. Your MS Office Suite disks with your activation number. Acrobat and AVG are both downloads.
My fee would be $100, and baring any unforeseen issues, I should be able to have the computer back to you no later than 48 hours from the time I receive it.
Once again I apologize for the delay. If you no longer need assistance then simply do not reply to this email. If you do, then I look forward to hearing from you
Thank you for your consideration
Note: don't ask me why I thought he said there was only one laptop
I got your Response .I have all the necessary software needed for the service installations of the Laptops, there is no any Hardware problem and they are working fine but need those upgrade...Let me know the final asking price for everything including your mode of payment so i can commence with the payment.
I'll look forward to hearing from you to assure me you can handle this with all perfection.
Hello Mr Gibson,
Provided you live in the greater (HOME TOWN DELETED) area, at your earliest convenience, I'm willing to either meet you somewhere, or you can bring the items to my home, which for the time being is also my place of business.
Payment is due upon completion of the upgrade and I will accept cash or money order. Ive had a few issues with NSF checks, so unfortunately I have had to stop taking them. The price I quoted in the last email was for 1 laptop. Provided I'm reading your last email correctly, you seem to have several. The base price remains $100 per computer, however depending on how much I can do simultaneously, I may be able to give you a discount.
Multiple laptops will also affect the completion time, so if you could please send me a list of how many laptops you have in mind, and which ones have their own restore disks, I'll be better able to give you a final price and completion time.
Thank you again for your consideration
Note: I lied about the previous NSF problems, but when you own an upstart small business it's never a good idea to take checks from anyone you dont know. This way you protect yourself without alienating a potential customer.
Thanks for the reply, i really understand you and what your'e trying to protect here and i just want to you to know that i'm not one of those whom rip off people's properties which you can also hold my laptops even if there'll be problem but am assurring you that there's nothing of such,i do have other items with the shipping agent and i want him to pick up the last items which are the laptops your'e repairing.so i decided to pay you and the agent together which after i send you the Check with the excess funds on it then you cash it and you deduct your own payment for the repair then you send the rest funds of the money inorder for the shipping agent to come pick up the laptops from you after repair.so do reply me back with your name and address to know if i should still go ahead and send you the Check thanks and reply me back asap
This is when I started to suspect something wasnt quite right, so I turned up the heat A litle.
I see that you are obviously not local. The terms you set forth in your last email are acceptable. For the sake of clarity between us let me repeat them back to you. You will send me the laptops, along with the software necessary for the upgrade, plus a check in the amount equaling $100 per laptop plus the cost of shipping to return them to you.Once I receive and have inventoried the aforementioned laptops and software, I agree to provide you with time until completion, plus an itemized list of the items received. I will also at that time provide you with my personal cell phone number. I agree to upgrade and test each laptop to ensure that each is working properly. . Once the upgrades are completed I will ship them back to you with the funds you provide for shipping, above the cost of the upgrades.
Consider this email a contract between you Aaron Gibson and myself xxx to commence upon receipt of the items in question.
OK now that the legal stuff is out of the way here is my address
Yes just in case he was legit I gave him my address. Considering how much the biker type dudes next door and across the street love my wifes cooking, i would truly feel sorry for anyone stupid enough to come to my house and cause trouble.
Aaron Gibson [email protected]
Thanks for the reply,like i said earlier that i do have a shipping agentwhich will be used for the shipping of the Item from you,but i'll besending you an excess funds of $2450 on the Check which the restbalance on the check will be sent to my shipping agent through theWESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER OUTLET after the money has been cashed forthe shipping of the laptops to you ,so you don't have to bother for theshipment ,i'll handle and take care of the shipping ,so kindly reply meback to confirm finally if i should go ahead with the transaction so ican send out the check to you tomorow morning then you receive itlatest by tuesday morning and reply me back also if you have a bankaccount which you'll be using in depositing the check .Thanks
By my understanding, you will be sending a check in the amount of $2450 USD. Once i receive the check I am to cash it, then I am to send funds in the amount you will provide to your chosen shipping agent via Western Union.
This seems fine to me, however it could take as much as 7 to 10 days for your check to clear my bank. Until it does I cant access the funds. If that time frame is acceptable, then I am willing to proceed.
Let me know what you decide
Thanks for the mail,you got everything right but it takes just 24hours for a check to get cleared and i'll commence with the payment and will reply you back with the tracking number which i used in mailing out the check to you including the shipping agent information whom you'll be sending the rest funds of the money to through any of the WESTTERN UNION TRANSFER OUTLETS around your home.
At this point I was 99% sure it was a scam, but just in case I sent the following, not really expecting a reply
Due to the amount of money involved, I will need you to provide me with your mailing address for verification please.
Like I mentioned before I have had problems with NSF checks in the recent past and my bank insists on full verification before it releases the funds on any account not previously verified. If you are correct that it only takes 24 hours, then there shouldn't be a problem.
On the other hand, if it turns out that it will take longer, I will inform you right away
And to my utter amazment I recieved this..
i'll send you the tracking number which i use in mailing the check in my next mail ...Thanks
I understand the lure of gaining new customers, especially in the current economy. So I have posted this not only to get one more scammer name and email posted on the web, but to hopefully give an example of how to weed out the scammers without chasing away potential legit customers.
I havent recieved any check yet, but when I do you can bet I'll be turning it and all the emails over to any officials I can get to listen
I do hope this helps