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    #11
    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
    Peter you're right! It had nothing to do with anything regarding the craigslist sales transaction itself. It's a phishing scam to use your Google account to obtain a proxy phone number, and Craigslist is an open pool of real, not proxy phone numbers belonging to item sellers. Google requires an actual phone number before they will grant a proxy number. That's where Craigslist fits into the scam.

    I didn't know what Google Voice was either. What Google does is offer you the ability to choose an available phone number from any city, state or country. A call to that number is forwarded by Google to your real number. You can make an outbound call from a computer using the Google number. And (I think) that number will then show up on the recipient's caller I.D.. You can also receive a call from the Google number, as the service will forward it to your real cell phone or land line. It will show up on your caller I.D. as the number Google gave you. Before Google Voice will allow you to take ownership of one of their proxy numbers, they require a real phone number from your Google Voice account. And to verify that, they send you a six digit code you have to return. So what the scammer does, is comb Craiglist for people who have listed real numbers, try to open a Google Voice account with it to obtain a proxy number, and bait the unwitting Craigslist seller into giving up the code that Google sent by making it sound like the buyer was the one sending the code because he doesn't want to get scammed and will call you once you confirm by replying the code that you are a 'real' seller. What the scammer is going to do with the proxy number if he is successful in getting it from Google, is anyone's guess.
    It's hard to keep up with all this stuff.


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    #12
    Senior Member Tom Roper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C. View Post
    It's hard to keep up with all this stuff.
    Indeed!!!

    I edited post #9 for hopefully a bit more clarity.


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    #13
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    Thanks for sharing and sorry this happened. There is no end to the mischief out there. The salty dog side of me is weary of anything outside "normal" internet behavior, like using something like Google Voice that I am not familiar with. That is why the crooks use these services, nobody know how they really work and they can scam around them. Selling your gear used to be an integral part of the industry when things were more expensive. Now it is kind of a chore and not as rewarding. Lucky to get half of what you paid etc...


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    #14
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    Tom - I had a near same experience a few weeks ago - listing something (a bbq smoker / grill) for my elderly parents (which is why I didn't want them listing it themselves).
    Just a few hours after posting, I got a text from someone inquiring about price and expressing interest. And then they said they needed to confirm I was "real" - so would send me a link to click. And it was the google Voice activation link. Thankfully I recognized it as such and didn't fall for it.

    Reminds me I need to report their number to Craigslist - or local authorities - to maybe see (probably unlikely) if they can be tracked down with the number they used to text me.


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPNola View Post
    Why do you guys list and sell anyplace other than here and similar forums?

    If I were ever to sell any gear, that is what I would do. Or possibly on eBay.
    It's good to know about new scam tactics, as I'm sure most of us also sell things other than video gear on services like Craig's List. People have been scammed here before too, no place is safe, and someone who's new to the forum will have a hard time convincing us that they're trustworthy when they try to sell something on here, so that leaves them with Craig's List and similar services. Not to mention, some stuff is impractical to ship, can you imagine how much it would cost to ship a large photography studio stand? BTW, I have a fair condition 06 Impala with 136K miles, only $2K, you pay shipping.

    I've bought and sold a lot of stuff on eBay and Craig's List over the years, but recently have mainly used eBay as a buyer, as eBay & PayPal fees really add up on higher ticket items. I find that I come out ahead if I sell the item on Craig's List for less than I would on eBay, and circumvent fees.

    Prior to selling something, I look it up on eBay's completed listings to guestimate the average market value, even if I'm listing it on Craig's List. I then price it at the average market value and stipulate that the price is firm in my ad, which I think helps keep the low-ball offers to a minimum.

    In recent years, many Police stations have set up a dedicated E-commerce location in their parking lot with a light and 24/7 video surveillance. I haven't met people at the Police station, but I've always met people in a well lit public location, and fortunately haven't had any issues, but I'm protected by the good Lord, and a gun for good measure.

    I've bought a few things on FaceBook Market, but haven't sold anything on there yet, perhaps it's a better option than Craig's List, at least for selling. The key is to lookout for counterfeit cash.


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    #16
    Senior Member Tom Roper's Avatar
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    ^+1

    I did check ebay for a sense of market value, did price to attract a local buy accordingly, and I did check for counterfeit cash. If you shine a flashlight through the bill you will see a U.S. President's image that is not printed on either side of the bill, if it is genuine.


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    #17
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    Tom, thanks for posting this. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I've been a computer programmer for almost two decades, I've known what Google Voice is, and yet I have not heard of this particular scam, and I didn't know what was going to happen until I reached the end of your story. (Then again, I haven't done anything on Craigslist for like a decade either. I do use eBay though from time to time. Nothing against Craigslist. It is just that I am usually very specific about what I want to buy, and eBay has a wider set of sellers to help find that perfect item for myself.)

    The only advice I can give to keep up with all of these scams is that if it doesn't make sense to you, then don't go along with it. I too would have been tempted to go along with it, and click it, even though it didn't make sense to me. "Why would a buyer need to verify my phone number before calling me? Why not just call me?" But we all feel the temptation to just go along with what someone is saying, instead of saying, "That doesn't make sense," because we fear looking stupid --- even in front of a perfect stranger. I've seen it in areas other than security. I've been involved in high-tech projects where people are batting around technical jargon because one person said it but most people in the meeting don't understand what it means. I try to always be the guy that says, "Wait, can you explain that to me," even if I risk looking stupid.

    You could try to keep up with all the latest scams and memorize them, and that's fine, but I wouldn't rely on your ability to understand the bad. I would rely on your ability to understand the good. It's like someone once said, anticounterfeiters don't memorize all the ways a dollar bill might be forged. Instead they get to know what a genuine dollar bill looks like, inside and out, intimately, and trust that instead. So again, instead of trying to memorize all the signs of a bad buyer, focus on whether you feel like a buyer is a good one. That may cost you, because some people are just kind of shady or rub you the wrong way for random reasons, and they never end up being someone scamming you. But I think it's easier in the long run on my poor wee brain

    If someone is getting all fancy, high-tech and complicated, that's a red flag. It should be simple. The caller should call you up on the phone, ask a few questions, maybe ask for some more pictures by regular email or text, then agree to meet you in front of that police station and pay cash --- and that's it.
    Last edited by combatentropy; 04-16-2021 at 06:50 PM.


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    #18
    Senior Member Tom Roper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    The only advice I can give to keep up with all of these scams is that if it doesn't make sense to you, then don't go along with it. I too would have been tempted to go along with it, and click it, even though it didn't make sense to me. "Why would a buyer need to verify my phone number before calling me? Why not just call me?" But we all feel the temptation to just go along with what someone is saying, instead of saying, "That doesn't make sense," because we fear looking stupid --- even in front of a perfect stranger. I've seen it in areas other than security. I've been involved in high-tech projects where people are batting around technical jargon because one person said it but most people in the meeting don't understand what it means. I try to always be the guy that says, "Wait, can you explain that to me," even if I risk looking stupid.
    Thanks Combat. A few things to consider here:

    1.) The reason a buyer has to be wary of a fake seller is the risk of being robbed. Buyer brings the cash. Sellers generally don't get robbed for merchandise in Craigslist scams. So at first, the request while unusual, seemed understandable and I thought was a new take on security since it came under the auspices of a trusted name Google, albeit an app I had not heard of, Voice. Obviously I was na´ve and confident instead of vigilant.

    2.) I never imagined that giving up a harmless code that I hadn't asked for myself could expose me to danger. In other words, I underestimated the craft of the scammer that was already in the midst of opening a Google Voice account with my phone number, and that by giving the code sent to me by Google, someone could be on the other end giving verification back to Google as the owner of my phone number.

    3.) Fasten your seatbelt. The caller next told me the number I gave didn't work for the code. Would I give another number to try? At that point, I said, "just call me." But instead, the caller made a ridiculous request, "Is there someone else in the house with a phone, mother/father/sister/brother/wife?" That's the exact point when it was crystal clear there was no interest in my lens. I immediately went to investigating for scams matching this one, and found plenty about it, right away. But this was good because it also meant there were instructions on how to reclaim ownership of my identity with Google and bring it to a halt. I also filed an online police report with Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, which was accepted and case number given, just in case there is criminal activity associated to my phone number or account.


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    #19
    Senior Member Chris Santucci's Avatar
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    Holy smokes. Anytime a potential buyer or seller had some complicated nonsense they wanted me to engage in, I just check right out. I've been buying and selling gear on eBay for over 20 years and I've never been scammed. Sure some buyers and sellers can be a pain in the azz, but it's still the best and safest place to buy and sell gear.


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    #20
    Senior Member Tom Roper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Santucci View Post
    Holy smokes. Anytime a potential buyer or seller had some complicated nonsense they wanted me to engage in, I just check right out. I've been buying and selling gear on eBay for over 20 years and I've never been scammed. Sure some buyers and sellers can be a pain in the azz, but it's still the best and safest place to buy and sell gear.
    Not necessarily true. See post #6 above for details on the ebay scam.


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