173 Comments

  1. Jen
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Maybe I’m just being slow this morning…but was the case just a good guess? Because the case description would have gotten me.

    Reply

    • Kelly
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:19 am

      The way I read it was that she described the case to him to verify it was indeed her Dad’s phone.

      In any case, hilarious story. Also I can sell you Arkansas for $200. 😉

      Reply

      • RamonaQ
        July 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

        AH. There it is. Thank you.

        Reply

      • DB
        July 16, 2013 @ 11:38 am

        $200 for Arkansas? Have you seen Arkansas?

        Reply

        • AmyCat
          July 31, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

          The trouble with Arkansas isn’t the purchase price, it’s the upkeep… as anyone who’s bought and lived in an Old House should know!

          Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

      No guessing required, since he ASKED ME TO TELL HIM what the case looked like. Then he was all– YUP. For sure! This IS YOUR PHONE.

      Reply

      • Jen
        July 16, 2013 @ 10:37 am

        BOOM! Reading comprehension fail! Thanks for the kindness in your clarifications, ladies!

        Reply

  2. Cherilynn
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    How rude of him to take advantage of you!!!
    I’m sorry you were scammed!

    Reply

  3. Jenn
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    Oh you poor dear! I would do anything for my dad too! You are now wiser than you were before…

    Reply

  4. Ross
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    I feel bad for you, but that is exactly the kind of thing I would do – pay EXTRA to get scammed. I’m sure you’ll always be applying your 5 second rule whenever you’re browsing through Craigslist in future…

    …or maybe not 😉

    Reply

  5. Janet
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:18 am

    Love your post! Sorry to hear you got scammed but I do like how you put the Craigslist warnings in your article. They are there for a reason. I also read the one about the mirror – love your writing style and that you are willing to put it all out there. I also love how your husband is your “non-willing” side-kick. Looking forward to hearing more about your life.

    Reply

  6. RamonaQ
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    I must be hopelessly stupid, because I don’t see how anyone would know that was a scam. Especially if he knew the kind of case it was in. Otterbox do multiple colours.

    Can anyone smart my dumb here?

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:22 am

      I need to clarify that in the post… he asked ME to tell him what the case was, THEN he agreed with me… thanks for pointing out the confusion!! One of those things that makes sense to me, but not necessarily clear when in print!

      Reply

      • RamonaQ
        July 16, 2013 @ 10:26 am

        Sad thing is, I probably would have done the exact same thing. I am such a dink…

        Reply

      • Leah
        July 16, 2013 @ 11:32 am

        No it was clear from your story that he had gotten you to describe the case first, I totally got it. It’s like the classic admonition against giving personal stats over the phone–they “trick” you into it. BTW, I once scammed myself out of $200. I can only put it that way because I really have only myself to blame. I felt like a complete rube, especially since I thought I was doing some poor hapless person a good turn. So sorry this happened to you and thanks for the brave vulnerability to share it. Love your blog!!!

        Reply

  7. Mary Lee
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    I had a similar experience years ago when I lost a gold bracelet in O’Hare Airport. Ran an ad in Lost & Found section of newspaper. A man called, saying he believed he’d found my bracelet. “It is gold, right?” Unfortunately, he was “about to leave the country,” so I would need to wire the money so that he could mail it to me before his departure. Fortunately, my husband said, “We’re not wiring money to that guy” or I’d have no doubt been out a gold bracelet AND $200.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 11:36 am

      Wow… I gues it’s a scam that predates the Internet!

      Reply

    • Tess
      July 16, 2013 @ 11:46 am

      I keep reminding myself that whenever there’s a weird level of urgency (“about to leave the country”, “I’m traveling so send it RIGHT AWAY”) it’s so easy to get swept up without thinking- exactly what scammers are hoping for!

      I’m so sad you lost $200 (think of the disco balls!) but your story is pretty adorable.

      Reply

  8. Erin
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    I think Paul was being unfair. I don’t imagine you’d actually *want* to but Arkansas.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:23 am

      Right? Texas, though… I’d pay a lot for Texas.

      Reply

      • ntexas99
        July 16, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

        I happen to live in Texas, and right now, at 102 degrees, you can have it for free … no $200, no cashier’s check, no Western Union … just be sure to wear shoes, because the asphalt will melt to the bottom of your feet if you are dumb enough to walk to your mailbox in your bare feet.

        Not that I would have any personal knowledge of that happening, of course.

        Reply

        • Ellen
          July 16, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

          But NTEXAS99, she wouldn’t take it for free! She’d have to send you some extra for giving her something so amazing!

          I once got a call where they asked for someone specific and I told them they had the wrong number but it was a looking-for-donations call for some charity in another state and I ended up giving them money. Yes, that’s right, I gave money to a wrong number. I felt so stupid, I later established a firm policy about the specific charities I would support.

          Reply

          • Tracey
            July 16, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

            My husband has the best answer to most questions where he doesn’t want to answer – he says ‘Why do you ask?’ It’s a great way to give you time to gather your thoughts when you get a cold call.
            We get so many cold calls from both legitimate charities and scammers that we now have a policy that we don’t give money or information to anyone cold-calling. That way I get to pick and choose which charities I want to donate to in a careful and considered way.

            Reply

  9. Gwenette
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    I know the feeling, although I won’t share my story here. Just know that I understand.

    Reply

  10. Barb @ A Life in Balance
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    LOL – I needed that. I love your dh’s response: “look, I can’t talk right now, but I will make fun of you as soon as I get home.
    Be sure you’re there.”

    Reply

  11. Sandi
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    I will tell you again…reading your posts MAKES MY DAY!! Love it. I have never done Craigs list, but I will keep an eye out for you!! lol
    Blessings~

    Reply

  12. applehillcottage
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    Oh this made me laugh out loud! I would have done the same thing. EXCEPT I probably wouldn’t have wired him money, because I totally don’t know how to do that, and I don’t want to ever learn!
    (the part about your brothers on your death bed was the best!)

    Reply

  13. Dara
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    Double dog HILARIOUS!!!!! thank you for this morning’s chuckle!!

    Reply

  14. Sandi
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    Dearest, most excellent woman.

    It happens. And you’re very brave to share with us.

    And I’m never using Craigslist for anything except perhaps writing inspiration.

    Reply

  15. Jeri Church
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    Bless your heart. We really are sisters. If you only knew…… lol.

    Reply

  16. Ginger C.
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    [scammer who has no phone] What does the case look like?
    [VEC] It’s silver with a minor scratch on the back and “sucker” printed in block letters
    [scammer who has no phone] Let me take a look….hmm…. yes, the phone I have has a little scratch and sure enough, there’s “SUCKER”. This must be your phone!

    basically whatever you tell scammer, they agree with. The legit way to see if it’s your phone is have the caller describe it to you, not the other way around. :)

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      This made me laugh AND made me mad that I didn’t think of that set up myself… the engraving WAS really obvious.

      Reply

  17. lizykat
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    OHHH so sad to hear…but OMG so funny to read about… and Paul? love him, you two are perfect matches…thanks for the laugh out loud guffaw this morning…xoxo

    Reply

  18. Jennifer Haston
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    Its hard to admit that you have been scammed, even harder to be so honest about it with the 1000s of people who will read it. I salute your courage and man I have so been there.. I feel this way every single time I fall for something and post it on my facebook wall only to have 3 or 4 people gently prod me with “snopes” and pat on the head, jen, you were taken AGAIN.. le sigh

    Reply

  19. Diane
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    Better then that, ive posted alot of items for sale on craigslist (my addiction) and have gotten replies from famous people always asking if item is still available hahahaha wow me

    Reply

  20. Wendy r
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    These things happen – we want to believe people are all good, right? And to that, sorry I laughed, but I did. I really am a good person despite this – and I can totally imagine doing the same thing. Fav part of the post though – your husband’s texts!

    Reply

  21. Courtney
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    My favorite is the INSISTING because of the AWESOME. I would have done the same thing. It’s like this great ray of hope for humanity. How could you not get excited? Until the whole humanity screwed me over thing–that part sucks.

    Reply

  22. Lori @Vintage Charm Restored
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Oh Victoria, I think in this specific case I would have told him what it looked like and totally gone for the whole thing… We’ll just say he caught you at just the busiest time of your day and the stage was set for just an incident!! Look at all the lovely people you’ll help with your scammer of a story!! Many hugs and I can’t wait to read your next craigslist story!!

    Reply

  23. Julie
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    I just discovered your blog. Hilarious! What is the gas cap story? After this one about the phone, I am dying of curiosity.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      I tried to wedge the gas story in there, but it really didn’t flow, so I took it out… but just like the phone, sheer idiocy is the explanation. I’d gone to visit a friend in NJ, where they don’t let you pump your own gas… the attendant told me it was MISSING. But that I could buy one for $5. It wasn’t until I was over the bridge on the way home that I was like, wait minute…

      The part that bothered me most was that he was able to pick me out as someone who wouldn’t question the premise.

      Reply

      • Laura
        July 16, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

        Oh my goodness! (I was wondering about the gas cap story also and thought perhaps it would be another column.) I cannot believe the audacity and meanness of some people! I would have never thought that someone would do that. And what if you figured it out right then? “No. I know you are holding my gas cap in your hand, but I would rather drive of without it than give you $5, you big meanie.” argh.

        Reply

      • Leslie
        July 16, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

        Only $5? I could definitely be scammed out of a lot more for a gas cap.

        Reply

      • Corinne
        July 17, 2013 @ 12:06 am

        That is so funny (and awful.) I was Braised in NJ and never had that happen but that has left me unable to pump my own gas (spill it on my foot everytime or break the machine or have a huge anxiety attack.) I ‘ve lived on Long Island for the past 24 years and I will drive a LONG way not to pump!

        Reply

  24. Carrie
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Thanks for sharing… I would totally do this too! I have also come to the conclusion that I don’t really have that whole “gut response” to people that tells you when something’s off. I think I would totally be the person who gets suckered into the serial killer’s van because I’m helping them load a couch.

    Reply

  25. Merrie Beth
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    What’s the gas cap story??? I need to hear the gas cap story!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      I tried to wedge the gas story in there, but it really didn’t flow, so I took it out… but just like the phone, sheer idiocy is the explanation. I’d gone to visit a friend in NJ, where they don’t let you pump your own gas… the attendant told me it was MISSING. But that I could buy one for $5. It wasn’t until I was over the bridge on the way home that I was like, wait minute…

      The part that bothered me most was that he was able to pick me out as someone who wouldn’t question the premise.

      Reply

      • Mellissa Rose
        July 16, 2013 @ 10:47 am

        The gas cap story is awesome. Pure 100% awesome.

        Reply

      • Merrie Beth
        July 16, 2013 @ 11:26 am

        Well, to be fair, you WERE dealing locally. And you didn’t wire him the money or anything.

        Let me guess, the “new” gas cap just happened to be tethered to your car like the old gas cap? :)

        Reply

      • Tracey
        July 16, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

        Only $5 dollars – do you know how much it costs to get a genuine replacement gas cap (or petrol cap as we call them here downunder)?

        I shelled out $25 dollars about ten years ago when my husband managed to lose the original from our CRV. I should add that he is a serial offender, we’ve lost about four of them – so I now know where to buy the generic ones. I should also add that Honda’s newer models have the gas cap attached – we’ve even broken that one!

        PS: I hear there’s a great deal on an opera house in Sydney Australia, if you get in quick apparently there’s a bridge they’ll trow into the deal as well!

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          July 18, 2013 @ 9:58 am

          Laughing… clearly I had NO idea the cost of a cap (OR that they are not universal).

          Looking into the opera house now. Always wanted one of those.

          Reply

  26. Mellissa Rose
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    Hopefully you can save others with this story.

    In a (trying to be) positive light, perhaps your $200 fed the scammer’s kids for a week.

    If you want to be scammed some more, Kayne West just put out a basic white t-shirt that will sell for $120. Seriously ridiculous.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 16, 2013 @ 10:50 am

      It did give me a moment of being truly thankful that I am not him… I know that NO one does that if they have better options.

      Reply

    • Libby
      July 16, 2014 @ 10:38 am

      I don’t know about that opera house, that roof looks like a money pit just waiting to happen.

      Reply

  27. bfwebster
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Loved Paul’s response. :-)

    Reply

  28. Whitney
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    Haha! I found this blog on a whim and now I love it. You’re a great writer!

    Reply

  29. Vicki Wolf
    July 16, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I felt like I was right there with you. I would think a scammer would’ve gone for the full $300! That would’ve thrown me off. I totally sympathize with ya! The text from your husband totally slayed me. We may be married to men from the same sarcastic, ballbusting bloodline.
    PS. You get major points for trying to help your dad and having faith in the potential “amazingness” of humanity :-)

    Reply

  30. elizabeth
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    So Arkansas may not be for sale — but I can give you a GREAT deal on Missouri.

    Reply

  31. Kylie
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Okay seriously, probably one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time – you are so priceless. Life happens right? Atleast you can make good fun of yourself!
    ~Kylie

    Reply

  32. Danica
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    In a good way this is probably one of the best posts I’ve read in a while!!! Hilarious! Well not really hilarious for you but your re-enactment of what happened was pretty hilarious!

    Also, I’m new to your blog and already love it!

    Reply

  33. John @ Our Home from Scratch
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    I’ve done some remarkably stupid things in my day as well… Whenever anyone calls me for a donation, from like public radio for example, I’m always like.. “Yeah, but how do I know this is Terry Gross? and what does Terry Gross want with a money order?” Can I just get the free Billy Joel CD collection?”

    Reply

  34. Sharon
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    Oh, bless your heart…

    Reply

  35. Jane Schafrann
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    Great story (as usual) & I can empathize! We’ve all been played, at some point, when we’re caught up in the unexpected, frenzied excitement of what seems amazing & wonderful. Just wanted you to know that sometimes scammers get scammed themselves, to wit: My daughter’s brand-new laptop was stolen from her dorm room in FL several years back; amazingly, she received a call the next day that police a few towns away had recovered it–they traced my daughter’s ownership in a bright but convoluted way, but that’s another story–and she went to the police station to recover it. That’s when she found out what happened: A young man (the thief, a non-student) had come into the dorm on campus & knocked on doors till he found unlocked doors w/no occupants (in my child’s case, she’d been in the communal hall bath at the time; she never left her door unlocked after this!). Then the young man entered the unlocked rooms & stole whatever electronics he could & ran out of the building. (After this incident, the college insisted that laptops be locked to the desks in dorms!) Anyway, apparently Young Thief then sold the hot loot out of his car trunk on some sketchy street in a nearby town. YT did indeed sell my daughter’s brand-new $900 laptop (I know; I paid! She was a newly minted college frosh–this happened in Nov. of her freshman yr) to some guy for $50. About 30 minutes later, while YT was still peddling stolen stuff from his car on the same street corner, the laptop buyer, after examining this fabulous Apple laptop, decided he’d been overcharged. (!!! How did they make ME feel? He paid 50 bucks; I was out $900!) SO: Laptop Buyer went & got a COP!! He pointed out the Young Thief who’d sold him the laptop & said, “He ripped me off for $50. This computer’s a piece of #*%@@.” (Sorry, Apple.) The rest is, as they say, history (and now part of our family lore & gore). Young Thief (and his stolen-merchandise buyer) were arrested, & I hope justice was served (at least a little bit). My daughter was reunited w/her Apple, which hadn’t suffered at all, fortunately. Hmmm, now that I look back at this incident, I guess YT wasn’t really a “scammer” cuz he was selling a really fine laptop, not a fake-o one, but, oh well….it’s a story. LOVE YOUR POSTS. KEEP ‘EM COMING! XOXO

    Reply

    • Amy Dobek
      July 16, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

      OMG. How priceless is that??? They BOTH got arrested. A truly excellent ending. 😀

      Reply

  36. badkitty
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    Can’t stop laughing at Paul’s response… he might be my husband’s actual sibling, switched at birth, because that is EXACTLY what my man would have said to me.

    Reply

  37. Karin Vail
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    I totally want to hear the gas cap story. I must have missed that one, LOL!

    Reply

  38. Kit Odom
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    Since I was reared to be ridiculously wary in dealing with people, I probably wouldn’t have been taken in by the scam. If I had however, I would have insisted on giving him $200. Means you’re a good person. Gullible is better than hardened.

    Reply

  39. Jude
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Oh, just too funny. Thanks for sharing!!! I love the fact you gave him more than he asked for -you’re clearly an exceedingly nice (if gullible) person. Karma, my friend, karma. He’ll get his.

    You, meanwhile, have the balls to publicly laugh at yourself, a supportive husband and dear brothers who live to mock you.

    I have the exact same situation this side of the Pond – and it makes me happy every day!

    Reply

  40. Kyra
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    Oh my goodness this was the best laugh out loud start to my day. Live it

    Reply

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