180 Comments

  1. Christine Van Gorder
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    Being trusting does NOT make you dumb! I like you all the more since you fell for it. This world needs more unjaded souls like you!

    Reply

  2. Kelly Jo
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    I love your spirit to believe in the good of this world. Don’t ever lose that. This would totally happen to me. (Scammers don’t seek me out). You are awesome! And thanks for sharing your tale.

    Reply

  3. Nancy Hopkins
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    don’t ever apologize for wanting to believe in the goodness of human nature……….but now you will always doubt human nature and that is a shame !

    Reply

  4. Heather
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    My favorite part of this post is Paul promising to mock you when he got home , then sending emails mocking you from afar!

    Reply

  5. Naomi J
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    Hey, if you give a man $200 and you never see (or hear from) him again, then it’s money well-spent. Perhaps that will make you feel better!

    Also, it makes me so happy that your husband was all BWAHA! instead of OMBob! I can’t believe you just cost us 200 freaking dollars! How COULD you! It makes me like Paul even more. You definitely found a keeper!

    Reply

  6. Jamie
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    Oh my goodness, you are priceless! (As is your husband)

    The Craigslist gods: They giveth, and they taketh away. 😉

    Reply

  7. Marsha
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    Elizabeth- You wrote very clearly. As soon as I read that he asked you to describe the case I said- “ah-ha” But, it was “do not buy Arkansas that doubled me over with laughter. I love reading your posts- and now see that the comments are must reads also!

    Reply

  8. Sarah
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:57 am

    You are probley as unfamiliar with scams as I am,(with the exception of those described in Addie Pray, the book the movie Paper Moon was based on). However, I recently purchased sailboat parts from a very nice man through Craigslist, who took a check from me, I was then telling him I wanted to sell a rug through Craigslist and he told me to never ever, ever, ever, allow someone in my home. To never ever, ever take Western union, as the purchaser can cancel the money order, in ten days if it was deposited in a bank account! And ironically although he took a personal check from me to never, ever take a personal check. I don’t think there are a ton of people out there scamming for sunfish parts!

    So if you think you’ve been scammed, race back to any western union office and cancel the money order, too late for you Victoria but perhaps wise words for anyone making a future purchase! Or who think they have been scammed!

    Oh he also mentioned, not to respond to any e-mail, if you are selling that does not specifically mention the item that you are selling! Also, do not “hold” an item for someone who is offering you more money than you are asking!

    Reply

  9. Cat
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    You TOTALLY made me laugh out loud this morning. Not about the scam. Not even about Paul. But about your HEAD STONE. Oh. Dear. GOD! You are SO funny!

    Reply

  10. stacia
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    I think it’s awesome how much faith you have in humanity and honesty. But, maybe I’m just saying that because I would have done the exact same thing!

    Reply

  11. Kim W.
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    I found an iPod years ago in an airplane seat pocket. I tried and tried and tried to find the owner. I called Apple with the serial number – they said it wasn’t registered. (If it had been registered, they would have paid the shipping for me to send it to them so they could return it to the owner.)

    The airline said that there was no way to know which airport the owner had come to or gone from, so it would be better for me to call the Lost and Found at each of the airports the plane had been at in the last day, and report my find. I did. Nobody ever called me to claim it.

    I posted in Craigslist and checked it for weeks.

    Never found the owner.

    (Poor me!)

    Reply

  12. teresa
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    Oh thank you for being brave & sharing!! LOVE your writing.

    (AND I will still love Craigslist and it’s wonderful goodies to be had if only you search long enough…but I will read and follow the warnings from now on thank you!!!)

    Reply

  13. KG
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    Oh my!! I feel really terrible at what happened to you….
    Scam or not…this just wasn’t right!!

    Sorry you had to lose $200 to make you aware that people on craigslist and not who they seem. …

    Reply

  14. SSdGJ
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    yes… you are welcomed into the “I’ve been scammed” club… hello, I am The President and also a Lifetime Member

    Reply

  15. Sharyl
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

    Victoria, As usual, a fantastic story and a good laugh. You trusted him because you would never treat anyone that way so you wouldn’t expect it if others! Good for you 🙂 Sorry about the $200 lesson though….

    Reply

  16. Sharyl
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    “of” others

    Reply

  17. Maxine
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    ROTFL…I love the cemetery scene!!!! You get a gold star for being so cool about this situation. I bought a box of bricks once…innocent, naive victim of a bait and switch. Gotta luv it.

    Reply

  18. vaughn
    July 16, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    (wipes tears of deeply sympathetic laughter)

    As my Grampa would’ve said; bless your kind heart and soft head.

    Also, my friends in Arizona totally have a bridge.

    Reply

  19. 3bed2bath1baby
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    You got iPhone catfished!!!
    Oh dear. Well, you learned a great lesson, and it only cost 200.00.

    Made me laugh though.

    My husband got sucked into a magazine scam. They called and offered him all these magazines for a ridiculous price, and all they needed us to pay was S&H. Like a goon,he offered up his card number. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!! That card “didn’t work” for the scammers so they asked for another one. AND HE GAVE THEM THAT ONE TOO!!!!!!!

    Several months later and we’ve finally got everything back to normal, and the scammer calls have stopped.

    Reply

  20. sarrah groves
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

    I just found an ipod touch on the ground at a park I put it on craigslist saying whoever can identify its color, case, and distinguishing marks or genre gets it back. Asking him to tell you what it looked like wouldn’t have worked. .. (ok well it would have with him but an honest person like me wants to make sure it goes to the right person) I totally would have done the EXACT same thing you did, right down to “you’re so awesome i want to give you even more money”. I’ve even PayPal-ed someone that promised to mail an awesome shiny object and Gave them my FedEx number to mail it!! It was a 12ft CRYSTAL AND GOLD chandelier from…. Texas!!! I swear we are related. I read your post and say yup yup yup done it done it done it. Oh that I had the gift to retell the tale as you! He covered himself with the dead battery and leaving town thing. I would have bought every word. I totally get caught up in the awesomeness of the people and the urgency and excitement of the deal. But look at it this way, you paid $280 for a mirror that is undisputedly worth $1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Which you will clearly be able to walk thru one day to your own private kingdom in the enchanted land of Texas..well just as soon as you say the magic words while rubbing her lovingly. Don’t worry it’ll happen. So i say… you’re still waaaaaay ahead.

    Reply

  21. jamie@owlreally.com
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    I feel your pain! When I was in high school, I worked in a tiny little bookstore off the interstate. I was behind the cash register when this really nice guy told me that he was about to fly out to his niece’s wedding and no one else could afford the trip, so they collected their money together to put in a card so they could all contribute to a really nice gift. He asked if I could take his small bills and replace them with larger ones. No problem, I thought! The details are fuzzy all these years later, but he basically did a bait & switch – he had to go out to the car to get cash to buy a magazine for the plane ride and left me with the card full of money after we switched out the bills. He didn’t come back and I opened up the card and it was full of napkins. I was 16 and DEVASTATED. The store owner was understanding but I felt awful.

    Reply

  22. Darlene
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    Very, very funny post. The thing is, the phone’s screen probably shattered when your dad drove away. Having gone through a different dumb thing with my smart phone where it fell out of my purse that I had set on top of my trunk so I could pet my dog who was happy that I was home, it probably wasn’t even worth trying to find it.

    Reply

  23. Grey
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    Maybe if this happens to someone in the future, they could charge up the phone (who doesn’t have a charger somewhere – you could even reimburse one bought cheap at a CVS/Walgreens). Then, you could call the phone’s number and have them answer it. That would really be the only test I would trust. If the phone is locked, they couldn’t call you. You have to call them.

    Reply

  24. Sister Gayatri
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    Laughing so hard I can hardly breathe! The proof that you are incredible is that I could care less about restoration of old things, or craigslist for that matter…I live a monastic life.

    Can’t wait for your next post! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply

  25. mrscarmichael
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Hahahhhaaa!

    Reply

  26. Sue
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Love your scammer story. I am still mad at myself and more mad at the scammer who took my money to redesign my blog. There were a few alarm bells going off that I was unable to see due to my excitement at getting a new look for my blog. I am praying to the scam Gods that something despicable happens to him very soon.

    Reply

  27. Valerie
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

    The last picture made me chuckle, because I’m pretty sure that my grave is right next to yours with VMS, she didn’t sign a contract with her builder before he started because he was her friend.

    Reply

  28. Anne
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    This just makes me feel better about every stupid thing I’ve done. I approach every Craigslist adventure like one I might not return from as I’ll surely end up dismembered in a basement I am drawn to filled with “90+ years of accumulation that we have never been through…help yourself.” I’m always surprised when people end up being lovely and normal. We ALL have a story like this one where we were scammed or duped – often out of our eagerness to please. Some of us are just not brave enough to admit it and now we all feel a little bit better about ourselves. Thanks for the midday laugh.

    Reply

  29. Garden, Home and Party
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    This is hilarious if it weren’t hitting so close to home! When my husband took me to London (first time for me) a well dressed Brit walked up to us and offered to take our picture for us for 6 pounds I totally said that would be great, smiled at the camera and gave him the 6 pounds. As we walked away my husband said, (who I might add didn’t say this while this transaction was going down) “You do realize he didn’t ask for our address and that it was a way some make money off of stupid tourists?” I know, really absent minded. I have to chalk it up to my excitement at being in a foreign country and British accents. 😀

    I’m certain I would have done the same thing you did, Victoria.
    xo,
    Karen

    Reply

  30. Sarah
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog today and read four of your posts that more or less described me; however, I’m choosing this one to comment on because it hit home!

    I was scammed on Craigslist when about 8 years ago, I posted that I was looking for a mini schnauzer puppy. A woman replied and said she had one and gave me a whole back story on this sweet little pup. We exchanged several emails and even a couple of phone calls organizing when I would meet her to pick up the dog. She even sent me a photo of the mini schnauzer that instantly melted my heart.

    Well when I excitedly told my parents about this, they insisted on coming with me to pick up the dog because they instantly had a bad feeling about it. I casually mentioned my parents would be coming with me to the woman who was chatting me away on the phone and finalizing the day, time and location.

    The day came and I called to confirm and no response. Then, I emailed – no response. I sent a text – no response. My parents were sitting there in my house with a “I told you so” attitude while at the same time exuding extreme worry for their college educated daughter who didn’t seem to have the street smarts to live outside of a barred up room in their attic.

    That evening my mom called me and told me to google mini schnauzer puppy. It was the very first image that came up and I remember shrieking with terror. Ugh. It was a learning experience that I quickly forgot about as I sold my furniture a couple of months later on Craigslist and gave complete strangers my address while I was home alone. Whoops…

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      July 18, 2013 @ 10:13 am

      I am both curious to google that… and also NOT going to, because whatever it is, I DO NOT need stuck in my head.

      For what it’s worth, I give out my address too… and am sometimes home alone. It’s always been fine, but I should probably rethink it.

      Reply

  31. Julie
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Yeah, this could have been me a few years ago, but with so many of my friends telling me their horror stories about identity theft because they talked to someone who seemed legit on the phone, I don’t trust anyone who calls me anymore.

    My husband has to provide dental records along with other credentials just to talk to me on the phone anymore.

    Reply

  32. Don Crowder
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

    You shouldn’t feel too badly. I

    Reply

  33. Don Crowder
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

    [Stupid machine] As I was saying…

    You shouldn’t feel too badly, I actually know someone who lost $10k in a bogus investment scheme they found on the web. The thing is, just about any of their friends could have told them it was bogus but they wanted so badly for it to be a lucky windfall that they ignored reality and disregarded their own common sense.

    Reply

  34. gretchen
    July 16, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

    I’m really sorry you were scammed, but this story is hilarious! And I love Paul. “Don’t buy Arkansas.” Perfect. 🙂
    BTW the phone screen was certainly smashed to smithereens. Been there, done that.

    Reply

  35. Sherrianne
    July 16, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

    I snorted…..just sayin….;)

    Reply

  36. Tracey
    July 16, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    The sheer volume of phone and internet scams has made me more than little skeptical about everything, which is why I love this blog so much. I enjoy the shared innocence and enthusiasm. Having said that, at my work, which involves tax and dealing with the tax office here in Australia I recently had a scam pone call (on a Saturday morning) from a very dodgy sounding person who claimed to be calling from the Tax department. I picked it was a scam – our tax ‘office’ doesn’t make phone calls on the weekend (public service). However, a couple of weeks later we got another call that sounded similar but near enough to legitimate, so I thought I’d play it safe and call the tax office to check it out. They denied all knowledge of said call and immediately reported it to their scam watch. Soon after, the original caller rang back and gave his full credentials and was able to confirm beyond doubt that he was in fact really from the tax office and he was quite amused at being thought of as a ‘scammer’. Wooops! I’m sooo glad he had a sense of humour. I’m the only person I know to have reported the tax office to the tax office!

    Reply

  37. Danielle
    July 16, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

    Oh sweet friend… you jumped into that situation with both feet! And that gas cap story… we live in a state where you aren’t allowed to pump your gas yourself (which is a whole other level of WHY?!!) and I’ve never heard of that sort of scam. Crazy!

    Reply

  38. bess
    July 17, 2013 @ 12:13 am

    oh, goodness, thanks for the laugh! (although i lived in arkansas for a few years, and i think anything over $50 is a shade too much….) i once dragged my husband to look at a craigslist chair (i always make him go with me so i won’t end up another sad craigslist white-slavery statistic), and i convinced him that i could totally get the chain-smoker smell out of this $150 chair!! the chain-smoker himself said that a little febreze would fix it right up!! after steam-cleaning that darn thing THREE times, it still reeked…. and then i didn’t want to keep it…. but couldn’t list a smoky-stinking chair on craigslist for $150…. i would’ve done better to just hand out cash on the street corner. 🙂

    Reply

  39. Diana - Anyone Can Decorate
    July 17, 2013 @ 12:36 am

    It’s a good thing that what comes around goes around. Somehow some way, he will get his in the end… or hopefully sooner!!! I choose the think the best of people… and I probably would have done the same thing. Uhg, it would suck to have to go through life skeptical all the time!

    BTW – I want to be you when I grow up 🙂

    Reply

  40. Liz
    July 17, 2013 @ 2:25 am

    Thank you for your honesty and my not being able to stop laughing and then chuckling for almost 10 minutes! Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. I was my usual, highly anxious flyer self when I arrived at O’Hare airport to prepare for my flight. As I gathered my suitcase and other travel items to go into the terminal, a young man approached me and started talking about his very ill grandmother. He said that he was on his way to see her. I asked if he wanted to pray for her, he said yes, and so we prayed standing on the sidewalk. Then he told me that he was short $30 for his flight. I not only gave him $30 but I threw in an extra $20 so he could get some food for the flight.

    As he walked away I realized that my anxiety about flying had caused me to not pay attention to the “red flags” in his story and I was upset with myself. But then I decided that I wasn’t going to fault myself for being willing to help someone; I just needed to remember that when I’m feeling anxious, I am not a good listener and I need to take time to make a decision.

    Having said that, I still am chuckling about your story. Love your spirit!

    Reply

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