Craiglist Poly scam in Charlotte, NC

ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
edited May 2014 in Buying & Selling Topics

I've been in lengthy communication with this person and they say that they are going to sell them to me. I’m 5 hours away so if I were to buy this lot, I would send money and the person would send them to me. Im sure that some of the local area folks have responded and perhaps you would like to compare notes on your dealings with this person.

- Sellers name is Ann (but writes like a guy)
- Does not have a Paypal account so payment would be via Greendot card. I would purchase the card and send them the number so they could withdraw funds.
- Got all these polys from their sister who works for Lego in Texas.
- Can't meet me 1/2 way because car is broke.
- Leaving for Ohio today (amazing!) and travels a lot for business.
- Was going to meet a local person last night (7 May) but in the course of the conversation said that they didn’t get home until after 10:00 PM.
- Has ignored repeated requests for an inventory (or dated photo) of more valuable polys. From the pictures, he may have 2 Gold C3PO's, 10 Chrome Vaders, 2 white Boba's, a Nuremberg Darth Vader, and many other valuable polys.
- Claims to have spent an hour with a lady on 6 May (the day it was posted) and she only wanted to pay $2.00 per poly. She had a crying child and he gave them some polys just to get rid of them.
- Wants me to pay 1/2 now and trusts me to pay the other half once I receive the shipment. I can send back any polys that I’m not satisfied with.
- Just for the record, I told him that if he had all the ploys shown in the pictures, the value of the collection would be around $3200.00 (Bricklink average price). My offer was $1200.00.
- Was going to ship all of the polys in 1 large flat rate box.
- Has 288 ploys total (even after giving some to the crying child).

Anyway, it’s been an interesting conversation as the Craigslist poster has been very verbose. Anyone else respond?


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    They are probably the least valuable parts of the lot, but it looks like those Friends figures have been bought from China. They are not sealed like that, and normally do not come with viking helmets and other such headgear.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,214
    The alarm bells for me are the lack of continuity of pictures, all taken in different places, and some look suspiciously like those I've seen on some ebay listings, might be worth doing an image comparison on some bulk poly listings.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Yes, I did a google search of the photos and found at least 3 of them. The Spiderman photo was one of them.
  • fizicystfizicyst Member Posts: 72
    edited May 2014
    There was a similar scam thing maybe around late summer 2013. The person claimed to have SDCC items such as Azog (when he was going for hundreds), chrome vaders and lots of other valuable polys as well as some not as valuable ones. They had prices for each one at about a third of what they were bringing on eBay. A quick google search at the time revealed that there were identical craigslist ads all over the country. The ad I had seen was in CT.

    Yeah, I just checked the actual listing. The pictures for the chrome vaders, hulks and older polys are identical to what I had seen. The other pics are newer.
  • Wil348Wil348 Member Posts: 240
    Why is there a picture of an iPhone?
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 863
    ^ Exactly. The iPhone is my favorite part.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy claimed to be a hot girl with moral (and other) flexibility.

    If someone were actually in Charlotte, might be fun to scope out the purported address and report back to us.
  • brickboilerbrickboiler Member Posts: 9
    edited May 2014
    Same listing in Indianapolis. I sent a reply about the star wars polys, and just got a phone number back that is an Iowa area code. I knew it was a scam at that point (suspected up front, but you never know), so I didn't reply any further.
  • BatmunchBatmunch Member Posts: 3
    edited May 2014
    I was texting with her last night as I am near Charlotte. She was avoiding meeting, but agreed to mail. I stopped texting when I asked for time stamped pictures and she sent a kissy face emoticon out of no where.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    edited May 2014
    I saw this listing myself, and just shook my head. Sorry I can't corroborate any of the details for you, as I didn't even reach out to the seller. (Funny, the first thing that made me suspicious is that they said they started from $10 and up. Who would pay $10 for some of those? But some of them would certainly be nice :) ) That being said, it does look very, very suspicious to me.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    oh, and thanks for starting this thread. Always nice to give people a heads up just in case they didn't see the warning flags!
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    x16 Hulk
    x29 Chrome Vader
    x19 White Boba Fett
    x20 Storm Trooper
    x23 Iron Patriot
    x5 Gold C-3PO
    x20 Martian Manhunter
    x21 TC-14
    x24 TC-4
    x22 Jor-El
    x19 Lex Luthor
    x26 Darth Maul
    10x Han hoth
    10x blue white clone trooper
    12x black trooper
    13x Darth revan
    7x VW wagon
    15x Spider-Man
    36x Friends
    17x Lone Ranger
    5x pirates jack on a small boat
    38x lego movie (8x emitt pajama, 8x Mexican out fit, 16x DJ robot, 6x wild girl )

    Just got this"inventory". I'm getting 5 gold C3PO's!
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    One way to determine if this is a scam is for someone else to make an offer (at the same price). If they offer to sell the collection to that person as well, then something is fishy.
  • ZathrasZathras Member Posts: 70
    The 24 TC-4 alone, here in the states, screams scam to me
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332

    One way to determine if this is a scam is...

    I think we're long past if.

  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Batmuch. I've been getting the kissy-face emoticon too.

    Ronyar : was hoping to hear from you since you snagged that great Train listing a month back.

    Just got another reply about making payment. For somebody that is supposed to be on their way to Ohio, they sure have a lot of time to compose emails!
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Get a mailing address instead so someone can turn him in to authorities.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349
    edited May 2014
    I think we got past 'if it is scam' in the original post :-)
    If it is too good to be true, it is.
    Also I think it is safe to say if someone wants you to use some non-standard way of paying (other than paypal, western union or cash-maybe money orders as well) then you have to be suspicious.
    Same when they come up with all of these different scenarios as to why they cannot meet you to sell them. Or how they got them.. Seems like this person is awfully lucky.

  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    edited May 2014
    To extend the conversation, I just asked if (s)he had any "Mr Gold" minifigs. Any bets as to what the answer will be? Also, I asked about the 319 (Iowa) code of the number given. They said it was a prepaid phone but all the emails have a "sent from iPhone" stamp on them. Just shows you that they more you talk the harder it is to keep the story straight.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Well I'm impressed. They managed to produce this picture that I asked for. I havent found it on the web yet but I'm sure its there.

    Also, they DO have 2x Mr Gold's. Who da' thunk! I did find those pixs.

  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    Now you're just trying to make me jealous that I didn't email this seller. ;)
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    I have to admit though that now I am curious what their asking price is with that "inventory" that they are willing to sell you.
    Amazing that anyone who knows anything about buying Lego could believe that they could acquire that type of collection and not have a Paypal account. Really, they didn't buy a single one of those through eBay? (Sorry, shouldn't apply logic to this situation, as shown by the examples already given above...)
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    ^ Since this whole sale is fictional, there is nothing to be jealous of. The story is that all polys were aquired from a sister who works for Lego.

    I'm still jealous of your amazing train find. That was one-in-a-million!
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    oh, and just for fun, found the picture for the 5 Gold C-3PO's here:
    Must be a slow afternoon at work....
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    I wonder if they would produce a couple #10179's? Tempting....
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    edited May 2014
    If you really want to have fun, why don't you ask about a 14kt gold C-3PO? That would be even easier to track down whatever picture they used, and I believe there were only ever 5 of them made?

    (And so you know, my kids and my Dad love that train set. I couldn't sell that thing if I wanted to right now.)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    When I take pictures of sets that I'm going to sell, I always use the same area/backdrop to take my photos. (S)he's got so many different places that she took her pictures and the quality/lighting is different in each one. I wouldn't have to even go any further with contacting this person.

    With that said: Keep this going because it has been a slow week. I need some entertainment :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ecmo47 said:

    I wonder if they would produce a couple #10179's? Tempting....

    That's too easy. You need to pick something rare and obscure. Something that is only handed out to Lego employees or something. The best would be a Solid Gold C-3P0. If "Pat" can produce that, it would be ridiculously funny :)

  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    ^ That's one of the reasons that this was so easy to spot as a scam. The fact that this person has engaged me in 2 full days (19 emails plus texting) has been unusual and entertaining.

    I wonder if there is a law-enforcement agency that this could be reported to?

    The phone number tracks to Anamosa, Iowa and is ligit in that the seller is texting me with that number.
  • tom4086tom4086 Member Posts: 689
    My offer was accepted so I'm afraid you're all too late! It was just too tempting not to plunge in, I'll never have this chance again. I purchased my greendot card and sent Ann the number. She said I could pay the rest when they arrive!
    She was really nice, sent me loads of photos and everything! There are some amazing people out there! What a deal!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    edited May 2014
    ecmo47 said:

    ^ That's one of the reasons that this was so easy to spot as a scam. The fact that this person has engaged me in 2 full days (19 emails plus texting) has been unusual and entertaining.

    I wonder if there is a law-enforcement agency that this could be reported to?

    The phone number tracks to Anamosa, Iowa and is ligit in that the seller is texting me with that number.

    I would imagine that this would be attempted mail or wire fraud and this is a serious crime.

    18 U.S.C. § 1343 provides:

    Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

    This to me is exactly what this person is doing.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,241
    The phone number thing isn't a big deal. Could be from there and in college in Charlotte, or moved there for work. I have a 919 NC number that I've had since 2002 and I've lived in MA, NY, IA and now back in MA again with it. It only seems odd if you're living in pre 2005 or so before they allowed cell number carry over. Pretty common these days.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    ^ Yes, the phone number is a long shot but that's the only contact info I have other than the Craigslist link. My feeling is that Iowa is more ligit as a place of residence than either Charlotte or Indianapolis.
  • legogregorslegogregors Member Posts: 402
    edited May 2014
    Why isn't this reported to Craig's list to get the listing removed? Let them follow up with the appropriate authorities. PM the link to me and I will report it, this is the kind of thing that makes me never want to go near their website. I don't think it is funny at all.

    It looks pretty easy:
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    @Pitfall69‌ apparently you and I are thinking along the same lines!
  • wassermjwassermj Member Posts: 16
    Same ad showed up on baltimore cl in the last 12 months. Disappeared quick
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 474
    How about if you say you (or a friend) have just heard you're about to spend a few weeks in Iowa for work, and can come collect and pay cash at any time?

    Might be worth dragging it out for the laugh to see where it goes!
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086

    Found this link which answers many of my questions. I'll file a complaint for the Charlotte one if somebody else wants to do Indianapolis.
  • legogregorslegogregors Member Posts: 402
    I filed general scam report citing the id above and asked them to investigate multiple listings across the country.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    I filed a complaint with the FTC. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    You guys are going to ruin it for Tom before the Nigerian prince is able to send his check for cashing!
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited May 2014
    @ecmo47 I will be in Charlotte (specifically in Concord) to visit my son on Saturday. :-) It is so funny that most of the photos have a different background. Strange, because I do the same thing when I take photos. Take some on the carpet, some on a cardboard box, some on the hardwood floor, some on a play mat, some on LEGO bases, some on a sheet. And, some up close, some far away. And, as has been mentioned, I always include a photo of an iPhone. I mean everyone loves iPhones!
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Well there's a pushpin associated with the google map on the Craigslist posting. You could swing by, knock on the door, and ask for Ann! (Only kidding, somebody that is this dishonest could very well be dangerous.)
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    The party is over. (S)he just texted and said that (s)he had sold them to somebody else for $900.00. Had to get them sold and get on the road to Ohio. As much as I was tempted to sign off with something snarky, I just let it go. Maybe the Feds will be knocking on their door soon.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    Sorry, couldn't resist swooping in and getting them for myself. They're mine. All mine!!!!! Muwahhhhhhhhhh hhaaahhh hhaaahhh. (Sorry, still working on my evil laugh. ).

  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 359
    In all seriousness, I'm really glad that several of you reported this fraudster. I really wish that there were simpler and more effective ways to get people like this banned/arrested so that everyone else didn't have to worry about getting ripped off.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,258
    Glad everyone did the wise thing and stayed away from this one.

    I'm the only one that needs to be getting rocks in the mail!
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    ^Has that actually happened? I've only been burned twice by Craigslist deals and got my money back from Paypal in short order.
  • TrenthTrenth Member Posts: 162
    The same guy has a listing in Jackson MS.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Speaking of scams in Jackson MS, This posting has all the earmarks of one too.
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