Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Dangerous People Answer My Ad?

Recently, I decided to use a couple of online classifieds services to try to find a good home for an item of furniture I no longer have space for.

I used two popular services you may have heard of — Craig’s List, and Ebay’s classifieds (aka “kijiji“).

I received an e-mail response, that asked for more details.

So, I replied.

And received this response:

“Thanks for getting back with us

sorry about that, My email was in fact,

I’m very intrigued in this but prior to I invest in it I need to find out if its exactly the same one I’m looking for because I can’t afford a second slip-up Please be sure to check out this vid here I uploaded and let me know


If its the exact one I will be there right away to buy it
Appreciate it “

Now, I suppose it is possible that this is a sincere person.. Wait. It is not possible that this is legit. This *person* spends their time sending phony ‘interest’ emails to people advertising in the Classifieds, with the sole intent of harvesting valid e-mail addresses, infecting their computers (and/or .. trying to sell them something, maybe? {I’m looking at the words in that strange URL..})

I wonder how many folks they’ve nailed…?

There’s a “rule” — never click on links in emails from strangers. There are some twisted folks out there people. Please, use paranoid common sense on the Internet.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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November 3, 2010 - Posted by | Internet scam


  1. right said Paul.

    and I’m must guess u posted on Craiglist, as I got such response for my posted



    Comment by Grr | November 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Grr,
      I don’t know which place they were combing when they found my ad. The only thing I can say for sure is the e-mail address didn’t match the name they were using (a clue!). I suspect they comb them all, and do it as a full time job.

      … there is more I’d like to say, but this isn’t the forum for it.


      Comment by techpaul | November 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. Another “You’ll need to download a small plug-in/codec pack to view this video” type.
    I’m tired of this tactic… *Sigh*


    Comment by Ranjan | November 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      I would have guessed a keylogger/”banking”.. but I’m with you, this is so old, I’m not even slightly interested in using one of my sandboxed+isolated testbeds to see what might happen. (As the saying goes.. Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt.)

      Why do *they* keep using these tired, old tactics? Because John and Judy Average still click. Plain and simple. “User education” is an abysmal, abject failure.. yet it is all we have, and I, for one, will keep trying to “raise awareness”.


      Comment by techpaul | November 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. Right Paul. Only education and common sense (which ain’t so common) can counter these socially engineered cyber attacks..
    I just don’t understand one thing. When someone starts learning driving, he/she is also taught of precautions or when your using the gas stove, the manual consists of do’s and dont’s or when your taking a roller coaster ride, there’s an age limit. Point is, these’re some common daily happenings about which you know what to do and what to not, but internet is also or has become a common thing nowadays, yet people aren’t aware of it’s do’s and dont’s.. Many people still have no idea about AV and security.. Miserable.
    Internet’s not a child’s play. It has the potential to change one’s life completely, good or bad, depends on the way you use it.


    Comment by Ranjan | November 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      Well said.

      One thing, though — the day is coming (and it’s not too far off, I am guessing) when banks and other institutions demand user accountability. And I think that will change the landscape. (I think ISP-level NAC is due soon too.) There are now cases being argued in court that will decide the immediate future — who is responsible for the loss of a bank account? The user who failed to protect their machine? Or the bank?
      (Guess who’s gonna win?)


      Comment by techpaul | November 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. I particularly like the wording of “paranoid common sense.” In the case of the Internet, paranoia will save you a lot of trouble.


    Comment by Tim | November 5, 2010 | Reply

  5. Tim!
    It has been a long time. I hope all is “groovy” with you and yours!

    “Use Paranoid Common Sense” (when online) has developed into my ‘catchphrase’, it seems (though, sometimes I steal Hill Street Blues’ “Let’s be careful out there..”) as there is little doubt in my mind that the best antivirus and the best “Internet Security Suite” is located between the computer user’s ears.. not something you can download, or find on a store shelf.


    Comment by techpaul | November 5, 2010 | Reply

    • The problems come in when we seem to lack substance b/w the ears: “ooo I’d love to try super berries!”

      Everything’s going good. Just checking up on a few bloggers I haven’t heard from in a while.


      Comment by tim | November 5, 2010 | Reply

      • Tim,
        Glad to hear it.

        * I couldn’t agree more. Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence Networked were not invented with any inkling that they would one day be marketed to the masses. No one saw it coming. It was assumed that you would have to be an atomic scientist, or 2 Star General to have access. (And those who handled the machines themselves would be highly trained specialists. And, it was that way – for years.)

        And.. time is proving (to me anyway) that Homer Simpson should have been sold an appliance (not an artificial intelligence) as that’s how he thinks of his PC and smart phone. (And an appliance could show us as many ads as a PC does — the whole point of letting us on the web in the first place.)


        Comment by techpaul | November 5, 2010 | Reply

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