Be Warned, this is a long one.
So I found a rather valuable unopened toner cartridge when cleaning out the office store room this week. We've upgraded our equipment since we got it in so what do you do? Well like any other Bay area individual with unwanted Items I put it on Craigslist. Now anyone who has patronised Craigslist in the past knows that it's slightly less reputable than a midnight swap meet in an abandoned warehouse, so I wasn't surprised when a response came through with the typical scammer bylines looking for my lowest price.
I was having a kind of shitty day at the time so rather than just ignoring and dismissing it as spam, I sent back a curt response quoting the exact asking price I had posted with the Craigslist ad assuming this would deter him. The response to that message was so comically fraudulent that I simply had to indulge the "buyer" with an eye towards exploiting the situation for laughs.
The resulting exchange unfolded over the next three days.
Hello, I am impressed with the features of your item and will be willing to buy, let me know your very bottom price.
It's OK, I will go with your price, Actually i am from Salt Lake city in Utah and am currently on a field trip, but want to purchase it for my daughter that is currently in West Africa working with American Embassy, her birthday is coming up next Friday so i want to give her a surprise gift.
I have a PayPal account and can pay you right away, it's secure and protects two parties in a transaction. Please if you do have paypal account,send me the account e-mail to me and I will be paying additional $100 of the shipping and insurance to ship to my daughter's destination.
My verified paypal account @ [REDACTED] Once you send the request i will proceed with the payment.I will forward my daughter's residential address to you for shipping assoon as the payment gets to you.
This seems like a complicated sale [REDACTED]. I've changed my mind, the new price is $10,000.00
I live in Kaysville, UT and am currently on a field trip. I spoke with USPS and they told me that some west African countries have limits on the size and weight of packages one can ship and also told that it will cost $50 with insurance to ship to my daughter's destination. I will make a payment of $100 which will cover all the cost. Kindly send the request so that i will proceed with the payment.
Congratulations on the move to Kaysville! I hope it's nicer than Salt Lake City. Anyway, before we proceed I wish to confirm you agree to my updated price of $10,000.00 USD (Ten thousand united states dollars and zero cents)
I am happy that the item is still available, I will go with your price, I have a pay-simple account and can pay you right away, because it’s attached to my bank account and its safe and very secure way to make payment. visit www.paysimple.com and open the account once that is done and you forward the info i will make the payment to you
I await your reply asap..Thanks Todd
(This is where I expected him to back down)
Well that's a shame, you've forced me to change my mind again, I originally intended to sell this to someone in my local area, Since I now have to ship it I added a $9,910.00 fee to the asking price, as that seems like a fair price to cover my end of the deal, however If I am required to open a Paysimple.com account as well that's an unaccounted for hindrance, and I'll need to add another surcharge to the original asking price, the surcharge will be for $990,000.00 USD This brings the grand total for the item shipped from my location, paid for through a Paysimple.com account to $1,000,000.00 USD (One Million United States Dollars and zero one hundredths) Please confirm you are willing to pay this price, for one HP Laserjet 27x toner cartridge.
Your agreement and further responses will of course be recorded and considered a binding contract between parties pursuable to the full extent of the law. No doubt you are familiar with such legal terms, what with sending packages through West African customs and having just moved house yesterday.
I look forward to your response.
(Now it gets totally ridiculous)
Thanks for your swift response, I’m seriously interested in buying it for my Brother this week for surprise gift, your asking price is quite reasonable and affordable considering others I’ve seen lately, I’ll take it. I really want the furniture to be a surprise for my daughter so i won’t let her know anything about the furniture until it gets delivered to her, Once you open account just me your payment request to enable me send the payment to you... I would be glad if my request is favorably considered. Get back to me asap. Thanks
(Now I try to turn it up a notch, If the bots don't give up after this, no one is reading my emails and this could go on forever.)
I hope your Brother doesn't mind sharing the toner cartridge with your daughter, though I don't understand how they intend to use it as furniture but I guess that's your responsibility. I have decided that Paysimple won't work for me and I would rather accept a personal Check for payment. I will send you the single HP Laserjet 27x toner cartridge on 04/28/13 if and only if I receive your personal check for $1,000,000.00 USD (One Million United States Dollars and zero cents) by 04/22/13 and it clears for the full amount. I know we discussed that this price was in response to having to open a Paysimple account, but it has been 3 days now since your first email so I consider this a fair price for my time don't you?
Please respond with your preferred method of transmitting that check to me.
(Email subject: "get back asap...")
Okay, no problem with the Check for payment, send the information for the payment....
Now either this guy is mad desperate for my information or his mail bots are configured way better than the earlier responses would have suggested. Either way I'm not sure how to proceed now, should I keep giving it the run around? I'm obviously not going to send him any of my personal information. I'm tempted to ask him to provide photos of the front and back of the check made out to our Business name just to see how far it will go but if there really is someone on the other end of this I don't want to give them too much shit, after all this is all for fun on my end.
However I choose to proceed I thought this was pretty damn funny and figured it may be worth looking at if anyone is as bored as I was when this started.
Gotta love the internet.