Craigslist Ad Leads To Weirdest SPAM Ever!
It Seemed So Simple!
Some time ago my wife and I decided that it was time to try and sell our beloved RV trailer. Though we'd used it quite heavily during the first few summers of our marriage, it had become harder and harder to find time to "go RV'ing" as our family grew. Our kids were getting bigger, our work schedules were differing and we hadn't taken the trailer out at all for more than two years. The once proud RV which once took us to numerous cool vacation destinations had merely been parked in our backyard, taking up primo real estate, during that time. We finally decided that since we weren't about to go camping again any time soon, we should try and make some money off of it rather than simply letting it continue to rot away. To get the word out, we did the usual P.R. -- placing a classified ad in the local paper, making up flyers and putting them on the bulletin boards in various stores around town, etc., etc. -- and we also placed an advertisement on Craigslist. I can already hear some of you saying, "Well, THAT was a stupid thing to do." It didn't take long for me to agree. I had successfully sold some items on Craigslist in the past, but it had been a couple of years since I'd last used the site and things had apparently changed BIG time since then... as in, there was nobody "legit" looking for items on Craigslist anymore, everyone seemed to be some breed of spammers, scammers, con artists, and creeps. Almost immediately after I posted my ad, my inbox was absolutely INUNDATED with SPAM e-mails that,would have been hilarious...if they weren't so creepy.
Don't get me wrong, I expected to receive SOME spam when I posted my Craigslist ad, but I wasn't anticipating anything like the shock-and-awe campaign that followed my RV advertisement. Imagine my excitement when, the morning after I placed my ad, I opened my e-mail and found a half dozen messages with "RE: 2005 STARCRAFT RV TRAILER" in the subject line. "Woohoo!" I thought, "Selling that damn thing is going to be a snap!"
...then imagine my crushing disappointment when every single one of those half dozen messages turned out to be bogus. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they all came from the same person. Each e-mail claimed to be from people with wholly bizarre names like "Hidringer Gutting," "Gaudreau Beabout," "McCumiskey Burri," and "McNary Pregler," all were worded very similarly to one another, and all of them wanted me to go to a certain web site to "access their secure contact info "so we can talk further." Uhhhhh....yeahhhh, that certainly sounds ....legit. As if these mails didn't smell fishy enough already, there was a thumbnail photo of a different scantily-clad girl attached to each message... and I got about three dozen of them within the first 24 hours of posting my ad!.
My Inbox Runneth Over
So just for giggles, I thought I'd repeat some of the highlights from this bizarre barrage of nonsense messages and share my joy. Occasional snide commentary from yours truly will be placed in italics and parentheses throughout. A Web link was included at the end of each of these messages, which I obviously did not click on, nor did I click to open any of those half-naked lady pictures (though I will confess, I was tempted...)
"Hidringer Guting" (??) was the first one to reply to my ad, and he/she/it (?) wrote: "Read this if you're legit and move thru my direction. (Um....what?) "My pics and cell phone # are placed on my exclusive profile so if you take delight in what you see, you can pick up my # and then text/call me right away. This is the ONLY way to separate weirdos (Wait a minute... YOU'RE calling ME a weirdo?) and to verify you're a reputable guy, especially since I want to host at my condo. (You want to host what now?) I'm not a 'bot' so stop second guessing me. (Second guessing who? I'm VERY confused now...) I'm a mischievous gurl (sic) in the bedroom (OHHHHHH, NOW I get it... this is one of THOSE kind of spam messages!) so rather tell you over the phone what I'm looking for in you rather than wasting my time and emailing here. (That last sentence was almost English...) I just hope your (sic) legit." (Oh sure, I am ... but are YOU?)
Okaaaayyyy, so Hidringer is the type of person who trolls through the "RVs for Sale By Owner" section on Craigslist looking for lonely guys who are into camping equipment. Poor thing, I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm already taken. I received several other messages that were virtually the same as the above, just with a few words changed (some told me they wanted to "host" at "their place" or "at home" instead of "at my condo," or replaced the "mischievous gurl" with "kinky gurl" or "nice gurl."
Moving on, a Mr. or Miss Febres Deboe (!?) took a slightly different approach in their message:
"Extremely curious about you and your ad. (Well, that's nice.) I want to speak more and was curious as to if you could call/text me with your location? (Why? Did you miss the part of my Craigslist ad where my cell phone # AND the town I'm located in are all mentioned IN LARGE BOLD TYPE, ya freakin' nimrod?) Please grab my cell phone # on my non-public page, the link is below you have to sign up first but no lies, there's no charge. (Ohhh, sure, like I'm going to fall for THAT one...) I have money all set (I bet you do... but it's probably Albanian money.) I gotta ask you something important over the phone (again... MY PHONE NUMBER IS IN THE #@$%ING CRAIGSLIST AD YOU MORON!) and confirm that this is not a scam. Thanks."
Miss or Mister "Liriano Lucken" (where the hell do they come up with these names?) certainly seems interested in my item... awwww dammit, nope, it's another one...
"Is your thing still available? (That depends on which "thing" you're talkin' about...) I don't generally do this but you sounded sizzling in you (sic) ad and I'm drawn into you. (You got all that from an ad for an RV trailer? Damn.) I live close by and up for anything (Oy...). My only fear is that you might be a "bot" as Craigslist is full of them (and MY fear is that you might be a walking VD clinic, because apparently Craigslist is full of them too.) So if you're indeed real, can we chat on my profile page? It's the safest way and extremely discreet. I'll message you as soon as I see you sign in. Only YOU will be able to see my pictures and phone # on there (oh joy!!) so if you like what you see, get hold of me. I apologize to irritate you, but life is too short, so I had to give this a chance. If you are a real person, confirm. I think you'll be astonished. See you!"
And the hits just keep on comin'!
Miss or Mister "Baumgartner Traube" wrote:
"OMG intrigued in you and your ad. (WOW, I must have written the sexiest "RV For Sale" ad EVER, huh?) I want to speak more and was trying to find out if you could call/text me with your address (again, Baumgartner ... my damn phone # is in the ad!!) Grab my cell phone # on my non-public page, the link is below you have to sign up first but no lies, there's no charge." (Sorry, Baumgartner ... I didn't fall for that one when your friend Febres DeBoe tried it, and I'm not falling for it here either!)
This was one of the few legitimate-sounding replies I received except... I never heard back from the dude when I responded "Yes, it's still available." *SIGH*
"My e-mail is this one: (e-mail address snipped). So you could write me if this is still available. I sure hope so as I need to get it by tomorrow or else I won't have time at all to pick it up." (What's your hurry, hot shot?) Just inform me if this is all right with you!"
...so to make a long story short, I have yet to receive a legitimate reply to my Craigslist ad, and I still haven't sold my RV. But the creepy SPAM emails keep on rolling in ... in fact, I just got another one while I was writing this post! Haha! So I may not be making any $$ but at least I'm getting some entertainment!!
Believe it or not, Craigslist still works... it just took longer than anticipated. The RV was FINALLY sold after being listed for more than a month!! I have since deleted my ad, but as of this writing, the funky, creepy, almost-English horny SPAM responses continue to roll into my inbox. Persistent little buggers....