For Sale: A Craigslist Story

I put an item up for sale on Craigslist. This is what happened.


+13477044073: is your [item] still for sale 11:29 AM
Me: Yes it is 11:30 AM
+13477044073: (1/3) I am pleased with the I would love to pay you via PayPal,the PayPal charges is on me,If my offer is accepted, Get back to me 11:31 AM
+13477044073: (2/3) with your PayPal email and your name or send me an invoice [email protected] so i can pay you right away , i would arrange pick 11:31 AM
+13477044073: (3/3) up after payment is received. Confirm the sales to me by removing it from post. 11:31 AM


So many flags. Grammar. Punctuation. “invoice.” “pay you right away.” The email address led to some more clues and the name “Charles W. Marthenze.”

And then this happened.


+17856705185: [item] still available for sale? 1:22 PM
Me: Yes 1:23 PM


+17856705185: Are you the first owner? 6:18 AM
Me: Yes, since 2001 7:01 AM
+17856705185: I hope the condition is exactly as described? 7:03 AM
Me: Of course. You’re welcome to swing by and see it in person. 7:05 AM
+17856705185: Ok,get back to me with your paypal name and e-mail so that i can proceed with the payment. 7:08 AM
Me: No, you should really come by and see it first. What part of town do you live in? 7:09 AM


+17856705185(1/6) I am an honorable military woman and you will receive your money cash in hand before this is picked up. However,it easy and free to 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (2/6) open a paypal account. Just go to & register an account.Paypal is the world leading payment master that protects both 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (3/6) buyer/seller. We are on a secured transaction with paypal. Above all, it’s like instant cash. As soon as you open an account, get 7:11 AM
+17856705185: (4/6) back to me with the name and email that you linked with your paypal account and I will have your money sent asap.I feel more 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (5/6) comfortable sending my funds via paypal due to their various security measures at ensuring safe and secured transaction between both 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (6/6) buyer/seller. 7:10 AM


Me: What branch do you serve in? 7:11 AM
Me: Answer my question and I’ll give you my name and Paypal email. 7:16 AM
Me: Hello? 7:35 AM
Me: Are you still interested? 7:35 AM
Me: I have my name and paypal email ready for you. 7:36 AM
Me: I respect you, honorable military woman! 7:36 AM
Me: You can be the second owner! 7:36 AM
Me: What is your name and Paypal email? 7:36 AM
Me: Can I just send you the money directly? 7:37 AM
Me: I guess it would be pretty far to drive from Topeka to see the table in person, huh? 7:38 AM
Me: What do you think about the condition? 7:38 AM
Me: Why are you suddenly so non-responsive? 7:40 AM


Me: I just signed up for a Paypal account and I need you to tell me what to do next. 7:42 AM
+17856705185: Get back to me with your paypal name and email to enable me make the transfer of funds. 7:44 AM
Me: ok 7:44 AM
+17856705185: What is the delay all about I am still waiting to have your paypal email and name so that I can make the payment. 7:48 AM
Me: are you ready to receive the requested information, my official paypal name and email in order to enable you to make the transfer of funds? 7:48 AM
Me: oh, I’m so excited to sell this to you!!! 7:49 AM


Me: Can I trust you? 8:27 AM
+17856705185: Why not? of course yes. 8:28 AM
Me: OK great. So you just need my name and paypal email then and you will transfer the $500? 8:29 AM
+17856705185: Yes. 8:34 AM
Me: Charles W. Marthenze, [email protected] 8:34 AM
Me: Let me know when you’ve made the transfer! You can also text me at my other phone number: 347-704-4073 8:35 AM


+17856705185: You must be a lunatic,go jump into an active volcano and DIE. 8:41 AM


13 Replies to “For Sale: A Craigslist Story”

  1. It JUST happened to me from the same number and same email! Thanks for posting your story. It saved me a whole world of grief.

  2. Same happened to me from same guy saying he a good military man!! His new number is 7203999469 he is threating me with the fbi n jail. He wanted me pay him 300.00 out of my pocket then I could get the money for my bed im so pissed off he got my address how can we stop him why hasnt he been stopped

  3. I got the same trying to sell my car. J am in the military and called them out. The cell number I got the text from was different (347 467 5441). Screamed scam from the start.

  4. Then he is also using 3474675441… I knew it was a scam but bit to see how far he will go. Here is the transcript so far.

    +13474675441 Add – New York City, NY
    7/4/14 4:22 AM 2 minutes ago

    +13474675441: IS YOUR Hand-carved Solid Cypress Wardrobe – $1000 (La Feria, TX) STILL FOR SALE 3:37 AM
    Me: Yes it is still available. 3:39 AM
    +13474675441: (2/3) with your PayPal email and your name or send me an invoice [email protected] so i can pay you right away , i would arrange pick 3:39 AM
    +13474675441: (3/3) up after payment is received. Confirm the sales to me by removing it from post. 3:40 AM
    +13474675441: (1/3) I am pleased with the I would love to pay you via PayPal,the PayPal charges is on me,If my offer is accepted, Get back to me 3:40 AM
    Me: My paypal address is **withheld** . I will not remove the posting until the transaction is complete. Your payment will NOT include any monies to be paid to any shipping agent. You will pay them YOURSELF!!! 4:22 AM

  5. I had a very similar texting conversation with 347-467-5441 as described by dragoncacher above. This person is not to be trusted. He/she used the name Marilyn Stenberg and was insisting that she had desposited funds into my paypal account including shipping and that I needed to pay his/her shipper via Western Union. He/she never desposited funds into my paypal account.

    1. I am so glad that I looked this up before moving forward with the sell of my pool table. They are using the same name, Marilyn Stenberg at the number 347-363-5001. She wouldn’t tell me where she lived but wanted to deposit funds via Paypal. Thank goodness for google!!

    1. they insisted to pay with paypal and to arrange a pickup. If that happens you have no way to show you gave the item to them which paypal would refund the money back to the buyer.

  6. I got a message from 202-524-1162 today.. following is the conversation..

    202-524-1162: Do you still have your item ####### $165

    Me: Yes

    202-524-1162: Alright thanks and God bless. I’m willing to offer $300 which includes shipping to my pal on a peace keeping mission overseas. I’m a Sgt with USMC and i wouldn’t be able to come for pickup due to my working schedule, I will be sending the money upfront. ok?

    Me: Can you send me the address where I need to ship so that I can check whether it’s feasible or not

    202-524-1162: Here is the shipping address
    Name: Mr James Onitire
    Address: 4, Akinwunmi Street, itire Surulere, Lagos Nigeria 23401
    got it?

    Me: Yes, will get back to you.. And how will you be paying?

    202-524-1162: I can wire the money to you via money gram.. All i need is your full name, location and email so i can make the transfer.

    I am kind of suspicious about the above offer, specially after reading your blog and the comments. What do you guys think? What are my options?

Comment now or forever hold your peas

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.