I came across your blog from a Google search for Craigslist PayPal scams after receiving a rather sketchy reply to a listing I posted to sell my old iPhone. I saw your blog posts about similar scams and thought I'd forward you this info.
I was immediately suspicious that the 'buyer' claimed to be in the Marines though they clearly had significant trouble with composing a sentence in English, not to mention the fact that they wanted me to ship the phone to Russia without even asking if it was unlocked or compatible for use in that country. Legit or not, I had no intention of going through that much trouble to sell an old phone, however, out of sheer curiosity, I followed through to see where they would take this. I have to say that I was surprised to see mention of PayPal since, like most people, I assumed that this was a solidly secure payment method. A little bit of research showed otherwise. I searched the email address they gave and found fraud alerts for the exact same username at Yahoo.com and a search for the Russian address given shows that there is no such street name in that city.
I use a secondary Google Voice number for all my Craigslist postings and have included the transcript of our exchange below. Feel free to post this email on your blog to alert others and thanks for putting info on these scams out there to help us all protect ourselves! Well Done!
+15183088823: hello and how are you. pls. when you get this do let me know if this item you placed is still available for sale or not.. iPhone 3G 8gb + charger - $175 8:21 AM
Me: yes it is still available. 11:57 AM
+15183088823: i want to buy the item if possible now so i can pay for it brief me about its present nature and least price it can go for! if its not much a trouble, would require it for my son's usage 12:00 PM
Me: It's in great shape as you can see in the photos in the ad. I could let it go for $150 if that works better for you. 12:08 PM
+15183088823: want it for my son's usage like i said earlier, he is presently on a course in Russia and would be willing to pay about $100 depending on the shipment cost to Russia i work in a ship and would be difficult to comeby and pick it up.thats why, I'm currently in New York with the marine thanks. 12:13 PM
Me: Sorry, I need more than that for it. 12:15 PM
+15183088823: you have it verified then get back to me ASAP.would love to get it done at once thanks 12:27 PM
+15183088823: so you should know the $100 i proposed for shipping i'm fine with the $150 for the phone but you can still have it verified i mean the shipping cost ok. thanks 12:30 PM
Me: I'm not clear what you are asking me to verify. 12:38 PM
+15183088823: the shipping cost 12:46 PM
Me: i need the postal code for where he is to do that 1:02 PM
+15183088823: give me a min. let me get the address 1:03 PM
+15183088823: here is it 23 bluera street,hostel 4/2 State: Samara . zip code: 443090 Country: Russia so you can have checked out thanks. 1:06 PM
Me: Looks like it would be about $30-40 to send it International flat rate through the USPS. 1:43 PM
+15183088823: ok sounds fair enough. so would need you to send me your PayPal money request to my PayPal email id: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone and shipping inclusive so i can make payment now. need to get the item ontime to my son Thanks 1:48 PM
+15183088823: do let me know once you've sent the request i'm at work ok thanks 1:55 PM