WARINING (PSA): unusual replies to HP classifieds


Just curious, if others have received these type emails in replies to ads on HP classified site. I have received two (2 more since composing this) very nearly identical emails expressing interest in one of my HP classified ads.

Here was the most recent:

hello seller,

I am XXXXX (name omitted) by name am from YYYYY (location omitted) and am a very good business man, i came accros your ads and am evry much interedted in buying it and i will also like to know if it is still for sale or not and i will also wanna know the last price and also wanna see the picx and my mode of payment will be by a cashier check okay hope to hear from
you soon....


Both emails had identical subjects: interested in your... (HP Museum Ad title was here)

What is suspicious about them?

nearly identical content.
Have the last line as "Powered by outblaze"
Have an apparently scanned subject line.
Begin "Dear seller" rather than by name.

In the case of my ad, it was for a "Huge lot" of many different things but was referred to as "it" in both emails. Both emails arrived at nearly the same time. Had a third a couple of days ago that was also identical.

While the questions asked might seem appropriate, the timing of these two, the nearly identical content, the same ending line, the fact that they reference "it" instead of recognizing it was a lot, make me a bit suspicious about the replies. Anyway, I thought I'd just ask others.

And it just gets stranger

I have just received a 4th reply. This one really looks strange. All 4 of these were from foreign solicitators. Here is that content

How are you today , am very much interested in buying the ZZZZ (item deleted; cost $200) , to hasten up this transaction and to make it easier there is an associte of mine in uk who i will
instruct to issue out payment to you immediately.i had a dicussion with not quit long, of what i am about to buy from you . he has agreed to issuing you a MONEY
ORDER CHECK ,i will instruct him to issue out the check in your name, so a total check of ($4,500) will be send to you because this is the total money i need from him .pls after the payment is in your possesion you will faithfully deduct your own part of it.More so i have discuss this transaction with my SOLICITOR and he told me that i should not be AFRAID , I don't know if I can ENTRUST YOU with my balance after you have deducted your own part of it ,the balance will be sent to my shipper for the pick-up of the bus i bougth from you and with the other goods i bougth from MR TTTT (name deleted) in Sweden . I have informed my transporter(shipper) of my intension to buy this from someone inUS .pls let me know if you are okay with my method of pay can forward it to my client to issue out payment to you as soon as possible

WARNING: These might be perfectly legit but sending $4500 to someone for a $200 item sounds like a potential scam. I have declined such offers but will let you know of any followups.

Anyone else experience this? (4 offers in a couple of days, all from foreign bidders wanting to pay by certified checks, with the same ending line in their emails.) I'm not normally this suspicious but 4 nearly identical emails from four foreign buyers is a bit of a coincidence, don't you think?

NOTICE: Be very careful about accepting any form of checks, especially from foreign buyers. There is no way to verify checks. You may wind up sending items and later find out that these supposedly certified cashier's checks were bad.

Apologies to anyone that might have sent me a legitimate request that was similar to these.

Edited: 3 Jan 2005, 3:03 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Hi Mike,

ever heard of 'Nigeria Connection' ?


I wouldn't waste my time with these people.



I have advertized before on the HP Museum site. I have never seen this type of reply before. It may be a new phenomena and I just wanted to warn others.

The first 3 didn't trip any flags, individually. But all 4 (together) definitely did. The last one that offered to send me $4500 for a $200 item, set off every flag I have.

Don't want to see anyone get scammed by thinking a cashier's check somehow protects them. They can't be verified instantly at any bank.

Just a word to the wise.

Edited: 3 Jan 2005, 2:40 p.m.


Hi Mike

Cool, someone hs the same problems like me. I also got some of these mails during the last 3-4 month. But I´ve learned a lot: These mails are SPAMS and are directly copied into the trashcan.
I suppose, these might be persons trying money laundering. So take care of them and do not respond to them, just use them as normal SPAM


I've heard this scam discussed a number of times recently at various places. Evidently phony cashiers checks are becoming very common because of modern printer technology. And it takes a week or more for a bank to discover that a check is phony. So, they send you a big cashiers check and ask you to send part of it to someone they supposedly owe money to. Then, sometime later, you find out that the check is bogus, and you're out the money you sent.

Steer clear of this "buyer."



These are a variation of the so-called "advance fee fraud". What would happen is that you would receive a forged bank check for $4,500, which you would deposit at your bank. Give it a couple of days, everything seems fine, so you buy a bank check for $4,300 and ship it, with the goods, to the scammer. Around three to five days later, your bank finally discovers the check you deposited was forged, so they reverse the transaction and you're left $4,300 and some calculators down.

It's not a new scheme, but it's possibly a new twist for the scammers to be using the Museum classifieds as a source.


--- Les Bell, CISSP



I have received 5 of these emails as of late trying to sell my item here also. I figured that they were bogus and replied very briefly to one and recieved the following response:
Thanks for the quick comply regarding the sale of the ( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ),so am okay with the last price which is $xxx and the condition of the( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ),Dont worry about the shipment of the( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit )have arrange with a shipping company that will come for the pickup of the ( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ) from you location.I want you to send the pics of the( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ),I want you to render this help as far as the sale of the ( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ),i have a client who is owing me the amount of $3,800 and he will send the check out to you as the mode of payment , once you have the check of $3,800 deduct the funds for the( HHP 32K Portable EPROM unit ) and forward the balance of the funds through western union money transfer to the shipping company that will come for the pickup and I want you to provide me with the information below:
Expecting your urgent response asap

I have now added the "nospam" to my e-mail address and I sure hope that none of you have responded to these e-mails by sending your info.

Jeff D


I replied with...

"Do you actually get people to fall for this SCAM"

Wonder if I'll hear back?


Agree to the deal. Let them send you a check. Ready a good deal of stuff to be picked up (your old toaster, stones, junk) and remember to put a really high customs value on it. Have them send a parcel service to pick it up.
Even if they stole the shipping account #, they still have to pay the customs, which is quite a lot (considering your old junk has a customs value of at least $1000).
They have to pay for the fraudulent checks as well (which they tend to send via FedEx), so it'a a total loss.

There is a nice forum for this kind of scams:


There was a 100+ pages thread until a couple of weeks ago. One fellow managed to have them pick up three!! shipments full of junk. The scammers paid 20000+ for customs :)


You said:

Agree to the deal. Let them send you a check. Ready a good deal of stuff to be picked up (your old toaster, stones, junk) and remember to put a really high customs value on it. Have them send a parcel service to pick it up. Even if they stole the shipping account #, they still have to pay the customs, which is quite a lot (considering your old junk has a customs value of at least $1000). They have to pay for the fraudulent checks as well (which they tend to send via FedEx), so it'a a total loss.
Do you really think anyone will pick anything up? The scammer won't bother to pick anything up. They certainly will never go to the customs office to pick up something on a stolen account.

Most scammers that I'm seeing are requesting the overpayment to be sent via seperate service (like Western Union).

Don't waste your time with them.


I've received a few of these also. I also "supposedly" sold my items and never received payment. The person seemed legit and sent me there mailing address. I am still waiting for the payment since before Christmas. My linuxmail account(hp41c@linuxmail.org) has been deactivated also. Either from a high volume of spam or someone just deactivated it. After some investigating seems it's rather easy to do.

Is HP stuff this popular desirable now. I just wanted to sell a few things I have that I just don't use and wanted someone who could use them to have them.

Oh well, I'll try agian or maybe just keep the stuff if this is what people have to go through just to sell a few HP items. Sad to have the HP commmunity infiltrated by scams like this.



Here is a worthwhile story of some action to one of these scams...
delete with 123


I just received another

Dear seller ,
A client of mine is interested Huge lot of HP items for sale (CMT-200, HP-75B, Card Reader, 41CX, Modules) (FS) i would like to know the exact price you are offering to sell the Huge lot of HP items for sale (CMT-200, HP-75B, Card Reader, 41CX, Modules) (FS)and also like to know
its present condition.Also payment would be by a certified check and also i would be handling shippment.
Notice how the entire "item" is just a bot-scanned subject line? They even left the (FS) in.I have bolded it so that you can see what the ad was. This was obviously just a bot at work here.

To friggin funny. Wonder if anyone really falls for these. Too bad they are targeting this site, though.

Edited: 3 Jan 2005, 9:29 p.m.


I have often considered taking them up on their generous offer, only letting them mail their check directly to whatever bank they claim to have their funds drawn from (ie ask which MO service they intend to use and find a local branch and local rep, give his name and office address) If its legit, they will probably just get their check back, if not, the MO service may just have a good enough lead to prosecute. Since it is the MO services name and reputation at stake, they may just aggressively try to correct the situation.

I would love to see these scumbags get their just rewards.


When I tried to sell a couple of HP-12's last fall I received several of these offers which involved my receiving a large sum of money from which I was to take my price and forward the rest to another individual. I trash those "offers" as soon as possible.


Concur with all the posters. This email smells like a scam, looks like a scam, tastes like a scam... it is a scam.

My father had an "offer" for a large sum of money when he tried to sell his motorcycle. He didn't respond. Then he received a check, but did not cash it and called the bank. The check was bogus. So no transaction.


i also was targeted, though the offer looked real enough. buyer asked for a photo and my best price, before offering to pay for a $20 item with a $1200 check. i'm both trusting and dumb, but not that dumb. according to my bank an electronic direct funds transfer is the only secure way to go.

it's really unfortunate that the classified section has been compromised in this way. i always preferred to trade there first before listing an item on ebay.



I was offered US$ 3000.- for some magnetic cards that I have offered for free (only postage fees must be paid).

The wording was the same as Mike has described.

Kind regards,

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