Local couple hit with deluge of emails, offers in latest Craiglist scam

Local couple hit with deluge of emails, offers in latest Craiglist scam »Play Video

BORING, Ore. -- One local couple had the misfortune of being the target in a new scam involving Craigslist and selling cars.

The couple said it's frustrating and time-consuming because they didn't have to cope with just one scam attempt, they had to deal with new ones over and over again. It started with an email offer that left Steven Spurling wondering.

Spurling and his wife Gabby were selling their SUV and an old engine on Craigslist. The next offer?

"The guy lied to me and said he was an oceanographer working out of town, off the sea, and wanted to get this for his kid," Gabby Spurling said.

Those first scams were followed by an ocean of others -- more emails and offers from a fake PayPal website. Then something strange happened -- a check appeared. The account from Pennsylvania was real, but the person's name was fake. The shipping document showed the check came from California. The bogus offers just kept coming.

"There could probably be a hundred people just within 10 miles of here doing it," Steven Spurling said. "You don't know exactly how many people are or anything."

Craigslist has tips in case you're using their service to buy or sell a vehicle. First of all, Craigslist officials said to not not use Western Union or other money transfer services because it's a sign of a scam.  Secondly, don't accept an offer to pay for shipping a vehicle. Craigslist officials said that's a scam  100 percent of the time. Thirdly, deal with someone locally. If you see them in person, you're much less likely to be scammed.

That's what the Spurlings did -- they traded their SUV with someone locally for a 1995 Ford SUV. They're happy with their real deal and angry at those relentless scam artists.

"They'll do anything," Gabby Spurling said. "And you know, yeah, we caught it, but how many people haven't? And they're out like thousands of dollars."

The Spurlings added up all the various scam offers and the money involved. They figure if they would have been taken in by each of them, they could have easily lost more than $5,000 in all, which is money a working family like the Spurlings can't afford to lose.