As an online seller and blogger I love to consume content that relates to all-things-online-selling. And this one is no exception, because making money online is important but protecting yourself, your family and business is even more important than money. Here’s a can’t-miss true story, posted by a Reddit user that goes by This_Is_My_Story (Let’s call him “T.I.M. Shultz”)
So, Tim’s wife was doing some “spring cleaning” and wanted to get rid of some excess clothing. Because Craislist is free and she wanted to dump the clothing for free to someone in need, this made far more sense than posting on a site like eBay that charges fees. Let’s call Tim's wife Tina…. because Tim and Tina sounds cute, and the cutie names are the only adorable part of this true story. Moving forward...
Tina had complied a full trash bag full of unwanted clothing and quickly listed it on Craigslist free of charge; obviously the buyer has to pick up because nobody in their right mind is going to drive a free bag of sh*t to someone. So Tina sat at the computer and typed the CL listing, provided Tim’s phone number and accurately listed their home address so the buyer would know how far their transit is so they can evaluate if they want to make the journey.
Quickly a man (who we will call Damien) phoned and Tim answered. When the man began asking questions about clothing sizes and brands, Tim handed the phone to his wife so she could provide him with all the details.
Tina was happy to have a potential recipient of the apparel and eagerly provided him with all of the info about the merch.
Damien asked for the sellers name and she responded “Tina Shultz”. He then proceeded to state that he wanted the clothing and they decided on a pickup time.
As expected with Craigslist, Damien didn’t show up to get the free garments. The Shultz family assumed he was a normal CL flake and life went on…. Until 4am when Tims phone rang again. Obviously Tim and Tina Shultz were sleeping so the buyer was forced to leave a voicemail… and this is where the insanity began:
FREE CLOTHING TURNS INTO A FREE NIGHTMARE
The voice message Damien left on Tim's phone stated that he was very disappointed that Tim brought the clothing to his home because he was expecting Tina to show up. Clearly, this was odd because Damien had never shown to pickup the free merchandise from the Shultz's residence, so one can only assume that Damien had perhaps dealt with numerous CL sellers and was mixing up which seller had what. The message continued on to state that Damien wanted Tina to “model” the free clothing for him and that Tim ruined this plan.
Although shocked, Tim and Tina assumed this creepy-AF buyer was going to disappear after leaving the bizarre early-morning voicemail but they were very wrong. The chaos had just begun.
Damien proceeded to call Tim's phone over and over at all hours. Tim, like most people, blocked Damien's phone number and again assumed Damien was officially out of his life. However Damien, realizing his phone number was blocked, began creating fictitious phone numbers so he could keep on communicating with Tim Shultz.
Several weeks passed with seemingly endless calls from Damien's assorted bogus phone numbers and Tim's refusal to cooperate made Damien more and more enraged. The constant calls turned into seemingly endless threats that escalated to physical threats against Tina. The caller stated that because he has Tim's address he planned to show up, announced and RAPE Tina. As you can imagine, this terrified the Shultz family.
Damien then made a Skype account and began using it to further call and harass Tim with threats on Tina's life.
Tim went to the police to show them all of these Skype calls, but the cops stated it was insufficient evidence due to their being no direct proof that the Skype number was owned by Damien. In fact, the detectives even suggested that this could simply be “a prank”, despite Tim explaining that the caller knew his address, his wifes name and his name….
The police reply was basically “When Damien shows up, give us a call”, although waiting for Damien to kick in the door at 3am before seeking help seemed absurd to the Shultz family.
The psycho obsessive harassment became so unbearable that Tim began having daydreams (day terrors?) while he was at work about Damien busting into the house to harm Tina, and the violence that would ensue if this was to occur.
The calls continued for MONTHS, but eventually tapered down to 1-call-a-month, which was still too nerve racking for the family to endure so they had to not only change their phone number but also MOVE to a new residence.
- NEVER, EVER use your personal phone number
- NEVER give a buyer your home address
- If you have free merchandise, you are likely better off donating it than dealing with strangers
*names have been changed for safety purposes
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