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Tindell Baldwin »

The Craigslist Scam

Let me start this by saying I try not to do post like this too often. I try to keep this blog centered around what God has done in my life and in the lives of others but today I just had to share this story…

We had to move again in houston, in 100 degree weather when there is a heat advisory and I have tendonitis in my foot from surgery. I’m instructed not to move heavy objects and last time I didn’t listen to my doctor and moved anyway is the reason I still have tendonitis today. So we decided to hire movers. We went on Craiglist (mistake number one) found a company that had good (made up) reviews and hired them to move our stuff into our temporary apartment.

So they arrived hand us a contract and start moving hurriedly around our house wrapping our large stuff up and throwing it in the truck. We didn’t think anything of the contract and being two trusting people we signed it and moved on. So we get our stuff in the truck and got to our new place. When we got to our new place the guy handed us a bill for 2000 and told us if we didnt pay then we would never see our stuff again. To make a long story short after we had signed the contract the guy had gone back to the truck and written in that we owed them 100.00 per large item. Since we had signed it we couldn’t call the police.

So we paid them. To get them out of our house and get our stuff back. After we paid them we were sitting upstairs fuming and I hear what sounds like a car pulling away, we run downstairs and find that they have put all of our stuff on the curb and driven off. Ben chased down the Uhaul and jumped on it before they could leave the apartment. He told them the truth, that what they were doing was wrong and that they should think long and hard about their lives. He was the bigger man and I was prouder than ever to be his wife.

So after 2000 dollars we still had to move everything ourselves.

To say I was upset would be a hellish understatement I was fuming. Not only had we been taken advantage of but these guys knew where we lived they knew how to get into our apartment and all I could think was what if they came back. Its not entirely rational but the feeling of fear crept so far inside of me I made Ben teach me how to use the shotgun later that day.

After it was all said and done we sat down together and prayed, it was the only thing we knew to do when the world comes at you full force. We prayed we wouldn’t harbor bitterness and we prayed that God would heal our hurt.

All this to say it was the first time someone who I hadn’t love had really hurt me. It was the first time I felt entirely helpless in this crazy world and it was the first time I had really struggled to forgive. Forgiving is easier when you are invested in the relationship but forgiving a stranger is understanding you will never be paid back for your hurt. I will never see this men again ( Lord willing) and I pray I don’t but more than anything I pray they change. I pray that other people don’t get hurt and I pray I would learn to truly forgive them.

I have spent my whole life learning and talking about grace but these are the moments that really test my faith. Do I really trust God enough to let him be the God of justice or will I take it on myself to bring justice? Today I choose to give grace but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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  • Shannon Scott - oh. my. word. i am totally freaked out by this story and am so sorry that this happened! the comfort certainly comes in knowing that nothing touches us that is not first sifted through the hand of our sovereign God. praying for much comfort, peace and freedom from fear. also praying that through this journey, you’ll be given much food for thought that will overflow in your writing to encourage others! God TRULY is our refuge and strength!ReplyCancel

    • tindellbalwin - Thank you so much! I had to share this because I think we have all had a time when we live in fear and fear is not from the Lord. Thank you for your words of encouragement!
      God Bless,


  • Bekka - Wow, I think you’ve already shown a lot of grace by not posting the names/company name of the scammers. Unfortunately, that’s a painful lesson to learn – both in the financial and in the physical sense. Praying for fast recovery and for peace.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Tindell, I’m glad you shared this. I was wondering what happened. I’m sorry this happened to you guys. I can’t imagine the betrayal you must feel. I’ll pray you’ll continue to be able to forgive each day. I’m pretty sure I’d be going back and forth between cussing and praying – just being honest. I always think if Christ was perfect and didn’t defend himself when betrayed, wow, such a process for us every day. Again, I’m glad you shared.ReplyCancel

    • tindellbalwin - Thank you so much! Its an awful feeling being taken advantage of but nothing we can do about it now. I have definitely gone back and forth between cussing and praying. Its a process but we will survive. Just ready to be out of texas!ReplyCancel

  • Bekka - Wow, you’ve already shown them a lot of grace by not identifying them for the world to see. Unfortunately, that was a very painful lesson, both financially and physically. Praying for speedy recovery and peace.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon - That is crazy! God will get them back though…all you can do is fogive even though it is hard.

    I recently had the same thing happen (but on a much smaller scale). I purchased a new electric guitar. It was only a few days before a worship night I had to lead. The guitar needed a major adjustment. I took it to the local shop, and they gave me a decent price to fix everything. When I received the call to pick it up, it was everything but fixed! It was actually worse. I paid them a set-up fee to receive a worse-off guitar! I was pretty mad! Also, they replaced some of my nice screws and hardware with old rusty hardware just to steal off of me!

    I had to realize that God still blessed me with a guitar. I took it to another shop, and they fixed it for free because of what had happened! God provided!ReplyCancel

  • Ross Hudson - Hey Tindall,

    I had to say “Amen” to your experience with shady movers. We had a very similar experience…not quite as bad…only cost us an extra $250 CASH (try to find that on Sat night!) and we did get all our things moved. Really sorry you had to have a similar experience but it appears you’re letting the Lord use it in a profitable way. Keep the Faith…He is Faithful! “Be not weary in well doing for in due time you WILL reap your reward.”
    Wish you and Ben a fruitful finish to 2011.ReplyCancel

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