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Old 02-13-08, 08:33 AM   #1
zoeglassjd
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Help: am I being scammed?

OK Foosters, I need some help and although I am a foo lurker I have never posted before. I thought the combined wisdom, experience and discernment of the foo-community could aid me in understanding this situation.

Although the story is a bit long I will try to summarize here and see if anyone has any advice.

So, I posted a bike for sale on roadbikereview. After about a week I got an email from a chap asking for my lowest price. He said he would take it and explained that he is in Alaska. This is where things start to get fishy.

Buyer says he will send my asking price plus shipping and I would send the shipping to the company to have a pick up (not so bad). He sends a website for an international shipping company that had dead links to the US department and a disconnected phone number. The next day I get an email from the “shipping company” stating terms of shipping and how I should send payment.

Here it is:

Dear "zoeglassjd",
We got your inquiry officially from our customer(Mr "said buyer") who directed you to us for the shippment of the bike with you pending him acknowledgement for close to a week now until the confirmation came through today from him.
The estimate you were given is the current total shipping expenses and miscellanous customs and duties fees included along with the payment which is the difference after you deduct the price of the bike agreed between you and him.Find below the information you should use in sending out the shipping funds to our agent in charge of your case in cash via any Moneygram Money Transfer location nearest to you today.
SHIPPER'S AGENT INFORMATION:
FIRST NAME : CHARLOTTE
LAST NAME : SUMMERLIN
CITY--- WINCHESTER
STATE---VIRGINIA
ZIPCODE--- 22601

REASON FOR FUNDS SENDING- SHIPPING LOGISTICS

Please forward to me via email the complete Moneygram Money Transfer information used in sending funds:
1. SENDER'S NAME/ADDRESS............................
2. The REFERENCE number( a 8 digit confirmation number)
3. EXACT AMOUNT SENT................................
Please note all Moneygram wire transfer charges should be deducted from funds available, shipping funds should be sent via Moneygram Money Transfer after you have deducted funds for the bike. Get back to me so that I can update you when our agent who will be at your base to arrange for the pick-up of the bike and the actual pick-up date according to our company policy is booked after receipt of shipping funds which i am to relate to you.
I await your mail response soonest.We hope to co-ordinate the shipping with high efficiency and customer satisfaction guaranteed as its our watchword.
Yours Sincerely,
Kane Smith
Head - Of - Operations..

http://www.global-shipping.co.uk
Going The Extra Mile For You..........
N.B-ALWAYS QUOTE YOUR REF NUMBER AT ALL TIMES DURING CORRESPONDENCE.

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A little suspicious? Especially the fact I can get a free email address like these folks have.

The plot thickens this morning when I receive the certified check from “buyer”. The check is for around $2400 for a $750 bike. It is shipped from a gas company in Troy MI and the check is from a insurance company in MN.

Scammalicious? Undoubtedly. But how do they scam me when I have their money in hand? How could they actually scam me?

Am I helping the wife of a deposed Nigerian prince?

What do you all think? Help. It makes me actually love ebay.

Thanks foosters.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:41 AM   #2
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certified check from “buyer”. The check is for around $2400 for a $750 bike. It is shipped from a gas company in Troy MI and the check is from a insurance company in MN.

Scammalicious? Undoubtedly. But how do they scam me when I have their money in hand? How could they actually scam me?

Yes, you are being scammed. You do not have money in hand. You have a worthless check, but you would be sending good funds (ie. you can't get it back) via their requested payment method. That check would bounce back to your account in about 10 days.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:42 AM   #3
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Call and tell them that you have changed your mind.

Cash in hand only.

Ask why you would be getting charged for international customs and duties, too.

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Old 02-13-08, 08:43 AM   #4
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Don't touch it. If it were legit, he'd send money to the shipping company. The check is fake, and you'll get stuck with the payment to the "shipping company."

Here's one link that explains it better.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:43 AM   #5
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scam
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Old 02-13-08, 08:45 AM   #6
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Thanks all. I have already told them that I wouldn't send anything until the check clears. Should I not put it in the bank and wait for it to clear?
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Old 02-13-08, 08:48 AM   #7
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Yeah. Bob and East Hill are right. What you have is a worthless check. It wouldn't necessarily be any more reassuring if the message were written in English, but let's face it- that's got scam written all over it (obfuscatory language, poor grammar, it's all there).
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Old 02-13-08, 08:49 AM   #8
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OK. When/if you sell things via online classifieds (like RBR) what terms do you set up in the ad (only paypal and a certain shipping company)?
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Old 02-13-08, 08:49 AM   #9
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Thanks all. I have already told them that I wouldn't send anything until the check clears. Should I not put it in the bank and wait for it to clear?
Actually, I'd request a wire transfer. If they're legit, they'll have no problem with that. Be prepared to hear all manner of excuses as to why that would be "difficult" for them .
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Old 02-13-08, 08:49 AM   #10
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...Should I not put it in the bank and wait for it to clear?
You can try but make sure you don't end up out of pocket if it, highly likely, turns out to be a bad cheque.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:50 AM   #11
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You're being scammed. That's a common one that is being done lately - he overpaid by a large amount with a bad check and is expecting you to send him a refund on the balance after subtracting shipping and the bike. Talk to your bank about it, because it's possible for checks to "clear" (sufficient funds) and then come back a couple weeks later as fake once the fraud is discovered, and they'll take the money back from your account.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:50 AM   #12
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Thanks all. I have already told them that I wouldn't send anything until the check clears. Should I not put it in the bank and wait for it to clear?
No, you should report it to your local police maybe...it's interstate, FBI office? Not that I think it will get you anywhere, but once you put it in the bank the evidence is out of their hands and will be very hard to track down.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:52 AM   #13
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Thanks all. I have already told them that I wouldn't send anything until the check clears. Should I not put it in the bank and wait for it to clear?
Oh, the cheque will clear all right.

But ten days later the bank will tell you that the cheque is worthless, and you will be out the money.

I wouldn't bother putting it in the bank, it'll cost you money.

You can either call and say, 'No deal', or just never go through with it, and enjoy the ensuing desperate attempts to get you to cash the cheque and send the goods.

Keep us informed. It will be amusing to watch if you never deposit the cheque. I promise .

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Old 02-13-08, 08:55 AM   #14
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How do I report this to the interwebz police? Really, do I have enough info to submit to anyone?
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Old 02-13-08, 09:00 AM   #15
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My email response:
You want your fake check back? Should I send it to Cincinnati, Troy, Michigan, Minnesota, Alaska, or Winchester, Virginia? So many options.

I'll keep you posted of his responses if you find it really interesting. (oh, so the bikes still for sale!)
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Old 02-13-08, 09:01 AM   #16
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Postal Inspector-- he sent you a bad check in the mail, so it's mail fraud.
Local Police at the destination if he gave one (I bet he didn't-- he probably claimed he'd give the info to the shipping company).
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Old 02-13-08, 09:01 AM   #17
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How do I report this to the interwebz police? Really, do I have enough info to submit to anyone?
You may or may not, but you should report it and let the agencies figure it out. You could be the one to provide the last bit of evidence to bring these guys down. Here's a link you might find useful:
http://www.cybercrime.gov/reporting.htm
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Old 02-13-08, 09:04 AM   #18
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Try here:
http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/?f...talinspectors/

There's a banner ad about exactly the scam that's being pulled here.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:06 AM   #19
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My email response:
You want your fake check back? Should I send it to Cincinnati, Troy, Michigan, Minnesota, Alaska, or Winchester, Virginia? So many options.

I'll keep you posted of his responses if you find it really interesting. (oh, so the bikes still for sale!)
hehehehe.

It will be great stuff .

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Old 02-13-08, 09:14 AM   #20
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They used waaaaaaaay too many long words for it to be legit.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:24 AM   #21
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Seems legit to me. As soon as I get my money from the son of the Nigeria Minister of Maritime Affairs, I am going to contact these guys and sell them some of my new stuff.

BTW, I am being mildly sarcastic. really.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:44 AM   #22
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His response. Priceless:

"zoeglassjd",

I perfectly understand your point of argument but i though i had all this laid down and explained to you before your receipt of payment.If i had sensed this kind of reaction i must confess i would not have authorised for payment to be sent in the first place.The shipping company must have contacted you by now as i informed them of your sending the funds
already and that they should be awaiting the confirmation from you also note that the person
receiving the funds is a employee of the shipping company,thanks for the
concern anyways as i have a family member working with Global Shipping Co and have made it a point of duty to use them for any of my freighting or shipping as i have for years now.Cincinnati Insurance Co is my Insurance comapny and i recieve a monthly payment from them,and i instructed they have it issued out to you,James Gallant is my financial consultant...Obviously the whole $1700 aint meant for the shippment of the bike,they are also picking up some expensive art work for me,that what adds up to the amount of $1700..and insurance covers all of this and like i said,i have use them in the past and they have not failed me in anyway..So do we still have you confused? please i hope we can complete this transaction without any further delays.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:47 AM   #23
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OK, lets make this a game. Craft your best response to "buyer". I'll pick my favorite and send it so him. Extra points for creativity and use of a thesaurus. I'll keep posting his responses.

zgjd

jsharr: your moneygram has been sent.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:47 AM   #24
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His response. Priceless:

"zoeglassjd",

I perfectly understand your point of argument but i though i had all this laid down and explained to you before your receipt of payment.If i had sensed this kind of reaction i must confess i would not have authorised for payment to be sent in the first place.The shipping company must have contacted you by now as i informed them of your sending the funds
already and that they should be awaiting the confirmation from you also note that the person
receiving the funds is a employee of the shipping company,thanks for the
concern anyways as i have a family member working with Global Shipping Co and have made it a point of duty to use them for any of my freighting or shipping as i have for years now.Cincinnati Insurance Co is my Insurance comapny and i recieve a monthly payment from them,and i instructed they have it issued out to you,James Gallant is my financial consultant...Obviously the whole $1700 aint meant for the shippment of the bike,they are also picking up some expensive art work for me,that what adds up to the amount of $1700..and insurance covers all of this and like i said,i have use them in the past and they have not failed me in anyway..So do we still have you confused? please i hope we can complete this transaction without any further delays.



I told you this would be fun .

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Old 02-13-08, 10:07 AM   #25
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All about scamming. A must read.
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