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Getting Scammed At the Moment, I Guess I Should Be Worried?

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Getting Scammed At the Moment, I Guess I Should Be Worried?

Old 07-08-13, 09:20 AM
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Getting Scammed At the Moment, I Guess I Should Be Worried?

Yup, as the title implies I am currently in the process of being scammed by some ******* in Kansas.

See, I listed my trusty Trek 1000 up for sale:

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/3913980833.html

And a person from out of state insisted that he will pay for the bike immediately through certified check; that he will wait for the check to clear.

Thing is the check showed up today, and it's not for $300--the price of the bike--but $2000. He wants me to deposit the check, keep the $300, and send the difference to a "shipping co. CEO." I'm sorry but it does not cost $1,700 to pay for shipping.

I have heard of many scams where a check in excess is offered, it gets cashed, with part of the difference being kept, and the other part being sent somewhere. Eventually the check bounces and the victim is forced to pay the bank for it's losses sent away.

This person, as my initial skepticism has now been confirmed, is full of it, and I'm almost 100% sure that the check I hold in my hand is a fraud.

Now the question is how to proceed.

Last edited by Distinguished; 07-08-13 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:24 AM
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Forget the almost 100%, its 100%. You really should not reply to those emails in the first place. The scammers are still pretty obvious.

First rule of C/L: name and phone number and mention the bike by brand, or ignore.

Stop now.

Here's a sample of what I use:

"Unfortunately, scammers are ruining Craigs List right now. To foil the scammers, please mention the bike by name (Concorde) and list your name and phone number. I am sorry, but emails without this information will unfortunately be deleted. No name, no phone number = no reply."

If you are going to sell on C/L, the good news: Its free. The bad news: Its the wild, wild, west. No protections for buyers or sellers. Scammers are rampant.

I would edit your ad, lower the saddle, is the stem above the minimum insert line, if so, lower it too. Tighten up the text, and it should sell! Take a close up pic of the drive and make it your second picture. Myself, I would have used a white bottle cage and white tape, that would have really made it pop with the white tires and saddle. But not worth the $$ to redo (unless you have a stash of white bottle cages).


On listing your phone number, I would as a minimum mix up the numbers with words, like 8 seven O, 3 six 2, forty five 68. Your phone number is "fixing" to get scammed too. Myself, I don't list my phone number.

You might want to google avoiding scams on craigslist

Last edited by wrk101; 07-08-13 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:27 AM
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Well, it was a well written text message; it did add credibility.

I will indeed stop now, don't worry, I was just wondering if we could come up with a clever way to tell the guy to shove off.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
Yup, as the title implies I am currently in the process of being scammed by some ******* in Kansas.

See, I listed my trusty Trek 1000 up for sale:

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/3913980833.html

And a person from out of state insisted that he will pay for the bike immediately through certified check; that he will wait for the check to clear.

Thing is the check showed up today, and it's not for $300--the price of the bike--but $2000. He wants me to deposit the check, keep the $300, and send the difference to a "shipping co. CEO." I'm sorry but it does not cost $1,700 to pay for shipping.

I have heard of many scams where a check in excess is offered, it gets cashed, with part of the difference being kept, and the other part being sent somewhere. Eventually the check bounces and the victim is forced to pay the bank for it's losses sent away.

This person, as my initial skepticism has now been confirmed, is full of it, and I'm almost 100% sure that the check I hold in my hand is a fraud.

Now the question is how to proceed.
Your man is a scammer, plain and simple. He didn't even have the smarts to send you a payment of $3,000 so he could claim someone slipped a zero somewhere and to send the $2,700 back. If you've got any contact details for this person you can probably find some nice people who would be very keen to pay them a visit, ask your local police for advice.

I'm not a lawyer but have some idea that sending fraudulent things across state lines is a federal offence so if he's from out of state (which I'd guess he is, if he's from Kansas and you're listing in Miami) he might be really lucky and get the Feds paying him a visit.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:41 AM
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Send the check back to the Sender, DOCUMENTING every step of the Process. Request a Delivery Confirmation for the Letter to make sure SOMEONE signed for it.

This way you aren't left out in the lurch, and it only cost you the price of Postage. The documentation is proof should ScamMaster Flash try embezzling you.

Nasty thing, that Mail Fraud...
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Old 07-08-13, 09:42 AM
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In the future, just take cash, it makes it a whole lot simpler.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
Send the check back to the Sender, DOCUMENTING every step of the Process. Request a Delivery Confirmation for the Letter to make sure SOMEONE signed for it.

This way you aren't left out in the lurch, and it only cost you the price of Postage. The documentation is proof should ScamMaster Flash try embezzling you.

Nasty thing, that Mail Fraud...
Better still tell the scammer to send you cash to cover the return postage and tell him you're holding the suspect check until he does.

I still favour talking to the police if you've got any contact details at all for this guy. If not talk to the police about the shipping company because there seems to be a good chance they're in on the scam.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:58 AM
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I wouldn't even deal with this shill; cut your losses and RUN AWAY FROM THIS GUY! At this point you haven't sent him the bike, so you're not out anything... yet. The longer you hold that check, the easier it is for the scammer to plunge the knife deeper (read: now it's you who's defrauding him instead of the other way around) and get the po-po's involved, causing you more grief! Do you want that, or do you want this thing to end, quickly? RETURN HIS CHECK! Overnight it, FedEx the darned thing, but bounce it back!

Yes... cash is king in these transactions. If you just aren't sure, call the buyer. Set YOUR purchase terms to the Buyer, and if it sounds fishy, walk.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Forget the almost 100%, its 100%. You really should not reply to those emails in the first place. The scammers are still pretty obvious.

First rule of C/L: name and phone number and mention the bike by brand, or ignore.

Stop now.

Here's a sample of what I use:

"Unfortunately, scammers are ruining Craigs List right now. To foil the scammers, please mention the bike by name (Concorde) and list your name and phone number. I am sorry, but emails without this information will unfortunately be deleted. No name, no phone number = no reply."

If you are going to sell on C/L, the good news: Its free. The bad news: Its the wild, wild, west. No protections for buyers or sellers. Scammers are rampant.

I would edit your ad, lower the saddle, is the stem above the minimum insert line, if so, lower it too. Tighten up the text, and it should sell! Take a close up pic of the drive and make it your second picture. Myself, I would have used a white bottle cage and white tape, that would have really made it pop with the white tires and saddle. But not worth the $$ to redo (unless you have a stash of white bottle cages).


On listing your phone number, I would as a minimum mix up the numbers with words, like 8 seven O, 3 six 2, forty five 68. Your phone number is "fixing" to get scammed too. Myself, I don't list my phone number.

You might want to google avoiding scams on craigslist
Thank you for the advice, I have kindly told the scammer that I am canceling the transaction. I will not report him or do anything to hurt him or his operation; he does what he does for one reason or another, and I am a strong believer that it is the individual's responsibility to keep themselves safe, not the polices' responsibility. Frankly, this person is not worth my effort and I regret ever giving him the benefit of the doubt. I will update the ad as you have intelligently instructed, and hope to sell the bike to a friend or some of the other replies I had to turn down as this certified check scheme was occurring.

As for the bike itself, I have two white bottle cages, but they are high end and I'd rather keep them; the one currently installed was a gift when I bought my bike pump on craigslist. I don't have any white bar tape either.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
I wouldn't even deal with this shill; cut your losses and RUN AWAY FROM THIS GUY! At this point you haven't sent him the bike, so you're not out anything... yet. The longer you hold that check, the easier it is for the scammer to plunge the knife deeper (read: now it's you who's defrauding him instead of the other way around) and get the po-po's involved, causing you more grief! Do you want that, or do you want this thing to end, quickly? RETURN HIS CHECK! Overnight it, FedEx the darned thing, but bounce it back!Yes... cash is king in these transactions. If you just aren't sure, call the buyer. Set YOUR purchase terms to the Buyer, and if it sounds fishy, walk.
Is there an issue with just burning the check? Or am I required to return it?
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Old 07-08-13, 10:16 AM
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OP,

Good for you! Like Thrifty Bill (wrk101) said, CL is like Bartertown in Mad Max... protect yourself, and you'll be just fine!



EDIT: I would return the check to him, just to protect yourself. That way, he can't come back to you in any way and say "Well, I sent him a Check... since he didn't send it back to me, that tells me he was going to keep the money..."

See what I mean? "Here's your check back, thanks but no thanks, have a great day." You wash your hands of him, and Bob's your Uncle.

Last edited by oldskoolwrench; 07-08-13 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:49 AM
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I would have zero/zilch further communications with this guy, and would NOT return the check. Did you ask him to send you $2000? No, then he sent you the wrong amount. And its fraudulent of course. Just set the check aside in a drawer, and ignore the guy. What is he going to do? Call the police? Really?
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Old 07-08-13, 10:58 AM
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Maybe make color copies or scans of the check, or at least photograph the check, so that you have some documentation on your end, and then mail it back. Most importantly, cease all communication from here on out.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I would have zero/zilch further communications with this guy, and would NOT return the check. Did you ask him to send you $2000? No, then he sent you the wrong amount. And its fraudulent of course. Just set the check aside in a drawer, and ignore the guy. What is he going to do? Call the police? Really?
REALLY.

With the way people are in this day and age, I wouldn't put it past ANYONE to pull some stunt like that, especially on CL. You don't have to send a Dear John letter with the check; just the check itself.

Put it in a drawer somewhere and do what with it? Let it sit there for years until you're fertilizer, then your survivors find it and try to cash it, not knowing the details? Nice Fraud charge to leave your loved ones with!

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Old 07-08-13, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
I will not report him or do anything to hurt him or his operation; he does what he does for one reason or another, and I am a strong believer that it is the individual's responsibility to keep themselves safe, not the polices' responsibility.
His operation is screwing honest people! You don't want to hurt him?
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Old 07-08-13, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
His operation is screwing honest people! You don't want to hurt him?
I have thought about this many times. At the end of the day it is not my responsibility to safe guard others; nor would it make me happy to file a report. This scammer also teaches a valuable lesson, albeit at a high price: do not trust everything you see.

That said, although safeguarding others would only be a side effect, it might make me happy to crush him.

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Old 07-08-13, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
I have thought about this many times. At the end of the day it is not my responsibility to safe guard others; nor would it make me happy to file a report. This scammer also teaches a valuable lesson, albeit at a high price: do not trust everything you see.

That said, although safeguarding others would only be a side effect, it might make me happy to crush him.
Fortunately you were savvy enough to see it was a scam. What if this guy were trying to screw over your elderly parent or grandparent? Older people are much more susceptible to scams like these.

No offense, but I'm glad you're not my neighbor if you truly feel no responsibility to look out for others.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
Fortunately you were savvy enough to see it was a scam. What if this guy were trying to screw over your elderly parent or grandparent? Older people are much more susceptible to scams like these.

No offense, but I'm glad you're not my neighbor if you truly feel no responsibility to look out for others.
To be honest I am citing concepts I learned in the Libertarian handbook How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne, but it is unwise to take philosophy verbatim.

I probably will end up reporting it, as I'm curious how the process works, and it'd be interesting to see if the justice system actually works. Just because I'm not ultimately responsible for others doesn't mean I don't like to be, or that I can't be. (:

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Old 07-08-13, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
To be honest I am citing concepts I learned in the Libertarian handbook How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne, but it is unwise to take philosophy verbatim.

I probably will end up reporting it, as I'm curious how the process works, and it'd be interesting to see if the justice system actually works. Just because I'm not ultimately responsible for others doesn't mean I don't like to be, or that I can't be. (:
I'm a libertarian and dislike laws intended to protect people from themselves. I'm perfectly happy with laws to protect people from scumbags like scammers and the like. Of course people willingly cash these checks and send the money but the scam is based on a weakness in the banking system that most people don't know about. I'm the first to look for laws to be repealed and for people to be expected to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions, but that applies to the scrotes who pull these scams as much as to their victims.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:56 PM
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Call you nearest city's FBI immediately and see if their fraud team is interested. Preserve all e-mails, envelopes and documents for them.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:41 PM
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My ads always contain....

"PLEASE READ!!! ALL EMAILS MUST HAVE THE WORD "STORM" IN THE SUBJECT LINE. ALL
OTHERS WILL BE IGNORED NO MATTER HOW LEGIT THEY LOOK. ALL EMAILS/TEXTS ASKING IF BIKE IS STILL AVAILABLE WILL BE IGNORED."

Its easy to be safe....cash only.....no test rides....full refund within 1 hour of purchase only.....as is....all sales final..... I require all inquiries contain a word not found in the ad. I never answer calls from private or unknown numbers. It's a damn shame but that's the world......

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Old 07-09-13, 01:47 PM
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As other people mentioned it's not almost 100% sure it's a scam but it is absolutely 100% a scam. Whenever you get people like this, get as much info from them as you can and send everything off to IC3 - the federal department that deals with these sort of scams.

As thumpic said - cash only in hand. I allow short test rides if they leave the full amount of the bike and consider the bike sold if they're not back in 5 minutes. Had a girl once take off for an hour to test ride a bike...turns out she went off to run errands. I have sold to people in other cities with 100% success by listing the item for them on ebay and doing the transaction as you normally would with ebay though paypal.

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Old 07-09-13, 02:36 PM
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We sold our tandem early summer and got caught-up in the same scam. When the check arrived it was obvious that it was a scam. As I looked back in "Hindsight" it was very apparent that I'd missed a couple of cues. For fun I had our IT guy look up the IP address which was somewhere in Nigeria. When I Google'd the business named (in Huston) on the check it wasn't real and the check came from San Antonio which was a real business but not sure how the mailing came from there though you can put anything on the return line. I made a copy of the check which I voided and returned it to the address listed on the check.

During this process I called the local Post Master and was told he would call back which he did two weeks later. I was told since I didn't fall for it, it wasn't mail fraud, and you wonder why they are losing money each year.

In the end the bike went to a local couple who I'm hoping are enjoying it as much as we did.
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Old 07-12-13, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
What if this guy were trying to screw over your elderly parent or grandparent?

No offense, but I'm glad you're not my neighbor if you truly feel no responsibility to look out for others.
Bingo.

With that attitude, why be on here at all. Isn't this a site where we learn and teach, share and absorb, and most of all, look out for one another?

I have learned a lot on here, much more than I could learn anywhere else in the same time frame, and have found some really good deals. I've also passed on some deals because the information on here taught me they weren't what I thought they were at face value.
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