CAN YOU SPOT THE SCAM?
Last week I decided to begin Spring clearing by selling my Portable Air Conditioners on Craigslist. I was surprised by the immediate responses and looked forward to the cash.
Following are copies of one buyer’s emails.
Hello… I’m so sorry for late response .. I will be buying from you
so please kindly withdraw the advert from Craigslist. i will be
paying via certified check from my Bank it will be delivered to you
via UPS Next Day Air, so I’ll need you to provide me with the
following information to facilitate the mailing of the check…
Full name to be on the payment and full of address with Apt # suite #
including your cell phone,and a firm price.
I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your
money I am completely satisfied with the advert and the payment will
be delivered via UPS. Thanks
I responded with the requested information and a notice that I would not remove the advertisement until I had received payment.
how are you doing?i will like to let you know that the deal is still
on and the payment would be sent via UPS Service and the item will be
picked up as soon as you receive the payment,and get payment
cashed.Then I will instruct the shipper to get in contact with you for
the pick up schedule time and date.I will like to tell you that i
would be sending an overdraft amount of payment to cover the shipment
of the items bought and other items that am purchasing, Because,i might
not be on hand when the payment arrives,as am going for my business
trips, So as soon as you receive the check have it cashed and remove
your money for the item and send the remaining funds to the shipper
via Western Union or Gram money transfer.My shipper is also picking
some of other items at the same city of ours,that is why you need to
transfer the remaining amount of $$$ to the shipper when you have
receive the payment.you will have to deduct $100 for your running
around that I have caused you during the transaction period.Please let
me know if i can trust you on this so we can move forward from
here.and email you the tracking number of the payment soonest and also
i will like you to remove the advert on CL and also keep other buyer
off,Do get back to me asap.Ok
I was feeling very uncomfortable about being responsible for shipping and emailed the buyer that I would not ship the air conditioner. I also questioned the value of having a tracking # since it does not guarantee payment.
Good News to you that the payment will finally delivered to you and
thank you for your trustworthiness on going transaction …Now that
you have the payment, here is the confirmation # by UPS with the
tracking number(1ZE1W3260177027139).. You will need to deposit the
check at your bank and withdraw the shipper fund and visit the nearest
Wal-mart to you to have the shipping fund wire to the shipper
information below, so as soon as you recieve the payment, follow my
instruction given to you as you will need to deposit the check…You
will deduct the cost of the purchase from the fund..and also deduct
$100 that is to cover the cost of your running around and then have
rest of funds wired to my mover so that they can be able to make the
trip over there for the pick up around later today. Here is the
shipper information to send the money as you will send $1000 by
Moneygram 10mins pickup option and email me the 8 digits reference
number and send the rest $ by Wal-mart to Walmart pickup option and
email me the 9 digits reference number transfer details below……
Prior to opening the above email, I received a certified check from UPS for $2,200.00. This was $2000.00 more than the cost of the air conditioner. Once I read the final email, I knew something was not right but couldn’t figure out what the scam was.
I called a friend who is wise about the ways of the world. She told me it was definitely a scam and to consult Google to determine what the scam was.
I followed her instructions and copied suspicious text from the email. I surrounded the text with quotation marks and pasted into the Google search field. The responses were numerous with many soul-bearing stories of being tricked out of money.
Here’s the scam part. Once you deposit the full check into your checking account it takes a few minutes for the bank to verify. Any money you remove from your bank is your responsibility. If you follow the deposit with a check for $1000.00 you are required to honor your transaction even if the original deposit is proven to be invalid..
There is a saying in TX – Trust your neighbor and brand your cattle.