General chatter - Craiglist scam - take a second to warn your friends/loved ones




Glory87
12-10-2007, 04:38 PM
Hey guys, I posted some furniture for sale on Craigslist on Friday and received 8 responses, variations on the same scam. Here is a sample of what I received:

From the Reverend George Matthew (Reverend - nice touch!) rev.geomatthew@gmail.com:

Thanks for the prompt response (I had responded to a normal looking email saying the furniture was still for sale) i have instructed my account officer to mailing (overnight) a certified check,while you hold on my behalf. Once you receive this, my mover will come pick up at your place.I will be needing the following information to issue out
the payment . . .

1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address(Physical)
3.Your phone number.

** Please note that the payment will be overnight to your address and it will be delivered within 2 days.I have taken a close look at the AD and am satisfied.I appreciates you saving this for me.Kindly delete the posting as am definitely buying it from you and it would be sad for me to have the payment in the mail only to be informed of the its sale**

From Nathan Bennett bennettlove07@yahoo.com:

Thanks for your reply concerning my inquiry (I had responded to a normal looking email saying the furniture was still for sale), I am quite comfortable with the condition of the item since i won't be making any repairs on it,i will like to offer you $550,please let me know if you will accept payment with money order as it's the only way i can pay you at the moment.I would have loved to come take a look at it but i am presently out of town,send me some pictures (The Craigslist ad had four pictures).I hope it is in good condition,kindly reply with your name, phone # and mailing address where payment will be sent.I will let you know how i intend to pick it up.

Note:
As soon as you have your money in hand we can talk about the picking up of the item ok.I would like you to take the posting off craigslist today.

Expecting to hear from you soon.

From Marry Jones (marryjones_kk@yahoo.com):

Hello how are you today i set my eye on your item I want to know why you are selling this item and if really it is in good condition .I will like to make a quick purchase on the item cos i am sending to a friend as a xmas gift,he is really going to love it.My method of payment is via Cashier\'s Check or Money Order .If ok by you kindly get back to me with your full name and address of where you want the money to be mailed out to so i can proceed with payment immdaitely.I will take all the shipping responsibilities and i will like the item to be shipped by shipper once my payment is confirmed.So you wont need to pay any shipping cost cos all the shipping cost will be billed to my account.So once the payment has been approved my shipper will get back to on line so that he ll take care of it when recieved the payment.plz get back to me with your full name and address for payment.NB:and your best price and your phone numb

********************

Let me take a second to describe the scam. The scammers want to send me a certified check (which will look very real) for an amount OVER the cost of the item for sale. The extra amount will be an "accident." They will ask me to kindly deposit the check and re-route the overage back to them or a third party (keeping a little extra for myself for my troubles). The scammer does NOT want the item for sale and will make no effort to come get it.

It is a very insidious scam, because it will LOOK like the check clears. If you ask a bank, they may say the account is real! But it's a fake check and the bank will eventually catch up. The scammee will be responsible for all lost money (and any penalties/fees for bounced checks). Unlike credit card scams, there is little to no recourse for the scammed, they are out the money.

Here is a good link that sums up the scam better than I can:

http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=20050810

It must be very prevalent right now for me to have gotten 8 of them in a 24 hour period. Please take a second to mention the scam to our less net-savvy friends/coworkers/loved ones. It's a terrible thing to scam anybody, but it seems particularly loathsome over the holidays.

My Craigslist policy is very simple - cash only, when they pick up the item.


GirlyGirlSebas
12-10-2007, 04:53 PM
Wow...it takes a twisted mind to even think up this stuff! Thanks for the heads-up.

mom2mollie
12-10-2007, 05:22 PM
Thanks! None of my stuff on craigslist is that expensive, and haven't gotten any e-mails like that, but it's great to know for the future. My policy is the same as yours when buying or selling: cash only upon pickup, just like a garage sale. Period.


cbmare
12-10-2007, 05:37 PM
Clark Howard mentions this quite often. In fact, a young man in SF got arrested because he went to his BofA and asked if the check was good. They said yes so he went ahead and tried to cash it. The police were called and he was arrested. Clark asked people to cancel their BofA accounts because of it. He did nothing wrong other than banking with BofA. They refused to drop charges. I think a judge eventually dropped the case.

This scam is very real. What can happen is your account will be held as leverage for this check. It can take months for the bank to find out that it is a fraudulent check. I find that incredible because of all the computers, network, etc.

Once you deposit that check, they will probably have access to your account number and drain the account. Some people will actually ship product only to be out the product and the money.

It's great that you posted this. It's important to watch out all year, not just right now.

cbmare
12-10-2007, 05:39 PM
http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/2006/09/21/

Here's a link to the story.

nelie
12-10-2007, 06:43 PM
It is linked to the same scam as transferring money out of the country. Where someone sends you a certified check, tells you to keep half and send them a check for the other half.

I had a friend who put an item on craigslist and had an email from someone with an elaborate story. They said they'd send her a certified check and then asked for the item to be shipped to south africa. Uhh yeah.

ANOther
12-10-2007, 06:45 PM
Just curious, Glory87, but did you also post a similar warning in the Straight Dope Message Board BBQ Pit a few days ago? http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=447162

Glory87
12-10-2007, 06:56 PM
Yeah, I love the Straight Dope!

markg612
12-15-2007, 07:40 PM
SATURDAY, 15 DEC 2007

REV GEORGE MATTHEW IS A SCAM FOR REAL

THE FOLLOWING OCCURED IN LESS THAN AN HOUR.

I would like you to know am so busy and won't be able to call you here is my number(206-350-3565) if you want to leave a msg but i can't get back to you due to me been busy,so get back to me with your information so the check can be issued and sent today.Thanks



Rev George,

I'm fine with your request, but would you be wiling to give me a quick call? I will provide mailing info, remove the ad and hold this for you as soon as we chat.

Many thanks,

Mark
773.248.XXXX



On Dec 15, 2007, at 4:41 PM, Rev.George Matthew wrote:

Thanks for the prompt response i have instructed my account officer to mailing (overnight) a certified check,while you hold on my behalf. Once you receive this, my mover will come pick up at your place.I will be needing the following information to issue out
the payment . . .

1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address(Physical)
3.Your phone number.

** Please note that the payment will be overnight to your address and it will be delivered within 2 days.I have taken a close look at the AD and am satisfied.I appreciates you saving this for me.Kindly delete the posting as am definitely buying it from you and it would be sad for me to have the payment in the mail only to be informed of the its sale**


From: ME--FAT CHICKS DELETED THIS
Subject: Re: GE Spacemaker Washer/Dryer (GAS) WSM 2780 WAWWW - $495
Date: December 15, 2007 4:11:49 PM CST
To: rev.georgematthew010-AT-gmail.com

Rev. George,

WHY YES! just posted it an hour ago--here's a photo or two. If you need hook up help, I can lend that as well as help loading and loading, provided your location isn't to far in this wonderful city's traffic ;-)

Mark

--
Hi There,
My name is George Matthew and i would like to know if your Washer/Dryer which was posted on Craigslist is still for sale?If yes then get back to me as soon as you can as i am interested.

this message was remailed to you via: sale-510319194-AT-craigslist.org


DSC_3186



Washer:Dryer

addisonsmommy
01-05-2008, 09:39 PM
Thanks!

soozin1
10-23-2008, 06:43 AM
How can we stop this guy? I have tried to report him to gmail but he keeps the same name & registers under a different gmail address.
Also, think he works with a woman Sharma who claims she;s deaf, when you ask her to call. Thought this was all odd when they wanted my furnuture, sight unseen, and would be willing to pay a ridiculous amount to have it shipped.
Thanx to your website, I didn't fall for it!

Why is this guy still allowed to abuse C/L, GMail, etc... And how do we stop him rather than just being able to warn people? He should be blocked - but then again, he would use a different name!

Any Advice???

JayEll
10-23-2008, 08:41 AM
Scams like this go beyond Craigslist etc. I know someone who had an apartment for rent in his house. These people came to look at it and wanted the apartment, but all they had was a cashier's check for a large amount. So they told the landlord if he would deposit it, and give them the cash beyond the first month's/last month's/security deposit amount, then they would let him keep some extra money for his trouble. They said they would be back with their stuff in four days. He never saw them again, the check bounced, he's out the money, etc.

Jay

JulieJ08
10-23-2008, 11:31 AM
Oy, the grammar is always SOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAADDDDD.

Arlene Dallas
10-23-2008, 11:37 AM
I am in the process of a divorce and thinking of selling some items I no longer need on Craig's list but have hesitated as I have been afraid to give out my home address....do you feel safe when these people show up at your house? I could use the extra cash but am wary of opening my home up to complete strangers....

grneyedmustang
10-23-2008, 11:42 AM
Some of the scammers claim to send you a paypal payment in excess of what you're selling the item for, too. Then they'll send you fake paypal payment confirmation screens, and then, threaten you with legal action if you don't send the item.

I'm with mom2mollie, cash only, local pickup for craigslist. That's IT.

And FWIW, I've never had any issues with in person, cash only craigslist transactions. I usually meet the person in a public place, and if you're concerned, bring a friend/spouse along with you.

bargoo
10-23-2008, 11:45 AM
This is a variation on the Nigerian scheme,
I get several of those every day on my email , some from Nigeria, others from England, Spain and others. It is wide spread and much has been published about it, it is not just one person doing this.
I have bought and sold on craig's list with no problem . Accept cash only and only deal locally. Take proper precautions and you should have no problem.

zeffryn
10-23-2008, 11:59 AM
I hate the fact that to live in society today, I have to be a total cynic and am completely unable to trust anybody. Lately, we've had so many things happen to us regarding trusting strangers and scams.

I don't even use Ebay anymore because of all the scams that I've bought into and sold into. I was selling some high dollar items and every item was sold to a scammer...it just isn't worth my time.

I like craigslist, but like others have said...cash, local transactions only. There is too much risk otherwise.

raw23
10-23-2008, 12:34 PM
I got into this a few years ago before it was so widly known. The guy sent me a check and I thought "this is just too weird" and did some research. Still have the check. This is a dangerous scam!!

raw23
10-23-2008, 12:37 PM
I am in the process of a divorce and thinking of selling some items I no longer need on Craig's list but have hesitated as I have been afraid to give out my home address....do you feel safe when these people show up at your house? I could use the extra cash but am wary of opening my home up to complete strangers....

I've met people before to buy/sell at mutual, public locations. Gas stations, parking lots, etc. Also haven't had any problems with sales at the home. Have a friend (male) over just in case.

inspired by you
10-23-2008, 12:41 PM
this has happened to two of my kids who are living in other provinces going to school right now. luckily for my daughter she called and told us the story and we told her not to trust them, something was up. as for my son (the one we thought was smarter than this) he gave them the information and got the check, took it to the bank and luckily the teller told him the check was a fake. someone suggested he report it to the rcmp but he is afraid now because they have his phone number and address. but hes not out anything so told him to chalk it up as a lesson learned.

zeffryn
10-23-2008, 12:52 PM
this has happened to two of my kids who are living in other provinces going to school right now. luckily for my daughter she called and told us the story and we told her not to trust them, something was up. as for my son (the one we thought was smarter than this) he gave them the information and got the check, took it to the bank and luckily the teller told him the check was a fake. someone suggested he report it to the rcmp but he is afraid now because they have his phone number and address. but hes not out anything so told him to chalk it up as a lesson learned.

He really should report it.

My mother works in the fraud department of a large bank. These kind of things happen all the time, most of the time to people who just don't know any better. The excuse of not knowing better isn't enough to not get these people into trouble. Most of them have faced felony fraud charges and jail time...The bank just pressed charges against a man who has a family and a couple kids. He calls the bank all the time begging for them not to press charges. He'll face up to 10 years in prison...all for $5000. The check was for $50k.

It is saddening to me that I will eventually have to teach my children that most people are not to be trusted...and the instinct of "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" is the correct instinct to follow. Fraud is a scary thing and too many innocent people fall victim to it.

Bee20nine
10-23-2008, 01:47 PM
I have gotten this same scam on Facebook Marketplace. I was selling my auditing textbooks over the summer. I listed them and within a few days some guy from Canada with just about the exact same scheme tried to get me to have him send me and out of country cashiers check, mind you the message was in moderately broken English. I don't think there is that much difference between Canadian and American English. I was initially leery because he only wanted me to respond to a yahoo email address instead of facebook, and I couldn't view this guys profile on facebook. He said that he would be happy to more than the amount I advertised for and that he would even arrange for a shipper to come and pick up the package from my house. He wanted to have my name, address, home and mobile phone numbers basically everything but a DNA sample.

I needless to say didn't do business with him. Then on top of that kept getting the same request from different people until I finally got a genuine buyer on half.com

Sassy_Chick
10-23-2008, 01:56 PM
We've sold items on Craig's list and do the same, local pick-up and cash only. But I have my husband deal with them, not me. Its scary how many scams are out there.

Also when my DH was looking for a job, we found some job listings on Craigs list that once he emailed them, were not job listings but SPAM. It is sad that these people ruin it for the others who are legit. Same goes with looking for apts or places to live. Anymore its more of a waste of time to go to Craigs List than it is worth, in my opinion and its sad because it is a good thing, if people wouldn't ruin it and I know there are those type of people everywhere, not just on Craigs List.........Just is really sad..........Whatever happen to good old fashioned honest people??? :shrug:

We even had a problem when a young lady came to our door selling magazines for a trip for her school. Now I have dealt with these types of things in the past and all was well and good. So we decided to help her out and do it. We bought one subscription for us and donated a subscription to St. Jude's Hospital. She told us we would get our magazines in a few weeks time, well weeks went by, no magazine, a month went by no magazine and no letter stating it would be delayed or anything. So we tried calling the # she gave us and was basically given the run around. Months went by and we got no where. So I emailed our local news station that has one of those people who help out people who get scammed or taken advantage of. The news contacted us and asked us to be on the news, they were interested in our story. The news tried to contact the magazine people and got no where, just like we did. Oddly enough shortly after that, we started getting our magazine and they threw in an extra year for free.

After that experience I posted a simple "No Soliciting" on our front door. We have a No Soliciting sign in our complex too, but that sometimes gets over looked, but I can say that we haven't gotten anybody in a long time. It is sad too, because I know there are legitimate people out there just trying to make a living.

So that is my 2 cents worth, well more like a dimes worth. lol.

Be careful all!!!

JulieJ08
10-23-2008, 02:25 PM
After that experience I posted a simple "No Soliciting" on our front door. We have a No Soliciting sign in our complex too, but that sometimes gets over looked, but I can say that we haven't gotten anybody in a long time.

NOBODY pays that sign the slightest attention at my BIL's business. None whatsoever. One time, my sister reminded the solicitor that there was a sign saying no solicitors - the woman got extremely offended and huffy, because she was NOT a prostitute!!!

PhotoChick
10-23-2008, 02:31 PM
Wedding photographers have been dealing with this scam for a couple of years now. Someone will email and say I'm getting married in your town, but I live out of the country. I'll send you $8,000 and you take your fee out of it, and pass the rest on to [the DJ, the videographer, the caterer, whoever]. I know of at least 2 photographers who fell for it and were out thousands of $$$ after the cashier's checks they deposited were found to be extremely good fakes.

I kow another photographer who has followed one of these scams through to the end, with the assistance of the FBI and the DOJ and they caught some of the members of a huge ring of scammers. His story has been fascinating to follow over the past 13 or so months.

.

Hat Trick
10-23-2008, 02:38 PM
They also do this with pets on craigslist. A friend had to give her cat away and posted on craigslist. She wasn't selling him, just trying to find a good home. Same thing happened, many scam responses from people who said they didn't even live in the state, some deal about a check (um, that the cat was FREE was posted on the listing), etc. They must have some kind of automated email scam response or something. Real creeps, aren't they?

Cash only, in person is the only way to go. And for pets? No. You never know what will happen to your pet if you decided to go this route. I've browsed the site looking for pets but would even be leery of that. SPCA is the way to go if you're thinking of getting a pet -- those animals are already at their last chance place!

Thanks for posting this and giving us all a heads up.

junebug41
10-23-2008, 02:42 PM
They also do this with pets on craigslist. A friend had to give her cat away and posted on craigslist. She wasn't selling him, just trying to find a good home. Same thing happened, many scam responses from people who said they didn't even live in the state, some deal about a check (um, that the cat was FREE was posted on the listing), etc. They must have some kind of automated email scam response or something. Real creeps, aren't they?

Cash only, in person is the only way to go. And for pets? No. You never know what will happen to your pet if you decided to go this route. I've browsed the site looking for pets but would even be leery of that. SPCA is the way to go if you're thinking of getting a pet -- those animals are already at their last chance place!

Thanks for posting this and giving us all a heads up.

Yup, also animal testing labs cruise craigslist looking for free animals, so be careful when it comes to pets.