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

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Old 12-10-2007, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Craiglist scam - take a second to warn your friends/loved ones

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/i...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.
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Last edited by Glory87 : 12-10-2007 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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Wow...it takes a twisted mind to even think up this stuff! Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:22 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/2006/09/21/

Here's a link to the story.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:43 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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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/...d.php?t=447162

Last edited by ANOther : 12-10-2007 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:56 PM   #8
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Yeah, I love the Straight Dope!
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:40 PM   #9
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Default This Is A For Real Scam

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



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Old 01-05-2008, 08:39 PM   #10
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Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Rev. George Mathews

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???
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #12
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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
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:31 AM   #13
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Oy, the grammar is always SOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAADDDDD.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:37 AM   #14
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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....

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Old 10-23-2008, 10:42 AM   #15
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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.
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