Like I Don't Have Enough To Do
Watch Out For This
Tis is where stupid people, or maybe just greedy people, can get burnt by overseas scam artists. I use Craig's List occasionally to sell items and this incident just occurred on Craig's List and you need to be informed of the nature of the crime these shysters are trying to pull. I just got off the phone with the FBI in Columbia and he asked that I publish this as an awareness issue. I'm glad to oblige.
Recently, among all the other things going on in my life, I decided to sell an older Yamaha keyboard on Craig's List here in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina. It was a simple ad that read:
Yamaha PSR 70 Electronic Keyboard. $100. With my cell #.
I got an almost immediate response to the posting, not by telephone but through Craig's e-mail service. The first one was asking me to withdraw the item and he would pay me an additional $50.00 for doing so and that he would send me a certified bank check. Then I didn't hear anything for a couple of days so I emailed him and got this e-mail:
Hello My sincere apology for getting back to you late and thanks for getting back to me, anyway i am ok with all the details i have gotten, please kindly withdraw the advert, i don't mind adding $50 for you to withdraw the advert from Craigslist to avoid disturbance also to be informed that i will pay you with a certified check and once you have the check cashed at your bank then i will arrange for the pick up by engaging the services of a mover,which will be picking it up at your location to pick it up..I will need the following details to mail the payment as soon as possible. Name to be on the check____ Home address____ City____ State____ Zip Code_____ Cell phone #______ Kindly get back to me so the payment can be mail out Asap. Thanks
The guy's supposed name is Mark Wench. Notice the use of English and grammar. So I sent him the mailing address and waited for the certified check to arrive. I didn't see anything hit the mail box so I e-mailed him again and got this response. Notice that he says "tracking number" here.
Thanks you for your mail and for making me as your favorite buyer and i want to asked if the item has been deleted because i don't want another buyer to request for it again, Also the check will be issued out Tomorrow and probably you will receive your check any time from Friday. and please be aware that the amount on the check will be more than your asking price.the excess amount is for the Shipping and Insurance Premium that will be coming down to your location for the pickup..You are to deduct the money for the item and the extra $50 given to you and have the rest send to them when you receive the check..and more over I would like you to respond to my email when ever you got my mails to be sure everything goes in a proper way..So i will email you the tracking number once the check has been sent out to your address......thanks and i look forward to hearing from you!
Having seen nothing six days later I e-mailed him asking what the problem was and got this reply. The old sympathy ploy::
Am so sorry for delay of the payment...My wife got an heart failure and was being admitted to the hospital since 2days now..so i haven't got the chance to check up with the courier service to know what was wrong with the check package, Please i want you to be patient and keep the item for me..i will contact them and let you know when the check will deliver and also you let me know if you recieve it..Reply back to this email for me to be sure the item is still available and everything is still intact...Thanks for understanding Regards
At this point I knew it was a scam but I wanted to play the tuna fish a bit. Another six days elapsed so I e-mailed him asking what the problem was and got this reply. You can see my response to this idiot.
I think at this juncture you need to tell me exactly who I should be expecting to be dealing with, when and how. I have removed my keyboard at your request but I'm not all warm and fuzzy about any of this. Jim
> Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 06:11:26 -0700 > Subject: Re: Yamaha Keyboard - $100 (Florence) > From: firstname.lastname@example.org > To: > > Am so sorry for delay of the payment...My wife got an heart failure > and was being admitted to the hospital since 2days now..so i haven't > got the chance to check up with the courier service to know what was > wrong with the check package, Please i want you to be patient and keep > the item for me..i will contact them and let you know when the check > will deliver and also you let me know if you recieve it..Reply back to > this email for me to be sure the item is still available and > everything is still intact...Thanks for understanding > Regards
Check out his next line. I think he thought he was dealing with some hill billy in South Carolina.
I am so sorry for all the inconvenience, actually i mailed out a cashier check but it got missing, this is why i ask my personal assistant to mail out another check and put a note on it for you to know the check was from me,because i am currently out of state for my business, but i guess he was mistaken written nonsense, anyway all you need to do now is follow my instruction by getting the check cashed or deposit and deduct your item cost with the extra $100 i gave to you and do have the rest send to the shipper information in my previous email, please kindly get this done and get back to me with an update Thanks for your time
So the game continued and finally Friday here came the FedEx man in his tight brown brown shorts with an envelope. Notice that he avoided the USPS. Inside that envelope wasn't a certified check but what appeared to be a valid check on a company based in Portland, Oregon. The check was for $2,000.00. Imagine that. So I e-mailed the idiot back and he gave me directions to use Western Union to wire him the difference. Yeah right. I called the bank on the west coast and the customer service rep told me that the business name on the check and the account number matched but warned me to take it a step further base upon the story I related to him.
I told him (the scam artist) that I was going to have to have the bank check it out before I deposited anything and he told me to let him know what the bank said.
On my run into town yesterday, I took the check by my bank and explained the situation to the manager. She ran the check through the scanner and came back and told me it was a counterfeit check. To further verify that she took out what looked like a small, square magnifying glass that has a light in it. She placed that on the line where the signature of the check writer was and lit it up.
Lo and behold, underneath that line invisible to the naked eye are the words: Signature Of Authorized Individual. She did that using one of her banks checks. Then she used it on the check I had given her and there was nothing there. Now you know, if in the future, you are suspicious of a check what you can do to verify its authenticity. Real checks have that on them where you can't see it. Banks can see it using that tool.
So this morning the scam artist e-mails me:
Hello Jim, I was expecting to read from you and i haven't see any of your email, could you please get back to me and let me know when you bank says the check is going to clear Awaiting
I replied that the check wasn't deposited. Then he seemed to act insignant and I got this reply:
Damn it, what do you mean, have you deposited it?
So this is what I fired back at him:
Now why would I deposit a counterfeit check?
It seems this scam is prevalent on many sites. If it's too good to be true then it probably is. The FBI told me to tear the check up. Well DUH! Have I heard back from Mark Wench? Not a peep!
If a person deposits a check like that then wires the difference to whomever, they would be a fool and a damned fool at that. Why would someone send you a $2K check for a $100 keyboard or any other item? If you deposit that check it will come back and you will then have lost $2K and still be sitting there with your item for sale.
Now I might be The Frog Prince but I'm just not that stupid nor am I greedy. Why in the world would anyone send two thousand dollars to a complete stranger trusting them to wire the difference somewhere? I'm honest but not everyone in the world is.
Be careful out there. There's a scam artist waiting to find a patsy. I might roost at times on a lily pad, but a patsy I am not by any stretch of the imagination. The FBI Agent told me they operate primarily out of Nigeria and Jamaica where they can't be touched. But I played his stupid game to see how far he would go with it. Incredibly stupid scam artist I have to say.
Have a nice scam free day!
Post Script: After posting this I actually heard from Mark Wench and this what he had to say:
You must be very stupid, the check i sent to you was a real check and by the way who told you is a counterfeit check? please don't act funny with my hard earn money, kindly go to your bank or cashing store to get the check cash asap, and get back to me or else i will file to report to the F.B.I department and if i should do this, trust me you are going to spend the rest of your life in jail, so get back to me fast once you have the cash with you
Yeah, I replied. I told him: I already talked to the FBI moron. Report away. LMAO