Tutor Scam on CRAIGSLIST .com-- my tutoring ad attracted scammers of the truth seeking profit, destroying trust
All want tutor for 14 year old boy...
- Exposing scam artists who use Craigslist: Tutor Scam
- Watchdogs watching :: Beware of scams through Craigslist!
Daughter caught in scam
My bright daughter has uncovered a scam that keeps getting stranger and stranger as I research it online. She plans to attend graduate school for secondary education in the fall and so is looking for part time work. Naturally, she turned to CRAIGSLIST to peruse the ads. Why not?
She found one that excited her- someone from England wanted a tutor for his 14 year old boy who happened to be visiting the area for the month of June. The boy needed tutoring in a variety of subjects including French, which is her major. She responded with her resume (oh dear Lord) and was delighted when she was contacted for more information by the gentleman claiming to be father of this boy.
She wrote asking for the son's email so that she could find out what level French he spoke and get to know the boy before she met him at the Denver library. The man didn't know his son well and couldn't respond. Also, his English responses were scattered with inappropriate words as if selected from a dictionary.
She looked up scams online and sure enough, she was in the throes of being duped. The man stopped contacting her and she moved on, sad about losing $600 but relieved she was no longer communicating with this person.
(Thanks fish for correcting the spelling of CRAIGSLIST for me.)
- A Scam Artist on Craigslist Gets it Back - Searching...
What follows is an email conversation between a scam artist and me. I have received way too many of these emails lately and this latest one started me thinking - what if I played the exact same game back?...
- Beware Of The Craigslist Scam
About the growing scam epidemic on Craigslist.com Fake checks ,money orders ,wiring funds scams, renting home scams, etc.
- Craigslist Scams - 20 Ways to Identify Fake Job Scam...
Poor job hunters! The stress of trying to find a job in this poor economy that matches our skills and salary requirements is hard enough. But unsuspecting job hunters now have another battle to contend with -...
Check arrives via UPS
This morning after my daughter left to tutor a legitimate person for the more reasonable rate of $25, she received a UPS delivery from a man living in Knoxville, TN. She knows no one with this name who would be sending her money, as far as I am aware.
I got this tense feeling in my heart and as the envelope was not sealed, I opened it. Inside was a check made out to her for $3,350.71 from Regions Bank. What a weird number.
My heart leaped to my throat. Here was the check. The man had not forgotten her. She was still part of this scam.
I called to tell her the bad news. I could see her eyes roll in exasperation. The check was not drawn on the account of the man with whom she corresponded, his name is Jay Lundery.
But it was the amount. Strange amount.
She said she had received an email from this Lundery person and had forwarded it to me but I had not opened that email account this morning. I checked it out.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Jay Lundery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Yes, to my daughter UGH
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:27:30 AM
Subject: Re: Summer Tutor Needed!
How are you doing? I got your email and I am Ok with all. I want you to know that the payment for the tutoring has been mailed out to you and your should be getting it this morning via UPS courier service so please be sure to receive it or ba around to pick it up. here is the tracking number for the package 1Z5E21390199416221.
Please when you get it today, take it your bank and have it cashed and after that deduct your charges for the tutoring and send the balance to the Nanny via western union as earlier discussed so she can get the money immediately and have come down with my son.I wouldn't want this to exceed this week as the tutoring classes should start on monday..I will be looking forward to reading from you.
Words of Wisdom from Reader
As Dave the Math Tutor wrote in the comments section, "It's pretty annoying, but the good part about these scams is that they're easy to avoid by following one simple rule: DO NOT AGREE TO ANY ARRANGEMENT THAT REQUIRES YOU TO FORWARD A PAYMENT ON TO A THIRD PARTY."
I googled Regions Bank for a phone number to alert them that this was going on at their bank. I got a very strange sensation listening to their recording and began to google for information on the bank itself. There are citation after citation regarding fraud and Regions Bank, including a case that went to court.
- Regions Bank Complaints - Fraud and deceit
Regions Bank Complaints: Fraud and deceit. Banks
- Regions Bank Bans Customer For Life For Pestering Them About $29 Fee - The Consumerist
A man in Tennessee has been banned from ever entering any Regions Bank branch again, because the bank says he was so disruptive and hostile to their employees that they were forced to seek a restraining order. The cause of the dispute was a $29 late
- Press Release: SEC Charges Regions Bank for Role in Offering Fraud Harming Latin American Investors;
Check drawn on an innocent man's account
I wondered if this man in Knoxville who'd sent the check was another scam artist. I googled his name. Strange, he appeared to be a respectable business man from the area.
I located an invitation to a party at his home and called the phone number listed. I got a sweet voice on the answering machine-- his wife. She offered callers her business number so after leaving a somewhat disconcerted message, I called her office line.
I was routed to her cell phone and caught her with clients in the car as rain cascaded onto her roof. The connection was bad. She groaned when I told her why I was calling. "You are the third person to call," she said.
That made me feel good, actually. Others were also following up on this. It wasn't only me. And she, obviously, was caught in the middle. "You need to call the FBI," she said. "Don't send any money to the nanny."
"I wasn't planning on it," I said, a bit miffed that she might think I was not on top of this. "I'll send you a copy of my Hub," I said. "You can take it to your bank or wherever. I will block out your husband's information from the check. He is obviously an innocent party."
Me call the FBI? I know what the FBI will say. The same thing student loan officers say when I ask for information about my daughter's loan we are paying off. The same thing doctors say when I ask for information on my daughter's recent well check covered by our insurance. The same thing anyone in an official capacity says now that my daughter has achieved 18.
"Are you (daughter's name)?" No! "Well we need to talk to her."
"Are you (check writer's name)?" No! "Well, we need to talk to him."
"Are you (accused's name)?" No! "Well, we need to talk to him."
I am simply the powerless mother with the wicked keyboard.
"Mom, I got a parking ticket!" my daughter informed me, at the end of the conversation. "For the same amount as I made!"
I sighed. "Oh honey, downtown you need to park in a lot."
"They are so expensive," she said. "Five bucks! And we only talked an extra 15 minutes after the session."
"Five bucks... twenty-five bucks," I said. "You decide."
Is this karma or what?
Piano Scam works in similar fashion
- Beware! Piano Buyer Scams on the Internet - Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums
I(storytellersrus)recently received two letters from two different men interested in the piano I had for sale online. The letter was obviously a duplicate and followed the pattern of this tutor scam. If it sounds too good to be true... it is!!!
Many of you have wondered what to do if you actually did lose money. I had no response, BUT a reader posted an EXCELLENT comment below that outlines exactly what she did and it seems to be brilliant in my humble opinion. Please scroll down to the 218 comment by Chrystalline and she will fill you in on the process. Better yet, I will copy it here. Please click on her name and thank her for such an amazing response!
I love my readers!!!
scamvictim, your bank should have a scan of the check itself, which they should be able to produce when law enforcement asks for it. Can't do anything about the envelope, I'm afraid.
Report it to the FBI:
There's an image link on the right to file an electronic report; give them all the information you have. Realistically, I wouldn't expect to get your money back (I've never heard of scam victims getting their money back), but perhaps the FBI will be able to get the scammers (if they're even in US jurisdiction). They should get in touch with you to give you the next steps, if there's anything else for you to do.
About the money you now owe your bank, talk to the bank about the scam. Every bank has a fraud department, and they should be able to talk to you about what options are available to you as a victim. If nothing else, they should be able to work out some form of loan/payment schedule that will allow you to fix your credit with them. There might be some form of protection for you, but I can't know what your bank has.
It wouldn't hurt to contact the credit reporting agencies and ask them to temporarily flag your account. You only have to request it at one, and they will notify the other two: Equifax.com, Experian.com, and Transunion.com This will alert them to contact you if someone tries to open new accounts using your personal information.
A note about credit reports - by law, each agency is required to allow you one free report per year. If you space them out, you never need to pay for a report (ie, get one every four months by using the next company in the list so that by the time you come back around to the first company, it's been a whole year). Sites that hype your free credit reports are trying to hook you into paying them for some kind of monitoring service.
It is highly unlikely that you will be accosted at home; they only want your personal information for financial purposes (sending you the check, and possibly identity theft). They're usually either money laundering or simply stealing. Granted, that's not encouraging, but you shouldn't be afraid they'll show up at your door to take you away.
I fell for this back in 2006 when it was the "Be the check handler in the US for our business" variation. I asked for a copy of their catalog to prove they were the actual business they claimed to be, because it sounded too good to be true, and since they ignored that request, I cut them off before sending them any money. Since I hadn't lost anything, I never heard back from the FBI (other than the automated message from the complaint filing), but it was shortly after that when Craigslist started posting warnings.
How to know your identity has been stolen?
Check out this link if you suspect your identity has been stolen...
- Identity Crisis... What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen
Federal Trade Commission offers a course of action for those who believe they are at risk for identity theft.
When you have shared information with a scammer
Many who have experienced this scam have shared their experiences in the comment section below, which is so helpful!
Sharing stories helps fellow victims understand they are not alone and they are not stupid!!!
I update the site as new scammers are revealed and expand the site when concerns and ideas offer information helpful to those who have experienced this demeaning scam.
I know these victims are intelligent folk. I appreciate their willingness to share what they often view as a personal failure- as if trust is something shameful.
When a victim shares, it often inspires me to add content to the site. For example, one young person worried about identity theft. This is a very real concern, considering these victims have sent resumes and personal information to people intending to hurt them.
I researched what steps to take if one believes his/her identity has been stolen. The most thorough site I found is referenced to the right of this section. If you fear identity theft, please click on the link and take the steps recommended. It is certainly possible that your identity has been compromised and the smart thing to do is to take action!!!
I know you are beautiful, but do NOT send your photo
olderandwiser received a request for a photo, when answering a recent tutor scam ad and was wisely concerned.
The Facebook Identity Theft protection page-http://bestidentityprotection.net/facebook-identity-theft-scams-are-on-the-rise/ reminds us to "Use a photo of yourself taken from a larger photo with a natural landscape. Never use a passport photo on Facebook. Have a big smile on your face, as well. Since passport photos don’t allow smiles, it will keep thieves from using your photo to create a fake ID."
Who receives these fake ids? One use may surprise you:
Here, fake IDs were sent to underage college students! http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/2011/07/22/fake-id-orders-expose-students-to-identity-theft-criminal-penalties/
How easy is it to get a fake ID? Peruse this site on Identity Theft:
Get back in the Game!
© 2009 Barbara