Friday, August 15, 2008

Google saved me $2,650

April writing...

I am on my A game creepy dude...*this is kinda lengthy but I am angry, so learn from my almost mistake!*

So let me get you caught up...

So, Cory and I decided to sell our bedroom furniture on Craigslist. I took pictures and listed it on Sunday for $600. Monday morning, I got 6 hits. The first guy, David offered $600 and an additional $50 if I would take the listing off and promise it to him. He would send me a certified bank check for that full amount. Then he would send his 'movers' to come pick up the furniture. All I needed to do was send him my information (name, address and phone #) for the check.

I agreed to that amount (yeah an extra$50!) but I have been burned before and I didn’t remove the listing...ehh a little dishonest I know. (don't worry I almost paid for my dishonesty) and I sent him my info.

One...Two days go by…nothing from him, no email and no check. I start to get a little worried. Just because why hasn't he at least written back to say, got your address the check has been mailed, blah blah blah. So on Wednesday, I email him and basically say, I gave you all my info…when will I be receiving the check? When is pick up? Nothing...Wednesday night, not reply, Thursday reply...finally Thursday evening I get a response.

He says, he checked in with is secretary and she wrote the check out for $2650 instead of $650. She claims that is the amount he told her to make the check out for cause she was supposed to be sending money to his movers to pay for the pick up too..but instead of two checks, she put it all on one check and is sending it to me. So he asked if I would get the check for $2650, take out my $650, plus an additional $50 for the trouble. The trouble part I guess pays for his next request. He asks that I take the remaining $1950 and money gram wire transfer it to his movers to pay for pickup and some previous other moving services they did. Then they will be buy to pick up the item.

I get a little pit in my stomach and I call Cory into the office to read the email and see what he thinks. We talked it over and agreed that there didn't seem to be any harm. Not that we would necessarily trust a perfect stranger with that of my money to pay someone else...but if he is, then we are honest people. We just want to sell the furniture. So, I emailed this "David" and agreed to accept the money and wire the extra money to his movers. I asked him for his movers info and when we would be setting up the pick-up. But I still had the pit in my stomach...

So today, Friday am and no reply from him, but by this point I am consistently seeing that he takes a day or two to respond, and it doesn't make me feel any better. So I talked to a couple of co-workers who said they would seem just as uneasy about it as I was. I went to lunch with Terri and she kinda hinted that he was a "sketchball" and all that. So when I got back to work I decided to do some research.

Here's where Google saved me $2,650. I went to Google and typed in "man on Craigslist had me wire money", Enter. About 10 pages of entries popped up. The second one was titled "Wire Transfer Scams" and listed Craigslist in its details. So I clicked on it.

And wouldn't you know, this was the very first thing mentioned:

"Craigslist Tips: counterfeit cashier's check & money transfer scams
1. distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check in exchange for your item
you receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
-cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else.
-value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
-banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR
-scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)"

WOAH!!! That is like EVERYTHING this dude has asked for! Immediately the pit in my stomach turned to anger and I texted Terri to say this dude was scamming me, and I emailed Sarah to tell her and I called Cory. Oh no dude. Your scamming days are numbered in my book. I am not helping you steal money!!

So I emailed him back and said this, "David, I have done some talking with my husband...and we did some research online. All things are pointing to this over-priced check and wiring money situation to be a scam. I am an honest person and I do not wish to be involved in anything where we will be taken advantage of or do something illegal. I truly just want to sell my furniture and get this situation taken care of.

At this point, please disregard my last email agreeing to wire the money. We won't agree to anything like that. If you want, when I receive the check I can mail it back to you. If you still wish to purchase the furniture I would have to ask that the $650 be sent to our account via PayPal or delivered in cash when the furniture is picked up.

So please respond in a timely manner as to how we will complete this purchase. If I do not hear from you by Saturday evening at 9 pm I will take it that you have decided not to continue with the purchase and I will be moving on to find another buyer.*Please know that if there are any problems with this situation I have copies of all our email transactions and will not be held responsible for any wrong doing.*"

So I am sure now that this dude is NOT going to respond to me...especially if he is a scummy scammer. I am so angry...I mean seriously, WHO DOES THAT??? I mean it's horrible!! And I am SO glad that I caught it...that I finally followed my intuition and did some research! So take this as a lesson. CASH only on Craigslist people and FOLLOW your intuition!!!


- Sarah :-) said...

Yeah, man! I ain't wiring nobody nothing!!

You want something of mine, Give me cash, or money order, and a big bag of lego candy.

Seriously! Think about it - if they're willing to go out and buy you a bag of lego candy, then they MUST be legit.

...I'm just sayin...

Regina said...

What a crazy story! I hear things like this quite often in the cyber security world...but it's different when it hits so close to home. I'm glad you followed your gut and pulled out of the transaction.

I hope you get a nice, legitimate buyer for your furniture soon!

Cory E. :) said...

Just spoke with the FBI and sadly there is not much that can be done to this scum bags, but the scam is really and make sure all your friends now about it.

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