Author Topic: What's the scam?  (Read 4220 times)

campath

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What's the scam?
« on: May 27, 2016, 10:10:43 AM »
My wife posted an offer for an infant crib on Letgo.com.

She received 2 offers for the same:

1. An email:

"Hello am sorry for the late responses, my other email keeping bringing
problem .., I'm ok with the asking price and the description stated so
I would like to send payment asap to you via UPS Next Day Air from my
bank.
Please let me know if a certified check  is ok.. After my check clears
my Mover will come and pick it up at your location... I would have
come and take a look of it but I can't...
My business trip come earlier than I plan(on a business trip ). If you
can get back to me with your info below...
I'll mail the check out asap. Need your FULL NAME  to write on the
check and FULL ADDRESS  with Apt #/suite # ,Your Cell Number and your
FINAL  asking price.... to mail the check out asap. Thanks
Sent from my HTC One on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network"

2. A text message:

"Thank you for your response to your inquiry.. I'm (name withheld) ,I'm ok
with the price  you are asking for.I really want to buy it and I'll
love make my payment out via cashier check..After my check clears i
will arrange for the pickup  and add Extra $30.00 to your money for
keeping the item for me and remove the advert on Letgo so i can know
you really wanna sell it for me then get back to me with the info to
send the payment to you.. 1.Full Name to be on
the payment ___ 2.Home address not po box ___ 3. Phone Number ___
4.State __ 5. City ___ 6.Zip Code ___ Price___
Sent via the Samsung Galaxy SŪ 6, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone


I wasn't suspicious when we got the first offer. My wife already sent the first person her name and address. When I saw the second offer, I was more concerned. Both people being so interested in a crib they have never seen. Both messages with poor grammar and similar sentence construction. Both offering to pay with a cashiers check and waiting for it to clear. Both asking for the same information. Both sending messages with similar signatures that mention the cell phone model and network (to make it seem like it originated in the US maybe?). The first buyer having a mover come over to have it picked up (if you can afford a mover, you can afford to buy a brand new crib). The second buyer offering $30 more than list price (I didn't even pay that much for it brand new).

While I have told my wife to cease all communication with both buyers, I'm not sure I get what the scam is. If someone is offering a cashiers check and waiting for it to clear, what's the catch?

plainjane

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2016, 10:16:44 AM »
They will send you too much money.  Then they will ask you to send them back the difference.  Then the cheque they gave you will bounce, and the one you wrote will go through to their account.

Not sure if they add identity theft to the list or not.

cerat0n1a

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2016, 10:18:26 AM »

Cromacster

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2016, 11:02:23 AM »
First rule of selling online:  Ignore any response with bad and/or broken English.

Second rule:  Either exchange cash in hand or through a secure payment system, never accept checks, money orders, mail orders etc etc

prognastat

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 11:09:32 AM »
Never accept anything but cash or a form of payment that can not be pulled.

kite

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 11:11:44 AM »
When they refer to what you are selling as "it" or "the item" or are too enthusiastic about something they haven't seen in person, it's a scam.

We sell firewood on CL. It's cash only, pick up or delivery.  But we get the same kinds of replies.  My faves are someone posing as a serviceman in Afghanistan who has wanted this his whole life.  Yes, that'll tug at the heartstrings if you're selling a Harley Davidson or a Martin guitar.  But a cord of stacked & split firewood?  Not a chance. 

Insurance against these scams are  "cash only" and insist on a number at which you can talk to them.  But those initial emails are coming from bots, so some will slip thru.

mozar

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 12:02:00 PM »
There is a reason for the poor grammar. People who are truly gullible will not notice the grammer, and they are the scammers primary target.

Davids

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2016, 12:40:29 PM »
I always wonder why the scammers do not try to improve their grammar when trying to scam. I guess they do so well there is no point for them to bother improving their grammar.

celticmyst08

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 03:36:32 PM »
The cashier's check they send you will be fake. You deposit it, and then they'll say "oops, we paid you too much" or "can you send money to the shipping company" and ask you to take most of the money out in cash and send a Western Union, buy a prepaid card at Walmart, etc., and then send the money to a third party.

The bank will make the funds available to you by the next day, per Regulation CC, since a cashier's check is considered a "next-day item." Usually they will make the funds available immediately, as a courtesy. However, it takes a couple of days for the check info to get transmitted from your bank to the Federal Reserve (or possibly a local/regional clearinghouse), downloaded by the paying bank (the one whose routing number is on the cashier's check), and discovered not to match their cashier's check records. At that point they'll initiate a chargeback to your bank, essentially saying "hey, this check was no good," and your bank will have to take the funds back out of your account. Problem is, if you've spent the money, that might result in your account being severely overdrawn. Since the money you sent was via an instant method like prepaid card or Western Union, it's essentially untraceable and unrecoverable, so you're SOL and you have to pay your bank back for the amount of your overdrawn account.

Source: I am a fraud investigator at a bank. I see variations on this scam dozens of times a week.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 03:40:59 PM by celticmyst08 »

LeRainDrop

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 03:53:01 PM »
Source: I am a fraud investigator at a bank. I see variations on this scam dozens of times a week.

Oooh, that sounds like a very interesting job.  Excellent explanation of the scam, too.  We even see it in the law firm context where someone contacts us as a potential client, often using some corporate name that is very similar to something legit.  They send their retainer check with too much money, ask to pass some along to third party, attorneys get working, and then the check is determined as no good and the charge back to the firm's account.  I don't think the scammer succeeds all that often at sophisticated firms, but even in biglaw, occasionally we get a firm-wide email notice about how these scams work and to watch out because some attorneys actually do begin falling for them.

celticmyst08

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 04:07:43 PM »
Source: I am a fraud investigator at a bank. I see variations on this scam dozens of times a week.

Oooh, that sounds like a very interesting job.  Excellent explanation of the scam, too.  We even see it in the law firm context where someone contacts us as a potential client, often using some corporate name that is very similar to something legit.  They send their retainer check with too much money, ask to pass some along to third party, attorneys get working, and then the check is determined as no good and the charge back to the firm's account.  I don't think the scammer succeeds all that often at sophisticated firms, but even in biglaw, occasionally we get a firm-wide email notice about how these scams work and to watch out because some attorneys actually do begin falling for them.

Oh yeah, the lawyer version of the scam is a doozy. I haven't personally worked one of those cases but we have had them at our bank involving clients of ours who are law firms. The losses involved tend to be huge, too -- often upwards of $100k.

Rezdent

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2016, 05:54:02 PM »
Yep, DH was pulled into one of these when selling pigs on Craigslist.
My favorite phrase?  "...this most excellent pig".
Fake check arrives, we mark it "return to sender".  Scammer starts emailing threatening emails...I replied that we are most concerned about returning the money - so we have requested assistance from our assigned Texas Ranger who has their money and looking for them now to return it.  Dang it, they went silent at that one.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Inaya

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2016, 06:54:58 PM »
Be cautious about PayPal as well. If a buyer submits a complaint to PayPal, the seller almost never wins. They pay, you ship. They tell PayPal you never shipped (or the item was defective). PayPal reverses the transaction, and now you have neither item nor money.

Kroaler

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2016, 11:32:37 AM »
http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2016/05/filtering-effects.html

This article might explain the poor grammar.   They are filtering out smart people who are a waste of their time.  Like another person noted, gullible people probably overlook the grammar and make good targets. 

Smart people like us move on at the sight of bad grammar.   Saves both parties time,

LeRainDrop

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Re: What's the scam?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2016, 05:52:06 PM »
http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2016/05/filtering-effects.html

This article might explain the poor grammar.   They are filtering out smart people who are a waste of their time.  Like another person noted, gullible people probably overlook the grammar and make good targets. 

Smart people like us move on at the sight of bad grammar.   Saves both parties time,

Ah, that makes a lot of sense.  So these scammers actually have a pretty good marketing plan after all.  Damn them.