Archive for January, 2009

Accepting checks can be dangerous: common scam

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

A common craigslist scam is something like this: First off to clue you in I am selling this guy something for $100. He sent me an email that I posted about, inquiring for anyones opinion, in the thread I linked at the bottom. Here is the email he just sent me…

Hello KYLE,
Thanks for the trustworthiness on this purchase …..the payment will
be delivered any time from now so please once you do have it please
take that to your Bank and have it cashed. You will deduct the cost of
the purchase ….you will also have to send the rest of the
fund to my mover once you cashed the check so that she can come over
for the pick by noon tomorrow.Here is the Mover’s information to send the
money to via Western Union ….

Name : Kerrie Norberg
Address : Collinsville, IL 62234

I will need the details of the transfer once you have sent fund . . .

1.The MTCN number that is the 10 digits number on the Western Union receipt
2.Sender’s name and address used in sending
3.Actual amount sent.

Please pay off the western union charges from the remaining fund after
you must have deducted your money and the $100 that is to cover the
cost of your run around.**UPS # 1Z802T490196366093 ****For delivery
confirmation….you can reach ups at 800 (742-5877)**

I just received a $2,800 check in the mail also so the guy has gone this far…anyone have any clues??

I mean if I put this check in the bank and it clears and I get the cash for it then there’s nothing more to see here right?

I have a client (I am a lawyer) who deposited a check for $3,500 and waited about 8 days for it to clear. After it did, he sent the “overpayment” back to the purchaser. About a week later the check bounced and his bank took the $1,700 he had in his account and is suing him for the rest. I am fighting it, but he very possibly could lose.

He continues to sell thing on craig’s list and has about $50,000 in these fake checks getting about one a week.

So the answer is clearly no, when the check “clears” after a week it hasn’t really cleared. In a couple of weeks the bank will come after you to get the money back.

I might add that this is completely ridiculous. If the bank takes a bad check and gives you money, shouldn’t they blame themselves? Why does the bank tell you it’s cleared and give you the money if it hasn’t really cleared?