So how does this Craigslist scam work?

kb58

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
345
A potential "buyer" for my lathe on Craigslist...

Thanks for the prompt response to my mail. I will be buying this from you, so please kindly withdraw the advert from site. My husband will overnight the payment asap but he will be paying with a Certified Check from his Bank and it will deliver to you via FEDEX, so I'll need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check... And am offering additional $70 with the original price to have this asap.

Name to be on the payment...........
Address to mail the check to.............
City, state and zip code .............
Final Asking price...................
Cell phone # to text you on ................

I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your check clear, due to my work frame and my Kids, I will not be able to come with the cash and pick it up so my husband will mail the check and have someone pick up the item after the check clear., Reference to your post am completely satisfied with it and the payment will be deliver within 48hours..God Bless

---
I assume the check goes bad at some point, but how does that work if it clears?
 

ddillman

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
11
apparently by law the bank has to accept a certified check. so you deposit it the bank shows it cleared. then several weeks later it bounces and you are on the hook for the full amount. I know people it has happened to
 

Cadillac

Bronze
Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
1,144
Why a check. Write themselves the check, cash it and pay you. I wouldn’t mess with it tell them it’s a cash sale and who care who has to work and who’s gonna pick it up? IDC!
My guess is they are getting all the bits of your information and will find the rest from what you provide. Surprised they didn’t throw in “ I’m leaving the country for service and won’t be back for 3 months and my spouse will pick up the goods. It’s a scam of some sort. Wouldn’t even respond to them.
 

kb58

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
345
Don't worry, I'm not going to respond, just curious how it works. And yes, my ad does say cash only.
 

Winegrower

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
445
Yes, bank checks can bounce after many days of delay. I have had a court ordered bank check bounce, nothing I could do. It’s a great scam.
 

Superburban

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
1,036
apparently by law the bank has to accept a certified check. so you deposit it the bank shows it cleared. then several weeks later it bounces and you are on the hook for the full amount. I know people it has happened to
The bank should be able to call the issuing bank, and verify the check. Banks do it all the time.

So what do they get out of this? a lathe? Now its stolen goods, hard to sell, and has a serial number.

Slightly off track, but doesn't a personal check have all the stuff they need? Bank account number, routing number, my name, and address. Is there anything else they need that the check does not have?
 

Richard King 2

Master Machine Tool Rebuilder & Instructor
H-M Supporter - Commercial Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
639
I sold something on Ebay once and I suppose Craig's list has the same sort of criminals trolling there. On Ebay I sold a machine and sent the guy an internet ebay invoice. He was in England and a week or so later I got a letter in the mail and inside was a cashiers check from a credit union in Wyoming. The sales price was something like $750.00 plus shipping costs. Inside the envelope was a typed note (from the crook) saying " I made the cashier check for 2500.00 , please pay the freight charges and keep an extra $500.00 for your time. Then want ever is left over please send me a cashiers check to my address. Just sounded so phoney. I looked up the credit union in Wyoming on the internet. On the web page they had a check and said These checks were not written by our CU. It is a fake check. I took everything to the US Post office and they said they get 100's of these a week and they were understaffed to do anything. So be careful... I have also heard of people buying something and never receiving it and they keep the money.

You can also do this If your selling ask for a wire transfer. Calling a bank to varifey funds is OK but they may withdrawal the money by the time clears their bank.
 
Last edited:

alloy

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
990
What comes to mind for me is they will have your address and they already know you have machine tools, and most likely other things of value.

Unless it's a larger ticket item I usually try to meet craigslist buyers elsewhere. I realize you can't do that with a lathe, but everything about this says it's a scam. I'm probably going to sell my Fadal on CL and I'll just have to listen to the buyer and judge if they have knowledge about CNC's.

The other thing is usually women don't but machine tools. I know Susan here is an exception and has caught the machine tool bug as bad as anyone here. I'm sure many others have also. So no offense to anyone intended. It just seems like a standard scam response they use on everything they are trying to scam people out of.
 
Last edited:

matthewsx

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
832
I played one of these things out once and was contacted by the US Postmaster. They intercepted the phony check and arrested the scammer :encourage:
Just needed some evidence from me which I was happy to provide.
 

MikeInOr

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
311
I particularly like how the certified check comes via FedEx or UPS and not USPS to keep from being federal mail fraud!

Sharing information on how a particular fraud works is the best way to fight fraud! -- Thank you!

It kind of makes me wonder if everyone yanked these fraudsters chains if they would go out of business from the UPS and FedEx shipping charges? I think I would reccomend giving them a fake address to send their fraudlent check to and not include a real phone number. How about a fake name "Jer Kmearound" and the postmasters real address? :p
 
Last edited:

Latinrascalrg1

Brass
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2016
Messages
965
For those with a google account and a smartphone I would recommend looking into an app called google voice. This app gives you another phone number that is connected to your phone for free. I use this number to post to craigslist or other online needs so that my personal number is a bit more protected! Its a pretty neat app that.
 

alloy

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
990
That's why I always say: No Checks of any Kind.
I agree completely with you.

As I said earlier if it works out I'll be selling my fadal for around $8k probably on Craigslist. That's a lot of cash. I've never done a deal that large off CL before.

After hearing about bank checks here I think it's going to have to be cash.
 
Last edited:

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
7,052
When I sell stuff on Craigslist, I write in the ads:
"Cash and carry only, at my location and at time of sale. No exceptions."
I have had no trouble at all with scammers, though maybe I have been lucky...
 

mickri

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
781
I played along with one of these scams years ago. At that time there was some government agency that was trying to stop the scams. Collected all of the evidence and turned it over. Never heard what happened.

The check when you receive it will be for way more money than the sales price with a note stating that the check was made in error and please refund the balance after you cash the check. Banks say checks have cleared when they really haven't cleared yet. The scam victim sends the refund thinking the check has cleared and then their bank notifies them of the bounced check. The scam victim has two problems at this point. First they are out the money and 2nd, facing possible criminal charges for bank fraud for depositing a bogus check and then writing a check against the bogus check if they don't have sufficient other funds in their account to cover the refund check.

As many have said above cash and carry at the time of sale is the only way to sell on CL
 

JimDawson

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
8,080
A potential "buyer" for my lathe on Craigslist...

Thanks for the prompt response to my mail. I will be buying this from you, so please kindly withdraw the advert from site. My husband will overnight the payment asap but he will be paying with a Certified Check from his Bank and it will deliver to you via FEDEX, so I'll need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check... And am offering additional $70 with the original price to have this asap.

Name to be on the payment...........
Address to mail the check to.............
City, state and zip code .............
Final Asking price...................
Cell phone # to text you on ................

I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your check clear, due to my work frame and my Kids, I will not be able to come with the cash and pick it up so my husband will mail the check and have someone pick up the item after the check clear., Reference to your post am completely satisfied with it and the payment will be deliver within 48hours..God Bless

---
I assume the check goes bad at some point, but how does that work if it clears?
One of the sure tip offs is the language in the text. Not a native English speaker, in this case pretty good, but not quite normal. Also the formatting of the questions to answer, typical Nigerian scammer format. Also, anytime someone wants to pay you more than the asking price it raises red flags.

It takes a while for the check to get through the banking system, sometimes up to a couple of weeks, but the bank has to clear the check on your end within 3 working days, so there is a bit of a disconnect there.
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
I never accept checks either but I'm also a bit uncomfortable accepting cash. What if the cash is counterfeit? I do check it with one of those counterfeit pens if it's a large amount but for under a couple of hundred I don't bother.
 

matthewsx

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
832
You can always go to the buyers bank to do the transaction if it's for a large amount.
 

JimDawson

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
8,080
The one thing I forgot to add above is that the check you would receive for the ''item'' would include ''shipping charges'' that you would be requested to forward to the ''courier''. These instructions would be included with the check. This is where they get the money from the transaction.
 

Latinrascalrg1

Brass
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2016
Messages
965
I just noticed my last post didnt make it as i typed it....strange!

Anyway i went on to say that i come across the google voice app because of a craigslist scam attempt. This scam uses the google voice app by tricking a seller into giving them the confidential access code the app sends you when you Register your phone for a new number by saying this code will help protect both you and them through this "Verification" process. In reality they load the app onto their nonworking phone with your number in place. The app then texts you the private code, which btw states something to the effect of Do Not Share with anyone, and they slyly finagle that secret code out of the unsuspecting victim! With that code they then have access to a number connected through your phone, possible access to your google account along with some other things im not certain of as im not a tech savy kinda guy! Anyway by going thru signing up your number you take better control over that potential access point plus have the benefit of having both a public and a private line on one phone which helps with security as well as privacy.
 

tmenyc

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
284
banks are not obligated to accept any check if they think it's worthless. A friend got one of those scams, someone offering to pay multiples of a couch's value to have it shipped, paying a fortune for the shipping. We knew it had to be bad, and comically the check was a BoA check, and he had a BoA account, so he played along, took the check there and the manager took one look, opened a file in his internal email and showed us an identical image among many fake checks. So my friend wrote back and sold the buyer he would be pleased to make the sale for cash.
 

Cadillac

Bronze
Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
1,144
I've sold a bunch of stuff on CL you need to be on your toes and expect to get some sort of low life's and scammers you need to weed them out. Sold a utility cart once guy comes 2hrs away to pick up and when he goes to pay he pulls out a check. Told him no way luckily the bank was 2blocks away I made him write the check to himself and pay me. Turns out The guy was a farmer, he had brought literally a horse trailer that had a horse in it to pick up this cart. The check was in the farms name bla,bla. Either way I would not take it cash only! Sold a car acouple yrs ago 15k all Benjamin's that was a good day. Sold a van last month for 3k. My thing is if I don't feel comfortable "I get that/a feeling"I don't do it I'll walk right out of it, and I always have a surprise in my other pocket if they want to go that route. Buying stuff same thing be aware of what's happening and surroundings. Be careful out there seems thieves and scum have nothing productive to do?
 

Flyinfool

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
315
So far I have been having good luck putting the following disclaimer right next to my contact info on CL.

" Scammers don't bother, I know all of your tricks and I like to waste your time, you will not get anything out of me."

Since I started doing this I have not had a single scam attempt from CL.
 

Firstgear

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
570
I never accept checks either but I'm also a bit uncomfortable accepting cash. What if the cash is counterfeit? I do check it with one of those counterfeit pens if it's a large amount but for under a couple of hundred I don't bother.
I always take just cash and always bring a counterfeit pen. I always tell the buyer ahead of time that I am bringing the pen and will check each bill. That way there is no surprise for them either.....I have bought and sold cars this way.
 

Flyinfool

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
315
In all online dealings my official address is 5050 S. Lake Drive. If you look it up you will find out it is the local police station. This is where I do all transactions that are mobile enough to actually do there. I have had a buyer on my truck refuse to meet at the police station and insisted that it be in a dark empty parking lot. NOT HAPPENING.
I did check with the police before using their parking lot to be sure it was OK, and it was OK with one exception, they requested that if I am selling a firearm that I call them to let them know I will be in the parking lot with a gun, then it is OK too. The police have cameras set up so all transactions are recorded incase something goes sideways.
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,255
do you guys do internet banking and bank transfers? I find that a very secure way of paying and being paid.

If someone is paying me, when the transfer is received at my bank it will show as received, but not cleared, then when the payment is cleared it will show as cleared and that the funds are available, until that happens I cannot draw against it. very secure.

I have bought and sold all sorts of stuff on eBay and Gumtree this way, never had a problem. Also gives you a secure confirmation that you have paid.

I have also used PayPal to send payment o people both locally and overseas, never had a problem
 

Eddyde

Bronze
Registered
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
1,541
There never will be a check sent, they are getting the name, address and phone number of someone who needs money and is gullible... The real scam has yet to be delivered.
 

markba633csi

Platinum
Registered
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
4,309
The UV bill checkers are more reliable than the pens. Bleaching 1$ to make 20$ is not unheard of, or real currency paper can be obtained by crooks from foreign governments unfriendly to the US, both of these scenarios circumvent the pen
Mark
 
Top