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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

**I almost got screwed. Watch out **
Mike Burley, Student/Intern
Ventura | CA | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 04.03.04
->> There seems to always be a new Internet scheme out there to screw you over if you aren't careful. Even if you are a level headed person...

OK. Where do I start.
I advertised my EOS 3 with PB-E1 on this site and on photo.net for $699 (I know I will never get that much). I advertised for weeks and got no bites.....UNTIL.....a guy from Africa wanted to buy it for not only full price, but more than full price. Obvious red flag right? I know, but I had no other offers for 699 and I wanted to get my money back so I thought of how I could get screwed by this. I couldn't really think of a way, as long as his check cleared....right. He wanted me to cash a check of 3,400.12 USD. A nice round number, and send him the rest in good faith.

Well...his email will explain everything:

Quote-
HI,

THANKS A LOT .I'M CURRENTLY IN WEST AFRICA AND FOR PAYMENT WILL YOU PREFER A CASHIER'S CHECK? I COULD INSTRUCT A CLIENT OF MINE IN THE STATES WHO OWES TO ISSUE YOU A CASHIER'S CHECK MORE THAN THE ASKING PRICE ON MY BEHALF, THEN YOU CASH THE CHECK & DEDUCT YOURS, $799.THE BALANCE WILL BE MEANT FOR SHIPPING,TAXES,INSURANCE AND OTHERS,I AM PLEASED WITH THE INFORMATION YOU GAVE. THEREFORE LET ME HAVE YOUR FULL NAME, ADDRESS &PHONE#[CELL& LAND].IF THIS IS CLEAR TO YOU,THEN GIVE ME A GO-AHEAD INORDER TO HAVE HIM SEND THE CHECK ASAP. HOPE TO HEAR
FROM YOU SOON.

MY REGARDS
john bennick



So....three or four weeks later I got a check for 3400.12 in a brown envelope with no return address. The check is a M/O from US bank in Baltimore, which matches the postmark.

So I'm about ready to cash the check, with the intentions of telling the bank about all the weird circumstances that followed, when my girlfriend tells me that she heard on the news that this has happened in other states. Again, from African buyers on ebay, that want to pay more than the item is worth, and have the balance returned. It seems that the checks are forged, and it will go through, but will bounce.....After you send the balance, leaving you SOL. Your check is good, but theirs was bad.

I asked the buyer why the hell he couldn't just send me the whole amount and he emailed me back with some confusing sob story of his dad being in the hospital....

So what the hell?!!!

Just watch out.... I am going to take the check to the bank on Mon. to tell them the story so they can deal with the FBI or whatever.

Has anyone heard of this of had anything like this happen?
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jason Peterson, Photographer
Hanson | MA | USA | Posted: 10:05 PM on 04.03.04
->> Mike, do a quick search for scam on these message boards and you'll turn up a number of posts on just this subject. I think there have been at least 3 in the last few weeks.

You said:

"Obvious red flag right? I know"

If you ever get that feeling again, trust it. Anything that seems to good to be true, probably is.

Glad you didn't get burned.

Cheers,

Jason
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Jon Blacker, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 10:07 PM on 04.03.04
->> Mike,

Here are a couple of the more recent threads on this:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=8576
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=8338
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:11 PM on 04.03.04
->> I just got a similar email but when I wrote back that "payment is to be in US dollars ONLY for not one cent more than the asking price"....well would't you know it they never wrote back.
guess they knew I knew all about their little scheme.

Debbie
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Rick Burnham, Photographer
Enfield | CT | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 04.03.04
->> Got nearly the same email last week for a lens I am selling. Had an intial email asking if the lens was still for sale then received the nearly indentical follow up. I email him back telling him I only sold to US residents and preferred SS members.

Never got another email.
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Brad Penner, Photographer
Matawan | NJ | USA | Posted: 11:25 PM on 04.03.04
->> It pays to read the message boards...

-b.
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Jamie Hickey, Student/Intern, Photographer
Calgary | AB | Canada | Posted: 11:38 PM on 04.03.04
->> My personal favorite was a twist on the Iranian scam I got a few days ago. Apparently it was from the last daughter of the leader of some random country who is being hunted by Iranian nationals. The rest of her family has already been killed but her dad hid 9000USD in a box in Thailand or Taiwan or some such place. 23% for me, 2% for the attorney and 75% for her...

Uh yeah, because signing unmarked boxes out of random places in Thailand is a great plan... :-D You don't even have to see the movie Brokedown Palace to figure that one out :)
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D. Ross Cameron, Photographer
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 6:36 AM on 04.04.04
->> Is there anybody out there who is still falling for these scams? "Uh, yes, I have $87 million that I'd like to share with you because you happen to have the same surname as my dead client." I mean... *really*!
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Andrew Phelps, Photographer, Student/Intern
Vista (San Diego) | CA | USA | Posted: 6:52 AM on 04.04.04
->> This is nothing new. I get about three of these per day, for the past 3 years or so. If you don't know the person, ignore it.
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Andrew Phelps, Photographer, Student/Intern
Vista (San Diego) | CA | USA | Posted: 6:54 AM on 04.04.04
->> Mike,

I misread your post and I apologize. I thought you were referring to those international-money-transfer scams.
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Marcy Sutton, Photographer, Student/Intern
Ventura | CA | United States | Posted: 6:04 PM on 04.04.04
->> Yo Mike-
Spams are inevitable! At least you didn't do anything brash. I don't know if the email you posted is in its original form, but if so, then the ALLCAPS are a dead giveaway! I have also gotten the "help needed" letter from so-called African leaders asking for aid for a certain family member, and they go immediately to my trash bin.
Ebay is a pain in the arse as well; I recently bidded on a Canon 70-200 and I was bombarded with spoof emails. It really bugs me how people can send so many emails without anyone stopping them! I just bought the lens at a store and ended my internet search.
These situations just serve to remind us to make smart moves and keep our brains turned on!
Lata...

Marcy
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Colin Corneau, Photographer
Brandon | MB | Canada | Posted: 7:26 PM on 04.04.04
->> Is it just me, or would any politician who vowed to shut down spammers and greatly increase punishment for Internet fraud be a runaway vote machine???
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JC Ridley, Photographer
Davie | FL | USA | Posted: 8:02 PM on 04.04.04
->> The last few times I have sold something big-ticket and/or photo-related on eBay I made it clear I would ship to the US or CANADA ONLY. As for this site I would only sell to another SS member.
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Bill Anderson, Photographer, Assistant
Harrisburg | PA | usa | Posted: 9:53 PM on 04.04.04
->> It's called money laundering.
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John Zsiray, Student/Intern, Photographer
Logan | Ut | USA | Posted: 12:09 AM on 04.05.04
->> Fresh from the BBC, a Nigerian man has been jailed for e-mail scams.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_west/3594043.stm
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 2:07 AM on 04.05.04
->> Hey Mike:

Did his letter sound anything like this:

I'M JUST GETTING INTO OFFICE NOW.THE CHECK GOT DELIVERED VIA US POSTAL MAIL ACCORDING TO MY CLIENT[MAHONEY W.JAMES].THEREFORE DEDUCT YOURS[$995] + U.S.P.S SHIPPING COST & MAKE SURE YOU REMIT MY BALANCE TO ME VIA WESTERN UNION TRANSFER TOMORROW . I'LL BE NEEDING MY BALANCE TO SETTLE MY FATHER'S HOSPITAL BILLS FOR HIS STROKE OPERATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.HERE'S MY SECRETARY'S DETAILS FOR YOU TO SHIP [U.S.P.S] AND WIRE MY BALANCE VIA WESTERN UNION TRANSFER ,BECAUSE I 'LL NOT BE AVALIABLE TO RECIEVE THE FUNDS MYSELF DUE TO MY FATHER'S CRITICAL CONDITION ,I INTEND TO FLY HIM OUT TO SOUTH AFRICA PROBABLY BEFORE SUNDAY NIGHT,IN-ADDITION I 'LL BE VERY BUSY ARRANGING HIS TRAVELLING PAPERS. SECRETARY'S DETAILS;

MATTHEW OLAIYA
201,HILTON FEDERAL WAY
TRANSMADI PORT-HARCOUT
NIGERIA
TEL:234-1-4974759

WESTERN UNION TRANSFER TRANSACTION WILL ATTRACT CHARGES FOR SENDING , YOU CAN HAVE IT DEDUCTED FROM MY BALANCE & SEND THE REST.BELOW IS A STORE THAT DOES IT VERY CLOSE TO YOUR END [I WAS GIVEN WHEN I VISITED WESTERN UNION OUTLET CLOSE TO MINE OFFICE HERE THIS MORNING];

Right . . .

Got a similar check (almost the exact amount as you-- $3400.11) in a plain brown envelope mailed from Baltimore, no return address. Check drawn on a bank in Tennessee.

Figure'd I'd drop it at the PD tomorrow and let them figure out what to do with it.
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Marcy Sutton, Photographer, Student/Intern
Ventura | CA | United States | Posted: 3:22 AM on 04.05.04
->> Again, it's the allcaps! I think that is funny...Do these people have sticky caps-lock keys or what?
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Mike Burley, Student/Intern
Ventura | CA | USA | Posted: 4:11 AM on 04.05.04
->> Heres my email that I got.....SAME NAME!!!

HI MIKE,
I'M JUST GETTING INTO OFFICE NOW.SORRY !!YOU SHOULD RECIEVE THE CHECK TOMORROW VIA US POSTAL MAIL ACCORDING TO MY CLIENT[MAHONEY W.JAMES].THEREFORE DEDUCT YOURS [$799] + U.S.P.S SHIPPING COST & MAKE SURE YOU REMIT MY BALANCE TO ME VIA WESTERN UNION TRANSFER TOMORROW . I'LL BE NEEDING MY BALANCE TO SETTLE MY FATHER'S HOSPITAL BILLS FOR HIS STROKE OPERATION IN SOUTH AFRICA.HERE'S MY SECRETARY'S DETAILS FOR YOU TO SHIP [U.S.P.S] AND WIRE MY BALANCE VIA WESTERN UNION TRANSFER ,BECAUSE I 'LL NOT BE AVALIABLE TO RECIEVE THE FUNDS MYSELF DUE TO MY FATHER'S CRITICAL CONDITION ,I INTEND TO FLY HIM OUT TO SOUTH AFRICA PROBABLY BEFORE SUNDAY NIGHT,IN-ADDITION I 'LL BE VERY BUSY ARRANGING HIS TRAVELLING PAPERS. SECRETARY'S DETAILS;

MATTHEW OLAIYA
201,HILTON FEDERAL WAY
TRANSMADI PORT-HARCOUT
NIGERIA
TEL:234-1-4974759

WESTERN UNION TRANSFER TRANSACTION WILL ATTRACT CHARGES FOR SENDING , YOU CAN HAVE IT DEDUCTED FROM MY BALANCE & SEND THE REST.BELOW IS A STORE THAT DOES IT VERY CLOSE TO YOUR END [I WAS GIVEN WHEN I VISITED WESTERN UNION OUTLET CLOSE TO MINE OFFICE HERE THIS MORNING];

URGENT MONEY #141
5722 TELEPHONE RD STE C13
VENTURA, CA 93003


ONCE THE FUNDS IS SENT THESE ARE THE FOLLOWING DETAILS YOU 'LL HAVE TO MAIL TO ME INORDER TO HAVE MY SECRETARY PICK-UP THE FUNDS;

*CONTROL # [MTCN]

*SENDER'S FULL NAME & ADDRESS

*TEST QUESTION? AND ANSWER!

*TOTAL AMOUNT SENT AFTER DEDUCTING MONEYGRAM SENDING FEE.



MY REGARDS
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Carlos Salcedo, Photographer
Gilbert | AZ | US | Posted: 4:46 PM on 04.05.04
->> I could not help myself when I received this guys check...If you want to see the check you can click on the hidden gallery I created so that you know what to look for...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/csalcedo/scam/

There is more information about these fake checks at this FDIC site...

http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2004/sa2204.html

I also sent him an email that may be a little different from the ones he probably gets...

"My dear sir,

I received the cashier's check today. I did not realize that you were going to make the check for such a large amount ($3,400.11) since the item you were going to purchase was only $300.

After I cashed the check I decided that I will NOT be sending you the balance for the amount. As a matter of fact I will not be shipping the item that you purchased either. Instead I will use the money to buy myself a very nice expensive camera and maybe hire a stripper to dance for me.

I will like to thank you for your generosity and if ever want to do business again, please don't hesitate to send me another cashier's check.

My regards,

Carlos"

I sure hope I get some sort of response...
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Thread Title: **I almost got screwed. Watch out **
Thread Started By: Mike Burley
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