Friday, November 21, 2008

The Return of Titus Henry

This morning I opened up my e-mail and was surprised to see an e-mail from my dear friend Titus...

I will arrange with a shipping company to pick it up from your house after you have receive your payment.


I guess he's a slow learner. I won't post here what I replied to him because it was not very polite.

However, I will answer a question that I was asked in the comments section. How is this a scam and how does it benefit them.

If you sell something on Craig's list you will, inevitably, be contacted by a string of scammers. Usually the bigger ticket the item the more scammers. When I sold Jake's jeep we had at least 2 per day. With the treadmill Titus has been my only friend thus far.

Basically what they do is offer to send you a money order. Then they tell you that they need to have the item shipped to their house. They would like you to receive the money order, cash it, and then send the balance to their "shipping company."

This is where the scam comes in. The money orders are fake. Sometimes you will get to the bank and they will tell you right away that it is counterfeit. But sometimes, if you are unlucky, you will get there and they will tell you they are depositing the money into your account. (The money orders are for banks that would not be in your town so you couldn't just go there and cash it)

So let's say your bank doesn't recognize it as being counterfeit. You deposit it into your account and then make a withdrawal for $300. You send that $300 for the "shipping fee" to this company. 10 - 15 days later you notice that the amount of the money order has been withdrawn from your account. At this point you are SOL. The money order was fake and so you are responsible to give the money back to the bank and try to find this person to get reimbursed. (Good luck with that)

In the mean time you are also out the $300 that you sent to that "shipping company" which 99% of the time, luckily, has not showed up to get your stuff. I haven't heard of anyone actually loosing the "shipping" money and their item but you are usually out the shipping money plus any fees you get assessed from the bank for the bad money order or any checks you wrote assuming that money was in your account.

Hopefully that helps and will make sure none of you fall victim to this REALLY popular scam.


Aunt Becky said...

My friend got contacted by some spammers like this when she tried to sell her wedding dress on there.

She was smart enough to see through it.

Lauren said...

Good information. Didn't know it worked like that. I don't sell things, so I'm uneducated!