This happened to someone I know, but she didn't fall for it because she's not stupid.
She posted for a roomate to share rent on her house, via craigslist.
She got a response from Australia. The interested party was, to all appearances, a nice
young Australian girl who was planning to move to America, and specifically to the city
where the rental property is.
They made a verbal deal and the girl agrees to send a deposit to hold the place.
A few days later a check arrives for 3100 dollars.
The property owner contacts the girl about it and says, essentially, "WTF is this for? This
is way over what we agreed on."
The girl says "Cash it and give 1800 to the moving company I'm going to use and the
other 1300 is your deposit." She provides the info for the moving company contact.
Well, this person is no dummy and knows this scam. It's a bad check, and the person
who's going to get the 1500 dollar deposit is a partner in crime.
He doesn't let on to the girl that he's wise to her right away, and just sends her an
email that says "No, you can send your own check to the mover. I'm returning this
one to you, and you can send me my deposit via WIRE TRANSFER AS ORIGINALLY
AGREED UPON OR NOT AT ALL."
She responds back, "Forget it, thanks anyway. The job I was supposed to start just
got given to someone else anyway so I'm not coming."
Watch out for this scam. Most of you know the concept...a check sent to you that
requires you to send out any money of your own. If this keeps ONE of you from
falling for this stunt, it was worth posting.