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Posted: 12/23/2003 10:37:07 AM EDT
About a month ago, we decided to sell one of our cars, so I run over to the autotrader.com website, fill out the form, and away we go.

About a week later, I get an email from someone that wants to purchase the car.

Ok, no problem, so I give him my number (just in case he didn't see it in the ad) and fill in a few details about the car (milage, etc...).

The next day, he emails back yes, he wants the car, sight unseen - for his client.  Oh, and he'll pay full asking for it.  First red flag goes up in my mind.  I keep hearing "If it sounds to good to be true..."

But, since I have the car and title, and he's not getting them until I get the $$, it's no skin off my nose to go along.

After about a week, he's emailing that because of a deal on another car that fell through, he will send me a check, when he gets it from the settlement on this other deal.  No big deal, I can wait - But I tell him, since he appears to be purchasing it for a client that is not in the US, that I need it to be a cashiers check drawn on a bank that my bank "knows" - like a US bank.

He writes back saying a cashiers check is not a problem, the thing is, the check he will be sending will be for nearly twice the asking price of the car, and that I am to send the difference to the "shipping" company once I receive and cash the check.  Red Flag #2.

(By now, I know you all can see where this is going )

This last week the the guy (I assume) calls 3 times, telling me that the check will arrive Monday, and asking if the car is in excellent condition (which I tell him the truth, it is, except for a small crack in the windshield) - and he wants to make sure that I send the balance to the shipper when I cash the check. Red Flag #3

So Monday morning, after he calls, I go do some work, come home and sure enough, there's a FedEx envelop in the door.

I open it and there's a $9300.00 check in it - it looks legit, drawn on "Capital Bank & Trust" in Nashville, TN.  It's even got "Cashier's Check" printed on it.  It really looks like the real deal (I'll try to post a pic later today)

But my mind has been thinking about this for a couple weeks now, we can't afford to have a bogus check deposited in our account.  Especially if part of it is going to be "refunded".

So I call my bank, and ask if they can verify the validity of the check - they can't, but I can call the originating bank and they, by law, should have a log of it.

Look on the Internet for Capital Bank & Trust - sure enough there is one, find the phone # and call.  The guy checks the check number - it's a forgery.

Yup, just goes to show, once again, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.  Fortunately, I've been screwed around with enough and been around enough financial people, and had enough devious thoughts myself, that I was prepared for this.  I really feel sorry for the old folks that would get caught up in something like this.

The question now is, who can I turn this over to?  I have a bunch of evidence here, including an international waybill with a shippers name and address on it (including a company name) that I'd like to think someone might find useful.

Anyway, that's my latest 'excitement'
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 10:43:22 AM EDT
That's whack man, friggen foreigners [:)]... I'm surprised you haven't heard about this though, it's the latest "craze".  Glad you didn't fall for it.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 10:44:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jhasz:
About a month ago, we decided to sell one of our cars, so I run over to the autotrader.com website, fill out the form, and away we go.

About a week later, I get an email from someone that wants to purchase the car.

Ok, no problem, so I give him my number (just in case he didn't see it in the ad) and fill in a few details about the car (milage, etc...).

The next day, he emails back yes, he wants the car, sight unseen - for his client.  Oh, and he'll pay full asking for it.  First red flag goes up in my mind.  I keep hearing "If it sounds to good to be true..."

But, since I have the car and title, and he's not getting them until I get the $$, it's no skin off my nose to go along.

After about a week, he's emailing that because of a deal on another car that fell through, he will send me a check, when he gets it from the settlement on this other deal.  No big deal, I can wait - But I tell him, since he appears to be purchasing it for a client that is not in the US, that I need it to be a cashiers check drawn on a bank that my bank "knows" - like a US bank.

He writes back saying a cashiers check is not a problem, the thing is, the check he will be sending will be for nearly twice the asking price of the car, and that I am to send the difference to the "shipping" company once I receive and cash the check.  Red Flag #2.

(By now, I know you all can see where this is going [:)])

This last week the the guy (I assume) calls 3 times, telling me that the check will arrive Monday, and asking if the car is in excellent condition (which I tell him the truth, it is, except for a small crack in the windshield) - and he wants to make sure that I send the balance to the shipper when I cash the check. Red Flag #3

So Monday morning, after he calls, I go do some work, come home and sure enough, there's a FedEx envelop in the door.

I open it and there's a $9300.00 check in it - it looks legit, drawn on "Capital Bank & Trust" in Nashville, TN.  It's even got "Cashier's Check" printed on it.  It really looks like the real deal (I'll try to post a pic later today)

But my mind has been thinking about this for a couple weeks now, we can't afford to have a bogus check deposited in our account.  Especially if part of it is going to be "refunded".

So I call my bank, and ask if they can verify the validity of the check - they can't, but I can call the originating bank and they, by law, should have a log of it.

Look on the Internet for Capital Bank & Trust - sure enough there is one, find the phone # and call.  The guy checks the check number - it's a forgery.

Yup, just goes to show, once again, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.  Fortunately, I've been screwed around with enough and been around enough financial people, and had enough devious thoughts myself, that I was prepared for this.  I really feel sorry for the old folks that would get caught up in something like this.

The question now is, who can I turn this over to?  I have a bunch of evidence here, including an international waybill with a shippers name and address on it (including a company name) that I'd like to think someone might find useful.

Anyway, that's my latest 'excitement'
View Quote



Just got off the phone with my dad(hes a banker) he says to turn it, and everything elses related to it, over to the local PD or to call and ask them and they can tell you who would handle that.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 10:44:51 AM EDT
Hmmm, seems like an interstate/international fraud. I would give it to your local FBI dept. Others may have a better idea if another agency is better suited to this.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 10:48:37 AM EDT
Call the Federal Reserve and Secret service.  You never know who these characters are and with whom they are affiliated.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:12:41 AM EDT
Well, I'm going to call the local law enforcement in a few minutes, but I tend to think that someone on the Federal level would be the people to investigate this.

Thanks for the suggestions.

No, I hadn't heard of this variation - i've gotten the "need to get money out of the country" email so many times, I stopped counting.  I now have SpamAssassin on my mail server, and that eliminates them before I get them.

But it tends to lend a bit more credibility (I would think) to offer to purchase something from someone.  It is an interesting twist - as someone, less aware, could easily get sucked in on this.

If any TLA decides they will run with it, I'll keep the gang posted.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:26:11 AM EDT
I just recently heard about this variation.  It seems to be common to lots of big ticket purchases.  I got burned on a much smaller "cashier's check" once, so I make sure [b]everything[/b] clears before I send merchandise.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:28:19 AM EDT
The part unsaid is that if you would have deposited it or any other refund/gift/type check, the cancelled document is returned to the originator with all your account info stamped on it. Never deposit a freebe into your account.

rk
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:31:01 AM EDT
People have been scammed the way you describe and by going through phoney brokers that are supposed to be bonded, and if you check them , they are, but they fold and move after each person they rip.

Interpol has knowledge of them, so does the FBI, but not much is being done due to the complexities of laws here and abroad.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:35:47 AM EDT
99.9% of the responses I got off of my autotrader ad were this scam.  Autotrader could care less too!

F'em!
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:56:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By axl:
The part unsaid is that if you would have deposited it or any other refund/gift/type check, the cancelled document is returned to the originator with all your account info stamped on it. Never deposit a freebe into your account.

rk
View Quote

Well, in this case, the "check" would have been sent to the bank in TN as the normal course of business, and they would have bounced it back to my bank, who would have then looked to me to make up the deficiency in funds.  Once I had mad good on the funds, they would have turned the bad check over to me so I could collect from the issuer.

Even if the check had been honored, it would have returned to the account holder, which in this case would have been the bank in TN, so the perpetrator would not have my account info.

The only way they could have gotten my account info is if they were the account holder, and they had enough funds in their account to clear the check.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:59:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2003 12:00:27 PM EDT by jhasz]
Originally Posted By RED_5:
99.9% of the responses I got off of my autotrader ad were this scam.  Autotrader could care less too!

F'em!
View Quote


Interesting, so far this is the only response I've gotten from our ad.

But I've gone to the FBI's web site ([url]www.ifccfbi.gov[/url]), and filed a complaint - so we'll see where it goes.

I hope they don't wait 6 months to follow up on it, as I've got the stuff now, and it could be a good chance to run down some "evidence".
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 12:04:09 PM EDT
I was getting 10 these bogus offers a week on an old 92 mazda I was selling for $3 grand.

After the first One I knew they were scams so I started playing their game.

When asked what condition the car was in and what would I take for it I would reply that it was totaled and needed an engine and I would jack up the price from $3 grand to $13 grand and sure enough the next day they would agree  to the $13 grand.

My next email to them was always a F*&K You.

I got maybe 4 real calls on the car and probably 30+ scams.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 12:28:13 PM EDT


 We should have some ways to get these puckers.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 12:42:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mojo:


 We should have some ways to get these puckers.
View Quote


It would be nice.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:46:44 PM EDT
Congratulations -- good work!  

A chat with an someone at your bank or the Nashville bank might be a good source for how to proceed to try to bust those #$*!@$#'s. FBI or Secret Service sounds more plausible than local LE to me, but don't be surprised if you don't really hear anything. They've got a surprising number of cases where people WERE NOT AS SMART AS YOU and actually lost money. Don't be ticked off they they devote time to actual victims rather than an attempted victim.

Oddly enough, people REALLY DO fall for these scams. Here's a link to a story about a guy who lost pretty much his life savings to the classic Nigerean scam:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/florida/orl-asecnigerian23122303dec23,0,4096704.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

If nothing else, you have a great story (especially since you can tell it without being embarassed.) You can do a great public service by posting your story on the internet where people can learn from what you did (and did well!) and avoid getting screwed.

Oh, wait, you just did that .

If you don't have any outstanding warrents, bad debts, or creepy relatives, you might even call your favorite local TV news. I think they get a kick out of doing stories like this. Might want to consider being anonymous, though.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:18:44 PM EDT
email the guy back and angrily state that you don't want to be dicked around. that you were expecting his check monday and it never showed up. tell him you now have another possible buyer lined up that is willing to pay $1000 more. tell him that you never received his check and if he still wants to buy the car it will cost an additional $2000 to hold it and keep from selling it to this other guy. see how long you can string him on, and how many checks you can get from him. every time he sends something by fedex it costs him money. as a plus you get a couple counterfeit checks to hang on the "wall of stupidity".
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:28:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2003 8:21:13 PM EDT by Lastbscout]
I had the same experience about 18 months ago through cycletrader.com.

I informed the website that their ads were being used to target people for the 419 scam.

The federal investigative authority over the 411 scam is the Secret Service.  Unfortunately due to the volume of people running the scam they can only investigate if "significant harm" occurred.

In other words,  unless you were stupid enough to embezzle 400K from a business and send it off to Nigeria...your experience will be filed and forgotten.

Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:45:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2003 3:49:01 PM EDT by Cazador223]
you said it was sent fedex, where was the check sent from, if it was within the U.S. try to have the guy meet you (really the cops acting as you) in person.
[url]www.quatloos.com/nigerian419forum.htm[/url]
click: nigerian 4-1-9 forum the go down to the the: I caught one post.
Good luck

Tom
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:26:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kooter:
email the guy back and angrily state that you don't want to be dicked around. that you were expecting his check monday and it never showed up. tell him you now have another possible buyer lined up that is willing to pay $1000 more. tell him that you never received his check and if he still wants to buy the car it will cost an additional $2000 to hold it and keep from selling it to this other guy. see how long you can string him on, and how many checks you can get from him. every time he sends something by fedex it costs him money. as a plus you get a couple counterfeit checks to hang on the "wall of stupidity".
View Quote


Dang, Kooter, I wish I'd thought of that - I coulda kept the guy going until the feds caught up with him (if they ever do)
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:30:48 PM EDT
Cazador223, it would be nice, but it's actually from [drum roll] Nigeria !

Ah well, as someone else suggested, I may simply call one of the TV stations here (actually my wife beat you to the suggestion) and let them have the story ...

Lesse - "How this Unemployed computer programmer foiled a scam artist - film at eleven"

Couldn't hurt my chances for employment, either [;)] Talk about exposure!
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:36:46 PM EDT
LOL. My boss had the same exact thing happen to him on autotrader, only he went through with the whole thing, even after all I and all my co-workers told him not to. Short version of story, he lives in a small town, and his bank decided to cover it, because he asked a manager if there was any way it could be a scam, and the manager said no, that the check was legit. I wonder if that manager still has a job?
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:49:06 PM EDT
CNN just ran an almost a verbatim story as you describe here, even down to the amount of the check.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 8:08:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jhasz:
About a month ago, we decided to sell one of our cars, so I run over to the autotrader.com website, fill out the form, and away we go.

About a week later, I get an email from someone that wants to purchase the car.

Ok, no problem, so I give him my number (just in case he didn't see it in the ad) and fill in a few details about the car (milage, etc...).

The next day, he emails back yes, he wants the car, sight unseen - for his client.  Oh, and he'll pay full asking for it.  First red flag goes up in my mind.  I keep hearing "If it sounds to good to be true..."

But, since I have the car and title, and he's not getting them until I get the $$, it's no skin off my nose to go along.

After about a week, he's emailing that because of a deal on another car that fell through, he will send me a check, when he gets it from the settlement on this other deal.  No big deal, I can wait - But I tell him, since he appears to be purchasing it for a client that is not in the US, that I need it to be a cashiers check drawn on a bank that my bank "knows" - like a US bank.

He writes back saying a cashiers check is not a problem, the thing is, the check he will be sending will be for nearly twice the asking price of the car, and that I am to send the difference to the "shipping" company once I receive and cash the check.  Red Flag #2.

(By now, I know you all can see where this is going [:)])

This last week the the guy (I assume) calls 3 times, telling me that the check will arrive Monday, and asking if the car is in excellent condition (which I tell him the truth, it is, except for a small crack in the windshield) - and he wants to make sure that I send the balance to the shipper when I cash the check. Red Flag #3

So Monday morning, after he calls, I go do some work, come home and sure enough, there's a FedEx envelop in the door.

I open it and there's a $9300.00 check in it - it looks legit, drawn on "Capital Bank & Trust" in Nashville, TN.  It's even got "Cashier's Check" printed on it.  It really looks like the real deal (I'll try to post a pic later today)

But my mind has been thinking about this for a couple weeks now, we can't afford to have a bogus check deposited in our account.  Especially if part of it is going to be "refunded".

So I call my bank, and ask if they can verify the validity of the check - they can't, but I can call the originating bank and they, by law, should have a log of it.

Look on the Internet for Capital Bank & Trust - sure enough there is one, find the phone # and call.  The guy checks the check number - it's a forgery.

Yup, just goes to show, once again, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.  Fortunately, I've been screwed around with enough and been around enough financial people, and had enough devious thoughts myself, that I was prepared for this.  I really feel sorry for the old folks that would get caught up in something like this.

The question now is, who can I turn this over to?  I have a bunch of evidence here, including an international waybill with a shippers name and address on it (including a company name) that I'd like to think someone might find useful.

Anyway, that's my latest 'excitement'
View Quote


Turn it over to the Secret Service, they have an operation going on against "Nigerian- type" bank/ check scams. Let them see the check and if possible the emails/ communications between you two.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 11:15:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:47:53 AM EDT
yeah, I will post a pic of the check in the morning - got to go out to the office to use the scanner.

It's got the banks correct logo on it and everything ... it's amazing what you can do with a computer and a laser printer these days [:)]

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:22:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RED_5:
99.9% of the responses I got off of my autotrader ad were this scam.  Autotrader could care less too!

F'em!
View Quote


I listed a car on autobytel.com and got the same bull$hit scam response, not once, but twice!
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