Home > Features > Stopping a Scammer • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

FEATURE

Stopping a Scammer

Stopping a Scammer

December 18, 2007
Text size: 
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  39.66%
Yes, but in a few years
  36.87%
No
  23.46%
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
They say there’s a sucker born every minute, and while that may be true, you don’t want it to be you – so today I’m going to tell you a story about a scammer that set his sights on me this week – a story that will hopefully be a good example for you.

Like a lot of pack rats, I tend to collect things – all sorts of things – things that I’m trying to minimize wherever possible in an effort to reduce the unproductive clutter in my life…

Much of this unwanted material can be characterized as “toys I no longer play with” – a very broad category that includes everything from websites I’ve closed or that I am in the process of closing; to my gold mine; and to some of the vehicles I own, and beyond.

As part of this process, I signed up for an account at craigslist.com over the weekend and placed an ad for my mighty Mopar, with the hopes of finding a good home for this classic 1970 muscle car.

While craigslist is very good about warning users not to engage in transactions that can involve fraudulent “certified checks or money orders” or shipping of items, and advises users to stick to local transactions, I was willing to use a little careful leeway on this, due to the nature of the sale. After all, I bought the car on eBay in 2002, even though it was three states and a pretty long drive away – these cars are increasingly few and far between.

I would have put it on eBay, but craigslist is free and I was curious as to the response I would get, having never used – or even visited – the site before. Although it was midnight when the ad went live, I had three responses when I checked my email the following morning.

One of the replies was from an eager fellow in New Jersey who wanted to purchase the vehicle right away. “Cool, that was easy,” I thought to myself.

While I had specified that this was to be a cash-only transaction, I realized the distance between us and the time of year would make a bank draft and a transport truck at least reasonable if not the most ideal way to proceed.

Still, I was cautious, as even though “certified” checks are supposed to be just that, “certified,” my bank informed me that counterfeits were indeed a problem and that even though the check may initially clear, they could come back to retrieve the funds several weeks after the fact, in the event there was a problem.

This made me uncomfortable, but countless legitimate transactions have occurred this way, so I tried to think positively about the deal, and instructed the buyer to send me a check for the actual dollar amount. He was to arrange and pay for shipping.

Then the big red flag went up.

I received an email from him stating that he had mailed a certified check to me to cover not only the cost of the vehicle, but the shipping fee as well; and that I was to deduct the car cost for myself and then pay the shipping agent his fee when he showed up to collect the vehicle. He then asked me to delete the for-sale ad and to call him when I had cashed the check, so that he could send the transport guy.

I had specified the exact amount that he should make the check out for because I wanted to avoid this “I pay you then you pay him” bullshit, and figured that if he did go ahead and send me more, that there was a problem.

This is the scam: I’ll pay you over and above; you pay the difference to someone else…

If I went through with this deal, the bank would have come to me weeks later, demanding the money back, and I would have not only had my car stolen – but I would have paid the thief a thousand dollars or more to drive the damn thing away!

The possibility made me so uncomfortable, that I canceled the deal.

There is no legitimate reason for him to expect me to pay the shipping agent (which he arranged for). I’m not new to vehicle shipments: the carrier typically charges you before he goes to pick up your vehicle – not when he gets it, or when he delivers it.

I emailed the "buyer" and told him that I wouldn’t complete this transaction or cash his check; and told him that I would mail it back to him if he sent me his return address.

I never heard back from him – verifying that this was indeed a scam.

Hopefully, this will serve as a warning to some of you not to be too trusting with the folks you deal with online. Now I’m off to send his “check” and contact info to the authorities.


LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »

Fraudulent Brazilian Trademark Registrations Running Rampant

Although you might not think often about protecting your trademark rights in Brazil, you need to — even if you don’t yet have a single Brazilian customer. Scammers are constantly looking for... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!