A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I got scammed in Craigslist!

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Guys, I got scammed on Craigslist! Don't worry, I did not lose any money because the scam didn't go completely through. I got my head out of the sand and realized something was wrong...

I was selling a lamp on Craigslist. No one emailed or texted me about it until like two weeks after I posted it. I got a text message. This is what it said:

Then I gave him my address, which I removed for blogging purposes and the conversation continued...

So obviously this guy's story seemed weird, but I was multitasking when we were texting and I was just thinking, fine, yeah, send a check and then have your mover pick it up. I wasn't really focused when I was texting this guy.

I didn't hear anything for several days. In fact, I forgot about it. Then I got this text:

Weirdo. Oh well. I just figured I'd wait and see what happened. And again, I forgot about it...

Until about a week later when I was doing a deck of cards workout in my driveway and the mailman delivered a big priority mail envelope. I wondered what it could be. Then I remembered the check for the lamp. I bet that's what it was!

I continued my workout and decided I'd open the envelope when I was done. But then I got this text:

Yeah, right. I'm not doing jack shit. This was weird. After my workout, I opened the envelope. The check was for $938!!! What the freak!? This was fishy. THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GOING TO CASH THAT CHECK, DON'T WORRY.

I googled the return address on the envelope. It was a warehouse in Michigan.

I googled the address on the check. When I did street view, it was a truck loading dock in Houston. It was labeled as "Zesty Corporation", which when I googled it, it took me to this website and description.

I googled the name of the bank on the check.. "East West Bank". It took me to this website. The address took me to an empty building with a for sale sign.

Wow, someone, or someones, were working very hard to scam me, and probably lots of other people!

Later that night, I got this text:

Creepy! I did not respond to any text messages after I got the check for $938. I knew it was a scam but I didn't understand what the scam was going to be. The person didn't ask for my bank information or credit card number... they wanted me to cash a check. So of course I had to google "craigslist scams" and did some reading. I learned what type of scam this person was trying on me.

"The most common cashier’s check scam goes something like this: A "buyer" wants to purchase a product and will use a cashier’s check. For whatever reason, the buyer has a check issued for an amount in excess of the purchase price. Still, the buyer wants the seller to "just go ahead" and deposit the check. Finally, the buyer requests that the seller return the excess money, typically in cash, by wire transfer, or via Western Union. The return payment might go directly back to the buyer or to a third party.
Note the key elements:
  1. The buyer uses a cashier’s check or money order. They explain that this is their only option for payment.
  2. The seller or recipient gets a check for more than they asked for.
  3. The seller is supposed to send the extra money back to the buyer or to a “helper.”
If you’re faced with a situation that looks anything like this, you’re almost certainly dealing with a thief.
Timing is essential: Don’t send any money or merchandise until you are 100 percent certain that the paying bank has actually sent the funds. This is often referred to as the time when the check “clears,” but that term can be confusing—even for bank employees.
Funds from a cashier’s check will be available to you for withdrawal within one business day, but that doesn’t mean that the funds actually exist or that they moved to your bank. That process can take several business days or longer. The less you know about your buyer, the longer you should wait.
How cashier’s checks bounce: These scams work because everybody believes that cashier’s checks are safe. If the bank lets you take cash, the check must be good, right? Unfortunately, your bank assumes that the check will be good, but the responsibility for the deposit is ultimately yours.
If you use that money (to send it to a “shipper,” for example), you may have to replace the funds. Once your bank finds out that the check is bogus, the deposit will be reversed—which could leave you with a negative account balance. With an empty bank account, you’ll end up bouncing checks and missing other important payments. What’s more, victims of these scams can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars."

After I realized I was nearly scammed, I reported the incident to Craigslist, the PA Attorney General, and the US Post Office.

Geeze. All this to sell a freaking lamp!!!
$40 obo!!!
Did you ever get SCAMMED?


  1. I haven't used Craigslist at all, and of course I've gotten those Nigerian prince emails, and phishing emails. It's so easy to spot those since the grammer's all wrong. I even got a text the week before Alaska saying it was Wells Fargo and my debit card had been frozen, and I needed to call the number they listed. I don't bank with Wells Fargo, so nice try.

    1. Ooh the Wells Fargo thing is scary. I have sold things on Craigslist before and even found a handyman on there. This was the first time something went wrong!

  2. I remember you posting on FB about this! I haven't used Craig's List in years, but I remember getting weird messages like this all the time before when I would sell things on it. I wonder how many people fall for scams like this? I mean getting sent $900 over the asking price has to set off red flags for most people right? I could see if they sent $75 or even $100, maybe someone would fall for the scam, but $900 over?!?!? Surely no one is falling for that in 2018?!

    1. EXACTLY. But there may be little old ladies out there that fall for it...

  3. Oh my, you gotta be so careful these days... but yeah, buying a lamp with a cashier's check sounds odd in the first place.

    I haven't been scammed this way, but I've had my debit card number stolen before and it was used for FedEX shipment to a very strange address. But get that: I reported it to the police and they basically shrugged their shoulders and said that they wouldn't pursue it - happens all the time. GASP.

    1. Yikes! I'm surprised the police shrugged their shoulders! Did they at least take the information from you?

  4. Funny you should mention this... last week a got an alert on my Starbucks account that I just earned a reward (you get that for buying stuff). I hadn't been there in months, so that was odd. Then I saw a transaction on my rewards card from someone in NY, for a $95 purchase! At first I thought, "Ha!, I'm getting a free drink because of this mess up". However, the joke was on me because the next day I saw my $$ attached to my reward card had been drained out of the account!!! It was $49! I freaked! So, I called up Starbucks and they gave me my money back... and changed my account, etc for security. THEN I smiled and got my free drink. LOL!! I definitely felt hacked though. I almost passed out when I saw a $0 balance.

    1. Hmmm so does this mean we should not load our giftgards to our Starbucks accounts?

    2. Wow that is scary! I will be honest, I purchase things online a lot and my credit card is stored so someone could potentially hack it... I mean, I know they have security for that buuuuut...

    3. I have my money loaded one gift card so I use it on my phone - really just combining gift cards that I receive (because I turn in Kelloggs receipts and earn gift cards, stuff like that!). However, I did see that my actual credit card was hooked up to my account too, so I immediately deleted that off my account so they wouldn't suck money off my Visa! I feel it's all safe still. I still wonder if they just had my Starbucks card number, or hacked in using my email address. Creepy.

  5. I still don't understand how the "scammers" would be making out in this instance or what the purpose would be. If someone is going to send over the amount, I wonder how many people would mail them back change? I of course would give the buyer change if they paid cash but if you are irresponsible enough to send someone more than they are asking for a product, you don't deserve to even get money back..haha

    1. Right, I think they are hoping the person sends them the money back. Like, they would text me and say, "The movers fell through, can you send me back the mover payment I gave you?"

    2. Awww yes! I could see that happeneing!