Working a Craigslist Scammer (and his friends)

If you use Craigslist or other similar bulletin boards to sell goods locally, you need to be acutely aware that there is a whole raft of bottom-feeders out there (usually overseas) who use these vehicles to separate innocent victims from their hard-earned cash. I will occasionally engage these drones, a) to waste their time and money, and b) to see if I can gather any information that might be useful to the authorities.

Executive summary of this post:

  • CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY — AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
  • Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
  • Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
  • More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

Never accept payment by check. Never send money by Western Union. Deal locally only!


Note: Today, 12/18/2013, I received a comment on this post from someone named Devil (very appropriate choice). While I’ve spammed the original, I’ll show it here (redacted a bit for decency) to give you an idea of the mentality of these bottom-dwelling scum-eaters.

SHUT THE **** UP OLD WOLF!!!! **** u.. ***hole. Find yourself another job and allow the fools pay the price..#HATER

Hit you where it hurts, didn’t I, Devil? “Allow the fools to pay the price?” That’s exactly why I post things like this. These criminal drones have no ethics, no morals, no sense of human decency. They steal from their victims and hold them in contempt for their gullibility at the same time. While it’s true that most of the people who fall for these Nigerian 419 advance-fee scams are victims of their own greed, there are many who are in financial distress and who are taken in by the cruel and insensitive lies fed to them by the Lads from Lagos. No, Devil, I’ll continue to do all I can to thwart you and your scamming friends. If I can keep even one person from being taken in by your criminal antics, all the effort will have been worth it.

Be careful out there.


Here’s how the scam works. Take note of this if you’re not aware of it, and let anyone know who might be interested. Education is the best weapon we have to make these scams unprofitable.

1) Here’s an ad I had on Craigslist.

It’s real. Notice the part in color, it’s important – there will be a test later.

Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550 (location redacted)


Date: 2012-08-13, 12:55PM MDT
Reply to: your anonymous craigslist address will appear here

This is a piece to refinish, it’s had a long life and needs restorative work, but would be gorgeous with some TLC.

A similar item recently sold on eBay for $750.00.

Principals only. Cash only sale. No checks, money orders, shipping agents, Western Union money transfers, or anything else a Nigerian scammer may be using this week.

2) Invariably, the first few emails I get simply say, “Still available? -Sent from my iPhone”

3) I respond, and let the writer know that the item is still available.

4) Here comes an email from my buyer:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk
From: Lewis Duke <lewisduke900@gmail.com>
To: (Name Redacted)
Hello,
I really appreciate your response and consider this item sold.Am very
okay with the price and condition as stated in your advert I promise
to give addition $50 if you remove the advert from Craigslist
completely,so I will be rest assured am in hand of this item.
I will pay you as soon as possible with USPS MONEY ORDER OR CERTIFIED
CHECK,so I will be sending the payment to you via FedEx or USPS
courier company and it will be delivered to you.So you need to
provide me the information to facilitate the mailing of the payment as
thus:
Full name on the check…………………………………

Physical address to post the check………………………

City, State and Zip Code……………………………….

Home & Cell Phone to contact you…………………………

NOTE:I would forward all your details to my secretary to make the
payment out to you quickly and the payment will be shipped to your
address via FedEx next day air service or via USPS and i will take
care of the shipment of the item.As soon as you notifies the clearance
of my check,I will inform my shipper to come down to your address and
pick my item.
Thanks and I hope to hear from you as soon as possible.

Regards. Lewis


Notice the guy has totally ignored my warning, posted clearly on the ad, that I only deal locally, in cash, and all the rest. He has offered to send me a check, and wants his “shipper” to pick up the item. They never even read the adverts – somehow they have a scraping system that notifies them of recent posts.

5) I respond thusly:

Dear Mr. Duke,
Name for the check: Wolfington X. Analemma
Address: (Redacted)
Cell Phone: (Redacted)
Just one thing – I won’t be removing the Craigslist ad until the transaction is complete, I have been dealing with Craigslist for a long time, and I have had bad experiences with buyers who did not buy after asking me to take the ad down. I hope you’ll understand.
-W

6) A couple of days go by, and I get this email:

Hello dear seller,
am very sorry for the delayed or inconvenence i might caused
in sending your payment, i lost my cousin on Sunday in a vital
accident, hope my apology is granted,
i have send out the payment to your address,also i will email you the
tracking number asap and the instruction to follow

N:B, please do get back to me you got my message

7) I let him know I will wait for the check

I have received your message, please accept my condolences on the loss of your cousin.
I will watch for the payment.
-W

Of course, he has not lost his cousin or anyone else.

8) Today, I get this in the mail via USPS priority mail:

I loved getting a piece of mail with this name on it.

Inside is a check:

The check looks real. It comes with the stub information and everything, and is obviously printed on a stock check form, but the check is as bogus as a $9.00 bill.

Note that the package was supposedly mailed from San Francisco, but the tracking number indicates that it was actually dropped off in Torrance. Note also that it cost someone $5.15 to mail this.

9) Now I get the following two emails:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk
From: Lewis Duke <lewisduke900@gmail.com>
To: (Name redacted)
Your Tracking Information
Status: DELIVERED
Last Scan: August 15, 2012 11:43 am Delivered
Delivery Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Delivery Time: 11:43 AM
Delivery Location: (redacted)
Carrier: US Postal Service

US Postal Service Tracking Number: (Redacted)

Subject: PAYMENT DELIVERED TODAY, FOLLOW INSTRUCTION BELOW $ GET BACK TO ME ASAP
From: Lewis Duke <lewisduke900@gmail.com>

To: (Name Redacted)

Hello,
Thanks for your endurance for the payment of the item sold, the
payment will delivered to you via USPS with tracking number I had
to spent $10 to the payment with USPS….priority overnight so that
you can quickly receive the payment.
Get the check cash deduct the money for your item sold, plus the $50 i
promised for keeping the item hold ,then the rest fund will be send
via money gram to the shipper, who will come down to your house for
the pick up.
HERE IS THE SHIPPER INFORMATION VIA MONEY GRAM TRANSFER::
Name: William Alvarado
Address: 802 S Virginia Dare Trl
City: Kill Devil Hills
State: NC.
Zip code: 27041
Note: You have to deduct the Money gram charges from the money you
are sending to the shipper and make the money available in a minutes
after you have send it and then get back to me with the
money gram transfer details below as it is appears on the money gram
Receipts
1….Sender’s Name and Address
2…. REFERENCE NUMBER, 8 DIGIT
3….Total Amount Sent After the Money Gram Charges
What’s your schedule regarding pick up as i have some other
properties to be moved alongside the item.

Regards

10) Here’s the rub:
  • The check is bogus
  • Anyone who sends money to one of these scammers will lose all of it, without recourse
  • Cashing a bogus check is grounds for prosecution, and victims have been arrested for attempting to pass fraudulent documents

So, I send the following email back to “Lewis”.

Hello, Lewis.

Yes, I have the check in hand. It’s lovely. I’ve always wanted a souvenir.
So, you read the advert for the item very carefully, and you were satisfied? Perhaps you didn’t read the part at the end where it says, very plainly:

Principals only. Cash only sale. No checks, money orders, shipping agents, Western Union money transfers, or anything else a Nigerian scammer may be using this week.

The fact that you ignored this, combined with your lousy English, was a solid guarantee that you are a criminal, a liar, a thief and a moron. I will keep your worthless check in my “Fraud Prevention” file.
Onioburu, dem no born you reach. Mugu no chop my dollar, chop only black powder from Olumba Olumba Obu, straight to you, not for me. U no fit comot face, just skip along.
I’m glad I wasted your time and money.

No love,
Martins Tanjul


Thus far, no response. Sometimes these scammers get their knickers in a twist and respond with a whole raft full of Nigerian insults, but usually there is no answer to my “game over” message.

Update: Wait, there’s more! Despite my sending Lewis the above email, I get this the next day:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550
From: Lewis Duke <lewisduke900@gmail.com>

To: (redacted)

Hello,

why did you keep silence since you received the payment

from USPS, you are to deduct your money out the money received
if i did not read from you today, i will report to the authority.

HERE IS THE SHIPPER INFORMATION VIA MONEY GRAM TRANSFER::

Name: William Alvarado
Address: 802 S Virginia Dare Trl
City: Kill Devil Hills
State: NC.
Zip code: 27041.
am looking forward to read from you the money gram transfer detail

and the best time for the pick up

I again send him the same letter as above, with some additional “up yours” information. After that, no further response.

As a followup, I notified the following companies and agencies so they would be aware that their name was being used for fraudulent purposes:

  • Liquid Realty Partners
  • Hamilton Health Center, Inc.
  • Fulton Bank

I also contacted

  • The Torrance, California, Police Deparment
  • The Kill Devil Hills, NC Police Department
  • http://www.ic3.gov

Now, how this waste of human cytoplasm has something mailed in Torrance, CA and gets funds picked up in North Carolina is a mystery to me. All I know is he won’t get a red cent out of this transaction, which has cost him time and money.

Summary

On the top of every Craigslist response is the following text:

** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY — AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
And that’s solid advice. Yet despite this, people continue to fall for scams like this, or others – including apartment rentals, relationship scams, “grandson in trouble,” and lost pets.
Follow the advice. If you use Craigslist, always deal locally, and face to face. Never send money via Western Union to anyone for anything, unless you initiate the transaction and you know your recipient.
Be careful – it’s crazy out there.
The Old Wolf has spoken.

Update 8-20-2012

Absolutely gobsmacked at the number of scammers that have landed on my Craigslist page for this same item. I’m not sure what sort of network they have, but something out there is being passed around. Whee! More fun for me.

So here’s the next one. After the usual “Is this item still for sale?” (that seems to be the standard opener for all of these bottom-feeders),  I get:

From: “Menia Dykes” <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>
To: (redacted)
Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk
Hello! thanks for getting back to me let’s do like this, actually now
I’m not in town for now, I came to visit my family so i wont be able
to meet with you to see the item but am ok with the price as seen on
the advert. I don’t mind to give you $50 to withdraw the advert for
you to see how serious i am in the transaction, i will contact my
secretary to issuing a Check out to you and when you received the
check I will make arrangement for pick up. So get back to me with
below details to be on the
check asap.
Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Postal Code:
Phone Number:
And as soon as this is provided, the payment will be overnight to you
and i will let you know when its mailed out. I need you to be honest
with the sale as I am a God fearing person.Note you don’t need to
worry about shipping the items for me as soon as you have the check
and have the check cash my shipper will come over for pick up
Thanks

God Bless

Wolfington X. Analemma responds with an address, and get a similar response back:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk
From: Menia Dykes <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>
To: (redacted)
Hello I appreciate your quick response sorry for late respond and am
happy you are selling to me. I got your details and have forward it to my
secretary, payment has been issued out to you and sent to you via
USPS POSTAL SERVICE, I will email you with the tracking number for
confirmation as soon as am provided with it. I will also like to let
you know that shipping company funds was included with your payment
due to i might not be around once the payment arrive to you because
am going to ALABAMA for my honeymoon Once the payment arrive you will
go ahead and have the check cash then you deduct the money for your
item with additional $100 for your Gas and running around then you have
the rest of the money send to my shipper via western union and money
gram then i will contact shipper to get ready to come over for pick up
immediately. LET ME KNOW IF I CAN trust you in this transaction.
Note you are not responsible for shipping as soon as you have the check
and have it cashed my shipper will be coming over for pick up Hope to
hear back from you soon.

Thanks for your understanding

Aside from the noise about a honeymoon, it looks very similar. These people must either copy from or share with each other – the scam is almost identical in nature. I respond:

Thank you for the message, I will keep an eye out for the payment. I look forward to completing this transaction.
-W

Next communication from the scammer:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk
From: Menia Dykes <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>
To: (redacted)
Hello how are you doing i just want to let you know that the payment
had been issued and sent to you via USPS courier service which is
going to arrive to you latest on on friday 3PM once you receive
it let me know so that all the arrangement for pick up can be getting
done immediately i will soon get back to you with the shipper
information and USPS tracking number so you can be able to check

the status of delivery till then stay blessed.

I respond,

Thank you for this notification.
-W

The Scammer has sent me a check.

Notice that her name has now changed from Menia Dykes to Menia Elliott (with an extra “L”). It is almost guaranteed that she does not work at Sultana High School, but it is interesting to note that this package was indeed dropped off in Hesperia, CA according to the USPS tracking number.

I like the “Pay with Valid ID” bit. “Daniel J. Saxt on P.C” and Suntrust Bank have been notified that their identities are being stolen for this scam. So here are a couple more emails from the scammer, first the instructions on how to send her the “overage”.

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550
From: Menia Ellliott <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>
To: (redacted)
Hello how are you doing today i had a confirmed from USPS that the
payment had been delivered to you Here is the tracking number for
you to check the status of the delivery {redacted} As i told
you before that i might not be around when the check arrive due to am
going to ALABAMA for my honeymoon Here is what you need to do. Just
go straight to your bank and cashed the check instantly or you can deposit
it into your bank account it will only take 24hrs for the check to be verify
and the money will be available in your account and as soon as you have
the cash go ahead and deduct your money for the item with additional $50
for your Gas and running around then have the rest of the money send to
mover via western union money transfer so that shipper can be coming
over for pick up immediately. Herae is the shipper information to send the
rest of the money to via western union or money gram transafer.
NAME: Lara Sepanosian
ADDRESS : 4827 Romulus dr
CITY: Glendal
STATE: CA
ZIP CODE: 91205
Shipper have ready to come to your location anytime from now She informed me
that the only thing holding her up is the shipping funds. so immediately you
have the money send to shipper i will require the following information on the
western union transfer receipt such as……..
1: Sender’s name and address used in sending the money
2: The MTCN number which is the 10 digits number on the western union receipt
3: Actual amount sent.after western union charging
4: date and time you want shipper to come over for pick up
Note. email me your map quest for shipper to locate to place with the best
time you want the shipper to come over for the pick up today cos i do
still have some other items at another location with shipper need to pick up for
me that is why you need to send all the rest of the money to my shipper for
shipper to proceed on is work immediately **Please note that youwill be paying
whatever the western union charges to send the money from the excess fund
before sending the rest to shipper thanks for your understanding hope to hear
back from you soon.

God bless you

Interestingly enough, there is a Lara Sepanosian in Glendale, CA – but Western Union doesn’t require ID for pickup, as far as I know – all you have to do is provide a name and a control number to pick up funds. Later the same day I get this – she’s really anxious to get her money, isn’t she?

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550
From: Menia Ellliott <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>

To: (redacted)

Hello how are you doing what is going on? i was wondering why you keep
silent since the payment had been delivered to you i will like you to
get back to me with the western union details that you use to send the
rest of the money to my shipper for me to contact shipper to get ready
for pick up immediately i will also like you to email me your map
quest for shipper to locate you with the best date and time that you
want shipper to come over for pick up. Hope to hear back from you
soon..
Your Tracking Information

Status: DELIVERED

Last Scan: August 17, 2012 11:52 am Delivered
Delivery Date: Friday, August 17, 2012
Delivery Time: 11:52 AM
Delivery Location: (redacted)
Carrier: US Postal Service
US Postal Service Tracking Number: (redacted)

Notice the “keep silent” is very similar to the “keep silence” used by Lewis Dukes in the first scam above. An American would say “I’m wondering why I have not heard from you” or something similar. As it happens, it’s the weekend, so I respond:

Menia, the parcel is probably in my mailbox, which is a long way away. I usually pick up my mail in the evening. When I see if the payment is there, I will get back to you.
-W

and later that evening,

OK, I have the check in hand. Tomorrow is Saturday, banks are closed until Monday so I won’t be able to cash the check until then. When the bank has cashed the check I will send you the rest of the information you asked for.
-W

The scammer writes back:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550
From: Menia Ellliott <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>

To: (redacted)

Thanks for the updating i will contact shipper to wait till monday
then as soon as you have the check cash on monday go ahead and deduct
$550 for your item then deduct additional $100 for your gas and
running around making $650 Then have the rest of the money send to
shipper via western union and get back to me with the western union
details for me to contact shipper to get ready for pick up immediately

Hope to hear back from you soon

Today is Monday, but I’m not going to respond at all until I get her frantic “Where is my money” email. In a previous post, I tweak a scammer who is obviously in Africa, and get him to go to Western Union five times in an attempt to collect money. I could do that again, but I really don’t have the time. I’m just interested in collecting enough information from these people to see if I can identify a pattern in where they are working.

More as it becomes available. For what it’s worth, I now have several other scammers promising to send me money:

  1. “Tim” or “Ben Carson” (ben.carson103@gmail.com)
  2. Natasha William (natasha.william9211@gmail.com)
  3. Kristal Beauchamp (michael.frank03@gmail.com)
  4. And just today, “Chloe Burton” (chloeburton61@gmail.com) has inquired about three of my items for sale. It will be interesting to see how that one turns out.

Update: 8-23-2012

Here’s Menia’s “Where is my money” letter:

Subject: Re: Solid Hardwood Antique Secretary’s Desk – $550
From: Menia Ellliott <pherrysmith02@gmail.com>

To: (Redacted)

Hello how are you doing i was wondering why you keep silent since
monday you promise to get back to me i have been awaiting for the
western union details that you use to send the rest of the money to my
shipper for me to contact shipper to get ready for pick up immediately

Hope to hear back from you soon

And here’s what I wrote her back:
Menia,I took the check to my bank and they looked at the name on it:
DANIEL J. SAXT ON P.C
They are telling me a certified check should never have typographical errors on it, and they think this check might be faked. Can you explain this?
I don’t want to proceed until I know these funds are valid.
Please get back to me at once because I have several other people interested in my item.
-W

I’ll be curious to see if I get a response on this one, or if the scammer will assume he’s been outed and just fade away. As of 8/29, “Menia” has not responded – but it looks like he actually got lucky with someone else, which is a shame.

Also:

Another scammer takes the bait. I’ll not report the entire email exchange, but here’s the essential marrow:

This one was posted from Memphis, TN.

The Priority envelope supposedly came from John Sharon at the University of Memphis:

and the Western Union transfer is supposed to go to:

Rachel Fowler
8382 brooks road
Memphis TN 38116
According to Google Maps, Rachel lives in the middle of a container storage lot, but oh well – I guess the economy is not all that great for scammers. Seriously, though – every piece of data these drones use is falsified, but I noticed one very interesting thing about this check:
The signature above is from the check from “Krystal Beauchamp,” (Memphis, TN); the one on the bottom from the check sent me by “Menia Elliott (Glendal,e CA). Identical. Are we dealing with a ring of connected people here? Do they swap information and files among themselves?
Impossible to tell. I only wish that the FBI would consider investigating these drones and getting them off the streets – I’m willing to bet they’re taking a lot of people for a lot of money, and very little of it ends up in a centralized database anywhere.

Update 8/29/2012
Another one bites the dust:
The printing on this one is abominable – I’m not sure who would think this is a valid check. Sent by scammer “Ben Carson,” package mailed from Los Angeles, with a supposed “shipper” at
Samara Olivo
804 Hampton Drive.
Sacramento, CA 94203
This address is just totally bogus.
According to FedEx, I should have another one coming tomorrow from “Natasha William.”

The Old Wolf keeps on speaking.

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49 responses to “Working a Craigslist Scammer (and his friends)

  1. hello the same person tried doing this to me too. i wawondering what the police can do about it? or what ca ni do about it?

  2. I just got one from Menia myself. It’s for a $20 item.

    The opening was asking about the condition for me. The next one about wanting the shipping address for the money was sent instantly after I responded. As soon as I saw that, and the content of the message, I immediately decided to ignore it. Only reason I’m even here is I was curious to see if the name and the email would show up on a google search and it did.

  3. I received a check as well. But I am curious if these checks are able to get cashed? These scammers wouldn’t be doing this unless they were getting funds returned to them. Any ideas or helpful information?

    • Oh yes… some of these look real enough to an uncareful eye (they are printed on stock purchased check forms, so they have some security features). And a bank will cash them. And people *do* send money to these scammers. And then in a week or so, the check is returned, and the people have lost their money – and may also be in trouble for trying to pass a bogus check.

      I have now collected eight of these checks – all of them have the names of real businesses and real banks on them, but of course the names have been culled from the internet. I always inform people that their names are being used fraudulently – one bank wrote back to indicate they have over 150 open cases of checks like this… and that’s just one bank. It’s a huge problem. I wish the FBI would get involved and shut these people down.

      • Yeah, the pherrysmith002 email is used for the alias Perry Smith management… tried to do a job scam involving western union and secret shoppers. i didn’t fall for it (tho at the start i thought it was a real job offer) I realiezed what it was after i got my ‘assignment’… to hit a local western union and ‘secret shop’ them. unfortunately it happened to be in one of the local convenience store chains that i had just worked for two years for… and the store he was wanting me to evaluate via sending just under 2k to his other alias bobbi autry happen to be brand new and right next to my house… and I knew it didn’t have a western union lol… I saved all our correspondences and informed local authorities. then wrote him a rather nasty email back stating what a moron he is for not even checking my resume… or he would have realized I was ‘over-qualified’ for his job…:)
        But, yeah, the police cant do much unless you actually lost money by cashing it, but then unfortunately you would also become liable as an accomplice for money laundering or various other charges…

  4. I was a.lmost scammed twice this month but was alert enough to bluff him{?} He also was going on a trip and “would I wait for the check?” I got it and called the SanDiego Credit Union and SURPRISE! the check was bogus..Have not heard from Marti again. That was #1. #two was almost the same but I called his{?} bluff also. Have not heard from either one again. From now on I will only do CASH/ PICKUP

  5. Thank you for taking the time to post your experience – someone with the same name – is asking me to do the same – which I wont do – I learned the hard way – I am not a fool twice – I have some real people interested and they are local – but I will email your link to chloeburton70@gmail.com so him/her can read it

    Chloe Burton chloeburton70@gmail.com
    6:21 PM (23 minutes ago)
    to me
    Okay,sounds good.I should be able to pay you with a certified bank check ,Hope that works for you ?I Will send both your payment alongside with the mover’s payment.He would come over to your place and pick up the stuff as soon as the check clears .Willing to pay $50 extra if you can reserve and take the post of Craigslist so i can be rest assured.All you need do is Deposit the check it clears within 24-48hrs. deduct yours and pay the mover the rest .if it works for you Kindly send me details to make the check payment out Full Name that should be on the check ,a physical address where the check will be delivered and your house or mobile # ASAP..Regards

  6. got very similar one…… of course my check had the worst English – you would have to be a moron to even begin to think the check was legit

  7. After a while, you can recognize the initial scam response to your CL ads. Here’s a reply I routinely send. It’s a bogus threat, coming from J. Edgar Hoover I

    Your response and offer has been identified as meeting the typical
    profile of an internet scam and has been referred to the Internet
    Crime Complaint Center (IC3), an office of the United States Federal
    Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime
    Center (NWC3). Internet offers and activities that are not legitimate
    are contrary to the legal code of the United States and will be
    aggressively investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
    prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. Your Internet
    Protocol (IP) address has been recorded and forwarded to both the
    United States Internet Crime Complaint Center and INTERPOL office for
    unlawful Internet activities.

    You have been warned! Cease and desist immediately or you will
    subject yourself to arrest by FBI agents in the United States and
    stationed at every United States Embassy and consulate.

    Sincerely,
    J. Edgar Hoover
    Director Decedent

  8. Kristal Beauchamp is still at it. Received a check yesterday for $2,050 for $50 worth of high end literature. Should have done the math when I saw the poor spelling and grammar – really Kristal? You read Shakespeare?But being a sucker for humanity (and she claimed hearing impairment) I followed along with “her” request until I received check and latest email. I was shocked by the amount of secretarial “error” in the check – who does that? as well as the fact that no address was provided to ship the actual books. Then I did a little research and found your blog – THANK YOU!!!

    I will be calling the bank to report this as well as contacting the internet crime center as you recommend.

    • Nice work! Of course, these drones tend to use each others’ scripts and names, so “Kristal Beauchamp” probably doesn’t exist as such. The rampant ignorance makes my head hurt. The names they come up with are painful: Martins Tanjul, Bob Mark, Grace John, Williams Cole, Barrister Phillips Emovon… they have no clue. Glad you caught on to this one early.

  9. Thank you so much for this post! I fell for this scam and sent my info, but when I started to receive similar e-mails, I got suspicious. I googled and found this. Thank you again! When the check arrives, I love your “Thank you for the souvenir” line!

    I also sold an antique, and the e-mail came from David Collins. When I googled him, he is an appraiser for Antiques Roadshow. lol.

  10. Pingback: How the 1% live | Playing in the World Game

  11. Pingback: How the 1% live | Catching up with old friends – the Old Wolf | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  12. Pingback: A conversation with Mr. Zhang Yong, a Chinese Scammer | Playing in the World Game

  13. I just wanted to say thank you so VERY much for posting this! I was nearly scammed out of several hundred dollars as well… I now have a nifty bogus check souvenir, just like you! Tomorrow I will begin following the steps you took as far as contacting companies, ic3 and the police stations. Thank you again :))

  14. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am in the middle of this same scam. Got my 2k bogus check yesterday with instructions to send funds via western union. Replied to the guy that I am going to send him his check back as is and got another email about a secretary etc etc. My fear is, will they bother to come after me? Track me down because I didn’t fall for all of it?

    • Rachel: Frame the check as a reminder to yourself and others – don’t bother to send it back. These scoundrels are in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and elsewhere; they run networks of accomplices or other people who have been scammed into “relaying payments”. They send checks from bogus addresses around the country – One I received yesterday came from “Michigan State University, 620 Farm Lane, Room 210, East Lansing, MI” but these addresses are always fictitious.

      I have done this dozens of times just to waste their money and time; the madder they get, the better I like it. They won’t come after you, because they’re not even in our country. Just tell him what you think of him in no uncertain terms, and he’ll move on to greener pastures.

  15. Tried to sell a toilet on Craigslist, got an email in rotten English from someone who claimed to be a hearing impaired busy mother of 2 who would FedEx me a certified check and have a friend pick it up after I had gotten the money. I emailed back that I’d prefer cash, and her friend could pick it up at my business. No answer back. Another foreign scammer “flushed out”.

      • I just got my “souvenir” cashier’s check (Suntrust Bank, TN) from some camel jockey, terrorist funding, stink-ass, who goes by the name of Robert Dennis. I know his email didn’t pass the smell test, and after checking things out, I sent him a neat “gotch’a” email…in addition to other things said, I added that I thanked him for his nice fingerprints that he left on the envelope and phony check, and that I turned it all into the proper authorities who are now fully aware of who his is, and where he is. I told him that the FBI has issued a warrant for his arrest, as well as a warrant for his “shipper”. LOL That should make good ol’ Robert crap himself and get some paranoia working for him. LOL

        Love your warnings and replies…good work Old Wolf.

  16. Pingback: Shipping Scams: One way the Nigerians find their accomplices | Playing in the World Game

  17. Thank you so much for writing this. I got the exact same emails from Lam Kelvin (terrij0o@gmail.com) and Rose Mccarty (valenimkb@gmail.com). They gave me all these weird and lengthy explanations about why they cannot come to pick up the product themselves and how I should transfer money back to them via Western Union or Moneygram. When I received a check from them, I went to the bank to cash it and the teller knew it was a fake check right away!! I reported to the local police not because I was hoping they could do something about the scam but because I was worried that these skanks know my address and phone # and so on. But thanks to you, now I know they can’t really do anything bad to me because they don’t live in this country!!! One last concern I have is that this sucker keeps emailing me to follow up and I don’t know how I should react to it. Or should I not react at all from this point? Thank you again!!!

    • I usually send them a “game over” email indicating that I know who they are and what they are, in addition to a few choice insults around their intelligence and their breeding. Sometimes they write back with some Nigerian slurs and obscenities, but usually I never hear back from them again.

  18. Since they ask for name and number, etc, why not give them
    [Info Redacted]

    I would love to see them actually send their bogus checks to their own people

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