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Scammers confuse me

So last night I posted a for sale listing on everybody's favorite craigslist to see if anyone would be interested in my customized Waterfield Cargo bag. Customized because of the way they design the shoulder strap and the inclusion of only one cell phone side pocket. I had to have them reverse the two because I sling messenger bags over my left shoulder instead of my right. But anyway, early this morning I received a fairly innocuous "You still have this for sale?" email regarding the bag. When I replied in the affirmative, this is what I received in reply in its entirety:

Thanks for your reply concerning my enquiry I will like to purchase this co's you have exactly what i want.I reside in 300 Mansell Rd., Alpharetta,North of Georgia United State(NG).Am quite comfortable with the condition of the item since i won't be making any repairs on it,i will like to offer you $170 including packing materials without you paying for any shipping charges b'cos i already have an account with FedEx,i would have loved to make the payment in cash and carry but we are not in the same state so i will like to go ahead with the payment by sending you a Money Order which will be sent to you directly from usps office here in Alpharetta . I wanna buy this (Waterfield Iridium Lead Medium Cargo Laptop Bagt)for my step son to fulfill the promise his dad made before he died,i lost my lovely husband to an auto accident on 10th of April 2007 and since then i and his step son tobi have been living seperately and i want to buy the item for him because his dad promised him before death took him away from us and i think with this i and his son can live as a family .Kindly get back to me immediately you receive my E-mail with your full name and mailling address in which the money order will be sent to and get back to me with the exact type of money order you prefered to be paid for this item ok.

Best Regard

Note:I will like to know why you want to sell this co's i dont pray for someone to sell his or her property purposely, because of problem which i can easily assist if i can, rather than advising him or her to sell it ok.

Alright now first off, I can expect something like this with stuff that I usually sell: computer, cellular and photo equipment. But a laptop bag???? Are you freakin' kidding me?!?!? Granted, Waterfield makes one insanely great bag but c'mon... now they're just grasping at straws.

But the scam emails do seem to be evolving. Besides the typical "I'll offer you more than your asking price" hook that I'm used to seeing, they're now trying to get you with the sympathy card too. Plus I'm kinda tempted to see exactly how this can play out cause reading the content, it actually sounds like a great deal if you ignore all the extraneous appealing to your greed/emotions crap. They're going to send me a USPS money order PLUS send me FedEx packing materials which they'll pay for through their FedEx account. What can go wrong, right? Yeah, right. =p


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Comments (7)

"i think with this i and his son can live as a family"

Awesome! That's a really powerful bag you're selling. :) Change the bag to magical heirloom, add in a little ass kicking and it's a whole movie!


For the bag to be 6 years old and still look as good as it does, it is pretty magical. ;-) And you can definitely kick some ass with the airplane seat buckle that it has in front.


I know you know this is a scam, but in case you don't know "the rest of the story", here it is. They'll send you a money order but it will be for more than you are asking. They'll make up some reason why and ask you to refund them the difference and maybe even keep some for your troubles. Here's where you really get into trouble. You take the money order/cashier's check that they send you to your bank. Your bank says it looks ok. You deposit it and the bank tells you that your funds will be available in X number of days. To be prudent, you wait for X number of days and everything seems ok so you figure a strange as it seems it must be legit and send the bag and the additional money. What the bank didn't tell you was that the funds are available but that doesn't mean the check cleared. A few weeks later you get a note from the bank that the check bounced and you are out the bag and the money you sent the scammer. The bank will tell you sorry that's how it works and there's not a whole heck of a lot you can do about it.


Ah, thanks for clearing that up fedexguy. That's such a crock though on the bank's part. There should be some way to combat that.

Yeah, that's wierd because I thought the whole point of a money order was that it is just like cash - it doesn't have to clear. Like when you go to the post office to get one, you pay them cash for it - so it's not like a personal check. If it still goes through some clearing process what's the diff between an MO and a personal check? What up wit' dat??


Apparently counterfeit USPS money orders have been becoming an issue since 2005 so gotta stay on our toes. Plus the scammers are really after your money (by sending you more than your agreed upon price and making you send back the extra) and not the item you're selling itself so them contacting me about the bag makes sense. Fortunately their emails are still so freakin' easy to spot so dodging them isn't really a big deal.


felix, it still has to clear, it's just that the cash is held by an independent 3rd party rather than sitting in your own personal checking account. gives the person you are sending it to warm & fuzzies knowing that the money order won't bounce. of course this assumes that it's a legit money order. these scammers can take legit money orders and then change amounts, routing numbers, etc., to where even the bank can't tell the difference until it bounces.
And Ben, the way to combat it is A. either the bank doesn't release the funds until the check does actually clear but this tends to upset legit customers as they can't get to the money; or B. you just don't touch that money for about 4 weeks to see if the check bounces.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 6, 2007 11:03 PM.

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