Thursday, April 6, 2006

More Scam Artists

We advertised our truck camper for sale on an online RV trading site a few days ago. When we bought it we thought we would use it for our Alaska trip after retirement and for vacations with the grandkids in the meantime. We have used it several times, but it is really not big enough for the grandkids and us anymore and we have decided to take our trailer when we make the Alaska trip.

Yesterday I received a nice response to the ad asking for photo's and additional information. It sounded like they were interesed so I sent some photos and a nice response. Then today I received an email telling me that they had decided to buy it and went on to explain how they wanted to handle the payment. I would receive a cashiers check made out to me and sent from some company. The check would be for about twice what I am asking for the camper because the company owed the buyer that much money. I was to deposit the check and wire the difference to the buyer. Then they would make arrangements to pick up the camper.

Of course, I immediately realized this was a scam attempt. What many people do not know is that cashiers checks are very easy to forge and not at all secure. The banking rules in most states require that a bank make the funds from any deposited cashiers checks available within 24 to 48 hours. This they do. However, the actual behind the scenes check clearing process through the Federal Reserve can take up to two weeks. It often takes that long to find out the check is worthless.

I forwarded a copy of the correspondence to Yahoo security since the scam artist was using a Yahoo email account, not that it will do much good. You just have to be very careful. Never, never, never send or give anyone goods or money in exchange for a cashiers check without having your bank verify that it is genuine.


  1. I've heard of this scam before. They must fool people once in a while since they keep trying.

  2. This was a new one to me. I've recently been receiving those emails about the millions of dollars in overseas accounts that some poor widow needs my help getting out of their country, and that scam I'm well aware of. But they continue to come up with new ideas all the time. As you say, you have to constantly be on your guard.

  3. I think the safest thing is to ignore ANY email suggesting you have something coming to you. I get tons of that kind of spam on my laffert at pacbell dot net account and most of it gets caught by the spam catcher. Some still does get through and it always amuses me(and makes me a little sad) how gullible some people must be to have these scams still being tried.

    I've lost track of how many times I've won the UK Lottery. :)

  4. When are you coming to Alaska?

  5. Robin -- It will be after we retire. Since we still are not sure when that will be I can't say for sure. Hopefully soon. Certainly not this year. When we do come it will probably be for most of the summer. We have even been looking at some volunteer jobs that provide free camping in exchange for some services. I have seen both state parks and some of the school districts advertising for help. We are giving that sort of thing some serious thought. It gives you a better insight into the local area than just running through as a tourist.

  6. You won't be a tourist. You'll be a relative!