Moving right along: Denver’s former 800-pound gorilla of local talk radio, Mike Rosen, describes a detection and turn-about of a would-be scammer. Excerpt:
To its credit, Craigslist posts a warning to its sellers to be wary of distant buyers responding to their ads who might pay with a counterfeit check that would initially clear the bank but will later be clawed back from the seller who deposited it when the fraud is discovered. Case in point, here’s my recent experience. After redecorating I had to part with an elegant bar and buffet featuring lighted glass shelves and doors to display glassware, china and accessories. So, I offered it on Craigslist at the bargain price of $295. Almost instantly, I got a text message from an enthusiastic buyer who wanted it at full price from the picture I posted. He gave his name as Peter A. Frederick and said he was an out of town construction consultant and needed it shipped to him. I wanted payment in cash and preferred a buyer who would pick it up himself. He persisted and proposed the following arrangement. He’d send me a certified check for $1,950.50. When I get it, I should deposit it in my bank and after the check clears, I should deduct $295 for the buffet plus an extra $50 for my “running around” and send the excess funds of $1,605 to his shipper. After the shipper gets my check, he’ll contact me with shipping instructions.
Doing the math: $1,950.50 – $295.00 – $50.00 – $1,605.00 = $0.50, I discovered there was an extra 50 cents left over for me! I was tempted, but realized it wouldn’t be ethical to cheat him out of that for his inadvertent math mistake. Just kidding. Of course, by now I was sure it was a scam. But I figured I’d play along out of curiosity. He already had my name and address, and a few days later I got his check.
Read the entire story; I enjoyed the post-script:
Now, here’s an ironic postscript. Since Peter/Paul the scammer had my name and text address, he must have added me to his sucker list as I also got this text during the process: “Hi Michael Rosen, I’m Aaron Scott from the crime investigative department. There is an urgent arrest warrant against you right now. We received an information about a recent fraudulent paycheck which you were investigated to be part of. You are being monitored and it’s very important that I do hear from you as soon as possible before we proceed further with our legal actions.”
My response: “There’s no such thing as the *$@&#! crime investigation department. You’re the one who should be investigated.”
My cell phone service is pretty good about identifying would-be scam callers. Several times a week my phone will blip once and the screen will display “Scam Likely” or some such, and I’ll block the number. I’ve gotten some that go through to voice mail, including a recent one that gave me the dire news that an IRS arrest warrant had been issued for me and that I should call a certain number to “clear things up.” Blocked. Some of the scammers have resorted to text messages, as they presumably don’t go through the same process – and, again, when I get them, blocked.
The thing that concerns me about these horse’s asses is the fact that some people must fall for this crap, or they wouldn’t keep doing it. I’m of the belief that there comes a time where fools and their money deserve to be parted (Gwyneth Paltrow and her GOOP idiocy come to mind) but it’s really just too bad that these assholes still find marks, frequently among the very old and very young.
Fortunately my own family shows more savvy. A couple of years before he passed, the Old Man got a phone call:
Old Man: “What’s your name?”
Caller: “Don’t you recognize my voice, Grandpa?”
Old Man: “No. What’s your name?”
At that point the Old Man hung up.
More folks should show as much sense as my Dad did.