General Question

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Legal/financial advice: This is a scam right?

Asked by 8lightminutesaway (1413points) April 18th, 2008

So recently I decided to try and sell some of my books I don’t need any more last quarter, and I thought hey, I can use facebook and people on campus will see it and buy it and I won’t have to ship them. Well some guy in England shoots me an email and tells me he wants to buy them and instantly starts giving me orders, telling me he’s going to send me a check for more than the amount of the book ($50) and that I should pay DHL with his money and wire the remaining back to him via Western Union wire transfer. I got suspicious and wondered why I had to pay the shipper and why I couldn’t put the remaining money with the book. Also, he could barely speak english and it took me forever to figure out his emails. So I tell him I failed the class and I still need the book, and he says but your selling another book, I’ll take that one. At this point, I just no, I don’t want to send you anything, sorry. He says he already sent me money, so I then I said I’d destroy the check as soon as I got it. Here’s the kicker… I check my mail a few days later and I have a cashiers check for $1600. wtf mate? This puts me in an odd position. Is he money laundering? Can I even consider cashing it safely? I will never sell things on facebook again.

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10 Answers

Allie's avatar

Scam… Can’t you make a cashiers check for however much you want? Why the hell did he make it for 16 grand? Just destroy the check like you said you would.

peedub's avatar

Man, what kind of books did you have?

robmandu's avatar

yah, matches classic definition of scam.

Distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier’s check in exchange for your item

-you receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
-cashier’s check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else.
-value of cashier’s check often far exceeds your item – buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
-banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR
-scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

8lightminutesaway's avatar

ok, thats what I thought. Just wanted to make sure before I burned this thing. Thanks a lot. Didn’t realize it fit the definition so clearly, haha, wow. Good thing I’m not an idiot.

@peedub oh you know, just some worthless calculus books :) ....Want to buy them? lol

peedub's avatar

Will you take a grand? It will be in foreign traveler’s checks, is that ok?

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Sure but I’ll need your name, address, social security number, names of close relatives, date of birth, favorite pizza topping, bank account, and credit card and PIN number. Deal?

LunaFemme's avatar

I would probably make a copy of the check for my records and then I would mail the original back to him. I wouldn’t want to give him any reason to say, hey I want my money back when you didn’t cash the check. If he does contact you again tell him you mailed his check back and are no longer interested in doing business with him. If he makes a pest of himself tell him you’ve made a copy of the check and emails and will turn the information over to the Attorney General’s office for fraud. He most likely won’t contact you again, but CYA as they say. You might even want to call the Attorney General’s office or the FBI and ask them what to do.

Anyway, that’s probably what I would do.

mzgator's avatar

I would not just destroy it. I would go to the authorities and tell them your story. Maybe they could tell you the right thing to do, and you would have your report legally documented and on file. If you do not cash the check legally a sale did not happen. You want to make sure to have everything documented.

trainerboy's avatar

I have won over $500,000,000 in Nigeriam lotteries and all I have to do is send back a prtion after I get my many cashiers checks.
These scams have been going on for quite some time. Now they must be getting pretty ballsy by calling people on the phone.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Yeah, I forgot to mention he did call me. I forgot my phone number was in my emails signature, and it really freaked me out.

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