Have you ever posted an ad on Craigslist, or some other website, to sell something? Well you have probably been warned to only work with people locally, and beware of phone checks, cashier’s checks and money orders.
Recently I was selling a beautiful stainless steel fridge for a friend who moved out of state. It was only about 2 years old, had about 22 cubic feet of storage, French doors for the refrigerator, a lower freezer, ice maker and cost about $2400 new. It was advertised for $1200 on Craigslist.
Here is how the scam works:
- You get an email, text or even a phone call that someone wants to buy it and pay full price. Sometimes they might ask what your lowest price might be, but that’s just to appear legitimate.
- They ask you to take down your post because they will buy it from you.
- They will send you a cashier’s check, business check or money order right away.
- They are out of the area and will have someone pick it up from you and ship it to them.
- The check you receive is hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more than the price you agreed to.
- You will be told their assistant made a mistake, or some of that is to pay the shipper, but you can keep an extra $50 for your trouble. Just send back the difference in funds to the scammer. Example: Item sells for $1000. You receive a check for $3000. You send back $1950 of real money to the scammer and are left with a check of $3000 that will bounce.
Here is the silly situation: The cost to ship this fridge from California to Florida would be anywhere from $300 to $1000. It makes no sense to spend that much extra money when it could be purchased in Florida for the same amount, or less, and not have to pay for shipping.
The point is; do NOT sell to someone out of the area unless the individual can be verified. Do NOT send anything until funds clear your bank (this could take 10 days). It is best to just deal with people who are local to you and will pay cash. Cash will never bounce unless it is counterfeit.
You will see below a copy of the FedEx mailer that was used.
Some items of note:
- It shows it was sent from someone local to me, but the person said he was in Texas, and the check was drawn on a Florida bank and I am in California.
- Edge Artists and Associates is a phony company with a phony Facebook page
- The phone number goes to an individual that has no company and has no knowledge of the scammer’s name; in this case Samson Wilson.
- The check drawn on the bank is for an account that is closed, or checks have been stolen (The phone number in the memo section is for Regions Bank)
- All of this information can be obtained from the FedEx envelope or Google.
My goal in sharing this information is to potentially assist you in avoiding an unpleasant situation in the future.