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How to Spot a Scam

Attention Putney! Scammers are trolling this page.

How to spot a scam…

You might receive a response to an ad with a very unspecific and yet urgent request for your item. For instance, I recently received this email from a scammer:

I am interested in your ad. Is it still available?
Note that they don’t ask about the specific item. They don’t know what the item is, because they have a program which scrapes the page and just retrieves relevant information (subject line and email address)

I wrote back: Yes, it (note I did not specify what “it” is) is still available.

They will then write back and tell you that they are very interested but they can’t personally get the item because they have to attend a wedding or someone is sick or they have a business trip, etc, but they’ll pay you via cashier’s check and have their associates or friends or third cousin or whatever get the item. Also, they will typically say they will pay more for the item than you asked for. For example, I just got:

really appreciate your response actually am not around now im preparing for my sister wedding so i will not be able to attend much to you but my assistant will get back to you i love the picture i see on the advert as the price stated. I am ready to make instant purchase with my mode of payment would be a Certified Bank Check via Postal service Express mail or UPS delivery. Kindly get back to me with your Full Name, Full mailing Address, Cell Phone Number and Agreed price to sell. As soon as this is provided, payment will be overnight to you and I will let you know once mailed out with tracking number sent to you. I will also add an additional $30 for you in-order for you to hold it for me till the Check gets to you. Thanks and I hope we handle this in good faith while waiting to hear from you.

What will happen next? You’ll get a fake “Cashier’s Check” for more than the asking price. Then, the mysterious party will ask you to wire the difference back them. The Cashier’s check, being fake, will bounce. You will be held responsible for the bounced check, plus the wired money.