May 21, 2008

Dear $3500 Fraudulent Check,


Your poorly-written emails and eagerness to purchase my pillow-top twin mattress lead me to believe that this Craigslist-facilitated exchange was out of the ordinary… When you mentioned you had recently moved, and your moving company would pick up the item, I was especially suspicious- but when the $3500 dollar check, lacking bank logo and water mark arrived (after I had specified cash only) with specific instructions to deposit and then wire transfer the remainder on to another individual the minute degree of NY-street-savvy-ness that remains in me knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you had no intention on enjoying nights of cradled slumber on my Spring Air mattress for sale.

Per your request, I took your check to the bank, however the teller counter seemed busy so I dropped it off at the fraudulent claims desk. Gregory from Chase Manhattan bank will be in touch with you shortly.

Here are some tips for your future scheming and frauds …

- Never admit to being located in Nigeria. It’s an immediate RED FLAG.

- Try sending slightly more than the seller requests- $500 for a $350 item is far more believable but $3500 dollars? And asking for a wire transfer of the remainder? COME ON!

- Try to remember which item you’re claiming to purchase – I know that you’re writing hundreds of these feigned interest emails each day, and your little fingers must be tired, but if you could keep your “interests” straight, and not refer to the post as “your advert” or “the item” then your claim would seem even slightly more believable. You were buying a MATTRESS from me, perhaps the television you mentioned in one email was from another individual you were in contact with.

- Don’t be too quick to offer more money – when met with resistance (“I absolutely will not accept your cashier’s check, this is a cash only exchange”) you were far too willing to add $100 onto the cost. This tips the seller off. Despite the fact that it is a phenomenal mattress, upping the cost by 35% is fishy.

- Perhaps you should sign your name to the cashier’s check. I never corresponded with Mary Timothy or Mike Bridge- so why would I have a check from them? And while I’m on it, perhaps you should more accurately research American names. I suppose you’ve written checks from John Smith and Jack Thomas – we’re a melting pot my friend - so throw in an Irish, Italian or Russian accent with confidence, it adds legitimacy.

- Finally, perhaps you should read the warnings from KSL and Craigslist on how to avoid fraud … contents pasted below. If your schemes could break from this mold, you’d take all of us for all we have…

More Information About Fraud
Users of KSL Classifieds may receive fraudulent offers for the items they have listed. The most common scam is known as the Nigerian scheme.

Please watch for the following signs of obvious scammers:
1. Phone number listed is wrong.
2. Buyer or seller explains that they are currently out of the county.
3. Buyer offers to pay with a money order or cashier’s check for significantly more than the asked for price. Seller asks to have money wired to them or payed via an online service.
4. Buyer or seller explains that a third party or service will pick up or deliver the item.
5. Email inquiry is poorly written, generic, or strange sounding.
6. Offer is simply too good to be true.

It looks to me like they’ve got your M.O. (modus operandiLatin for mode of operations – a legal term that indicates they’ve got your number and know how you work). Spend some of that email time coming up with more creative ways to con Americans out of their dollars.

Here’s hoping you’re doing this to feed your hungry children,
the bewared buyer


jenny said...

this is too funny.

Matt said...

Dearlife Hall of Fame

courtni said...

awesome!! e-mail me your e-mail address so I can get you on our highly private top secret neff fam. blog...awww

auntie libby said...

i too have experiened the great joy of fraudulant email via craiglist. long story.. but these guys were pretty good. very sad stories that accompanied the emails and such. anyway...glad you caught it in time! can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Stephanie said...

See? You're still funny. You just need to get really pissed off first.

Janssen said...

I found your blog through Noelle Bastian's and as soon as I saw the top picture I thought "that has GOT to be a Lybbert." Jake was in one of my history classes at BYU and he and Matt look a whole lot alike. I bet they get that all the time.

Hilarious blog!

L2 said...

Thanks for posting your experiences, I just received a few emails from this same James Casey. What a scam.