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Scam

minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So I applied to do a survey on craigslist. I got accepted and was sent the details of the survey. They would send me some money, of which I would keep $400, and send them the rest using moneygram, evaluating the service in the process.
I got a $2000+ check from them today. Obviously this is a scam. The check will bounce and I'll end up sending them $2000 of my own money.

My question is, where do I got from here?
I have their phoney check and they have my name and address. How do I handle this in a way that won't result in them harassing me or some other negative consequence.

minirhyder on

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    L Ron HowardL Ron Howard The duck MinnesotaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Return to sender.


    Also, why would you sign up for it in the first place if you knew it was a scam?

    L Ron Howard on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, why did you do agree to do this...

    They won't harass you. They prey on people who fall for it. They'll just move on when you make it clear you're aware. But... uh... they can't steal your identity can they? How much info did you give them?

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I didn't realize it was a scam until I got the check and saw the hefty sum. Then it kind of hit me.
    I was being naive. I'm not proud of myself here :[

    Just my name and address. Nothing else.

    minirhyder on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    report it to police or FBI... google for the correct department or start here: http://www.fraud.org/

    illig on
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    JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If it came through the mail, report it to your postmaster (at your local post office), and they'll take it from there.

    JaysonFour on
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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Make sure to make a copy of the check, or just scan it in case you have to face some problems in the future, print, keep digital copies of all the e-mails back and forth in a safe place.

    Buena suerte.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Isn't return to sender only if it's an unopened envelope?
    I opened it, so I'd have to send it back some other way, right?

    How do I let them know I'm on to them? Just email them telling them I'm aware? What if they demand for the money back for shipping or something like that? The label on the envelope says it's USPS express mail and the postage cost $17.40.
    I don't know how easily they would let go of me, having made an almost $20 investment on sending me a phony check.

    I've reported it to the site.

    How do I find out who my postmaster is and how do I report it?

    I'll make sure to copy it.

    Thanks so far guys!

    minirhyder on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Take it to the bank and tell them what happened. They'll have a fraudulent checks division that will take care of it and contact governmental agencies as needed.

    jclast on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm pretty sure if you just throw it in the garbage you'll never hear from them again. That is, if you don't want to pursue turning these people in.

    Figgy on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    What do you normally do when you get junk mail in the mail?
    Figgy wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure if you just throw it in the garbage you'll never hear from them again. That is, if you don't want to pursue turning these people in.

    Burtletoy on
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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    They invested $20 hoping to make $2000. They aren't going to be too worried about it not working out. If it goes wrong 99 of 100 times, they still break even.

    Call your local post office to find your postmaster.

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    So what possible bad things could happen if he tried to cash the cheque?

    Lail on
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'd probably get arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent check. This happens quite a lot to people nowadays with all these scams flying around.

    minirhyder on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    It would come back as fraudulent. I doubt you'd get in trouble. The scam works cause you send back the extra and then weeks later it is discovered. I've never heard of the person who cashes it being in trouble, just out of the difference.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Assuming you try to deposit the check at your bank, there may be fees involved even if you don't "use" the money in the meantime. Fee for bad check, etc.

    If you tried to actually cash it out with someone, you would be in 'trouble' technically since its fraudulent and they presumably gave you cash for it.

    onceling on
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Well, there was this.

    minirhyder on
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    Sir Headless VIISir Headless VII Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Report them to the appropriate authorities and ignore them from now on. A similar thing happened to me but I was renting out a room (scammers said they would rent a room and sent an obviously too large cheque). If you ignore them they will move on, they are probably doing this to dozens of people and someone who is on to them isn't worth their time.

    Sir Headless VII on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Well, there was this.

    A cousin of mine sold her car via a UK equivalent of Craigslist and when she got the cheque she thought it was almost certainly fraudulent, so went down to the bank to report it and check if her suspicions were genuine, she was then advised to try cashing it by a bank clerk. She spent the next week having to try and convince the bank she wasn't a fraudster and that they should let her open a new account, as they had cancelled hers for being a fraudster.

    Fun times!

    Kalkino on
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    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The scam goes like this:

    They mail you a fraudulent check, for 2k, and ask you to send 400$ back. They have 400 legitimate dollars, and when the 2k is found to be fraudulent, that is removed from you. You are now out 2400$, and they are up 400$ and that 2k dissipates.

    It's a classic western union scam, usually involving identity theft on top of things. Don't cash the check, there's no issue. you should report it however in case they pull something in addition.

    DiannaoChong on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Figgy on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Yeah, the only reason the $2K is ever an issue is because most people have already spent it by the time the bank takes it back out of their account.

    mcdermott on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Yeah, the only reason the $2K is ever an issue is because most people have already spent it by the time the bank takes it back out of their account.

    Really? That check should come back fraudulent within a couple of business days. Big spenders!

    Figgy on
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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Yeah, the only reason the $2K is ever an issue is because most people have already spent it by the time the bank takes it back out of their account.

    Really? That check should come back fraudulent within a couple of business days. Big spenders!

    $2000? I'm buying that TV/paying off my credit card/paying off my car/paying off my loan/buying a sweet gaming rig!

    I can think of a lot of ways to spend a "free" $2000 in less than a couple of days.

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Unless you shipped something out.

    MushroomStick on
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    mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You can also call the bank the check is drawn on tomorrow, and just tell them what's happening.

    There's a string of MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) symbols at the bottom of the check, most of which are numbers.
    1) Find the check number at the top of the check, and locate that same check number on the MICR line. Ignore those digits.
    2) Of the digits that are left, the first 9 digits are the ABA routing number.
    3) Go here: http://www.fededirectory.frb.org/search_ACH.cfm and enter that routing number. You'll get details for what bank that check is drawn on, and the phone number will frequently go right to the bank's ACH department.

    mspencer on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    Well, you are out $400. You aren't out the $2000 because that was never yours in the first place.

    Yeah, the only reason the $2K is ever an issue is because most people have already spent it by the time the bank takes it back out of their account.

    Really? That check should come back fraudulent within a couple of business days. Big spenders!

    $2000? I'm buying that TV/paying off my credit card/paying off my car/paying off my loan/buying a sweet gaming rig!

    I can think of a lot of ways to spend a "free" $2000 in less than a couple of days.

    Well, it's people like you that get scammed! There is no such thing as free money, my lad.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
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    mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I think it's people like him who are helping warn others so they don't get scammed.

    Let's not get personal.

    mspencer on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    This is really common in rental situations.
    A legitimate ad goes out for a spare room/house etc, and the scammer initiates contact saying that they're happy to pay the bond + first few weeks rent etc. Cheque arives and givena few days to be banked. Then the landlord gets an apologetic letter saying that the situation has changed, could they pretty please out of the goodness of their heart give them back the money, here's an account etc.

    Landlord refunds the money. Check bounces. Someone just made some cash. Usually a large amount because landlords usually have some kind of rental account that they use that has money in it.

    Fallingman on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    mspencer wrote: »
    I think it's people like him who are helping warn others so they don't get scammed.

    Let's not get personal.

    It was a joke.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Fallingman wrote: »
    This is really common in rental situations.
    A legitimate ad goes out for a spare room/house etc, and the scammer initiates contact saying that they're happy to pay the bond + first few weeks rent etc. Cheque arives and givena few days to be banked. Then the landlord gets an apologetic letter saying that the situation has changed, could they pretty please out of the goodness of their heart give them back the money, here's an account etc.

    Landlord refunds the money. Check bounces. Someone just made some cash. Usually a large amount because landlords usually have some kind of rental account that they use that has money in it.

    Yeah, basically the issue is that far too many people forget that just because the bank is willing to let you take the cash out doesn't mean the check has cleared.

    mcdermott on
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    So update:

    I've been consistently ignoring these people.
    They've been emailing me asking me to confirm that I've got their funds, asking if I've done the survey and if not why not and finally telling me that not doing the survey in the near future will mess up their logistics.

    I'm planning on continuing to ignore them, but they seem quite persistent. Kinda gets me worried if they'll start using my address for further harassment :/

    minirhyder on
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    JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Block thier address and turn them in to your ISP for harassment. Not to mention turn in the fake money order to the postmaster so they can chase that down.

    JaysonFour on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    minirhyder wrote: »
    So update:

    I've been consistently ignoring these people.
    They've been emailing me asking me to confirm that I've got their funds, asking if I've done the survey and if not why not and finally telling me that not doing the survey in the near future will mess up their logistics.

    I'm planning on continuing to ignore them, but they seem quite persistent. Kinda gets me worried if they'll start using my address for further harassment :/

    You could fire off a quick email like so,

    "I have come to realize that this is not a legitimate company, and I am no longer interested in doing business with you. I have destroyed the fraudulent money order. Please stop contacting me."

    Figgy on
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