I was almost the victim of this scam, so I am posting the info I have in order to make others aware, I know there are others just like it but heres my story….I Posted a clothing listing to craigslist, after several days of not getting any buyers I reposted and about 2 hours later I had an interested party. The following is the email correspondence. I am italicizing what SHOULD have clicked with me as a warning at the time.
Jun 11, 2012, at 3:24 PM firstname.lastname@example.org-Hello,How are you doing over there,Hope it went good?I will like to know if the item still available for sale,Kindly get back to men so that i can arrange for the pick up…Awaiting to read back from you now Thanks? Chris Blair
Me:Yes the clothes are still available when can you pick them up?
On Jun 11, 2012, at 6:45 PM, “chris blair” email@example.com> wrote: Thanks for the prompt response to my mail. I will be buying from you so please kindly withdraw the advert from C.LIST. Please be informed that i will be paying with a certified check from my Bank it will be delivered to you via United Parcel Service (UPS), so I’ll need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check… Name to be on the payment.Home address.City. State.Zip Code.Cell phone #.I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your money I am completely satisfied with the advert and the payment will be delivered within 2-3 working days.** I use a hearing impaired phone and will receive your calls via email N.B UPS does not deliver to a P.O box addresses.
Me: Yes I gave my name, address, and phone number, all of which can be accessed through public record, and cell phone numbers are not hard to find so I did not think much about it. Yes I should have paid more attention to the OBVIOUS scam but that hindsight will get you every time when you go against your gut….And I will go ahead and withdraw my ad thank you very much.
On Jun 11, 2012, at 6:57 PM, “chris blair” <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Thanks for getting back to me with your info. i do contact my sectary now to issue the payment to you,because am now out of the state for business trip.You will receive the payment through UPS or FedEx Courier services with the shipping funds. to cover the shipment of the goods i bought from you. Once you receive the check, have it cashed and deduct your money for the goods also Deduct $60 for your running around that I have caused you during the transaction period and send the remaining funds to the mover,and the mover is also picking some other valuable goods (like household, furniture’s and electronics > set.) at the same city of your location,to my new apartment.that is why you need to help me and transfer the amount to the moving company..Please let me know if i can trust you, so that i can move forward from here.I will get back to you with tracking number immediately the secretary email me the tracking number. Best Regards
Me: No problem, I assume there will be information on who to give remaining mover funds to or where to send it?…..Todays sidenote is that it really chaps my a** that had they audacity to ask if THEY could trust ME?!?!
On Jun 11, 2012, at 7:05 PM, “chris blair” <email@example.com> wrote: Thanks a lot for your trustworthiness,The check will get to you As soon as possible,and i will get back to you with the tracking and the shipper info that will be coming for the pick up at your location and more details thanks regards…GOD BLESS YOU
Me: Ok thank you very much, I removed the ad. God bless and have a good day…Another side note: Using “GOD BLESS YOU” as a way to pose yourself as a decent, honest human being is just heinous.
On Jun 18, 2012, at 8:34 AM, “chris blair” firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Hello good morning, How was your night,hope it went good?? i will like you to know that I just contacted the US Postal Service right now and i confirm that the payment will be delivered to you today and here is the tracking #(910…9010..6990……) from US Postal Service to confirm,Keep an eye in the mail for it,When you have it Take the check to your bank and have it deposited in your account you will then deduct the remainder from your account, Deduct the money for the Item and also $60 for your running around and have the rest fund sent to the information below via Western union money transfer today, so that as soon as they have the money,they could contact you and schedule a pick up time with you.The money will be wired to their head Office accountant in Lutcher.Louisiana.Here is the shipper information to have the balance send to. Receiver’s Name Jo Ann Petit Address -7190 Warsaw Rd City-Lutcher State-Louisiana Zip Code-70071. Once you have the money sent to the mover, you will need to get back to me with the following details. A..Senders Name .The Name you filled on the form as the money sender B..Senders Address.he Address you filled on the form as the money sender. C..Total Money Sent.Money sent after deducting the service charges D..Money Transfer Control Number ( MTCN )10 digits number that is written on your form for the receiver to receive funds. E.Western Union Charges. The Movers will contact you as soon as they have the funds.Thank you very Much I will be waiting to read from you today. NB…Transfer fee should be deducted from the money you are sending to the Mover. Thanks God bless you
PO DELIVERY CODE AT THE TOP OF MY EMAIL
Delivery Date:Jun 18, 2012
Status:Delivered (My City State and Zip Code)
Me: Hello, I wanted to let you know I am on my way out of town for the am and part of the afternoon but will be back before 5 so I will make sure it gets done before this evening.
Here’s the fill-in between emails: Got back that evening, got the check and realized the check was for $2323.00, I had no idea that they check would be for that large of an amount, I was thinking maybe $300 or $400. I use online banking mostly and I do have a local bank as well however it was closed. I had gone to local western union and was starting to fill out the paperwork when I decided to google the address of the wire recipient’s address just to ensure it was correct, google never came up with a business address of a moving company and google maps said no record found, and I googled the bank information but again it was closed so no verification could be done at this time. I did not go through with the wire and this is the email I wrote.
Me: 5:30 PM-Are you sure that this is the correct information I send to, just checking before i send I had no idea the check would this big if an amount
“CHRIS BLAIR”- No Response
Me: 7:00 PM-My trip back home took longer than expected and my local bank was closed by the time I got back. I normally use online banking and atms but with the check amount being quite a bit more than i had expected I will have to use my local bank to cash the check first thing in the morning. I have never wired money before so is there a specific amount that is due to the moving company? I asked about wiring fees and was told it depends on the amount wired. I also wanted to double check the recipient address, I apologize for any inconvenience but I hope you can appreciate my being thorough and cautious due to the fact it’s an Internet transaction. Thank you–Today’s Sidenote-DOO DA DOO not cautious enough in the beginning, geez.
Apparently these two emails were not received, so i received a text later that night from this number.
(323) 835-****June 18th 10:08 pm- Due to this phone number being someone’s actual number i left out the last for digits: Hello MY NAME, This is CHRIS BLAIR they buyer of your item…cl. Kindly let me know what is going on? because I have been expecting to read back from you in other to get back to my mover.
ME: I sent you an email, two actually, I wanted to double check that was the correct address for the wire to go, I also explained that my business to take care of out of town had taken a little longer than expected, I use online banking, deposits and ATMS however the check was quite a bit larger than I had expected, due to the large amount I can’t pull that much out of an ATM, so first thing in the morning I will go to my local bank to cash the check, I also asked if there was a specific amount for the mover bc I’ve never wired money and I talked to western union about fees. I apologize for any inconvenience but I wanted to be as careful and specific as possible to ensure mine and your end were covered. I emailed you back around 5Pm but never got a response. However I hope you can appreciate my being thorough since this is an Internet transaction. I had googled the wire recipients address first to double check and it said address not found and that it why I wanted to make sure it was correct—Today I’m thinking grrrr why the heck am I THE ONE APOLOGIZING FOR INCONVENIENCING THEM????
(323) 835-**** 10:52 PM- I can understand your explanation, I just sent you and email now, kingly check your email and get back to me.
On Jun 18, 2012, at 10:48 PM, “chris blair” <email@example.com> wrote: > Thanks for your honest and your understanding regarding this transaction , just deduct cost of your item $110 , also deduct $60 your running around and expenses , then you are sending the excess fund $2153 to shipper Jo Ann Petit information because this fund will be using as cost of the shipment she has undertaken for me recently and she will also need to use the part of the money to come over to you location for the pickup of all my items in your location including your items to final destination. Here is the information below Receiver’s Name -Jo Ann Petit Address – 7190 Warsaw Rd > City-Lutcher > State- Louisiana > Zip Code-70071 > > Allow western union to deduct transfer charges( money in minute ) out > of the money you are sending to the shipper , i will be waiting to have the transfer details such as senders name and address , Actual amount send minus transfer charges , then the 10 digits MTCN number , i will also like to know your convenient time you will available at home for the pickup schedule to be done
Me: Ok great thank you for the response, i will be getting back to you in the morning first thing with all of the information required. My schedule for pick up should be open so if I can get a specific time/date I can make it work. Thank you.
My gut feeling starting kicking in the face so I googled the phone number that “chris” texted from and it was a Las Angelas, CA number. I also googled the bank again and yes, the bank and the routing number are both valid. (COMMERCE BANK NA, KANSAS CITY MO, ROUTING NUMBER IS 101000019. Again public info, I will not post the account number) As is the business that the check is written from. It’s a law firm actually…a little ironic I think using a law firm’s business checks to send to potential fraud victims(HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP-4801 MAIN ST STE 1000 KANSAS CITY MO 64112) I first looked for “Chris Blair” as one of the employees and of course none listed, and mind you the intial email was different than all the rest it was jhjohnjerry…so I looked at those names but nothing really to look at since there was no last name attached to it. After looking through names I looked into their office locations, none in L.A. Cali, or in LOUISIANA which is where the movers were located…since I assumed the supposed move in location would be somewhere in that general southern area. I decided I would call the bank first thing in the morning to see if they could verify funds on the check, or anything about the business, acct. num etc.
This morning I received a text from “Chris Blair”—**Notice the different phone number
June 19th 8:11 am-(661) 748-****–(THIS NUMBER IS FROM BAKERSFIELD OR SAN FRAN AREA)-Hello good morning MY NAME, This is Chris blair the buyer of variety of clothing, How was your night hope it went good?
Me: All went well hope yours did also, I will be heading to the bank in about 15 to 20 min.
(661) 748-**** Good as well….I will be looking foward to read back from you with the western union money transfer details immediately after you have it sent in order for them to arrange for the pick up…Thanks
I told shipping company to contact you concerning the pick up…Hope they have contact you?
Me: They have not yet
(661) 748-**** Ok…Just let me know when you have done with the transfer and get back to me with the transfer details so that I can contact them to come for the pick up immediately ok.
***Here’s where I contacted the bank to verify funds and details however they were unable to do so bc they do not verify commercial accts. I would have to deposit the check and wait for funds to clear. I already know my bank will not cash a check from an unknown source with such a large amount and I’m not about to deposit and wait for it to post. So I look up on the internet about hearing impaired scams which i shouldve done in the first place, and THERE IT IS…VERBATIM, THE EMAIL I RECEIVED….Put in a call to the local pd knowing there was nothing they could do, but he did look up the phone numbers and confirmed that neither belonged to a chris blair. So this is my response….
Me: I’m sorry my bank will not cash the check so i will not be able to go through with the transaction, would you like me to void and destroy the check or send it back to you
(661)748-****- Why they can not cashed the check?
Me: I would have to deposit it and funds would hold, they wont cash it because of the amount
(661)748-****- If that is the case…I will wait for the check to clear your bank…Do go ahead and have it deposited now and let me know when it clear ok
—-Also spoke with the law firm and they have had this same thing happen for about two months, also they mentioned that It’s possible the ones trying to commit the fraud will try to threaten me with calling the FBI and turning me in if i don’t go through with the wire transfer or depositing the check. I know they won’t actually call the fbi so im not real worried about that.
Me: Im sorry, after further I am fully aware this is a scam so I will not be depositing the check and I have filed a complaint with craigslist and the police department, I also spoke with HUSCH BLACKWELL and they are aware of the scam as well, I suggest that you not contact me via phone or email again, Im just sorry you chose this life and used “GOD BLESS” as one of your tactics to gain trust and chose to prey on honest hardworking people, maybe one day you will find HIM and realize your mistakes.
(66)-748-**** NO RESPONSE
(323) 835-***- June 19th 10:57 am— Hi, the time now is 10:54 am, I need to know when you are getting back to me the transfer details, looking foward to read back from you.
Me: Ill send you the same message I sent to your other phone number…I just copy and pasted the message.
***Note that the wording, grammar and some puncuation and spelling mistakes in the texts different than the emails, Im assuming the emails have a format they go by and texts do not.
So far this has been the end of the correspondance. I think I’m mostly pissed at myself for not catching on before this point and that I have caught on to other scams in the first message or two for several friends of mine. I’m just grateful that I didn’t go as far as depositing or cashing the check or going through the wire transfer, I did read that the check would have actually posted and gone through however I NOT THEM would be held accountable for the funds and fraud had I actually followed through with it all. Good luck and beware of this crap.