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View Full Version : I'm getting scammed, right?


crookedteeth
03-15-2012, 12:30 AM
So I was recently let go at work, and since I'm a student looking for a part time job, I hit Craigslist. I found a job as a waitress - which is really what I do best anyway - but also got a response from one of the office jobs I sent my resume to.
It was a guy looking for a personal assistant - most of the work would be done from home. Booking flights, answering emails, that sort of thing. $400/week. Seems too good to be true. The only identifying information he asked for was my age, address, etc - mainly stuff that was on my resume anyway. He did make mention of a copy of my driver's license, but I told him I'd rather wait for the face to face meeting one he got back to town - that was fine. He tested my response times to emails, since I'd be needing to check my email frequently. Not a problem since I get an alert on my phone. Everything seems legit, just too good to be true. So I went ahead and took the position.
Here's what doesn't seem right. My first assignment is to receive a money order in the mail. I'm to cash it, take $100 out for me, take out the cost to wire it via Western Union, and wire the rest to a company in Istanbul. He claims he owes them for supplies. The amount is $1998, which seems odd.

So I'm pretty sure I'm being scammed. I assumed that money orders are better than checks, but I'm guessing they can be forged like anything else. I'm not going to do it, because I don't want to be the one taking the fall. But I do want to make sure that I'm not being paranoid.

Other things that don't add up - if I Google him, I can't find any information about him. He's supposedly an independent contractor, and gave me a paragraph worth of things he's worked on that are fairly well known (at least in their respective cities). When I Google the information he gave me for Western Union, I can't find anything except hotels nearby.

This is totally a recipe for disaster, right?

Maggie the Ocelot
03-15-2012, 12:34 AM
Yes. This is a scam. Do not do it.

Hippy Hollow
03-15-2012, 01:01 AM
I'm with Maggie. Trust your gut. It doesn't sound right, it probably isn't.

Isn't this scam the one where the money order is fake?

Giles
03-15-2012, 01:08 AM
Look at it this way: why is he trusting you with about $2,000, when he hasn't met you? It would be easier for him to cash the money order (if it were real) and send the money to his "suppliers".

Marconi N. Cheese
03-15-2012, 01:14 AM
If you do this you will be out $2,000 of your own money. Don't do this, it's a scam.

What's that sound over my head?

He sends you a fake MO. You cash it and wire the money overseas. The MO bounces and you're left holding the bag.

jjimm
03-15-2012, 01:17 AM
Money laundering (http://www.hoax-slayer.com/money-tranfer-job-scams.shtml). Run away.

ETA: Cautionary tale from that link (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5424542/). I suggest you report this to the police ASAP.

jjimm
03-15-2012, 01:24 AM
Actually, thinking about it, since the dude already has your details, it may be safer to disengage in an unsuspicious way. Send back the money order (after taking a copy) if it's already arrived and apologise, saying you've just landed another job and can no longer help him out but wish him well in the future. Something like that.

Scholar Beardpig
03-15-2012, 01:34 AM
Not that I have a dissenting opinion or whatever, but someone very wise once said, 'when in doubt, abstain.'

Princhester
03-15-2012, 02:03 AM
Actually, thinking about it, since the dude already has your details, it may be safer to disengage in an unsuspicious way. Send back the money order (after taking a copy) if it's already arrived and apologise, saying you've just landed another job and can no longer help him out but wish him well in the future. Something like that.

Reading your links it seems the scam may not be the old "send dodgy cheque, cash it and send me most of it back" scam but rather a scheme to involve the OP in ebay fraud. If so, the MO won't come from the scammer but from an ebay buyer.

Personnally I wouldn't do anything that could be seen as assisting the scammer or getting involved in a crime and that includes forwarding him the MO.

If it's already arrived I would return it to sender or just go to the police with the whole thing.

obbn
03-15-2012, 02:10 AM
Perhaps the smart thing to do is to contact local law enforcement. You are definitely being scammed, this is a very common one. When you won't cooperate he will find another "sucker" to take your place. Maybe you can save someone else the heartache of getting taken and the way to do this would be to contact the police. With any luck they will set up some sort of "sting" and arrest this piece of garbage.

Princhester
03-15-2012, 03:01 AM
Perhaps the smart thing to do is to contact local law enforcement. You are definitely being scammed, this is a very common one. When you won't cooperate he will find another "sucker" to take your place. Maybe you can save someone else the heartache of getting taken and the way to do this would be to contact the police. With any luck they will set up some sort of "sting" and arrest this piece of garbage.

He wanted the money sent to Istanbul. He may be there, or may merely be clearing money through there to somewhere else. Doubt he's getting arrested any time soon.

crookedteeth
03-15-2012, 08:02 AM
As I said, I definitely am not going to do it. In one of my response emails I asked for more information on him, didn't get it. I also asked him to confirm that I want doing anything illegal in my last message, he didn't address this either. He can scam people but he can't lie?

Thanks for giving me some insight on what he may be doing with the money.
I think I may go to the police, just because I already know someone. I would love for them to be able to catch the guy, but without international support I doubt it will happen. If anything interesting comes from it, I'll post it here.

Or I might just mail it back, I'll figure it out.

Wheelz
03-15-2012, 09:08 AM
Not much to add here, you're doing the right thing...

But it's a sad commentary on our economic times when job paying $400 a week is "too good to be true."

gotpasswords
03-15-2012, 09:47 AM
So I was recently let go at work, and since I'm a student looking for a part time job, I hit Craigslist. (bolding mine)
In less than 25 words, the question is answered.

In a roughly year-long stretch of unemployment, my husband sent out a couple thousand responses to Craigslist job postings. Not a single one turned out to be legitimate.

Mangetout
03-15-2012, 10:31 AM
What did the money order look like? Is it an official-looking form?

(I mean, this is definitely a scam - I'm just curious about the details)

Foxy40
03-15-2012, 10:51 AM
(bolding mine)
In less than 25 words, the question is answered.

In a roughly year-long stretch of unemployment, my husband sent out a couple thousand responses to Craigslist job postings. Not a single one turned out to be legitimate.

I will offer that I have advertised both clerical and technical positions with great success on Craigslist. They aren't all scams. Usually if you deal locally and there is a business name and a contact person, it is probably legit.

robert_columbia
03-15-2012, 10:51 AM
Welcome to Scamsville - Population, YOU!

TruCelt
03-15-2012, 11:23 AM
Definitely tell the police. That way if he uses your info to implicate you in any future wrongdoing, you'll be covered.

DrDeth
03-15-2012, 01:01 PM
Scam. The MO will be counterfeit.

LurkerInNJ
03-15-2012, 01:05 PM
(bolding mine)
In less than 25 words, the question is answered.

In a roughly year-long stretch of unemployment, my husband sent out a couple thousand responses to Craigslist job postings. Not a single one turned out to be legitimate.

Every single new hire in my office for the past 5 years or so has been from Craigslist.

Wheelz
03-15-2012, 01:24 PM
Every single new hire in my office for the past 5 years or so has been from Craigslist.Running the long con, eh?

Evil Captor
03-15-2012, 02:25 PM
One easy way to check out suspicious job offers, etc., is to just go to Google, type in the name of the company or other relevant data (in this case, "overseas money order" and then "ripoff" or "scam." You will find many, many descriptions of what you described in your Google results. Hell just "money order" and "scam" will do the trick.

Dallas Jones
03-15-2012, 03:04 PM
This is the essence of the scam. In order to collect your $100 you must cash the fraudulent money order, keep your $100 and then make a new, real, money order to forward.

The first money order is a fraud, but your bank will not discover this before you send off the second, real money order from your bank that will be tied back to your account. And you will be liable.

Due to the Check 21 act your bank must clear the money order swiftly unless a problem is obvious. So your bank cashes the fraudulent MO, you send a real MO out of your bank account, and during the gap between the time your bank finds the original MO to be a fraud and the time you send a real MO, the scammer is gone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Check_21_Act

If they really existed at all. They could be a guy in Ukraine just laughing his ass off.

http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/alerts/check21.html

I'm to cash it, take $100 out for me, take out the cost to wire it via Western Union, and wire the rest to a company in Istanbul

This is where they broke the chain of accountability and made you responsible for the next transaction. You are responsible for everthing that follows.

Cat Whisperer
03-15-2012, 03:13 PM
Scam (a fairly common one, too). I'd take it to the police. They probably won't be able to do much with it, but it might help them building a case against this guy.

Annie-Xmas
03-15-2012, 03:29 PM
Every legitimate independant contractor has to be licensed by the state. Check your state's website and if this person's name and company do not come up, forward all emails to the state.

They will kick this person's ass to hell.

I worked real estate for 26 years, and I had to verify all conractor's licenses.

crookedteeth
03-15-2012, 03:36 PM
Got the money order today, it was issued via USPS. Neat little thing - USPS has a money order verification hotline. I verified that it is not real (actually two money orders, $999 each). I spoke to a representative, they told me to take it to my local post office and turn it over to the inspector there. That's probably what I'll do, since I figure that they have further reach than local law enforcement.
I'm hoping that's enough to cover my ass, but I've done nothing wrong, so I shouldn't have to deal with it in the future.
On the website, it gave ways to tell if the money order was fake - there were two glaring inconsistencies. I then called the verification number to double check that they weren't real. The guy has been blowing up my email and even sent texts through Yahoo (of course he couldn't use a real phone number). I'm going to ignore it to a certain point, then let him know that I know they aren't real. I really want to scam the scammer, but I don't think I have the means. Oh well. He should've caught on by now that I'm not going to do this for him.

Annie-Xmas
03-15-2012, 03:49 PM
You might want to consider notifying your state's licensing bureau. They take this kind of shit very seriously.

LurkerInNJ
03-15-2012, 04:09 PM
I'm going to ignore it to a certain point, then let him know that I know they aren't real.

Deal with it head on so no more of your time is wasted.

Send him a text saying when you did the verification process with the USPS, they came back as fake so you turned them in to the postal inspector as directed.

DrDeth
03-15-2012, 04:27 PM
Umm, No. Take it to the Postal Inspectors and follow their instructions. Do not make contact with this guy again, unless they say it’s OK.

Cat Whisperer
03-15-2012, 04:33 PM
Umm, No. Take it to the Postal Inspectors and follow their instructions. Do not make contact with this guy again, unless they say itís OK.
This. The Postal Inspectors are government officials, no? They know what to do with this, I assume.

I would also contact my email provider and Craigslist and tell them what's going on with this guy; they may or may not do something about him, but companies like Yahoo or Google have lots of experience dealing with people who mis-use the internet.

crookedteeth
03-15-2012, 04:50 PM
This. The Postal Inspectors are government officials, no? They know what to do with this, I assume.

I would also contact my email provider and Craigslist and tell them what's going on with this guy; they may or may not do something about him, but companies like Yahoo or Google have lots of experience dealing with people who mis-use the internet.

It seems like someone may have already done this. The original email address was AOL, he then switched to Yahoo (same username, just @Yahoo.com) claiming he was having issues with his AOL account.

I'll follow the advice and just ignore him. I won't be able to go to the post office until tomorrow, hopefully it won't be too much of a hassle. But if it helps stop this guy then I really don't mind the hassle.

Princhester
03-15-2012, 05:57 PM
You might want to consider notifying your state's licensing bureau. They take this kind of shit very seriously.

Yeah, that state licensing bureau, they are right onto guys in Istanbul. They'll be on a plane and exercising every bit of their well known Turkish law enforcement capability shortly.

gurujulp
03-15-2012, 06:12 PM
The government entity I work for, as well as every business I know in the bay area- including Kinkos, Inc, back before they became FedEx Office, advertises in Craigslist.

This is in response to the "several thousand" fake business listings on Craigslist.

LurkerInNJ
03-15-2012, 06:13 PM
Umm, No. Take it to the Postal Inspectors and follow their instructions. Do not make contact with this guy again, unless they say itís OK.

So she should just sit there and be on the receiving end of endless e-mails and text messages rather than telling him that she knows for a fact they are fake and she turned them in to the postal inspector???

Giles
03-15-2012, 06:26 PM
So she should just sit there and be on the receiving end of endless e-mails and text messages rather than telling him that she knows for a fact they are fake and she turned them in to the postal inspector???
Yes. The postal inspector should know what action is most likely to catch the scammer, so once you've brought them in, just leave it to the experts.

neuroman
03-15-2012, 07:10 PM
Has anyone ever asked this question and wasn't being scammed?

crookedteeth
03-15-2012, 07:26 PM
Has anyone ever asked this question and wasn't being scammed?

I doubt it. I guess I was going for conversation on the point & confirmation of what I already believed. I always thought that internet scams were something overhyped, not that I'd become the mark.

jjimm
03-15-2012, 08:48 PM
I don't want to be a chicken little, but do not fuck with this guy and do not tell him you've reported him.

You are dealing with a criminal here, who has your name and your address.

Chances are he's just some small-time crook in Turkey, but there is a non-zero chance that he's part of an organised gang, who may have people in the US. The fake money orders had too have been sent from somewhere in the US, I'm guessing?

Can you view the header of any emails he's sent you? I believe Yahoo still shows the originating IP of the email. Find "view headers" in your email client and look for the "x-originating IP" - it'll be four numbers separated by dots. Then paste that number here (http://ip-lookup.net/) and it'll hopefully tell you where the email came from.

Cat Whisperer
03-15-2012, 09:24 PM
I doubt it. I guess I was going for conversation on the point & confirmation of what I already believed. I always thought that internet scams were something overhyped, not that I'd become the mark.
I sort of thought that, too, then I got the call from the guys who wanted to help us fix our computer. I had already heard of the "give them access to your computer over the phone" scam, so I basically laughed at them, but scams seems to be ubiquitous these days.

I second not confronting this guy, too - go to the post office tomorrow, and if they can't tell you what to do about the scammer, go to the police, too. If no one is interested in tracking this guy down, then I'd just get him blocked from your email and phone, etc.

Evil Captor
03-16-2012, 07:53 AM
Hes' a crook but he's not out for revenge, he's out for money. Once he realizes he can't get any out of the OP, he'll move on to his next mark.

Count Blucher
03-16-2012, 08:19 AM
Hes' a crook but he's not out for revenge, he's out for money. Once he realizes he can't get any out of the OP, he'll move on to his next mark.

Probably right. A fun light hearted response like filming your reaction to the scam as well as you burning the money order and then uploading that clip onto Youtube would probably be a bad idea....

Evil Captor
03-16-2012, 08:30 AM
Probably right. A fun light hearted response like filming your reaction to the scam as well as you burning the money order and then uploading that clip onto Youtube would probably be a bad idea....

Oh, probably not, but there are people who fuck with scammers for recreation (http://www.thescambaiter.com/).