Copyrighhted 11/06/08

Here is a new one to some of you, but an old one to me.

I have been warning a lot of people about certain types of scams for a long time. Recently, I learned about a few people that were scammed and sent their money elsewhere based upon fake checks they received. They were both young and old in age.”

Several months ago, as I finally got one of my properties back because of the injustice of the U.S. Department of Justice. A friend suggested that I should advertise the property on craigslist.com. Not knowing the site, I listed an Ad. Of course this site is just like any other advertising site visited by good people but also visited by scammers.

As a result of my Ad, I received many emails from interested parties, who all wanted me to hold the property, and they have already sent me payment. They sent me payment so that I would pay the travel agency for their travel arrangement from England, Australia or even some northern parts of the U.S.

Here is the order of the emails I receivedJ
1. Every one of them had very poor English writing skills, however, claimed to be doctors, professionals, engineers, and minimally educated people with high paying jobs.
2. They all claimed to be English speaking citizens. Of course, any one can be a citizen, even if they cannot speak a word of the national language of the country.
3. All of them had the same style of writing with broken sentences. All of them excited; asking me not enter into an agreement with anyone else (showing much interest). They also claimed that payment is on the way -even if they didn’t have my information. Then, they asked me for my name, address, and phone so that they could send the payment. They all claimed that the payment has come or is coming from a company in the U.S. They all also claimed that they are sending me more that my required amount so that I would pay for their travel arrangement to my house/city and all their furniture shipment.
4. All of them were ready to grab the property, without seen the property.
5. All of them had a third party in the U.S. that was going to overnight the check to me

Mind you, I have been writing and talking about scams for years and am very familiar with banking laws (at least presentation of checks and have access to find any bank and their company officers in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

When I saw the first email, I prepared a general Q & A (FAQ) email, describing the property, showing pictures, described in detail that I ONLY ACCEPT U.S. BANK CASHIER/CERTIFIED CHECKS or the U.S. POSTAL SERVICES MONEY ORDER. I announced clearly that I would not accept any other payments.

I also noted very clearly that, I WILL NOT HOLD THE PROPERTY for ANYONE UNLESS I RECEIVE THE EXACT AMOUNT OF PAYMENT FOR THE FIRST MONTH, and 2 PAYMENTS FOR SECURITY. Moreover, I noted, “PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME A DIME more that what the payment is.” I WILL NOT SEND PAYMENTS ELSEWHERE, PAY FOR ANY OF YOUR OTHER NEEDS, MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, OR MAKE OR PAY FOR YOUR FURNITURE and SHIPPING”.

I bundled the entire email including pictures and had it ready for anyone that responded to me. It seems that it did not matter how many times I would tell these scammers the same thing, they would still send the same type of email or modify it a bit and again, send me the email.

And finally:
I received 3 overnight packages. One was a check printed on an old INK-JET color printer with a COPY signature. Another one- was a regular check from a bank account, which had been inactive for years with a negative balance, and one that I cannot even describe because it was screaming FAKE from miles away.

I immediately contacted the “SECURITY” departments of banks that was stated on the face of the check and shared the information. One of the banks already knew and the other was glad to hear from me. The third, I did not even bother, because it was too fake to waste time on.

Now, one of the idiots who sent me the checks, also sent me a “fake” official-looking document that accepting these check and not complying with the terms of the agreement would cause criminal prosecution upon me. Oooh, very scary!!! As soon as I read it, I could not stop laughing. Of course, for those of you out there, this is a way for the scammers to present themselves as legitimate business people wanting to make you scared that if you “DEPOSIT” the check, you MUST immediately take money out for the overage and send it to the destination they provide, or they will press criminal charges. What a bull. J

Let’s not forget, these checks were NOT the type I asked. They were personal or company checks when I asked for Bank Cashier Check. Every one of these checks was for thousands of dollars over the amount of my required payments. The interested parties (scammers) wanted me to deposit the checks and take money out-of my account (for the difference between what I asked and what was writing on the check) and Western Union the difference to some location OUT-SIDE the U.S.

I am certain you got the picture.

Now allow me to shed a little light over check processing.

I send you a check. Whether it is legitimate or fake, whether in-state or out, it must be deposited, except if you take it to the issuing bank (the bank that is on the face of the check). If you take it to the issuing bank, the bank can cash the good check, if the funds are available. Otherwise, you have to take the check to your bank, make the deposit, and hope and pray it will remain good until it clears the issuing bank.

Let’s not forget the following issues:
1. You deposit this check, take some money out and then I stop payment a couple of days later (immediately before it hits my bank). You lose.
2. I will even let the check clear my account. Then, I contact my bank and dispute that the payment was issued to a wrong party. Most banks do NOT allow these types of disputes, but believe me, it can BE DONE. You lose again.

I hope I am making some sense here. Just like you tell your young ones, “Do not take candy from strangers,” follow the same rule and don’t accept what looks to be like candy from strangers.

Recently, I went to another great and helpful site for consumers and advertised my Chinese Crested puppies. Again, I was stormed by similar emails and a check delivery, even though I repeatedly forwarded my FAQ, my funds acceptance policies and pictures of the puppies.

So, good boys and girls, do NOT accept fake checks, rush to the bank, drain your account, and forward money to some stranger somewhere-cluelessly. Some of these “fake” checks look so good that even your bank managers (experienced bankers) may get fooled. Therefore, this is my suggestion.

When you receive a check from an unknown entity, take your time, find the issuing bank, call them or drive there (if in your neighborhood), and share all the information about the check. Show the check and let the bank certify that it is a legitimate check. Otherwise, send the check back and ask for cashier/certified U.S. bank check).

With love and best wishes,

Mike Samadi

Any questions? Go to Q & A of http://www.MasterCreditRepair.net, read and post. Go to the “Comment” page and post your story or comment. Your information will remain confidential. Joint my membership club (coming soon).

Author's Bio: 

Mike Samadi is an author of several books and over 40 extensive consumer financial articles. He is widely known as a credit repair expert. Read Mike's book ("Bad Things happen to Good People. Your Credit = Your Life, Fix It Now!" or "Saving Your Money") to gain knowledge and experiences needed to overcome your financial problems. Please visit the website at www.MasterCreditRepair.net to learn more and fix/maintain your credit and save money in all sorts of ways. The site is not just about credit repair. It will teach you about money management, stopping scam so that you would not lose time, money nor sleep and so much more. Join his upcoming membership site and team.

For over 12 years he has been assisting consumers with their creditor, merchant and government agencies issues. When people were consumed and troubled by issues for a year or more- he, in a few hours or a day would solve most (if not all) their difficulties.

His believes in: "More Lost by Indecision than by Bad Decision", "Knowledge is wealth", "Ask and you shall receive" among others.

He had been college professor for years and is continually pursuing motivation speaking.