Heat pump

Caveat Vendor - Internet scams

I listed a heat pump for sale on Craig's list and was deluged with offers to buy it. All but a few of the offers were in stilted language that asked me to accept a cashier's check in exchange for the merchandise that would be picked up by a trucking company.

This is an example:
"Hello ,

I would love to buy your item,i am okay with the price ,all i want to know if it is still in good conditions for use and if you're willing to accept a certified cashier check as a form of payment because that is the only way i can make payment available for the item .I want this transaction to be fast so if you're okay with my form of payment kindly get back with the following information 's for me to issue the payment to you immediately:

Full name... Full address.... City... State... Zip code... phone number...

as soon as i receive the requires details from you i will immediately instruct my secretary to proceed with the issuance of the -$1500 to your name and mailed to your address. And also,, don't worry about the pick up, i know a forwarding courier services here that will pick it up. And it would be done after you've got your check cashed. I will be waiting for your response soonest as i want the item as soon as possible. I am really interested because i want to get it for my in law who would be celebrating his birthday soonest ,i wouldn't want to loose it because this is like a surprise package for my inlaw so i wouldn't mind a $70 extra for you for the item so you can be able to hold the item for me and also tell other interested parties that it has been sold .if this is okay with get back with the information today.I will like to see the pics
Christel "

I've often wondered what would happen if I were to accept one of these offers. I know for certain that the cashiers check would be worthless but I understand that people who make these offers are beyond prosecution. How can something that is as big as a heat pump be transported to Nigeria, or wherever it ends up, without finding somebody to arrest? Why are US citizens not protected by our government from this type of scam?

As a public service, would you guys be interested in following a transaction like this? We could see how the check arrives, what it looks like, where it originated, how long it takes to find out that it is worthless, who shows up to haul the heat pump, how they were contacted, where they are supposed to deliver it, who is supposed to receive it, what they are planning to do with it once it arrives, who asked them to do it, etc. We could also find out what authority is supposed to investigate this type of crime and why they are so ineffective in preventing it.

Have you done stories like this? I believe that billions of dollars are lost every year to schemes like these. I think people would be interested to learn more.

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Hello? says ... on Friday, Nov 13 at 2:08 PM

That's why you ALWAYS put in your CL ad "CASH ONLY".

It's about the check says ... on Tuesday, Aug 4 at 8:59 AM

They couldn't care less what you are selling. They would "mistakenly" send more than you asked for then ask you to send the difference back to them via Western Union. The check is worthless and if you deposited it, your bank would charge you.

peach says ... on Monday, Aug 3 at 7:04 PM

Same exact thing happened to me when I tried to sell a used matress on craigslist. I'm just curious what these people do with these random things. Maybe its just a way to collect personal information.

Me Too! says ... on Tuesday, Oct 28 at 7:12 AM

I have sold many things on Craigslist and EBAY and had the same thing happen. On Craigs it was with firewood and a motorcycle. Somebody wanting to pay me for it then have their shipping company come and pick up. Sight unseen.

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