Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scam Scare

Leif and I traded one of our weeks to Breckenridge Colorado for a trip in November. The idea was that we would go and spend sometime by ourselves and then Malo, Yvonne, and the kiddos would meet us out there a little later in the week. However, fate had different plans! Malo and Yvonne are moving to our little vacation to Colorado didn't seem like it would be that practical anymore.

I posted our week on craigslist in the Denver area, I recieved a couple of emails from people that were interested, and then I received this one

Thanks for your prompt response.I have discussed this with my Wife about this and we have agreed to use your place starting from 16th of Nov to 23rd Nov 2008 and as for the cost, we are alright with it. You can send me the lease application , to enable me to review it ahead of time. I would eventually have it signed physically when i arrive. In my opinion, appending signataries should be done properly and at best physically.

You can prepare the lease in my my name Dave Breaken, My wife work with a company in the state because she is in Gary,Indiana and Also about the payment My Wife's employers will be the one responsible for all our our vacation expenses as a wedding gift and they have promised to send you a certified check as soon as you have penned these dates down for us. Kindly email me your full name,physical address, home and cell phone number so that the payment can be mailed out to you soon.And we are just two coming over .
Here is my information bellow please use this information to book me for
those date.

First Name Dave Breaken
Address:2345 Ralston st
Gary Indiana

Waiting to read from you.Have a great week ahead.

Dave Breaken
Coldwell Banker Schmitt RE Co. Lower Keys Office
Office: 206-666-3918
Fax: 305-872-4220
2345 Ralston st,Gary Indiana

My first reaction was, that this guy had very poor grammar. But the emails went back and forth and then he said his wifes company was going to send us a check for the room and that it was going to be for more than the room so could we please wire the remaining back to his travel agent. Ahhh?? Okay??? That was when the warning bells started ringing. We received a check (which even to my eye looked fake) in the mail (overnight delivery from FLORIDA..this guy says he is in Indiana) for 3,055.63. Whoa. We were asking $750 for the week. I immedialtey got on craigslist and checked out their "Avoiding Scams" tab here is what they had to say:

2. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check

you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your item, or rent your apartment, sight unseen.
cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or for just about anything else of value.
value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

4. distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:

this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE
sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
deal often seems too good to be true


  1. Oh my gosh! Your trip is off? I had no idea. I can't believe someone tried to scam you. It's a good thing you paid close attention. Hopefully your post will help others avoid the scam.

  2. That's awful. I had the exact same stuff when I was trying to sell our fridge...I notice they always have gmail accounts and say "its nice to read from you." I had two different people respond with almost the exact same verbage...always offering MORE and wanting you to wire the remainder. Scary stuff.

    I think we should still go to Breck.

  3. Thats crazy! Do these people have nothing better to do than to rip people off!

  4. WOW! Close call there. Good thing you're a smart girl and figured it out. And Sheesh girl, I don't check you blog for two days and I have a gazillion posts to read!