How Does This Scam Work?

zimbo

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Posts
2,944
Location
Rochester, NY
I'm selling an expensive guitar online. I get an email from a guy asking a couple simple questions and then he says he'll buy it. He says he's out of town but he'll deposit the money in Venmo and his wife will stop over to pick up the guitar. I just got a similar email today only this time it's the sister that will come over to pick up the guitar. Sounds like a scam but how?
 
Last edited:

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
56,600
Location
Bakersfield
I'm selling an expensive guitar online. I get an email from a guy asking a couple simple questions and he then says he'll buy it. He says he's out of town but he'll deposit the money in Venmo and his wife will stop over to pick up the guitar. I just got a similar email today only this time it's the sister that will come over to pick up the guitar. Sounds like a scam but how?
Anytime the purchase has "I'm out of town, but..." ANYWHERE in the communication it's a scam. Don't worry, they ARE trying to scam you, if you have any sense at all you'll steer clear of them. YOU WANT TO BELIEVE! That's what the scammer is counting on.
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
47,692
Location
San Benito County, California
it can work two ways--> one way is they 'send you the money' from a fraudulent credit card, once the guitar is picked up, they cancel the card and the money disappears.

or two, he 'sends you the money' then for whatever reason, he can't buy the guitar, he asks for the money back, you, being a good guy, transfer it back, except he used a fraudulent card, cancelled it and when you send the money back, it is your money.
 

Milspec

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
7,196
Location
Nebraska
It is a scam, but probably not against you. They sound like they are going to use stolen account information to send you money while they arrange somebody to pick up the item. Somebody else is getting screwed.

About 5 years ago, there was an amplifier on ebay listed as new in box for about half the price. It was an impulse buy for me, but the invoice was for a bank in a Soviet block country while the listing showed it in Illinois. I contact fleabay who told me that the seller doesn't have any complaints and that they deal is binding. I paid via paypal so I had some buyer protection from fraud and damn if I didn't get an invoice right back with expected delivery in 3 days.

The amp arrived brand new sealed in box. The invoice in the box showed that they amp was purchased 10 minutes after I bought it on fleabay from a dealer in Kansas City using a credit card belonging to a guy in Kimball Nebraska. If you are following along, this person in the Russian block country used stolen credit card information to buy and ship me an amplifier.

Funny part was that nobody cared. Fleabay said that as long as the seller got paid and the buyer received the item, they didn't care. I contacted law enforcement and they said that the money involved didn't interest them either. I even tracked down the person on the credit card who said that he noticed the charge, reported it as fraud, and it was removed. So, the only person that got screwed was the bank that issued the credit card.

I think that is what is going on in your situation as well. Your main concern is to be sure that the money can't be cancelled after the fact by the buyer. As long as the money has cleared and in your account, I don't think you can get hurt, but somebody else will.

Basically, I am saying that it is a thief and I would not do business with them, but it is set up in a way that you could probably make the deal and not be the one getting harmed.
 

bgmacaw

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
9,458
Location
Near Athens GA USA
As long as the money has cleared and in your account, I don't think you can get hurt, but somebody else will.

The key part is "cleared". Some, if not most banks, will show the money in your account out of courtesy. But, when the fraud shows up in the system a few days or even weeks later, you're on the hook for it.
 

Boreas

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Posts
8,683
Age
67
Location
Adirondack Coast, NY
When I tell them it's a cash only deal the communication stops.
Bingo!

It may make you feel a little better to report everything to the seller site. They may be able to put him on Double-Secret Probation. :lol:
 
Last edited:

WRHB

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Posts
500
Location
USA
THIS! Absolutely, if his wife/sister/elderly mother et al. are coming to pick up the guitar, surely, they can just bring the cash money with them.
I wonder if the elderly mother would mind baking an apple pie and bringing it over with the cash. When I was a kid elderly women made the best homemade pies. They always made the ones with the lattice tops and the crusts were somehow always flaky even though they should have been mushy because they were buried under fresh fruit. A steaming slice of that with vanilla ice cream that barely fit in the little glass dessert plate they served it in so you would think you were getting a huge piece……… excuse me while I see if there’s a guitar I want to sell!
 

King Fan

Poster Extraordinaire
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Posts
8,167
Location
Salt Lake City
This is insanely common, which tells us it must work -- as a scam. The essence is they *want* you to try to see how it can be a scam. Their victims are folks who tried to figure it out -- and failed.

Money order, cashier's check, bank check, credit card, debit card, Venmo, bitcoin, little sister's lunch money.... Just know it's a scam, don't try to figure it out. :)
 

memorex

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Posts
5,440
Age
72
Location
Sweet Lorain, OH
I have only a few pieces of gear left to sell because I've already sold everything I wanted to get rid of. But if I do sell any gear in the future, it will be cash only, and no refunds.
 




Top