EXPLOITING THE DESPERATE PART 2

I am about as pissed off as I have ever been regarding those who take advantage of people on the internet who can ill afford to be victimized. I had written about a particularly bad scam that victimizes the most vulnerable people using the internet to try and better themselves.

NO DATE ON CHECK. DEAD GIVEAWAY

https://murtwitnessonelive.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2907&action=edit

The reason I am so pissed off is not only because there seems to be nothing that can be done to convict those who engage in these scams but it is the victim who cannot afford to be placed in this position who will ultimately wind up being the one held responsible for any money lost.

Let me review how this scam came about and what happens if the victim follows through with the instructions of the person running the scam.

There was an ad posted in the Jobs section of Craigslist.com.

The title line read simply “Driver wanted for driving a car.”

As I explained in the first part of this article, the poster of the ad claims to be the daughter of a man in his late 50’s and cannot drive due to an accident. In the e-mail she sends, she goes on to explain in detail her situation:

To william murtaugh

Hello,
Thanks for getting back to me. I am Mrs Becky Smith and I’m 37 years old. I am into the Sales of Sculptures, beeds, gold, and also run delivery businesses, goods carriage for my father. I lost my mother 7 years ago. My father is 54 years and cannot drive due to an accident, please i need you to be his driver. He is fun to be with, likes jokes, you will really enjoy working with him.
You can work during the weekend if you can’t afford to work Monday to Thursday (9:00 am to 4:00pm). I have booked for a VolksWagen Passat 2008 Model Car and it is at the car depot. You will drive my father to appointments, meetings and take him back home.
Please answer and provide to me all information’s listed below.
How long know have you being driving?
Do you have a valid drivers license?
Are You married?
How Much Do You Want Per Week?
How Long do You Think You can Work?
What’s your Full name?
Your Full Address with your Post Code?
How old are you? (It does not matter how old you are just asking)
Have you being in any accident? (Not a problem just asking)
I will wait to hear from you.
Do have a nice day.
Mrs Becky.

Now, this letter is odd to say the least and there were obvious alarms contained that indicated this is a phony. The problem is that there are those out there who would not catch what I did and answer this woman’s questions to see if this could be the answer they needed to get a job they so desperately need.

I thus, went ahead and sent her a letter back answering all of her questions to see what would come next.

What came next was a bit of a surprise:

Hello,
How are you doing, thanks for your reply, i really appreciate it. I really want to assure you that you will enjoy working with my Father.
You will be picking him up every day Monday to Thursday and I also want to assure you that you have the job and please do not apply for another driver job. I like to pay weekly and your weekly pay will be $500. I have spoken to my father and he says he is ok with it. It is a good idea I make upfront payment of one week to you to secure you as my driver and also I will be needing your help too.
My agent’s Company will mail a Bank Certified cheque, you will cash the cheque and then deduct your first week pay ($500) and then wire the remainig fund via Western union money transfer to the car company, where i booked for the VolksWagen Passat 2008 Model Car which you will be using in driving my father.
The following of your details be needed:
FULL NAME:
ADDRESS:
POST CODE:
PHONE NUMBER(Cell and Home Phone):
PERMANENT EMAIL ADDRESS:
Please provide to me all information’s listed above.
I will wait to hear from you.
Do have a nice day.
Mrs Becky.

Wed Sept. 15th.

Now, right in the middle of my writing this article Ms. Smith sends me the instructions for sending the “car money.” Now pay close attention to her letter. Remember that this is supposed to be for a car in ORLANDO FLORIDA. Nowhere in the letter does she say anything about where and how to pick up the car.

I wonder why? DUH!!!!!

Here is the information to send the funds to and you must send it via western union.
Western union information:
Name: Edward Bradley
City: Cheyenne
State: WY
Zip code: 82001
As soon as you sent the money,email me the following information:
MTCN
Name of Sender
Address of Sender
City
State
Zip code
Amount Sent

Thanks
Mrs Becky

At the moment this woman does not know I am on to her scam and she is texting me for the information to give to “Mr Bradley” when he goes to get his money. I would love for someone to be there to “greet” Mr Bradley when he shows up.

What really makes me mad about this scam is that the woman assures the victim he has a job and TO QUIT LOOKING. This is probably the cruelest thing this crook could have done but it is only the beginning of the troubles for anyone who falls for this scam.

To the most savvy among my readers, the instruction to use Western Union to send “the remaining funds…” would indicate that this is a scam. However, what the scammer is hoping for is that someone who is desperate and not savvy to these stunts will go ahead and deposit the official looking check and considering the HUGE amount in the check, the 500.00 that is left would help them out. The victim may also think that since the check is a “cashiers check” that the funds are backed by the bank on which the funds are being drawn.

The victim would find out in short order how wrong this assumption is and would not only be a victim of the scammer but also by THE BANK.

If you go back and read the scammer’s letter you would have seen the term “certified funds” used although the check sent was a “cashiers check.” This is important since a certified check means just that. If it had been a LEGITIMATE check, the funds would have been locked in place upon the check being issued. The bank cashing the check also goes through a “certification process” before a check is deposited into a payee’s account. This is NOT the case with a cashier’s check. It is up to the payee to verify the check is genuine. The scammer did not count on me calling the issuing bank and getting the funds verified.

When I did call the bank after having my local bank fax them the casher’s check, I found out surprise, surprise, that the check is NOT valid.

Now some of you are probably asking how the victim is hit twice by this scam? The answer is quite simple. As I stated above, many victims would look at this “cashiers check” and feel that it is genuine. If the victim signs the check and hands it to the teller to run it through their fancy little scanner and accept it, they assume that the bank has approved the check and feels that it is genuine.

WRONG! Within a few days of “sending funds to the car depot.” the victim would soon find out that the cashier’s check has BOUNCED! Now this is where things get real bad for the victim.

Let me use MY bank as an example. My bank will not pre-certify a cashiers check. They will deposit the check with the usual hold against my account. If I happen to have enough money to cover the check already deposited, I would be able to use those funds. If not, I would be allowed to use half of the funds.

Now, here is the BAD news. WHEN the cashier’s check bounces, the bank comes after the VICTIM for the money. The bank DOES NOT write the check off nor are they required to. A cashier’s check is NO different than a regular check. The victim is still responsible if it bounces.

In the case of MY bank there is a hefty initial fee of at least $50.00 PLUS a 8.00 DAILY fee for every day the account remains in arrears. The VICTIM may also find himself facing charges if the check is not made good.

There is NO effort made by EITHER bank to do anything to help the victim or go after the scammer. The scammer walks away with an easy $2000.00 and the victim winds up in worse shape than ever.

Craigslist is of no help either. It took a rash of flags to get the ad removed. Every time it got flagged, the scammer would put it back, usually under a new account or slightly different wording.

There seems that little more than spreading the word about this scam can be done. The mainstream media is NOT interested in this scam. I have not seen one mention by any mainstream media outlet about this problem. They are more interested in the Orlando Magic and Avatar than the plight of ordinary citizens.

There will, by the way, be  a part three to this little saga.

Stay Tuned

MURT

5 Comments

  • non says:

    “Mrs. Becky” doesn’t even know how to spell “beads.”
    She also doesn’t know that “Mrs. Becky Smith” would be properly signed as “Mrs. Smith.”
    The genius couldn’t think of a more believable sir name to use than “Smith”; lol.
    Not the sharpest scam artist, that’s for sure.
    But, MURT, you are right, some poor soul out there looking for a job could be suckered into this bullshit artist’s scam and subject themself to a world of shit.
    You shouldn’t have given them your home address, though, MURT.
    You should probably edit it out of the image you posted, too. Too many crazies out there.

    • Well, that address will not matter long as the house is about to go back to the bank. Not that it would matter since some other scammer decided to post my address all over the internet along with the pictures of my house.

      MURT

  • non says:

    I spelled “surname” wrong! haha And I meant to say married name.
    I had a dumb moment.

  • non says:

    Were you able to fwd the texts?

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