A new ploy for fraud?

I recently got an inquiry on one of my ads (not here on Audiogon but on another site) for a pair of interconnects. After a few emails back and forth, we agreed on the price of $90. The prospective buyer then said he is in England and would like to propose an (unusual!) payment method. He said someone in the states owes him $3000, so he will ask this guy to send me a check for $3000, I am to cash the check and then WIRE him the difference ($2910 in this case). Of course I said thanks but I deal in cash. I never heard from him again. Has anyone experienced this?
Sounds like money laundering to me. Especially given that the price of the item he inquired about was insignificant compared to the amount of money he wanted you to handle.
when your bank cashes the check you are then responsible for the funds. if the check doesn't clear with the bank for whatever reason, then *you* have to pay back the 3000. this sounds like a variation on a classic scam, where con men use dating sites to prey on lonely women. they send them 'money orders' and ask for the cash to be wired. then, when the money orders are rejected by the bank (sometimes weeks later), the person who deposited them is responsible and has already wired the money or sent the cash to some guy they never see again. although it could be legit. i wouldn't do it - no way, no how.
Excellent explanation Lazarus28! This scam is much more prevelant than you think, and usually originates overseas since it's that much harder to track the perpetrator. One of the TV news magazines (either dateline or 20/20) covered this topic recently. In that case, it was for a BMW to the tune of $60k. Another told of a couple who were selling their used car for $5k. The buyer was from South Africa and pulled the same scam. The poor couple were taken for $5k. I'd save that e-mail address and present it to the authorities (though I'm not sure who the proper authorrities are!)Next time offer to collect the debt first, for a fee of course. More likely than not, that person will balk at the idea. Be wary of referneces as well, which can be easily fabricated.
I have read thes EXACT scam posted by someone else on another forum.

I'm fairly sure that this is a scam and you will be left holding the bag! For a $90 sale, I'd look elsewhere.

This sounds like the guy from Nigeria who has $1 million in a US bank account and needs your help getting it wired to him . . . I have received this email about 7 times. I think I read about it in Newsweek last year too.
Someone tried to scam me the same way a few days back, also on another audio website. Most likely the same guy - says he's from England, but he's really from Nigeria. He and his group have tried (in some cases successfully) to scam people on other websites (collectibles, cars). They'll send you a fake bank check and hope you wire them the money before you're bank realizes the check was bogus.
Americans have become easy prey, at least the unsuspecting one to these forms of scam. For that reason, I seldom sell anything worldwide. Remember the adage"if it sounds too good to be true, then probably it is"
Am I stupid or what? Why are we talking about $3000 for a $90 pair of interconnects? If the guy is owed $3000, that's his problem! Tell him you were born at night...just not last night, and walk away!
Hi , here is a 2 emails someone sent me this morning. I was a little scepticle when I received them. Now I know I'm not doing this deal. They are as follows:

hi,my name is phillipe.i`m from the netherlands.i`m based in the united arab emirates.i`m interested in buying the ampilfier for the stated price.get in touch.thanks and God bless
The next read:
johnhansman ,

i am based in united arab emirates but presently on a business trip to africa,however i intend to pay with a cashiers check through my colleague in US that is owing me $6,000,i
will instruct my colleague to send the check to you,when the check
clears ,you deduct the cost of the amplifier and send what ever balance to
me.i have already made shipping arrangements,when the check has been
cashed,i will inform my shipping agent to contact for the pick up of
the amplifier ,if you are willing to assist with this transaction,then
provide me with the name and address where you want the check
sent.so that the check will be sent immediately,as i will like to
have this amplifier pretty soon.

thanks once again.


His email is: phillipe_vangouw@yahoo.com

Buyer Beware

If this gentleman can write you a check drawn on a US bank, then that check is backed up by an account and routing number. Which means he can directly wire-transfer funds to his cohort in England. Or HE could cash his own check and wire away to England. Wise move to back away. It's funny how some people think how stupid we are... it's sad that some also fall for it by sheer greed or misplaced good will.
Hi, I had a little bit of a different experience I would like to share, I won a bid on E-Bay 2 weeks ago for a Krell 600C, the guy is from Belgium. I wanted to pay him Paypal, wich was offered or meet him in person with a bank draft, deal was worth $5500.00 usd. He wanted me to deposit the money in his New York bank account. He would not call me or give me his telephone contact number. All I had was an e-mail and a telephone number that was directed to an answering machine. Hardly a secure position to hand over $5500. The guy said he would hold the amp until he got back about 5 days. I new something was wrong. I contacted the person that was the bidder below me. I told him that I was from London and wanted to know if he had been contacted by the seller of the Krell 600C he was bidding on with auction #, and that I suspected that this could be a fraud. He contacted me , and said that yes he was contacted, and that he had wired the funds in his account. He was very worried at this point.He got back to me and, had done some investigation and replied that ( he thought this person was using someone else site )and that the over 300 + feedback didn't belong to him. He thinks he has been scamed, but still hoping for the package. Remember pay by Credit Card and (usually) if you don't get the product you don't have to pay, there is some form of protection. A bank transfer cannot be recovered, (If you have the person contact number, and you feel secure, your choice) I sure hope that this guy gets his package. I have done many deals in high end audio, everyone until this deal has been very informative with an open telephone communication, willing to share ideals and there valuable time.
Sounds like the same person who tried this on me (see below). He even sent me a bogus check for $4,200. I think we should all pressure Audiogon to put a warning on their website.
From: "Jick Thomas"
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 13:05:41 -0500


Thanks for your quick response. I am interested and would be willing to buy it at that price, I am glad to hear that it is in mint condition. I will take you for your words. Like I said before, I am located in England and have an International shipping agent that will come pick it up from your house and ship to me. I will arrange for payment by sending your full name and address to my client in the States who is owing me the amount of $3900 to issue you a cashier's check for this amount. which is a refund for a cancelled order I placed with him, and being a refund the amount can only be written on a single check. I know it is more than the amp price but after getting the check, I need you to cash it and deduct cost of the amp, then do me a favour of wiring the remaining balance to my International shipper via money gram/western union. You will also deduct $300 for running around and for the charge fee for wiring back the difference. After this is done, he will then pick the amp up from your residence and ship to me.

So, confirm this and send your full name and address including phone # for mailing the check payment to you as soon as possible.

Waiting for your urgent reply. Thanks and god bless.

Kind regards,
This same guy from England tried to buy an amp I was selling. I caught on up front and am trying to help the police now. He will buy an item as reported and have a third party send a cashiers check , which is bad and worth nothing. I actually received the check and the police will soon have it, but he like before wants the balance wired to Nigeria. He used the name Jick Thomas. Be careful!! He sent me $4000.00 for a $700.00 amp. Told me to keep $300.00 for my troubles. The moneyorder was from Allstate Bank, this bank has had this happen many times and can verify quickly if it is false.