Forums: Dropzone.com: Security and Scam Alerts:
Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques"

 


j_ung

Jan 20, 2009, 5:02 AM
Post #1 of 22 (7443 views)
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Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" Can't Post

Be very suspicious of any buyer or seller who wants to transact via Western Union or certified "cheque." These two phrases almost always seem to accompany a scam. I'll re-post this message periodically to get warnings live on the Classified page.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 21, 2009, 8:52 AM)


skydude2000  (B 5843)

Jan 20, 2009, 7:13 PM
Post #2 of 22 (7201 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard about the scams through Western Union, but the company I work for accepts certified cheques all the time. What are the other payment options to be considered, if you don't happen to be dealing escrow through a DZ or rigger?

Not sure if I should post this type of question here. Feel free to move or delete :)

Thanks.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jan 20, 2009, 8:02 PM
Post #3 of 22 (7195 views)
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Re: [skydude2000] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Lots of "certified cheques" are being used by scammers that are either stolen checks or copies of checks that bounce since they are fraudulent. PayPal is a decent option since you can pay by credit card and use the insurance your Credit Card company offers to back the transaction.


j_ung

Jan 20, 2009, 9:45 PM
Post #4 of 22 (7190 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Or,if you do transact via certified check, don't send the item until you're certain -- absolutely certain -- that your bank has authenticated the check. Call them and ask them specifically about it. These guys rely on the loopholes in the global financial system for their scams to succeed, and checks represent one of those holes.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 20, 2009, 9:48 PM)


skydude2000  (B 5843)

Jan 21, 2009, 7:12 AM
Post #5 of 22 (7168 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

What if I'm the one sending the check? I wouldn't expect anyone to accept a personal cheque either. So what's best? Asking my DZO to make the transfer, and then hand him a wad of cash or clear up the account with him by direct payment or usual means?

How would HE make that transfer, generally, just out of curiosity?


j_ung

Jan 21, 2009, 8:39 AM
Post #6 of 22 (7161 views)
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Re: [skydude2000] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

The Western Union money order that the scammer sends you is counterfeit.

www.let's-ride.com has a pretty good explanation for how this works...

Quote:
Fake Shipping Agent or Money Order Scam
If you are selling an item (especially a motorcycle, automobile, or other high dollar item) you will get e-mail attempting this scam. The scammer will attempt to purchase your bike with a money order. They will want you to take a money order for an amount larger than the purchase price for the bike. This scam works well because you are always thinking "how is he going to get the bike without paying for it", but the scammer isn't even after the bike! He is after your money! This scam is designed to get you to cash a counterfeit money order or cashiers check..

This is a typical scenario of how the scam works:

You have a bike for sale. You are asking $12000.

The scammer e-mails you with an offer to buy the bike. He may ask for photos of ask about the condition of the bike. He offer you a $11000. (A little fake haggling to make it sound good)

You reply with the information he requested and agree to sell for $11000.

He says he will purchase the bike. He asks if a money order is ok.

You agree to accept the money order.

He will give you some excuse for having wanting to send a money order for a larger amount. The most common excuse is that he has a friend who lives in the USA and owes him $15000. And because he can't easily cash the money order in his country he would like you to cash it and send the remainder to him or his "shipping agent" via Western Union.

This sounds good to you. You are thinking, "get a money order, cash it, and send the remainder. Wow, he must trust you with the a lot of money". You agree to his offer.

He wants your phone number and address. He wants to call you to verify the information.

You provide a phone number and address.

He calls you using a system designed for those who are deaf. You speak only to the operator and she relays the info. (They almost always use this type of service). On the call you can verify the address and terms etc.

The deal is all but done. You wait for a money order. It arrives FedEx overnight.

You also receive an e-mail reminder to get to the bank and cash it. The e-mail also gives you the address of Western Union locations near you.

You deposit $11000 from the money order in your account. You get $4000 to send to the shipper. You go to Western Union and send the money. You send $3995 and give Western Union $5.00 in fees. You e-mail the code to the "shipper".

With everything complete you wait for the shipping agent to come by and pick up the bike. A week will pass, maybe two weeks.

Soon you get a letter from your bank. They have charged your account $15000 plus $20 service fee because the money order was returned to them unpaid and marked counterfeit. You check with Western Union. The money was picked up and their is no way to recover it.

The final tally: The bank
Western Union
The Scammer
You + $20.00
+ $5.00
+ $3995.00
- $4020.00


j_ung

Jan 21, 2009, 8:42 AM
Post #7 of 22 (7161 views)
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Re: [skydude2000] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What if I'm the one sending the check? I wouldn't expect anyone to accept a personal cheque either. So what's best? Asking my DZO to make the transfer, and then hand him a wad of cash or clear up the account with him by direct payment or usual means?

How would HE make that transfer, generally, just out of curiosity?

This may be just me, but I'd deal through Paypal exclusively. Even if somebody doesn't have a Paypal account, it's pretty easy for them to make the payment with a major credit card. Then you have some actual protection.

Even then, ask the standard questions: Where do you jump? Who's your rigger? And then contact those people to make sure the one who contacted you is telling the truth.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Jan 21, 2009, 10:20 AM
Post #8 of 22 (7143 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Creditcards aren't as common over here as in the States and opening a paypal account with a bank account as money source takes a while. So while I usually prefer paypal, over here bank transfers are sometimes faster and often cheaper. And just as safe (for the seller anyway). I've also accepted a cheque once, funny as the check fees cost the buyer as much as the freefly suit I was selling Crazy Money orders, Western Union and stuff, never.

So far, I haven't been burned with skydiving stuff, although I did receive a surprise hybrid triathlon once that was listed as a regular triathlon (or rather not specifically as a hybrid). It pays to be smart about the person you're dealing with, after a bit you'll pick out most scams immediately by just reading the first email. My tip: don't be afraid of dealing with foreigners or with people who's English isn't that great, but mind the warning lights in your head Wink


Stanley76  (Student)

Jan 24, 2009, 12:27 AM
Post #9 of 22 (7082 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

How can be untrustworthy someone who will send with pleasure the money via Western Union to unknow man? Such guy has to be naive or has to trust you as no other, but if you hold cash 10 minutes after, you can not be scamed. I just want to want say: Western Union transaction is dangerous only for buyer not for seller. Anyway better way is to disable sellers without filled up profile.Sorry for my English Stan


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Jan 25, 2009, 9:36 PM
Post #10 of 22 (7042 views)
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Re: [Stanley76] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Stan you are correct - except in these cases the scammers request to GET PAID through WU - and like you said, cash in hand, the buyer (in this case a legit person) is screwed.

BSBD


j_ung

Jan 26, 2009, 7:46 AM
Post #11 of 22 (7028 views)
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Re: [Stanley76] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How can be untrustworthy someone who will send with pleasure the money via Western Union to unknow man? Such guy has to be naive or has to trust you as no other, but if you hold cash 10 minutes after, you can not be scamed. I just want to want say: Western Union transaction is dangerous only for buyer not for seller. Anyway better way is to disable sellers without filled up profile.Sorry for my English Stan

The fake buyer won't wire you money through Western Union, he'll send you a counterfeit Western Union money order or a fake cheque, which will be made out for far more than the agreed upon price. He will then ask you to wire the excess to a "shipper" or somebody else via Western Union or some other similar service.

It's happening in our Classifieds right now, as we speak: http://www.dropzone.com/...;;page=unread#unread


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 26, 2009, 8:33 AM)


m.s.advert  (D License)

Jun 23, 2009, 11:55 AM
Post #12 of 22 (6131 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,
he send me this same SCAM today.
Thanks for your allerts.
Blue Skies,
Mirek ( Poland )[;)


skydude2000  (B 5843)

Aug 10, 2009, 7:46 PM
Post #13 of 22 (5906 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

 
The idea of working through paypal is great because you have some assurance, but I tried to set up an account to buy some gear through that last week. It wouldn't recognize my bank transit #, and I wouldn't have been able to set it up with my credit card because the card company wouldn't approve a $3500 limit, even though I had the money in my savings account.

So for me the buyer, paypal was more of a hassle than I wanted to deal with.


pete2005

Nov 25, 2009, 4:42 PM
Post #14 of 22 (5297 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi

I got fake money check send by post and he got my adress and name.I didnt went to the bank because i found whats going on also didnt give him my bank details .Can he still screw me up or i am save?

regards


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Nov 27, 2009, 9:30 AM
Post #15 of 22 (5278 views)
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Re: [pete2005] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

you are safe. Just keep ignoring "him"


dave81  (D 30027)

Nov 16, 2010, 5:11 AM
Post #16 of 22 (4342 views)
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Re: [likestojump] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

how about this guy: he is from London, won't tell me where he jumps or who his rigger is, and wants to pay with a certified check:

I am selling a 150 stiletto and when questioned about his experience level he responds with this:

"I don't understand what you talking about do you think if i don't think these was the right rig for me i would contact you?i jump 200,The FF's get along with RW's and etc... whatever your discipline my place can accommodate (shy of a swoop pond). ...And yes i know what am getting,"


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Nov 19, 2010, 7:15 AM
Post #17 of 22 (4326 views)
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Re: [dave81] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like a common douche who shouldn't be under a stiletto Smile


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Nov 22, 2010, 4:32 PM
Post #18 of 22 (4310 views)
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Re: [dave81] Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
how about this guy: he is from London, won't tell me where he jumps or who his rigger is, and wants to pay with a certified check:

I am selling a 150 stiletto and when questioned about his experience level he responds with this:

"I don't understand what you talking about do you think if i don't think these was the right rig for me i would contact you?i jump 200,The FF's get along with RW's and etc... whatever your discipline my place can accommodate (shy of a swoop pond). ...And yes i know what am getting,"

I wouldn't take any kind of cheque from anyone where there are any questions.

Don't feel 100% comfortable with a buyer (ie won't say where he jumps or who his rigger is), don't accept any kind of cheque.


jpdalyiii  (D 5226)

Feb 24, 2012, 10:52 AM
Post #19 of 22 (3528 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

I just received a "Certified Cheque" for $2500.00 more than I was asking. This came from a guy who spoke excellent english and did not say he was sending certified funds. I took the check to the bank and they said it was not real and that a real one would have paperwork with it. This guy contacted three times and I told him no rig until I am sure the check is good, he said fine, no problem...These guys are getting good!!


JohnRich  (D License)

Feb 27, 2012, 8:10 AM
Post #20 of 22 (3503 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had good luck selling stuff with U.S. Postal money orders. Available at any post office, so they're convenient to get by the buyer. They have security features you can check, like a mylar strip as in paper bills, to see if they're obviously fake. If the buyer is outside the country, I ain't selling to him. Tough crap. If they're not willing to buy a postal money order, no deal.

As the seller, you are in charge. Don't let the buyer dictate how the deal will be transacted. Take charge and control it yourself. Tell them how it's going to be, and if they aren't willing to comply, don't make the deal.

Make such statements right up front in the ads, to drive away the scammers. State that you will accept postal money orders only, and only in the exact amount of the purchase, not a penny more. When scammers see that, they won't waste their time on you, because they know they can't steal from you.


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Feb 27, 2012, 8:14 AM)


ChrisD  (No License)

Dec 23, 2012, 8:31 AM
Post #21 of 22 (2625 views)
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Re: [j_ung] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

Blush

Get on the phone, call the home DZ, "Do you know this person?"
Do they have a phone?
Check the serial numbers with the manufacturer!
Get refrences, most all of the bigger sales/hobby type's are expecting this and they have established good reputations...

If you just sit back and don't bother to be proactive at all then I say in some respects you deserve to be scammed!

If someone can't wait for a personal check to clear, if you are unable to verify who you are dealing with, if someone refuses to send their gear to a established rigger...then screw that and move on!!! It can be a small community out there and I personally dont trust anyone who uses a fake profile or refuses to provide at least a minimum of verification!!

AGAIN ALL THE MORE REASON that this site should verify all original posteer's USPA lic in the classified section!!! Ever get asked for your lic at some of the bigger drop zones? THAT'S because your lic is automatically being checked when you manifest!! There is no room for non-skydivers to be selling gear!! EVER!!!


Espi610

Jul 30, 2013, 10:43 AM
Post #22 of 22 (2034 views)
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[baltgraham890] Buyer Scams: Western Union and Certified "Cheques" [In reply to] Can't Post

this guy named Balt (baltgraham890@gmail.com) sent me this email

I appreciate your response,I'm an marine engineer and at this moment
am presently working offshore,Sometimes access to regular emails and
phone calls is very poor offshore due to inefficiency of the immarsat
service,I located in Pacific WA, and i want you to know that I am ok
with the condition of the jumpsuit and the asking price as well,I am
buying the jumpsuit as a gift for my father and I want to surprise
him.I don't have access to my bank account on-line as i don't have
internet banking but i have my bank account attached to my PayPal
account and this is why i insisted in paying you through PayPal,kindly
get back to me with your PayPal email address and if you don't have
PayPal account yet,it is very easy to set up at your bank or online
and get it set up,after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail
address you use for registration with PayPal so as to put the money
through,I can proceed with the payment and after the payment has been
done,I have a pick up agent that will come around for verifications
and to pick the jumpsuit after i have made the payments for the
jumpsuit.So I will need you to provide me with the following
information to facilitate the making of the payment.

1.Your PayPal full name.
2.Your PayPal Email Address.
3..Your phone number.

Once again ,I will like you to know that you will not be responsible
for shipping. I will have my pick-up agent come over as soon as you
have receive the payment confirmation.

Regards.


Then when I gave him some the info he answer me with this

I was just about to make the payments when I had a little problem with
the Picking-Up Agent of the jumpsuit,Has i explained to you earlier
that I am currently on sea and I am buying the jumpsuit for my dad,I
tried to book a Pick-up with my shipping agent,But they asked me to
Pay first before they can made the Booking, and they only Accept
Western Union Money Transfer for their payment's and they don't accept
PayPal or bank Transfer and I tried to send the Money Online but i
could not and I am on sea and there is no way i can find a Western
Union Agent to make the transfer to my Pick-up agent,So i wanted to
ask if it was okay for me to include my Pick-up agent's fees in the
payment's I am about to send through PayPal,my pick up agent charged
is $210 plus Insurance and some other document for the pick-up,please
can i include their money in the payments I want to send then after i
have made the payments you will help me forward the $210 to my pick up
agent through Western Union Money Transfer,this I would have done
myself and not bother you but for the fact that I am currently on sea,
so after I have made the payments you will help me send $210 to my
pick up agent through western union money transfer,I just wanted to
seek your consent before going ahead with the payments,I will more
than appreciate if you mail me back, and I will be made the payments
shortly......Awaiting your response soonest

PS:the shipping company's Head quarters is in USA and any pick up fees
to be paid is sent to their head quarters by the payee, so the money
for pick up will be sent to their head quarters in USA through western
union money transfer(this can be done from any post office) or you can
do it online at www.western union.com

Regards

So that sounds so weird


(This post was edited by Espi610 on Jul 30, 2013, 10:54 AM)



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