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Beware of check scams

I write this letter to warn others that the old check scam is alive and well.

A few weeks ago I posted an item for sale on the website ‘Let Go.’ Price was $300 and I immediately received a text that this person, the buyer, would pay the full price plus another $30 for shipping. This person requested that I immediately remove the item from the website. That was odd and a bit unusual.

Various texts back and forth continued and the buyer said she was moving from the area and her mover would now pick up the item and I was to pay the mover $30 that was originally designated for shipping. My inquiry to name the mover went unanswered and at this point I was more or less convinced that the buyer had ulterior motives.

Text communications continued over several days. Finally, the buyer texted that she would be sending a check for $330 via UPS. UPS delivered an envelope with the check and a poorly composed note that convinced me that the buyer was a scammer and probably overseas. The check amount was for $1,530! I blocked any further communication from the scammer. If I had played along, the scammer would have instructed me to deposit the phony check and send her the overpayment balance, probably by gift card. By the way this is not a one-person operation. It’s a well-organized group of thieves.

I contacted Consumer Protection, a division of N.C.’s Department of Justice, and followed up by sending them everything I’d received from the scammer including UPS label and tracking information. They will add my information to their data base and with any luck will be able to shut down this nasty operation.

Doug Robie


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