Lots of people try to make a little extra money by selling their unwanted stuff on Craigslist or other apps. And unfortunately, there's always someone sitting and waiting to scam you.
James Kallam wanted to get rid of a car, so he posted an ad on Craigslist. James immediately received a messaged from a man named Gary Taylor in Ohio.
“He said he was interested in the car and didn’t want to come out and look at it. He just wanted it and wanted my address so he could send me a check,” James explained.
A few days later, James received an official looking envelope and was surprised by the amount written on the check.
“I wanted $2,000 for the car but this was more than I was expecting.”
The check was for over $3,800. Gary claimed the extra money was to cover the moving expenses for the car. But James’ brother, Jerry, couldn’t help but think something wasn’t right.
James said, “I go to my brother’s house and I asked him if he thought the check was real or not. He said no.”
There were a few red flags. One, the man who sent the check claims he’s from Ohio, but the check was mailed from Baltimore, Maryland and the check itself was issued from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In addition, ‘Gary’ wanted James to deposit the check, then head to Walmart and take out $1,800. James was then instructed to send $900 to one mover and another $900 to a different mover- both who were based in Atlanta, Georgia.
So- if your keeping tabs- ‘Gary’ from Ohio mailed a check from Baltimore that was issued in Tulsa to James in North Carolina who then needed to send money to Atlanta.
It’s enough to make your head hurt.
This is a classic scam. The bad guy wants you to take your money from your account and send it to unknown people. By the time the bank tells you the check you deposited isn’t real, you’re already out thousands of dollars.
2 Wants to Know sent a few messages to ‘Gary’ from James’s phone, trying to get him to call us. ‘Gary’ claimed he was in a meeting and it was easier to text. We sent another message to ‘Gary’, wondering if he wanted us to wait a few days for the check to clear before we sent the mover’s fee. ‘Gary’ said the check already cleared.
But, there was one problem. We never deposited the check. So, how did the check clear, if it never left the house? ‘Gary’ kept urging James to proceed and send the mover’s fee. After a few more messages, we told Gary who we really were and asked him to call us to verify if the check and his interest in the car were real. Gary never responded.
We also checked with the company the check was issued from. They said they’ve received an uptick in complaints from North Carolina form people receiving fake checks after posting Craigslist ads. So, we know this is fake. And James, by the way, still has his car up for sale. But, he won’t be placing another Craigslist ad.