Are You the Victim Of a Craigs List Certified Check Scam?

by: Ed Opperman

Have you become the victim of a Craigs List certified check scam? There are many different kinds of Craigs List scams but the main ones that most people fall victim to involve fake certified checks. After all if it's a certified check or a money order it must be ok right? Wrong!

Here's how it usually works. An innocent person places an ad on Craigs List. It could be to sell an item or rent out an apartment. But it's some kind of transaction where the person placing the ad is asking for payment for a goods or services.

An offer comes in reply that seems almost too good to be true. someone wants to buy your item or rent your room and they have certified funds they want to send you ASAP in order to close the deal. When the certified check or money order arrives it turns out the buyer made a mistake. They sent you too much money. You email to explain the mistake and they tell you to just deposit the funds and apply it to next months rent.

So you go to your bank and deposit the check into your account. Suddenly you get an urgent message. The buyer has an emergency and needs you to wire him the overpayment right away. He's sorry for he unconvinced but he needs the overpayment so badly he's willing to take less that you owe him if you can just wire the money right away. You go to your bank and only a portion of the check has cleared. You assume the check must be good so you withdraw enough to wire to your new roommate that's in urgent need of your help.

Now what happens next is you get a notice from your bank that your account is overdrawn. It seems that the certified funds were no go and since you withdrew funds against it your bank wants the money back right away. You try to contact your new Craigs List friend but he no longer replies to your emails or answers your calls.

That's basically how it goes but of course thee are variations. If this has happened to you there may be help if you can trace the buyers emails back to an address within the US. If you can you can get the police to investigate and maybe get your money back. However if the emails trace to out side of the USA your money may be lost forever.

You'll need to find a professional investigator that is familiar with Craigs List Scams and successful at tracing emails back to the sender.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc