Saturday, January 06, 2007

To Catch a Scammer: Roommate Scam - Part VII

Sent: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 1:59:34 AM
Subject: pls mail asap
[Me],
Thanks for the mail i do really appreciate that.I will like to notify you that my stay here is due.I will really appreciate it if you could contact you bank for fast clearance.Thanks
[xxxxxx]

[xxxxxx],
I am told that clearance on checks of this nature can take up to 5 weeks! Although the money registers in my account, the check will need to be validated, so I have been advised against using any of that money until validation is complete. In fact, the money will be "held" in my account but unavailable for use.
I do not know whether you are aware of it, but there is a "roommate scam" working its way around the Internet. The bank just wants to be sure that we are not being swung that way, which is why the funds will be held until the check is verified. I shall let you know when that happens.
What is your itinerary look like? Good luck. I might advise that you begin to find alternative funding for the short term, something you can pay back when your check is verified - to enable you to travel here. This is where your sponsor might be helpful - since he knows the money will be refunded.
= [Me]

Sent: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 8:57:54 AM
Subject: hello
Hi [Me],
Thanks for the mail and i quite understand you.I will like to notify that im a lady of great dignity and respect,i will never and ever venture in any act of fruadunlancy,the reason why i asked for fast clearance is just because my stay here is due and i will be taking care of bill now not the company i work for and i dont have much with me.I wish you understand what im taking about and i will be very greatfull if you can help me out.
I will provide you my flight details as soon as i confirm it from the travelling agency.
Thanks and i cant wait to meet you.............[xxxxxx]
  • The check was received and deposited. At the same time, the bank was notified of the circumstances of the check, and they agreed that it could be a scam.
  • There's a new character in the plot - John Williams, the issuer of the check. I wonder who this one is ...
  • The check looks authentic enough - watermarks are intact and routing numbers check out. I'm told it takes about 2 weeks for fraudulent checked to be identified. But the amount is credited to the account within 2 days and can actually be used.
  • There may be a charge to the account when the check bounces, something in the neighborhood of $30. Victims of this scam end up paying for that as well (in addition to repaying the bank the amount of the fradulent check).
  • Normally, the victim would have sent the Western Union money transfer at this point. Everything still looks good from my end - nothing abnormal.
Now the focus shifts to travel arrangements. We'll let the bank thing sort itself out and focus on getting travel details. Here's our response:

Not a problem. I suppose that since you have already made your travel arrangements, I should expect to see you soon then. When you arrive, we will figure out financial arrangments to sustain you while we wait for your check to be verified. This is the bank's prerogative - the money is simply not available to withdraw at this time.
I am not disputing your integrity - I just felt it my duty to inform you of the scam. You should make sure that you do not become a victim of it.
If I may ask, would you provide me with a copy of your unconfirmed flight itinerary? What are you waiting to get confirmed about the flights? I need to know flight numbers and such so that I can coordinate.
= [Me]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jub,

Here's Carrie's blog:

http://carrietedder.typepad.com/carrie_tedder/

dB

Tim said...

Thank you very much for this. Because of you I realize I have been replying through email with a scammer for a few days now without knowing it. I was a little suspicious when the address to transfer the money to was Camp David. Also that the package was from FL. I was just checking to make sure the address was correct and I came upon your blog. You saved my bank account, my credit, and my life. I'm so grateful to you. Thank you so much.

Is there anything at all that the Police can do about this scam if I were to report it to them? What should I do with the check?