Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warning for all who sell crafting items!

Here is one of those times where my two internet lives collide . . . I have my crafting blog and my scam education and awareness blog . . . and this topic will be posted on both of them.

I was made aware by a post on our scam fighting message board that recently several Stampin' Up demonstrators have received emails from people wanting to purchase items and pay with a cashier's check.  This is a scam that we have seen variations of for years on our website, and if the scammers are doing it to Stampin' Up consultants, it is only time before they start to target other places that sell crafting items.

The scammer will request to purchase items and send a cashier's check as payment.  If the check arrives, and it is for more than the amount of the items, the scammer will apologize for the error and ask you to deposit the check and wait for it to clear, and then wire the extra money back to them.  If the check is for the correct amount, once you have received the check and deposited it, the scammer will contact you letting you know that they need to cancel the order and will request that you return the money to them by wire transfer . . . they may even tell you to keep a portion of the money for your time and trouble.

If this situation matches one that you hear of, it is a scam.  The cashier's check will come back as counterfeit later on and you will be held liable for the entire amount of the check.  Just because the bank has told you that the check is "good", "clear" or "verified" does NOT mean that the money from that check is "real" and that you are safe . . . in most cases, in about a week or two, the bank will contact you and hold you liable for the money.  People have lost thousands of dollars due to these scams, and there is no way to recover this money because the scammers are in another country . . . it would have to be the law enforcement and government in that country that would have to do something about these scams.

To learn more about these and other scams, go to my website ScamVictimsUnited.com

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Shawn. Is this scam only for those cashier checks we receive from out of this country, or are RATS also doing this in our own country? If it's only from outside the USA, perhaps we could do a better job of protecting ourselves by only accepting PayPal or credit cards for purchasers outside of the USA?

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  2. Ellen,
    It is on any and all cashier's checks, traveler's checks and money orders. The scammers will often hide where the checks really came from. There is another scam, a work at home job scam, where the scammers hire a person to be their Accounts Payable Clerk and this person is told that they are in charge of distributing checks to clients, so this person is in the USA and sending out these checks to the potential victims and does not realize that they are being used as a middle man in the scam.

    The biggest problem, in my mind, is that the banks will take these checks and tell their customers that the checks are "good", "clear" or "verified" but then a week or so later call the customer and tell them that they are liable for the entire amount of the check. I did a blog about this here

    http://scamvictimsunited.blogspot.com/2009/08/banking-terms-not-as-clear-as-they.html

    PayPal and credit cards are safer, but there are scams and problems with those also. The one clear way to know that any offer is a scam . . . if they want YOU to wire any of the money to anyone, due to overpayment or cancellation of the order. Yes, you might still be out the product if you have already shipped it, but you will not be out the thousands of dollars from the check.

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