August 14, 2007
Over the past week or so I've been trying to sell off some spare furniture on craigslist. During the posting process, and with each inquiry you receive you are repeatedly warned about scams and to be wary of certified checks, money orders, escrow, and shipping. At first you think this is all hyperbole, and then you get emails like this one:
Beyond the rather tortured English the most interesting thing is that I got the same email, identical to the letter, for EACH of my craigslist postings. What is scary is that some people, particularly the elderly or Internet uninitiated might fall for the "I'm going to send you a certified check for MORE than you are asking, please cash it and send the remainder back to me" scam. The check is bogus and the seller who cashes it goes to jail. A vicious scam.
It is tempting to reply with a note saying that I work for the Treasury Department Online Wire Fraud Division, and that we are processing the back trace to gain an origin for the senders IP address and that, working with Google, we hope to have their IPS, home IP address and MAC address shortly. That if you want to have a nice rest of your life you should pack your bags now and leave before the armed rendering team blows the door off its hinges.
Tempting. Very tempting.