Friday, August 11, 2006

Advertise for a Roommate and Get Scammed

I was reading about this "overpayment scam," which is targeting roommate ads. I've had readers send me questions about similar "scam attempts" about an apartment they were renting.

The scam works this way, someone answers the ad you placed for a roommate, or apartment. They will normally be visiting from a foreign country and offer terms that are extremely attractive a.k.a., "too good to be true."

They then send you a large amount of money -- normally in the form of a counterfeit cashiers check -- which will be more than the amount of the lucrative offer and ask you to wire the money back to them. Please note, they might use all sorts of bogus financial instruments, such as counterfeit money orders.

If someone falls for it -- they wire the money back via Western Union or MoneyGram -- and shortly thereafter, your bank comes after you for depositing a counterfeit financial instrument.

Because current laws dictate how long a check can be held, banks often issue the funds -- and have even been known to tell their customer the check is good -- then give their customer the bad news later.

Here is a recent post, I wrote about that:

Don't Trust a Bank to Tell You Whether a Check is Good, or Not

For the article, from the Tucson Citizen that inspired me to write this post, link here.

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