I posted an item I was selling on Craigslist. This is two different buyers who want to buy my item. One was $150 and the other was $100. And these two separate buyer had sent me a check that was over $1000. I checked my email to inform them then they had said the EXACT same thing. They both wanted me to run by the money gram and send the rest of the money to some person’s address (two different person’s address). I already know that this is a scam; what should I do?

  • 2
    Where did they send the checks?
    – sf02
    Dec 13, 2018 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Shred the checks and report the buyer as a scammer. There is absolutely no chance this isn't a scam. It follows the formula to the letter.

Craig's List has a page of how to report scam attempts.

The above page even describes this scam:

2. Distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check:

You receive an email or text (examples below) offering to buy your item, pay for your services in advance, or rent your apartment, sight unseen and without meeting you in person. A cashier's check is offered for your sale item as a deposit for an apartment or for your services. Value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item—scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service. Banks will cash fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, sometimes including criminal prosecution. Scams often pretend to involve a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate, etc.).

  • 2
    Don't shred them unless the police say to do so. OP stated he knows it's a scam. The right way to procede is to report the scam. The bank doesn't necessary hold you responsible so much as they do not disburse the funds from the check. Therefore if you 'forward the balance' to the scammer, you just sent your money. If this leaves you overdrawn, well, that's what the bank will hold you responsible for.
    – Xalorous
    Dec 13, 2018 at 19:52
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    @Xalorous If I reported every scam attempt I receive to the police, neither they nor I would have any time to do real work. The right way to proceed is up to the OP. There's no moral obligation to waste time just because a scammer made contact. Dec 13, 2018 at 20:05
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    @NathanL Is every one of these accompanied with actual physical evidence? Since the checks in OP's case came by mail, it's actually a federal crime. Anyway, the checks are physical evidence of a crime. What someone does with that is their business.
    – Xalorous
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:39
  • @Xalorous, I'm sure the prosecutors are going to flip their lids when they find out that one of the recipients shredded some junk mail. /s Dec 13, 2018 at 20:47
  • 1
    @NathanL: OP is asking this question because she wants to do something about the scam, not just ignore it.
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 14, 2018 at 0:34

You could return the cheques and ask for cash on delivery. Meeting point: any convenient police station.

But since you don’t trust these buyers anyway, it would be better to just decline the sale.

  • 10
    Don't even bother to return the checks.
    – jamesqf
    Dec 13, 2018 at 18:08

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