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Analysing a scam ...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Waveski, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I recently received a reply to an add I placed online ; the reply did not pass the sniff test. After replying to an initial inquiry asking if the item was still for sale I received the following -

    "I am glad that you respond to my email, i am really interested in buying the gun, what is your bottom dollar? I am currently located in Colorado at the moment, i would like to have the gun shipped. Do not worry about shipping fee as I will cover that.

    I know that you might not be willing to ship due to past experience or no experience about shipping but do not stress yourself as I have an ffl you will be shipping to and like I said earlier I will pay for the shipping. I will be making payment through certified cashier check which won't take more than 24-48hrs to clear in your account which only after that you will shipping to my ffl. Send me the name and address where you want me to mail the check to.

    Attached is my ffl signed copy

    Hope to read from you soon"

    Attached was a legitimate looking image of an ffl.

    There are a bunch of red flags there (strained language , lack of interest in details of item , etc. ...) , and I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday. Maybe some of you can help me understand a few things...

    One obvious point is , how is a scammer able to post an ffl? I did not contact the ffl as I did not want to respond any further in any way , but the address appears to be a residence in a small town in Colorado. Then the part I really don't get is the cashiers check offer - how would a scammer "buyer" be at an advantage by sending a cashiers check and waiting for it to clear? How would the seller then get stuck , given the fact that the funds would be in his hands? I don't get it.

    To clarify - I have no intention of participating in this obvious ploy ; I am curious as to how it works.
     
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  2. EO1

    EO1 Member

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    Can you do a check on his FFL # with ATF to see if it's legit ?
     
  3. TomJ
    • Contributing Member

    TomJ Contributing Member

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    I've received those "offers". Checks often take more than 24 to 48 hours to clear. By the time you and/or your bank find out it's a bogus check you've already shipped the gun.
     
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  4. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    The cashier's check is an old one.You deposit it, your bank says it cleared, but it actually takes a little longer to withdraw the money. If it's real, nothing changes. If it's fake, they take that credited money back out and you're on the hook. Possibly with a talk about trying to deposit it.
    This is how they get away with it because there are no undeniable red flags. It's possible it's legit. That smell comes from someone out of state and without any questions. I know whenever I'm interested I find some questions to ask, about something you can't see in pictures or just asking if they know what year it was made or something, to help put those to rest.
    When I sell, I only ship through my local FFL. He barely adds anything more than it would cost me to buy the right box and packaging anyway--and avoiding the hassle with the local shippers is just about priceless--so I'd ask him ahead of time to try and get in touch with them.
     
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  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Nope, stinks all around. Personally, I wouldn't respond.
     
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  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Unless you want to ask if they're a Nigerian prince. lol
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you want to remove yourself as much as possible, just tell him you accept USPS MO’s and the gun will ship from your FFL to his FFL.

    When you get USPS MO, go to post office and cash it (them), then go to your FFL and give them the firearm to ship with his FFL.

    Your in the clear at that point.
     
  8. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Yes, it sounds like the bogus certified check scam. I'm a little surprised they'd try it with a firearm though, but I suppose if bank fraud doesn't bother them then a federal rap over a bogus ffl isn't going to bother them either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  9. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    From what I've read, they usually send a bogus check for too much, so you'll be sure all shipping,etc. is covered. Then ask you to just refund the difference. They don't care about the gun, it's their "over payment" refund they're looking for. I'd do the FFL EZCheck just for the heck of it on the license. If I were concerned at all though, No Deal.....ymmv
     
  10. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Exactly what happened to a friend. Luckily for him it wasn't a firearm, just a guitar. But a collectible one.
    As for the ffl you scan one into your computer and be creative with an editing program.
     
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  11. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    The USPS Money Order reply is the best solution.
    If he can get a certified check, he can get a USPS Money order.
     
  12. denton

    denton Member

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    My son was part owner in a mortgage brokerage. They had a scammer come in with two cashier's checks, drawn on a Canadian bank, wanting to use them a security for a transaction. Checks were, in fact, real but had been purchased with cashier's checks out of somewhere in Africa. Turns out that anyone in that country with $10,000 can set up a bank, and there was nothing behind the original checks. The Canadian bank was delighted to have the info, and put their fraud team to work on it.

    Yes, postal money orders are a better bet, but those, too can be faked. The federal authorities take a very dim view of that, so they are somewhat more secure, I think.

    Tell him to just have his bank do a wire transfer to your account. Then watch him back off at warp 9.2.
     
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  13. RA40

    RA40 Member

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    Though mine aren't firearm related, a search of the email address or user name typically turns up results. Had a guy inquiring about some items I had FS and his user name came up with a few similar scam type replies. One guy did sell him a gun and it went into the blue. He didn't respond to my questions so it was more red flags.

    They tend to overpay and any extra they ask for the difference back. Depending on the item I get a phone# and we talk a bit so that we can both get a feel for each other. In the past days I'd take a personal check but hold till I knew it cleared. Back in those days it was much slower process. PayPal, I'm less and less interested in using due to buyer protection rather than equal protection extending to seller and buyer for scam situations.
     
  14. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Call the issueing bank with the check in front of you and ask if it is good.
    Call the ATF and verify the FFL.
    If both are good, what's wrong? Ship only to the FFL address.
     
  15. Jinx0760

    Jinx0760 Member

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    Just received a cashiers check for almost double the asking price on a kayak on CL. Suspect the scammer was going to have me ship the item prior to his check bouncing. His address on Google is a Walmart in VA.
     
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  16. CWL

    CWL Member

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    That's the worst advice you can give.

    You may not be aware, but this is the MO of a well-known scam.
     
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  17. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Nigeria came to my mind too.
     
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  18. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    USPS money orders can be faked or washed. But if you take it to a Post Office to cash they will know if it's real or not. It's all in the computer.
     
  19. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    A cashiers check is ALWAYS a scam. The FFL is never legit. Ever.

    USPS money orders are great...if you can cash them. If the PO doesn’t have the cash, you’re not cashing it there. And if you deposit it to your bank and it’s fake...you’re on the hook.

    Good luck finding a PO that has $500 on hand, much less multiples of $1000 for an expensive gun sale. If you live in a big city, money orders work better. In the local towns of 1500...I can’t cash a money order of more than $20. Ever.
     
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  20. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    They may not have the money to cash the MO but they can verify it for you.
     
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  21. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    They SHOULD, but often won’t or don’t know how without actually processing it. The last time, the clerk just looked at it and looked for the proofmarks and said it was good.

    It’s not a good enough system for me to bet hundred or thousands on.
     
  22. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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  23. sugerwater

    sugerwater Member

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    I bid on a Colt Python a few years ago. Didn't win the bid but a week later seller contacts me and offers the pistol for a decent price as he said the other buyer backed off the deal. He wanted a postal check sent to an unknown address. His ffl guy didn't respond and know way to contact seller other then email. The check was in the mail before it was determined this was a scam. Fortunately my local Post Office was able to contact the carrier in another state and retrieve my M.O. I learned my lesson.
     
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  24. Rodentman

    Rodentman Member

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    The choppy language of the "buyer" is enough of a red flag to me.
     
  25. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Me too. On top of that , no interest or inquiries about the details of the item , and here's the kicker - not once in the course of communications did the "buyer" make specific reference to the item for sale - rifle / revolver / broomhandle / bazooka - nothing. Meaning - he (a prince in Nigeria?) did not know nor care what it was 'cause he isn't really trying to buy it.

    To clarify a point - there is no chance I was going to pursue this scammish offer , and I am not looking for advice on how to safely proceed. I was just a bit puzzled by the nature of the ruse.
    I wonder - if I were dumb enough to fall for this obvious scam and went ahead and shipped , would some unsuspecting person find a gun in the mail one day? (the address on the "ffl" is a nondescript residence.)
     
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  26. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Possibly.
    If he did put some thought into it and managed to get some FFL info that actually checked out, like a kitchen-table transferer, they'd be confused why it came there--possibly after a week of waiting for someone to pick it up--and then both of you are on the hook for getting it back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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