To scam or not to scam...

I posted up a bike for sale on cragslist and I had an email from an ‘interested party’. It seemed legitimate at first, and I guessed the guy just wasn’t very good at writing.

Email from buyer:
Good day, i saw your ( Ducati GT1000 - £4750 ) you posted and i’m very much interested in buying it and Let me know the present condition of it and do email me more of the pics if available and let me know the bottom price for it and if payment by certified bank cheque will be okay.

Hope to hear from you soonest.

My response:
Hi Gary,

Thanks for your email. The bike is in mint condition, there are no scuffs, scratches etc. It has been thoroughly looked after. Everything is legitimate with regard to parts and mileage. And it is immaculate due to not being ridden very much at all.

My friend took a load of pictures for me last week so I’ll ask him to send them over ASAP. Attached are the only ones I have so far (they are the ones you would have seen online). The bottom price is £4750 as I have reduced it from 5k already. Certified cheque is fine but the motorcycle and logbook will not be released until seven days after the cheque is submitted to the bank (to allow it time to clear). To be honest I would prefer a electronic funds transfer as it’s quick for both of us.

Where are you based? Would you be willing to come to London to collect?

Kind regards

Email from buyer:
Hello ,

I’m ok with the price £4750 and i want you to consider that it is sold to me for now. Concerning the collection , i have made arrangement with the shipping agent that will be coming for the pickup at your location as soon as we seal these transaction.

I will arrange a cheque for £6,350 in your name and you will deduct the cost of the Ducati GT1000 when it clears and the remaining balance will be send to the Shipper via money gram money transfer for immediate collection/shipping arrangment of the Ducati GT1000 because i have some other Car parts to be shipped along with it …

If this is okay with you do get back to me immediately with your…


so that the cheque can be sent ASAP and i will wait for the cheque to clears before collection commence.


N:B:- You can deduct £20 extra for you to remove the advert from the advert site so i can be rest assure that the Ducati GT1000 is sold to me pending the receiving of the payment.

SO… Shall I string this guy along like one of the LBers did with his soon-to-be foreign bride?
How do you guys think I should answer this guy back? Answers on a postcard…

Why do you think it’s a scam now? (am I being really dumb here?)


It would be rude to not try and string the guy along, just for the comedy value :smiley:

please tell me you are in actual fact winding us up!

give him fake details and tell him to send the cheque :wink:

Why would anyone offer to send a person more than they are asking for a product? I have read about a lot of scams where you cash a cheque but it is a fake and the bank hold you responsible. He also ignored my question about where he is based which I found rude. And he has no idea which part of London I am in, so how could he already have arranged with a ‘shipping agent’ where to pick up from? The bike may not even be in London…

Right o.

Why not just report them so they can’t scam other bike sellers then?

The way this scam works is that they ‘buyer’ pays more than the actual item is worth, asking you to forward the rest of the money to someone else.

So you deposit the cheque, wait 7 days for it to clear and ship the goods off. Your goods are now gone. The next step is that you send the extra money to whoever else you were asked to. That’s now gone, but you have your money.

After some weeks, the bank finally bounces the cheque. You’ve now lost your goods, the amount you were paid for them and whatever you sent to the other party.

The real scam here is actually on the bank’s part. Cleared funds should mean just that. But just because funds have cleared and are available to you, doesn’t mean the cheque has been confirmed as legit yet, and it could still bounce weeks or even months from now.

This is why I will only take cash or electronic funds for goods these days.

Thanks for the explanation… I knew banks could bounce a cheque, but I thought that it would have been within 7 days. Didn’t know the rest.

Did you guys ever see that 419 eaters sites ( Same sort of idea where people string scammers along wasting as much of their time as possible.

You could say you’ve forgotten the logon for the site. or maybe put up a fake auction on gumtree and take it down etc :stuck_out_tongue: Get him to send you two cheques as you lost the first :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah just read 419 and see where the inspiration takes you

At least string him along for as long as it takes to find out who / where to report him to, then do it and keep him dangling til they catch him:)

thats wot i thought, lol

yeah string him along and give a name like elizabeth windsor and address etc.
i done it 1ce left phone number and address of the local police st.

dont they cancel the check but by doing so they get your bank details etc?

I have just written back to him, asking for his phone number and address so we can talk…

Because he’s probably virtually impossible to trace!

Nah, not really. Having someone’s bank details isn’t really that useful to you. Having my account number and sort code, the worst you could probably do would be to setup a false direct debit, but that would be covered by the direct debit guarantee and I could reclaim any lost funds.

The over paid cheque scam depends on the banks not having a set time in which they have to have a cheque either bounce or be safe.

i like the idea of asking for more cheques, keep on pretending to lose them!

then mess with his mind and ask something stupid like his bra size! or better yet his size!!! say you have free leathers to be sent with the bike. just make up stupid and riduclous requests!

You never know he may be legit :wink:

When i sold my beloved K1200 the chap that bought it emailed me, said hi, i want to buy your bike give me the bank details and i will transfer the funds.

I was a little sceptical and said no thinaks fella, he went on to tell me how he worked on off shore oil rig etc and wasnt around much so had to take a flier on it.

I said he should get a mate to collect and pay cash…which he dis, full asking price and happy as you like.

He even sent pics of the bike after he had been back on shore leave and pimped it a little.

I was astonished as i was so close to deleting the email he sent thinking it was a scammer. - sometimes people supprise you with thier genuine honesty.

IMO he is not legit. This is a typical scam style of communication and Ive seen many similar requests on spam emails. Why cant he pay the shipper himself… its not the sellers responsibility!!

Don’t trust him… or tell him your bank said they need 6 weeks to clear the funds.

I once had somebody send me money to rent a room from me before they had even seen it. It was an Italian girl, she was out of the country and needed something sorting before she arrived. It seemed very dodgy at first, but I made her pay the agent directly and everything went okay.

Ironically, when she wanted to move out early and had to find a replacement, she got sent a cheque by somebody for several thousand pound, when the required deposit was about £1200. She didn’t know what to do so she cashed it and only when they started asking her to send the extra to different bank accounts did she think something was wrong (stupid, I know). She ended up having to get the police involved, not that they could really do anything.