I got one of these fake checks
And I knew it was fake the minute I opened it (actually, probably when I saw the envelope). Sure, the check looked real. But I wasn't expecting a check from Spain (see below) and I had heard so much about this scam on TUG and on rental sites I advertise on that I was forewarned.
The 'buyer' (actually potential renter) kept telling me she wanted to rent my place (which had been on the Last Minute board on TUG and one other place on the internet) and asked me where to send the check. I told her I needed her full name and address and phone number so I could send her a contract and gave her my name and address (I'm in the vacation rental business - this is not 'odd' behavior).
She never sent her name (always used only her first name - not unusual during first contact) or address so I thought she changed her mind.
And even though she hadn't gotten back to me, I sent her a follow-up e-mail telling her the place she had asked about was no longer available. And I thought that was it.
A week or two later she sent me an e-mail saying she had sent the check - let her know when I got it. I sent her an e-mail back telling her the place was no longer available to her and that I had notified her of this previously.
She sent back an e-mail saying, 'okay - just let me know when you get the check.'
Got a check for $3700 (WAY over what the rental would have been). Drawn on a bank in Illinois -but sent with a stamp that had 'Espana' on it (so I'm assuming it was sent from Spain). No return address. I'm assuming it came from 'her'. Remitter name was someone I had never heard of (a man's name). I checked for a website for the bank that this cashier's check was from. Sent them an e-mail telling them I think I had a fake check. Gave them the information on the check. They got back to me the next day and said the check was fraudulent (and please fax it to them).
There was no note with the check regarding what it was for (rental of such-n-such a place). I haven't received a call or e-mail since I got it. I'm guessing 'they' (the scammers) are writing this one off.
One 'strange' thing I noticed about the check. The bank routing number was the same as the check number! (gee - at least get the right format - the check number is supposed to be last - not first).
My 16 year old daughter thinks this whole thing is 'cool' (intrigue and all). She wants to know what I'm going to do next.
The bank suggested I contact my local police. When I get around to it I guess. Or maybe I can use my imagination and write a book extrapolated from this. Hmmmmmm ........
Just FYI. I wouldn't have sent any of MY money to them. I sure would like to have 'her' address so I can send her check back to her. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll send 'her' an e-mail telling her I got the check - now what? Maybe after I call the FBI. (working on that book!!!!).