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Beware Rip-Off Artists


TUG Member
Oct 23, 2005
Reaction score
I posted a week for sale in the classified section here on tug and as a result I have been getting e-mails from a man claiming to be a buyer. The e-mails read as follows -

Okay, you can let me have the payment information below:
Where the payment will be sent to;
As your quick response will be highly appreciate towards making a
successfull business plan out.
Thanks and God bless you..

This is before we even agreed on a selling price.

I know most of what this site covers is "Buyer Beware" well I'm here to tell you "Seller Beware" also.


TUG Lifetime Member
Jun 6, 2005
Reaction score
Gloucester, England
Looks like phase one of the scam whereby you will be sent a cheque for an amount greater than the selling price along with a request to send a Western Union money order back to cover the excess. By the time the cheque bounces they will have the cash.


TUG Member
Jun 7, 2005
Reaction score
Medina, OH
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!!!!).