Caution should be taken very seriously for potential buyers of anything you have to sell on the internet.
There are currently some "geniuses" out there that think folks on the Internet are stupid enough to think they will sell their bike or other goods to them by sending them a "cashiers check" over the amount of the asking price and asking them to send them their property and the change back...Looking for poor penmanship, and other key words like "Client, Africa, Nigeria, Cheque, Change and other obvious words" will help you pick a "winner" in no time. Here is an example of this message going around:
Thanks for your urgent reply. I think we should proceed to payment. There is this client of mine who is in states now, he is about giving me a cheque of $5000 he his owing me, i will then instuct him to forward the cheque to you so when you cash it you send the change to me while am still in Africa , i think i really need it here in Africa , if this is ok by you i will like you to send the following information so that my client will use the information to forward the cheque to you.
YOUR NAME IN FULL.
YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS.
YOUR PRSONAL PHONE NUMBER.
If all this information is given my client will then send the cheque to you . hope to here from you asap,so i can get my shipper prepared too.
Possible Response: A MGNOC visitor done this and he said he has stopped receiving such messages.
I sold a vintage bicycle a few months back and received a flood of these Nigerian offers to sell them the bike and send them the "change". I kept ignoring them but finally couldn't resist. I replied to a few, and when I replied I used poor English, misspelling, incorrect capitalization and punctuation. I got two of them to send me the checks, which were cashier's checks supposedly from Wells Fargo Bank. I took one to Wells and they told me it was a bad forgery (surprise!). Anyway, I told the morons who sent them to me that I had cashed the checks and decided to keep the money and my bicycle, and not send them anything. I never told them their checks couldn't be cashed. I kept the checks as a little souvenir. Their replies were hilarious (death threats, telling me they'd call the FBI, etc, all in bad English); the way I look at it they had to spend money to send the checks over via FedEx, so I'm putting a small dent in their idiotic scam.
ED note: This would work best if you had a post office box I assume.
Notice to the Scammers
Us motorcycle riders will not tolerate any of this non-sense. We can and will have you turned in to the proper authorities. Do you honestly think that your email address, and other encrypted information you send over the internet is not traceable? It is traceable right to the computer you sent it on. Do not try it.
An actual email transcript from a motorcycle seller on MGNOC.com below:
From: Harry Hilp
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2004 7:22 AM
Subject: Re: 1984 Moto Guzzi California II......$3700
THANKS FOR THE MAIL SO MUCH SO I AM FROM IRELAND SO I WILL CALL MY CLIENT TO ISSUE OUT THE CHEQUE OF $7500 FOR YOU AND AFTER YOU RECEIEVE THE CHEQUE YOU WILL DEDUCT YOUR MONEY AND SEND THE REST TO MY SHIPPING COMPANY THAT WILL COME FOR THE PICK UP OF THE 1984 Moto Guzzi California II IN YOUR LOCATION SO WHEN YOU GET THE CHEQUE YOU TAKE IT TO YOUR BANK AND DEPOSIT IT AND AFTER THE CHEQUE CLEAR YOU CAN NOW SEND THE REMAINING FUND TO MY SHIPPING COMPANY AND I WILL NEED THIS INFORMATION BELOW:
FULL POSTAL ADDRESS:
PERSONAL PHONE NUMBER:
I WILL NEED THIS INFORMATION SO THAT THE CHEQUE WILL BE ISSUED OUT TO YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.I WILL BE WAITING FOR YOUR MAIL. PLEASE SEND THE PIC OF THE 1984 Moto Guzzi California II.
Harry, Yes the bike is still for sale as advertised. I will take cash, or a US bank Certified Check only. Check must clear before bike is released. Photos enclosed. Thanks for asking, Roy.