Online Money Order - Is this a scam??

rtdgoldfish

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
571
0
Jacksonville, FL
I'm selling a computer to someone via Craigslist. They said they would be sending me a money order in the mail. Today, I got this email saying that I was sent a money order and that in order for them to send it to me, I had to send them the tracking number for the computer. There is an address at the bottom and it goes to custserv_uspsonline@usa.com which has nothing to do with the US Postal Service who it claims has sent me this money order. There is no phone number to call. I'm about 99% sure this is a scam. What do you guys think??

Screen shots of the email:





 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
100% certain: it's a scam.

In fact, whenever you wonder if something's a scam, it usually is.

And this is one.
 

rtdgoldfish

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
571
0
Jacksonville, FL
Funny thing that I just noticed, they never sent me an address to send the computer. I'm gonna see if I can get one and then mail them an empty box.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
rtdgoldfish said:
Funny thing that I just noticed, they never sent me an address to send the computer. I'm gonna see if I can get one and then mail them an empty box.
Why tempt fate? Just leave it alone, or contact USPS and alert them to the fraud.
 

SmurfBoxMasta

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,351
0
I'm only really here at night.
rtdgoldfish said:
I'm gonna see if I can get one and then mail them an empty box.
ALthough I have no doubt this is a scam, do NOT compound the problem by sending them an empty box (or anything else for that matter). This could be interpreted as an attempt to "scam the scammers", which of course, is also a felony offense. 2 wrongs dont make a right!

Report them to the USPS, FTC, BBB etc, and let them handle it, or you WILL be sorry :)
 

dex22

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2003
248
0
Round Rock, TX
SmurfBoxMasta said:
This could be interpreted as an attempt to "scam the scammers", which of course, is also a felony offense.
I wish people wouldn't throw around the word 'felony' so freely.

If you're 100% sure you're being scammed and you do scam the scammers, they have to make a complaint in a jurisdiction that affects you. They have to appear, to give evidence against you, and they have to demonstrate that they were acting in good faith, with 'clean hands' - so the odds against you ever being tried or convicted of anything are lots of zeros.

In the event that they did hop on a plane to the US, find your jurisdiction, figure our legal system, press charges, make a case against you and show clean hands, the publicity alone would be worth it.
 

extraextra

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2006
1,758
0
California
The horrible English would've tipped me off that that e-mail wasn't from the US Postal Service, nevermind the e-mail address!
 

rtdgoldfish

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
571
0
Jacksonville, FL
Got this from the scammer after I told them I had sold the computer to someone else:

"but y do u do dis to me tim, tell me ur mind hav u sold it out to another man, but the fedex told me they were in ur home but u don't attend to them."

The English just keeps getting better and better. :D
 

Kitrik

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2005
43
2
Minnesota
I love the ad in the last screenshot! Play games @ games.mail.com!!! I didn't realize that the USPS was sponsored by mail.com...
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,163
346
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Money Order = Scam. Period.

Further, as if this wasn't painfully obvious from the crude forged thing displayed above, USPS doesn't do any sort of service like that--you give them cash, they give you a money order. Period. You mail it, not them.

But now that I've said that, I have to give a caveat, mainly because scammers usually try Western Union, not USPS money order (probably because it would then become mail fraud, which is a federal offense): I have occasionally dealt with legitimate sellers in Japan (only Japan) who accept USPS International money orders as payment. This is because it's functionally impossible to cash checks in Japan, and if you're too small to accept credit cards it's the only option. PayPal covers Japan now, so I think it's picked up the slack, but for a while there they didn't.

Of course, I have yet to see a scammer from Japan--I'd guess there aren't many Japanese people who're going to bother trying to rip off international customers for small ticket items when there's plenty of good local scams to run.
 

Habusho

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2006
317
0
I got the exact same email today. I was selling my pc on Craigslist and this idiot said he wanted to buy it right away for the asking price. I got the exact same email from this guys it looked sort of legit.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
I think I remember seeing free @usa.com e-mail addresses at one time.

Makosuke said:
Money Order = Scam. Period.
That's not true. I've accepted lots of USPS Money Orders as payment. They don't have to clear your bank either, so if you go cash it and get the money and it's not fake, how is that a scam?
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,230
1,124
ITASOR said:
I think I remember seeing free @usa.com e-mail addresses at one time.
Yes...in fact I think I signed up for one close to ten years ago...signed up for it to use as a spamcatcher for things I didn't care about. Never checked it...and never thought about it until now.
 

Micrll

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2006
38
0
rtdgoldfish said:
Got this from the scammer after I told them I had sold the computer to someone else:

"but y do u do dis to me tim, tell me ur mind hav u sold it out to another man, but the fedex told me they were in ur home but u don't attend to them."

The English just keeps getting better and better. :D
Ah......
Congrats on spotting it and not becoming another person scammed online, you did the right thing. :)
 

mybuddykatt

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2006
1
0
Thanks !!!!

Trying to sell my cingular 8125 on craigs list. Got the same exact email. Went to the usps web site. No such thing as online moneyorder purchase. Went to the post office. Said No Way Jose!!!. I had a gut feeling. Saw this forum and the exact same email. Again Thanks!!!!!! Saved me 499.00
 

CKcutie722

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2008
1
0
Thanks for posting what happened to you.

I too am selling a laptop on Craig's list (I am a first time seller) and got emails wanting to use the USPS moneyorder online. After trying to find where on the USPS site I could do this.........it was nowhere to be found. I had a feeling it was a scam. All of the emails were coincidentally from people who were far away from me and some of the slang words they used matched the other emails. It was probably the same person sending a few at a time. Thanks to all of you for confirming my suspicions! :)
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,291
14
I too am selling a laptop on Craig's list (I am a first time seller) and got emails wanting to use the USPS moneyorder online. After trying to find where on the USPS site I could do this.........it was nowhere to be found. I had a feeling it was a scam. All of the emails were coincidentally from people who were far away from me and some of the slang words they used matched the other emails. It was probably the same person sending a few at a time. Thanks to all of you for confirming my suspicions! :)
Jeez, I can't believe people still wonder whether it's a scam or not.
There is a sucker born every minute...

Please actually read info from CL.
http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html
 

skye12

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2006
1,212
2
Austin, Tx
Weird. But you set the terms of sale. Tell them just to send you the USPS
money order and you will send it back insured, also through USPS.

AND that it will not be sent until funds have cleared. They don't like this
because then postal inspectors and federal fraud laws come into play.
 

spamdumpster

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2008
574
0
I wish people wouldn't throw around the word 'felony' so freely.

If you're 100% sure you're being scammed and you do scam the scammers, they have to make a complaint in a jurisdiction that affects you. They have to appear, to give evidence against you, and they have to demonstrate that they were acting in good faith, with 'clean hands' - so the odds against you ever being tried or convicted of anything are lots of zeros.

In the event that they did hop on a plane to the US, find your jurisdiction, figure our legal system, press charges, make a case against you and show clean hands, the publicity alone would be worth it.
Plus, what's the crime in sending someone an empty box? Since they didn't really pay you, you're under no obligation to send them anything at all. It's not a crime to send someone an empty box.

Although it should be a crime for parents to give their kid an xbox box filled with clothes: http://www.destructoid.com/worst-parents-ever-kid-gets-an-xbox-360-box-filled-with-clothes-for-christmas-73150.phtml
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,593
3,216
Weird. But you set the terms of sale. Tell them just to send you the USPS
money order and you will send it back insured, also through USPS.

AND that it will not be sent until funds have cleared. They don't like this
because then postal inspectors and federal fraud laws come into play.
If it is a scam, waiting "until funds have cleared" may not help. It is possible to get a forged cheque, which clears fine, and six weeks later your bank asks for the money back.