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I need some really good advice right now.
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-25, 01:26

I can't even remember why I got myself into this mess in the first place. But here I am, without a clue on what to do.

Here is a small background on the events that lead up to this... problem.

I have been living on my own for now for the past 4 months, for various reasons that you might know of if you have read some of my other...serious threads.

Anyway, a while back I decided to sell my violin for extra cash since I really don't like playing anymore. I put an ad up on the net asking for around 450, seeing how that's what I would get for it if I were to sell it used. Sure enough someone showed interest and we agreed on $400 for it. I gave the buyer my address and phone number so the payment could be sent.

A few days after we agreed on a price.. I was asked if it was ok to have someone who owes them money send me the payment -- that way they don't have to get the check from them, wait for it to clear just to send it out again to me. Right away I thought something was wrong. . .
First mistake: I agreed.

I agreed because I was still thinking about the extra cash the violin would get me and what I was going to spend it on. You see as a young man saving money for school I have to be tight with money.

Shortly later I was asked if it was ok that the payment from the third party would be a bit more then the price we agreed on, the remainder would be sent with the violin. And that the payment would arrive to the tune of $4500.

Right then a red flag came up in my head... and I had to ask a friend for advice. I was told that the money is more then likely being laundered through in this case, me -- if the transaction would take place that is. So off I went to google looking up the legal aspect of that which would take place and risk factor along with doing so. . . which lead me to my. . .

Second mistake: I agreed again.

Yah, turns out that google shows a very low risk factor for such transactions here in Canada, and that it happen quite often. At this point I was still thinking about the money. . . I know, I should have dropped the ball and hit the showers the second I heard about this sort of thing. . . but I guess we all make these kind of choices once, and only once to learn the hard way.

I was informed that the payment was sent and that it should arrive shortly. But two weeks past, and every so often I would send out an email to inform that the payment has yet to arrive. When the third week came and went, I snapped. . . the last thing I need is someone who thinks I ran with their cash. I told the buyer that the transaction was off.

In reply, I got an email asking me to be patient. . . so I allowed one more week.

The week past and no payment arrived, so I informed the buyer that the transaction was off for good, and that they have waisted my time. The next email is where it gets interesting: the delay was caused by a death in the family, and that they were sorry for the long wait. It was understandable if the violin was already sold off and that they would only have one request: That if the payment shows up, to take $1000 for my troubles and to forward the rest on. Which lead me to my...

Third mistake: I told them that when it arrives, that I'll think about it.

I seem to be motivated by money, because when I heard that I would get $1000 for forwarding cash along... and get to resell my violin for around $400 to someone else... the only thing on my mind was 'how quickly can it be done?'

So now another week passes and the payment arrives... but with three major problems.
The first, it's not a money order like I agreed upon in the first place, it's a check which takes time to clear and leaves one hell of a paper trail. The second, the check from what I can tell seems to be printed with a bubble jet printer on a heavy weight printer -- WTF came to mind when I noted this. Oh yah, I almost forgot. . . the Third, THE CHECK WAS FOR $15K! That a big difference from $4500. I can't even pass that amount through my account in a business day.

Here is the best part. . . it was mailed from the states, but the check is from a packaging company in Quebec (which BTW, when looking at their site, it just smells of a 'front' business). . . I live in Canada, so now I know there is something illegal about this... well now I have proof that is.

Even if the check was good, it's not a bank draft or money order so cashing it will leave a much larger paper trail then expected. Then I have to deal with forwarding $14K to someone I have still yet to meet, hell getting it cashed is going to be hard enough. And it's a business check, from a company in Canada so under any audit it would be quite clear that such a transaction did happen. I don't know where this check came from, but sure as hell it's not from a bank.

Now, it's my move. . .
-do I tell the second and third party to fuck off?
-do I contact the police?
-do I start seeking out an accountant? Lawyer?
-do I finish what I started?
-does anyone know Canadian Law in this area well?

In any case... they have my home address and phone number, and I don't even have a return address from the sender or contact information beyond and email address for the initial buyer. Which leaves me in a state of slight fear. I think my first step would be to see if the check is valid, which i think it's not but I just need to confirm this.

So I as I write this post, the check is sitting in front of me... and I need advice very badly.

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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Majost
monkey with a tiny cymbal
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lost
 
2004-11-25, 02:51

Actually, I think it's in your favor that it's a check... You can choose not to cash it. They won't be out any money, and you won't be in trouble with the law or the Canadian equivalent of the IRS. Just tell the first buyer that they sent you a check, not a money order as agreed, and that the deal is off.

Rip up the check, and if they contact you any further, just tell them to find another sucker. And really, if you do this, you've done nothing wrong, and you can get the police involved if it gets any messier.

Don't think about the money. Don't even look at the check. Just rip it up and move on with life.
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Akumulator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2004-11-25, 02:53

Cash it.............
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2004-11-25, 03:01

I'm with Majost. At this point, no money has actually changed hands. Keep it that way.

Except... don't rip it up. Write VOID across it in big black marker, and keep it for evidence in case they get threatening.

@kickaha@social.seattle.wa.us
#IRC isn't old school... Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.

Last edited by Kickaha : 2004-11-25 at 03:40.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2004-11-25, 03:23

Hey \/\/ickes,

Did I mention that I have a cousin who deposited the sum of US $3.5M. (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) with a Bank in Canada just weeks before he passed away? Presently, this money is still with the Bank and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to sign for the release of this money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over.

Long story short, I need someone in Canada to act as an intermediary and you sound like just the man for the job. There are some customs and transaction fees that have to be covered for which I'd like to ask you to loan me some money, but when it's all done I'll gladly transfer 25% (Twenty Five Percent) of the holdings back to your account.

I want a person that is Steve Jobs fearing that will use this money to fund computers, sports cars and widows propagating the word of Jobs and to ensure that the house of Apple is maintained. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my soundless voice and presence of my cousin's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.

So, waddya think?

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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usurp
High Monarch of MacDebate
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Kuwait
 
2004-11-25, 04:12

i say cash it and move into the dorms.
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-25, 07:30

. . .

I see the point about how no money has moved as of yet.

And Brad, . . .
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Gargoyle
http://ga.rgoyle.com
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
 
2004-11-25, 09:00

Wickes, I agree with Kick.

Don't destroy the check. Keep it safe - perhaps seal it in an envelope and post it to yourself or a friend and leave it sealed. This way you will have a dated postmark which will verify timescales on the whole thing.

Email the other parties and just state that you have not received anything and that you have sold your violin. Keep it polite and thank them for their time but finish by telling them you are no longer interested in any transactions. ie. leave the email closed so that they have no reson to reply to you.

If they get nasty or try to pressure you I would goto the authorities. Keep printouts of your email transactions.

Sell your violin and spend your $400 wisley. Don't get reeled in by the idea of quick easy cash!

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
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Gargoyle
http://ga.rgoyle.com
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
 
2004-11-25, 09:07

PS. This might just be an opertunistic scam.

Here in the UK it is common belief that a cheque clears in 3 days. It does not. What actually happens is that most banks will "honour" the transaction after 3 days and let you draw on the money - but it can take much longer for the cheque to be completely verified. The bank quoted me that 10 days is not uncommon, and until the final verication the transaction can be reversed and you find the money sucked out of your account - even if you have started to spend.

So this could be a fake cheque from a real account. This way it might take the verification longer - so you believe it to have cleared (if US banks operate the same timescales as UK) and your bank will even let you write a 14K cheque.

Then just as you think the entire transaction is complete, the original cheque is confirmed as fake and the monies withdrawn and your account is 14000 in the red.

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
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scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
Send a message via Skype™ to scratt 
2004-11-25, 09:38

I have a Swiss Bank account.
Untraceable.

I get charged $50 to cash US$ cheques, and do so quite often from various commision based business deals..

PM me if you want some help....

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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ast3r3x
25 chars of wasted space.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via AIM to ast3r3x  
2004-11-25, 10:04

I don't get why it is illegal for you to do that. Let the check clear. CLEAR, not just the bank honor it. Then take the extra $1k and be happy. Money laundering yeah, but without making this post, couldn't you just plead ignorance?

It's their fault they have to wait 10 days or whatever for it to clear because they are the ones that didn't follow the rules of a money order.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2004-11-25, 10:28

I'm with Majost... I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Brad's deal on the other hand...
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-11-25, 10:41

You're dealing with some crooked MOFOs Wickes.

Ask yourself why someone would willingly pay you 10x as much as your asking price, and have someone else pay you, etc etc. When this kind of money is involved, unsavory types are usually involved, which means if you set them off you could be in some danger without even knowing where to look for trouble.

I'm not a fan of Paypal but for this kind of thing it would've been preferable to this whole shady third party check thing.

If you're going to be selling a lot of stuff / dealing with strangers and their money, I might consider getting a PO Box, and having all payments be money-order only... sent to that box. Don't give people your address. That's the real problem here now, because if these people turn out to be real scumbags, they know where you live. Phone number is one thing, but never give your address to complete strangers like that.

As for the check, I'd carefully void it with a date and your initials right underneath, and take it to the equivalent of the FBI in your area (someone with more resources and training at their disposal than garden variety cops).

Tell them that you were expecting a check for MUCH less than what they were claiming (i.e. you figured they were lying about the amounts), and that when this thing arrived, you knew immediately something was wrong and so went to the authorities. Don't start playing games with these people (sending the envelope around, telling them not to contact you, etc.).

They have your contact information so there's nothing you can do about that except ignore them. Screen your calls with voicemail, bounce their email to the trash, etc. Don't say another word to these people until you talk to someone in a position of authority. For all they know, you're not responding because you're sick. As long as the check doesn't get cashed, hopefully they won't think you're trying to scam them or whatever.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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billybobsky
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2004-11-25, 11:38

I would Void the check. Write an email back to the gentleman that you will be unable cash that large sum of money, and that the deal is off...
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murbot
Hoonigan
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2004-11-25, 11:59

Email them back, and say that your parents will not let you cash the cheque, and they're making you return it. Your dad has written VOID on it already, and he's making you either rip it up or mail it back to them.

Maybe if they think they're dealing with a really young kid they'll take their scam to greener pastures.
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ast3r3x
25 chars of wasted space.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via AIM to ast3r3x  
2004-11-25, 12:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot
Email them back, and say that your parents will not let you cash the cheque, and they're making you return it. Your dad has written VOID on it already, and he's making you either rip it up or mail it back to them.

Maybe if they think they're dealing with a really young kid they'll take their scam to greener pastures.
That's a good idea.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2004-11-25, 12:17

Whatever you do, don't lie. Should you wind up in court, lies can be used to prove poor character and that your testimony cannot be trusted. Tell the SOBs that you do not appreciate their continued deception and that you have decided to destroy the check (write VOID on it - this is not lying because writing VOID on the check is technically destroying it as it can no longer be cashed). Seal the check and mail it to a trusted friend or parent and ask them to stash the envelope somewhere safe. Call the authorities and report the incident.

This is a scam and if you cannot see it, then you should seriously consider talking to Brad about his deal.

By the way, just letting it "clear" will create a HUGE paper trail. Amounts over $10,000 are automatically reported (at least in the US) and you will HAVE TO DECLARE THE ENTIRE AMOUNT AS INCOME, regardless of what you do with the remainder. In other words, if this is not a scam (highly doubtful) you are going to be paying a HUGE chunk of taxes. HUGE. Like $5000-$7000 dollars.

DO NOT DO IT, LEST YOU BE A FOOL!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-25, 13:43

Just to make myself clear...

I do think this is a scam. . . and I have no intension of cashing the check. I assure you that I'm not blind.

At this point I was asking about how to deal with the check problem.

So I think I have a plan. . .

I am going to void the check, and submit the voided check to the police. This transaction has taken up to much of my time to not inform the authorities. In the end it boils down to the fact that this transaction was started with selling my violin and turned into something very uncomfortable... and I'm not about to be the only one uncomfortable with this situation.

Yes they have my address... but fuck it. . . it's not like they are going to gut me.


Fuck them. . .

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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InactionMan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-26, 00:01

If it came from Quebec I'm going to jump to the conclusion that someone is doing business with the Hell's Angels. I'd go with Gargoyle's suggestion and mail the check to yourself. Then just wait and see.
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-27, 03:56

That's the odd thing... the check came from Quebec, but it was mailed with no return address from Boston NY.

Oh, and I have yet to contact the police about this... but it will be first on my 'to do' list if he starts giving me lip.

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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Random Hero
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-11-27, 11:00

Sign the check over to me. I'll take care of all the dirty work.
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