SCAM NOTICE - BEWARE!!!
I was recently approached to sell my car - it was advertised on the internet - and I could have lost the car plus an extra amount.
The scammers, Nigeria based [per the Niagara Regional Police], agree to buy your car or other item and send you a cashiers cheque [called certified in Canada] in the sale amount plus an extra amount to cover shipping costs in my case.
The shipping company [bogus] confirms contact and sends confirmation
plus conditions of transport, etc. It requests shipping money up front
before the car is picked up.
Note on Cheque Clearances - banks do not know when cheques clear- only when they do not. Clearances can take up to eight weeks and international clearances average 3-4 weeks.
Responsibility - The bank can hold you responsible if you spend
any part of the funds and then find that the cheque was bogus.
If you do accept payment, discuss with your bank about how long to wait
for clearance AND who will be responsible if you spend the money and the
cheque bounces. Then tell the purchasor how long he must wait until you
will release the car or pay out funds on his behalf.
This is a widespread scam done by professionals and has operated for 20 years. Evidently people in the US paid out over $20 million last year!
Paul Montgomery December 4, 2003
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Last revision: 04-Dec-2003