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Warning Check Fraud

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Dupont Circle
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This is a warning to my fellow freelancers, and people who find clients via Craigslist. I was contacted October 30th by requesting a line edit of a 19K word article. I gave him a quote and sent him the invoice with information on where to send the payment and a copy of the contract I use. He said he would email me when the check was in the mail but didn't. Yesterday (11/06) I received a UPS envelope marked EXTREMELY URGENT. In it was a check for almost $4,000 from a bank in Colorado I had never heard of, signed by a person I had never heard of. When I called the bank they confirmed it was fraudulent. My suspicion is that the person who contacted me was trying to launder money. He reached out to me this evening urging me to deposit the check, and claimed that it was higher than we had agreed to because he wanted to pay more for more than one job. Often, banks aren't able to recognize fake checks until several weeks after they have been deposited.The person who deposited the fake check can be held legally liable and charged with money laundering. If you are like me, $4,000 is a lot of money and very tempting. Some months as a freelancer I can barely pay my bills. Getting caught up in this person's scheme could have ruined my business, my line of credit, and my life. Since there is no mechanism for holding others accountable on Craigslist, I am posting this hoping to warn others. Be careful! If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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