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CAUTION OSOers! I got screwed bad!

Old 02-20-2004, 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Steamin' Rice

If the check is cashed at the bank that it's issued from is that safe?
99.999% are honest legit buyers, but if you are in business for any lenght of time you will get burned by a bad debt. That is why there is a line on your income statement to your balance sheet for bad debt provision.

Say I get a check from USA Bank and I go there to cash it, they likely will not do it if I am not an account holder. I am not saying they wouldn't but many do not. At the least they will want your ID and thumb print on the check in case it is forged or stolen. Then you get to answer questions posed my Mr. Troutleys bruthas for cashing a forged check.

You can also run the check through Tele check or other check verification service to attempt to verify it's validity. That's what the clerks at the grocery store are doing while you wait for it to be endorsed by the cash register.

There is no fool proof way, if there was we would all be doing it. Just remember if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by Steamin' Rice
If the check is cashed at the bank that it's issued from is that safe?
This is the best bet.
HIS bank doesn't know where you have a bank account. So they won't be able to recover funds from you.

At this point, the teller knows you will dissapear as soon as you walk out that door, so she will cover all bases to make sure that check is good before she hands you ANY cash.

If the check turns out to be bad a week later, you are off the hook and THEY will have to eat it.

But since it is a fraudulent check, they may drag you in as an actor in the fraud and report you to authorities. (They will most likely have your ID information).

You'll have to prove to the local authorities that you weren't the crook - you were the victim. But the bank is still responsible for their loss. If they can't prove you were to blame, they can't bill you for it.

But if it is a fake cashiers check supposedly from their branch, most likely they will spot the fraud right off the bat.

Long ago I was a bank teller.....and got burned by a returned check. That mistake went on my performance record. (Even tho I had checked funds, checked stop payments and got two ID's. All for naught - the check had a missing endorsement signature).

You can never tell who is good for their word. When we sold boats, we saw "good people" write large dollar bad/closed account checks we would have NEVER expected! Luckily, we recovered most of them.

So, today -- here is how I make sure a check is good:

I make a copy of the check, front and back before I deposit it.

After five or six days, I call the bank the check is drawn on and ask them if the check has cleared. I give them the account name, account number AND the check number. (all this info is on the photocopy).

Bank operations can tell you over the phone if that check has cleared.

BUT 's the kicker......

If the check is a forgery, the check WILL clear, and the account holder won't know about it until they get their bank statement --- that could be MANY weeks! If they find a check that they didn't issue, they can "charge it back" to the cashing bank. All in all, this can take a couple of months.

US Treasury checks can take TWELVE months to clear.

So really, there's no guarantee, other than due dilligence. Sadly, these are some of the financial risks associated with being in business for yourself.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by jeffg
Has anybody ever heard of a bad experience with receiving a wire transfer?
Jeffg -- that is a GREAT idea.

Be sure it's only a "BANK to BANK" wire transfer.

US Banks will only accept REAL CASH to send wire transfers to another bank. And when it arrives, it is paid in cash too.

I worked at four different banks, and I've never heard of any scam using BANK to BANK wire transfers.
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Old 02-20-2004, 08:47 PM
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Man.. that DOES SUCK!! Sorry to hear about this, but thank you for the warning.

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Old 02-20-2004, 09:50 PM
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we had a similar case locally involving a couple of motorcycles purchased from RTD Motorsports by a buyer from N.Y. . the buyer sent a C.C. in excess of the purchase price. upon receipt fo the C.C., the motorcycles were to be delivered to a guy in N.Y. the buyers requested the difference be made out to a guy also in N.Y. that the buyer was also buying a car from. thinking something didn't sound quite right, the motorcycle shop contacted the authorities. they ended up setting up a sting operation. when the motorcyles were delivered they arrested several people.

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Old 02-20-2004, 09:59 PM
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Guys, I feel a little sick after reading this post, I tend to trust anyone buying my boating products, I mean...this is boating... to most of us this IS LIFE!

I have accepted cashiers cheques in the past but mostly PayPal transactions. Gets me thinking...


Brian Kamrath
Martiniboat Marine Design Inc.
Home of 'Victory Trim Tabs'
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:24 PM
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Another one of the latest scams is the "Repackage scam".... you are requested to "repackage and forward" some merchandise overseas... a package arrives... later a letter arrives with a check for the handling fees.. only it's about 300.00 dollars more than what it takes to repackage the merchandise... so the person says... just take your fee and an extra $50.00 for your trouble and wire the difference into my account and I'll be happy.... What happens later.... your wire transfer... or check.. depending on the scam are gone... and then you find out that the check they wrote to you was a forgery... later you get a visit by the FBI for forwarding stolen merchandise... the goods were purchased with a stolen credit card number... and they used your address for the account... so now you get the heat for the stolen card.... the bad you are out over $300.00 for your trouble too. Nice people these days...
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:40 PM
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A Good friend and former OSO member got caught up in the same type of scam!! Lost 5 grand I think. Damn this crap pisses me off!!
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:40 PM
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I think any transaction where they "accidently" pay me too much money would set off alarms, but now I'm thinking about some of the transactions I have done in the past where I trusted the buyers. I have sold a boat and a few cars to private parties who paid me with cashiers checks. I always went to my bank to deposit them before releasing my vehicles, but I didnt' realize that just because MY bank says the check is good it doesn't mean that is the case. I suppose most of the people are honest, but there are a few scammers out there.

If I'm selling my $85k boat to a private party, I guess I will request a bank to bank wire transfer from the buyer before releasing the boat.... The consensus seems to be that it's the safest way. Interesting reading..
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:07 PM
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A bank to bank wire transfer for the exact amount, is the way I just bought my boat.
Sorry to hear about you getting ripped off Tim.
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