Beware: This is a SCAM!

The other day I was sent the following email to my suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com address with the following request to teach private lessons, which I do:

Hi,

How are you doing today?I want a private yoga lessons for my daughter,Mary.
Mary is a 13 year old girl, home schooled and she is ready to learn. I
would like the lessons to be in your home/studio.
Please I want to know your policy with regard to the
fees,cancellations, and make-up lessons. Also,get back to me with the
total fees for three months worth of lessons(one-hour lesson in a
week)starting from April 10. Looking forward to hearing from you.

My best regards,

William.

I replied back to this email with my rates and other details. Later that day, I received the next email from “William”.

Hello Suzanne,

Thanks for writing back. I’m a single parent who always want the best for my daughter and I would be more than happy if you can handle Mary very well for me. I would have loved to bring Mary for “meet and greet”interviews before the lessons commence, which I think is a normal way to book for lessons but am in Honolulu,Hawaii right now for a new job appointment. So,it will not be possible for me to come for the meeting. Mary will be coming for the lessons from my cousin’s location which is very close to you. Although,Mary and my cousin are currently in the UK and I want to finalize the arrangement for the lessons before they come back to the United States because that was my promise to Mary before they left for the UK. Mary is a beginner but has a strong passion for learning yoga and will really love to work hard with you.

As for the payment, I want to pay for the three month lessons upfront which is $800 and I’m paying through a certified cashier’s check.Hope this is okay with you?I would be more than happy if you can accept Mary as one of your students and start with her on Wednesday, April 10. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

My best regards.

William.

Sounds nice, huh? Actually, no. THIS IS A SCAM.

(from the cars.com website)

According to the U.S. Secret Service, which enforces federal laws related to counterfeiting, certified check scams cost consumers $100 million a year.

How they work:

  1. A buyer shows interest in buying the car and says a cashier’s check will be issued for payment.
  2. At the last minute, the so-called buyer comes up with a reason to write the check for significantly more than the asking price and requests the seller to wire the difference.
  3. The checks are often such convincing fakes that the seller wires the money immediately after his or her bank clears the check.
  4. In a week or so, the check turns out to be counterfeit, and the bank requires the car seller to cover the money for the phony check.

The checks are of such good quality that they often fool bank personnel who study them, says Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. “Victims think the cashier’s check or corporate check must be good when the bank gives them the money. But several days later they learn the check is a fake, and they’re out both the item they sold and the full face value of the counterfeit check.” In Idaho, even a deputy attorney general was duped by such a ploy.

If you’re a victim of one of these scams, contact your local authorities immediately.

This is a ploy very often used by crooks that haunt Craigslist. Craigslist cautions never to accept cashier’s checks. So whether you are selling private yoga lessons or an old couch, beware of this ploy.

Comments?

P.S. I was not fooled by this scam. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Beware: This is a SCAM!

  1. My wife just got this same email. Same exact details (name, daughter, country, date, etc.) We figured it was a scam (and were very careful to make sure we did not give out any personal information) but let it play out until we got that response which confirmed our suspicions. The messages were very convincing until the mention of the cashiers check and being out of the country!

  2. I got the same email some months back, I knew it was a scam as these people always live far away from my city and always want to send some sort of cheque or money order. Sad that people would use yoga, kids and such things to steal from people.

  3. I just received a very similar email and thought it was a scam so googled and found your post. I’ll be letting other teachers know to avoid anyone falling foul. Thanks for writing about it. With love & light, N

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