Check scams becoming more common.

cold-beer

LawnSite Senior Member
I just had the 3rd attempted check scam this season. The first couple were your typical craigslist nonsense, but this last one was from someone that contacted me off of Yelp.

Scam went like this.

Potential customer messages me on my website requesting a bid to remove a small tree. Says that he was directed to it through my yelp page.

Customer says that he is at his other home out of state, but will be coming back in November, and he is tired of dealing with the leaves from this tree every year. I get an address and a pic of the tree to be cut. I tell them that I'm not a tree service, and that I only remove small trees under 12 feet. I also tell the customer that I don't do stump removal as well. Customer says that is fine, and that he is just looking to have it hauled off, and that he will deal with the stump himself. I tell him that I'll swing by and take a look in the evening.

I drop by the house and measure the tree at just a hair over 13 feet (who' looking?). I could literally cut it into a few pieces and load them into the back of my truck in 20 minutes. The place is also right by the waste management facility on that side of town. I message the customer and tell him that it's going to be $200, and he agrees to it. Easy money!

I tell him that he will have to pay me by card or send a check and have it clear before I can remove the tree. I also tell him that I need to actually speak with him first before taking the Job. There were some things already at this point that didn't add up like the fact that they said that he does his own lawn, but the lawn had just been cut despite him not being in town. I thought maybe a neighbor was doing it or something, but I wanted to talk to him just to feel things out.

He tells me that a check is in the mail, and that I should receive it in a few days. The customer also tells me that he's deaf, and can only communicate by text. This sets my alert on high, and I'm smelling scam instantly despite the fact that the job could still be legit at his point. I don't respond and wait a few days for the check to arrive only to get the classic "I sent you too much" line through a text that is the basis for 90% of check scams. I saw this coming before it happened, but I was pretty surprised at this one. The English was perfect, the story started out solid, and there was some time put into it.

I messaged the customer right back to mess with him a bit after he feeds me the line telling them that I had already cut the tree down. I also told them that the homeowner showed up as I was cutting it down only to tell me that he had never messaged and that police were now involved. After the scammer failing to respond, I messaged him again urging him to turn himself in and tha he was looking at a felony. I told him that the police had already tracked the IMEI of the phone he was using, and that they had received video of it's purchase (these scams are always done with track phones). I then called, which was a Pennsylvania number multiple times in a row until I got a message that the number was disconnected after about 10 minutes...LOL

These scammers are getting more ballsy and their scams are becoming more well though out.

Just thought that I would share
 
OP
cold-beer

cold-beer

LawnSite Senior Member
did you cash the check?
Still haven't received it.

I swear, if I ever won the lottery, I would handle people like this for entertainment. I would full on hire a private investigator to track them down and then hire some outlaw bikers to teach them the lesson of their life. It would be like that scene in casino where De Niro tells that cheat he can have the money or the saw after they bust his hand with a hammer.
 

zlandman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Ohio
Had a guy approach me in the bank parking lot wanting me to get his paycheck cashed.
Yeah dude, who the f gets a physical pay check these days and why don't you just open an account since it seems like this is going to be a recurring problem.
 

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