OK

A week ago, I replied to a job posting on Craigslist that was offering a vague cleaning position. I replied inquiring about the work in terms of what needed to be done and what was required.

A few days later, I got an email:

Thanks for your swift response. My name is Mr Matins Lurren and my wife name is Mrs Maggi Lurren.I am glad to tell you that i 'am okay with your resume/interest  as regards the cleaning  job,also for accepting the offer.I have contacted my wife concerning the job and for other purpose which she might need you for,which she told me is okay by her,i believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself a reliable and good person.Our arrival date should be Dec 20th.We are coming from Germany  to the state for a honey moon but we are currently in UK with a family friend for a party. So we need to have a nice time in the states.

    Moreso,she should have  done this her self but i won't want to stress her up because she is new to me we just got married.Lol..We  will prefer you have your car available and if not have any, you're still welcome we will provide you one.,I am offering you $550 weekly and you will make yourself available every day to our schedule from Mon-Fri, Noon-4PM.  each day.Also i want you to know that my client who is in USA will be sending you a check/Money order  which i want you to know that the remaining funds will be used by my wife for her travel expenses,accommodations where will be staying when arrives so that is where you will need to be helping us to take care of (cleaning) during the schedule time and any other expenses,Get back to me with the following details of yours,

1.your full name

  1. address,city/location,postal code(Pls no POBOX)

3.your phone number.

    If you are good with the offer so that the paycheck can be forwarded to you as soon as possible and i will appreciate quick response from you.

Cheers.

Now I, being incredibly unemployed and broke liked the idea of $550 a week for 20 hours of work. I responded again that I was interested and again asked to be provided details of the type of work I would be required to do and where it would be taking place. At this point, I was fairly suspicious that someone would be mailing me a check without having met me but I figured there wouldn't be too much harm giving my address so that's what I did.

A couple days later, I received another email:

Hello ,          
                 
      How are you today ? I hope fine and in Good health . Amen I am sending you this mail to notify you about the payment for the cleaning  position for my wife and i want to inform you about the paycheck which you would be receiving , Please for the nature of your job and for the good relationship between yourself and my wife  i would want to entrust you with this money because as i am not in the States at the moment ,i would have liked to take care of all this myself but since the payment would be coming to you from my associates ,you will be receiving a check of $4000.

     I want you to please kindly be of help by cashing the money and deducting only your  fees and send the remaining to her traveling Agent  for the bookings of her  Air flight ticket, that can be well taken care of before my arrival.I hope i can count on you with this and i would be looking forward to see on my arrival . I hope she would be in good hands.

     Thank you and God bless  I would send you the tracking number to the package which would contain the payments as soon as it is sent.

So now I am fairly confidant that this is a ludicrous scam involving a bad check where I take the fall by being an unwitting middleman. Someone mails me a large check telling me to take a cut and send the rest to someone else. The check bounces and I'm in the hole $3500. I didn't respond to this email thinking that the wheels are in motion and I'll have a story to tell.

This morning I got a new email (certain info redacted by me):

How are you doing? The payment will be delivered to you Today Or probably by Monday via FedEx courier on this tracking number xxxxxxx7766,I want you to take the check to the bank and get it cash or you can as well take it to (Advance America Cashing Store or any Cashing store) because i really want you to send the remaining balance to the Travel ling Agent as soon as you get the check.I want the Travel agents  to  get the payment so they can be able to accomplish all the necessary document of the travel ling ..

   So i want you to remove your own charges for the first week for the Cleaning which is $550 and send the remaining to the information of the travel ling agent below. Let me know as soon as you got the check and take it to the Bank or Cashing store Immediately..The check sent to you was $4000...So follow the instruction and email me ASAP.

NAME : DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS
ADDRESS : xxxxx NE 6TH AVE
CITY :  MIAMI
STATE :FL
ZIP CODE : 33161

     I will want yo to make the transaction to the traveling agent on the information provided via Western Union Money Transfer,As soon as the transaction is done ..

     I will want you to get back to me with the transfer details such as:

The sender's Name:
Address:
Western Union MTCN:
the Actual Amount sent:

     After the  charges  because i was told by them that the Western Union will remove some transfer charges from the money you are sending ..

     As soon  as the payment is confirmed by the agent then she will proceed on her traveling and i will let you know the Plane she would be coming with and the Ticket number because you will be the one that would pick her at the airport.. Please do let me know the nearest airport.

Hope she will enjoy your service .

Thanks and God Bless

Great, I have info! I check the FedEx tracking number and sure enough, the parcel is on its' way to me. The name Demetrius Williams sounded vaguely familiar so I googled it. Not surprisingly, a Demetrius Williams is a player for the Baltimore Ravens. There are other people with that name however, and google seemed to indicate that one might be in Florida. I then googled the address provided and it was not a Travel Agency, but some sort of Contracting Group with no information other than a phone number. I check out the handy Street View on Google Maps and it pointed to a shitty looking mini-strip mall across from what seems like a country club. The only thing I could make out was a Dry Cleaning business.

The emails don't seem to corroborate each other well. Initially, the man said that he and his wife would be traveling together, but by the last email, he wants me to pick her up from the airport. I can't even get my car out the driveway and I'm supposed to drive 70 miles to the airport? Like that will happen.

So now I ask all of you what I should do. Here are my options as I see them:

  1. Call the phone number and inquire about the Travel Agency and/or Demetrius Williams?
  1. Do nothing and wait until the check comes and see what instructions are included. Hold onto it until I get another email.
  1. Deposit the check and wait some time to see if it clears.
  1. Call the authorities and tell them of my suspicions and give them all the information I have.

::::

If anyone is familiar with this type of scam, please tell me.

What do you think I should do? What would you do in this situation?

Originally posted to ghostlawns on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:55 AM PST.

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