Craigslist Scam Exposed: Bank Certified Check

by on 08/07/11 at 4:12 pm

Here’s another Craiglist scam, this time from John Bruce with the email address

This person did not email me first to ask if the item is available, instead just sent this message (see below).

Okay good am happy you still have it and am sorry for getting back to you late am out of  town for some weeks.i will want you to know i am ready to purchase and mail the payment to you asap because i am getting it for a cousin of mine as a gift and it would really be appreciated but i will not be able to come around and check because of my shedule.if you can sell to me i will mail out a bank certified check to you which will include in it the shipping cost to my cousin’s.If this is accepted by you please get back to me with the name to be on the check and the mailing address for the courier.

Once more like i stated my shipper/mover would handle the pick up and delivery so it doesn’t stress you after you’ve cashed the payment deduct and send the remaining funds to there accountant. I really need this, quite important and urgent. I will be more than glad if it can be sold to me.

Email me back with the full name, address,the actual last price of the item so that there wont be any confusion and your phone number for the check, write back soon so that the check can be mail out this week and i will implore you to take it off craigslist immediately. Thank you

Don’t even waste your time thinking this could be real, this scammer is phishing for your personal information. The broken English alone should be the first clue that this is not legit. Do not respond, instead report it here.

Here are additional Craigslist scams I have shared. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these and don’t fall for them.

Also, check out my tips for being safe on Craigslist!


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82 Responses to “Craigslist Scam Exposed: Bank Certified Check”

  1. Ken

    Mar 2nd, 2013

    certified bank check scammer with shipping company

  2. cortney

    May 9th, 2013

    There was someone trying to send me a certified bank check for a van I was selling I knew it was fishy if they were willing to buy without seeing it.and they were going to have someone come pick the vehicle up if they can do that they can send them with cash.scammers! The number started with682_200_9810

  3. Mary

    May 14th, 2013

    Same here. Sent a “certified check” in the amount of $1,950 for a $250 item he was buying sight unseen. Used very broken English in texts. Number was 434-207-2375

  4. Amanda

    May 14th, 2013

    A man with broken English wanted to buy my Jeep. He sent me a certified bank check which I am returning to sender the Jeep was $2000 and wants to send me a check for $4500. He told me to notify him when I got the check and again when the check cleared. He also told me that he would arrange for the Jeep to be picked up because he lives out of state. I was supposed to take the extra $2500 and give it to the movers when they came to pick the vehicle up. The man never asked about the mileage on the Jeep or the title or anything else for that matter. Seems like a scam to me. He would only contact me through text and when I tried to call the number it went strait to voicemail. Also the name he gave me when he first texted me did not match they name on the voicemail he gave me the name James Smith but the name on the voicemail was James calderwood the number was 573-575-6042. I don’t know for sure but it seems like a scam!

  5. Denise

    Jun 2nd, 2013

    I was contacted yesterday about a piece of furniture that I had for sale. Person offered to pay extra $30.00 to hold the item until the movers came to pick it up. Said he would have his personal assistance send me a check. I was stupid enough to give him my address. After I got htinking about it I realized what was going on.
    the number invoved in this is 323-596-0935.When I sent him a text back he told me not to be skeptical. I am skeptical and refused to sell this to him. He said his name was MIke Morris and he was buying it for his daughter as a wedding gift. I can’t believe I fell for this.

  6. Sarge

    Jun 3rd, 2013

    Any time that someone is offering to buy something unseen and have someone else pick it up, you can bet your noodles that is a scam! Do not ever agree to sell anything that the buyer will not look at first and NEVER EVER cash one of those checks. The check will usually clear, but a few weeks later the bank will want their money for this bogus check. BEWARNED!

  7. Sarge

    Jun 3rd, 2013

    P.S. Don’t give out your personal information to someone wanting to send you a check without seeing the item that you are selling. It gives them so much more leverage.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Jordan

    Jun 19th, 2013

    So I got an email, sounds like one of those scam things, what do you think?? The email says:

    Thanks for the response. I’d like to pay with a check sent via next day air.I’ll add an extra $20 so you could keep it in my favor.

    I’d be responsible for the pick-up and the movers/pick up money will be included in your payment to avoid delay and enable movers schedule an appropriate time for pick-up at your location after check has been cashed. I do have other items to be moved alongside yours.

    I would have loved to buy in person and cash but am away on work inspection. Kindly get back to me with your full name and address with your cell number so I could send payment to you.
    Sincerely, Jon.

  9. The Unemployed Mom

    Jun 20th, 2013

    Hi Jordan. This definitely smells like a scam message! Beware.

  10. gary coloeman

    Jul 23rd, 2013

    my brother was selling a VW motor and was sent a check via Fed Ex. He was suppose to keep $450 and use the remaining $2,000. for shipping.I told him i had heard of a scam. He took the check to the bank and sure enough the check was’nt even on good paper. They took information from fed ex,the shipping co. he was suppose to use and person,s name and E-mail.

  11. nikki

    Aug 2nd, 2013 this person is a scam too. he wanted to send money order. i thought he might be legit because i googled his email, name, number you name it, and nothing popped up. anywho, im selling a table for a few hundred and all communications were going good and what i thought was legit, but no. he “accidently” mailed a $2000+ money order cause his assistant was picking up other item in my city, he said he was from illinois. just wanted to get his name and email out there. henry carrick is a craigslist scam!!

  12. Bill

    Aug 4th, 2013

    I have had two separate ones just sent to me yesterday 8/3/13.
    Both were ready to purchase sight unseen. One guy even said he looked closely at my advertisement and was there any pictures. Well there were 4 on my posting, so that made me suspicious right there.
    He also offered me an extra $100.00 so that he would have the best offer, and asked that I remove it right away from Craigslist.

  13. BK

    Aug 13th, 2013

    Im sure glad I found this site. Some clown wanted to send me a certified check for a nordictrack elliptical I was selling for $200. No picture, sight unseen. Same deal, his couriers were going to pick it up. He asked for my personal information. Before I did that I looked up craigs list scams…and here I am. I texted him back and said the price just went up $5000. HAHA!!! Sounds a lot like the famous Nigerian 419 scam…look it up.

  14. nina gonzales

    Aug 15th, 2013

    yes i had a gokart for 200 and the guy sent a check for 1500 and told us that someone would pick up the item and we were too give them the rest of the money for shpping. so i call the bank and they is it was not a real check, and then i called the people who wrote out the check and they said that someone got a hold of their account and used their business name for the check so know the FBI and the FTC are all involed in the case. so please do not cash any check. demand cash on hand when item is pick up.

  15. Alicen

    Sep 2nd, 2013

    I’m selling a painting online. I received an offer to buy the painting. The buyer wants to send me a certified check and have her shipping company pick it up when the check clears. Do you think this is a scam?

    Here is the message sent to me:

    Thanks for the reply…i want to know the amount and i will be paying
    by certified shipping company will come for the pickup as
    soon as the check clears in your bank.give me the following
    information to mail out the check.

    zip code…….
    Phone number…….


  16. Martha

    Sep 5th, 2013

    It’s absolutely a scam. Don’t send them any info. It won’t be a real certified check and if you try to cash it you will be on the hook for it with the bank. Run away.

  17. Jo Ann Goodwin

    Sep 17th, 2013

    I received a reply from a posting on A site for nanny’s, babysitters, pet sitters, etc. I received the email below, unfortunately, prior to this email in a brief communication, they asked for my cell number and email address and references. Thinking it was real, I provided them the info. Once I received this email, I replied back to them telling them that I believe it to be a scam and will report them. I also blocked them from future emails. Besides from the obvious, grammer, spelling, they mention care for their 10 yr old yet later mentions they will be sending a car seat. Not for a 10 year old. Suspicious. I wonder, however, if they will use my phone or email address for some other scam.

    From: Mama Saint
    Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 9:42 AM
    Subject: nanny

    Sharon is 10 years old, I will be very happy if you can let me
    know your charger’s per hour. My child is potty trained and she is
    free eater, well cultured, very well behaved and well mannered .She is not allergy to food or anything, We will be lodging in an hotel around you, you can come and babysit her in the hotel or i can drop her if you want me. I’ll be dropping drop her off 8:00 am and pick her 6:00 pm from Monday to Friday. I want you to get back to me with your total estimate so as to have you booked and secured prior to my arrival, Get back so I can have you booked as I am rounding off plans and allotting money to issues that should be settled prior to my arrival.. What are your likes and dislikes in kids? The time frame is within October 25.

    This offer is for someone of well mannered attitudes, neatness and
    good sense of relationship, so if you are interested in this offer,
    please answer all my questions below:

    1) Do you have any special attitude?
    2) Do you have any crime records?
    3)Do you have a valid driver’s license?
    4)What are your charges per hour/week

    my girl will be spending 2-3 month. I’m very sure that you will like working with my Sharon. I work with duffer in construction company,
    my daughter don’t have a any habits and I know she’ll stay with a new sitter easily. Regarding the fee, I am okay with it as long as you
    assure me that I’m very sure that you will like working with my
    Sharon will get the best care from you.I also want to inform you
    that I will be forwarding money for Sharon’s items plus $200 for you
    as an upfront payment, so you can forward the money for Sharon’s
    items to the Store Manager. The store manager will send you the stuffs before I arrive with her so that you can put everything in place prior to our arrival, The store manager will be sending a car Seat and some toys because she has special toys she love and admire so much. I need you to get back to me with the information below in other for me to forward your information to company accountant so he can make arrangement on your payment as soon as possible, i also want to know if you are using Android or IPhone and if you have Bank account.if yes you are to Download/Install Square Register Application.

    Full Name
    Zip Code
    Telephone #

    Hope you understand clearly, I will be waiting for this information
    in other for me to get you booked upon my arrival.

    Mary Ann

  18. chrissy Rhoades

    Sep 28th, 2013

    i have an ad for a dog sitting service on there how the hell did he know that i had a kitten available

    Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:55 AM3:55 AM
    Message starred
    Re: Pet Sitter , dog walker groomer in my home or yours
    from Patrick smith to you
    Show Details
    Thanks for getting back to me.I’m very much happy to hear from you
    now and i am okay with the condition, My name Patrick Smith i have
    been married for 9 years ago, and we are blessed with 3 kids the
    youngest is”Mary”she’s 10 years old she cherish Pet a lot and she
    spent most of her time with our neighbor’s Pet, but my wife have
    promised her a loving and adorable Pet on her 10th year birthday that
    is coming up next weekend,therefore myself and my wife have been
    looking for a lovely Pet or Cat, it’s our greatest pleasure that you
    response back to me, so consider my family for the adoption. and would
    also pay some kind of donation and compensation to you for the up
    bringing of the pet.and we really would love to have your pet to be
    part of my loving family because we don’t have any pet that we are
    rearing for right now except our neighbor’s pet and they will be
    moving to their new house with their pet in couple of days, also to
    let you know our house is wood fence about 10.95ft high, we have a
    very large yard where pet can play and roam around comfortably if
    necessary. I can assure you a safety and caring home for your pet and
    i can as well assure you that i will be sending you the pictures of
    the pet to you after he/she gets down to our family so that you will
    know how much attention we’re giving to the pet, So after paying the
    adoption fee. As regard the shipping of the pet, My wife will
    definitely take care of that because he knew of a reliable and
    competent pet shipping company that she had met in person before, they
    will come to your door step for the pick up of the pet after you might
    have receive the payment,so you don’t have to bother about the
    shipping and the cost we’ll be responsible for that, the shipping
    company will handle it with care, my wife will be sending you a
    Certified Bank Check for your adoption fees including the shipping
    funds.And your pet will be a special guest of honor on my daughter’s
    birthday and the shipping agent will contact you tomorrow morning for
    the pickup of the Pet as well.

    Kindly get back to me with the following details of yours below:

    Payment information such as:

    Your Full Name to Issue the check,
    Your Street Address,City,State,Zip-Code,Not Po.Box
    Your Phone number

    So that the certified Bank check can be issued out to you today once i
    get your full details to issue the Payment,so that you will recieved
    the payment tomorrow morning via courier service, And your pet will be
    a special guest of honor on my daughter’s birthday and i will
    appreciate quick response from you now.

    I am still waiting for your response now.


  19. Ryan

    Oct 14th, 2013

    im a seller, I would like to know is this a scammer?

    Thank you for the response.I like to know the price and the
    condition.The mode of my payment will be bank certified check /
    cashier check,because that is the only convenient means for
    please do withdraw the advert from the website with
    immediate,Concerning the shipment,my shipper will be at your place for
    the pick up after you receive the payment and when it clears. I really
    wish to be there to check out the item but i don’t have time,So please
    let me have the following so that the payment can be made out to you .

    Name to be on the check……………………………
    Home address or office address…………………
    Zip Code………………………………………………….
    cell phone #……………………………………………
    Name of the item and price…………………………..

    Note that the payment will be shipped to your address via UPS/FedEx
    Next day air service and I will like you to know that you will not be
    responsible for shipping i will have my mover to come over as soon as
    you have cashed the check, THANK YOU

  20. The Unemployed Mom

    Oct 16th, 2013

    Hi Ryan, it certainly smells like it! The “so called” buyer is phishing for your personal information. Plus, if you do receive the check and cash it, you are responsible for paying your bank back for the funds once the “buyer” cancels. Good luck.

  21. Holly

    Nov 12th, 2013

    So what happens if you give them your info before you discover its a scam. What are they going to do with my info???? Ugh

  22. lee

    Nov 18th, 2013


  23. Patricia Bakewell

    Nov 27th, 2013

    Hi…I have a “Roger” texting me about a fridge we have posted. He has sent a certified check and even provided a tracking #. He seems more interested in me getting that check to the bank then when he can pick up the fridge.
    When I called the # a girl is on the voicemail. He also has used a second phone. He called me very rudely tonight and was fussing me out for not putting the check in the bank. I live in Michigan…he said he lives in North Carolina. However the phones he’s calling from have Virginia area codes. He like the others here have stated, has told me there is extra money for moving expenses. I would sure like to catch this scammer so he doesn’t do this to someone that isn’t aware of this activity. Here are the #’s he has called from so if you have this person calling you, you will know he is obviously scamming.
    540 358-0452/ 571 403 1822…..also he stated he could not talk on phone very well due to some ear problem. Broken English and it’s even evident in his text. Anyone that wants anymore info please feel free to email Thank you.

  24. Don

    Dec 3rd, 2013

    I just put a bunch of CDs up for sale on Craigslist and within an hour I had (2) different people trying to run the same scam. What I don’t understand is this… how can I be held responsible if I were to deposit these into a bank account (separate from my personnel account)? If the bank clears them, how is that my responsibility? Isn’t that the point of the 3-day delay? At the very least I’m going to let these (2) scammers pay for the UPS costs to overnight me the “certified” checks. Might as well have some fun with this!

  25. The Unemployed Mom

    Dec 3rd, 2013

    That’s funny Don, great thinking! Scam the scammers! :)

  26. Sarge

    Dec 3rd, 2013

    You’ll be playing with fire, unless you know how the law and banking system work. They DO hold you responsible. I’d love to read your results with this, but I care enough to warn you this could backfire on you.

  27. Bob

    Jan 3rd, 2014

    I got a check from this guy as well for an Oak TV Unit, as always overpaid and virtually demanding to deposit it into my ATM, knowing full well from the start it was a scam; asking me to take down my “advert”. Who says that? Advert, no one I know in the USA. So flag one right there.

    Oh all the Phone numbers before I forget are 339-793-8724 (MA #).
    On the package was 201-791-8000, this is a lawn company in NJ.
    With a Name of Louie Vega but a different company name called Marcus Levy on the package itself.

    Then he mailed the check over night, (I am getting a nice supply of these checks now). I get a text back (of course never a call) from this Massachusetts number, the Fed Ex Package has a NJ phone number of a lawn care business on it the names are totally different etc etc.

    Now what if…..
    What I was wondering, seeing it is a Citi Bank Check, what if you took it to Citi Bank, you DON’T need an acct there to cash it. If THEY verify it (and we all know its bogus as a $12 bill), then I am NOT on the hook for it. I do not have an acct there and THEY have verified it.
    I have not tried this with Citi Bank but was wondering if anyone has.

    No way would I use my own and get the bounced check fee. I don’t take checks for ANYTHING. Just for that reason, I will let them use PayPal. Of which I said to this scammer right away.
    Basically calling him out, by saying NO NEED to pay for Fed Ex over night (whats that like $35 plus?) just use YOUR credit card and send to my PayPal.
    Pay the extra of the 3% I get hit for and we are good and YOU (them) save money.
    Oh and NO NEED to send extra to refund you (Ya right that was going to happen). I said just call your “movers” and you handle them, I don’t get involved with things like that. I HAVE a to much on my plate and not my worry.

    I just sell the item.

    So excuse after excuse, I don’t have a PayPal acct,

    My credit card is kind of maxed out,
    well use the EXTRA cash you were going to send me and PAY YOUR BILL!

    Long story going here so will cut it off as he did send over night (at his loss) a $1199 check for a $250 item and I was texted within an hour after delivery to RUSH down to my bank and deposit it.

    Hell no it was X-Mas Eve!
    Oh how demanding he was to deposit through an ATM.

    I said no, I will just forward it to the local authorities with the envelope and MAYBE they can get dickheads like you as this is a Felony.

    Sadly after that last text I sent, I have not heard back from him since, pity, I wanted to have him waste MORE money on Fed Ex overnight.

  28. hugh

    Jan 4th, 2014

    678-701-7310, sent check for items, additional amount on check for movers. did not take delivery of check just didn’t sound right.

  29. Sean

    Jan 5th, 2014

    Too funny… just had to share!

    I rec’d the same solicitation as discussed in these posts. Wants my address and name to send $$ yadda yadda yadda. To keep this short I’ll skip all the b.s. back and forth I did playing around with these lowlifes. So I finally send him my name and address as follows:

    Herman Munster
    1313 Mockingbird Lane
    Alcatraz, CA 55313 (and I am in Billings, MT… so is my add)

    Their response:

    “I got your info and the check will be mailed out to you asap. Make sure you delete the post from Craigslist and consider it sold. Kindly get back to me so I can be rest assured that you have secured the item for me.”

    This is even after me being a complete smartass asking specific questions about their intended use of my custom made fly rods. No answers to any of my questions…. I’ll continue to play with these jackasses just for amusement I suppose. :)

  30. MD

    Feb 5th, 2014

    How do I know if I am being scammed? I have Furniture for sale and they want send me a deposit in a certified check . Once I give them my name and address! Then they said they will send there shipper “Lears” to pick it up! They are not trying to bargain and can not come and see it them-self! I asked for his name “Nigel Dejong 917-408-3905. Has anyone else come across this person? The only thing I can find as it is a NY # & that it is a telemarketing number.

  31. Rachel

    Feb 20th, 2014

    I am almost certain this is a scam. I listed furniture on Craigslist and received a text message saying they would send me a certified check. They said once I cashed the check and it cleared to contact them and they would come pick up the furniture. I immediately was cautious because they wanted my name and address. I really didn’t think much about the certified check part, but I definitely felt uneasy about giving my address. My instinct was screaming they wanted to get my address for a possible theft attempt. I did not respond with any of my information but I did respond and ask them to call me directly. I have not yet heard anything from them. I am assuming they will not ever call. The text message came from number 513-399-6564. Can anyone confirm this is a scam?

  32. The Unemployed Mom

    Feb 20th, 2014

    Hi Rachel, my motto is “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. Also, check out the craigslist post about scams.

  33. NJ

    Feb 20th, 2014

    I agree. If it feels like a scam it is a scam. Trust your instincts!

  34. Shelly

    Mar 3rd, 2014

    I received an email from someone last night asking me if I still had my item for sale. I replied that I did. This morning I got this email.


    So glad you got back to me so soon, I really need this Item as soon as

    possible, I hope it’s in a good condition and am also ready to

    purchase and pay for the item immediately, I am so sorry i cannot come

    with cash neither come over to check the condition of the item myself,

    i am a very busy person and all i can do is send you a CERTIFIED CHECK

    to please cash it and i hope i can trust you on this, when the check

    clears i will also arrange for a local pick up to come for the pick up

    as soon as you get the check am sorry about this that’s just the only

    convenient process i can pay you,because i am a very busy person, i

    hope we handle this in good faith while waiting to hear from you with



    1.Full name which you want to appear on the check:

    2.Address (not P.O Box):



    5. Zip Code:

    6: Cell number:

    7. Total Amount:

    The check will be mailed out as soon as you provide me with the above

    information the payment will be overnight to you also and i will let

    you know when it’s mailed out. I will add an additional $30 so that

    you can hold it for me till the check reaches you. I will be waiting

    to read from you.

    I knew immediately that it was Phishy!!! I replied with:

    What a SCAM! I can’t believe people fall for this.
    I would never consent to give you my personal info…why do you need my cell # to make a purchase from me?
    Why do you also need all my personal info?
    Why would you purchase an item sight unseen? AND pay an extra $30 for it?

    You want to send me a certified check? Then the bank figures out the funds aren’t there to cover it and I am left in the lurch and responsible for the money!
    Your broken English alone is suspicious.
    Why do you need these dishes immediately? Do you have nothing to eat on?

    I deal in CASH Only and I will determine the place to meet for delivery of the item.

    So if you can come up with cash and agree to meet somewhere public and nearby then you can purchase these dishes.

  35. jay

    Mar 7th, 2014

    basically i got the same mail you know ill send bank check my man will pick up i want to get the son of a ….. but i wont mess with fire cash or nothing

  36. Jenn

    Mar 23rd, 2014

    Child Care position applied for. and received this. Still messaging back and forth with “Cindie” via text.

    What can they do with your name and address?
    Also if the check clears the bank and funds are made available by the bank how can that be brought back against the account holder? Please explain.

    Here is the FIRST email I received.

    Compliments! I appreciate your prompt response. John/Matty Our son is 4 years old, he is a lovely kid that is easy to get along with. He is a sweet, loving boy who loves to swim, play, be outside, go to parks, go on walks and just have fun/adventures. He is very bright, engaging, and love to explore his surroundings. He is potty trained, free eater, well cultured, very well behaved and well mannered and he is not allergy to food or anything.

    We are looking for someone who will be caring, kind, and patient with John. It is a wonderful 4 days work week, Monday – Thursday. I will be dropping him off in the morning by 9:00am and will pick him up by 1:00pm or in the evening by 4:00pm to 8:00pm because i may decide to shift my presentation/duty to afternoon; if you can’t work those hours but you can work during the weekend, no problem as I will get someone else to do these hours.

    My name is Cindie and I am an Antiques Collector while my husband name is Sonny and he is a Media Advertising Agent and our son name is John or you call him Matty as you know (Happy family we are). We are coming from Presque Isle, Maine to attend conference/seminars in town and we will be lodging in a hotel around you. You may choose to babysit him in the hotel or I drop him if you want me (let me know your preferred option). I will be very happy if you can let me know your charges per hour and I also want you to get back to me with your total estimate for a month, so as to have you booked and secured prior our arrival, as I am busy with preparation for the trip and already rounding off plans/allotting money to issues that should be settled prior our arrival especially those that concerns our only child (John/Matty) because he means alot to us.

    What are your likes and dislikes in kids? the time frame 25th of March through June ending. This offer is for someone of well mannered attitudes, neatness and good sense of relationship, so if you are interested in this offer, please answer all my questions below:

    * Are you married? * Do you have any special attitude? *Do you have a valid driver’s license? *How old are you ? *Do you have any crime records? *Do you have an open availability? *What are your charges per hour?

    Thank you for your time.

    Now I FB searched this name and it comes up with the same pictures she sent me but address is in TX not Maine.

    I would like to complete this by having them send the check and then forward all the emails, texts and check to the police.

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