Scammers Posing as Buyers - Example: Chris Clarkson

Scammers Posing as Buyers or Renters
They want to buy or rent something from you, pay with a check and have you "Western Union" the excess money

Example scams using these names: Chris Clarkson, Sharon Clarkson, Camelot close, London

If you have something to sell or rent, there is a scammer calling him/herself "Chris Clarkson" at "Sharon Clarkson" in Camelot close, London waiting for you. The name is probably fake, but he may just have found it in the phone book.  It doesn't matter whether you own a business, a website, or are just selling something via a classified advertisement. If they think they can con, they will try.  The scam is basically passing a counterfeit check to you to cash, then have you wire the money via an irretrievable, untraceable method (Western Union MoneyGram) to them or their cronies, who are located in a different country from you.

How does the scam work?

The scam works because banks take days or weeks to clear checks, and since the checks are forged based on real accounts (usually from checks stolen from people's mailboxes), your bank will cash it, based on funds already in your account.  By the time it bounces, the scammer has collected the money from Western Union, and has disappeared into the woodwork in another country (in this case, the scammer claims to be in Camelot close, London, but he's probably in Nigeria).

And he gets away with it because what law enforcement agency in your country is going to go to Nigeria to hunt down a small time con man who gave you a fake name and address?

Similarly, the names given, in this case, "Chris Clarkson, Sharon Clarkson" may be the names of real people who are unaffiliated with the scam.  They may even be the names of real employees of the companies - the scammers can easily get their names by walking into an office, showroom, or from a company's website. Again, if someone tells you he is "Chris Clarkson", you want to ask, how can you verify that he is this person? Driver's license is a start, but these can be forged, too.

See this page for more information about and other examples of this type of scam.

An actual email that illustrate this type of buying/renting check scam:

We may highlight passages that illustrate typical scam clues:

The potential victim wrote to us:

Says he wants to rent apartment, then send silly cashiers check and asks me to cash it and wire money. BELOW MUST BE HIS REAL NAME AND WHERE HE LIVES, AS HE IS GOING TO CLAIM MONEY AT WESTERN UNION. I STILL HAVE CHECK. 

Note: The name and address are most likely either fake or stolen - Western Union does not check very carefully, and ID's are easy to fake.

Email s from the scammer:

 Hello there,

         How are you doing today.Thanks for the quick response.Now that you have received the money, i'll proceed with my travelling plans because i'll be coming to the Country tomorrow.I'll love to take the other property. As i told you from the un-set that the money will include an over-age which is meant for my flight ticket and somethings that i'll need in the Country. All you need to do is deduct the 1st month rent and the deposit from the money you receivedI will want you to have the money sent to me through western union money transfer so that i could use it to pick up my flight ticket and get some good art work which will be okay for the property.Here is how going to have the left-over sent to me through western union at a close by western union money transfer agent location.

You will send $2,000 to me

Chris Clarkson

  10 Camelot close

London, SE28 0ES

United Kingodm

And the rest of the funds which will be $1,800 will be transfer to my wife's


Sharon Clarkson

10 Camelot close

London, SE28 0ES

United Kingodm

The transfer charges will be deducted from the over-age.I'll need the underlisted information in order to pick up the money at western union location close to where i live.




4, AMOUNT SEND TO EACH NAMES BOTH IN POUNDS AND DOLLARS N.B I'll want you to have the money sent today unfailingly because i have o pick up my flight ticket which i've already booked and get all the necessary things that i'll need in the states and be on my way to the states tomorrow.I'll sign all the necessary lease agreement in person before i move into the property and  at your own convinience. Here is my number incase you have any problem 00447528650076. I will await your response with the above western union information.Chris



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