Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hmmm...a Bit Strange

As many, if not all, of you know, I taught high school English for 2 years. I decided to give up teaching, salary, and benefits in order to stay home with Samantha. Though I love being home with her, I would like to still use the training that I have to bring in a little extra money. So, I decided to tutor. I've gone to the schools and talked with teachers and the counselors, but I also posted my information on craigslist. I love craigslist. (Sidenote: I have made a few hundred dollars selling things on craigslist! It's great.)

The next day, I received an email from a man (whose name is Marcus) who said his son would be in UT for the month of October. He is from London and his email was in broken English. He wanted to make sure his son, while "vacationing," still stayed on track. Marcus, not my husband but the father I received the email from, told me that his son, Peter, had a guardian out here and that guardian would drive Peter to my home everyday for one hour. Wow! I was pretty excited. So I emailed him back and told him that that would be great. I told him how much I charged per hour, etc.

The next day I received another email in which he wanted to arrange the payment. He wanted to pay it all at once and he was going to wire it to me. In order to do that, he would need my full name and address. The plan, though, was that he was going to send me a lot of money, and the extra money was to be given to the guardian to pay for his son's other expenses. Hmmm Why would he send me all the money and not the guardian? It seemed a little strange. Plus, I had had questions about the tutoring arrangement that he hadn't answered. I emailed Marcus back and politely told him that I would prefer he send all the money to the guardian and the guardian could give me my share of the money -- thus, I didn't have to send my address. (I was never planning on meeting this boy at my apartment. We were going to meet at Provo Library.) I haven't heard from him since.

On Sunday Marcus, my husband, and I were talking about this situation, and it occurred to me how I seriously could have just dodged a HUGE bullet! How scary. What if we had to deal with identity theft? Or even worse, my neighbor pointed out to me, what if he was some weirdo and just wanted my address and was going to come over here!? That just creeps me out.

I share this on our blog because I think it's important. It was a very innocent thing. This man had a son and wanted me to tutor him. But there was something that said, "This doesn't seem right." I'm grateful that I listened to that. A lot of times we say that we learn from our mistakes. I agree with that. There are times, however, when we don't have to make a mistake to learn a lesson. In this case, I'm glad that I didn't have to learn from an experience gone wrong, and that I could learn simply by making the right choice.

5 comments:

reggstyl said...

Thanks for sharing. Similar thing just happened to us. We're selling our car, and within hours of posting it, I got an email from someone who was interested, in broken English, asking for more details about the car's condition. I was way excited! I answered back, and the next day got an email asking for my full name and address and he said he would "promptly send payment" What? You're going to promptly send thousands of dollars for a car that you've never seen or test driven? I smelled a scam and just never answered the email. I figured his next email would be asking for bank account info or something like that. It's a scary place out there...

Annie said...

I love craigslist and my selling adventures there have always turned up similar experiences. My advice: Deal with people locally, don't give away your address until last, always name drop your hubby and have him involved in any meetings :)

Peach, Lynsey, and Caden said...

Jenny...
This is actually a huge scam and it's happening all over the country. What happens is they will "send" money to your account, and ask you to give some of it back. Their money however is like a bounced check and is later withdrawn from your account, but usually not before you already paid them.
Way to "dodge the bullet" and thanks for keeping us on the alert. I always figure things like this happen elsewhere... but really it's everywhere.

Courtney and Sam said...

Every time we have ever listed something on Craig's List we have gotten multiple emails like that. Another way they can scam you is send you fake traveler's or cashiers checks. That way, when you cash them *you* are the one who risks trying to cash counterfeit checks. And if it works, they say they'll just have you send the money back to them because it didn't work out.
Anyway, I'm glad you didn't send him your information!

AJ said...

We have received emails for this stuff, too. It is a very common scam. I read an article on it one time that said these people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars and because of how they do it, it is really hard to trace it. That "something is not right" feeling is a great thing to have.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails