North American Railcar Operators Association
Internet Scams



This is not unique to NARCOA, but is an industry wide problem. Should you encounter a scammer, please do the following:

Report scams to the FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center

The FBI generally will not take a case if it involves less than $100,000. The U.S. Postal Service has the same threshold.

Legitimate buyers will furnish name, address and telephone number... whereas scammers do not. Look for poorly constructed sentences, anything from Nigeria or Romania, people buying via a broker and improper capitalizations. Scammers, like the examples on this page, usually say the same thing... that they will send you a check for more than what you are selling for. Normally, they send you a counterfeit cashier's check. Here's how it works:

1. The scammer wants you to send the balance (between the amount on the check and the cost of the item) to them right away.

2. Not all banks are wise to the counterfeit check, especially if it's a counterfeit cashier's check, and sometimes it takes two weeks for it to come back. By that time, you have already sent the balance AND the merchandise.

Any mention of a client or debtor owing money, overpayment, Western Union, international shipper is a red flag... these are scams and should be treated as such. That's how to recognize scammers.

Read about other types of scams: "4-1-9" or "Advance Fee Fraud" Schemes.

Following are examples of scams that have been reported by advertisers on NARCOA.

EXAMPLE: Below are three correspondence I had from the person known as Kelvin Willams. You can read what he sent me.

from: kelvin williams message: hello seller, Am kelvin williams, Iam interested in buying your NY - IC S-2 , if you are selling, kindly get back to me with your last offering price and it's recent pictures.let me know if u will accept certified cashier's check? i will be responsible for the shipping cos i have a reliable shipper who takes care of shipping for me i mean he will have to come over to your location to pick it up and ship to me. Regards. kelvin looking forward to hear from you soon

Hello richard, Thanks for your mail,i am okay with the price and the pics you sent.this is how i will want us to seal the transaction cos i dont want any delay at all.So all i am going to do is to contact my associate in the state to issue you a certified cashiers check of $7,OOO which will be for both the shipping and your own money So all i will want you to do when you recieve the check,is to deduct your own money and send the remaining shipping funds ($3500) VIA WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER to my inetrnational shipping agent , once he recieves the balance he will come over to your location the very next day for pick up, now the money wired to the shipper is his fees for his services,transportation to your location and back to me, also for all charges that may arise along this transaction cos i will want it to be delivered to me safe and sound without problems, i shall send you my shipper's address as soon as i contact him So if this terms are okay by you i will your contact address and phone number so that i can forward it to my associate who will be issueing you the check.I look forward to your reply. Thanks and Regards, KELVIN WILLIAMS N/B the shipping funds will be wired to my international shipping agent that will come for the pickup of the NY - ICS will be the one to arrange the shipping from where you are located to Sweden where i am living.Now that we have an agreement I will like you to remove the advert you placed on the website so that you will recieve no more offers. I will give you a call as soon as you required to send the cheque:
NAME ....... FULL ADDRESS......... CITY............ STATE......... COUNTRY..... ZIPCODE........ Phone number Office / cell

hello richard, i must let you know that a money order is okay by me but you see concerning my shipper's payment i must let you know that the outstanding funds which is to be sent to my shipper is his fees for his services i mean his transportation from your location down here in stockholm and it should be sent via western union money transfer which he sais is more preferable to him so get back to me with your infos which is neeeded to make out the payment to you.hope to read from you soon KELVIN WILLIAMS...........

EXAMPLE: Here is the other ad. As you can see its almost the same first intro as the last ad. Seems really odd to me. At the end I sent him a response which you will see in blue text, I never heard from him again. It also maybe a way of stealing identity. Either way its very odd. Law enforcement was not contacted I used that to see how sincere he was and he never responded back.

from: Dean message: Good day to you, Am Dean Lonardo, Interested in buying of your Item, if you are selling, kindly get back to me with the information regarding his condition the final price and picture,Shipping i will be responsible for the shipping myself,Payment do you accept certified cashier check, I will belooking forward to hear from you. Remain Bless! Dean.

You read the ad you saw the pics No cashiers check accepted US buyers only. Law enforcement has been notified

EXAMPLE: I just sold the gang car listed in Narcoa for sale list. I want to thank you for displaying my ad and want you know I enjoyed talking to members of Narcoa. If you would let the members know I had 3 e-mails of potential customers that were nothing but scamers trying to rip me off. They posed as buyers sending me a certified check claiming there secretary sent a check making a mistake of over payment. Then wanting to do a wiring transfer of $5000.00 back to them just the minute I received there check. This threw up a red flag for me to beware. It is ashame we have low lifes monitoring our club to prey on members that are honest and enjoy there hobby.

NIGERIAN COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAM • INDUSTRY ALERT • The Nigerian Counterfeit Check scam artists are hitting this site in full force. Here is another example of emails that they send to sellers: "We are interested in buying your above mentioned products at the above rate. Vehicle to be shipped to London. Cost and modalities of shipping to be born by us. Payment for the purchase is by check through a debtor in US. The debtor owes us higher than our purchase. He will therefore be sending you a check for $11,500 to cover the cost of our order, as well as the Shipping costs. On receipt of the check, you will cash and deduct the cost of our order .The balance you will send as we would instruct you to the Agency that will ship the Goods to us. If this arrangement suites you fine, please send us your address where to send the check, as well as the name to be on it. Also send us your phone number for easy communication. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Best regards, Mr. John Daniels."

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF NIGERIAN COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAM • INDUSTRY ALERT • Email received: "Am interested in buying your (Your Product) which price is $2650 firstly i will like to know the present condition of it because am a distributor of it in west africa so one of my client is owing me the amount of $7,000 and he is sending you a certified cashier's check of that amount drawn in america bank so dont worry about the shipment ,i have a shipping agent that will come for the what you will do is just deduct your fund and send the excess amount through money gramm to my shipping agent that will come for the pickup at your destination.I will want a trust wothy fellow to transact business with me,so if this is acceptable with you i will want you to forward me your FULL NAME,ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER that you will use in receiving the check as soon as possible. EXPECTING YOUR MAIL SOONEST. camelian." And here's a note from Ben Johnson: "I had one of these nigeran fellows contact me. I was sent a cashiers check drawn on an american bank I took the check to my bank and had it verified the numbers were good. Deposited the check and got it back in a few days. It was a forged check with a good account number. It fooled my bank. Thought I would pass info along to you."