So, since I no longer ride and had sold my motorcycle, I wanted to sell my fancy-schmancy motorcycle cover called a Cycle Shell on Craigslist. I did up a nice little post explaining that my Cycle Shell was “gently used,” able to store a medium-sized motorcycle with windshield and saddlebags, and that I was requesting $200 for the privilege of carrying it away.
Until I heard from “Melissa Lewis.” “Melissa Lewis” began by asking if I had photos of the Cycle Shell. I did not. I figure my description was good enough. She then wanted my full mailing address so she could send a check right away and requested emphatically that I remove the Cycle Shell from Craigslist to eliminate any further competition. While I was thrilled that I was receiving a response so quickly, I balked at removing the Cycle Shell from Craigslist until I had the cold, hard cash in my hands, so I explained that this was on a first come, first served basis and that whoever paid me first would win the prize. Until then, the Cycle Shell would remain as advertised.
Before I knew it, “Melissa Lewis” had sent me a check for the Cycle Shell. Only it wasn’t just for the Cycle Shell. Apparently she had other things that needed picking up, and she had detailed, rather complicated instructions as to how she wanted me to proceed with the check. Before I knew it, she had sent me a check for $2,300 with instructions to cash the check, keep $300 for myself (a full 50% more than the asking price for the Cycle Shell) and convert the remaining funds to a cashiers check to be mailed to an address she provided. Only then could the rest of her merchandise be picked up.
Naturally, by this time, I smelled a rat. I had already sent her an email insisting that I was not comfortable with this arrangement – an email she flatly ignored. There I sat with a check for $2300 which I knew was bogus and a “Melissa Lewis” sending me emails asking me why I hadn’t yet done my part.
I did the next obvious thing: I took it to the police where I was reassured that this was, indeed, a scam, and that I should ignore any and all future emails from this so-called “Melissa Lewis.” I received one more email from “her” informing me that my name had been reported to the Federal Trade Commission, including all email correspondences. Since said correspondences included my protestations over the whole fishy business, I figured, “You go right ahead, Melissa Lewis,” and deleted the email without responding.
A couple of weeks later, I got a legitimate inquiry from a real person who was interested in purchasing my Cycle Shell. He came by, liked what he saw and paid me in cash on the spot.
Take THAT, Melissa Lewis!