Randy Speas is selling a piece of history–an autographed picture of Bear Bryant. He listed it on Craigslist and it wasn’t long until he got a bite.
“Got an email from Amanda Clark.”
But something seemed fishy.
“Said auditor made a mistake, it was an additional $1900 on there and could you put this in the ATM and get the money and send me the $900 to West Africa.”
Speas was disappointed to say the least.
“I thought, gosh, there goes my sale!”
“With Craigslist it’s not only buyer beware, it’s also seller beware,” says Sgt. Joe Mahoney with the Mobile County sheriff’s Office.
Speas had his picture up for sale for $500 but the scammer sent a check for $1,900, expecting him to send back the $1,400 extra.
When Speas didn’t send the money right away, the scammer got nervous, sending 45 texts in less than five days.
“Have you been to the bank yet, where are you? I mean just on and on,” says Speas.
They got meaner when the scammer realized they weren’t going to get the money.
“I hope you’re not trying to play smart and take my money. You’re trying to be rude. You’ll spend the rest of your life in jail. And there’s a word there I would never say in front of a lady.”
Selling his collection is a sentimental thing for Speas—he got Bryant’s autograph when he spotted him walking through a hotel lobby when he was 12 years old. And now, an already tough decision has become even more heart wrenching.
“I mean I’ve treasured this for a hundred years and now that he’s been gone for so long, it’s obviously something you can’t duplicate.”
The reason this scam works so often is because it takes the bank a couple days to realize the check is a fraud, and by then, people may have already sent their hard-earned money to the scammer.