Fake Check/Cheque Scams on Craigslist.


New Member
This scamwarning/baiting community is cross-pollinated with the Music Teacher community.

Those of us offering guitar/piano/violin lessons on CL or on music store websites are getting a ton of this crap
Hello, I'm Nicolas Parker from United Kingdom,during my search for GUITAR instructor that would always teach my Lovely Daugther ( Sandra ). And I found your advert..Your advert looks great and it is very okay to me since you specialized in the area i am seeking for her.

My Daugther would be coming to state before end of next month, for period of 3 Months.She is 18 years Old and also a beginner, i want you to help me teach her guitar lecture during her stay.
So, kindly let me know your charges cost per week's ,in order for me to arrange for her payment before She travels down to your side.
I would also like to know if their is any Text Book you will recommend for her as a beginner so that she will be reading privately at home after the lesson during her stay.
Please Advise back on;
(1). your charges per 1 hour twice a week for 4 Months?
(2).The Day and time you will be available to teach her During the week?
Address......... / Tuition Address
Zip Code
I will be looking forward to read from you soonest
Best Regards,

It is this type of "419" that I take special care baiting because I take them more personally than the kind that just go out in mass junk mail. These assholes have taken specific steps to locate my services through Craigslist and also have the stupidest stories.

They always involve some idiot story about sending a child/teenager to the US just for guitar lessons. They want "the child" to be busy throughout "an holiday". They claim to be either from the US or UK in Europe on business but they often get UK and US English mixed up. Often there is a delay because the child is in the hospital. If they claim to be from the UK, they still say "THE" hospital. I'm from the US but lived in the UK while the bass guitarist of a heavy metal band I met in Austin, TX and even before that, I have had an aunt and uncle in Manchester. We discovered our UK relatives during WWII when my grandfather was serving in the US Army. Plus years of watching BBC TV on US public broadcasting. So I can always spot where somebody is using the "wrong" American/British terms.

"She loves sports". This from somebody claiming to be British where the plural of sport is still SPORT. Vacation/Holiday. Beach/Seaside Hospital/THE hospital. They always seem to get the "wrong" term for the wrong side of the "pond".

They want me to believe that they're sending their kid from as far away as Israel once, just to take guitar lessons. Wow! I must have a reputation as a Shred Meister! But the "tuition check" is always for thousands more US $ than I charge in a month's time for four hour-long guitar/bass/piano lessons and there's always a "nanny" or "Au Pair" involved and I'm supposed to wire the payment difference to:
Hello [guitar teacher],

How are you today and your family,Mrs Donna MAAS with be flying to Charleston International Airport as soon as she receive the money and call you up to let you know where to meet up in order to make all necessary plans ahead for Sandy's arrival this Thursday,You are to send $2100 out to Mrs Donna Maas via western union or money gram transfer right away and get back to me with the details of transfer such as:

Sender's name:
Amount sent:
MTCN number(usaually 10 digit control number)
Receiver's name:

I await details of transfer asap.

And no matter what side of the US/UK equation they claim to be from, their grammar is piteous. I waste their time, pretending to believe them. Often, the fake check arrives on a Friday and I can string them along all weekend claiming that I deposited the blighter before 12 noon but that the funds will not post to my available balance until Monday and I will not be able to withdraw "the nanny's money" until 9 AM.

With these guitar lesson cheats, I always press them for specific information about "their child's guitar". They have to do a fair amount of research to attempt to gain credibility. I ask if the guitar is acoustic or electric. If acoustic, nylon or steel strings. If electric, more like a Stratocaster (Think Jimi Hendrix) or more like a Les Paul (Think Jimmy Page). Does s/he have a metronome? Does she have a book of chords? Mel Bay? Hal Leonard?

Another favorite way to mess with them is to tell them, when the student is supposed to be a teenage girl, that I am a sex offender. I love how they never tell me to bugger off, but rather tell me things like, "You've paid your debt to society. God has forgiven you, so have I".

One thing I do differently is that I let the checks come to my real address and also tell them that I've been wasting their time on purpose. The address is within a gated community and I welcome the opportunity to kill one of these sacks of shit.

De Master Yoda

Music scammers.

@Ev105. Welcome to AFI. As you have seen the scammers will stop at nothing to steal money.
What you are doing is called scambaiting and can be a good way to hurt the scammers.

Many people start off doing this on their own and while it can be a good thing, it can be done a lot more effectively and safer by working with other baiters, to this end I will send you a Private message.

Regarding the cheques, in some parts of the USA, it is an offense to be in POSSESSION of a forged instrument and can attract jail terms of up to fifteen years.

If ANY one receives these forged or stolen cheques via the mail, please take them along to your postmaster along with hard copies of any emails from and to the scammer and the envelopes or package if you have them.
Please do NOT attempt to cash them.

The postal inspectors are very good and are doing a great job with stopping the scammers.

Thank you for your post it may help save others from falling for this type of scam.