MOUNT VERNON — Christine Conley was just looking to add some extra money to her monthly budget by selling scarves she crochets.
After placing an ad on the Internet, Conley was contacted by two individuals interested in purchasing some of her scarves — or so she thought.
Conley was contacted by e-mail on April 22, by potential buyer named James.
“I came across you ads on net and I wanna know if it is still available for sale ..as I wish to but it pls get back to me asap..cuz I need it urgently [sic],” James said in an e-mail to Conley.
Conley replied to the e-mail the next day, stating the scarves were available for purchase. James then notified Conley he would be “paying you via wire transfer or Cashier check or money oder [sic].”
James sent Conley a check on May 1 through UPS for $1,800, instructing Conley to call him once the check is received. Conley said she took the check to her bank to deposit, but was told the check was fake.
“I just threw it away,” Conley said.
On April 24, Conley was contacted, again via e-mail, by a buyer named Jessica who was looking to purchase 60 scarves, or as many as Conley could produce in a few days. The two agreed on a transaction through money order. Once the payment was received, Conley would send the product.
“Since you accept money order, that ok by me but the money will be coming in excess cos one of my client in the state that owe me some money will be sending you the money via money order and as soon as the payment is out I will let you know and I will provide you where to send the remaining funds to cos the client will send you excess funds [sic],” Jessica wrote.
In arranging the deal, Conley spoke with a man named Anderson, who claimed to be married to Jessica. He said he needed Conley to send the difference between what was owed for the scarves and what the check was written for to his wife in Germany, who desperately needed the money.
Conley said she didn’t think much of the arrangement, she was only thinking that she was trying not to take advantage of anyone else.
Both UPS shipments showed return addresses of the House of God Assembly in Glendora, Calif. According to the UPS Web site’s tracking agent, both envelopes were shipped from Fresno, Calif.
Conley has not had contact with either “buyer,” and neither responded to an e-mail from the News requesting an interview or comments.
“I work hard at what I do,” Conley said. “I’m not trying to rip anyone off.”
Conley said she brought her story to the News because she hopes to warn other readers of the unsavory attempts to pass fraudulent checks and money orders to good people.