overpayment certified bank check scams for pinball machines

Just today I received an overpayment for a pinball machine! It was a “certified bank check” from “Wells Fargo Bank”.

This is NOTHING NEW for someone who has been buying and sometimes selling pinball machines for as long as I have been! I’ve seen this trick in the pinball industry, for well over, 14 years! The asking price for the pinball machine was $650. Below is an actual screen shot from the Craig’s List ad that is currently running in Iowa (Washington area).

Picture of my Aztec pinball for sale

Actual screen shot / picture of my Aztec pinball for sale on Craig’s list in Iowa.

I had LOTS of clues why this was a scam!

Everything from; He only wanted to communicate via Text message. To never mentioning the game by it’s real name. This person was is using Google Voice and was too dumb to know how to set it up correctly (after all, you don’t have to be too intelligent to be a criminal). The phone numbers they were using are/were… 312-445-0680, 609-316-2055 & 571-305-2710. I basically texted him saying “This sounds like a scam”. Yet s/he insisted that they were “real” and this wasn’t a “scam”. Well, I can’t turn down a “real” sale, and at the very least I’d get a scammer’s check for my wall (it will be framed). I’ll admit, the person behind this made it look good! It showed up in a trackable FedEx envelope. It’s tracking number was 796063583938. So there was an add.ess that it “came from”. Please note the phone number on the FedEx envelope, it’s (244) 444-4445. Yet, another tip off. I called that number too, and it wasn’t a real number.

FedEx package

Fake bank check came in a FedEx express envelope

The Fake certified bank check it self.

Picture of a The fake/SCAM certified bank check from Wells Fargo Bank.

The fake/SCAM certified bank check from Wells Fargo Bank.

Check is made out for $2,850.00 or $2,200 over the asking price of arcade game

You’ll notice that the fraudulent check is made out to $2,850.00. That is $2,200 over the asking price of the arcade game! I’m assuming that, he would have wanted me to reimburse him the difference. That is, if I didn’t send him this website address, where I was documenting this entire process. Lets just say I haven’t heard back from him yet.

I called the cops:

Seeing that the address was:

Hoff Dave Trillium Industries 24 Point Mountain Rd. Lebanon Twp, NJ 07882

I decided to call the Lebanon Township (Non-Emergency) Police office number and talked to a helpful COP! I gave him the tracking number, the address, my name and much more. He said he would look into in, and get back to me if anything comes up.

Officer “Steve Speed” Calls back.

The officer calls me back and informs me that the address that was listed on the FedEx envelope is actually a vacant home and is currently listed for sale (See the listing)! I’m sure this is where it will end. So that is why I’m posting this for all of you pinball people. Don’t get scammed!

Here is a picture of Aaron Van Noy with the Aztec pinball machine

Aaron Van Noy and Aztec pinball

Picture of Aaron Van Noy with my Aztec pinball machine for sale and the Fake, overpayment check that I got for it.

Please leave your comments! I’m glad that I’ve already saved one person from a scam! Post your comments below.

Also, Just as a trivia thing… “Officer Steve Speed” is a quote from the game High Speed pinball referring to the game designer Steve Richie.

UPDATE: September 27th 2013. I was just contacted by 636-686-0187 who also has a google voice number. This person was trying to scam me as well. I see through it instantly!

UPDATE: July 13th 2014. I was just contacted by 928-923-3507. This person was trying to scam me as well. This is what this Scammer texted me… “Here is the CEO of shipping company info for the Money gram transfer. Name-Cassandra McNeill, Add-801 College Ave, City- Arlington, State- TX Zip code 76011. (Money gram is available at Walmart stores). u’ll deduct the transfer charge and then $40 for your gas & running around. then text me back with the ref # for the money sent so the shipper can pickup the funds and co-ordinate shipping with their branch office in CA tomorrow morning. thanks 10:52 AM going to back and also save your time you can just go to any Walmart store close to you with your bank card and get the transaction done.”


Notice that s/he is trying to get people to RUSH! Do NOT fall for this trick!!! If you have any questions call me directly on my mobile, visit the contact page on this website.

32 thoughts on “overpayment certified bank check scams for pinball machines

  1. Rodd Wilson

    I just had the same thing happen to me today! Same guy, same story, same address. Sent me a check for 2000 for an item he saw that I had listed for 700. Said the balance he wanted me to send to his ‘transporter’ who would ultimately be coming to pick it up here in Wisconsin. Like you also, I had many smelly clues that kept rowing throughout this textversation…no phone contact. I got home from work, typed in the address on the fedex envelope and found your story! Thanks for listing it…made my decision much easier! I told the loser to get a job…

  2. Tyri Spencer

    I revived the same thing today but it’s for a guy wants me to run errands for him. Check was from the same person & made out by Wells Fargo bank. He ordered me to take 599 out and money gram the rest to some guy in Germany… Idk what to do

    1. avannoy Post author

      Don’t do it Tyri. It’s all a scam to get your money.

      If you’d like… call, text or email them saying that my bank informed you that it was a fraudulent check. That you’d love to get there address, so you could return it. Undoubtedly, you’ll never hear back from them again. They know it’s bogus, they don’t want the check back. And they don’t want to give you an address.

  3. Heather

    I am so grateful that you posted this “caution” as I just received my “scammer check” via Fed Ex about an hour ago. I couldn’t figure out why it was made out for $2,100.00 more than my asking price of $500.00 for a pool table. I just decided to google the name Dave Hoff Intellium Industries and happened on your page. Thanks so much, or I could have been duped, like probably so many other people!!

    Great article and thanks!!

  4. Heather

    Oooops, I meant Trillium Industries, not Intellium Industries. My Fed Ex envelope and check both look identical to the one you posted!!

    1. avannoy Post author


      It can be an overpayment scam for Pool tables, pinball, video arcade game, skee ball, whac-a-mole, coin pusher type redemption games. This guy is trying to scam people. He/she must be getting some people. If so many people find my page and let me know.

      Thanks so much for posting!

      Aaron (The pinball guy in North Carolina)

  5. Heather

    Thanks for the reply avanoy!! I just wanted to give people a little bit more information. There is a phone #1-877-382-4357 for the Federal Trade Commission as well as the State Attorney: 866-966-7226, that you can call to make a complaint. I believe the more people that do their due diligence and report this fraud, maybe we can stop this person!!

    Thanks again for the article, as I could have very easily fell victim to this scam!! One, more thing…..I read that if you actually deposit the check, you can be held criminally liable for the fraudulent check!! Crazy, but true.

    1. avannoy Post author

      Fantastic addition Heather! Thanks so much for posting that! I’ll be giving them a call!


      1. Bacongirl


  6. Albert

    I just received a scam check like the others but from US WireService for $2690.99 drawn from the Bank of New York Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. it also came Fed Ex from Hoff Dave at Trillium Industries in Lebanon Twp., NJ. I too called the local police there because I never did any business with them or US News Service and could not figure why they would send be a check. I did some research and on line there was a US News Service in DC, at that address, but the phone number I got on line was not in service. An like Aaron the Trillium Industries number (244)444-4445 was a phony too. The police told me not to cash the check and I wasn’t planning too. They said they can’t charge this Hoff Dave unless someone actually cashes the check and then looses money via bank fraud, or something like that. So, don’t get caught up with this scam… be smarter than them!

  7. Yusuff

    I received a similar check this morning. Unlike everyone else I received this check for no reason. I was not trying to sell anything, but instead applied to job in Atlanta on Craigslist. I’m assuming this David Hoff person retrieved my address through my resume and must’ve posted a fake job ad. I’m going to contact the numbers Heather provided. Thank you everyone for sharing your story. I almost cashed this check 🙁

  8. Kasey

    I received a check yesterday for the same ad on Craigslist, the guy David hoff emailed me about a office assistant job in Atlanta which turned out to be a secret shopper position . I asked him several times what was the name of the company but he ignored my question countless times , and insisted on me beginning an “observation” at Walmart at the money gram sending someone in Indiana the money from the check, BEWARE you can serve jail time for trying to cash these checks!

  9. Jasmine

    Same thing happened to me today. I received a check via fed ex of $2,875.22. I recently applied for a job on taiga list they emailed me back saying that I was accepted for the position to be a “secret shopper” and my first assignment was to deposit the check into my acct and report to a money gram to send funds to another secret shopper while evaluating them. They made it sound good for a little while so I followed instructions when they were trying to verify the check I learned that it was fake and the bank has had several issues with it. I got online and googled the address and name and this website came up. I’m glad I found it. They also texted me from a number rushing me to finish the assignment but when I called the damn number it said something about google voice. I hope they get to the bottom of this because this shit is ridiculous.

  10. Jim Czekala

    Got a check exactly like that from Trillium Industries, this was overpaying for a lease on a building I am advertising for rent on Craigslist. This goofball wanted the difference moneygrammed to his “travel agent” who uses a motel address in MO. All communications were by Email and fortunately his English was about third grade level so that was the first indication that this was a scam.

    1. Aaron Van Noy Post author

      Thanks Jim for posting! I guess it just proves, that you don’t have to be too intelligent, to be a criminal! A better grasp of the English language and maybe he could actually be profitable!

  11. Pen

    So my Daughter is trying to sell a motor cycle and she gets this ck for $2690.00 through FEDEX .. Well it’s about $1800 more than she is asking…. So I started checking around on the internet..(by the Way Kudos’s for posting this site) I call the number and Yes it’s Google voice number… But the name is different than Dave Hoff … it’s Nicole Hoffman… Looked up the address (Goole Maps… just love it) and it’s a crummy building… So I know it’s a scam . My question is .. anyone dealt with a Nicole Huffman.? I will report this for sure.. But what worries me is that my Daughter gave them my address for the bike.. I’m worried that they may try to come a take it..

    1. Aaron Van Noy Post author

      Thanks for posting Pam!

      I gave the guy my physical address as well. But I’m in Iowa. I highly doubt that he will be ground around the country for lower value items. He targets the (about) $400-800 price point. That way He/She can overpay for several thousand dollars, and get it back.

      I really wouldn’t worry too much about it. S/he may not even be in the USA.


      1. Andrea Berry Post author

        Hi Aaron, just wanted to share my experience with you guys. I too applied to start in a “Secret Shopper” job, and they were doing the same thing with me, texting me repeatedly to get me to deposit the $2850.00 cashier’s check , from THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, they fedexed me the night before. I DID NOT! Instead, I decided to do a lil research and check them out. Thank you for posting this. It helped me confirm that they are nothing but another type of FRAUD!!!! INCREDIBLE!!!! I can’t believe the police won’t do anything about it, unless we actually lose our own money. Thanks again!!! You just saved me $2850.00. Have a Wonderful Day! I took a picture of the fake check, and wanted to post it here. Can you help me?
        Fraudulent check

        (Andrea some how I added this image to your post and it shows up that I’m the author. 🙁 Thanks for posting!)

  12. Mike Balsamo

    Thanks Aaron for positing this. I got a bogus check yesterday 8/10/13 for the amount of $2,690.90 from:
    Nicole Hoffman
    103 Wade St.
    Jersey City, NJ 07305
    (562) 339-9869

    From the beginning I knew this was bullshit since the person was only texting and wanted to buy my refrigerator without looking at it and was willing to pay extra for it. I also found a website and read up on how this scam works. I provided the link at the bottom of this posting.

    I was selling a refrigerator for $800 on craigslist and I got the following text from this scammer: “I live in Austin , TX I have a mover who is going to come pick up for me. I am willing to pay your asking price. I will pay you with Cashier Check as its the only way I can pay you at the moment due to the fact that I’m away for a business emergency. I will make arrangement for the pick-up after payment has been received by you. I don’t mind adding an extra $30 just for you to keep in my favor. And I will appreciate if you can take the posting off craigslist. Once you text me your full name and home address I will send payment by FedEx first thing in the morning.”

    Since I knew this was bullshit and was pissed, I decided to strike back it bit.
    I texted the scammer that I had sold the refrigerator for about $150 more than I listed it because I needed the money. I then texted him that I used part of that money and went to the casino and won about $32,000 from the slot machine and that I would Fed EX him $2,000 cash for his troubles. He immediately text back saying that was great and provided me with this name & address:
    Martina Garcia
    504 N. 4th Street
    Carrollton, TX 75007

    I checked out the address and couldn’t find it to be legit. He text me if I had sent the money but I didn’t respond. Hours later he texted me again saying he didn’t appreciate my silence and said for me to just cash his check and send him the difference. I responded by saying that I didn’t appreciate him scamming me and that I had alerted the local authorities and FBI. I haven’t heard from him since.

    Does anybody know if we can prosecute this bastards or do we have to cash the check first then proceed? I’m not sure what the laws are on these scamming attempts.

    I’m going to keep the FedEx package and Cashier’s Check as a reminder not to get ripped off.

    Below is a link on avoiding scams like this:

    Just remember, there aren’t too many people out there willing to pay for something without checking it out first, especially if they are only texting you and claim they are out of state!

    Good luck,


    1. Aaron Van Noy Post author


      You said… “Does anybody know if we can prosecute this bastards or do we have to cash the check first then proceed? I’m not sure what the laws are on these scamming attempts.”

      Honestly I’m not sure. I just keep trying to make his scamming difficult by posting stuff about him here and hoping that more people find my post about him. One day s/he will use a new phony industries and new fake name.

      Truth is, you just can’t trust any kind of check.


  13. Toby Dore

    I recieved a check today for 3,500.00 from guess who? Nicole Hoffman – Trillium Industries. I listed a room in my house for rent. The dumbasses sent me a picture through e-mail of two different girls that were gonna rent my room. This was what immediately led me to the scam. Also, they wanted me to pick up a car that was being shipped and pay for it with money that I took out.

  14. Lyn Gideon

    I’ve been emailing with someone using an almost identical tactic, however the info on the outside of the priority mail envelope is showing an address of Time Warmer New York 3926 Ballina Dr. Sacramento, CA 95821…. according to Google Maps, the address doesn’t exist. There is an address in Queens on the Check that looks like it is an abandoned building, hardly a bank. So they seem to be tweaking the scam a little bit. I’ll turn this info over to the police, although I doubt there is much that can be done to them since I’m one, like y’all here that bothered to check into it.
    I do appreciate your posting all the info though, it made it super easy for me to research this.

  15. lacy

    hi guys I am from Illinois and I had a house cleaning advertisement on craigslist and this a[edit]hole emailed me and text me sounding like a legit dude.. and then I got a check in the mail via FedEx for 3,500 dollars and I stupidly deposited the check I am soooo glad that I found all of this info about this person I am going to try and take legal action I am going to turn the check over to law enforcement and hopefully have it finger printed so this little f[EDIT] bag can go down for the count!!!

    1. Aaron Van Noy Post author


      I understand how you feel. I’ve seen enough of these over payment scams to know better. It looks like s/he is now diversifying even more into more that just arcade games.

      I wish you the best at taking legal action. But our legal system is beyond broken.


  16. Olivia

    I received a bogus check this morning for $2,450.29 from Ricky Inc
    3357 S Bell Ave Chicago,IL 60608 phone number (866)394-7738. The only reason I thought it was a real check was because it was my insurance company name on the check but on the envelope it was from a Ricky Inc. The address is a vacant lot after I looked it up and I don’t know what the phone number goes to there is no name on the automated just to leave your name and they will get you transferred to your conference…? I don’t know, please someone tell me what these people can possibly get from sending bogus checks out, mine I got for no reason. At first I thought it could of been a compensation from a previous car accident but then I looked up pictures of fake checks and saw your check(Aaron) with the same signature on the bottom! Just different information on the top. I don’t get it, thanks for posting this!


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