How does this scam work?

By Anonymous -

 18 May 2008 19:20

I am in the process of selling my wife's scooter, through MCN and another magazine, and twice we have been approached with a similar 'scam'.

The buyer shows interest (via phone or email) - and then embarks on a story involving long distance shipment, as illustrated below:

"Thanks for your response I will like to inform you that I do appreciate your response and interest in transacting with me,I will like to inform you that I will be purchasing the bike from you with the price that you have given me (£1500) but unluckily for me I can't come for the view because I have traveled to Australia on vacation with my wife who is based here and my son who schools here and I will also be traveling to Hong Kong on a business trip afterwards, but nevertheless I will like to inform you that with the information that you have provided to me and the one that I have seen on the advertisement that the Bike is in Good condition is okay to keep me assured that my son will not be disappointed about the Bike. I will want you to know that the payment that will be sent to you will include the shipping cost because it will be issued by my Creditor so once the cheque has cleared in your account you will then assist me to send the remaining balance on the cheque via western union money transfer to the shipping company that will come for the pick up shipment of the bike and also they will be the one that will assist me to sign the paper work,title transfer and all other necessary document that is needed to be signed for.So once you have accepted to do this for me I will want you to mail me with the name to write on the cheque and also the address to send it to so I can instruct my creditor to issue and send the cheque to you immediately,I will be expecting."

I am certain that this is a common 'scam' - but I (and possibly other readers) would be interested to know it plays out, should you fall for it??

Does anyone at MCN have an insight?