Craigslist scammers use high offers to trap sellers – WLS-TV

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Scammers targeting people selling items on Craigslist offer more money than asked, then leave sellers on the hook by paying with fraudulent checks or money orders.
CHICAGO (WLS) — Scammers are targeting people selling items on Craigslist by offering more money than asked, and then leave sellers on the hook by paying with fraudulent checks or money orders.
It seems like the perfect online transaction: a buyer wanting to pay more than the seller is asking. But it is a sure sign of a scam.
Stephen Godlewski was trying to sell his mother's car when he got a question asking about the price from a potential buyer.
"I told him $3000," Godlewski says. "He said he was going to give me an extra $100 not to take anyone else's offer and he was going to give me the price I wanted for the vehicle."
Initially, Godlewski was thrilled but that feeling changed when he was being asked for personal information.
"He wanted my PayPal information so that he could go ahead and transfer me the funds," he says.
But the potential buyer hadn't even asked any important questions about buying a car and he seemed to be in a rush.
"You didn't send anyone over to look at the vehicle but you're going to send someone to pick it up," Godlewski recalls. "He doesn't have time to look at it? That doesn't make sense."
So Godlewski called the authorities.
"You put something up for $1000 they are offering you $2000 it's going to catch your eye. That's where the scam really lies," says Bladismir Rojo, a U.S. Postal Inspector. "The check or the financial instrument is fake – you put this in your bank account withdraw this money and send them the extra $1000 back."
When banks realize the buyer's check or money order is fraudulent, the victim is on the hook for the money and loses the item he or she was trying to sell.
Investigators recommend if you're get money orders or checks, be sure they clear your bank before you turn over the item you're selling.
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