Wednesday, January 2 2013, 10:46 PM MST
Online Buyer Nearly Burns Oven Seller
Produced by Michelle Poe
By Matt Gephardt
(KUTV) Last month, Margaret Willis' father had just gotten a new oven. She was enlisted to help him sell the old one online. She posted an ad on Craigslist.org to sell the appliance for $130. A few days later, she received an email from a man named Matthew saying he wanted to buy it.
Matthew claimed to be out of town on business but said his secretary would be mailing her a check. A few days later, sure enough, a check showed up in the mail. The check was not for $130 however; it was a cashier’s check written for $2550,
After receiving the check, Margaret got another email from Matthew saying that movers were on the way to pick up the stove and, oops, sorry for the overpayment. Could she just wire that money back to him, Matthew asked.
“I was to keep 150 dollars for my troubles,” Margaret said.
At that point Margaret knew it was a scam and decided to Get Gephardt to warn other potential victims in Utah.
Craigslist.org knows all about scams like this. Above every item for sale on the site it reads, "Avoid scams and fraud by dealing locally! Beware any deal involving Western Union, Moneygram, wire transfer, cashier check, money order, shipping, escrow, or any promise of transaction protection/certification/guarantee." But despite knowing all about the prevalent fraud they have been powerless to eradicate it.
The Federal Trade Commission warns that if you take a check, even a cashier’s check, you could be given the money immediately but that doesn't mean the check is good. If and when it ends up bouncing, you will be responsible for all the money.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)