Maine resident Michael Hawes was looking to sell some rims on Craigslist recently when he fell for one of the oldest Craigslist scams out there — the check scam. Here’s how it went down, according to WABI 5 News:
“The buyer, who used the name James Sawyer, sent Hawes a check for $2,900.43. Way over the original asking price. “The rims I posted for $600 and I said it’s awful funny he sent such a big check, but he told me it was to insure the rims and for shipping,” said the Seller.
Hawes deposited the check and wired the rest of the money back to Sawyer, but under a different name. Then a few days later, the buyer sent Hawes another email, saying something went wrong with the first check, so he sent another – this time for $2,000.”
Unfortunately, Hawes didn’t realize he had been conned until the checks bounced, leaving him with a $5000 hole in his bank account.
In this case there were plenty of red flags to see. Apparently, the checks were all sent from different addresses, and the money for shipping had to be sent to different people.
However, if Hawes had read one of my first posts on the Craigslist Scam Report, he could have avoided this situation entirely. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, you should NEVER ship anything to a buyer or accept a check as payment when selling on Craigslist. Almost every time, the buyer is a scammer, looking for easy prey online. Avoid the predators with tips like these, and find success selling online with the comprehensive techniques in Craigslist Unlocked.