Local online salesman targeted in scam
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- In this tough economy, many of us are looking to earn some extra money. But when a valley man decided to sell something online, he was nearly the victim of a scam. His warning for others in our Contact 13 consumer alert.
"It's the first time its ever happened to me," says James.
James Clark says he's sold things online before. So it was business as usual when he placed an ad on Craigslist last month.
"I was selling a treadmill for $425," says James.
James says a couple days later he received this email from a woman named Monica. She was interested in buying the treadmill, and told James she would send a check.
"So I said that I really don't want a check. I want cash or I don't do the deal," says James.
But James says Monica never responded to his email requesting a cash payment. Several days later, James said he received an envelope in the mail. There was no letter, or note inside, just a check.
"And the check was for $2,750," says James.
He says at first, he had no idea who had sent him such a large check. But then he recognized the envelope's tracking number from the latest email he had received from Monica. That email included an explanation for the large check.
"She said her secretary made a big mistake in making out the check," says James.
In the email, Monica asked James to cash the check and keep the money for the treadmill, plus $70 for his trouble. He was then instructed to wire the rest of the money.
"Western Union it to a different lady altogether. I knew something wasn't right," says James.
That's when James called Contact 13. We called the bank whose name is on the check. They say the check is a fake and the account number is invalid. James is glad he never went to the bank and now has a message for others.
"Unless it comes from someone you know, if it's nobody you know, I guarantee you it's not a real check," says James.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: beware of anyone you don't know, asking you to wire money. The Better Business Bureau says if you do receive a check, ask your bank to verify if it's legit. And remember to report these internet scams to the FBI. They're the ones who investigate them.