08/08/10 — Sheriff warns of new scam

View Archive

Sheriff warns of new scam

By Staff Reports
Published in News on August 8, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders is warning the public of an old scam that is reappearing.

Recently, a county resident reported to the Sheriff's Office that they were contacted by e-mail by a person that claimed to be interested in some furniture the resident was advertising for sale.

The citizen was advertising the sale in a local media publication. They were contacted by the suspect who said they wanted to buy the furniture signt unseen.

They then say that they will pay extra for the seller to hold the furniture for them and to pay for the advertisement.

They then tell the seller that they will send payment by certified check or money order with extra funds in the check. They request the seller to then send the extra money to a freight company by Western Union to ensure they pick up the furniture.

The suspect then requests the seller's full name, contact address, (no post office box) and a phone number.

"This is another example of what seems too good to be true is not true," Winders said. "In this type of scam, the suspect hopes the idea of more money than the price tag of an item will encourage the seller to go along with this idea.

"If the seller provides this information they will receive a check and it is usually for a considerable amount more that the asking price for the item. The seller may then cash the check at their local bank and send the money where the suspect requests them to. After a few days, the bank will then notify the seller, who is now a victim, and let them know that the check was a counterfeit. The victim is then out of the total amount of the check and owes the bank that amount.

"A good tip to let you know an e-mail notification is a scam is the way the e-mail is typed. Most of the time it will be obvious that the person is not a natural English speaking person. Luckily, in the situation that was reported to the Sheriff's Office the seller was aware that this was probably a scam and did not go along with the plan. It is best that if you receive an e-mail similar to this to not even respond to it, just delete it."

All sorts of publications are used in this scam from Craig's List, EBay, newspapers and magazines.

The publications are legitimate and are not involved in the scam in any way.

The scam can also be done in the reverse where the supposed seller is the scam artist, receives the money and never delivers the merchandise. The scam may involve anything from small merchandise to automobiles.