Scambuster: Scammers Sending Fake Checks To Purchase Items on Craigslist

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The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office recently got a package that obviously was sent by a scam artist. However, the package was not meant for them.

“It was actually addressed to us, to the name of John Doe,” says Sgt. Josh Rhodes with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

A package, sent priority overnight, arrived at the Sheriff’s office recently. And Sgt. Josh Rhodes thinks he knows how it got there.

“What we believe here is someone was very clever who lives in Mobile and knew it was a scam and said my name is John Doe and this is my address and gave them our work address. So it was rather funny when I got it,” says Rhodes.

He says the man who sent it was the target of a familiar scam.

“Someone obviously had a listing on Craigslist. These people contacted them and said we want to buy it, we’re going to send you the money to purchase it as well as ship it to us, and if there’s any money left over, we’ll just put it back in our account,” says Rhodes.

It’s a common practice for scammers to send checks over and above the asking price. They tell you to cash it and send the rest back to them. And of course, the check is fake, and the money you’re sending back to them is your own out of your account.

And there are two victims in this scam. The company name on the check is Ellis And Watts Global Industries. That’s a real company based in Ohio.

“This particular company, their account was hacked. And they have had $34,000 of checks that were attempted to be cashed. Luckily, the bank refunded some of their money and they put a stop to the rest of them.”

But that doesn’t always happen for the people trying to cash the checks. So beware: if you’re selling something on Craigslist, or another site, and someone sends you a check for more than the asking price, that is a definite sign that it’s a scam. Don’t deposit the check, just rip it up and stop all communications with the person who sent it.

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